Time to Weigh in: Breastfeeding
One of the current hot topics now days seems to be how to feed baby. Breastfed vs Formula. Covered vs Uncovered. So I thought that I would share my personal experiences with Octavia and Jean-Luc plus a coupon code for my new favorite anti-colic bottle!
When I was pregnant with Ocki we determined beforehand to exclusively breastfeed. It is objectively the most healthy. Antibodies get transferred to baby. Bonding. Clear winner right here!
As things tend to go with births and new babies, that didn’t happen. I had enough colostrum in the hospital and she had a good latch so they sent me home honky-dory. Once we arrived home, our precious little Ocki; who was so calm and content at the hospital; screamed non-stop. Nothing would calm her. That is until we decided to supplement with a little formula. Night and day differnce! She happily guzzled her formula and went straight to sleep. And I went straight to pumping.
And I pumped. And pumped. And pumped. Hours upon hours a day. I was up more during the night than Ocki was pumping!
That was pretty much my life. Try and nurse Ocki before giving her the bottle (she developed a preference very quickly!) Pump. Rinse and repeat.
For all my effort I was only getting 3-5oz. A day. Not a pump. 3-5 oz a day.
People would always, without fail ask me if I was breastfeeding and how that was going. And they also never failed to offer advice. Drink more water. Are you eating enough? Its because you gave her formula. Have you tried fenugreek? Mother’s milk? Oatmeal?
I’m sure that for someone who hadn’t tried all these things there might have been some helpful nugget in there. But I’d tried it all. I was drinking constantly, gained 10lbs trying to make sure I ate enough calories (not to mention those darn lactation cookies), pumping from her very first bottle feed, goats rue, and smelt like a pancake breakfast from all the fenugreek I was taking. And nothing worked!
Finally at about 4 months the Dr. recommended we bring out the big guns. Concerned about the serious side effects of Reglan, I opted to ship in some Domperidone from Thailand. And it worked. Kind of. I went from 3-5oz a day to 5-8oz a day.
At 7 months we went on vacation. I got lazy. Not super lazy but like only 4 pumps/day on the vacation. When we came back my supply had tanked and I was only getting drops. It was taking way more effort than what it was worth! Formula all the way from here on out!
When I became pregnant with Jean-Luc I was quite apprehensive about breastfeeding. I started going to La Leche meetings at about 5 months, trying to purge my negative emotions. I was still determined to at least try.
The day finally arrived when Jean-Luc was born. And by day 3 he had lost 8.5% of his body weight. Supplement. Dr.’s orders.
So it was back to the same routine. Nurse, top off baby with some formula, pump.
But this time something was different and by day 5 my milk came in. And it came in strong! I am pleased to say that I have a healthy stockpile in my freezer from those first few weeks (his appetite has now increased to where I am making just about what he eats.)
I really didn’t do anything different than the first time around but the difference is dramatic.
- The way people talk about breastfeeding you would think it was some sort of magic pill. Lots of buzzwords get thrown around: antibodies, higher iq, etc. While I am certain that breastmilk is a more nutritional drink, formula is also great! Evolutionarily speaking Ocki would have been a goner without it. But today Ocki is a smart, healthy, vibrant girl who was formula fed and supplemented with tiny bits of breastmilk.
- Covered vs Uncovered. I definitely feel more comfortable covered but it is kind of a hassle to get everything set up down under. And Jean-Luc prefers uncovered. So I don’t blame any mom out there who chooses to go uncovered. I might stare for a second or two simply because it goes against social norms but once my little mind registers what’s happening I’ll go on my merry way without giving it a second thought.
- Pumping. I know that a lot of moms hate pumping. I love pumping! Well, as much as one can anyway. Jean-Luc is a slow eater and I would never leave the couch if we had his way. Pumping lets me take back a little control. Pump for 30 minutes then bottle feed when he’s hungry (we do still do breastfeeding straight from the tap too.) I think its so much more convenient to use the bottle when out. Plus, it is so nice that Dave can help or that grandma can babysit for a few hours! I am also happy to report a healthy bond with both my children despite chosen feeding methods ;)
Bottle of Choice
As many bottle feeders may have observed, the little ones tend to get a little gassy. Burping and keeping baby upright seem to help a ton but I also try to prevent the gas as much as possible. With Ocki we used the Playtex Ventaire bottles. She is quite possessive of her bottles so when Twist Shake offered to send me one of their anti-colic bottles I jumped on the chance to try it. After the first feeding with his new bottle Jean-Luc went to sleep right away with no fussing from gas pains.
These bottles come in lots of fun colors and have an attachment to help with mixing formula.
The best part is that you can get 30-40% off with my code intrepidblissblog30 and free shipping on orders over $25.
What are your breast/formula feeding stories? Your tips for a colicky baby? Let me know in the comments!
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