1. I like the double breast pumps, you get the job done faster. On the plus side you can use it as a single pump too.
2. Yes you can use any bottle.
3 and 4. They have freezer bags in the baby section. In there it will have instructions on freezing, and for how long you can. From what I remember, it will last 24 hrs in the fridge, 6 months in a freezer and 12 months in a deep freezer.
5. Your may change if you find that certain may upset your babies tummy, as for caffeine just watch your intake as you do now, but you will want to drink lots of water. Always have water by you that will help keep your supply up.
6. I'm not sure, I don't smoke. You may want to ask your dr.
7. Must haves - you will need some type of nursing pads, they make both disposable and washable.
Hope this helps you.
1. The best brand is Medela. As for using a single or double pump, or manual or electric, that may be dependent on how often you think you'll pump. If you're a SAHM and you'll be breastfeeding on demand every day, but you want to have the occasional bottle ready for a short outing, then go with a single pump--manual or electric is your preference. If you'll be a working mom or you'll need to pump at least once a day or more, get a double pump because it gets the job done much faster, and they also help keep your supply up because you're getting suction on both breasts when you have a letdown, instead of just one breast while the other gets a let down and gets "full" but has to wait till you're done pumping the first.
2. You can use any bottle you want. However, that doesn't mean your baby will take any bottle. My son will *only* take bottles with a NUK nipple--and I had to spend a small fortune one about 5 different brands of bottles and nipples before I found that out.
3. You can store breastmilk in bottles in the fridge for up to 5 or 6 days, I think. You can also freeze and store it in specially made freezer bags that you can find in almost any store that sells baby items. You can store it in a regular freezer for up to 6 months, and a deep freezer up to 12 months.
**NOTE: For some women who express and store breastmilk, they end up with an excessive lipase problem and then the baby won't drink the milk because it tastes "soapy," "metallic," or in my case, it tastes like vomit. Whatever the description, it's freakin' gross, lol!
Lipase is an enzyme in the milk that breaks down the fats. If you have too much of it in the milk (reasons unknown), then after so many hours, it affects the taste.
If you store any breastmilk, DO A TRIAL RUN before building up a storage in order to avoid having to throw away your entire storage of what could be hundreds of ounces of milk because your baby doesn't want to drink it. Test milk after a few hours, then a day, then a few days.
If you find you have this problem, you can avoid it by "scalding" the milk before chilling and storing it. Do this by bringing it to boiling point on stovetop (DO NOT MICROWAVE) and then immediately chill it in the fridge or freezer. Boiling point means just when you see it bubble along the sides--don't bring it to a full boil.
If you don't have access to a stove, buy a bottle warmer. You can get the milk hot enough after about 8-10 minutes. It may not be boiling point, but as long as it's 180° or higher, then it has been effectively scalded. I have to use a bottle warmer at work because I don't have a stove. It works wonderfully.
5. Your diet depends on your baby. I drink up to two cups of coffee in the morning and sometimes a caffinated soda midday and my son isn't affected. It just depends on how your baby seems to handle it.
6. I don't know about smoking. Ask your doctor.
7. Must haves: Bottle warmer if you have lipase issues, breast pads for leakage, a breast pump, lanoline for chapped nipples, and breastmilk storage bags.
I'm not going to reanswer your questions becuase they were answered very well above. I do agree that medela is THE best brand of pump.
I do want to say something that I wish someone had told me when it came to breastfeeding. While breastfeeding IS natural and it IS the best, it does NOT come naturally for every woman and every baby. I'm not saying it won't for you, I just want you to be prepared for bumps and hurdles...anything from milk supply issues to latching problems. The first time I breastfeed I didnt' have any support and had no clue what I was doing and I was in tears and eventually gave up. If you have problems, beginning in the hospital, ask for a lactation specialist to assist you. I don't think YOU are one of these women, but many women go into breastfeeding blindly as I did thinking it will just fall into place and go seemlessly...so I always like to point this out to EVERY one that wants to breastfeed. I just HATE to see anyone feel as lousy and worthless as I did the first time I tried. DH was NO help, he came home one day to me sitting on the couch crying my head off and when he asked what was wrong I told him about the BFing issues...his reply was "so stop" "give her a bottle" . Sorry I went off on a tangent!!
Thanks ladies! Now as far as the lapse issue goes, APH said to test the breast milk....does that mean I have to taste it lol? Or do I let the baby do it?
GA- Thank you! I have heard from a lot of women that they had up's and downs with breastfeeding. I know it's possible that everything can go smoothly but I also know that there could be a TON of issues. I'm ready for the challenge..I think lol, but I know I will try my hardest. I also have a wonderful supportive DH so, when things get tough, I know I can rely on him for help, or at least a shoulder to cry on.
Lol, yes, you have to taste it. :-)
In the more freshly expressed milk that may be damaged by lipase, you can only tell by tasting it. It will taste normal (sweet and creamy) for about a second or two, then the aftertaste makes you want to toss your cookies.
However, with expressed milk that's a few days old, you can tell simply by smelling it. It smells somewhat sour.
You *could* let the baby taste test it, but sometimes the milk may be just fine when your baby may have an upset stomach, which is why they turn away and fuss at the bottle. The only sure way to know if it's been ruined by lipase is to taste it.
Well....In that case, I am very grateful that I have a very very supportive hubby LOL!!
As far as smelling it, I can't smell the sour or bad smell in regular cows milk. So I dont think I would be able to tell by smelling the breastmilk. Once again, I am very happy to have a very supportive hubby!
I've never heard of lapse. I nursed and pumped for 18 with my son and nursed for 18 months with my daughter. I actually only would store the milk in the freezer for 3 months and I would be careful what I stored it next too, because some seemed to come smelling like the frozen veggies it was next too. You do have to make sure that you shake the milk when it thaws because the fat in it separates. Also there are some bags that you can freeze in and then use at drop ins for the platex bottles. That is what we ended up using.
LosingMyMindInGA is right... its not easy for everyone.
A friend told me to give it an honest effort for a 2-4 weeks. The lanolin will help with the soreness, but for me with my first it was painful when let down occured for about 2 weeks. With my second it was painful with the afterbirth uterus pains that came with the nursing. Neither of those stopped me from nursing though, so it wasn't that bad.
The other thing I was told was that just like you are learning, so is your baby. So even though I am pregnant again and have nursed for a total of 3 years, this new baby is going to have to learn as well.
I think if you have patience, support and a bit of knowledge you can do it!