Post # 1
37 weeks pregnant, FTM, and the closer I get to my due date, the more stressed out I am getting about feeding options for the baby.
My original plan was to exclusively pump, for as long as I could – I felt like I owed it to myself and the baby to try and give her breast milk, but being uncomfortable with breast feeding in front of people and in public I thought this was a good option.
Then I got thinking about how hard exclusively pumping can be. I have to feed her, change her get her down to sleep again, then pump and then clean the parts and likely by that time have to feed her again. So then I thought, maybe I can pump during the day, and breast feed at night to make night feedings less long.
Well what if she only wants a bottle, or my breast, and how will I know how much she is getting, and what if I have to clusterfeed with breast feeding, what if all of this goes to shit because I can’t even produce enough milk?
Then I thought, screw it, fed is best, if I am going to get anxiety and stress over it, she will get formula..
Am I over analzying all of this? Am I being lazy? I sound crazy as I type this all out. I honestly just don’t know what to do!! I’ve suffered from depression for a long time, and I’ve been doing okay during my pregnancy, but this is something that is really weighing on me. I just want to do what’s best for my baby.
Thanks for reading! I would love to hear everyones advice.
Post # 2
futuremrscrow : Don’t make yourself crazy over this! I cried for weeks over how my son was being fed, which did no good for anyone. I will tell you my experience though. I felt weird about breastfeeding, but wanted what was going to be best for my son. As it turned out, the moment he was laid on me it felt totally normal and right to breastfeed him. I would not rule that out. Even if you did it just in the hospital where he is getting your collustrum (sp?), that would be super beneficial. I don’t believe in pushing one thing over the other, but I would highly encourage you to at least try it first and see how you feel.
You are correct that pumping is a huge pain in the ass with a newborn. My son had latch issues so I had to feed him, supplement, and pump every two hours. It was extremely hard to get that pumping time in as he wanted to be held and didn’t tolerate being put down for the time it took me to pump. I ended up switching to formula after about three weeks. The guilt took a long time to go away, but now I have a healthy happy boy and that’s what matters.
The only thing I will say is, if you do end up using formula do your research! For the first three months you should be using the pre-made ready to feed stuff as powder can have dangerous bacteria in it. Also, research ingredients. Most formula in the US is complete junk, but importing from Europe is very expensive. Even organics are not all created equal. I used Baby’s Only by Nature’s One and was quite happy with it. Good luck! It’ll all work out fine, just do what you feel is best!
Post # 3
Well I personally think you are right on exclusively pumping being a lot of work, at least with a newborn. They need to eat 10-12x a day so you would need to pump that many times, and then bottle feed. So yeah, that’s why it’s a whole lotta work. Later on (after 3-4mo ish) when they have a more established schedule and eat maybe 6-8x a day it’s a bit easier to exclusively pump. Pumping 10-12x a day, then feed baby, then wash bottles, repeat. So that’s why just breastfeeding is usually the easiest for newborns. All you need are boobs and no cleaning.
Are you uncomfortable breastfeeding in front of your husband? I am comfortable around my husband and my parents but not as comfortable around the ILs or others so if given the option (like when MIL is over) I just take the baby to my room and feed there. I’ve done this for both kids and it’s not a big deal because the majority of the time it is just me and my husband at home without anyone else. I guess what I’m saing is, if you are comfortable around your husband then how often will you have others around you long term?? In fact, as baby gets older I prefer to feed in a quiet area without people just to minimize distractions (so baby focuses on eating). I do nurse in public but like I said, try to find a quiet area. Or my car works great, nursed in there plenty (especially when we had to drive to ILs house).
You can tell baby is getting enough in a variety of ways- they will have adequate wet and poopy diapers, generally be satisfied after eating, and you will feel up your boobs before and after you nurse. They’ll feel softer afterwards. That’s really enough for most women/babies. And then at the ped appointments they will make sure they’re gaining adequate weight. And also, usually the hospital has a free breastfeeding group that meets 2-3x a week and you can go and do a weighted feed. I suppose you might not be comfortable with that so you could always order your own infant scale and do your own weighted feeds. For those you just strip baby naked, clean diaper, weigh, nurse, and then weigh when finished. Or privately see an LC. And if you decide to do your own, you’d want to see an LC first anyway to make sure you are doing it right and they can give info about how many ozs baby should take depending on age. I’m sure the LC would leave the room so you could nurse but they are really helpful at checking latches so I think you would want them to take a look. It’s not any more embarrasing (IMO) than having all the nurses and doctors all up in your vagina before and during the birth!!
If you want to breastfeed (you don’t have to) I think the easiest thing might be committing to nursing while you have colostrum (it’s harder to express colostrum as it’s thicker and sticky) and when your milk comes in and then you can decide what to do from there. You don’t have to make a plan and stick to it right now. You’ll see that usually doesn’t work for parenting lol. You decide what you’re going to try, try it and then reevaluate if it is working for you or not. If it’s not working, you decide what you want to change.
I also agree with PP^^. Before I ever had my babies I also was a little weirded out by BFing. I knew I was going to do it (try my best) but it seemed a little weird. Once they were born, it felt perfectly natural.
Post # 4
Youre over analyzing but its completely understandable. My advice is to take it as it comes. You dont need to know everything as soon as the baby is born but its great to have a rough plan. When the baby is born, why not try breastfeeding if you are open to the idea. If it doesnt work or you dont produce enough milk, then try formula. I agree about researching forumla in advance just in case. If breastfeeding works for you keep going and try pumping later on if you want to. Remember that for the first week or so you wont be going out and about like normal so you dont need to worry about how you feel in public yet. There are so many options so I think its best to stick with the basics first and work from there. Ultimately the most important thing is that baby is fed and you are comfortable.
Post # 5
futuremrscrow : You sound overwhelmed. As long as your feeding your baby, that’s all that counts. It will be easier to decide once the babe arrives. I know I found breast feeding to be very easy, any shyness/discomfort I had about it prior disappeared. I wasn’t feeding out in public with no cover, but I did breastfeed wherever I went, I just threw an A& A cloth or scarf of them and went along my business 🙂
Post # 6
I know it is easier said than done…. but just take it one step at a time. When I was a FTM I exclusively breastfed. I was also uncomfortable feeding in front of others so I would always go into another room. For baby2 (due Sept) I’m going to buy a feeding cover.. that way I don’t have to leave to feed when we have visitors etc. That could be an option for you? Then eventually I started pumping and breastfeeding. It was exhausting and time consuming. But I know a lot of women who exclusively pump and it works really well for them. Eventually my daughter started refusing the breast and only wanted bottles so I put her on formula exclusively. It took a month or so to find the right formula for her (sensitive to lactose) but we got there in the end. I guess what you could take from my experience is just wait and see. It will depend on your baby and they will constantly change and grow. You can learn together. Don’t stress!!
Post # 7
Do whatever works for you. I have three girls-all with different feeding methods.
1st baby- she had latching issues and used nipple shields. After 7 weeks dr said I wasn’t making enough milk and to supplement with formula.
2nd baby- was in NICU for almost a week and the nurses had me start pumping exclusively which worked fine, but was a lot of cleaning.
3rd baby- only wants to exclusively breastfeed, REFUSES a bottle of formula or breastmilk.
The latter two kids were better experiences and each has their own merit. But each kid is different and I kind of just had to go with what worked for them.
Post # 8
thanks for all your advice and kindness 🙂 I really appreciate it!
Post # 9
kes18 : the idea of BF infront of my husband doesn’t make me uncomfortable, so you’re right about the other people thing, I won’t be seeing them as much as I obviously would my husband so that’s a great point!
Post # 10
futuremrscrow : You seem to have a plan for every possible outcome already so you’ll be fine! Relax!
Every baby and situation is different, even from one pregnancy to another. With my first I could have fed my own and all the neighbor kids as well, had so much saved in the freezer that I had to throw it out. I could nurse him on one breast while pumping the other.
I ended up back in the hospital a week after my second and he had to get a bottle and formula right away. I pumped and dumped in the hospital and returned to BF when he was three weeks old but my supply was never quite the same.
BF is generally better and in many ways a lot easier–no bottles to carry around or warm up or clean–but many of us were raised on formula and we’re just fine. You will work out whatever makes the most sense for you and your family.
Post # 11
Why are you worried about BF in public? It’s your boob to feed your baby and once you’re in the groove of it there’s nothing to see anyway. Seems like the easiest option to me. No worrying about how much, no sterlising. Once they are established you can always pump and store so other people can do a bottle feed if you want time off from BF to sleep or go out or whatever.
It sounds like you’re worried about every option and that’s going to create a worried baby and more stress for you.
I know easy to say ‘chill out’ but what would help you? Maybe get some support set up with a lactation consultant, make contact with local breastfeeding groups now so you are ‘ahead of the game’ so to speak. And also Ina may gaskins book on breastfeeding was fascinating so maybe read that.
You will feed your baby one way or another. I’d just hate for you to be put off from something that you’d like to try just over worries now.
Post # 12
- Wedding: May 2014 - victoria educational gardens
futuremrscrow : don’t stress! You are over thinking it. I never thought of breastfeeding at all, my husband was the one who was pushing me saying it was best for the baby. Once I researched it I was sold, but then I got discouraged because most of my friends and family told me it was really hard and they couldn’t produce milk so I was freaking out! Luckily, it came easy to me and my son took to it with no issues.
I think it will be easier to breastfeed directly after birth versus pumping. This tells your body to start producing milk. At first, I too thought I would be uncomfortable and I also have large breast so I thought it would be difficult to directly breastfeed but it was actually easier! Have you attended any breastfeeding classes or joined a la leche league in your area? That was very helpful to me. I never bf in public/out in the open. I was never comfortable and because of my breast size too difficult. I did breastfeed or pump in my car while we were at the mall/grocery shopping. In the beginning I also felt horrible for supplementing but I got over it! I would give my son a formula bottle here and there if we were traveling or shopping instead of running out to the car to feed him. Feeding directly can take 30min to an hour so it’s not always an option when out of the home.
Breast milk is awesome no matter which method you choose to give it to your child. Don’t get discouraged or give up. Let your baby be your motivation.
Post # 13
Is there a breastfeeding class you can take? I was the first in my family to breastfeed, so a class was really beneficial to me. Knowing what I was fighting for made me fight harder. Yes, it sucked for the first couple of weeks, but it was a combination of sleepless nights and having a newborn in general.
I work FT and have a bit of an oversupply issue. Pumping sucks. I love the moment I come home and can feed baby as is. Babies do a much better of a job emptying breasts than a pump can. Cleaning bottles and parts sucks… especially when you have to do it at work. I have to clean the sink beforehand and use my own soap and towels. It takes a lot of time. I would much rather spend that time with baby.
Don’t stress about it. Give it a try and see how it goes. You will never know until you try.
Post # 14
If you do decide to breastfeed-
I knew going to exclusively breastfeed but I will admit I definitely didn’t start out very comfortable with breastfeeding in front of most people. In the beginning, you are much less used to it so it’s hard to get “set-up”, keep a cover draped over you etc. However, over time I got much more used to it. Now I am fine BFing I’m front of my family/in-laws no problem and anywhere in public with my cover. Don’t stress too much and see what feels good to you when the time comes. 🙂
Post # 15
I feel from your post that you deep down want to breastfeed (maybe not but that’s how I read it) so I would encourage you to try. I think you will find solace in stepping away from others and going to a quiet room to feed baby. You don’t need to feed in front of others if you’re uncomfortable. I think EP would be extremely exhausting; I can’t imagine. Good luck, you will do great no matter what you choose!