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Breast Feeding, Expressing and Bottle Feeding(15 Posts)
Our little one is due in just over 2 weeks - First baby, and I am really hoping to breastfeed.
My partner is keen to do some feeds too, however all the information I read about expressing and Bottle Feeding states that you shouldn't do so before baby is 6 weeks old. We were hoping to express early on so that dad could give atleast 1 feed a day to baby..
Would love to hear people's stories of your breastfeeding journeys, and expressing to feed baby with a bottle occasionally before the 6 week guidence!
Any advice or experiences would be greatly appreciated! 🥰
I gave top up bottles to my baby when he was 3 weeks old until he was 4/5 months. Due to weight. I went in thinking if he prefers the bottle then I could live with that. Hes now exclusively breastfed.
We did it from three weeks - DH gave the 8pm feed as a bottle of expressed milk, while I headed to bed and got a few hours solid sleep before the first night feed. There is a risk that doing it this early will mean the baby will prefer bottle, but there's also a risk that doing it later means the baby will never take a bottle (as happened to several friends of mine) - even at three weeks, it took quite a lot of experimentation and a few different types of bottle to find one he'd take (in the end a latex teat not silicone was the key). It just depends which risk you're personally more comfortable taking.
For me, I was going back to work at six months (shared parental leave) and really needed to have DS taking a bottle. Plus I was exhausted and those few hours sleep each evening was an utter lifesaver! So for us, those considerations outweighed the risk of disrupting breastfeeding, but that's not the case for everyone. It worked well for us - DS was (and still is) a little gannet who, once we'd found a bottle he liked, demolished milk however it was served, and we're still BF morning and night at 18 months. But it really does depend on the baby.
Your partner feeding the baby, if you are breastfeeding , will put a massive amount of extra work on you. Is that what he wants? Could he not just cuddle the baby? You will need to pump. You will need to pump at the same time as he is giving the baby the bottle so your body doesn't dial down the milk production at that time of day because baby is not demanding it. If you don't get enough milk for that one feed from one pumping session (which is highly likely) you will then have to pump at various times throughout the day, around feeds, to produce milk for the bottle.
I do not mean to be a negative Nancy but it's a total faff, all so DP can give a bottle. Feeding is literally the one thing DP can't do (if you end). Literally everything else is available to him/her. And this one thing is literally the only thing that will put work on you.
It's a beautiful image, dad feeding baby but it's mum that has to facilitate it massively
@Hushabusha does have a good point though - pumping is a bit of a pain, and we eventually (at about 10 weeks) moved to combifeeding to avoid it. So if you don't want to go down that road, you might not want to start that way.
I breastfed DS 2 and loved it. It’s not advised to express before 6 weeks as it’s during that time that you will establish your supply so that you produce the amount of milk your baby needs, so expressing could alter it. I expressed before the 6 weeks so my partner could do the odd feed but i didn’t do it regularly (I.e every day) I just did it the odd time, maybe once every few days and I didn’t notice a problem with my supply. If you have a look at pace feeding, this allows your baby to feed in a similar manor from a bottle that they would from the breast and I found this helped as my baby was very good at going from boob to bottle when I needed him to. I was in hospital when he was 5 weeks old with mastitis as I didn’t realise the signs for it (something I recommend looking into as I wish I had!) and it made life easier knowing he could take a bottle from my partner whilst I was treated.
I have absolutely loved breastfeeding and if I could give any advice it would be to try not to put too much pressure on yourself!
Also agree with Hushabusha. Pumping is a pain which is why I only did it the odd time, for me it was to I could spend time with DS1 as I felt I was neglecting him as my whole time seemed to spend feeding DS2 so for me that made it worth the time pumping.
@HSunflower we are planning to do this sort of thing as well - I'm aiming to breastfeed, and express one (or maybe two a little later) feed a day, so that husband can help me get a long stretch of sleep. I had seen comments around 'not before 6 weeks' so I spoke to my midwife about it and explained my situation & how many feeds/why we wanted to do it. She said that it was fine to do it as soon as my milk came in, so we will be doing that.
There are so many different experiences around breastfeeding, pumping, and bottle feeding, so I'm just going to go into this with the plan husband & I currently have, and if we need to adapt it as we go along, then we'll do that as things come up, but we're very happy with this as the plan for now.
I started expressing at 6 weeks exactly (baby is 14 weeks now) so that my partner could give one bottle a day at around 10:30pm. I pump at the same time as he is feeding her (to maintain my supply, make sure I don’t get engorged and to provide the milk for the following night) so I don’t get any extra sleep or anything, but it’s good for my partner to bond with the baby and gets her used to bottles. I use a manual Tommee Tippee pump on one breast and a cheap silicone ‘pump’ on the other breast and I get 5-6oz total. I have also used the silicone thing to catch milk on one side while baby feeds on the other side, and this works well, but as I only need to express one feed a day I don’t need to do this unless I want to build up a stash for the freezer. The silicone things are amazing value for money! Oh and we found that baby got funny about Tommee Tippee ‘closer to nature’ bottles a couple of weeks ago so we changed to MAM and she seems to much prefer them.
Oh I re-read your post and you were asking about expressing before 6 weeks sorry! I didn’t start until 6 weeks because of advice about nipple confusion and supply.
I'd agree with hushabusha. In my experience (2 EBF babies) BF didn't really settle down till 12 weeks, so expressing during that time is just going to add extra stress and pressure on you. I expressed when I went back to work and could only ever produce enough for maybe one feed, so it wasn't really worth it.
Your partner can do plenty of other things to bond with the baby - cuddling while you ahve a shower or bath (or even a pee!), bathing, changing nappies, taking for walks, or even things like taking on running the house so that you can rest and concentrate nurturing the baby.
I’ve mixed fed from day 1, with my first I expressed but it made my supply go mad
And I got mastitis 4 times! With my second I didn’t express and gave formula once a day cause I wanted him to get used to a bottle from day 1. He’s 18 months old now and still has 1 bottle and one boob feed!
I heard a really good thing about this the other day - That there is a major thing that dads can teach their children, which is about love that isn't connected to food.
It really rang true to me. A dad does not need to feed his baby to bond with it. Cuddles, skin to skin, baths, nappy changes, play time, all provide a bonding opportunity. I was also told in antenatal classes that if a baby is bottle fed there is now evidence that only one person should ever feed it (although I haven't found this evidence first hand)
I expressed from very early on as my baby wouldn't latch so he was mixed fed.
Might be worth trying the Haakaa as you pop it on the boob baby isn't feeding from. Expressing is a massive faff but I did it for 6 months
Thankyou ladies for all your replies!
I have been looking at Haakaa's and think that's probably the best way forward.. Then atleast we can collect milk without the need to pump and can store the milk for a couple of weeks until a bottle can be introduced 🤗
Really appreciate everyone's responces 💜
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