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First time Mum - breast feeding(17 Posts)
I'm hoping to be able to BF, a friend said I should take a breast pump with me to hospital as she/her baby had problems latching & she says she would have expressed colostrum if she'd had the opportunity instead of becoming stressed & baby being distressed & then ending up having to FF just to get out of hospital. So is anyone else taking there own pump with them? This hospital bag is getting bigger n bigger!
You'll only have colostrum in the first few days and so a breast pump isn't the best bit of equipment for that. It comes out in tiny little droplets and if you did manage to pump any then it would be so little (which is completely normal), then it would just get lost in the pump parts.
If you do need to express colostrum and finger or syringe feed then the midwives will help you to do this by hand.
Good luck! Hopefully you'll never need to express anyway!
No. If you need a pump, the hospital will have one and it'll be far better than a retail one. Hand expressing will be better until your milk comes in. Google the technique to see videos.
No, no need for your own pump. If for some reason you need to express after the baby is born, the midwives should show you how to hand express colostrum until your milk comes in. Amounts of colostrum are tiny, so you couldn't use a pump as others have said. You hand express and collect the drops in a little syringe instead.
Once your milk comes in, if you're still in hospital they should lend you a hospital one. If you're at home you can hire them from various places, I think the NCT do this.
Hospital should provide one if you need it but I would say the same as PP and say that IF you have latch issues hand expressing might be easier that early on.
There will be midwives on hand to help with getting started. Kellymom.com is a fantastic resource too and really helped me with suggestions of different holds to help with latch.
Don't put too much pressure on yourself, if you are worried or over whelmed ask for help and if it doesn't improve then reasses what is best for you. Good luck.
Agree with previous posters, no need for a pump for colostrum. I remember with my first I had really really sore nipples and couldn't bear to hand express at the beginning (the thought of me squeezing my boobs and liquid coming out just made me feel weird) and DH had to do it for me collecting with a teaspoon to feed to DD we managed to bf successfully after a couple of days and she fed till 3- only weaning when I fell pregnant. Don't stress too much about it and remember it is a completely new experience and skill so give yourself time to get used to it and get the hang of it.
If you are worried, ask for help and support and keep asking until you get it. Some mws were a bit rubbish but I basically kept pestering them until I found someone who was helpful and that finally gave me confidence to keep trying and keep going. Good luck!
If you have a breast feeding support group near you pay them a visit before the birth, they are experienced mums who have breastfed. See NCT for details.
Not all midwives have been pregnant or breastfed so they may only have theoretical experience. As for pumps, if you do need one they will have one all ready to use.
Learning how to hand express and how to recognise the feelings that accompany 'let down' are the most important things and an NCT B/feeding counsellor would be the best person to contact in order to find support and advice.
Good luck, it isn't always easy to start with.
Have you packed Lansinoh, OP? The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and The Food of Love are great books for bf.
My advice with latch problems is get them sorted in hospital, otherwise you'll find yourself in need of help at 4am and end up having to give formula. While you're on the ward, you are surrounded by people who can help and making a good start will give you the confidence to work through any problems you may have. Take all the help that's available and ask for all you need, good luck! The first couple of weeks were difficult for me but after that it was easy.
Hi OP I'm in the same boat as you. As people have said you can join local bf groups before the birth and go to their meetings. My local La Leche League is on FB and I joined them. It makes me feel reassured to have points of contact. Also I've collected "allies"-friends and relatives who have bf-d as I anticipate that a) it can be difficult and b) sometimes people can sabotage the process, often unwittingly (I've already been told baby will be too hungry/hope you're not bf after 1 year/bf doesn't normally work etc). The Womanly Art..is an excellent book and I'm trying to keep positive and get help early if things get difficult.
Don't worry too much, we wouldn't have survived as a species if breastfeeding was that tricky, and if you do find it a bit challenging in the early days, which we probably all do, get on the phone or even better along to a breastfeeding support group. I can promise you that whilst if you are having problems it feels like ages, actually by a week or two it'll be going well and by 4-6 weeks you'll feel like a pro. The hardest bit is trusting that your baby is getting enough, which as long as you feed them when they ask, they will.
The amount of colostrum a baby needs in the first day is tiny. The mws can help you express by hand into a syringe. It's only a couple of ml at a time. I'm going to find you a photo I found really helpful in the first days /week.
As others say: no need. I had to express colostrum in hospital for DD in NICU and the midwives helped and provided everything I needed to do it. In terms of a step by step, practical, how to breastfeed cheat sheet, I found this helpful: www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=75:when-latching&catid=5:information&Itemid=17
Used it every time I latched DS on in the early days (and that was after I'd fed DD for 15 months). Bf isn't always hard but it isn't always easy. Best thing to do is access as much help as you can if you need it (the board on here is brilliant too).
I wish I had bought mine for similar reasons to your friend, I wasn't given a pump because it 'would get lost in the mechanism' but couldn't hand express enough for the midwife to count it as a feed (the same quantity as FF babies have, hand expressing takes ages) and was pressured to give a formula feed in hospital on day 2 before I could leave. I lied that I would mix feed at discharge but in the end the FF in hospital was the only one DS ever had because when I got home I got my Avent hand pump out and had no problem immediately expressing a good quantity.
I say, if it gives you peace of mind then take it, the worst that can happen is you end up not needing it. Breastfeeding support in hospitals is hit and miss, clearly a lot of PP had good experiences but it was pretty shoddy at the hospital I was at, my community midwife agreed that the hospital midwife was BU but now I really resent that I was bullied into giving an unnecessary FF to my otherwise EBF baby.
I had really similar experience to LetticeKnollys, was pressured into giving (a very tiny bit of) formula on day two (FFS!). Still really upsets me, she wasn't going to starve that soon, and she was able to get colostrum even with a not-brilliant latch (I was using nipple shields too as have very tiny nipples, baby struggled to get them far enough to back of the mouth, and they were getting shredded). My milk came in the same day, and I'm still BF at nearly 11 months (got rid of the nipple shields too after 16 weeks ).
If I could go back again, I probably would take a hand pump just for the feeling I had a back-up; they're cheap, and if you don't need it, then no worries.
Best thing to take with you is someone well-informed about early days of BF to back you up about your choices if you are feeling as vulnerable, overwhelmed and unusually un-confident like I was (damn hormone crash).
Also I really recommend Womanly Art, sounds hippy but is extremely good for clear info and v. reassuring in first days.
The hospital will have pumps if you need them.
They will also have midwives with knowledge to help.....insist that they help you even if they're busy.
It isn't as easy as all the guidance makes put and I've never met anyone that said it didn't hurt, so expect the challenge, but once you've both (you and baby) nailed it its fab.
Oh yeah....I would definitely recommend lansinoh nipple cream!
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