Advanced search

Pregnant? See how your baby develops, your body changes, and what you can expect during each week of your pregnancy with the Mumsnet Pregnancy Calendar.

Breastfeeding/breast pumps

(24 Posts)
user1479669774 Thu 27-Apr-17 22:05:25


I'm going to breastfeed when my little one is born but if I'm honest the whole thing seems a bit gross but I'm going to have to get over that bit. No issue with anyone else doing it in public or otherwise just my own immaturity I guess.

Anyway I'm looking for advise or pointers on what your planning to do or how you did it previously i.e. Are you going to put into bottles when you go out or just straight breastfeed, Manual or electric pumps? Anything that's worth getting or doing

Thank you for your help

jaggythistle Thu 27-Apr-17 22:13:55

Putting it into bottles is major hassle tbh. I only expressed for dh to feed when I went back to work. A big practical bonus of bf for me was no washing bottles / buying & making up milk. smile

Bf in public is weird at first, but you get used to it quickly. If you try it in front of a mirror you can see that not much is really visible.

Top tip I got on here is to wear a thin stretchy vest under your top. Then vest down, get boob ready and lift top just enough to get baby on.

Hope you find it ok and good luck with your baby!

NameChange30 Thu 27-Apr-17 22:19:15

I won't go into the "gross" comment apart from to say that you may well change your mind when your baby is here - the idea of breastfeeding is weird until you do it and then (in my experience) it feels natural and lovely smile

One of the advantages of breastfeeding is not having to worry about taking bottles with you when you go out. As long as you're there, you can feed your baby! It's up to you whether you prefer to find a private/quiet place to breastfeed, or just breastfeed where you like (legally you have the right to). Some people feel more comfortable using a muslin or something else to cover up.

As for expressing milk, it's not essential (and not as pleasant as breastfeeding) but I'm expressing milk so I can have a bit of a break, a longer stretch of sleep for example, as DH can do one of the night feeds with expressed milk in a bottle.

I have a Haakaa pump which is for expressing milk from one breast while feeding from the other. It's very easy to use (although you have to be careful it doesn't fall off or fall over!) but you don't get a huge amount of milk from it.

I also have an Ardo Calypso double electric breast pump. It's slightly time consuming to set up but it's efficient when you get going. Definitely worth it as I get enough milk for DS to have a full feed and be satisfied enough to go back to sleep!

Two bits of advice:

1. Breastfeeding can be tricky to establish at first, so make sure you get some support - ask the midwives for help with latch, and if you have any questions or issues, go to breastfeeding clinics and drop-ins. I found them so helpful.

2. Some people advise against expressing and bottle feeding too soon, before breastfeeding is properly established, but it can also be difficult to get your baby to take a bottle if you leave it too late. It's up to you of course but I started expressing when DS was about a month old. He didn't take the first bottle we offered, but we left it a few days and tried again with another bottle (different teat) and that worked. So I suggest persevering if it doesn't work first time.

Good luck!

AreWeThereYet000 Thu 27-Apr-17 22:21:22

Yes to the vest under your top or a muslin that you can drape over your breast/baby while you feed, I myself am not phased and will breastfeed wherever, my friend on the other hand has bought a pretty scarf (thin like a muslin and she uses this as her 'feeding scarf'

Expressing can be tricky, if you are wanting to express I would recommend an electric pump I found I got hand cramps and couldn't relax manually pumping and that affected the amount I could express.

My health visitor team allow you to rent a pump, you purchase the suction cup and bottle from them for £10 and they then lend you the pump for 1 month at a time and you can re rent it demand allowing. This may be worthwhile looking at if you don't want to splash out only to find expressing and or breastfeeding isn't for you x

GreenGoblin0 Fri 28-Apr-17 02:29:49

breastfeeding isn't gross it's what breasts are for. don't know anyone who would express in order to take a bottle out with them. BF is convenient precisely because you don't need to faff around getting bottles and milk prepared to go out with.

expressing can be useful if you want to express so that someone else can do a feed or for when you go back to work. some ppl find pumps hard to get on with though. personally don't think it's worth investing in a pump until you've established BFing as it's not something you will need initially.

LittleKiwi Fri 28-Apr-17 03:08:08

Personally it was always soooo much easier just to breastfeed. I couldn't express unless I was looking at dd and it was just so hard, when I was feeding so much anyway, to then express on top of it.

Wait and see - I was a bit grossed or by breastfeeding before I did it and it was immediately the most natural and obvious thing. Good luck!

SquedgieBeckenheim Fri 28-Apr-17 03:29:05

If anything I find expressing more "gross" than breastfeeding not that either are actually gross as I feel like I'm being milked like a cow! However it has been a necessity with both DD's for different reasons. I use a medela freestyle double electric pump. It can be used as either a double or a single.
I don't express to take bottles to use while out, to do so would defeat one of the perks of breastfeeding! I was nervous feeding in public to start, but now I'll feed anywhere and everywhere. The first time you do it, pick somewhere quiet and have someone you trust and are comfortable with for support.

MiniAlphaBravo Fri 28-Apr-17 03:35:30

Not all bf babies will take a bottle. Dd1 wouldn't so it wasn't an option. Also hated expressing as I felt like a cow! But it works got some people.

MrsDarkDestroyer Fri 28-Apr-17 03:42:07

I found breastfeeding much more natural than I thought I would.

Expressing is not normally recommended until baby is atleast 6 weeks old. I thought I would express more but I hate it and have found feeding in public straight forward. I have some feeding tops from Newlook like these

Today I have been trying to express one bottle as I am going to see a bike race tommorow and will be stood out in the cold. So far I have 3oz and that has taken about two hours with an electric pump. I need atleast another oz so will have to try again in the morning. Such a faff when your used to just whipping out a boob.

NameChange30 Fri 28-Apr-17 03:52:55

Two hours to get 3oz?! Which pump are you using?
I can get 50-75ml from each breast in about 15-20mins using my Ardo Calypso. I tend to get more milk during the day than in the evening.

MrsDarkDestroyer Fri 28-Apr-17 05:59:43

The electric tommee tippee. I'm going to try a manual. One hour was during the day and one hour last night. I should get abit more this morning but still not a lot. Ds is 14 weeks old.

newbian Fri 28-Apr-17 06:01:28

I breastfed for 16 months and pumped for 10 as I had to go back to work. If you're just staying at home, you can buy a manual pump or a single electric just to express to have a backup for when you're away. If you're away from baby for more than 3-4 hours you will need to express to avoid engorgement and breast lumps.

Breastfeeding is really great but expressing is not honestly. I am amazed by women who exclusively pump, it's so much more work! It is a wonderful feeling to see your child grow and develop and know it's from something you've given them, not bought in a tin. Very empowering.

MrsDarkDestroyer Fri 28-Apr-17 06:41:42

Thanks for the advice NameChange30. After looking into reviews this morning I realise my breast pump is rubbish. I'm going to try ordering the Madela Harmony. I don't use my pump much but do need to express for my ds' hospital visits once a month. It would also be nice to be able to continue ebf when I return to work in November, which I had no chance with with the Tommee Tippee.

NameChange30 Fri 28-Apr-17 07:37:40

Sounds like a good idea to try a different pump - hope you get on better with it smile I think you can also hire electric pumps which might be a good option if you want to express more than just occasionally?

MrsDarkDestroyer Fri 28-Apr-17 07:40:30

Thanks for the advice NameChange30 smile

milpool Fri 28-Apr-17 07:49:47

Expressing is a pain.

Breastfeeding works on a supply and demand basis, so for every feed you're giving in a bottle you'll need to express as well to keep supply up.

Breastfeeding in public is fine. A bit fiddly at first but once you get the hang of it it's absolutely fine.

I've been feeding DD1 for nearly 2 years, DD2 is 3 months, and I've never ever had a negative comment or sour face in public. People as a general rule either don't notice or don't care (or if they do care know to keep their mouths shut!). It might help that I have good resting bitch face, who knows wink

Why do you think it's gross? I'd work on that before you worry about anything else tbh.

MiniAlphaBravo Fri 28-Apr-17 08:28:48

Just of add as well that I fed dd1 for 18 months but went back to work when she was 8 months and was fine. She could drink from a zippy cup by then so just had water during the day at first (could've had formula milk but she had cmpa) and I'd feed her first thing and as soon as I got in from work. It was a nice thing to do to say hello smile but I didn't pump and it was still fine. I suppose I could've to give her some milk to
Drink during the day but as a teacher it was basically impossible to find the time.

Alb1 Fri 28-Apr-17 08:30:04

I'm using a medela electric pump at the minute and haven't had any problems, I would say don't order one until your baby is here though, I had to hand express for the first few days until my milk came in anyway, and it would give you time to decide if you still want one.

I never liked the idea of myself breast feeding (don't find it gross tho), and that didn't change once my first baby came along, I just didn't enjoy it at all and so it slowed the bonding process for me, so eventually we gave up on it. Just pointing that out as I thought I was an awful mum for not liking breast feeding which wasn't the case, DS still thrived without it (although I wish I'd carried on trying a little longer).

This time I'm exclusively expressing as my baby is premature and can't feed yet, but we will be giving breast feeding a try once she's able to as expressing really is a faff! You can't go out without a pump for more than a couple of hours of you want to keep supply up. Not much of a problem for me as I'm always with the baby/around a pump but I think it will get old pretty quickly once she's discharged.

If I were you I would aim to start off breastfeeding and keep an open mind, do some research to find out were you can hire a pump from so you no the options there if you needed and then just wait and see how breast feeding goes. Good luck with your baby OP!

2ducks2ducklings Fri 28-Apr-17 22:49:56

I feel the exact same way as the op. I really want to try it this time (my other two were bottle fed, though I did try to express a little for my son but I'd left it too late to start) but I don't think I could ever relax feeding in public. I'd love to be able to do it at home or where I've got somewhere private to go, but the thought of whipping a boob out at my nan and grandad house is something which makes me -not them- uncomfortable. I've read that it's super difficult to express as well as breast feeding and it's making think I should just formula feed.

AreWeThereYet000 Sat 29-Apr-17 03:12:10

MrsDark try expressing on one boob whilst feeding on the other - I find if I just get to express it takes ages to get even 1oz, if I express when feeding I can easily get 4-6oz in one go xx

MrsDarkDestroyer Sat 29-Apr-17 04:12:58

Thanks AreWeThereYey I'll give that a go.

newbian Sat 29-Apr-17 08:48:23

I BF in public with a cover or shawl.

If you have the chance to give your baby nature's perfect food don't let fear of a pub lunch keep you back. Many women have legitimate reasons for not BF but that is not one IMO. Becoming a mother means some things including how private parts of your body are change.

littledinaco Sat 29-Apr-17 11:28:55

A baby is far more effective at getting milk out than a pump so it can cause people to worry they are not making enough milk.
In the early weeks, it's really important to let baby feed/suckle as much as they need as this helps with your supply for the following days.

If you express, you would also probably have to express while out (unless you go out for a very short time) and this will be much less discrete than feeding your baby! Will also be a pain taking the pump, storing the milk, etc.

If you join the Facebook group 'can I breastfeed in it' there's some great ideas for clothes to wear for feeding and lots of photos of other mums feeding babies out and about so might give you some confidence.

DontBeBlueBeARainbow Sat 29-Apr-17 12:22:10

I began expressing during the first week as breastfeeding got off to a rocky start (tongue tie undiagnosed until 5 weeks).

It helped me to give the damaged nipple a rest and try to keep my breasts even, when I couldn't bear to have baby feed again.

There are many challenges that could arise with breastfeeding and it's good to be prepared with things you may need at home. But having said that I was lucky that the first pump I tried (Philips Avent natural electric) worked really well for me and I pumped from the beginning till 14 months, eventually moving to a manual (same brand), for various reasons including going back to work.

I'm planning to continue the same routine with baby 2 due this year, whether we have similar problems or not this time.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: