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21/06/2013 at 08:26
I was at my NCT breastfeeding workshop last night and was surprised that all the girls already had expressing machines, bottles and sterilisers. I’ve not looked into any of this as I want to see if breastfeeding works for me first, and intend to exclusively breastfeed for the first few weeks. I’d thought my only exception would be if baby has to go into special care in which case I’d be looking to express early.
The girls were thinking of expressing very early on, I think so they could give EBM in a bottle when they go out and so their husbands can give a feed. To me, this sounds like more faff and I’m quite confused!
Can anyone explain to me why you’d want to EBF early? Is it better or necessary to EBF? Should I be looking at getting the gear before baby arrives? Do you not want to make sure you can BF/establish supply first? I’m very open to it if that’s the better way to approach it, just want to understand! Sorry this is a rambly post!
21/06/2013 at 08:46
I have an expressing machine already, but only because I have loaned one from a friend. The lady at our breast feeding workshop said it would be ok to express once 'feeding is established' so after 3 or so weeks she would think.
My main reason for wanting to express is so that H can be involved, and also so that we dont get 4 or 5 months down the line and have a baby that wont take it a bottle if I want/need to stop. I figure that I'll express one feed a day, then in theory I could go to bed early, H could do the 9/10/11pm feed while I'm sleeping, then when baby needs feeding at say 2am, I may have had 6 hours sleep from 8pm. Does that make sense? Also if I needed to be somewhere without Bean for a few hours a couple weeks/months down the line someone else can babysit without too much worry.
This is obviosuly only theory that could all go whatsits up with an actual baby!
21/06/2013 at 08:55
I had all the bits to express before I gave birth because I thought I would use it at some point. It is important to establish breast feeding first though. I expressed the first time at 5 weeks as they say to give a bottle around this time so baby can learn how to use it. It is a faff to be honest compared to breast but it does give some options. For example me and h have had an evening out, and I went to get a hair cut and a visit to dentist a few weeks ago. I am going on a hen do tomorrow so this is the first time I am leaving baby for a long period of time
21/06/2013 at 09:02
Pork chop I had similar plans, but be aware not everyone can get a lot of milk off expressing, the average is 1-2 oz. I also read that somewhere the night feeds are most important for establishing your milk supply. They also can feed much more than you ever think they will, and you won't ever get a chance to express. We ended up with me going to bed at around 8 and h would bring her up when she wanted a feed.i hope you can do it the way you plan but just thought I'd share our experience as we were planning this. D takes a bottle fine and only has them once every few weeks or so.
21/06/2013 at 09:05
I know you said it's all theory, my h also wanted to be involved but suddenly the need to clean and sterilise equipment and warm bottles when baby is crying for food it became much more attractive to just whack a boob out and for h to settle and burp
21/06/2013 at 09:07
The main reasons not to express too early are so that you can get your supply established down before you start going trying to make extra milk etc, plus there are theories about nipple confusion if you give a baby a bottle early on.
It's generally recommended to express from about 4-6 weeks I think, which is about when I first did it, by that time you should hopefully be ok with BFing without too many problems. I certainly can't imagine having wanted to go out on my own much before that anyway, maybe to the hair dressers but not much else.
I did buy a hand pump before C was born, but it was pretty cheap (about £12) and included a little microwave steriliser box (only steriliser I used the whole time), and bottle, plus I bought a couple more bottles in case we needed them anyway, plus a friend leant me her electric pump. I was fortunate in that C BFed really well, and also took from a bottle without any issues, and would switch between the 2 easily enough.
I later on bought a Medela swing after I knew expressing was working for me, but wouldn't have spent that sort of money before hand.
21/06/2013 at 09:36
I too bought a pump beforehand with the idea to let H do some feeds buy ended up using it to cup feed in the first week as baby wouldn't/couldn't latch on. I think the pump saved us as it got my supply up and running and we are still ebf at 12 weeks. I waited to introduce a bottle as after our bad start I didn't want anything going wrong but he won't take a bottle still! It is also a faff as essentially its adding another feed to your day and when you're feeding every 1-3 hours you may find its too much effort. I use mine occasionally now to keep trying the bottle and its a bit easier as feeds are spacing out more now.
If bfing works then maybe get one down the line? You may also find you're not ready to be apart from baby for a while (I'm still not ready) so you may not need one for a while x
21/06/2013 at 09:46
Eta I meant exclusively bfing not expressing, I've not slept in 3 months!
21/06/2013 at 10:28
M ended up in special care and needed top ups via a tube so I was expressing from day 3. I carried on when we got home so H could give one bottle a day in the morning before work and I grab an hour or so sleep. I then express when I get up and get about 10oz (she only takes 3 max so I freeze some). Hasn't effected my supply at all
21/06/2013 at 10:49
I did buy a Medela Swing before A was born, I intended to BF but knew EBM would play a part at some point and figured if I need to express early I'd rather have it sorted. Boots actually had them on 3 for 2 at the time so I went in with a couple of girls from my NCT group. If bf'ing was a no-goer I could reclaim most, if not all, of my outlay by selling it on.
We started using a bottle a few times a week from week 3. The Medela Swing made expressing effortless and so easy, I'm not sure I could have been bothered with using a manual pump.
Eta - I only had the bottle and teats that came with the pump and just used the microwave bags to sterilise. I didn't want a big thing taking up worktop space in the kitchen if it was only for 1 bottle a day.
21/06/2013 at 11:33
I had a pump before little one arrived as I knew I wanted them to have breast milk for as long as possible and the swing was on too good an offer not to buy when we were at the baby show. I didn't start expressing untill 6 weeks in and to start with it was a bit erratic depending on how our day went and if I had time sometimes H would give little one a bottle while i had a bath in the evening but often it went in the freezer so we had a stash sould I want some time away from litte one.
once LO started only waking once in the night expressing was easy as I just fed from the same side in the middle of the night and and for the first feed and I expressed at the same time as I did first morning feed so was super quick and not taking up any extra time (also got loads this way so sometimes split what I expressed some to freeze and some for H to do a feed in the evening). At 11 months I still express when I can although my mlk is deafinately going down as little one is taking less each BF.
Buying a pump etc pre baby arriving is up to you if you don't want to buy you could look at hiring one to see if you get on with it once milk supply is established
21/06/2013 at 12:49
I an exclusively BFing but woukd guve anything right now for her to take a bottle! We gave her first bottle of EBM at about 4 weeks, and carried on doing so intermittently until about 9 weeks when she had a sickness bug and now she refuses to take a bottle or a dummy and its becomig a real problem as I can't be away from her for any more than an hour. I can't go get my hair done, go to the dentist, even just go out for dinner just with H. I wish I had kept up giving her a bottle once a day and it wouldn't be so kuch of an issue now.
21/06/2013 at 12:59
Thanks everyone for your replies. They make interesting reading and make the advantages much clearer. My only real life experience of breastfeeding is of my sister, who didn't express as the baby refused a bottle until 9 months. She seemed to do okay, but it would be good to have more flexibility later down the line, even if you didn't want to leave the baby immediately. I don't want the baby to never take a bottle just because I left it until 3 or 4 months.
I think I'll look into what I'd need with a view to starting after a few weeks. Drifter, hiring one is a really good idea, especially if there aren't any good deals around at the time.
Cheers all x
21/06/2013 at 17:19
I had a hand pump and a few bottles. I also had 2 microwave sterilisers (hubby got a second in asda baby event -no idea why). These remain unused and in the cupboard! My boy didn't take to a bottle or EBM at all really, although 4+ he would sometimes have some in a sippy cup. TBH, I wasn't going back to work and he was first child, so whilst it meant it was a bit more challenging to have nights out etc, it was manageable ( he fed every 3hours-ish, slept pretty well at night). He was bf for 12months, but he was down to once a day by then, so he could be left overnight (ie after I'd fed him and he was in bed). This time I will try to go down EBM route sooner than I did before as with 2 it would make things a bit easier. Worst case scenario, I am sure I could manage to feed exclusively if I had to.
21/06/2013 at 22:04
I was given a manual TT pump but wouldn't have bought 1 pre birth. I started expressing around 4/5 weeks as I was a bridesmaid to 1 of my best friends & she had a hen day when my daughter was 5 weeks. She took to the bottle really well for that day & the bottle my H had to give her when I was getting ready with the other bridesmaids on my friends wedding day but then I stopped giving it to her & it was a bit of a battle to get her to start taking EBM a few months later. I would recommend that if you start giving a bottle that you continue to give it regularly
22/06/2013 at 05:53
O was very jaundiced and was too sleepy to bf properly so whilst in hospital I had to express and feed via syringe and then bottles. Because I'd been coin this early on I did continue to give him the odd bottle of ebm from the start. I wasn't comfortable feeding out and about so soon got into the habit of giving bottles then. He was having 1 or 2 bottles a day and it caused problems with BFing as its easier for them to get the milk from a bottle so he became really impatient when I was feeding him, it was hard work and very stressful getting him back on to boob feeds after that.
I don't think I'd buy a pump beforehand unless I saw a really good deal, you just don't know how BFing is going to go. I did buy bottles and a steriliser because although I was going to try BFing I never once thought I'd be doing it for the 6m that I did.
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