Sunday, July 17, 2011

is the breast the best ?

When I got pregnant with baby boy #2, I decided I was not going to let any one pressure me about the whole "breast" feeding is best dealio. You know the mommas that preach it over and over to you. I mean my good friend breast fed all her boys until they were 1 and one more to the age of 2! I give you mommas credit because it really is a full time gig, that you have to be committed to. Not sure I would be breast feeding a kid tell the age of 2, if you are reading this and you did, to each his own.
But, recently I put a plan into action that I think will work best for the baby, me, my husband and even Will. I want everyone to be involved because in the process because I know me, and I can't do it alone. I decided that for the first 4 weeks, which is how much time I will take off from training clients, that I will breast feed. After that, so that baby boy #2 is getting the nutrients he deserves from his momma, I thought I would pump. Then, Lew and Will can help feed him as well.
My questions to all you mommas who have breast fed, is this even possible? Will I get tired of pumping? I breast fed Will for about 3 weeks but we had to supplement with formula because I was not able to produce enough for him. I then, I hate to admit, gave up. So, what do I need to know about breast feeding? Is there any good books that you recommend I read to get me started? Do you have any recommendations for breast pumps?
I am really hoping that with the breast milk, baby boy #2 might not get quite as many ear infections as Will did. Does that even help? You see, I am clueless. I do know that I was the only one my mom breast fed and she said I was the best baby. Is this total wishful thinking on my part?
I will admit, I feel like I am a breast feeding virgin. I need your help! Anything you can offer me, would be greatly appreciated!


Christy said...

Okay, I have been on both sides of this issue, and I can tell you that breastfeeding is, without a doubt, the EASIEST option.

With Porgie, we really struggled with breastfeeding. At a month old, she was exclusively breast feed and still hadn't regained her birth weight. I was devastated. When the doctor told me that my baby wasn't thriving, I nearly lost it. I was an emotional wreck. My OB actually recommended that I rent a pump from a local pharmacy, which I did. After the first month, I pumped exclusively for the next 6 months. THE LONGEST SIX MONTHS OF MY LIFE. I pumped every two hours, and even got up at night to pump. It was brutal, and I didn't enjoy it. When Porgie turned 6 months old, we switched to formula. She is a very healthy, happy, smart child. I don't think she suffered any ill effects from drinking formula. She has only had a handful of ear infections.

With Izzy, I was TERRIFIED of breastfeeding. I was certain that we were destined for failure. But, to my complete surprise, he was a champion nurser. The kid loved nursing, and did so with gusto. He was the fattest breastfed baby EVER. I nursed him until he was 2 years old and I enjoyed the entire process. He weaned himself when he was ready. He is also a very healthy, happy, smart child. Despite being breastfed, he still had a few ear infections, but nothing serious.

With this baby, I plan on breastfeeding. Its easier and cheaper and probably a little healthier too.

I think this decision is entirely up to you. If you feed, love, and care for your new baby, he will thrive. Don't stress about it too much.

Audrey said...

My philosophy on breast feeding is that, yes, it probably is the best from an immunity perspective. But it is not necessarily better than formula nutritionally speaking and formula feeding your child doesn't making a parent or child better or worse than another.

My daughter is 9 months old. She is exclusively breast fed, I get very little sleep as she wakes me up every 1-2 hours. It was pretty hard the second and third months but after that I adjusted to the lack of sleep.

My son is 2.5 years old. He barely got any breast milk. Nursing was a challenge complicated by torticollis and a clipped frenulum. I pumped for 2 months getting insufficient amounts for each meal and so having to supplement with formula. I felt like a cow at a dairy farm. Then my milk gave out altogether.

Each experience is unique. But if you want to bottle feed your child breast milk, my suggestion is that you breast feed when you are home with her too. Not for any "it's better" reasons, but because it might help you keep your supply up better than pumping alone will be able to.

Audrey said...

Er...him, rather. :)

Brandi said...

I BF my first for only 8 wks. I went back to work and tried the pumping thing and it didn't work for me. It was just awkward pumping in the bathroom stall (there was nowhere else to do it privately in the office).

I was a SAHM with my 2nd and I BF for about 5 months. I had a massively clogged duct and I just couldn't continue (actually had to have surgery to unclog - TMI, sorry).

With my 3rd I wanted to BF and make it a year, but my Crohn's interfered with that and I had to stop around 12 weeks.

This time? I have less than two months to go before I've made it ONE FREAKIN' YEAR! And I'm panicking a little on how to get her to stop. LOL. She will NOT take a bottle and, at this point, I'm not even sure I should go to a bottle. I'm trying to get her to take a sippy cup, but it's slow going. I am not a 'BF until you're 2 years old' person, so she's going to have to figure it out soon!

I would say BF is great, but it does take work. Sometimes I think the stress of worrying if you're making enough/the baby is getting enough is more of an issue than anything else. I stay away from the pump at all costs. I just never liked it, so at this point we can go about 4 or 5 hours between feedings. I've enjoyed the bonding time with Amberly, but I am ready for the BF to be over with. I will add that she has had a virus once with a high fever for 3 days, but other than that has not been sick... even with other people in the family being sick around her, she never got their bug. My sickliest child was the one I sent to daycare - constant ear infections, and the next two that I stayed home with were never sick.

Just do what you're comfortable with and for whatever length of time you're comfortable. Good luck! :)

Heather B. said...

I have also been on both sides of this issue!

My son was not a great nurser. He had to stay in the NICU after he was born and due to his breathing issues they would not let me nurse him. I did pump and then fed it to him in a bottle. Once we got home he didn't want to nurse he just wanted a bottle. So I rented a pump from the hospital and it worked for about 2 months and then my supply started dwindling to the point I was getting almost nothing. And it happened fast! so at 3 months he became a formula baby and is thrived so much more. He is almost 8 and has never had an ear infection and has rarely been sick. I think he has been sick 3 times his entire life.

Now my daughter was a nursing champ. She loved it from the beginning. I fed her and pumped so that my husband and other kids could feed her as well. She was not a huge fan of the bottle but eventually came to like it once we found the right one for her. My supply was good with her for awhile but also started dwindling. Then a friend told me about Mother's Milk Tea. AMAZING stuff. doesn't taste great but it helped my supply by 100%! I was able to pump and save and nurse her as well!!! We stopped around 8 months and she was formula fed after what I had saved was gone. She, too, has never had an ear infection and has rarely been sick.

I believe wholeheartedly that it totally depends on the child if they are good nursers or not. It is hard work for them and some like it more than others. Also, you should do what is best for your family. Pumping is hard work and time consuming but also well worth it. If you do pump get a hospital grade one. If you don't you will be there forever trying to pump.

Heather B. said...

I forgot to add, with the baby on the way I will nurse him/her as well. Simply because it's easy and free. But if it doesn't work I am not going to stress about it. Formula will be great if we need to use it.

Shell said...

I breastfed mine. I was not really a fan of pumping and only did it on occasion so I could have some baby-free time. Be sure to have a good pump. I had a Medela, which worked really well.

KLZ said...

It's totally possible.

However, you will grow to loathe that pump. It will work but you will hate that pump.

You've just got to find what works for your family. Whatever that is, THAT'S what's best.

Liz said...

I know so many women who didn't have good luck with baby #1 and had much better luck (and better supply) the second time.

Emily said...

I breastfed Aidan for almost 12 months. He actually wouldn't breastfeed for the first three weeks of his life. But, I kept trying until he finally gave in! It was a very stressful, sleepless time, but well worth it in my opinion! In those three weeks I pumped enough milk to last 6 months!

I have a Playtex Elite Double Electric Pump and it has been a champion!

I really do think breast milk is best, plus it'd be a great experience for Will and your husband to be able to help feed baby. :)

Good luck!

amanda said...

first whatever is best - is whatever this new baby thinks is the best!! and you too :) but with that said i breastfed and pumped with lilly for 13 months. the pumping sucked the life out of me - but it was worth it so we always had a bottle each day for daddy.

etta jane no bottle. no go. twice. that was it. so therefore no pumping. which honestly i am not sure how i would have pumped and fed and been a mom to both at the same time.

but here's the deal - you do what works. you make
a plan and if it works - great! and if not, you make a new plan till you guys figure out what works best for you!

good luck!