After all of the drama with wanting to breastfeed while I was pregnant and all the meetings About my meds, I tried my best to do it!
I was prepped with my breastfeeding bras from Marks and Spencer, my breast pads from boots (free with Boots Parenting Club) and my Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Nipple Cream but had to stop after 4 days as my nipples with blistered and it was too painful and seeing blood around Liberty’s mouth was awful to see.
I was so upset that I had to stop as felt useless but having spoken to the midwifes in hospital then introduced me to expressing!
It was hard at firstas you are made to keep trying to breastfeed directly and I was told that once I had given her a bottle she wouldn’t go back on the breast so I was stuck with the decision but I didn’t want to be terrified to fed her so expressing with the way forward.
First it was manually using my hand but that was too difficult! I think I got more on my clothes and the curtains than in the cup so then it was on to the electric machine and what a godsend that was! It worked perfectly although it did take a while to get used to it. I ordered one from amazon to arrive for when I got home so it didn’t have a break and found a great one which I am still using today!
I was lucky to be able to express apparently – I have received lots of information relating to the best to pump but all around pumping while feeding but nothing about exclusively pumping. I took some advice on board like making sure my boobs are warm beforehand, ensuring a schedule was set to ensure supply was kept up and keeping Liberty close to remind me of her as apparently that helps with supply. It was so weird when pumping my boob and once I had done one, you could see the difference 🤣
I felt good being able to express as it helped me know how much Liberty was feeding so helpedwith my OCD! I kept a feeding chart which had every ML that she fed and at what time and how much I had expressed everyday! I literally still do that now and probably will until she is weaned and then it will become a food diary
The plan was to Stop expressing when she was 3 months and decrease my pumps from 4 , 3 , 2, 1 until my milk dried up and store a large amount to cover the reduction so she was still having the small amount daily and cover when I had officially stopped.
Here is my stash:
I follow this guide below relating to storage of my breastmilk
Linking in with breastmilk storage , with keeping expressed milk in the fridge, We don’t warm her bottles, never have done and she is happy to take it straight from the fridge. I have read on some forums that it classed as lazy but Liberty doesn’t know the difference so if this opinionated woman wants to come round at 4am to warm the bottles then be my guest!
Feeding – bottles,teats, amounts and formula introduction
We had many different brands of bottles gifted to us so it was good them out from Phillips to Tommee Tippee to MAM and we can say the best ones for us are the MAM ones, reasons being the bottles are have a vented base to help reduce colic and the teats are not ball shaped and what they call ‘Silk Teats’ which helps when Liberty is sucking that she doesn’t get too much milk. She gets bad acid reflux due to getting a little overexcited and swallows lots of air! We have struggled with teats as at 3 months she was still on the newborn slow flow teats for the reason I gave above. We will slowly introduce the Medium flow teats during the day to start with soon as she is less demanding with her feeds during the day so not desperately trying to get her milk like she does at night and ends up nearly choking!
It was hard knowing when it was right time to increase her feed amounts – getting to 140ml in 11weeks was easy as she sort of guided us! At the moment it’s hard to read her now, tried 160ml from 11 1/2 weeks to see if its time as she is now wanting feeds Every 2-3 hours instead of 4ish hours before and sort of snacks so think that might be a sign – please correct me if I am wrong!
We have recently increased to 180ml as expected around 3 months as she seems to want more already.
Before I introduced formula, I was adviced to add Vitamin D drops to my milk as it was the one nutrient that my body couldn’t produce – I got mine from boots – https://www.boots.com/baby-ddrops®-vitamin-d-10ug-17ml-10224858p
As Liberty’s appetite increased, I struggle to keep up with supply so I had to ask the question – doI start adding in formula to make up what was missing?! The answer was yes you could. I felt terrible as she was doing so well with my breastmilk but I has to be realistic as didn’t want she to not get enough! Research commenced to find the best formula and tried a couple like SMA and Aptamel but found both were really heavy on her tummy and gave her bad wind and constipation so settled with HIPP organic! This one is definitely the best as it was gentle on her tummy and gave her all the nutrients that she needed and it’s organic #winning
Also many babies are formula fed so must be made up of the right ingredients to help the baby grow and develop for those women who can’t breast feed or choose not to!
To make it easier for me, I have bought a perfect prep machine which is great as I can prepare abottle for Liberty within 2 minutes. This matches the guidelines that you should make a bottle of formula as and when you need it as it’s not recommended that you make a batch! I personally make up to 3 at a time and as you have read, Liberty is doing just fine but like I have said, this is my personal preference.
Breastmilk and Alcohol
I have heard so many different opinions on this subject! I decided to asked the lovely mums on Harrogate Mumbler on Facebook for their opinion and advice on this and the whole ‘pump and dump’ question. I got loads of great advice and lots of them shared their own experiences and what worked for them which is what I liked! #nojudgementfromme
So with my internet research and Facebook forum discussion, this is the information I am following:
The two main points:
- When drinking occasionally the amount of alcohol your baby receives have not been proven to be harmful!
- To quote the website – ‘you do not need to pump and dump after drinking alcohol when you breastfeeding’
Please not that ifyou are not comfortable drinking while breastfeeding then don’t! It’s your choice at the end of the day. Do your own research and then decide.
Expressing update after 3months
17.12.18- milk not really coming in anymore and only getting about 200ml – 300ml a day and about 70ml per pump for both breasts 😩 do I stop?
Research started back on the forums and blogs which pointed me back to the first information I had received like warm boobs, skin on skin with baby etc and then while I doing my daily search on Instagram, I found a company that claims to have created biscuits that can help increase milk supply so I put an order in to see if they could help! You get 5 days worth (2 per day) and to be honest I think it did help as after day 3 my milk supply did increase so gave me the boost I needed! Plus they taste amazing!!
Thought that it was done on 103day has couldn’t get any off! To be honest at that moment I was filled with guilt as I was slightly relieved as I could start to get my life back alittle instead of having to schedule pumps in everyday
Went to see the health visitor and told her what I was doing with mixing formula and breastmilk and she commended me that I have managed to exclusively pump for so long and Liberty was gaining weight perfectly as was following the line from her previous weigh ins! She told me to continue to do what I was currently doing as it was working. I was then filled with guilt even more that I thought about giving up as she is obviously benefiting from having some of my milk. With this I tried to pump when I got home and managed to get some off so then decided to continue! I know that I should be what makes me happy but I willing to do this for Liberty! On 30.12.18 after 114 days, I think it’s finally over. Only managed to get 40ml in total off both boobs after 2 pumps so I will try one more time tonight but maybe I will be saying good bye to expressing at the start of the new year! At least I have my 4 Litre stash in the freezer so she will get to benefit for a good couple of weeks.