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Breastfeeding Pros, Cons, & Tips


Here are some pros and cons that I found with breastfeeding & formula feeding the two boys - just so you know a little bit about the two & what I liked/disliked.


Further down, there are breastmilk storage tips!









Formula Feed PROS:

  • It’s the easiest (at first)!

  • You don’t have to worry or stress about what you eat or drink.

  • You have more freedom with the baby & its easier for other people to help feed in the nighttime.

  • Formula fed babies don’t eat as often because the formula keeps them fuller, longer. Breastmilk goes right through babies digestive system & they eat every 2-3 hours.

Formula Feed CONS:

  • Baby will likely have more digestive problems (constipation for sure)!

  • When you are out and about, you have to worry about bottles, having clean water, a portable bottle warmer or means of warm water, sanitizing the bottles on the go, be sure you have formula with you, etc. It just takes a lot more effort to get out of the house when you feed with formula because you have to make sure you don’t forget anything. Or baby can’t eat!

  • Formula is expensive and adds up.

Breast Feed PROS:

  • You cannot find a substitute for breastmilk. It is made perfectly for your baby, at the correct temperature, effortless, ready when you are and creates an everlasting bond between you and baby. The nutritional pros are endless for both mom & baby. It also protects the baby from infection and sickness with antibodies that only YOU can produce.

  • When you leave your house, all you need is yourself. No need to worry about bottles, formula, water, heaters etc. Your diaper bag will weigh 20 pounds less.

  • Helps mom lose that baby weight! Fast!

  • Baby is less likely to have diarrhea and digestive issues.

  • It’s the most rewarding feeling you will ever experience as a mother.

Breast Feed CONS:

  • It’s hard AT FIRST & you have to be mindful of what you wear so that you can access your breasts quickly and easily.

  • Your nipples will blister. But this is extremely temporary lasting a couple of days.

  • It will be hard in the middle of the night when nobody can help you feed the baby. This was sometimes a pro for me because it was also an excuse to keep my baby for myself. Maybe it was just me but I always got a little protective when people tried to take them from me. It’s okay to be selfish sometimes with your baby :)

  • Have to be careful with what you eat and drink. Limit caffeine intake (you can still have 1 cup of coffee a day) NO alcohol, be healthy - all that jazz. Again, this was also a “pro” for me sometimes because it actually encouraged me to eat healthy and take care of my body. I was in the best shape of my life when I was breastfeeding.

Breast Feeding Tips:

  • It helps if you create a timeline goal. That way you can envision yourself putting in effort for this amount of time. My initial goal for Coen was 6 months. When I hit that goal, I figured it was just so easy for me to keep going - So I extended it to 1 year. Then I surpassed that and kept nursing till he was 16 months old.

  • USE THIS TIME WISELY. Right now you are a milk machine. Pump & save when baby is sleeping or if he skips a feed - or if you’re simply overwhelmed with milk. Pump to relieve yourself and freeze that milk for a rainy day. You want to start building your supply NOW with all this extra milk that your body makes while it figures out how to self regulate.

  • It’s important to know that your breasts WILL soften and it will seem like you got a drop in supply after a month or so. Right now your breasts are hard and engorged with milk. In about 1 month you will notice that it just randomly stopped producing like a cow. This means your milk is regulating and your body knows how much to make based on how much baby has been eating consistently.

  • Down the road If you ever feel like you aren’t making enough, feed or pump every 2 hours to actively make more milk. Even if you get 1/2 ounce out of your breasts, that is perfectly fine. The more you pump, the more you make. Supply & demand!

  • You should know that 1/2 or 1 ounce is a lot of milk. Moms on average can pump about 2 ounces max per breast during a feed. At first, it may not seem like 1-2 ounces are a lot. This is where a lot of moms give up because they think they aren’t producing enough. I promise you, 1 ounce is a lot!!

  • Babies sometimes cry even if they’re done eating. This doesn’t mean they’re still hungry. A lot of times, babies will start to breastfeed for comfort. Moms sometimes mistake this and think they aren’t producing enough & that they’re starving the baby. As long as he’s peeing regularly and gaining weight, you’re doing great!

  • Don’t ever just stop breastfeeding cold turkey. You risk getting mastitis.

  • I hate to say it but there are no magic potions for increasing breast milk. Sure, you may increase the slightest ever increase with lactation cookies and supplements, but the real key to making enough milk: Eat when you're hungry and drink lots of water. I only had 1-2 bags of milk cookies throughout my nursing journey. Although they tasted really good & helped with my calorie intake for milk production, it didn’t make a drastic difference. Try not to depend on supplements and lactation cookies - rather, make sure you’re eating a healthy diet & lots of water. Use the supplements and cookies as an add on.

  • Be sure you have clothes that you can pop a boob out. Wear a tank underneath your clothes so that you can have extra coverage. At the end of the day, I personally didn’t care. I would breastfeed anywhere, anytime. I hardly wore a cover up. Its personal preference & illegal to make a woman cover up in public or shame her in public for breastfeeding. You have a right to feed your child anywhere, anytime.

  • It isn’t the end of the world if you decided to supplement with formula! Like I said earlier, you know what’s best for yourself & baby. Fed is BEST!



HOW TO PUMP + STORE BREASTMILK



ROOM TEMPERATURE: Okay to sit out for 4 hours. After that, dump it.

REFRIGERATOR: Okay to leave breastmilk in fridge for 4 days.

FREEZER: If you aren’t going to use the breastmilk immediately, put it in the freezer.

COOLER ICE PACKS: You can put breastmilk in a cooler or insulated cooler pack with frozen ice packs for up to 24 hours after pumping. After 24 hours in a cooler the breastmilk should be refrigerated or frozen.



STORAGE TIPS:

  • Freeze in small amounts (2 to 4 ounces, or ¼ to ½ cups). The worst is when you store a huge 6 oz bag and not even need it all, then you end up accidentally wasting it.

  • Leave an inch or so from the milk to the top of the container, because it will get bigger when freezing.

  • Store milk in the back of the freezer, not on the shelf of the freezer door, so that it doesn't start to thaw out. Especially if people are always in & out of the freezer.

  • Always use the oldest breastmilk first.

  • Swirl the milk when you thaw it out because the fat sometimes separates.

  • Use breastmilk within 24 hours of thawing it in the refrigerator. This means 24 hours from when the breastmilk is no longer frozen, not from when you take it out of the freezer.

  • You can also prep for the “next day” feedings by taking the frozen milk out and leaving it in the fridge overnight. That way its ready to use for 24 hours the next day. Again, only take out small amounts at a time. Be mindful of how much baby eats because if you don’t use the milk within 24 hours after freezing it, you end up wasting it.

  • You cannot re-freeze the milk after its been thawed out.

TO THAW BREASTMILK:


You can run it under warm/hot water. It thaws extremely quickly especially if you store in small amounts. It doesn’t need to be hot. Babies drink room temp milk just fine. Always check the temperature on the back of your hand to make sure its not too hot. NEVER MICROWAVE. It creates heat pockets. Also destroys some of the nutrients.


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