Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mommy in Training: Feeding

(Seriously, y'all... I can't thank you enough for all your helpful registry tips.  They were incredibly helpful when I went to register!)

As if you guys haven't had enough baby talk from me lately, today we're talking about boobies.  And bottles.

I am planning on at least attempting to breastfeed (but I'm not going to put a whole lot of pressure on myself, and if it ends up not working out, I will happily [and with no guilt] feed our little princess with formula).  It's obviously a strange concept for someone who has never done it before, and I will frankly tell you that the idea of it weirds me out a little bit.  So I'm soliciting any tips/pointers/suggestions you guys have for a newbie breastfeeder.  I registered for what I've heard is the "Cadillac" of breast pumps:  the Medela Pump In Style double electric breastpump.  Did you guys use others that you swear by?

Similarly, if you used formula, I'd love to hear your thoughts on bottles, which formula you ended up using, etc.

Lastly (with hopefully no controversy), I'm curious about what you all decided on with respect to feeding on demand versus more scheduled, parent-directed feeding (i.e., the Babywise method).  I don't have any definitive plans yet (though I'll admit that I'm leaning toward a modified Babywise approach) and would love to hear your thoughts.

In a nutshell, I want to know:

How do/did you gals get your babies' tummies full?

This week's topic might strike some strong feelings in some of you mama bears, but let's keep this a judgment-free zone.  As I've said here before, I feel strongly that moms should support one another, and there are many ways to achieve what I'm sure is the ultimate goal of most moms:  to raise healthy, happy children who are equipped to face the world.


Allyson Mosley said...

Disclaimer: This gets verbose

Both of my children were bottle fed, each for a different reason. My two are 8 years apart. The first (son) I was young (20) and didn't feel breastfeeding was something I could do. The second one I was on medication that I couldn't stop taking that no one could tell me for certain would not get passed on to my daughter, so I opted to bottle feed her also. Both of my babies were fed Enfamil with Lipil. Both are super healthy, brilliant and well adjusted and we are very tightly bonded.

With my son I used whatever bottles people gave us. We were poor back then, lol. With my daughter, we used Dr. Brown's because of the vent. They seemed to work beautifully. Son had HORRIBLE colic and would scream his little head off for 3 hours every. single. day. Daughter never even got gassy.

Both kids I fed them when they were hungry. If they cried, they ate (also eliminating wet/dirty/just needed loving). Son was a chunky monkey, he liked to eat all. the. time. Every 2 hours, around the clock. He came here hungry. Daughter was more of a 3-4 hour baby.

Basically, do whatever works for you and your daughter. Give breastfeeding a shot, I wish I could have with my daughter, but if it doesn't work out, don't feel guilty over it. It's hard. People who say brestfeeding is sunshine and unicorns ALL the time are lying anyway ;-)

Rebekah said...

We formula fed and used regular similac, the stuff in with a blue lid. I tried the target brand similac and it made my daughter terribly constipated. We used the playtes drop-ins, which we loved. We didn't have to wash bottles, just the nipples and rings and they were super easy to just throw in the dishwasher or hand wash. Ana wasn't colicky though and didn't have much gas issues. The few she had were helped by mylicon.

We fed on demand. I looked at scheduled feeding/babywise but I decided against it. My thinking about it was I'm not hungry at exactly the same time every day so why would I expect my baby to need to eat at exact increments?

Ana was easy to read though. If she was crying, she was hungry. She never gave me "hunger signs". She would go from calm and happy to screaming in seconds. The only thing that calmed her was being fed.

Meghan & Josh Reid said...

Great choice of breast pump! And, check with your insurance...because with all the new Obamacare stuff you should get $200 toward that pump!

We chose Dr. Brown's bottles because I do feel they helped with gas and reflux issues. Before we finally settled on those, we went through every.single.brand out there (just like we had to do with sippy cups)! My little one was not so fond of switching from breast to bottle and it included a lot of drama and tears to get her to finally take one. The one brand we didn't try, because they were rather up and coming, was Tommee Tippee. Tommee tippee's look so much like a boob, you MUST try them! They also have a "gas" model that has a vent. I can't wait to try them out with the next baby, and I am convinced it will make the breast to bottle transition easier. However, all babies are different and you never know which bottle she will take! So if no one said this during the registry post: register for ONE bottle in a few different brands. Take back the ones she doesn't like, and buy more of the ones she ends up taking!

I also took a modified babywise approach. At first, we actually didn't take any approach becasue my little one had horrible acid reflux combined with a milk soy protein intolerance (MSPI). It can be rather difficult to get those types on a good schedule! When we finally got that all worked and switched over to a perscription formula, we were able to ease into the modified babywise. I would definitely recommend doing this as a working mom. It will make everyone's life easier. I feel like feeding on demand is much more suitable to the SAHM's. Plus, your daycare will probably get her on a schedule whether you like it or not, becasue they don't have the man power to feed all the babies on demand.

I don't have much more breastfeeding advice, because I had to stop after 6 weeks as mine was allergic to my milk (even without me eating dairy and other things). I plan to try again with our second baby. Good for you for giving it a shot!

Amber in South Carolina said...

I think it's good you're not putting pressure on yourself! I've had friends who took to it like nothing and others who struggled so hard. Those who struggled gave up after they found out baby was getting enough nutrition, their nipples weren't shaped 'right', etc. There were many tears shed before they realized they were doing all they could do!

I've had two friends who breastfed while working, one continued for a full year and one only pumped after she went back. The one who only pumped said that the decision to not 'breast' feed on demand was the best decision for her and her baby. They just could never hit a groove with on demand feeding, but with the bottle for some reason things calmed down. I think because the Dad and other people could help out. It's really is so baby and Mom dependent!

You have to do what's best for both of you and I'm so sure that with all the love you have, you will most certainly do that! :)

Laura said...

So it seems like you already have a lot of good advice but I'll just throw in my experience because I do feel like its a bit different than the others I see here. I breastfed both babies (still breastfeeding Natalie). They were each exclusively breastfed for the first six months (i.e. no cereal/solids). We never really followed a feeding schedule... when they were hungry they ate, BUT I will say that having sort of a vague schedule in mind did help me figure out if they were hungry or upset about something else. I.E. right now they seem to want to eat approximately every 3 hours and it's only been 30 minutes, maybe they're sleepy or something instead.

Now I have the same breast pump that you registered for it is awesome! However, mine has gotten little to no use, haha! We started giving Phillip a bottle when he was a couple of weeks old and he did great with it. We transitioned back and forth without any issue. However, I got lazy with giving the bottle while I was home and when I expected to go back to school in the fall and have him take a bottle (at four months old) he had decided only the real thing would do. We tried a million different kinds of bottles and techniques and he would never take one again. My mom had to bring him to work/law school so I could breastfeed him in the car!

Natalie decided almost from day one that she hated bottles and we didn't push it since I'm home with her. But it has been a PITA to say the least.

Obviously, you are going back to work and Grace not taking a bottle will be unbelievably stressful for you (it's happened to a couple of my friends as well so it's not just my crazy kids!), so my only advice is introduce it in the first month and then make sure she has one at least every other day or so. If at any point she starts to fight taking it, do all bottles for a little while. Also, I wouldn't worry about pumping and storing and all that right away. Just relax and enjoy your baby.

Also, if it hurts after the first few days see a lactation consultant!!! Or call me!

senoravillasenor said...

I exclusively Bfed for about 7 months, on a modified schedule, until my little guy self-weaned. I would stick to demand feeding until your supply is well established and you have had a few checkups to ensure baby is gaining well, etc. (about 6 weeks). I actually did not introduce a bottle until this time either.

That being said, I was pretty hell-bent on nursing (no health barriers, etc.). Nursing, however, was one of the hardest things I have ever done. The first few nights home consisted of baby screaming in the middle of the night because he was trying to get the hang of it. I wanted to give up so bad. I was scared he was starving (a fear of many women-however, they are not; the little bits of colostrum are incredibly nutritious). I took the advice of a lactation consultant and used these nipple shield things (Medela makes them) and it basically made it much easier for the baby to latch on. We were able to wean from them pretty quickly. I had a private consultant in my home on a few occasions to make sure things were going good. However, we did get a case of thrush a few times that also made me want to give up. That being said I am so glad I kept with it, the benefits are immeasurable. However, the choice is so personal, you are right not to beat yourself up about it either way! We used born free bottles and loved them. The pump you selected is great! Good luck!!

Jessica K said...

I breast fed my little one exclusively until I went back to work. I then pumped 2-3 times at work, then I fed her when she was with me. I also, had a schedule, so I was able to figure out if she was really hungry or something else. I stopped pumping when she was 6 months, but had enough milk till she was 10 months. I HATED breast feeding and pumping, but did it for the baby. Pumping was not fun at all - especially while sitting in the locker room at work. Speaking of - if you don't have an office, or even if you do - make sure it's set up for sessions(i.e. curtain, door sign -let some females know). Breastfeeding is hard. I won't lie, BUT I always looked at it this way - I can easily put my boob away and go to bed, instead of hand washing all those dang bottles!!

Good Luck!

PS - If you really want to try breastfeeding, take the class at the hospital before Grace gets here!

Liz said...

Wow, people are commenting at length here. I had twins and I REALLY wanted to breastfeed and there are moms who do it and I applaud them. But the boys were first given bottles their first day and it was hard to get them to take from the breast. To get milk from me took more effort for them and the bottles it came easier.
I just know with having two it helped so much to be able to have my hubby help feed them, we were on very little sleep.
So best wishes to you...if you do it great, if you end up not doing it don't let anyone beat you up over it.

Mary Beth said...

I wanted to breastfeed Addi, but due to her stay in the NICU and a protein allergy, she wasn't able to take my milk. I bought a cheaper pump and ended up renting a Medela from the hospital. I pumped for a week before we found out she couldn't take my milk (it was REALLY hard to throw that stuff away!!) She had to go on a prescription formula and then we switched to Similac Sensitive.

We tried every bottle out there, but ended up loving the Dr. Brown's bottles. They are a major pain to clean b/c of all the parts, but overall it's worth it. I also felt they didn't leak like other bottles did as well.

I fed Addi whenever I thought she was hungry. It was pretty much every 3 hours. If she started crying after about 30 minutes I knew it was something else.

That's all the advice I have - I hope it helps!

Allyson Mosley said...

What Mary Beth said about cleaning the Doctor Brown's is true, especially the piece that fits inside the cap (don't ask me what it's called). About once a week I would soak those in a weak bleach solution and it helped get the funk out tremendously.

Laura said...

Oh man! I just wanted to mention because I saw someone say they threw their breastmilk away, if that happens to you don't throw it out! I was able to donate a ton of frozen breastmilk to the nicu at Texas Children's. Because of all the donated milk they are able to give preemies exclusively breastmilk, which is so important when they are so little and fighting!

The Copeland Family said...

Both of our kids were breastfed to start off with-Faith for five months, and Jaxon for two months--he was a barracuda..yikes! I loved my Medela pump and I pumped after each feeding to save up milk (for when I went back to work), and to trick my body into thinking I needed to produce more milk. After that, both of our kids were on the Parent's Choice (Walmart brand) formula. It's cheaper and had the same stuff in it that regular Similac and Enfamil did. Hope this helps, little momma! I will pray that you have feelings of peace and no overwhelming feelings...I will pray for wisdom and discernment, because God knows what will be the best for you and Miss G! Love you!

The Copeland Family said...

Oh, and Dr. Brown bottles were our FAV!!

ThistleAshD said...

I was a pretty hybridized attachment parent. I breastfed for 17 mos on demand. I never really needed to force the babywise schedule bc it happened when he was ready for it. Which for Jude was like 2 mos. But honestly they say to get them on a sched in 2 weeks or something crazy which is impossible to me. Newborns are growing so fast. They need to eat when they need to eat. And if they just want the touch of breastfeeding, I don't know, I thought it was a beautiful thing. Breastfeeding does seem weird but it was seriously the most beautiful sacrificial amazing experiences of my life... But I am kind of a hippie so obviously filter what I say through that. If you're a lawyer, your probably much more ordered and what not so you may work differently. I loved it... no schedule. no plan. and Jude and I just kinda worked through it. And it was really one of my parenting highlights. I felt like it was just this spiritual experience where I could feel God's presence and time just stood still. I don't know. This probably sounds really 'i love ya man' haha. But honestly breastfeeding was one of my top 5 parenting experiences of all time.

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