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Wednesday, 3 April 2019

HOW I FEED MY BABY // BREASTFEEDING & FORMULA


*this post contains affiliate links*

I've been getting so many questions around how I feed my baby via Instagram dm's so thought I'd do an overall post on how I feed Carter. As always, my inbox is always open so if you have any questions, just drop me a message!

Firstly, fed is best mamas. Breastfeeding is quite hard, initially. I found there was so much pressure around breastfeeding, but I can say 15 weeks on, I love it! Although, I've had a little help from the ol' formula!

Apparently it takes up to 6 weeks to establish breastfeeding and even with a correct latch, it can actually be sore for women up until then. I found I felt fine with it around week 2, but that's not to say it didn't feel bizarre every time I got out the shower and the air hit my nips! It's demanding because there's not a set routine, that part I did struggle with. Your baby is trying to bring your milk in to the amount he or she needs so it's all on demand. Demand feeding can be hard - but hang in there, everything really does level itself out and you just get to know each other and what you're doing. I'm SO glad I didn't give up.


Honestly, the first week of feeding I dreaded every feed, for me it was toe curling - I mean I'm not used to having a baby suckle every 45 minutes! One nipple even bled ok, it is not for the faint hearted! Carter was feeding every 45 minutes to 2 hours, so I basically spent my days with him on the boob, which secretly I loved because I love providing for him and comforting him and just that unexplainable closeness. It did take its tol on me eventually because nothing could ever get done, he would wake up 5 times a night, I couldn't plan anything and Todd wanted to be able to feed him too, so after hospital (well that's another story but basically I had to express for him for a week to put the milk in his feeding tube and it made my supply go very strange) we introduced formula!

 

I now combi feed Carter, and introduced formula around week 5 for a few reasons - my flow is so ridiculously fast it chokes Carter and gives him too much wind, literally sprays out of like 6 holes in my nipples, I can fill a sink! He has an upper lip tie, which means he cant get his top lip around my boob correctly - which means he gets very windy. Formula is just super convenient for when you're going out and about and personally with our hungy baby, it fills him up more = more sleep for the both of us! We noticed a difference immediately he would sleep 3-4 hour stretches in the first week of formula feeding so I felt happier and more able to be a good, less exhausted and emotional Mummy, in the day time.

Below are all my essential buys and tips for both breast and formula feeding, but please remember this is from my own experience, I'm not a professional!

 

My Breastfeeding Essentials...

First and foremost, get that NIPPLE CREAM! Your nips won't forgive you if you don't. It just helps them not to crack, it soothes them and it's fine to feed with it on
linked here

PADDING! - So I started off with disposable but I found they were getting too soggy for the amount of leakage in my bra! So I quite liked the washable ones, I don't find I need them anymore but in that first month, I ruined a bra daily.
Disposable linked here
Washable linked here

PUMPING! - Honestly, you'll wake up in the night and just have milk bloody everywhere! Your new aroma will be stale milk, it's fab. So I expressed, mainly so Toddy could feed and also to just get the bloody stuff out my boobs to ease them up because they'd get so engorged otherwise! Only thing I'll say about expressing though, is that it does trick your body into thinking your baby is feeding more, so in turn you do actually end up producing more milk. However, the other side of that is if you express from early on and let your baby have a go with a bottle, the option is there to feed from a bottle - a lot of babies actually won't take a bottle after being fed solely by boob - so just think about that and what you'd want to do longterm! I used a hand held, I found it easier and I could take it anywhere, I also have an electric for when I'm at home, but I found it sooooo slow!
Handheld linked here
Electric linked here

VITS / ENERGY - I took vitamins daily for two months, but haven't really continued with them as I feel good now, but initally it's all so exhausting and draining and all the goodness goes into making that milk for your baby, so I wanted to make sure I was taking something!
Vitamins linked here

THE MILK CATCHER! So, when you feed from one boob, the other goes ballistic and sprays milk. So I got these milk catchers as I'd call them, you just pop them on your other booby and it means milk isn't drenching you, your baby and your bedsheets. Couldn't have lived without these for the first month!
Catchers linked here

BOTTLES for colic! So initially we used Tommee Tippee bottles, even the colic reducing ones but my God, Carter was the windiest baby, he'd always be in SO much pain, so we changed to MAM, and they saved our lives! They are self steralising so you don't need to go and buy a steraliser which is a cost saved! They come in lots of colours.
MAM starter bottles linked here

PUBLIC FEEDING / Bottle insulators! So I got these thermal carriers for the bottles of expressed milk that I'd take out with me. I was too nervous initially to breastfeed in public and would often find there wasn't many places that made me feel at ease feeding, so instead of taking him back to the car every two minutes I got these thermal carriers that you can put your milk in bottles in. (side note, John Lewis have a breastfeeding room if you're ever near!)
Bottle bag linked here

BRAS & CLOTHING - I only have two breastfeeding bras, as I found I could just plonk my boob out of my normal bras after a while, but definitley at first nursing bras are a must! I did end up just wearing nursing vests and jumpers for a while because I couldn't find many nice clothes, but like I said, I ended up wearing what I wanted and just made sure I could lift my boob out of my bra when needed - I think you get to a point where you don't care what people do and don't see!
The two nursing bras I have linked here


 


My Bottle Feeding Essentials...

So one thing that you'd 100% need is a prep machine - no waiting for the kettle to boil or for milk to cool down, the prep machine has the milk at the perfect temperature to serve. We have the day and night one.
Prep machine linked here

Formula - We personally use Aptamil, I tried a few for colic based babies but it ended up giving him constipation so we went back to Aptamil, it's trial and error for all babes. What's also great is they sell it in Aldi, so I don't have to go elsewhere just to buy his formula.
Formula linked here

 

Tips...

It may be worth asking your health visitor or GP for clarification...

*If you express, your milk can be in the fridge for 3 days.

*If you use the prep machine, you must use that bottle within the hour, so if you are going out maybe just boil the kettle and take one bottle of hot water and one bottle with some formula scoops in, that's all we do.

*Breastmilk can be out of the fridge for 4 hours, afterwards it needs to be dumped!

*Get yourself a comfy pillow for feeding, it didn't seem like an essential to me but, my back! The IKEA one is fab! So padded, cheap and GREY!

* Here's a list of energy boosting foods for breastfeeding, you're gonna need it anyway that first week because you'll be exhausted from birth Baby centre reccomended  

Our Routine...

A routine isn't something that can be copied with feeding as every baby is totally different. I just usually know the last feed at night is with a bottle at 18:45pm and then I try and plan the feeds by counting backwards, does that make any sense? So here's how our day kinda looks...

6-7am - Wake up feed in bed - BOOB usually an hour because I'm also a dummy here
9-10am - Nap feed - BOTTLE usually Carter has 7oz and then goes down for a nap
12-1pm - Depends where we are, I do usually give boob at lunch as by this time hes ready for another nap, but if he's super hungry and we are going to be out for some time, i'd have taken a BOTTLE
3-4pm - Danger Zone - BOOB, so Carter get's sleepy about 4pm and likes to danger nap until 5pm, I don't really mind as he will go down for his nighttime sleep no problem so I do let him
6:45pm - Bedtime BOTTLE

I hope this helps any expectant mamas! Like I said, inbox is always open!

Love, Rey x
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