Feeding Update

I haven’t updated regarding how breast feeding has been going in a long time. After the first month was over, things got a LOT easier. Dave and I went out to buy the Medela hand pump, but it didn’t work very well. Having to hand pump for one drop at a time on each boob was a real big waste of time. So I begged and begged the husband to go back to the store to get the electric Medela Swing pump. He did. I got my money’s worth. Now I’m pumping milk 3 to 4 times a day, and making enough milk for twins. I’m storing whatever Lily doesn’t drink everyday in the freezer, and now our freezer is overfilled with stored bags of breast milk. It’s weird, I know. This is for when I go back to work and can’t feed her on my own.

In the beginning, Lily got used to the bottle right away because my milk wasn’t coming in. She at first preferred the bottle over the boob because it was quicker and easier. Immediate gratification and all. I was having a really hard time due to my emotional chemical imbalance after giving birth. I felt all sorts of guilt and shame. I’m glad that didn’t last very long. After about a week, Lily proved to be as smart as we thought she was, and took to both the bottle and the boob consistently and regularly. Now, I’m learning to recognize when she prefers one over the other, and we’re both learning from each other. I’m not feeling as guilty, and am just glad she is eating as much as she is, and gaining weight adequately. She’s gained half of her birth weight by the end of 2 months, so I’m happy.

There is no guilt associated with how much she recognizes me and loves me. Every time she sees me after a nap, her face lights up and she smiles and smiles. And then she’d babble and talk to me like she hasn’t seen me in years. I just love it. It makes my heart warm up and I feel like it’s going to burst with joy and pride and love.

Now, the patterns of feeding are as follows:

- She likes to take the boob in the middle of the night when she wakes up for a feeding. It’s faster, and easier. She also feeds QUITE quickly, very rarely exceeding 10 minutes at a time. This worried me at first, as I thought that she wasn’t getting enough when she fed off me. However, when I realized that I can get a full 6 oz at a time when I’m pumping, in about 10 minutes, I realized that Lily’s getting more than her fair share even after just 8 minutes of latching on.

- Right before bedtime (around 8:30p to midnight, depending on when she wants to fall asleep), Lily enjoys the bottle much more. This is when she is her fussiest, yelling out that she’s tired but can’t seem to fall asleep. She’s just absolutely exhausted, and when I try to latch her, she screams bloody murder. She won’t take my boob no matter how hard I try. When we try the bottle with her, it’s instant and she falls asleep right away.

- During the day, it can come and go as she pleases. Sometimes she prefers the boob, sometimes she prefers the bottle. She is definitely getting both regularly everyday. When Dave feeds her, she of course gets the bottle, and she enjoys that just as much as she does when she’s latching on to me.

Nipple confusion lasted about a week, at most. After that, I think it was just that I had to accept that she wants the bottle during some feedings and the boob during others. We have a very versatile, adaptable little girl in our hands, folks! I think it helped that the first two days after birth, she took to the boob right away, and then introducing the bottle on the third day. She was able to get used to both at a very early age.

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It’s so amazing how babies have such similar sounds! They can be so different and yet make the same noises but in their own way! Corbin does the same thing. She sure is cute! I am glad the feeding is going so much better.

I’m so glad that this way of feeding has worked out for you, and that you had the courage to attempt it! It took guts for you to go against what books and recommendations say to do. It’s terrific that Lily has such strong parents, good job!

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