Six Months of Breastfeeding, Pumping and Supplementing

On Monday, with William reaching six months of age, I reached a milestone as well, six months of breastfeeding and pumping (with supplementing with formula). I’ve blogged and said aloud that my goal is to get him to his first birthday with at least some breast milk each day. There are days when that seems easy and days when that seems hard.

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Bedtime and Middle of the Night Feeding

When we first brought William home, it was swaddling with the shower running in the background that would help him finally fall asleep at night. He was prone to being overtired, which made it too hard for him to sleep. Most of the time Matt would put him down this way, he rarely seemed to sleep when I tried, yet for the past few weeks he’s let me nurse him to sleep.

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Milk Production Ups and Downs

In two Mondays, on April 23rd, William will turn 6 months old. This is the halfway point to my goal to give him at least some breast milk each day until his first birthday. There have been days when it seemed like this would be easy and days when it seemed like this would be hard. This photo was taken from January, the month I first returned to work. These bottles each represented numerous times pumping and the one with the Snoopy sticker on it had been thawed overnight from the freezer, the sticker telling Candy to use it first.

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Twenty Weeks of Breastfeeding, Pumping and Supplementing

Being a mom is definitely a learning experience. While I never thought I knew everything about it, part of why I bought and borrowed so many books on parenting before I gave birth, I did think I knew quite a lot about the breastfeeding journey and what mine would look like. This picture is a modified Tree of Life made for me using a photo of from a nursing session in the hospital, emphasizing how important breast milk is. It turns out many things I thought I knew were wrong for me and my son.

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A Tale of Two Breast Pumps

Midway through my pregnancy I knew that under the Affordable Care Act, I would be able to receive a free breast pump. I know now that I really didn’t do enough research on my options. I asked for a Medela as that is the manufacturer that William’s pediatrician had recommended. I had asked if I could have a hospital grade one as they are more efficient, but I was told my insurance did not cover the cost of that one for the Medela. So I ordered the one they did cover, the Medela Pump in Style.

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At Home Sleep Study and Breastfeeding 

While in Pleasanton one thing I also had to get done was an at home sleep study. This study had to measure sleep over at least a four hour period. I had been instructed to recreate a night as similar to my daily routine as I could, so that meant I would be waking up and getting out of bed to breastfeed William on demand.

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Breastfeeding Boosting Methods

When I was pregnant I’d had sometimes have colostrum leak from my nipples and wake up with the telltale yellow crust on them. I’d taken that as a sign that I’d be one of the majority of women who could breastfeed and even thought I’d be an oversupplier of milk. I’d been right on the first assumption, yet unforunately wrong on the second.

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Sleep Stimulators – Eating and Swaddles 

Everyone, especially parents, seem to love and coo over sleeping babies including those of others. I always thought sleeping babies were adorable, yet I never understood the extra reason for the adoration of others sleeping babies by parents. Now I do, getting a baby to sleep, even if he hasn’t slept a lot that day, can be a surprisingly difficult task.

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Breastfeeding Concerns, Changes and Help 

I’ve always prided myself on being a studious reader. I’ve bought and borrowed many books on pregnancy and early infant needs, particularly on breastfeeding for the latter. I knew the hospital where my baby was being born was very supportive of breastfeeding, and as I was scheduled for a C section knew I would be in the hospital recovering for several days in which I would receive additional advice and training on breastfeeding. So, while I did not expect that there wouldn’t be any small issues or problems with breastfeeding, I expected it would go well in general after we returned home.

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