I didn't manage to breastfeed last time, and want to give myself every chance this time. So I got a breast pump in case it may help. I have to have a c section, so will be in hospital for a few days. My question is, does a breat pump even work for expressing colostrum? Is it worth me taking it in? I also bought nipple shields this time, as someone told me that without them they would not have managed either. Anyone had positive experience of using them? Thanks!
I wouldn't bother with the breast pump in hospital. Hand expressing is much better for colostrum if you need to express - it just gets lost in the pump as there's so little of it. It would be worth looking up info on hand expressing though.
The pump, if you need it, will be more useful once your milk's come in, so from around day 3/4 onwards.
I've never used nipple shields myself but know a couple of people who found them really useful. The advice a while ago used to be not to use, but apparently they are much thinner and less likely to affect supply now.
My birth centre had hospital birth pumps that mums could use, if they needed. Not sure if it's the same on the ward? I didn't use them, but a couple of husbands were sent out to the supermarket for nipple shields, so maybe worth having some in your bag just in case?
Good luck. I struggled with BF the first time, and it's been so much easier second time around.
If you need a pump the hospital will have one that's much better/stronger than you could bring. But as others have said I found hand expressing best in the very early days while my DD was in intensive care. A great tip I got from a midwife was to express while sitting with her or even cuddling, failing that having pictures of her plaster all over the wall in my room. Really boosts those hormones
good for you for giving it a second shot - hope you have more success this time. I would agree that it is not worth taking your own pump to hospital for the reasons others have already identified. I know its not what you were asking about, but for what it is worth Lansinoh saved my breastfeeding when I was suffering with bleeding cracked nipples. its miraculous stuff - expensive but currently a third off on amazon.
I never bothered with nipple shields but I have friends who relied on them. Your nipples will be sore at first, I just pushed on regardless, I didn't wash them with soap in the shower or use cream, they never cracked or bled. I would say try without, then if you need to use them but unless cracked persevere, your nipples will never man up otherwise! My daughter couldn't suck (complication of failed forceps delivery) for a few days but I managed to get colostrum into her by expressing into a teaspoon for the midwife to feed to her. I also used the hospital pump, they generally have medela pumps, you get your own steriliser for the shields etc. Also, look up your local breastfeeding support group for when you come home. Good luck. X
I used nipple shields for a while as DS couldn't latch to begin with. They massively helped and I don't think we would have got going with BF at all if we hadn't used them. My milk supply was rubbish, I am not sure if that was anything to do with the nipple shields though. This was 3 years ago, so maybe they are better now, as someone else suggested.
Thanks everyone! I really hope I can do it this time - I am remembering all the times I was upset in the months afterwards last time, and will keep that in mind to try and push through the pain! I am armed this time with the expensive Lansinoh cream and the shields so hopefully they will make the difference... Glad to hear that someone else did manage the second time around - it gives me hope! :-)
I honestly used nipple shields the whole time with both of mine. Avent ones are amazing and allow their chin/nose to have contact with your skin. Think I'd have given up otherwise-however much my latch was checked I was in agony. Ds1 didn't have a suck reflex initially but as others have said? I expressed using hospital pump into a tiny little cup that he sort of sipped out of.
I had to express when my first was premature and I managed to get enough colostrum from an electric pump to give to baby on my first try. I'd say take it with you so you have the option if you want it. Most hospitals do have electric pumps you can use but they're sometimes in a separate room so you might want to have a pump to use wherever you're most comfortable.
Assuming all is well after your section and with your baby, getting a great latch and letting them feed really frequently is the best way to get started. If you have to be separated for any reason then that's different of course. I would push to see a lactation consultant/specialist midwife as early as possible to get best advice. Also get baby checked properly for tongue tie very early on just in case it's an issue.
No shields here! I just use Lansing and I started using it before the baby was born. I also had a c section and worried about milk but I just kept the baby on my breast the whole time as that helps stimulate everything milk related. I wasn't sure much was coming out and I worried but those first few drops are all the baby needs - apparently they only have a really small stomach. Just remember to keep getting your baby on the breast. I think it took 2 days for my milk to come in properly.