stressed over feeding options

posted 3 months ago in Babies
Post # 17
Member
7865 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I’m still nursing our almost 2 year old. When she was little I would just go in another room to feed her if we had company, or it was an excellent excuse to get people out of the house if they were overstaying their welcome, lol.

If we went out to dinner I would just make sure to feed her right before we left. Once she was a little older it was easy to just bring some snacks to hold her over until we could get somewhere more private. I’ve only nursed her in public like twice I think, but you’ll probably find that you really don’t care so much what other people think when your infant is screaming to eat.

Exclusively pumping is a LOT of work when you could just pop them on the breast at home most of the time. Honestly if my baby couldn’t nurse I would probably do formula before EPing, because pumping was really soul sucking for me lol.

Post # 18
Member
1985 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

Talk to a lactation consultant about what they recommend. I believe the generally recommended goal is to pump once a day from day one. That way you begin to build up a stash so that your husband can feed her some times, and so that you have a few days saved for when you go back to work. This way you also work on bottle and breast from the beginning so it’s not a big deal, and if you need to feed her when you’re out you’ll have bottles prepared.

Don’t stress about this! Your baby will be fed one way or another. Once baby is here it’ll work itself out because it has to. 

Post # 19
Member
1203 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

You’re already way ahead of the game by thinking about all this!  As you will soon see, you can’t plan anything with a newborn.  everything goes out the window. But you can prepare for all scenarios.  I recommend keeping an open mind with breastfeeding and give it your best shot.  You may actually love it and you may be less self conscious than you thought.  Plus there are so many great covers you can get.  I recommend the “milk snob” one (you can get a knockoff on Amazon) which you can also use as a cover for the car seat.

I had a feeling that I would hate breastfeeding, and I was right.  I just hated the feeling and it hurt me and I was so overwhelmed.  I had plenty of milk and my baby’s latch was supposedly ok but he was losing a ton of weight and the doctor had me pump and give a bottle after each feeding.  It got to be too much.  I had an amazing LC come over multiple times and finally she was like “you don’t have to do this.” I then started exclusively pumping and did that for about a month, then switched to formula.  DS is 8 months now and he’s perfect.  He gets sick less often than my friends’ babies who are still EBF.  If I could go back and change anything, I’d probably have pumped for longer, mainly because formula is so expensive!  But it all worked out fine.

It’ll all work out no matter how you feed your baby.  You’re already an amazing mom!  Best wishes for a healthy delivery.

Post # 20
Hostess
11335 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

futuremrscrow : My experience was that I wanted to breastfeed. However, because I had an emergency cesaerian my milk took a few days to come in. I had though tried manually stimulation to try to get the milk in and an electric breast pump machine in the hospital. My breasts/nipples had become sore from little one trying to feed, which it turned out she was only getting comfort from and no milk. When using the pump and seeing my nipples go to the size of a watermelon it was the last straw plus I had started to dread feeding time, which wasn’t right. I sat on the edge of the hospital bed and cried but made the decision to go to formula, it was the best thing for my baby. When my milk did come in I did consider trying again with breast but because of my recovery (I ended up having a blood transfusion too) I thought it best for her to continue with formula. I hope with the next one to do breast and formula but the options only seem to be one or the other. I guess I’m trying to say see what happens, you’ll know what’s right. 

Post # 21
Member
1116 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

I think you got a lot of great advice here.  Personally, I would either breastfeed or formula feed.  Exclusive pumping would be way too exhausting.  I think you’d be surprised how easy it gets to nurse in public without anyone knowing.  Its hard the first few weeks because they are small and floppy but once you get to a month or two old it is really easy.  You can practice nursing in a mirror to see how much (or likely little) you are showing.  It looks revealing from the nursing mother’s perspective because they are right by your head, but to others, you are just craddling a baby. 

Post # 22
Member
1996 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

From my personal experience, it’s fine to have a plan, but it’s also okay if the plan changes. I wanted to try to breastfeed, so I tried, but I had a tongue-tied baby and I was SO stressed out about feeding her, that my milk never came in. So we switched to formula. Once she was eating enough we we all happier. Honestly, I recommend just doing what’s best for you and your family, that’s what will make everything so much easier. There’s no harm in trying to BF or pump, if you need to supplement or something, you will. Also, the thought of enough food or not, they’ll definitely let you know and with the doctor’s visits you have to take after you deliver, they will weigh your baby every single time and that will be an indicator as well. Don’t stress mama, everything will be okay!

Post # 23
Member
95 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

I believe you can store the breast pump part in the fridge inbetween feeding without having to wash them and just wash them once at the end of the day. I haven’t tried this but plan on doing more reasearch. I will be pumping at work. 

Life as an Exclusive Pumper Made Easier: Five Tips

 

Post # 24
Member
1139 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

I’m a little scared to say anything because people got mad at me on another thread for saying this, but exclusively pumping is definitely a thing you can do.  I have been doing it for 9 months and it is fine for me.  I also know other people who have done it and had it be fine.  I personally would have preferred nursing, but nursing was too difficult for my baby and myself.  There are some people who are unable to pump, and those people wouldnt be able to exclusively pump.  There is also a chance that switching back and forth from pumping to nursing could make both nursing and pumping more difficult, because your body and your baby may develop a preference for one or the other.  Exclusive pumping relies on creating a schedule for pumping and systematically dropping pumps, so you pump fewer times per day than baby eats.  I think some people think you have to pump every time baby eats, which makes it seem much harder than it ultimately is.  (Though this *is* true for the first couple weeks, or at least that you should initially start with pumping every 3 hours or so)  For example, when baby was born, I pumped about 7 times per day.  I stopped pumping at night at around 6 weeks.  I was down to 4 pumps per day by the time my baby was 4 months old.  Then at about 6 months I went down to 3 times per day.  For example, right now I get about 12 ounces in the morning, 9 ounces in the afternoon, and 9 ounces at night.  My baby eats 5 ounce bottles throughout the day.  You do have to do more dishes when you pump/bottle feed.  You get very efficient about it after a while.  I own 3 sets of pump parts.  Once per day, I quickly scrub everything off with a sponge and toss them in a sink of hot soapy water to soak for a minute or 2.  Then I rinse everything off.  Takes me about 3 minutes now, but it took longer at the beginning before I realized it was easier to soak the pump parts than try to find a way to scrub the insides.  It is also important to understand that pumping is sort of like a contract with your body.  You get what you take out.  So if you do not get enough milk one day, you will likely not get enough the next day.  The question is, then, how do you get more?  Drinking water, eating oatmeal, “power pumping” (taking short breaks in between short pumps), etc can help.  Mostly the same things that help people with nursing.  You also absolutely want a quality double electric pump, hands’free nursing bra (I use simple wishes), and a battery pack for the pump so you are not stuck to the wall.  Pumping, like nursing or anything else, is all about establishing a routine.  If you are able to do it, it can be just a normal part of the day like anything else.  My friends laughed at me that I was pushing a stroller around Disney world while pumping under a nursing poncho.  I suggest trying out nursing first to see if your concerns end up actually being issues for you.  But if you really want to pump, it is certainly something worth trying. I plan to stop when baby turns a year old, but I have heard people have gone longer than that too.

Post # 25
Member
2456 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I’m still breastfeeding my 20 month old. I won’t lie, it was very hard to begin with but I don think regret the decision I made and glad I stuck with it.

If it makes you feel any better the percentage of women who cannot breastfeed due to low supply is really low, about 1-2%.

 

I think if you wish to try breastfeeding then you owe it to both yourself and your baby to do that. Get the advice of a lactation consultant and surround yourself with a good support network. 

Post # 26
Member
905 posts
Busy bee

FromA2B2013 :  I feel like that low statistic is an under-estimation. I know a lot of people who have had difficulty breastfeeding but that might just be my own personal experience.

I breastfed for 9-ish months. I basically killed myself to make it happen the first two months because I had so much guilt over not doing it. I had an extremely low milk supply. I tube fed with a lactation aid. I cup fed in the hospital. I saw 4 lactation consultants and three doctors who specialized in breastfeeding. We paid to have personal sessions with our favourite lactation consultant at our home. At 10 days my daughter had a tongue tie procedure. I took herbs, I drank lactation teas, I ate lactation cookies, I drank an obscene amount of water and finally I started the drug domperidone to increase my supply. They upped the dosage 3x until I was on the maximum dosage.

Eventually I was able to successfully breastfeed my daughter but it was not without a cost. My husband was able to be off work with me the first 10 weeks and he helped me with every single feed (tube feeding is tricky – you need multiple hands) for about 6 weeks. It took a huge toll on me. I had a lot of post-partum anxiety over it. I was referred to a woman’s clinic and treated for nearly a year. It did get easier but I have mixed feelings about whether it was worth it or not. One of my nurses said to me in the hospital “you have to weigh the importance of breastfeeding against enjoying this time with your baby”. I certainly didn’t enjoy the first couple months the way I should have. Because of my mental health struggles, my doctor recommended I quit breastfeeding but I was too stubborn to “give up”. 

I hope to have another child and I will definitely try to breastfeed again but it won’t be at any cost this time around. I won’t sacrifice my mental well-being again. Your baby needs to be fed. Fed is best. You should make the decision for yourself how you want that to look. Maybe just wait until your baby arrives to make a firm choice. You may find breastfeeding goes so well that it’s what works for you and your baby or you might find pumping is preferable (I seriously HATED pumping myself) or you might find formula is the best choice. There is no wrong decision as long as your baby is getting fed.

Being a new mom is hard, especially for someone who struggles with anxiety or depression. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself unnecessarily. Good luck!

Post # 27
Member
1238 posts
Bumble bee

I pump exclusively because my son has a cleft lip, and it is a massive pain to be honest. It’s nice that other people can help feed him, but that convenience is far outweighed by the burden of spending around 2.5-3 hours a day pumping around the clock and feeling tethered to the pump. I would probably get 2 or more hours more of sleep per night if I didn’t pump, and it would be so much easier to go out places. Plus washing bottles and pump parts is a huge pain. Sometimes I will get the baby down to nap just in time to pump again, so I don’t even get to try to sleep when he sleeps. If I was able to nurse directly, I would do so in a heartbeat. 

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