Most women have the desire and need to breastfeed their baby, I was not one of these woman. From the second I got pregnant, I knew that I did NOT want to breast feed my child, and I was relieved when my husband was not only supportive of that decision but almost hoping for it so that he can help feed Forrest as well. I don't know why women are so harsh on each other about breastfeeding, I was a formula fed baby and I have done just fine in life, and I am also strong enough and confident enough to not care what other moms or women have to say about my decision. Breastfeeding is not for me... and that is okay.
Do I think that breastfeeding is the only way to bond with your newborn? Heck no! if that was the case then Forrest and I wouldn't be so close and bonded! I wasn't breast fed and my mom and I have a great relationship. There is this guilt that mom's put on themselves about breast milk and nursing...There is this quote that I always hear: "when your kid walks across the stage to get his college diploma, the dean doesn't ask whether he was fed formula or breastmilk.. " You don't need to be so guilt ridden over your decisions as a mother, you know what is best for you and your child.
I will whole heartedly admit that the reason I did not want to breast feed was a selfish one; I didn't want to be in bed nursing 24/7, I wanted to know how much food my baby was getting at a time (that's the Type A in me), I wanted to be me, an individual, not just Forrest's source of food, I wanted my husband to look at me as his wife and not just the mother of his child, and lastly, and this may just be me, but breastfeeding, although natural, was just weird to me. Not to say that women who do breastfeed are weird or bad in any way, you do you, and I'll do me.
I think that sometimes women get lost in motherhood, they abandon their husbands, they lose themselves and they focus only on baby and nursing, not all women, but quite a few that I have seen in my life, and that scared me. I couldn't wait to get back into working out, being with my husband without being pregnant, and just being me again. I wanted to be the best person I could be for Forrest, the best mom ever, and the only way I saw that happening, is if we were all happy.
I made the decision to exclusively breast pump and had no idea on how to go about it. The second that Forrest was out I had every nurse tell me to start nursing and right before I went into surgery I was still feeling like I needed to in the beginning, for the colostrum. I was so upset and anxious about the pressure that I was more preoccupied with those thoughts than I was with having my baby. Luckily, a crap ton of drugs later, my husband took charge and told them I will not be breastfeeding, give Forrest formula and I'll start pumping when Im ready to. I was so relieved, and then, by the time I was out of recovery and ready to meet my little man, I was SO excited and not burdened with the pressure from the nurses.
We did skin to skin, I gave him his first bottle, and we cuddled. Totally bonding in our own way and I loved every single moment of it.
I wasn't ready to pump for about 2 days, I was terrified of the pump as well, but less so than a baby sucking. I pumped the colostrum and put it in a little syringe to give to him before the bottle of formula. We supplemented with formula until my milk came in
In the beginning I was told to pump every 3 hours for 20 minutes, but Forrest was already sleeping through the night in long 5-6 hour stretches, I wasn't about to wake up to pump when my baby was sleeping, I need my sleep too! My milk didn't come in until about 10 days PP and oh my gaawd it was weird, my husband was quite excited, due to the fact that it looked like I had huge porn star boobs all of a sudden.
I pumped every 3 hours throughout the day and then went a 6 hour stretch through the night. I HATED IT! I had the feeling of being tied down and stuck, the same feeling I didn't want originally with breastfeeding. I hated cleaning the parts, putting them together, the whole shabang. It was horrible. So I started to cut out sessions with the intention of stopping completely and going to formula. I got down to 3 sessions a day, morning, afternoon and night, pumping 30 or more ounces a day and it was perfect. I was fine and happy with 3 sessions and decided to stick with it.
I plan on stopping pumping when Forrest starts solids. I have quite the freezer stock of milk that will last well after Im done pumping.
|I have another freezer full of these bags in our garage freezer as well.|
Now for some tips and tricks I've learned along the way.
1. Tell your body ASAP how much your "baby drinks" - Why pump 6 times a day when you can pump 3 times a day and get the same amount? Build your supply and teach your body that your "baby drinks a shit ton, 3 times a day"
2. EXTRA PARTS - no joke, unless you want to end your night wanting to throw your pump and parts on your street and run over them 20 times, buy extra parts. I have three sets of pump parts so I'm only washing/sanitizing once a night.
3. A Good Pump - I have the Medela free style, as far as pumps go, its amazing and easy to use. Worth every penny.
4. Storage Accessories - If you have a Medela like me, don't waste your money on the Medela pump bags. I pump into the Medela bottles
5. Storage Organization - When I first started storing my milk in the freezer, I would just close the bag and throw it on the shelf, I had no idea how many ounces were in there. When I pull the bags over to the refrigerator to start thawing for the next day, I had NO idea how much I was actually pulling over. I started to put 4 oz in each bag since that is how much Forrest eats at a time. Anything more than 4 oz, I label and put on a separate shelf for when Forrest is ready for that amount. I mark it with a sharpie and we are good to go.
6. Be Hands Free - See that happy multi tasking blonde up there in the first picture? Well, I may not be smiling, but that's me! I can work and pump, eat and pump, or do whatever and pump easily with that insane looking, yet functional, bra.
7. Protect them nipples- Don't waste your money on the Lasninoh HPA Lanolin, it was gooey and sticky and a bitch to get off your fingers once you applied it. I went with the Medela Lanolin, which is smooth and works just as well, and also a fraction of the cost. Also a fraction of the cost? the Target Brand Disposable Nursing Pads, I was using the Medela ones at first because I thought they were better, but Target was out of stock one day and I decided to go with the Target brand.. literally the same quality.
8. HYDRATE - If you aren't carrying around a cute Starbucks tumbler all day, then I don't even know what to say to you. Hydration is so so important when pumping... or nursing, for that matter. It helps when you have a cute tumbler to remind you to never stop drinking water... and trust me.. I never stop drinking water
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