Re: How to FF at hospital after birth?
BFing Mom here that is totally supportive of the choice to FF! Call your hospital to find out what brands they offer, they will dole them out to you in RTF 2-3 ounce bottles with disposable nipples. If the hospital doesn't carry the brand you wish to start with, you can bring your own, but I highly recommend splurging and bringing the same 2-3 ounce RTF bottles the hospital uses, so you aren't dealing with mixing and bottle cleaning at the hospital. Even though I BF, I order a case of Gerber Good Start Gentle RTF 3 ounce bottles from Amazon before I deliver, and here is why: If you have a hospital birth, chances are it will be medicated/assisted in some shape or form. This sets your newbie up for BFing difficulties from the get go, generally they are too sleepy to nurse, can't latch well, etc., which sets them up for not getting enough of the precious few teaspoons of colostrum your breasts produce the first few days, to rid their bodies of the bilirubin that causes jaundice. The test for jaundice requires a blood test, gained by a very painful pricking of your newbie's heel, and sometime they have to prick twice!!! I can't stand this, I can't bear seeing my babies pricked over and over again, and most BF babies do generally leave the hospital jaundiced, requiring a check up with your Ped within 24-48 hours of discharge - only to get another heel prick unless your Ped can visibly see the jaundice is taking care of itself. The big advantage of FFing from the get go, is that you quickly reduce your newbie's chances of developing jaundice - they are taking more in per feeding than their BFing counterparts and they pass their meconium much more quickly. So I slipped both my boys a bottle or two of Good Start, as soon as they had latched successfully to my breast, to save them the torture of jaundice and heel pricks. I chose Good Start Gentle, because most of my friends FF, and from hearing their experiences over and over again, it seems to be the one milk based formula that most sensitive/colicky/relflux/GERD/fussy babes can handle before having to try costly hypoallergenic and elemental formulas. There is also the added advantage that most store brands of formula will offer one that mimicks Good Start Gentle, and that will save you $$ in the long run. Now for the not-so-good news about starting FFing in the hospital.... I haven't had a single FFing friend come home from the hospital without telling me that they felt the hospital staff overwhelmed them with pressure to BF, at least for the first few days, so the baby can get the colostrum. Some were even guilted in to "trying" BFing, when it was not what they wanted to do. So be prepared for this, stay strong, and stand your ground. I'll be the first to tell you that BFing isn't all it's chalked up to be, it's the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, and I personally can't possibly do it without the random bottle of formula every now and then. Even though the Breast is Best campaign seems to be en vogue in all US hospitals nowadays, we've got a looooong way to go, culturally, before all Moms can successfully breastfeed their babies the full recommended year. Namely we will need longer maternity leaves and spouses/families that realize they will be waiting hand and foot on a nursing mother and newborn for the first 6-8 weeks. Hospitals will need to become more patient and allow time for an un-medicated birth to happen, instead of intervening from the get go. Anyways...enough of my soap box. PM me when you give birth, if you need advice on drying up your milk, since I have noted that hospitals and Doctors do a very poor job of this. Best of luck to you Momma!