Question about Breastfeeding and Having a Plan if Problems Arise.
I wasn't sure whether to post this in Breastfeeding or Formula Feeding section.
I'm a first time mum to be, almost in third trimester. So with time moving forward I want to feel confident about my plans to feed my baby boy. I have a couple questions, I'd appreciate help.
Ultimately I plan to breastfeed, it's what I'd like to do, it's what I feel happy to do. However, I know that doesn't always happen easily, there might be issues, and as a back up plan I'd like a Medela breast pump, to try to express my milk rather than go straight to formula. Because the Medela is roughly £100, which to me is a lot of money, especially while having to save for my maternity leave, my question is this: If I try to establish breastfeeding but for whatever reason it fails (worst case scenario, hopefully all will be fine) how can I ensure my breast milk doesn't dry up while I wait to order in a breast pump? I don't want to pay 100 now for something I may not need, so only want to buy one if necessary at the time. Could I buy a cheap manual one to keep milk flowing whilst waiting for Medela to come? Or would I have to use formula for a couple days?
This might seem like a really silly question but this is my first baby, I've no idea how things will pan out with breastfeeding and I'd like a back up plan in place, just for my peace of mind.
If you are concerned about only offering breastmilk, yes, maybe just get a manual pump if you don't mind using that only a few times. If you are happy to offer formula if feeding from the breast isn't working, do that (frankly, it's probably easier than hand expressing or cheaper than using a manual pump just a few times, but not everyone wants to do that). But you can easily order a pump for next day delivery or just run out an buy one from a shop same day (Mothercare stock them, probably Argos or other places would as well), so I wouldn't stress about your milk drying up. It doesn't happen that quickly and even if your supply drops a little, you can pump a lot to start to get it back up. As for pumps, when you do buy one, if you expect you'll be exclusively expressing, definitely go for a double pump that you can use hands free. I had a single electric pump last time (because I never planned to really pump except as a one off, but due to some medical issues, I needed to start exclusively pumping after 6 weeks) and it killed my supply. I literally dropped down to nothing in 4 weeks even though I was pumping for a total of 6 hours every day. It's just much harder to keep things going with a single pump, never mind it takes twice as long.
Where in the world are you? Where I live in the UK, children's centres and some hospitals hire out breast pumps to women who are experiencing difficulties breastfeeding.
A manual pump is cheap, and a good stop gap if you want to wait for a specific brand of electric pump to be delivered i.e if you don't want to buy whatever is in stock at the supermarket. Some people even find they get more from a manual pump (though they can make your hand ache after a while).
Hand expressing can be more effective and gentler on your nipples too near the beginning.
Nothing happens so quickly that you need to buy anything now.
If you are in the US, there are a ton of places that will rent you a pump while you wait for yours to come. I think it's worth it to buy a medela. With my first i bought the freestyle and used it to pump after i went back to work for 3 of my kids. This time around i want to buy the new medela, so i'm saving my money so i can have it before the baby is born.
you could hand express, but i never had any luck with that. pumping was always way easier for me.
In the uk you'll be able to hire one from your local breastfeeding support and it's a medela one. It's worth getting the number of your breastfeeding support worker now. I called mine the day I left hospital and she was at my house a couple of hours later
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