YAY… let’s talk about the topic EVERY human on the planet wants to give new mom’s their input on… LOL! BUT like, seriously, WHY is everyone so opinionated on this and feel it necessary to tell others what to do with their body?? Everyone has their OWN experience/circumstances surrounding breastfeeding. I say, let’s just support each other! Ya feel me?? Today I am going to share what I have been through but in no way is this THE right way… it’s my way. I had no expectation of what I SHOULD be doing. I listened to my body, baby and tried all different things.
I want to first start out by saying, it is A LOT of work for a mother to breastfeed, however it has been a great way to bond with Ford. I have found I enjoy it much more than I thought I would! In the beginning, as in the hour he was born, he latched right away. HUGE win!! He was eating my colostrum, the nutrient dense pre-milk, and two days later my milk had come in. Again, another huge win for me!! I say this because in my 20’s I had a breast reduction/lift. This meant that there was potentially a chance I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed due to how they do the surgery. I didn’t think about it at the time, but now in my 30s and having a baby, I am SO thankful I can!
SO… REFLUX… it is an issue with many babies. Ford had it and my midwife’s opinion was that it had to do with my latch and the fact the valve on top of his stomach wasn’t fully developed yet. With that said, over the first two weeks of his life we worked on getting him more “fully” latched and a position that worked best for us. I found that laying him across my body at a diagonal, tummy to tummy, was the winner! I’d say by week 3 we had it down. Breastfeeding is A LOT of work and takes time to figure out with YOUR baby. Everyone is different, so do what works for you.
The first two months, I fed Ford from my breasts only. Month one, I feed him whenever he wanted the boob. We then started to transition to a schedule once his stomach could handle more food. At 8 weeks, I needed a little reprieve… to go out longer than two hours if I needed to work, run errands, etc. SO, I embarked on my pumping journey. To be honest, it was a little scary in the beginning. I had many emotions about it. I was sad and questioning myself… Am I a bad mom? Would he still breastfeed?? Now I look back and am so thankful I did it! After I pumped for the first time and gave him a bottle, I saw how content he was! Phewwwww! My anxiety was calmed and I knew it would help me get a little bit of time back for myself. I know not every baby takes a bottle so easily so I was counting my lucky stars.
Now how did I incorporate bottle feedings? The schedule we started at around 6 weeks was: feed him at 7AM, 10AM, 1PM, 4PM, 7PM and a dream feed at 10PM. More coming about his schedule on my 4th Trimester Post! We have help that started around 2 months every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I have either Elizabeth (our part-time nanny) or Luke give him a bottle of breast milk at the 1PM feeding. This has helped tremendously! I can now have more of a “life” to work and get things done and not stress out about one of his feedings. It’s worked really well for ME!
Ok, Ok… but what about FORMULA?? This was something I had mixed emotions about BUT my kid was eating SO much. And y’all, I was producing A LOT of milk!! I just happen to have a baby that really likes food… surprise, surprise! LOL 🙂 In my opinion, the most important thing, was getting nutrition into my baby regardless of how/what we did. I also wanted to start freezing milk for future times I would not be home, i.e. a work trip. It was time to supplement one of the feedings.
Luke and I did a lot of research about formula prior to having Ford just in case we would need it. At about 9 weeks we started to give him one bottle of formula. Luke was a strong believer in supplementing in order to help me. The 7PM feeding became another bottle feeding but with formula. Luke feeds him at this time every night and feels like it is his bonding time with Ford. We decided to go with the HiPP organic formula. He has had no issues with it.
Now I pump at 9:30PM and 6:30AM each day. This provides me milk for his 10PM dream feed, 6AM morning feed, 1PM feed (M,W,F) and extra to freeze. Yes, I can go from 9PM to 6AM without pumping. I know this will sound crazy to most, but that’s when my boobs get entirely full. Thankfully I have not suffered from mastitis!
Again, this is my experience with feeding and I’m sure if I have another baby, it will be different! Stay tuned for my 4th Trimester Post about many more mom/baby topics. See below for my current schedule and favorite nursing bras/tanks. Please leave a comment with any questions!
7AM – bottle feed with what I pumped at 6:30AM. Store extra milk for a later feeding.
10AM – breastfeed
1PM – bottle feed with breastmilk if I have help and/or breastfeed
4PM – breastfeed
7PM – Luke bottle feeds with HIPP formula
10PM – bottle feed with breastmilk I pumped at 9:30PM. Store extra milk for a later feeding.