For those of you who are as clueless about all this baby stuff as I was before Baby Girl, turns out, you can pump breast milk to use in bottles. It saves for a few days in the fridge or up to two weeks in the freezer. I have been very excited about this as it means Baby Girl’s dad can join in with feeding… and give me a break! Also means we can leave her for a few hours with our parents for a break one night & not be panicking she’ll wake up hungry & I have to dash back.
However, the midwife, the baby books & my antenatal class recommended that you waited six weeks before expressing milk. This is for two main reasons:
- your milk production needs to become regular before you start expressing. This can take a few weeks while your baby gets a bit more into a routine.
- your baby can suffer from ‘nipple confusion’. Suckling from a nipple & a bottle are two very different techniques for a baby & apparently they can ‘forget’ how to suckle from a nipple if you give them bottle (or dummy) too young & then you’re a bit stuffed.
Well, I got bored of waiting & Baby Girl feeds like a trooper so figured one week wasn’t going to make a difference. So we’ve cheated & started at five weeks instead. And last night, Baby Girl’s dad fed her for the first time. He was very nervous but she guzzled it down in about 10 minutes flat. (Her usual feeds are, on average, 20 minutes long with me.) Then, happily sat burping, draped sleepily over his shoulder.
The only downside for me was that it took me over an hour to express 100ml of breastmilk for a single feed. Felt like a lot of work for only 10 minutes of her time! Happy to report, however, today I expressed 100ml in about 15mins; it seems that my boobs have already responded to the change in production needed for expressing even just once a day. So tonight’s feed is chillin’ in the fridge waiting to facilitate some Father-Daughter bonding time. Meanwhile, I’ll be enjoying my first glass of red wine in over 10 months. Hello Merlot!