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Breast feeding(15 Posts)
I don't know if this is in the right place, but seen as I'm pregnant and it's just a random question I thought I'd put it in my favourite topic
I'm really hoping to bf my ds when he is here. My dp has said he wants to do night feeds(obviously not all), so I was wondering....
When I express my milk can I store it in the fridge until it's ready to be used?
How do I then heat the milk back up?
How long can the milk be in the fridge for until it's no longer ok to use?
It's a massive faff though - express (may take more than one session to get enough for a feed) clean and sterilise pump, store milk safely, baby wakes, BF gets up, warms milk (while babies screams get louder) feeds baby, clean and resterilise bottles, get by now wide awake baby back to sleep...
Or, reach into bedside cot, shuffle baby into bed, attach to boob, job done. If you co sleep you don't even need to move the baby....
Persuade BF he'd rather be in charge of bathtime and stories and save expressing for when you need to be elsewhere.
I agree with bakingtins you bf may think its helpful to want to do night feeds but with breast feeding it is no faff to just attach them to boob maybe he can get up and change nappy in the night if needs doing once fed.
It's alot less hassle and they say you should only really express once you have your breast feeding established well first.
Fingers crossed you can breast feed its not always possible so do think ahead and get some bottles just in case and an emergency pack of milk or ready made milk.
It's not recommended until after 4 weeks because of nipple confusion.
I second what baking tins says: it will create a lot more work than is necessary. One of the beautiful things about Breastfeeding is that it can be so easy to do the night feeds once you get the hang of feeding lying down.
Have a really good read through the kellymom site; the more you know about it all now, the more confident you'll be when the time comes. Plus get bf to do some reading too, so he doesn't 'decide' on the basis of no information what might be helpful!
Yes it's more of a faff than it's worth to wash/sterilise the bottles. I didn't mind the nightfeeds, it's the nappy changes in the middle of the night I hated so like others have said get him to do that.
Also it's important for a good supply to feed (or pump) at least once during the night in the early months, something to do with the hormones which tell your body to produce milk
The way we worked it was that when DD woke up DH passed her to me for a BF. I fed her and passed her back over, DH winded her, resettled (changed nappy if necessary) while I went back to sleep. That way he felt involved at night and took some of the pressure of me, without the faff of expressing and sterilising.
Can you ask why he wants to do the night feeds?
Realistically, expressing is a faff and not recommended early on anyway. Night feeds are very important for building up supply and if you're maintaining breastfeeding then overnight you need to feed or express anyway so you'll have to get up. Plus, I couldn't have listened to either dc cry in the night when bfing was so straightforward and neither would take a bottle. So...
If he wants to give you a break, then there are lots and lots of other ways of doing this. If it's to do with bonding, there are lots and lots of other ways.
Introducing a bottle can be great but doing all night feeds as expressed feeds from a bottle is a heck of a lot of work and not so easy to sustain breastfeeding that way in the early days.
Your bf is being very nice to offer to do some night feeds. I sort of disagree with pp in that I found night feeds exhausting, I simply could not feed laying down and never felt safe co-sleeping so it was great when Dp did a feed for me occasionally. However ds was mix fed so the times that I was knackered Dp could give him formula (sterilised bottle and carton at room temp), had he been ebf I wouldn't have bothered expressing for it. It used to take me around two 30 minutes sessions with an electric double pump to get a full feed! Sorry op but if you ebf the onus really is on you to do feeds and your bf to do housework/cooking/walking around the park to get baby to sleep!
When you do pump then yes you can keep the milk in the fridge for a couple of days I think(check on Kellymom) but if you need more than one "sessions" milk the whole bottle will only ever be as fresh as the oldest milk IYSWIM. You can also freeze it to build up a stash for if you want a spell of time away. You can reheat milk by standing it in hot water.
I agree with PP, when BF it really is easier to do the night feeds yourself as they feed so frequently that expressing/sterilizing the bottles becomes a real chore!
We did it as the odd one off but to be honest my boobs got so big, full and uncomfy if I left too long between feeds that I needed to wake up to express/feed DS anyway!
As others have said, your DP can certainly help in other ways (making snacks/ hot drinks/fetching/nappy changes/ housework/ dinners etc), just to give you a break. Your DP sounds great though.
When your LO gets bigger it's easier to have built up a stash by regularly expressing a bit and storing it. BM lasts about 6 months frozen.
To keep your supply going, particularly in the early weeks, you would have to get up while he's feeding the baby anyway to express, so it wouldn't actually help you get more sleep. Plus, personally, I could never sleep if I could hear the baby crying/awake, so would have ended up being up during the feed anyway. It's lovely that he wants to help, but I would have a chat with him about what would really be a help to you (and revisit the list after the baby arrives). Feeding isn't the only (or, in many cases, the most practical/best) way to help, and certainly isn't the only way to bond. Little things which I really appreciated dh doing for me were:
Packing the changing bag the night before so I could just pick it up and go in the morning.
Putting out a playmat and toys in the lounge before he went to work so that when I finally made it downstairs with baby I didn't have to faff around finding toys.
Changing nappies (it's not glamorous, but then not much about the early days with a baby is!).
Taking baby and getting them dressed in the morning.
Taking baby off me after he'd had one breast and changing his nappy, before he had the other side.
When he got in from work, he'd take the baby off me and take him upstairs for half an hour/an hour, so he got time just him and baby and I got a luxurious half hour to drink a cup of tea.
Making you a lot of cups of tea. Providing endless food (breastfeeding can make you reeeeeealllllly hungry).
He wants to help with the feeds because he feels it's the only way he will bond with the baby. I will ask him to read all of your comments and he will probably feel better about the situation.
I'll also have a read of the link posted now.
Oh he'll be able to bond with the baby in lots of ways, playing, bathing, getting him/her dressed, cuddling, changing nappies etc.
I think the night feeds in the early days are particularly important for your supply of breast milk, something to do with hormone levels (I'm no expert though!).
I agree it is really lovely of home to want to do this, and of course he wants to bond with the baby.
But just ask any of the mums on here who have formula fed and they will soon tell you how there are so many more ways to bond than by feeding them! It really is a small part of their lives.
Honestly, him cuddling the baby when you are having a bath, or him getting up at 5am when you have fed the baby and it still won't settle will be so much more appreciated by you I promise.
My dc never had a bottle. The had breastmilk only until 6 months and then carried on breastfeeding alongside solids. This is all irrelevant to DH's bond with them. "Bonding" with a child is about creating a secure attachment and building a relationship with them. This comes through spending time with them, enjoying them, teaching them what your voice sounds like, the feel of your hands, special songs you sing to them, silly games you play when you change their nappies. Plenty of babies never, ever receive a bottle and children develop extremely close bonds with caregivers which are nothing to do with bottles of milk. My dd in particular is very close to my Dad and this arose from a deep love for each other, shared interests and lots of time together. Nothing to do with milk.
I know lots of people like to give a baby a bottle (I've genuinely never done it) but it's not the "only way he will bond" as he seems to think. Certainly, you need to make sure that he understands the myriad other ways he can and should help out and enjoy his baby. His desire to be involved should also be motivated by wanting to help you out as undoubtedly birth, breastfeeding and caring for a small baby is exhausting and I think the primary use for expressing and giving a bottle at night is to allow you to have a break. The quiet moments with the baby are a bonus. He can find those lovely quiet moments at other times too.
It's good that you're thinking all this through and preparing now.
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