I’m looking for a bit of advice re: breastfeeding.
I’m hoping to breastfeed and baby is due in 3 weeks. I’ve bought a cushion, bras, tops and pads but otherwise just have the boobs & a load of phone numbers printed off ready.
Is expressing something I’ll have to do? I haven’t bought a pump, bottles or bags as really wasn’t sure. Is it a good idea to buy that in advance or does it come later once things are more established?
I don't think it's necessary but it might be helpful. I didn't get my head around expressing and bottle feeding until later - maybe when my ds was 20 weeks old. I was just too tired to figure out what I needed! By then my ds wouldn't take a bottle and I was stuck exclusively breast feeding him for a very long time. As he didn't take to food very well, I wasn't able to be away for him for more than two hours until he was 10 months old!
It's not recommended to express until about 6 weeks after birth anyway when supply is established so don't worry about it for now. I picked up a pump and some bottles when ds was 4-6 weeks old, but didn't really express much until I needed a stash for a hen at 7 months.
Lanishol cream and nipple shields. You might not need them but you will be glad to have them if you do.
I started to express with DD at 2 weeks. But only ever managed to get small amounts. Gave her one bottle a day. I wouldn't worry about getting a pump or bottles until you see how breastfeeding is going. It takes a lot of extra time and I was usually too tired to be bothered.
My pump was helpful in the early days to sort of pull out my nipple, get milk flowing quicker and made it easier for a pretty small DS to latch. So if you think you might express later, it’s worth getting now just in case I think.
no need for pump straight away. only used it a couple of times with my first and not at all so far with second (now 6 mo) you can hire them from hospital if there is am urgent need or easily buy one from boots/amazon etc. there's a lot of stuff marketed at bfing mums that really isn't necessary. your boobs obv plus good fitting nursing bra , pads (I prefer washable ones) and lansinoh are all you need in the early days (plus support from those around you and phone numbers for advice if needed.
Do you want to express? I always did (wanted the option of having a break but allowing DH/others to feed the baby with breast milk rather than formula) but others are happy just to breastfeed. Expressing can be a faff and it's an extra job to do when you already have little time, so only worth doing if you actually want to. Having said that, there might be issues you haven't planned for - if you can't breastfeed for some reason - and you might decide to express.
If you're not bothered either way you could wait and see, then hire or buy a pump if necessary. Do look at the Haakaa pump though, it's not expensive and it's an easy way to get milk from one boob while feeding from the other. I used it quite a bit in the early days. But have mostly used my Ardo Calypso double electric pump since then.
I had a breast pump which I used a little, was never able to produce that much. I used to pump when I could and freeze in containers but I never gave mine a bottle. When tiny they had a small little cup about the size of an egg cup and they literally lapped up the milk and then a doidy cup. I found they would never take much from other people but enough to keep them happy until I got home! I was happy to exclusively breast feed but it isn’t for everyone. Some people can express loads - my friend donated hers! Others do a mixture. I do think a pump is useful just a manual advent one as previously suggested.