Breast Pumps and Bottle Feeding

Updated on June 05, 2009
K.G. asks from Pocatello, ID
19 answers

Hi all, my 5 1/2 month old son is pretty much strictly breastfed, but on occasion we have left him with my mom and a bottle of formula to go on a date or something. When he was much littler he took it just fine, no problems, but now he won't take it at all! It's been awhile since he's had it. I'm thinking if we try breast milk in it it might help, but I don't want to buy an expensive breast pump for occasional feedings. He may have to take a bottle soon because I'm going to be in a wedding and I wanted one just in case. Are manual breast pumps impossible? Can anyone recommend something for me? And what bottles are good to use? Thanks!

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K.P.

answers from Colorado Springs on

Avent is the best for pumps and bottles. They make a hand pump that is inexpensive and doesn't make you feel like a milk cow. The bottles were great too. My son took to it immediately. My husband loved feeding him too. Congrats on breastfeeding!!!

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J.M.

answers from Denver on

Hello I don't have advice on the pump but did find that the easiest bottle for breastfeed babies is definitely playtex drop ins - they have the softest nipples. We used bottles a few dozen times with my son and he would only take the drop ins.

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S.M.

answers from Denver on

check out la lecha league international's website.
My daughter who is totally breastfed wouldn't take a bottle with, so last week when I had to be away from her for a couple of hours we just used a medicine syringe and EBM. You can also use a spoon or even a cup. Doing one of these prevents nipple confusion too, so that you won't have problems later.
HTH,
S.
www.buenavistamidwife.com

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K.D.

answers from Provo on

Both my kids are breastfed, and were only occasionally bottle fed. I have an Avent Isis manual pump and it works great. I wouldn't want to use it if I was pumping full time, but for occasional use it's great.
For bottles -- just look around to find one your baby likes.

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G.P.

answers from Boise on

I've only used electric, so I don't have any recommendations for that, but have you tried your friends? I bought an electric pump that I used at home to help increase my supply, and get some for daycare. After going back to work, it was a pain to remember to cart the pump back and forth, and I always seemed to be forgetting something. I asked some of my friends, and there was one that had planned to pass her's on to a friend, but that shower was a couple of months out, so she let me borrow it. When she needed to give it away, I again asked my friends and there was one that just put her pump away, and was willing to let me borrow it.

As far as bottles, you may have to try a couple. We started with the BreastFlow ones, and I was lucky enough that my son took to that one without an issue, and my expensive Adiri went untried. You may also have some friends that have an assortment that they would be willing to let you try before spending a bunch of money. (I did that on sippy cups, and then my son changed his mind and we are using the cheap ones now!)

Good luck.

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A.B.

answers from Pocatello on

The Medela Harmony Manual breast pump is really easy to use and perfect for occasional use. I actually got mine free by asking the lactation consultant at the hospital but you can purchase one for only $35 at Babies R Us or a local medical supply store, or even a hospital pharmacy. I'm pretty sure that you won't have any problems if you offer expressed breast milk. If you do, if he takes a pacifier, try to find a bottle nipple that is similar to the pacifier nipple. We used Soothie brand pacifiers and nipples and never had any problems. Good luck! It's super important to get a little time away periodically!

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J.H.

answers from Colorado Springs on

K., I got the medela harmony from target for around $30 I think so that I could have something small to take on vacation. I also have the pump in style because I worked full time after my son was born. If I didn't work full time I would have just gotten the harmony! I love it. Its really easy to use and can be done one handed. I even pumped with it once while driving in pouring rain through heavy traffic... not safe, but my boobs felt much better after! The only think that i kind of dislike about the harmony is the soft breastshields and i'm sure that there are lots of people that prefer them to the hard ones. Anyway, good luck!

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H.S.

answers from Salt Lake City on

K. - good luck with this! I have an Avent Isis that I used while I was nursing my oldest two (until I ran into a GREAT deal on a Medela which I love). Anyway, the Isis was gentle and easy to use - I found that if I pumped first thing in the morning while I was nursing the baby on the other side, it was a snap! Also, if you want your baby to take bottles, I have found that they have to have them often - I make sure my babies get at least one bottle a week so they "remember" and won't refuse it. I usually do this when we go to church so I don't have to miss any of the meeting when the baby gets hungry. Best of luck!

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K.H.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I have a breast pump that is a Medela. I've had it up for sale right now. I purchased it over 6 months ago and pumped for 4 months straight. I have since dried up. It is a backpack style, the only thing you would have to do is buy the parts for it (tubing and breast attachments) because it is not wise to use someone else's. So send me an email at [email protected]____.com if you are interested in buying the pump. I have breast milk for my son in the freezer and I started to use a lot so I chose to put 1/2 breast milk and 1/2 formula and he does good drinking it. I hope to hear from you if you are interested in buying the pump.

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R.W.

answers from Denver on

K.,

I have an single electric pump that I use for pretty much the same thing. It is the Evenflo Comfort Select. I think I paid under $40 for it on sale at Babies R Us. I love it and it works perfect for the occasional bottle or just to relieve discomfort in the morning when I miss some feedings. At Babies R Us you can also buy the warranty and in case something goes wrong within 12 months of buying it they will replace it. I saw they also have it at Target. I would recommend this electric one over a manual one any day and it is very reasonably priced.

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J.N.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I really liked the Avent Isis pump. I could pump 1-2 four ounce baggies in 1/2 hour (depending on time of day, etc). I was going to school, so I pumped every morning and froze the milk (we used the liner bags for easier freezing). If you're only pumping occaisionally I wouldn't get an electric pump, it just isn't going to be worth it.

As far as taking a bottle, it may be the rubber nipple just isn't you, more than that the milk isn't the same. You can start teaching him to drink from a cup soon (I started with my babies about 6 months old). Not a sippy, he can learn a regular cup. Start with a tiny bit of breast milk or water in a small cup. I always started by holding a cup close to his mouth and using a baby spoon to put some in his mouth (I had already introduced rice cereal). I got the cup closer, and made sure he saw that the milk was coming from the cup. Pretty soon, I would put the cup to his mouth and tip it up to give him just a little bit. It's going to be quite messy at first, but most babies catch on quickly.

He also will be starting solids soon if he hasn't already. You can leave the baby food and some milk with a cup when you leave him with your mom, and he should be fine.
As far as the wedding, though, I would pump breastmilk (as much as you can) and supplement it with formula if it isn't enough. If he's already eating some solids by then, have those for him too. Just remember to wear good nursing pads (or double up), you don't want to have any embarrassing leaks!

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C.S.

answers from Denver on

You can rent a breast pump, and for short stints, it is substantially cheaper than buying one. I know women who have travelled or needed one to fill in when theirs broke, etc found that useful. Becoming Mothers in Boulder has them, but you can also check with other maternity stores or local hospitals.
If you are planning on occasionally giving him bottles of either expressed breast milk or formula, it's a good idea to let him practice with a bottle once a week or so to keep used to the idea.
We liked the Born Free bottles and nipples because they are BPA free.
Good luck and congratulations on continuing the breastfeeding!
Dr. C. Swartz
OB-Gyn, Boulder
http://drcarrieswartz.blogspot.com

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M.S.

answers from Denver on

I don't remember the brand (my youngest is almost 6) but I had a manual pump that was only $40-50 that worked fantastic! Many days I like it better than the electric Medela!
But before you go spend money (although you need to do something for you if you're away for more than a few hours - manual expression works too) - why don't you try formula in a cup - it may not be the taste but the delivery system. Try a sippy cup w/out the valve and if that doesn't work, try one w/the valve. Another thought - poke extra holes in the bottle nipple - my oldest would only use a nipple for older babies (even at 2 months) w/extra holes poked in it via a sewing needle. Also - try different temps. My youngest drove my nanny insane - if it was not EXACTLY my body temperature, she wouldn't take it cup or bottle - formula or breast milk.....

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F.O.

answers from Boise on

Hi K., if you're going to pump I would suggest an electric pump. I went with the Lansinoh double electric breast pump. I tried a manuel and pumped for a half hour and produced only 2oz. However with the electric 6oz to 8oz. It did cost $150.00 but totally worth it!! Maybe you could find a slightly used one (the milk does not touch any tubing and you can buy new pump ends and containers) . As far as bottles go our daughter is also brestfed and didn't like any we tried except the playtex drop ins. It was the realest feeling nipple we could find and we tried several different brands. Good Luck and hope you find something that works well for your family.

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V.W.

answers from Salt Lake City on

K.,

I now have an electric pump, just in case... But for my first-born, I had an Evenflo hand pump. I used it as much as most women use their electric pumps. I pumped at work, by hand at my desk (reception!!) answering the phone and doing my typing one handed. Work-a-holic? Maybe I just liked my job a lot. It didn't last 7 years in storage though, but I didn't pay all that much for it. I really like it though!!

Good luck!
V.

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M.R.

answers from Salt Lake City on

At 5 1/2 months, is he starting on solids at all? That could be a easy solution to leaving him, without having to worry about pumping and bottles. I also have a baby that was born in Dec. (my 4th) and he is strictly breastfed, no bottles, but is also eating infant cereal now. I have been able to leave him for a few hours at a time now, just leaving my mom with cereal to feed him.

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K.F.

answers from Boise on

AVENT ISIS is a great little hand-pump. Might take a couple of tries to learn the right amoung of pressure and suction, but I used it everyday for a year for my first child when I couldn't afford an electric one.

Even if you can't pump a full bottles worth, slowly mix a little formula in with it. Another tip is that all bottles are not alike. My son hated his AVENT bottles but I stuck with them (he weaned himself from bottles around 9 months - had to use AVENT sippy which was good). I decided to try something diff with my daughter and she loved the platex drop-ins line. I occasionally give her an AVENT and she doesn't like it. Go figure!

A.G.

answers from Pocatello on

I have had both, the medela electric pump and hand pump. The electric is or course way better but the hand pump works just fine it just takes a little longer to get enough milk out but when it's just for once in a while it's no big deal. So get the hand pump it will work. But I would see if your son will take the bottle with breastmilk before you leave him. IF he is like my daughter it won't make a difference. She took bottles with breastmilk when she was young but once she hit about 4 months she just wouldn't take abottle no matter what. So I just had to breastfeed her until she was weaned at a year. Hopefully your son will take the bottle.

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S.S.

answers from Denver on

I have had luck with the low cost electric pumps found at Wal-Mart, but I do not recommend a manual pump as you get tired pretty quick. As for the bottles, it really didn't matter which bottle I used with my children, but the nipple had to be the ones with the little bumps on them. My children wouldn't drink from other nipples. Good luck!

Have a GREAT day!

S.

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