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Preparing for a Little One: Breastfeeding vs. Bottle Feeding

Linking up with Kaitlyn again for the Preparing for a Little One series! Take a look at why I chose to breastfeed 🙂 


Preparing For A Little One

I never thought, in my wildest dreams, that I was going to breastfeed Bubba. If we’re being honest, the whole idea of it just really grossed me out. I didn’t think it was beautiful or natural or anything of the sorts; until I saw that perfect baby boy staring up at me.

 They say a woman becomes a mother the minute she finds out she’s pregnant but for me, it was the first time I held him. I was overwhelmed with emotion and happiness and I did what felt right; I nursed him and it was meant to be. 

The first few weeks were really hard; you literally have to teach them how to do it. Yes, it’s natural but you still have to assist them in latching on correctly and finding the position that is most comfortable for the two of you. I had to use a nipple shield while in the hospital because Bubba wasn’t able to latch on correctly and it HURT. But don’t worry, once they learn what they’re doing the pain subsides. 
If you’re worried Daddy might feel left out, don’t be! He can help by assisting with the latch on, moving the Boppy or pillow to make you both more comfortable, keeping you awake during the middle of the night feedings, and the most important in my opinion, keeping you hydrated and well nourished. If you aren’t receiving enough nutrients or fluids, your milk supply will go down. I wasn’t very hungry for the first few days and literally had to force myself to eat and drink; have your partner assist with this!

There is absolutely nothing wrong with choosing formula, as it has to be a decision you make together, really. Some babies have trouble latching or sucking and such, so even if the mother really wants to, it just doesn’t work out sometimes.

Never let ANYONE make you feel bad for choosing which way to go. You’re the mommy, and it’s YOUR decision. If you’re stuck on what to do, consider these things:


Pre-baby:


Read any material you can get your hands on: There are so many books, articles, and pamphlets out there. Make sure you do your reading and really weigh the pros and cons of both breastfeeding and bottle feeding. 

Don’t knock it before you try it: You may really enjoy nursing, or you might hate it. If I have any advice, I’d say to give it a try. You’ll never regret trying but you may regret not trying.

Invest in a good pump: The best pump I’ve found to date is the Medela Pump In Style Double Electric Breast Pump. I didn’t pump often since I work from home, but it’s great to have a supply for emergencies and a little break if you need one. For those of you who work outside of the home and will be going back to work, you will NEED a pump. Invest in a good one, trust me on this one. 

Financial readiness: Formula and bottle feeding supplies can get very pricey. We chose to breastfeed because it’s free, easy, and convenient. Obviously this depends on each individual’s situation but for us, free was the best option. Take a look at your finances and make sure to add feeding supplies into the budget; it will be less of a shock when it comes time for it. 

Supplies: My best friends in the first few weeks were Medela Tender Care HydroGel Pads; they’re AMAZING. Also be sure to grab some topical breast cream and nursing pads (you will leak for a little bit until your baby gets your milk on a schedule). 

Post-baby:

Don’t be afraid to ask for help: Your hospital should have a lactation consultant, but there are also lactation consultants your doctor can refer you to as well. Talking to friends about it helps too! Hell, I’ve even physically helped my friend get the hang of it. A boob is a boob people, no shame here. 

Set a small goal: No one says you have to nurse 15 months, or any amount of time for that matter. If you can do it at all, the first few months are the most important. Maybe set a goal; originally, mine was 6 months. Do what you can (if you decide to) and stop whenever you feel it’s time.

Practice makes perfect: There are a few different positions (refer to your reading material) and it’s best to try all of them. You may find one works better than the other and some babies prefer certain positions over another. 

Don’t give up: There are days you’ll want to throw in the towel, but just take a deep breath and take a break. Bubba never took a pacifier but try that, or supplement with a bottle of pumped milk. 

I’d be happy to talk to anyone that has any questions! I’ve come a long way from being completely disgusted to absolutely cherishing it. If I can help educate anyone on what I’ve learned, it will have been more than worth it. 

But I promise you, it already was. 

 

“Check out this month’s featured blog, Life According to Kenz”

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