Do I need a breast pump?

Discussion in 'Breastfeeding' started by kittykitchn, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. kittykitchn

    kittykitchn Well-Known Member

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    I'd assumed I'd not be able to breastfeed due to the medication I'm on (antidepressants), but it seems they're the safest type for BF and with the least crossover in milk. I've already bought bottles and whatnot, and although I'm still undecided, breastfeeding is my first choice if I'm able to.

    Needless to say I'm absolutely clueless. What do I need to buy (if anything)? I assume breast pads, which I'd need either way, but anything else? A breast pump as well? I know my husband would love to be able to feed baby as well as me. Electric or manual? Any recommendations that don't cost a bomb?

    Can anyone tell me how you store it as well? Do you sterilise the bottles, use the pump, transfer milk into bottles and then keep in fridge (for how long?)?

    So many questions, sorry!
     
  2. Phoenix85

    Phoenix85 Well-Known Member

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    Hi.

    I breastfed my last child for 6 years and never had a breastpump. You absolutely don't need one, but get one if you want.

    It is perfectly possible to hand express a few ounces and give it in a cup (or bottle). This is what I did after she was 6 months.
    I didnt use a steriliser either, I boiled a (small, round) tupperware in a pan, and a doidy cup, and after 10 minutes the pan was switched off and they went in the fridge.
    I expressed into the tupperware and put it in the fridge with the lid on for her dad or whoever to put in the doidy cup later.

    You can boil bottles and the pump up too.

    This time I am planning on getting a pump so I can express milk to donate, so I'll be looking at either a Medela electric pump or considering hiring a 'hospital grade' one from the manufacturer. I need to look into cost then decide.

    Breastmilk will keep in the fridge for about 5 days but it needs to be at the coldest part of the fridge (not in the door or at the front) and if you open the fridge a lot you'd be best putting the milk in a cool bag sealed up in the fridge to keep the temperature constant.
    Constant fluctuation of temperature will make it go off quicker.

    You can also freeze your milk for up to 6 months.

    Yes it is safe to sterilise the bottles and store the milk in the bottle in the fridge, as fresh pumped breastmilk is a living substance and has antibacterial properties, so there is not the same risk of bacteria growing as there is with storing formula in bottles.
    That said, whilst the baby is little, if you plan to keep milk in the fridge for more than a day I would get some breastmilk storage pots and sterilise them, put the pumped milk into them, and transfer into a freshly sterilised bottle just before you feed the baby to avoid bacteria having chance to grow on the bottle teat.

    If you do plan to have others give the baby a bottle of expressed milk, it's still best to wait a minimum of 6 weeks to do that so as to not interfere with establishing breastfeeding.

    Personally, I introduced bottles with my first at 10 weeks old and it still made breastfeeding more difficult and caused the baby to not want to feed at the breast (and I pretty much dried up by 4 months and they were fully bottle fed then), which is why with my second I didn't do bottles at all, I just waited until around 5/6 months and went straight to a doidy cup for expressed milk feeds.

    Not meaning to scare you, but do be aware that bottles (and dummies) can make it harder to successfully breastfeed, so leave it as long as you can before introducing them and if it's purely for dad/grandma etc to bond there are loads of other things they can do (like bathing baby, having skin to skin cuddles, wearing the baby in a sling, baby massage etc).
     
  3. Phoenix85

    Phoenix85 Well-Known Member

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    Oh, back to the question about pumps, when my last baby was older I did win a MaM hand pump which seemed pretty good, but by then she was over two and I wasn't really able to express much anyway so I can't be certain how good it really is. I still have it though so will try it out this time lol.

    Hand pumps are fine if you only plan to express occasionally, for the odd night out or to have some "just in case" milk stored etc.
    If you were to be expressing a lot, for instance to build a supply for returning to work or something, hand pumps can make your hand and arm ache after a while so often an electric pump is preferred.
    I'm wanting an electric one as I think it'll be easier to use as my plan is to express from one side as the baby feeds from the other (as with my last baby I always leaked loads from the other breast when DD fed).

    I'd urge you to get a good & trusted brand name though and the most expensive one you feel you can afford (within reason).
    With my first baby I went for a cheap electric/battery powered pump from Babies R Us and struggled to get a drop. With hindsight I'd go for a manual pump by Mam or some other well know brand over a cheap electric pump .

    Oh and one thing I did find useful in the early days was a large V shaped pillow. I got mine cheap off ebay. It can really help you support the baby whilst you're getting to grips with latching them on.
    It can be a bit difficult at first making sure they have a nice wide mouth and are in the best position to feed well, and even though they are small, your arms still ache, so a cushion is useful (though not essential, regular cushions can work too)
     
  4. Shepherdess

    Shepherdess Well-Known Member

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    I have a medela pump and introduced bottles of expressed milk at 6 weeks as I had a wedding to go to. For me she took to it no bother and having the odd bottle didn't interfere with breast feeding. Like the above poster has said though there's plenty of other things your oh can do with baby

    I had a few weddings and parties to go to so she had a few bottles of expressed milk from my mum or mil from 6 weeks to 9 weeks and after that I kept expressing and stored it in the freezer for future use in porridge and first foods. It can be frozen for 6 months.

    I never left baby from 9 weeks as I had no need to so she never had a bottle. I tried her again at 5 months and she completely refused a bottle so I've never been able to leave her more than a few hours. I stopped expressing because I was finding it pointless as she wouldn't take a bottle. For this reason I know when I have my next child I'll give her a bottle of expressed milk a day from 6 weeks just so she'll be used to a bottle and I can leave her for the odd longer period. Not ages but it would be nice to go on a date with oh and not rush home or to have a few drinks

    You could however bf and not pump or give bottles at all or you could give the odd formula bottle if you wanted. Just for me personally I don't want to give formula. I'm looking forward to when she can drink cows milk and maybe she can have a sleep over at nanas
     
  5. Nutsyputs

    Nutsyputs Well-Known Member

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    I've breastfed both you babies. I really struggled with my son as he had severe tongue tie so made me very sore in the beginning. I used a Medela mini and it was brilliant. I used milk storage bags and put them in the freezer. It doesn't take long to defrost. With my daughter I've barely expressed as she's a natural and I've not had to give her a bottle but the few times I have expressed I've used a tommee tippe electric pump. I've found both really good but I've always been fortunate and able to express. I agree with Phoenix as well in the early days it's just as easy to hand express and if you're a bit sore it's less painful. With my son I just had a bowl full of Milton and used to put pump etc in there. I did read somewhere you don't have to sterilise pumps everytime you use them.
     

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