When to pump at work (for 12 hours shifts)
: I highly recommend pumping in the car. You can order a car adapter for your specific pump for $10 on amazon. You will also need a pumping bra, I recommend www.simplewishes.com
, the DLITE is inexpensive and works for all models. With a bra, you can then have your hands free to massage and compress, which will get the milk out faster. So, if you pump on the way to work and back home, you will need to pump three more times at work. Within a week or two, you should be able to get to the back exam room, set it up, pump, and back to the front in 15 minutes. So two 15 minute breaks, and on your lunch break. Another way to do it is pump every 3 hours at work, or pump when baby eats. After 12 weeks when your supply is set up, you can drop out a pump by spreading out the other pump times. (I pump at 1030 and 3, plus the two when driving). If you notice a big drop in your supply, you can always add it back in. Remember, it is your legal right to pump as often as you need at work, for the first year, in a private place other than the bathroom. So if you need to pump more often than the above, do so! Your baby is priority!
Feeding bottles: Baby needs about an ounce an hour via bottle, so about 24-25 ounces a day. They should not get more than 3-4 ounces at a time. You can offer another ounce after an hour if needed. Babies can overeat on the bottle, because they also suck for comfort on the breast, but end up eating when they try to do that with the bottle. So they normally will eat about 3-3.5 ounces every 3 hours, or 2 ounces every 2 hours, something like that. If he acts hungry, try a pacifier or try fresh air/bath/rocking/walking/etc. Cry does not always = hunger. (They eat WAY less than this the first days and weeks.) Burp often, every ounce or two. Change arms when feeding. Take the bottle out of his mouth periodically so he slows down his feeding. Nurse when you are home (nights, days off) as much as he wants. Do not feed more than 4 ounces at a time or you will stretch their stomaches, then they will cry for more food because it soothes them, but it will hurt them more. Formua Fed babies need greater and greater amounts, but our milk changes with their baby, so the Quality of the milk changes, not the Quantity.
Benefits of nursing: I know you know the obvious health benefits (less allergies, sicknesses, infections, decreased risk of breast cancer for you, etc), but here are some other benefits:
1) Poop does not smell! Seriously, this alone is worth all the trouble. They also might poop less because milk is so easily digested.
2) My husband is so jealous: when baby is fussy, he has to rock, walk, take for fresh air, sing, read a story, bathe, swaddle, white noise, etc. 9 times out of 10, all I have to do is pop him on the boob, no matter why he is fussy. It is fantastic!
3) You can eat more food and lose weight faster!
4) Cuddle times with Little One!
5) You don’t have to go downstairs, clean bottles, mix formula, warm up bottles, etc multiple times in the night. Boob and done.
6) Formula babies are much more gassy and fussy.
7) Formula is 87% oil and sugar.
How long: It is recommended by every nursing organization to exclusively give breastmilk for the first 6 months, and continue nursing at least for a year. Then you can introduce solids a little bit, but always nurse before solids and “Food before one is just for fun.” You can research the nonutritive values of cereal, and Baby Led Weaning (feeding solids instead of purees) when it gets closer to that time.
Pain: it will hurt the first few weeks. You are both still learning what to do. Lanolin is often recommended, but so is natural organic nipple butter or creams, soothies, warmed up rice-socks, and many other things. The best is just to express some milk on the nipple after each feeding and let it air dry. They will eventually toughen up. If the pain is extreme, look into tongue/lip ties (mine had this, see Tongue Tied Babies Support Group on facebook) or research mastitis/thrush symptoms and treatments. If you are sick, keep nursing, baby will get your antibodies.
Other resources: www.kellymom.com
is the best resource for everything breastfeeding related.
Nurse on, mama! You are doing a great job!