Wednesday, June 27, 2012

BFing 101: Freezing and Hittin' the Bottle...

...okay, so I'm no expert on BFing and I still feel from time to time that I have NO idea what I'm doing but I thought I'd share my experience.

First off, AR has been a great little nurser! We're on a bit of a schedule these days. We wake up at 5am (which is what we'll have to do when I go back to work) and feed then eat again at 8, 11, 2, 5 and 7:30 then bedtime. She'll wake up around 12-1am and feed. Sometimes she'll start to wake up at 4am. I'll go get her if she's crying and just feed one side then put her back to sleep, then I'll let us both sleep in until about 5:30 and then feed the other side. Some mornings she's just grunting and slowly waking up because when I go to check on her, she's still sleeping so then we'll wait and feed at 5. No, I'm not strict on these times. Usually we hardly EVER make it to the actually time and we'll feed at 40-50 before the hour (i.e. 7:40 or 10:40) and sometimes if she's sleeping, we'll eat late because I'll let her snooze.

Since the start of week 3, I've been pumping to start stockpiling. I was all over the place when I'd pump, sometimes after every feeding, sometimes once a day and sometimes I'd get 5 ounces and other times I'd barely cover the bottle of the bag/bottle. I was also leaky all over especially at night.

I have finally fallen into a routine where I pump after the first 2 feedings (5am and 8am) then again after the 2pm feeding. I usually wait about 20-30 minutes after she eats to make sure she's full before I pump out all her milk but still have plenty to time before her next feeding. I still leak from time to time but it is DRASTICALLY less than those first couple weeks. Occasionally, I'll leak at night but usually my boobs, especially the right one, is rock hard but the time she feeds in the morning. Once I feed her and pump though, the hardness goes away.

I am a milk hoarder though. Matt will say let's thaw out some milk and I'll feed her tonight. I'll be like no-that's for when I go back to work! I think my fear is that my milk is going to stop so if I stockpile it then that'll give us some extra time to continue with breastmilk.
Something we didn't think about before she got here was how to store the bags of breastmilk. Seriously, with all the baby stuff out there, you'd think someone would cash in on some overpriced thing to store it in! We've used baby wipes containers and baskets but once the milk freezes and expands, we can't fit a WHOLE lot in there.

On the left is a bag of frozen milk and on the right is fresh milk that's about to be frozen.

Here it is in the wipes container and as you can tell, there's only like 7 which is maybe a day's worth once I go back to work? I'm hoping when I go back to work to still nurse her at 5am, maybe 5pm and 7:30pm. I'm hoping we've dropped the late night feeding by then but if not, we'll prob alternate nursing and bottle so that I'm not the one whose always up once we're both working.

I was really hesitant to introduce the bottle because I didn't want to ruin her latch. I'll be honest though that the main reason I didn't want to was because I really enjoy that time I have with her. But it's a catch 22 because it's hard both mentally and physically to be tied to her 24/7. Last Thursday, we finally gave her the bottle and she took it like a champ! And I must admit it was nice to lay down in my bed and read a little while the two were doing this.

I'm pretty sure she was going through a growth spurt because all she'd do last week was eat, sleep and fuss. So by the time bedtime rolled around, I hadn't pumped a feeding yet because I'd been feeding her almost every hour and a half and didn't have any extra to pump. I'd gotten about an ounce and half so at 6 when she started to get fussy, I suggested we give her that to see if that would make her happy until I could pump a full feeding. By the time I had the bottle ready (Matt argued with me over warming it up vs serving it out of the fridge-FYI our BFing book we got from class said you could serve it at room temp or from the fridge), she was a hot, fussy mess and would NOT take the bottle. I suggested that Matt try to calm her down first to which he got mad at me for hovering because he "had it under control." He went into the nursery with her, rocked her and got her calm then she took the bottle no problem.

Here's AR and her daddy taking her first bottle with her hair all a mess!
That's all I've got! Feel free to leave questions or tips.


Christy said...

Sounds like things are going well - enjoy! And rest when you can!

Emily said...

Hi there! New to your blog :). I have a suggestion for breastmilk storage. I much preferred the lansinoh brand storage bags. They are taller, and if you lay them flat, instead of upright to freeze, it's much easier to store them and thaw them out! If you do that, try the gift bag dispenser!

Joanna said...

I used to buy containers from the dollar store & just keep them. Kind of like the plastic egg holders. Are you still going to pump while at work? If you are, your stock pile will still get bigger. If you do lay the storage bags flat, just be sure that it's sealed all the way so you don't lose any milk. Good job on feeding Matt!!