Preparing for hospital - feeds(22 Posts)
I'm a newbie to mumsnet, I've been using a different forum for most of my pregnancy and have only recently discovered this one, thanks to a friend recommendation
To cut a long background story short, I'm a young first time mam, who's recently been disowned by her parents for moving away, the only support I have at the moment is my other half, who I have been in a steady relationship with for touching 3 years. He's been made redundant, and has been working in temporary placements, I'm on maternity due to a suspected early labour, and our income is pretty much pennies. My midwife has been very unsupportive, I'm also under consultant - whenever I ask him a question, he tells me to ask my midwife, whenever I ask her she tells me she hasn't got the time and to ask at my next appointment... I've already posted a thread similar to this on a different forum and got very mixed response, but not many of my questions answered... if anyone could help, I would be very grateful
I'm 34+3weeks at the moment, with my first little boyï¿¼
My question is mainly about the feeds. I'm going to try and breast feed, however even though this is what I want to do, I understand that it might not always be possible, no matter how much I want too. I have bought a manual breast pump, however have no idea how to use it - which leads me to my first question...
Do you practice using your pump before baby gets here?
Do you practice trying to do it with your own hand too?
So obviously after I've used the pump/my hand I'm obviously going to have to put it in a bottle, I've read that my steriliser only keeps things sterile for 24 hours, I have one that goes in the microwave -
So do I sterilise bottles ready to put in my bag now, or will I have to faf and rush about sterilising bottles whilst in labour?
Or do I just bring my steriliser and a bottle to the hospital with me?
If I'm put in a scenario where baby completely refuses my milk, whether it be from the boob or the bottle,
Do I need to bring my own formula?
Is it advised to bring some 'just incase'?
I know this is something I should be talking with my midwife about, but I won't be seeing her until I'm 38weeks now, however I've been told due to a weak cervix I am high risk of going early. Last time I seen her (at 32 weeks) she told me that she didn't have the time to go through feeding, but would go through it next time... However, I may have already given birth by then, so I kinda need to know asap, as I want to be as prepared as possible...
You don't have to sterilize bottles for breast milk - just wash them
If you're planning on breastfeeding I wouldn't worry about bottles etc - worst case scenario the hospital will give you some as an interim and supermarkets are open for 24 hours!
This website is the greatest breastfeeding resource for quick advice and reassurance: www.kellymom.com - it helped me on so many counts.
You need to be relaxed and rested to breastfeed, so learn to feed lying down in bed and stay there is my best advice. You don't produce very much milk from pumping (babies' mouths can get much more) so don't be worried if you can't express breast milk (I couldn't but am still bfeeding DS at 2 years old).
When in hospital tell them you are keen to breastfeed, that your community midwife had no time to talk about ( unless that changes) and you would like support to get it started. Most promote bf and support.
I struggled to have milk, took ages to come in, but I was stubborn and mixed fed so baby had milk ( I had no milk for 10 days), then reduced formula so just bf. hospital lent me their pump in hospital, then used my own at home as hospital ones much stronger and helped in early days.
Have you booked on any free NHS antenatal classes - as they may help with this information?
Also after birth you will get support of a health visitor who you can ask lots of questions to so do ask!! But may be too late about breast feeding.
There are charities and bf support groups - why not see what there is in your area and ask before give birth as they can be really helpful. My children's centre in next town has a weekly breast feeding support group - I wished I had gone before gave birth!! They will not turn you away!!
Has your midwife mentioned about antenatal classes. I understand they don't run in all areas, but maybe yours do? The classes will prepare you hopefully with labour and beyond. You might need some help on things in addition to feeding. I didn't have a clue with how to wipe baby's bum, winding, safe sleeping etc. (for example j didn't know baby wipes are bad for newborns)!
Do you know which hospital you will go to? Do they run tours of the maternity wards? If you visit them you can ask if they have support for breastfeeding. Mine has breastfeeding help every morning. They will be able to help you with feeding and expressing. (Before your milk comes in, around day 3-5, you can't use a pump yet. You do it by hand and use a syringe to catch the milk).
I also get a antenatal visit from the health visiting team late in my pregnancy.
Hopefully you will be able to find real life advice.
Does your nhs trust run parenting classes? We had one half day session with a midwife where we were told about what to take to hospital and what to expect/things that might happen. We were told if we were planning to bf then not to take in formula, that they would provide if needed.
Our nhs trust also offered a feeding session too which was very helpful.
Can you phone your gp surgery for info?
I was lucky in that my hospital was well staffed in specialist bf midwives and peer supporters but I live in an area with v low rates of bf and they've thrown a lot of money at it.
Sorry your midwife isn't much use, is there any way you can see someone different?
Good luck with everything!
Oh and definitely look up the antenatal boards on here, the women I met on mine have been a total lifeline.
Forgot to add, the most common bf supporters are La Leche League, Breastfeeding Network and Little Angels. LLL and BfN have great websites. Have a look and see if they operate in your area.
Tell them at hospital that you want to bf & ask to see the bf counsellor ASAP after birth so that you get the 1 on 1 advice you need. My hospital provides milk for those unable to feed at that time. Check. If your NW won't say, call them yourself.
Also beforehand look up your local bf support group, so you can access it as soon as you need.
For a back up plan for home (in case your milk comes in late you need either a starter pack of formula (bottles with teats that you just open & feed, but are expensive) or a bottle, the steriliser you mentioned & a couple of ready made cartons of formula. (Although supermarkets are open '24 hrs' you might get caught between late Saturday night & when they open at 11am Sumday morning like I did!) this is your back up plan, so don't stress about sterilising bottles before labour.
Re: breast pump. Leave this till afterwards. When your boobs get full up of milk, sometimes they'll be soooo full up hand expressing is the only way of getting anything out!
It worries me how your mw seems to be fobbing you off a bit. At this stage she should be answering your questions or signposting you to those who can.
I personally found LLL really helpful & supportive.
Do not try to express milk off before you have given birth ESP as you said you are at risk of early labour ... stimulating the beast to release milk also causes contractions in your uterus and as such can start labour!
An amazing book I found helpful is The Food of Love. It is a gentle, informative and amusing book all about BFing. They might have it in your library.
When I was on the recovery ward they gave bottles of ready made formula to the mums who were not BFing. I hope it all goes well for you.
Don't worry too much about expressing till you've really got established with breast feeding, it can be hard to manually pump milk. I never managed it !! But fed successfully two children without ever needing to.
Definitely recommend getting in touch with your local breast feeding group before you give birth, they will give you the much needed support before and just after you have your baby.
Your midwife sounds like a right charmer !!
Check if you have a Children's Centre/ Sure Start Centre near you, they may be able to help. Ours has a breastfeeding group and has a young parents group who can be given all kinds of additional support, including breastfeeding, if they need it. I'm not sure how young you are but I think they class young parents as under 23 or 24 round here.
now someone mentioned young parents group, are you in an area with mostly see mums? My MW told me my area only has a group for 40+ mums! (It's her way of telling me I'm not that old at 39). Maybe she isnt used to helping younger mums. Contacting a sure start center might be a very good idea.
I used a microwave steriliser for bottles. I believe expressed milk keeps for about three days in the fridge though I would check online for the latest advice. The bottle stays fine during that time.
In the hospital I needed to express with one dc, not the other - the hospital provided all the stuff I needed at the time, and they provides formula to anyone who wanted or needed it. I would not recommend buying some for home "just in case" as when you are struggling around day 3 waiting for the milk to come in you ( or someone with you) will give in and crack open the formula!
Sorry about the situation with your family, sounds very short-sighted of them.
Another yes for sure start centre. My local one runs breastfeeding sessions to help mums and answer all their questions.
Google your nearest one. They are lovely people.
I sterilised everything every time by the way, even though we didn't use formula.
Find all your support networks prior to birth, local breastfeeding cafés or drop in groups, the hospital may run some. I went to an excellent bf clinic with DS1 when I was struggling to feed.
I'm mix feeding DS2 successfully, it's hard work at first. It took me a week before my nipples weren't sore. You may find if you pump you don't get as much out, babies are much more efficient at getting out the milk, although some people get loads out when they pump but it can take a long time. Pumping pre birth may send you into labour though!
Your midwife sounds horrible actually. Not at all unreasonable to ask about feeding at 32 weeks, she should have gone through it with you. Esp given that you want to breast feed and they need to support as much as poss!
Can only help with some questions. I had intended to breast feed but couldn't. Hadn't packed any formula or bottles so once it was established that breast feeding wasn't working, hospital gave me a bottle and some milk. Then dh once he came in the following morning brought some more milk and had brought some bottles from home (we had bought bottles in advance for expressing etc).
Might be an idea to pack one clean bottle and a small ready made bottle of formula just in case. They only drink tiny amounts at first so a small bottle will give you a few feeds. Our hospital had fridges with labels where you could store the milk.
Have a look for la leche league in your area- you can go along to a session before you have baby and speak to advisors about your concerns
congratulations on your pregnancy
It sounds like you're in a bit of a stressful place at the mo It's not good that your midwife won't give you the time you need to talk about and ask the questions you want answered.
ok so feeding....
First thing first as you want to breastfeed I would try and find your nearest breastfeeding group and pop along to one of their meetings. they will have peer supporters there who will be able to help you.
I wouldn't try and express before you give birth if you are at risk of premature labour as their is a risk of kick starting the labour ( im pretty sure expressing at the end of pregnancy when there is no risk of premature labour is ok)
Some people get on ok with expressing some don't, theres no way of knowing which camp you'll fall in to! It can be quite time consuming though as baby is much more efficient at getting milk out than a pump.
Hand expressing can be a good thing to learn especially in the early days if you get engorged. Remember not to just squeeze the nipple though, you need to start much further back on your breast. (again if you pop along to your nearest breastfeeding group they can talk to you about this)
for the first few days your breasts will produce colostrum which is packed full of amazing stuff for baby so even if you only manage the first few days baby will be getting heaps of good stuff.
Baby's stomach is tiny when born so will not need to drink a lot of volume of milk/colostrum. They will need lots of frequent feeds, this is good and is normal as it sends signals to your body to 'bring in' your milk which should happen around day 3 -5.
As baby feeds so frequently it is really important the latch is good as otherwise your nipples will get very sore. (they will be sore to start with anyway as at the moment they are not used to anything sucking on them. However this should hopefully pass within a week or so. The rule of thumb is that it will usually hurt for the first 10/20 secs of the feed but shouldn't hurt for the whole of the feed.
As soon after birth try and have lots of skin to skin as this will help get breastfeeding established.
If you need help with latching baby onto breast ask to speak to the hospitals breastfeeding specialist. If the midwives help you make sure you ask them to show you and not to just grab your boob and baby's head and put them together!!! In fact have a google of biological nursing and watch some videos of newborn babies latching themselves on.
as for bottles if you are still in hospital and are trying to breastfeed but its not working out they should provide you with some formula (if you plan on ff from birth they expect you to bring your own in). they will prob ask which brand you want to use. To be honest they are all more or less the same so I would go with whatever your local shop has most of.
sorry for the epic post! Hope it helps!!!!
Definitely look up any local breastfeeding groups/cafes. Other breastfeeding mums will have massive amounts of support and advice for you and in the early days you can pop along and breastfeed with them. They are always happy to help with tips and tricks to try.
Breastfeeding can be hard. I thought I was doing well and mw was happy with latch etc when visiting after birth. Then baby was losing weight and a different mw told me it was because I wasn't feeding properly.
Thankfully when back in hospital due to the weight loss (and subsequent jaundice issues) I mentioned my concerns and the hospital sent a breastfeeding support worker to my room who chatted things through with me and helped me sort things out. This gave me my confidence back again.
I even found after about 2 months of breastfeeding when things were established we went through an iffy patch but I got advice on kellymom and made it through the other side.
I always struggled to express (only doing so for emergencies or engorgement) I had a stash in the freezer for if I was going somewhere and husband needed to feed the baby. I could never get much out at all and always started with an electric pump but my mid way through found I got more out by hand.
I never found I got sore nipples really but if I got any twinges I used lansinoh nipple cream which sorted it out.
It really has been a joy to breastfeed and I would recommend it if you can. Just be prepared that it is tough sometimes but there is always support available (however the thought of sterilising bottles, mixing up feeds and buying formula seem much harder than whipping out a boob)
I have just stopped with my daughter about to turn 1 and I have loved it.
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