Tips for bottle-feeding after mastectomy or reconstruction

20 Aug 2021

If you’re looking to bottle feed your newborn after a mastectomy or reconstruction, here are a few tips for you from the Pink Hope founder, Krystal Barter.

Prior to hospital, ask to speak to a midwife or lactation specialist so you can explain your situation and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Also explain that you may need some help with your first preparation of bottles to get it right. 

Toward the end of your labour or during your caesarean get your husband or relative to make up a couple of bottles (Bonnie had one 40 minutes after she was born and we were prepared). Practice the preparation of bottles a couple of weeks before the birth of your baby. Test the warmer so you know prior to birth exactly what temperature you need it at.

And when you are packing for the hospital, remember to bring the following items:

  • At least 8 Bottles – I found the glass pigeon bottles great.
  • Bottle Warmer – Avent food and bottle warmer is amazing, automatic and warms it in just over a minute.
  • Formula – don’t stock up on one type of formula until you know it is suitable for your baby (some babies are intolerant to different ingredients found in certain formulas) I found this formula was wonderful and didn’t constipate Bonnie - Karicare Gold Immunocare – from Birth 
  • A Bottle Cleaner Brush – the hospital only supplies one for everyone... ewwww
  • Make sure the hospital has all the necessary sterilising equipment – they normally use the Milton system and I find it wonderful. Very easy and not time consuming.

Lastly, the midwives will forget and ask you how your breasts are; be prepared for this if you are still a bit emotional about the subject. And be positive. You are a healthy mother and being here for your baby is far more important than breast feeding. Don’t feel like you are being judged for bottle feeding, no one knows your situation and they don’t need too.

And most importantly you and your partner have just given life to a beautiful little person – they don’t really care if you give them boob or bottle as long as they are loved.