New moms often have difficulty with the ins and outs of feeding babies. Sure, they may understand HOW to feed the baby, but knowing what they should do in terms of pumping, breastfeeding, or formula feeding their babies can be overwhelming. Even if you know that you want to breastfeed, that does not always come with all the instincts and knowledge you’d like. There are many things to consider, and I am here to help you learn the significance of different types of feeding and why I made the choices I did. That doesn’t mean that my choices were right for everyone. You might make different choices, and that’s okay.
Types of Feeding Choices
- Exclusively Breastfeed
- Exclusively Pump
- Combination of Breastfeed and Pump
- Bottle Feed
- Combination of bottle feed, breast feed and pump
I chose to exclusively breastfeed until I decided to return to work at 20 weeks . Then, I began pumping around 15 weeks for times I would be away from my baby. I then introduced bottle feeding. However, there are mothers who have premature babies or babies with muscle control problems for whom latching is difficult. They do not have the luxury of choosing when to introduce the bottle. They have to introduce the bottle to keep from starving a child who cannot latch. I had issues latching in the beginning but we made it to a year , you can catch up on my 6 months breath feeding journey here.
We have probably all heard the phrase “Breast is Best” or similar. While there are nearly endless breastfeeding benefits, pressuring a new mom to breastfeed can be damaging. We want to make sure that both mothers and babies get what they need. Babies thrive on breastmilk, but sometimes mom doesn’t produce enough, or the baby may need more nutrients for various reasons. Formula feeding, supplemented breastfeeding, and exclusive pumping are also options that you can choose.
Do not worry much about how you decide to feed your baby, as much as feeding your baby the best way possible. There are some great resources for mothers who are struggling to breastfeed, such as lactation nurses and hospital advocates while you are at the hospital, but it can sometimes be challenging when you are home. Don’t worry; most of the lactation nurses are going to be available or send you home with resources that can help you. Let’s take a look at the gear that new moms may need for feeding.
When breastfeeding, your comfort is as important as your baby’s. A miserable mom will give up on her dream to breastfeed. Here are a few supplies to make you both more comfortable
No matter if it is your first child or thirteenth, nipples can get sore while breastfeeding. Nipple cream can be a lifesaver. This nipple cream is smooth and organic. Even if it is not the one you love, be sure to stock up on a cream that will soothe sore nipples.
I know you didn’t think this would be on the list but trust me. To increase milk supply massaging your breast will help. You are able to increase your milk supple with a gentle massage. A massage often creates an image of a spa and luxury. However, we sometimes need to massage our breasts because a milk duct gets blocked or just needs a little help to begin producing milk again. This roller can help get the milk flowing.
You will need a nursing pillow. You back will thank you. Your arms and you will be happy. I got the #1 recommended pillow for by baby Zo. We used it to feed during the first 4 months and it also doubles as prop for tummy time and cushion during the early sitting stages.
Babies are difficult to hold while breastfeeding sometimes. Feeding positions can be challenging to get the hang of, so you can get a little extra assistance with this pillow. It is much more comfortable than some other brands.
I’ll have to admit, I underestimate how much milk would leak during breastfeeding’s. I did not know if you skip a feed your breast is still producing milk at the time therefore you’ll have excess milk everywhere. I remember around 4 weeks post partum I went out to Target and suddenly was in the candy aisle with no nursing pads and my breast was leaking through my shirt. From that day I carried extra on me at all times. The ones I use are here and they are disposable.
Once you decide to pump, there are even more supplies to add to the mix. You will need to know what kind of pump you want (electric or manual) and the storage options that are best for you. Here are a few options for pumping supplies. Most insurance will cover the breast pump and you will only need to purchase the bottles and cleaning supplies. I use the Mandela electric breast pump.
Electric Breast Pump
This breast pump is one of the most popular on the market, but there are several options. The pump allows for double pumping, which means you can do both sides at once. Many travel options only allow of a single breast to be pumped at once.
If you choose to pump, you will need to store the milk in bottles or bags. Whichever you choose is entirely personal. This set provides you with many bottles and accessories that are great for the pump above.
Pumping means that some parts will need to be changed at times. These parts are compatible with Medela pumps. If you choose another brand, be sure to choose a compatible set of replacement parts.
While pumping, you may have storage bottles; many mothers rarely use those bottles for feeding. They are typically for storage only. Here are a few popular brands of bottles to make the transition easier.
First is the bottle I use myself. These are the ones most similar to a breast I could find that made the transition from breastfeeding to bottle a lot easier. Avent bottles have been popular for quite some time. Many mothers like the shape and design and feel their babies do not have as much gas associated with other bottles. These come in both plastic and glass.
These bottles come highly recommended. They are narrower and taller than some of the other bottles on the list, but they are designed to help babies who may be experiencing excess gas or stomach discomfort from the new feeding style.
These bottles are a newcomer to the market, but they are certainly uniquely designed. They are soft like a breast, so when the baby holds it, they feel like it’s mom. They are also expertly designed to mimic breastfeeding rather than bottle feeding. They may be a good option for moms supplementing or returning to work.
Whatever you decide to do will be the right thing. You know your body and your baby. You can make the decisions that best meet your baby and family’s needs. These are just some of the options available. Do not let it overwhelm you. Make a list of pros and cons for your family with each plan. One will be the clear winner. It is a significant decision, but if it stresses you too much, that will also stress your baby. Take your time. You will make the best choice.