C.J. asks from Donna, TX on February 27, 2009
Medela Manual Breast Pump
Hi, we were going to buy an electric, but spent too much on the baby clothes and decor. So now I have this manual one. The baby isn't born yet, but I heard you could "practice." The baby is due in 3 weeks, I have a 4 year old, but she didn't breast feed. I'm nervous. Any tips on how I can be successful? Thanks for any tips.
J.J. answers from Austin on February 28, 2009
You can rent an electric one from medela.com or from Capital Pediatrics in Austin. If you rent the lactina it runs about 25 dollars a month. When you consider how much use you will get from it, the price is very reasonable.
Also, you might try looking on Craig's List for an electric one.
I tried to use a manual and it was very difficult. The electric takes less time and you can express more. Renting a pump is pretty inexpensive and way less than the cost of formula.
J.T. answers from Victoria on February 28, 2009
Contact your local la leche leauge. also our hospital gave breast feeding classes. ask your doctor. i ended up renting a pump but never produced. i pumped every 2-4 hours around the clock. after six weeks i decided to give up. i never made over an ounce for the entire day. later i was told no peppermint but to eat lots of oatmeal. good luck. and congrats on your new baby.
A.V. answers from College Station on February 28, 2009
i am having my 3ed baby at the end of apirl and with my other kids i breast feed them for 2 months.i really not think i could have done it with out a electric pump but there are a few tips i have for u try to breast feed the baby within a hour of being born and dont give the baby a pacifier or bottle and the hospital should have a lactation consultant if you have any problums with the baby latching on oh and try to feed the baby ever 2 hours before the baby starts to cry because if the baby starts to cry its much harder to get them to latch on well i wish u good luck...
A.D. answers from Austin on February 27, 2009
I didn't know very much about breastfeeding when my son was born. I didn't take the class and only read a few things on the internet and what they gave in the birthing class. I was so nervous about it but he came out and my nurse helped me out some but it came so natually. I agree with the others on not "practicing" bc it can put you in labor. I also had the medela manual bc we couldn't afford an electric either. It worked fine for the occasional bottle and to get my supply up. When I have another I will invest in an electric though. Your baby will know how to do it and your nurse will help and take advantage of the hospital lactation consultant. Do get some lanolin for your nipples! Good luck, congrats, and happy breast feeding!
L.K. answers from Austin on February 27, 2009
Just wanted to let you know that practicing with your breast pump will NOT put you into labor unless your body is ready to go into labor and your baby is ready to be born. This is the same reason so many artificial inductions in the hospital fail. Your body must be ready to start labor or nothing will work. Many mothers breastfeed other children all through out their pregnancy and it does not put them into pre-term labor. And since you are already 37 weeks if you went into labor now it is because your body and your baby are ready.
B.A. answers from Houston on February 28, 2009
Ditch the extra clothes and baby decor and get an electric breast pump! Ok, I know that's not practical but that is how strongly I feel about having an electric breast pump. With a manual you will get so frustrated and tired that you will want to give up. Trust me, you feel that way sometimes WITH an electric, you don't want to add more frustration to it by having to manually do it. I had my third child 3 months ago and wish I had invested in a Medela Electric with the first one. I don't know if anyone has told you yet but when baby hits the first few growth spurts (while your milk is still regulating) you could be feeding every 30 min to an hour for a week or so. Do you think your hands could handle pumping that much manually?
I agree with the others on the nipple stimulation thing. There is NO NEED for you to try that...trust me, it doesn't work if your body is not ready. I had my two sons at 37 weeks but my daughter was not wanting to come. I did the nipple stimulation for 2 weeks straight and came no closer to labor, just more frustrated! I stopped doing it and two weeks later they had to induce me. It is not a tried and true method until you are already on the verge of labor. (I did it at the hospital with my youngest son to bring more consistency to the contractions that had already started and I think it helped then.)
It sounds like you are getting great advice from experienced mommas. Please trust us, breastfeeding is so much more important than the pretty clothes or anything else you could buy them. Invest in a good pump as soon as you can, especially if you plan to have more children. The hospital actually gave me a manual medela pump that I keep for back up or travel purposes, you can buy them pretty cheap too. Breastfeeding is something you have to work at and you don't want any strikes against you to start out! Good luck and congratulations on the upcoming birth of your little one!
A.J. answers from Killeen on February 27, 2009
I would be careful, nipple stimulation can jumpstart labor, and also the first couple days of nursing your baby will be colostrum (a thicker, yellowish milk that is packed full of antibodies and nutrients), so you don't want to pump all that out and have your baby miss out on it. (I'm not sure if that would happen...running out of colostrum if you pump before baby comes, but I wouldn't risk it). The only thing I would suggest in preparation for breastfeeding is get some lanolin cream (Lasinoh brand is what I used) and rub it on your nipple and areola several times a day. When baby arrives, I would put it on after every feeding. It will REALLY help your nipples to not be TOO sore. I did this with my 2nd baby and I never had any problems with dry, cracked, or bleeding nipples. I don't think anything will prepare you for the pain at first though. It was excruciating the first week after my daughter was born. But applying the lanolin after every feeding worked well. My mother always told me to "toughen up" my nipples during pregnancy, but every book I've read has said it doesn't do anything to prepare you =)
Also, I'd get a good nursing book that has pictures of different nursing positions (or find some pictures online), b/c I know I was unaware of all the various positions to nurse in and it was helpful b/c I had to try a few different holds to get my daughter to latch on the first time.
Other than that, relax, nursing comes naturally to babies, they know exactly what to do =)
M.S. answers from Houston on February 28, 2009
since your a sahm a manual breast pump should do, if you plan on returning to work you will need an electric pump. A baby can get more milk out than a pump can so you might or might not get a lot of milk out when you pump, if you don't you should not be discouraged. With my first a had an avant manual pump and it was great, I only used it a handful of times to relieve engorgment and have a few bottles in the freezer. With my second she was in the Nicu and I only got to nurse her once a day, I had a medela pump in style, I pumped every three hours. I have not used it once since she has been home over 2 1/2 months. It's so much easier to just nurse her. When your in the hospital get help from the nurses, make sure you meet with the lactation consultant while your there. It takes a while for you and baby to really get the hang of it. It does hurt pretty badly, that was something no one told me, but that goes away. Some things that helped me were nipple cream, it's in a little purple tube, it helps with the soreness. A nursing cover so you can nurse comfortably in public. Learning to nurse laying down, took me a few trys but then you can doze while you feed her. With my second I don't even think I wake up anymore. I just hear a whimper and pull her close, haha. I needed a lot of breast pads, even still. I always thought sport bras were more comfy and easier than nursing bras, but maybe it's just cause I am cheap and didn't buy a good bra. Nursing is a beautiful thing good luck! And congrats on the little one. Oh and drink lots of water.
J.K. answers from Austin on February 28, 2009
First of all, I would suggest that you join La Leche league. There must be a chapter in your area. This organization will give you tremendous support for breast feeding.You must also be very determined to breastfeed your baby. I breast fed both of my children (now 31 and 26 years old!!) I do feel that it helps develop a bond that lasts a life time. However, you can also develop a bond by ALWAYS holding your baby when you bottle feed and by following all other bonding procedures. So, I have developed a more tolerant attitude about bonding over the years. Do not be nervous about breast feeding. There are simple solutions to all problems associated with it. I developed a breast infection when my son had to go back into the hospital with billirubin and the nurses made me stop breastfeeding him and put him on formula. I could not take penicillan because I am allergic to it. So, I went to an herbalist and was taught how to make olive oil compresses to apply to my breasts, how to express the milk so it would not dry up- I had no pump at the time- just hand expression method. I also used herbs and got rid of the infection. When my baby left the hospital ,I breastfed him until he was three years old. He still remembers the experience fondly. It was hard to get him to stop, but it was time at three.Well, I do hope you find support for breastfeeding. It makes all the difference in the world. Good luck. J. K.