Thursday, April 01, 2010


Earlier in the week I blogged about the feeding troubles around our house. We have come to a resolution, so I thought I'd share...

We have decided to pump my milk and bottle-feed Henry. There are lots of reasons for the decision, but mainly it stems from us sensing that trying and trying to breastfeed him (with little success) was becoming a major stress on our entire family.

We went to see a lactation counselor this week and she was actually very helpful and encouraging. She assured us that Henry probably could breastfeed at some point, but his only problem was that he was used to the bottle. I fed him while we were there and he was only getting about a half an ounce in an hour of trying to nurse him. She encouraged us to go home, get rid of the bottle, and try to breastfeed him only. So I spent the rest of that day trying for an hour at a time to nurse him, then pump, and then feed him with a syringe. Meanwhile my almost-two-year-old wandered around the house getting into all sorts of mischief for 4 hours of that day. By the end of the day, Henry was ravenous and mad because he simply wasn't getting enough food. And actually I don't blame you know how slow it is to eat from a syringe?! Like eating crumb by crumb when all you want is a whole plate of food. We decided that we should abandon the effort, even if it'd only been 12 hours. Henry was hungry and crying non-stop and he needed to be fed.

I am totally okay with our decision and actually, I'm really glad to be moving forward. We will not give up totally on the whole BF mission. I'll still offer him chances to nurse in the coming weeks and maybe he'll get it. But if he doesn't, that's fine too. The benefit of having peaceful mealtimes for Henry (and for our whole family) and the ability to enjoy our baby are worth far more to me than the cost of not actually nursing Henry. Sometimes you gotta make decisions for the sanity of your whole family. Besides, now we can actually enjoy all the things Henry really excels at...he's a great sleeper, hardly ever fusses, and is already taking the title of Laid Back Baby at our house. We've actually never had one of those. =)

I'm actually finding out - as someone who commented on my first post pointed out - that there is a lot of flexibility with pumping and bottle-feeding. Jason is in charge of the middle of the night feedings, while I am busy pumping. It's a nice way for us to tag team and both spend quality time with Henry. I'm also really digging my new hands-free pumping bra. (Here's a link to one - CAUTION: don't click on the link if you don't want to see a picture of the actual bra and a nursing mom!) Hope this is not too much information for y'all, but seriously, if you are a mom who uses a breast pump, you totally need one. I now feel like I am redeeming the time while I'm pumping instead of counting down the 20 minutes that I have to sit there in the stillness with the sound of my pump. So fabulous.

Thanks to all of you who have commented and kept up with our journey. These newborn weeks are full of sleepless nights, demanding days, and hard work. But we are loving every minute of it!


Sarah and Eric Jordan said...

So happy that you have found a resolution. We did the same thing... lactation consultant told us to get rid of the bottle and only breast feed. Tried for many hours (and with many tears) that next weekend - only to find out he would gain .5 oz each feeding - and feedings lasted over an hour. (And each feeding "attempt" was then followed by pumping, bottle feeding to get him enough milk, and doing it all over again 2 hours later.)

As I said before, we made the decision to pump/bottle and did that exclusively for about 1-1.5 months, and then I just tried breast feeding him every now and then - and he did it. By about 3-3.5 months of age, he was a champ at mastering both the bottle and the breast. Maybe Henry will do the same thing, and if not, you continue to have flexibility, your husband (and maybe even Alex) can enjoy and help with feedings, and you know without a doubt that Henry is getting the amount and perfect nutrients that he needs. Keep up the awesome work.

Johnson Journal said...

So glad everything is working out and things are not as stressful! We made a similar decision with our second and I'm so glad we did. You're right having a peaceful mealtimes made a difference for the whole family not just baby and mommy! Little Henry is a cutie. Liz

Susan said...

Nicole, With #1 I pumped and bottle fed after 2 weeks of pain and agony. Josiah didn't eat or sleep well, but finally with the bottle he started to thrive. With #3 I had a month of PAIN but he was eating well. The best decision is what works for your family and keeping the house peaceful is the best decision for everyone. Susan McCaskill

Leigh Anne said...

Yeah!! So happy that you've found a resolution that is working out for everyone. And hopefully Henry will take to the breast in the near future. But if not, it sounds like you have a content heart either way. And thanks for the recommendation for the pumping bra - I've pumped alot for my 2 boys, but never invested in one. Sounds like I might have to look into it for future little ones!
Many blessings!