Since before Gareth was born, my MIL has been offering to help look after him. She also suggested I express my breast milk so she can bottle feed Gareth. I had been reluctant to express and bottle feed during the confinement month because I didn’t want Gareth to have “nipple confusion” which can happen when an infant hasn’t had a chance to get used to suckling from the breast. If you want to breastfeed, it is usually recommended that you do not introduce any artificial nipples during the first month. I have read some recommendations that suggest the first six weeks. Since Gareth is such a pro on the breast, I figured one month would be enough.
Now that Gareth is in his fifth week, I decided to start expressing some milk. Since all our earlier bottles were polycarbonate Avent bottles, hubby and I decided to get the new BPA-free bottles. These days all the baby bottles on the market seem to be BPA-free, or so it appears.
Some time back I remembered seeing an interesting bottle design by The First Years called Breastflow. It is supposed to be a good imitation of the breast and supposedly makes it easier for baby to switch between the bottle and the breast without problem. Recalling how difficult it was for Gavin to take the bottle when hubby and I were supposed to travel to Shanghai for my brother’s wedding, I didn’t want to risk using Avent bottles again. I never did get around to trying the Breastflow bottle with Gavin, but our recent experience with Gareth is very promising.
This is what the bottle looks like:
I also bought The First Years Easy Comfort Manual Breast Pump to replace my Avent pump since the rubber on the Avent pump was starting to discolour. I figured it would be better to stick to the same system for easy storage of milk. The best thing about the bottles and breast pump from The First Years is that it is a fraction of the price of Avent – half the price if I recall correctly. A set of three First Years 5oz bottles is only RM60.
As for the ease of extracting milk with the First Years breast pump versus the Avent breast pump, I can’t really say I noticed a difference. Expressing breast milk has always been difficult for me. I’ve had to get creative about it in order to get the milk out – such as letting baby suckle on one side while I collect the milk from the other breast during the let down. Of course, if I had to express the milk without baby’s help, I’d be in real trouble.
I can’t really say I’ve had loads of experience with bottle feeding since I’ve always been too lazy for it and prefer to nurse directly from the breast whenever possible, but I really do like The First Years bottle system. Gareth, it appears, likes it, too.