Possibly one of the most nerve wracking parts of being a new mom is making sure that your baby is getting enough food and nutrients! I totally felt that anxiety when we brought Aren home from the hospital. Was he eating enough? Sure it looked like he was but how were we supposed to know?! Should I supplement him with formula? Can I give him a pacifier to soothe or will that make him stop wanting to breastfeed? So many questions and unfortunately it’s a different answer for everyone! Today I’m sharing my breastfeeding journey and my take on all things bottles and pacifiers! Read on for the scoop!
When I was pregnant I knew that I wanted to breastfeed exclusively, and not use formula unless absolutely needed. That was what made sense to me and felt right in my heart. I knew there was a chance that it may not happen – if I didn’t have enough milk, or the baby didn’t take to my breast- but that was my goal. In terms of time, I thought 6 months was a good start. I also decided that I wanted to pump my breast milk and be able to have Ara help out with the occasional feeding. Say what you will, but I didn’t want to be tied to a firm breastfeeding schedule. I wanted flexibility all the while still providing my baby with breast milk. Everyone has their own thoughts on feeding baby and this was mine.
Let me tell you, after the 2nd day of breastfeeding, I was beginning to rethink that 6 month period. In fact, 1 month even seemed too long. You guys, it hurt so badly! This is that magical experience everyone talks about?! Pass! I loved that I was feeding my baby but it was not at all what I had envisioned.
Aren had what the staff at the hospital called ‘ a strong suction’- also known as ouch that hurts 😉 He also was a big boy (8 pounds 15 ounces at birth!) and needed a bit more milk than an average sized newborn. Needless to say, I was in a lot of pain. As far as the nurses could see, he had a good latch so the pain would ‘go away’ according to them.
Fast forward 6 weeks or so- things are a whole lot better. I’m going to be honest and say that when he’s really hungry or fussy the first 30 seconds or so can really hurt. But I’ve had a few of those ‘magical moments’-, so I’m sticking with it. Once again, to be quite frank, this isn’t every time for me. But I am totally optimistic that it will continue to get even better.
We’ve definitely had our ups and downs with breastfeeding and I will be honest and say that I have an entire back up box of formula tucked away in the kitchen. I truly believe ‘Fed is Best’ and I will continue to prioritize that, even if it means I’d have to give Aren formula at some point.
In the meantime we are going to keep trucking along on this breast-feeding journey.
Aren feeds on average about 10 times a day so that’s a whole lot of time for us to practice!
I also started pumping my milk at about 3 weeks in. I started pumping only a bit to relieve pressure, but as we are headed into week 6 I’ve begun pumping more. We’ve started introducing bottles to Aren and it’s been a game changer! Not only does Ara get a chance to feed him from time to time, it gives me a break which we all know moms need! I know that there’s milk in the fridge for Aren- my milk more importantly!
Knowing what kind of bottle to introduce was also a tough decision! We ultimately ended up going with the MAM Anti-Colic Bottles. They’re specifically designed for newborn babies and promote even milk flow, which means no extra bubbles in the bottle. That means less gas and burps. Two things that make babies super fussy! They’re also super easy to clean- you can even use the microwave to sterilize them.
What I like most is that the nipple helps baby to have a good relationship with both bottle and breast! That’s definitely something that I feared most- that once he had a bottle he would be done with me so to speak ( true story, the first time Ara gave him a bottle I cried hysterically). But that hasn’t been the case! Aren has been able to switch seamlessly between bottle and breast, which is fantastic!
The same goes with the MAM pacifiers! He’s had no issues latching on to my breast even though he’s actually been using the pacifiers since week 1. Yup! We started really early with the pacifier and haven’t looked back! Once again there’s that fear of baby not being able to make the switch but not the case again. The MAM Start Newborn Pacifiers are also developed with the help of dental professionals to promote healthy dental development which is a relief for any worried mom!
We’ve been using the 5 ounce MAM bottles for now, but I’m definitely looking forward to upgrading to the 9 ounce once he starts to eat more and hopefully (fingers crossed!) sleep through the night at some point!
For those of you starting your breastfeeding journeys, remember to just stick with it even though it can be overwhelming. As everyone says, it gets easier! There were days that I would literally dread each feeding but thankfully those have passed. And I’d also recommend being open to expressing your milk and having your partner or family member help you out with some feedings. It can make a world of difference in how you feel! I even feed Aren with a bottle on occasion!
For more information about MAM bottles and pacifiers, click here.
Thank you to MAM for sponsoring this post. As always opinions are my own.