Author Topic: 100% breastmilk, 100% bottle-fed = 200% frazzled.  (Read 1632 times)

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Offline LittleDanielsDad

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100% breastmilk, 100% bottle-fed = 200% frazzled.
« on: February 02, 2016, 17:26:23 pm »
Hello all! My first 'real' post here. I was wondering if you had any suggestions for a schedule or even a loose plan as to how my wife will be able to take care of our 1 month old son on her own after I go back to work in regards to feeding.

Long story short, our boy is physically unable to breastfeed but it's very important to us that he's drinking breastmilk. That means my wife is pumping all the time and then feedings in between.

In addition, our baby is using a special bottle because he can't create a suction and so a 4oz feeding can take upwards of an hour. Then of course, breast pump time again but then he's not always napping so it's not all that possible.

Any other mom's out there with no help who are 100% bottle feeding 100% breastmilk? Any tips for us?

Thank you!
(Little Daniel's Dad).

Offline grace annes mommy

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Re: 100% breastmilk, 100% bottle-fed = 200% frazzled.
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2016, 20:34:38 pm »
I have some thoughts for you but only have to run right now.  I will be back in a few hours!

Offline grace annes mommy

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Re: 100% breastmilk, 100% bottle-fed = 200% frazzled.
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2016, 01:24:25 am »
Hi Daniel,
My girls are in bed now so I have more time now.  Welcome to the boards!

First off - well done to your wife for getting thru the first month!  Exclusively pumping, as you already know, is a real commitment and a lot of work.  And the first month is especially rough, recovering from birth, getting to know your LO and how best to feed them, and dealing with supply/milk coming in, etc.  She's already done so well!

My DD2 had open heart surgery and feeding issues as a result.  We worked with a lactation consultant, but no luck, so I am still exclusively pumping at 4 months.  I can tell you from my experience that yes, it is hard, but it can be done and it does get easier.  Off the top of my head, here are some things that have helped me:

* Use a good breast pump, hospital grade if available.  She'll get more milk in less time.

* Get a hands free bra.  This is a must have!

* Set up a pumping station.  I've taken over our love seat.  My DH calls it my "nest."  Have everything she needs in one spot including a bottle of water, phone, remotes, something to set your son in - bouncy chair, swing, rock and play - experiment til you find something he likes.

* In between pumping sessions, she can put her parts in a ziploc bag and put them in the fridge.  That way she doesn't need to wash them every time.

*Get a good drying station and set out a basin to toss dirty bottles, etc.  I let all my dirty bottles, pumping parts soak in hot, soapy water, then deal with washing them twice a day.  It's also helpful to have more than one set of pumping parts.

*Experiment with positions so that she can feed Daniel and pump at the same time.  At this age, my DD2 had just come off a feeding tube and we were literally feeding and pumping round the clock.  I found that if I cradled her in my lap, with her head on my knees, lying on her side, I could feed her and pump at the same time.  Such a time saver.  My LO's too big and squirmy to feed in that position now, but she's still a fairly slow eater.  Now, I can let her have some of her bottle, and if she's not done, I will pump and set her in a bouncy chair or rock and play.  I can then reach over and let her snack on the rest of her bottle while I pump.

*  Freeze as much breast milk as your wife's supply will allow.  So helpful for growth spurts and peace of mind.

* When I feel discouraged or drained, I look into the benefits of breast milk.  For instance, I had a cold last week and I found out that before I even had symptoms of being sick, my breast milk was already carrying antibodies against the virus.  Facts like that motivate me to keep pumping because it's what's best for Josephine.

How is your wife's supply?  How often is she pumping? Is she keeping up with Daniel's intake?  My supply was/is pretty good so I dropped middle of the night pumping sessions fairly early on, mostly out of pure exhaustion!  I did try to pump more in the day to keep up.

I'm more than happy to brainstorm a routine with you or answer any specific questions/concerns.  Happy to help if I can or just cheer you both on!

Offline weaver

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Re: 100% breastmilk, 100% bottle-fed = 200% frazzled.
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2016, 13:08:16 pm »
It's amazing that you (as a family) are doing this.  You have an expert here ^^  (and I totally agree with the hospital grade pump: Medela is an excellent brand: here's a link to a brief discussion on brands
Breastpump recommendations

I'm just going to add that there are simple things you can do to boost supply which you may already have heard about.

Eating oats is very simple but very effective, so is taking fenugreek supplements (in my direct experience, people also recommend blessed thistle, I haven't used that).  Your wife should pay careful attention to her hydration levels - a drink of water for every feed is a good simple rule, don't force it but make sure she's not thirsty.  A good protein rich diet is also important. I know it's hard to pay attention to all these things as well as pumping and a new baby, but it can be as simple as snacking on peanut butter rather than chocolate.   

If she can manage it, pumping while feeding might yield more, just because of the stimulation of holding and feeding baby.

If you or someone else wants to bake for her, there are recipes widely available for lactation cookies!
*Anne*, loving mama to a honeybee (2010) and a sweetpea (2012).  BF for 4 proud years.