Monday, 22 October 2012

Hurdle to prepare for 1.1: Breastfeeding Equipment

I mentioned on Twitter some time ago how grateful I am for the number of friends and family I have who either a) already have children, or b) just had children. It's like having an instant support group.

This is not to say that nuggets received from my mother, aunts, and older family friends/acquaintances are not valuable because they are. But the availability of the experience of those who have gone through what I'm about to more recently has a slightly higher percentage of value since I can more or less expect my experience to be closer to theirs considering the development of technology and availability of resources and other similar advancements.

Now that we're getting closer to the date I have given in to the urge to take my window shopping seriously. As I've stated in an album where I'm slowly collecting images of the things we've gathered for the coming of our little one, I have filled about a fifth of Bean's journal, and perhaps 10% of that is made of lists. My latest list puts together all the things that have been suggested by BabyCenter, things I feel will serve us well, and things that can double up for several tasks. Including alternative options, sources, and price tags, of course.

I spent one late night last week just going over different videos, studies, articles, and commentaries (blogs) about breastfeeding just to get a feel for what I have to look forward to and get a better idea what things I can consolidate into one object and what things I feel I really cannot do without.

Top of my list are a breast pump and bottles. In case you're wondering why I include bottles in my list of breastfeeding equipment, it's because I fully intend to share the responsibility of feeding with my husband. Besides, it may not always be possible for me to breastfeed directly ergo, bottles.
This breast pump from Philips AVENT drew my attention because it can be used both manually and with a battery. It has, however, been mentioned by my sister-in-law that this type of handle can be tiring to use. So I may actually consider getting a battery/electric pump instead.

Another suggestion I got was this one from my cousin(-in-law). Or at least I made the best guess as to which pump she meant when she suggested taking a look at the website. ^.^

There are three versions, the most complete one being, of course, the most expensive. What's good about the most expensive one is that an entire system plus a tote, and the necessary extras. But we'll see.

Then there's this last one which is the same brand as the bottles we already have (see below). I haven't found the price for it yet though and while it looks good, the Purely Yours pump still gets my attention more if only for the fact that it's been tried and tested by someone I trust.

Assuming bottle neck size is not an issue, I can probably go with any bottle I want. Apparently, the AVENT ones (right) I had my eye on are pricier offline than online (via Amazon). Plus I'm not so sure of the sizing since I feel 4oz bottles might be too small and 9oz ones too big. I know they'll drink more when they're older but it just feels impractical to get 9oz ones despite it coming in a set.

Chicco had some 5oz bottles which looked about right to me but I felt the AVENT bottles looked sturdier. They're about the same price, but I was told to check the bottle neck size and nipple flow rather than the sturdiness of the bottle.

The same aforementioned cousin--a new mother herself and, by the time I give birth, will have a very recent full four months' worth of experience ahead of me--suggested looking at the Breastflow bottles from The First Years. I studied the set up and I think it's rather interesting--also cheaper than Philips AVENT, haha. My sister-in-law got wind of the suggestion and offered to give her starter set to me because her son refused to use them. So now added to our list of thank you's is "Thank you, Agu Jamie* for my first set of baby bottles!" Plus the feeding spoon and teether. ^.^

So those are things off our list now.

Okay, not quite equipment, but I think are just as important, at least for our/my purposes. This is, of course, excluding the usual items of bibs and burp cloths which are items that one would expect to have to use whether or not the baby breastfeeds or bottle feeds.

I realised that something I do really need are nursing-friendly clothes. I find dresses and blouse and skirt combinations the most comfortable to wear which means those Transition Tubes might actually be less useful to me than I thought when I first saw them. Then again, I may get them anyway just so I have some form of comfortable belly support. Gratefully accepted my mother's offer to buy me more of those, hahaha. ^_~ Mamaway is my primary option and what I love is that they have a local retail store near our place so I can really check everything out and try the clothes on.

Two favourites among the extras, I have to say, are the milk tray and the milk saver. I didn't even know there were such things until I did my research!

The Jingle Jungle trays are cheaper than the Sensible Lines trays (both available via Mama.Baby.Love.) and I think can withstand longer-term use based on the inspection I did of the product a month or so ago. I may also ultimately choose the AVENT Breast Shells over the Milkies Milk Saver mainly because it's more multi-use. My opinion, not a claim.

What I'm still completely undecided on is the nursing pillow. Anyone out there have any thoughts?

*Note: Using the titles practised in the family, that is. Actually, this site lists the father's younger sister as gu jie. My husband's family isn't very strict, so to speak, with the titles and we haven't decided yet what our children will call their aunts and uncle.

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