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Bottles and breastfeeding

(23 Posts)
ChucksAhoy Thu 28-May-15 17:01:57

I'm pregnant with my first and am just starting to buy a few bits - but it's making me realise I'm totally clueless about some things. I want to breastfeed but don't know if I should also buy bottles, and if so, what I would use them for?

I don't want to buy them unnecessarily but at the same time don't want to get stuck without if I need them.

Did you have bottles if breastfeeding? If you did, what did you use them for?

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Thu 28-May-15 17:03:47

I didn't buy any, just because I didn't want to be 'tempted' to use them in the middle of the night if things were getting tough, and would be more likely to access support instead. I figured there are 24 hour supermarkets around if I was in desperate need. Each to their own though, I know some people like the reassurance of having them in just in case.

boatrace30 Thu 28-May-15 17:11:55

I'm intending to breastfeed but got some bottles when I saw them on offer as I'd like to be able to express once breastfeeding is established so that dh can feed too. I'm not buying formula for same reason as last poster. Don't want to be tempted!

lauraa4 Thu 28-May-15 17:43:35

I'm going to breastfeed but the same idea as boatrace and buy bottles to express into so OH can feed at night too.

I am told this can be extremely tedious doing both though so we'll see what happens smile

Strokethefurrywall Thu 28-May-15 17:50:34

I breastfed both boys, had bottles and started expressing and giving them 1 bottle a day from 2 weeks. DS1 needed a bottle each day to remember how to switch between breast and bottle, DS2 didn't care how milk was delivered, as long as he was eating!
I had the avent 4oz bottles and then switched to tommee tippee when traveling btwn here and UK. With ds2 I just stuck with avent.
Don't worry about getting them just yet though if you don't need to.
I started them early on bottles as I had to go back to work when they were 17 weeks so needed them on bottles.

ElphabaTheGreen Thu 28-May-15 18:04:09

I wish I'd never bought bottles as DS1 completely refused them when I tried to introduce expressed milk at just a few weeks old. I tried every day for months, tried £££s worth of different types of bottles and eventually gave up. Never ended up using them with him and it wasn't a problem, even though I went back to work full time when he was 8 months old. He just used a cup.

My advice would be - don't buy bottles before DC arrives. When you're ready to introduce, buy ONE bottle of one brand to see if they'll take it. If they don't at least you won't have wasted money on an entire set. You can then either try other brands of bottle or just go straight to a sippy cup at four months, which is what I did with DS2.

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Thu 28-May-15 18:06:29

DD refused around 8 brands of bottle too, cost me a fortune!

Cheshirehello79 Thu 28-May-15 18:14:35

I'm expecting my 1st as well and decided I'm going to breastfeed but from my sisters experience she had bottles as well to express so I've just bought tommee tipper starter kit that has steriliser bottles - bottle warmer etc and an electric breast pump tommee tipper too they were both on offer on Amazon :-)

Allthatnonsense Thu 28-May-15 18:34:58

I'm going to breastfeed. I've got MAM bottles, a monitor, a babymoov sleepy nest and a few other bits waiting in my Amazon basket until we get home from hospital.

Lovelydiscusfish Thu 28-May-15 18:53:43

I found them useful as, because of dd's slow weight gain initially, I was advised to pump and give ebm top ups, as well as bf (I was lent a breast pump by the HVs initially, then bought my own).

To be honest, though, the bottles I used (Tommy Tippee Closer to Nature) are readily available in big supermarkets, so I could just as easily have sent dh out when I needed them, rather than having them in advance - that was just my nesting instinct I think, plus I didn't expect to take to breast feeding in the way I did, tbh.

ElphabaTheGreen Thu 28-May-15 19:52:09

I gave EBM top-ups as well, but by cup when DS1 was a newborn (also due to slow weight gain/excessive weight loss) as you're advised against using bottles in the first few weeks in case it interferes with latch. You can alternatively use a syringe, but a little cup is actually very easy and DH did a few night feeds for me this way. I have heard of quite a few people who were topping up a poorly latching baby by bottle and that was the death-knell for BFing for them as the baby certainly wasn't going to bother any more with the effort of BFing, when they could get what they wanted from a nice easy bottle.

ChucksAhoy Thu 28-May-15 20:04:21

I haven't really gotten my head around expressing yet - at the moment I feel a bit like it sounds complicated, but when LO arrives and I'm dog tired from night feeds, while DH gets to sleep through I guess I might change my mind!?!

I think I'm going to follow your advice and not be too hasty about buying bottles until I really need them. I've just been to Aldi today and saw they had packs of bottles in with all their other baby stuff and it made me panic about buying stuff I don't need curious!

ElphabaTheGreen Thu 28-May-15 20:18:54

Expressing is a doddle with a good pump, and assuming you have boobs built to express. By that I mean some people can't express much. They produce plenty of milk which baby can extract brilliantly, but present a couple of plastic cones attached to bottles and they can produce nary a drop. Remember this - the amount you may or may not be able to express is NOT indicative of how much you're producing! Many novices assume that because a machine isn't getting much out, the baby can't be getting much either. Not, not, not true!

Nightfeeds...meh. I'm talking from three years of serious nightfeed-induced sleep-deprivation here but you'll survive. Breastfeeding produces oxytocin. Oxytocin gives you the ability to fall asleep quickly and deeply between each feed. It's how nature enables mothers (and not fathers) to get through the night feeding stage.

inaboxwithafox Thu 28-May-15 20:24:24

I didn't have a single bottle when ds was born, we were that determined to bf. If it hadn't worked then DH would have nipped to mothercare or whatever. We did try introducing bottles at a few months old (countless types) but ds would not have any of it. He went breast to sippy cup.

Lovelydiscusfish Fri 29-May-15 00:07:07

Giving the bottle ebm top ups to dd from pretty much day one made no difference to her willingness to bf in our case - she continued to wholeheartedly prefer boob to bottle, and continued to bf up till just shy of two.

Am sure there must be some evidence to say it can potentially cause problems in a small number of cases, but think it is nonetheless helpful for mums wanting to bf not to feel that introducing a bottle, if they need to, must be the death-knell for the nursing relationship. Because for us, it made fuck all difference!

Indeed, anecdotally, I have an overwhelming amount of examples of babies who took the bottle in their early weeks (because needed to top up, because baby couldn't latch, because baby was prem, because mum had pnd, because whatever whatever whatever) but nursing relationship continued, throve, and in fact the babies became lovely little boob-demanding-monsters!

Sorry, perhaps I sound a bit emotional about this - I was looking back at some texts I sent to my friends when I was told by the HVs I needed to bottle feed ebm to dd - I clearly basically believed, then, that I would no longer be able to bf dd because she'd prefer the bottle, and therefore felt fucking miserable and upset. When there was, in fact, no reason for me to feel like this at all.

If there is some statistical evidence for the nipple confusion thing, then perhaps it's appropriate to cite it, but even then only in a way which is still respectful, supportive and encouraging to women who feel they have no other choice to make.

Roseybee10 Fri 29-May-15 03:53:47

Elephaba that happened to me.
Baby had very poor latch and I was in agony and couldn't get her to feed so the night she was born I had to top her up with formula as she was screaming in hunger and I couldn't get anything from hand expressing (home birth so no one to help that first night). That was the beginning of the end for us because she ended up with nipple confusion and screamed bloody murder when I tried to breastfeed.
If you really want to breastfeed then the bottles that come with the pump are usually more like the breast and stop confusion. I've also read that the Mam bottles are one of the best for going between breast and bottle. (We're using the mam anti colic now over tommee tippee).
Good luck x

ElphabaTheGreen Fri 29-May-15 06:16:41

Lovelydiscusfish I'm sorry you felt that way when you were advised to top up with EBM in a bottle. Had your HV advised top-ups with a cup or syringe, though, it wouldn't even have arisen as an issue for you to worry about. You don't say whether this was advised and just didn't work, but it seems that there are quite a few HVs, not to mention midwives, out there who suggest a bottle as the only alternative to a breast when that's just not the case.

goodnessgraciousgouda Fri 29-May-15 09:54:09

OP - I think the message to take home is that it is different for everyone, and there is no right or wrong.

Personally I would get them in advance - 24 hour supermarkets don't exist here, and even if they did, who the fuck wants to have to go to the supermarket at 0300?

Number3cometome Fri 29-May-15 10:08:49

Personally I would get them anyway, just because you have them, doesn't mean you have to use them.

My two were both breastfed until 10 months, although I expressed as well as fed from the breast. Didn't have any problems with baby getting confused with bottle / nipple and also one DC had a dummy from early on which also made no difference.

Currently expecting DC3 and have packed bottles / made up formula in my bag just in case. You never know what will happen, and no one is about to go to the supermarket with a screaming baby at 3am for a bottle which then needs to be washed & sterilised!

Librarina Fri 29-May-15 12:56:22

I'd second the 'It's different for everyone'. I personally had some bottles as we had been given them by a friend who hadn't used them. However I didn't have any formula in as I figured there were always 24hour supermarkets if we really needed them. In the end, I didn't find expressing for nightfeed to be less effortful than just rolling over, popping my boob in and drifting back to sleep but everyone is, indeed, different.

My only bit of advice would be, if you're keen to breastfeed then get yourself to a local support group, whether that's La Leche or one run by your local NHS (often called Breastfeeding Cafes) before your baby is born. That way you will be armed with some basic knowledge of how it all works and you'll be set up to go again if you need support once baby is here.

I enjoyed reading a book by Kate Evans called The Foof of Love, it explains the mechanics of breastfeeding in a warm, humourous, not-scary way. I also read 'The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding' which I found massively helpful but is quite a big read.

I really struggled learning how to breastfeed, but it got better quickly and ended up being very enjoyable. I think this is mostly because I had good support and good information.

Good luck on finding your own path.

CuppaSarah Fri 29-May-15 13:41:48

I had a couple bottles and a breast pump. In the early couple days, when I had cracked nipples I found expressing painless. You will find a way, there's almost always supermarkets open so get supplies. Formula is not at all a bad thing, neither is expressing. Keep an open mind.

Inpup Fri 29-May-15 19:56:49

Not buying any here either, there are 24 hour supermarkets if push comes to shove.
Bought some for last baby but she wouldn't take a bottle full stop ever!

Mind you it was welcome the being woken at night - the rock hard boobs would wake me anyway!

Notfastjustfurious Fri 29-May-15 20:04:16

I didn't buy any bottles/formula etc for dd1 as I figured I didn't need them but breastfeeding didn't work and we had to do an emergency dash to asda to buy the lot. With dd2 I already had the bottles/sterlister so bought formula for the inevitable switch and it was never used. The moral of the story is buy or don't it's probably still wrong.

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