Re: BF-ing/formula questions
posted at 11/12/2013 4:23 PM EST
Hugs to you, WPP! You do the best you can, and that's what matters.
I can only give advice from my experience, and that is with exclusive breastfeeding and pumping when I went back to work. But many people supplement with formula for some of the feedings, or exclusively pump, or do a combo - it's really about what works for you and your family.
Anyway, my experience with pumping started when DD was still in the hospital, since she was having latch issues, and we used pumped milk (colostrum) through an SNS feeder to try to encourage her to latch. I stopped pumping once we got into a good routine, then started up again around 5-6 weeks to start building a freezer stash for when I went back to work.
I would pump right after the morning feeding (when you generally have the most supply). Then when it was time to go back to work, I pumped 3 times a day, generally replacing the normal feedings with pumping.
To start, I would try to pump after a feeding or two to get a little bit of a buffer of extra milk. Then, once you have a "meal"'s worth, you can give her a bottle, (or have DH give the bottle) and you pump to "replace" that milk. Then you can use the freshly pumped milk for the next feeding, and pump again during that feeding so you have milk for the next one, etc.
You should basically be pumping every time you would normally be breastfeeding. Maybe you can try only pumping for one of the feedings, to start. Maybe just having that reprieve will encourage you to keep breastfeeding at least once or twice a day, so you aren't giving it up altogether.
Like I said before, it's definitely got to work for you, and no judgment for those who do not keep up with the BF'ing, but it sounds like you felt strongly about it at one point, and if you still do, then I can only offer my encouragement and tell you that IT DOES get better!
A note on using formula at night: Personally, I found it easier to BF in the middle of the night, rather than fumbling with bottles and warmers, etc. While I never used formula, we definitely had the hassle of bottle filling/washing/sanitizing when she was doing day care, and as emotionally draining as BFing can be, it also allowed me to get back to sleep faster, which was much easier on my sanity! If you do need to supplement with formula, but are still BFing, maybe try the formula before you go to bed, while you're still awake enough to mix it/warm it, and BF in the middle of the night.
Also, maybe this will help? http://www.blogher.com/open-letter-breastfeeding-new-mom-0
I can definitely relate to those feelings in the first few weeks of being a milking cow, on call at all times, not having any personal time, and just feeling "blah"! It is very tough, but once they get a little older, they aren't quite as needy, and you get a little more time back.
I'm glad you are getting the medical help you need, as well. Good luck!