With both of my children, breastfeeding has been very important to me. Not only do I want to provide what’s nutritionally best for my children but I love the bond it gives us. But even as a stay at home mom I also want to be able to leave the house sans baby sometimes. Okay I need some mama time. And the only way to make that possible is to pump and bottle feed baby Tripp. Sometimes I’m home and want my husband to feed him for whatever reason – whether for convenience or just so that my husband can have that bonding time with Tripp. And then there are times we are out and about and baby is with me but it’s easiest to have a bottle for him to eat from. My point is for almost every breastfeeding mom there is going to be at least some pumping and bottle feeding, so it’s important to know the basics.
1) Use a bottle that is appropriate for breastfed babies, like Munchkin LATCH. I can not stress this enough. I’ve always heard terror stories that breastfed babies could eat from bottles and realize how much faster they get the milk from the bottle and not want to nurse from the breast anymore. We never had any problems of that sort with Maddie Grace so I wasn’t really certain it was true. Then we had a terrifying night with Tripp. I went to the grocery store and left a bottle of pumped milk with my husband. I was gone maybe an hour but Tripp got hungry during that time so my husband fed him the bottle using the nipple and bottle that came with the pump. I’m not sure what happened but I couldn’t get Tripp to nurse from the breast after that. He was screaming because he was hungry, wouldn’t sleep, and it was really, really terrible. About 5 AM he woke up and finally nursed. Don’t let this happen to you. I tried a bottle with him again a few days later and used the Munchkin LATCH and he went back to the breast after with no problem at all. Munchkin LATCH bottles are designed to mimic the boob – they have a slow flow (important so baby doesn’t develop bottle preference) and the bottle nipple is designed to move and stretch like a human nipple. The anti-colic valve in the bottom of the bottle is designed so that less air goes into the milk that your baby consumes so that your baby has less gas and colic, which is awesome!
2) Invest in a quality pump. These days insurance pays for breast pumps so most people don’t have an excuse. Put a little research into it and read reviews, and see what you want in a pump. Electric or manual? Single or double? Do you need all the little accessories for the pump or for it to be in a easy to carry bag because you are using it at work? A lot goes into a breast pump so don’t just order any one – I love having a double electric pump and really scoured over reviews before I picked one and am so glad that I did.
3) Clean and sterilize all bottle and pump parts after every use. Lots of people kind of haphazardly clean their regular plates and silverware. Don’t do that with breast pump and bottle parts. It’s so easy for bacteria to grow on these pieces and you don’t want to feed your baby milk that’s contaminated. Munchkin LATCH makes a pump cleaner set and a bottle cleaning set that make cleaning breast pump and bottle parts a breeze, even the hard to clean little pieces. Munchkin LATCH also makes Sterilize Bags that make sterilizing incredibly easy. I’d never seen anything like these bags until I came across them. All you do is pour 2 ounces of water into the bag, throw in the pump or bottle pieces, and put the bag in the microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds and it kills 99.9% of bacteria! It has a cool touch piece for removing from the microwave, and then you let the bag sit 10 minutes, air dry the pieces, and you’re good to go. These bags can be used up the 30 times before you toss them.
4) Purchase a hands free pumping bra. Even if you aren’t pumping a lot you will love having one. This way while you pump you can type away on the computer (oh hey fellow bloggers) or text your friends, Facebook, etc. It makes pumping not so much of a pain!
5) Don’t let leaks happen to you. Well this is good for pumping and non-pumping mamas. Leaks happen, especially if you have pumped and are bottle feeding a baby one day and go longer between feedings. Make sure you have nursing pads to avoid any unnecessary embarrassing moments. I love the Munchkin LATCH Miracle Nursing Pads. I’ve tried a lot of nursing pads and these are by far the thinest and most discreet ones to wear. They also manage to be super absorbent and keep you dry, which is really important for both your comfort and preventing Thrush.
Are you or have you been a breastfeeding mama? What did you do when it came to pumping and bottle feeding? Any other tips I should have included?
This post is sponsored by Collectively and Munchkin.