My struggles and tips for exclusively expressing and bottle feeding.
This blog post was inspired from an IGTV i recently shared on instagram and received great feedback from so I thought I would put it our there in the land of the big wide open Internet.
You can view that IGTV here https://www.instagram.com/tv/BzM9l_sH1EG/
This blog post is not push any ideal or not to make you question your decision you have made on how you feed your baby. It is only to provide some tips or support if you have decided to give exclusive expressing a go for your little one
THE BACKGROUND TO WHY I ENDED UP PUMPING
When I was pregnant i watched all the videos and read all the books. I had this breastfeeding thing worked out. I knew that the first 6 weeks would be the hardest, I knew that my nipples were about to endure some hardship. But I knew nothing.
My baby was placed into my arms and soon his was hungry.the issue was he wouldn't latch and then he wouldn't stay latched. I was lucky enough to have a lactation support adviser looking after me who helped me through those first few days at hospital and I left feeling like it would be ok, that Lucas would learn to latch.
About a week into feeding him I was starting to get completely overwhelmed.He still seemed to have issues and my nipples were getting really bad. But this was to be expected right? After all if I could just get past the first 6 weeks like those books had said I would be fine.
Two weeks in and I was completely at my wits end. I was in agony, Lucas would cry because he was hungry and i would make all sorts of excuses as to other reasons he might be crying and would fear him coming near me. I didn't want to feed him. I was so sore. I had run now to the local chemist and picked up a little hand pump and I was pumping and giving my nipples a rest and trying to feed once they were almost better.
I started consulting a lactation consultant again and was visited numerous times. This beautiful human knew how much I wanted to provide my baby with my milk but also could see that Lucas had a bad latch and she thought it was due to a high palate. She dried my tears for the umpteenth time and told me that If breast milk was important to me then I would need to express and use a bottle.
I soon had some great recommendations and had a MEDELA FREESTYLE DOUBLE PUMP being posted via express post and the relief I felt was huge!
The medela freestyle pump here> https://www.medela.com.au/breastfeeding/products/breast-pumps/freestyle
This pump had a long lasting rechargeable battery which meant I was able to take it everywhere and not only that but walk around the house without having to be near power. The pump also had a clip to attach to your belt or pants!
If you paired this with a hands free pumping bra you could even be completely mobile and have your hands free to do work that needed to be done.
Dont watch the pump or the amount of milk that is dripping into the bottles. It wont get you anywhere, in fact it can hinder let down and anxiety. Set that timer and pump for the whole 15- 20 minutes and distract with watching videos of your bubba, watching them play or scroll mindlessly on social media. Promise this helps!
Next one is familiarize yourself with the current recommendations for how long your milk lasts in the fridge, freezer and at room temperature. I found i would be pumping and stacking the bottles in the fridge and then filling up freezer bags at night with leftover milk.
Those same recommendations show that you can leave out milk at room temperature for 4 hours. I would do the dream feed pump and leave that in the bottle on my bedside table ready for Lucas to wake up. When he woke I gave him that bottle ( he was a baby that didn't care about room temperature milk) while i pumped again, then had that fresh bottle ready for the next wake up. This just meant I was getting up to go to the fridge during the night and I was pumping and feeding at the same time.
Purchase a freezer or cooler bag for when your out and about. I loved this one https://www.medela.com.au/breastfeeding/products/accessories/cooler-bag
Find community! with anything relating to raising babies finding community support is key.The Australian breastfeeding association, the Medela website, Instgram community and local breastfeeding meetups help.
I hope this helps in some way. Im no means an expert, but I have the experience. Im beyond proud of what I achieved and if this little blogs can help in any way then my Im glad to sit down and write it.
Wrapping you in love,