Breastfeeding and Pumps: I'm only 20 weeks at the moment... - NCT

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Breastfeeding and Pumps

katesjj
katesjj

I'm only 20 weeks at the moment with my first but trying to get prepared. I wondered if anyone has any advice about first time breastfeeding? Any good websites for info? Any recommendations on what to buy in preparation, pumps etc?

10 Replies
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I’ve bought a manual pump for now, Aldi were selling a haakaa style pump for £4.99, might still have some online and they still have some in my store so worth a look, but if I can breastfeed I’ll be looking at a electric spectra pump x

I’m a first time mum, still breastfeeding at 7 months.

It isn’t easy at first. It’s hard work toughening up nipples! My daughter had a tongue tie that needed correcting (this affected her ability to latch) and was very sleepy with jaundice.

My local infant feeding team were brilliant and came out to the house a couple of times to teach me how to breastfeed.

Get some lanisoh (purple tube) cream for your nipples, it’s the best stuff.

The £5 manual Aldi pumps are the best ones. If you see them get 2!

I got one when I was pregnant and then they sold out and I couldn’t get another and wished I had 2.

I hired a machine from the hospital that helped get my supply established and that was good but honestly not much better than the Aldi pump.

Breastfeeding is tough at first, it’s sore and it’s tiring, my daughter lost a lot of her birth weight and I had to do a 2 hour feeding cycle for a while, boy was that tough, she had to be changed and sleep in those 2 hours too.

In the end I topped her up with formula too. She’s had 1 or 2 bottles a day since birth, don’t feel guilty if you have to do that.

Express and feed your baby breast milk from a bottle early on so that you can get a break if you need to and also so that baby gets used to a bottle teat too.

Porridge oats and fenugreek tablets will help your milk supply.

What I can say now 7 months later is that breastfeeding is easy now. It’s not painful at all and I absolutely love it.

I’m in no rush to give it up, despite questions from family members as to when I will?

I’m so glad I did it and I’m so glad I stuck with it when I came so close to giving up. Good luck

katesjj
katesjj in reply to HopeTTC18

Thank you for all of this advice. It's really reassuring to hear real experiences like this :) I'm so glad to hear things are easier for you now

Kellymom is a great website! You don't necessarily need to pump , you may just breastfeed... but Definitely the haaka style pump is great for collecting the let down from the other side, and nipple cream, reusable breast pads, a soft sleep bra for nursing, I really like the medela one I wouldn't bother with pricey nursing bras until you know where your at with breastfeeding etc. Maybe keep, a couple of different bottle types, babies prefer some over others. A lot of people leave the bottle until 6weeks onwards for fear of nipple confusion or supply issue but if you are keen to combination feed or give expressed milk in bottle I found introducing one bottle a day from a couple of weeks in worked for us and have heard similar from other mums. Rather than leave it too late and they don't like a bottle. Also save the numbers of the breastfeeding helpline so if you are in a panic and need help you don't have to look the number up! Good luck!

I've just reached a year breastfeeding my baby.

The first few days are intense, I don't think anything can prepare you for the roller-coaster of emotions that you go through.

It's really important I found to remember that you're both learning a new skill and that it does take time to get out right.

My advice would be, especially in those first few days to accept that baby will want to feed a lot, for food, for comfort and to bring in your milk. Get comfy in your chair, sofa etc and just feed. Baby only has a tiny tummy so will want to feed little and often. Watch lots of YouTube videos about latching and positions to get an idea about what you need to look for. Early days the latch might be uncomfortable but should not be painful. Your nipple do quickly get used to their new job but take a bit to get used to it. Get nipple cream and use it regularly. Lots of people recommend Lanisoh but I prefer the Weleda one as it's not so sticky. If you're struggling to get a good latch, speak to a lactation consultant and get tongue tie assessed, a bad latch will give you lots of pain so get as much support to get it right as you need.

Have plenty of snacks to hand and get your partner and family to do everything else, they just need to feed you and give you a break for resting and showers.

The other things I found helpful to know was that milk comes from your blood, not from what you eat, so no food or fluid will really affect your supply, if you have blood you have milk. However having a good diet and lots of fluid will make you feel better as you will use extra calories making milk.

Your milk supply is more like a river than a lake, there is always milk there even when it might seem baby is not getting enough or fussing at your breast. They are getting milk, it's just not flowing as fast. As they demand milk, your body will start to make more because milk is supply and demand, the more milk baby takes, the more your body and your river will flow faster to supply it. So them getting fussy is then putting in their order for their next feed.

If you do give any top ups with formula milk, you may end up in a top up trap, because if you miss a boob feed, your body will make less milk. This can end up with you feeling like you're not making enough milk, so you give more formula and so on. So it's something to be aware of, if you're going to express for someone else to give a bottle that's less of a problem. If you're going to do a mix of breast and bottle look up pace feeding so baby doesn't get a bottle preference. Feeding from bottles can be easier for baby so they will quickly figure out that boob is harder and not want to work for their milk.

Look up when they're likely to have grown spurts, sleep regressions and development spurts as they're likely to me more hungry, again it's not you, not making enough, it's them wanting more so your body has to adjust to it.

Most importantly, you need the love hormone oxytocin to make milk so if you're stressed out, it's harder for your body to make it. So if baby is crying lots or you can't get a good latch, take a breath and even a break away from baby to chill, get your head in the right space and try again.

Lastly look at the fourth trimester and purple crying, knowing about those helped me through those first few weeks.

Honestly the first couple of weeks are the hardest and then it becomes much easier, I remember going out with a bottle feeding friend and how much easier it was to carry round my boobs, than formula and bottles, I had to pack and worry about far less. Its also a great tool for me now, baby uses to comfort if anything bad happens, when she's poorly or teething, it's become so much more than just feeding baby.

Good luck x

katesjj
katesjj in reply to Seb9

Thank you so much for all your advice and sharing your experiences <3

Lots of good advice here already about breastfeeding. It’s difficult at times but you’re doing the right thing finding out where to access support before you need to.

Some people have suggested some low-cost pumps. My advice would be definitely don’t spend loads of money on a fancy breast pump before baby arrives. Maybe get one of these cheap manual ones first and see how things go. My little boy was breast fed until 13 months but he would never accept a bottle (not even expressed milk) so although I did use the pump a bit, I’m glad I didn’t pay a fortune for one. x

Lots of good advice above. The early days are hard. I rented a hospital grade pump to establish supply as my twins were a month premature. Then after that I bought a Bellababy pump (Amazon) - it’s between £32-43 and it’s amazing. I’d 100% recommend it. I also used the haakaa style silicone pumps x

Rabbit88
Rabbit88 in reply to Lowamh

I second this bellababy is fantastic!

I combi fed my first as she struggled latching and took about 6 weeks of pumping and feeding before she got the hang of it. It is so hard but in the end I combi fed until 6 months then switched to bottle. With my second and current baby I have exclusively breastfed for 6 months now as I have found it so much easier this time. In contrast she has only had about 3 formulas since birth and I am so proud.

At the end of the day, you have to do what's right for you both. As long as baby is putting on weight and happy it doesn't really matter how you feed them.

If you do go down the breastfeeding route I would recommend a manual pump for now. I brought a new electric pump this time as my other pump was knackered and have found that I have hardly used it and it has been a bit of a waste of money.

Best of luck whatever you decide! Xx

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