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what to take into hospital if you want to BF?(37 Posts)
I'm 24 wks pregnant with 1st baby and absolutely determined to the point of obsession about breastfeeding, hence why I'm already thinking about this topic- what to take into hospital?
Here are a few things I thought might be useful to take in my bag, please say if you agree/disagree and if there's anything else you'd recommend! (Please note I saw a sign in my hospital that said no formula or bottles are provided including sterilising facilities?!)
1. Doidy cup
2. Medela nipple shield
3. Medela hand held breast pump
4. Nipple cream (I have the earth mama Angel baby one, worth picking up lanisoh too?)
5. Nursing bra and button front shirts/nightie
6. Breast pads
Do you think I should also take in a few cartons of ready mixed aptamil and a bottle, in case it doesn't work out or I need some time to figure it out without baby starving and being distressed?
Also, if I sterilise things at home, e.g the breast pump and store in a ziplock bag does that stay sterile for a few days until needed in hospital?
Is there any other prep I should be doing? I have bought 'the womanly art of breastfeeding' and check out blogs and YouTube videos. I didn't have a lot of success getting in touch with la leche league BF consultants but hopefully there is one who might be available to call out in an emergency!
Nah they don't starve - it takes about 5 days for your milk to come in, they can do just fine as they are until about then. My midwife described it as 'baby comes with a packed lunch'!
I wouldn't say you need the cup, pump, or the shield either actually - the best way is to do without shield if you can, it confuses baby I think. They say best to get bf'ing established before starting with expressed milk - its easier for baby to drink from a bottle, so it can make them lazy. Does that make sense?
& honestly, don't get so stressed about it - it's not the be all and end all. Nice if you can do it, but nicer for you to be happy and relaxed.
Marianne put it better than me! One of the nicest things about bf'ing is you don't need other stuff - just your boobs! Handy if you're forgettful like me!
Unless you stay in for a few days you probably only need yourself tbh, breast milk will more than likely only come in once your home, you may only be in for a few hours!
You will still be nursing so nipple cream, breast cream. nursing bra and button down tops are good.
However accounting for a longer stay, you could get the other stuff ready at home ready for your partner to bring in if needed, if not it's organised and in place at home when you do.
Just breasts and an open fronted nightie.
Save all the rest for home, nothing much happens the first few days.
Also the number of a local bf coordinator in case the hospital one doesn't get to you.
You are advised not to use breast pump, nipple shields, bottles or dummies until breast feeding is established. My midwife suggested that would be about six weeks.
Lots of people have advised me not to have formula in the house if you are planning on breast feeding. I plan to eventual mix feed. As an emergency back up I have bought premade formula that comes in disposal bottles. This would be expensive long term but is good for emergencies and at hospital as they are sterlised and ready to go.
Speak to your midwife or health visitor about breast feeding support. They will be able to tell you what is avaliable in your area.
I would say that you just need to take your boobs in with you (!) - it's unlikely that you would be in there long enough to use the breast pads, breast pump etc as your milk won't really come in for about two to three days after the baby is born. If you were still in hospital then, could someone bring all of the other kit in if you needed it? You would need a nightie and bra with easy access as you have said. Other than that, nothing else required. I didn't take any formula in with me, but I guess it wouldn't be a problem to take in an emergency bottle and some ready made up stuff? I'm sure the hospital would provide it in an 'emergency'.
Yes, agree ^^.
Ditch all that stuff. Have it at home, but you won't need it in hospital. The colostrum comes first and your milk probably won't come in til you are home anyway so pumping won't be any good.
Hospitals are set up for BF mums and will help you if there is anything you need.
Find a BF group now, go along, meet mums. Is there a NCT BF group nearby?
In an emergency the hospital won't let baby starve. They do have ready mixed formula bottles. They don't tell you, but they are there if you were in need.
Baby's stomach is the size of a marble for the first three days. It is completely normal for babies to lose weight in the first week but they are born with special 'brown' fat to keep them going.
You won't be producing milk for a couple of days and most hospitals want you out ASAP if it's a routine birth. Take some breast pads just in case as they're small enough, and yes, bring a top that's suitable for feeding to change into but TBH I was just in a gown with 'the girls' out most of the time!
I doubt you'll need nipple cream straight off the bat, likewise shields/pumps but as you are clearly super organised honestly just take whatever makes you feel better as the number one most important thing is mum feeling relaxed as possible!
Good luck with it all and congrats on your pregnancy
Your boobs, a few breast pads, nursing bra, maybe some nipple cream. If you need to express in the early days you will be doing it by hand into a 1ml syringe which will be provided. Lots of skin to skin with baby after birth. Maybe look at antenatal expressing. Get you used to using your boobs, and perfect the art of hand expressing before baby arrives. Get a hold of some syringes and collect the colostrum and freeze it...always good to have a back up. I got 100mls of colostrum in 4 weeks which was fab as baby in NNU being tube fed for a few days, and my milk supp,y tailed off for a couple of days due to postpartum haemhorrage
Yup, stretchy top or old t-shirt, thats it. Your boobs will change size A LOT as your milk comes in day2-5 , it might be helpful to pop some breast shields in the freezer to sooth engorgement. New babies feed little and often so don't worry about storing colostrum. Good luck, and enjoy your new baby!
Thanks everyone, great advice and I can see I was clearly getting a bit over excited in my planning! I hadn't twigged that until the milk comes in that pumping would be pretty much pointless and I hear if there's some sort of serious latch problem and you want to give the colustrum that you can hand express.
I will put a bag ready to go with the extras in in case I have a longer stay and then my husband can grab it.
So for now just my boobs, nursing bra and a few pads and some creams. If anyone recommends any nipple or boob creams let me know
I have an appt next week with my midwife we've not yet discussed feeding intention so hopefully she can give me some numbers/group info etc who I can turn to if I have a problem as would rather get as much free support as possible before hiring out a lactation specialist as it is expensive.
I'm planning on breastfeeding too... can I ask. What's a doidy cup and do I need one?
I don't think I used breastpads in hospital as you aren't likely to leak until your milk comes in on day 4 and even if you have emcs you should be home by then.
My dd wouldn't latch on for the first 12 hours so the hospital showed me how to hand express into a cup and provided sterile syringes for me to use until we got the hang of feeding.
Don't be afraid to keep buzzing for help with feeding and put baby to no on as much as possible and you should get there. If it hurts get someone to check your latch and hold. Good luck.
Just seen your last post, lasnioh is he best cream as long as you aren't allergic to lanolin. You don't need to wash it off.
Re numbers to call, they are all listed in your notes that you get sent home with. Nct and la leche league run phonelines
You don't need a doidy cup - it entirely depends on the kid whether they take to them (neither of mine did - first used a straw cup for 3 years solid until he was 3.5 - the same style of cup, no other would be tolerated, second went straight to a normal cup before he was 1)
In my case, I took nothing but my boobs, and a tube of lanisoh - but in each case I was out within a couple of days.
DS1 was a total pain, we got to the cusp of needing to supplement feeding after a week, but my milk was just slow to come in and he fed till he was 3.5. I could never pump more than a tablespoon, but that was fine because he would never take a bottle. I can't recommend LillyPadz silicone breast pads enough - they kept my tender nipples moist, and I rarely had leakage issues, unlike the disposable ones which didn't stay put, looked odd under clothes, and soaked through.
DS2 took to it like a pro, but gave up on his own at 8 months - I didn't even need lanisoh with him, he knew exactly what he was doing from the very start!
EMCS babies both by the way, so you really can't predict anything :D
I agree you don't need to take any of those things.
I read you say that you are determined to the point of obsession with the breastfeeding, my advice is to read up, possibly on here or other forums experiences from other mothers. First time I was determined too and I wasn't even the slightest bit aware of the fact that it could be difficult and we really struggled until 8 weeks and that really affected me mentally. I was naive and didn't believe those women who said they struggled and never thought it would happen to me. We got there in the end but it might have been easier if I was more prepared.
I had my ds 4 weeks ago tomorrow, took nothing other than a shirt style nightdress for feeding in. He was born early am saturday and we were kept in until late afternoon Sunday - he fed fine, struggled to latch onto right so was shown how to hand express and use a sterile syringe to feed him. The staff are constantly on hand to help and will keep helping until you get it. You'll then get a few visits at home in the first few days as they like to make sure you're establishing feeding well.
The first 2 nights at home I did use pre mixed aptamil as it was so tough at first, don't feel bad if you have to do that!
Thanks Beejena for your comment I'm a researcher and I've been involved with a uk wide project about infant feeding and that's where the determination/obsession comes from in making BF working out for us. Nothing like spending six months pouring over the facts and figures to cement your intention..that said I totally believe a mothers mental health has to always come first and often it is best for both mum and baby to breastfeed either from day one or after a painful and distressing struggle. My mum was extremely ill with mastitis when I was a newborn and wasn't able to feed me at all, my sister in laws have all struggled and my sister had exclusively pumped so I've 'grown up' with the knowledge that BF is an absolute art form and there are no guarantees for how it will go. I guess being prepared with physical items and getting in touch with the breast feeding advisors and doing some of my own reading is a way for me to focus my worry into something positive and constructive. I hope it works out for us but if not, it's not the end of the world X
A plan for someone who knows what they are doing to come round and check latch.
Not sure if anyone's suggested it, but you may need breast pads for leaking. My sister has just finished breastfeeding her third and she raved about lasinoh to me.
another one that says breasts are a number 1 priority.
I hope staff are available to teach and help with the first few latches but an experienced in bf person is good.
If you struggle, write a quick post in infant feeding, most advice there is stellar, quick to come and will get you going. It did for me and I'm still BF 15 months later thanks to those lovely ladies.
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