Alright, mamas… here’s the post you’ve been asking for. Today I’m answering ALL of the breast/bottle feeding questions I’ve been receiving. As I mentioned in my first post about this topic (here), everyone’s journey and baby is different. Do what works for you and your little one! There is no RIGHT way. My first post covered 0 to 3 months of life and our feeding journey… then I got Covid. This is where my experience with breastfeeding changed. More about this below.
What was you experience with breastfeeding?
Well… I guess I would describe my experience as unusual. I talk about what I went through the first 3 months in this blog post. Essentially I breastfed solely for the first 2 months and then started to pump twice a day to allow Luke and/or Elizabeth (our nanny) to give him a bottle during the day. So we did a mix of both. BUT then I got Covid. I was isolated from Ford for almost 2 weeks. Thankfully I had started to pump and freeze excess milk prior to getting sick. This is what Luke used to feed Ford while I was down and out. It also meant I was not feeding him from my breast during this time. It was extremely emotional for me. Once I recovered from Covid, I tried to breastfeed him. It was not going very well. He was distracted and would only latch for a short period of time. After an emotional few weeks, I decided I would solely pump and give him bottles. He seemed to be taking to that much better. My days of feeding him from my breasts were over. I allowed myself time to be sad and feel my emotions. Once I came to terms with the cards I was dealt, I moved forward. I kept reminding myself to have gratitude for all my body allowed me to do.
Why did you stop breastfeeding/pumping?
So… now you know why I had to stopped breastfeeding (answered above) but what about pumping?? I pumped for 4+ months after Ford would no longer breastfeed. Let’s just say, it was A LOT of work. I was pumping 4-5 times a day on top of the time it took me to feed him. It’s essentially DOUBLE the work. I got to the point around 7 months where I felt exhausted from it. My body had not been my own in over a year and half . I was ready to not feel like a cow… literally. AND have a bit more freedom and time to just be ME. Like I said before, everyones journey with this is different and it felt right to stop. Ford had begun eating solids at 6 months old and we found a formula we loved.
When did you stop breastfeeding/pumping?
I stopped at 7.5 months.
How did I stop breastfeeding/pumping?
I spoke with a few friends and read up on different things to do. In the end, I just started pumping less and less, SLOWLY reducing my milk supply. When my boobs got really full I would pump and/or self express in the shower a tiny amount. Just to avoid getting mastitis. Day by day, my body knew to produce less and eventually stop. It’s pretty amazing what the female body does. I’m SO grateful for my experience with pregnancy, birth and postpartum.
Is it painful to stop?
In my experience, no. BUT remember I did it very slowly. I’d suggest not rushing it.
Was it hard emotionally when you stopped?
I had mixed emotions, however I knew I was ready. I listened to myself. It was more emotional for me when I could no longer breastfeed after getting Covid.
What type of formula do you use?
We use the HIPP organic formula. Luke did a lot of research on ingredients in different formulas, and we felt this was the best for Ford. Note there are different stages based on age.
What type of bottles do you use?
I’ve tried two: Avent and Comotomo. Ford prefers Avent, so that’s what we are currently using. NOTE: there are different size nipples based on age. I recently figured this out – oops!! NO ONE TOLD ME! LOL
What’s Ford’s feeding schedule?
10:30AM Real food
4:30PM Real Food
10PM (dream feed) Bottle