One of my biggest regrets during my first year as a mom with Miss Lace was not pumping enough milk in the beginning few months of her life. I didn’t have the best breastfeeding experience with her initially (see The Truth About Breastfeeding Part One and Part Two) so it definitely impacted my decision on how much I wanted to breastfeed and pump when I first started out. Since I had never breastfed before, I didn’t realize that once your body learns your baby’s needs and regulates your milk supply, you will no longer produce excess milk. During my experience with Miss Lace, my supply drastically decreased when she was about four-five months old. I was no longer able to pump off any extra milk to store for the times I wanted to pass the task off to someone else, or sneak out sans baby. Even when I skipped a feed during that time by using the little milk I did have stored up, I was no longer able to replenish it by pumping that same amount. This was both discouraging and frustrating.
This time around with baby brother, I knew I needed to be more proactive and pump extra at the beginning of my breastfeeding experience so I could have a decent supply stored up for the times I needed to pass the duty off to someone else, go out solo with Miss Lace or just take a break by escaping for awhile on my own (if I ever find the time to actually do this!). Since his birth, I have been pumping an extra feed each night after I put him down for bed. I plan to continue to do this for at least another month or so until I build up what I think is a large enough freezer supply.
When baby brother turned about a month old I started to introduce bottles fully aware that the holidays were coming up. I wanted Everton to take a bottle so I could be more present at all of our upcoming Christmas events. I felt that some of the gatherings we were going to attend would allow for me to breastfeed socially whereas others wouldn’t. Having Everton take a bottle at these events allowed me to remain present with my family, socialize (with some people I only see once a year!) as well as gave me the option to let someone else enjoy the experience of feeding him.
One of the biggest challenges Everton has experienced with breastfeeding is taking in too much air, which in turn causes him to choke, cough and burp excessively during and after feeds. #ForBetterBeginnings, I chose to use the Playtex Baby™ Nurser with Drop-Ins® Liners bottles that Playtex Baby™ sent to me to try with Everton. What I like about the liners is that they gently collapse while he feeds which prevents air bubbles from forming in the milk and getting into his tummy which decreases the chance of him choking and coughing, more than he already has to. I also like the drop in liner option as it allows me to use the same bottle a second time without having to sterilize it. Carrying a second liner with me takes a lot less room than carrying around a second bottle! Another great feature of the bottles is they also come with various nipples which mimic a mom’s breast. I initially started off feeding him with the slow nipple to help prevent the milk from coming at him too fast, as I knew that could result in him choking more. But, after awhile, I noticed he was working hard to get the milk out of the bottle which I think tuckered him out. Once I switched to the medium flow nipple I noticed it wasn’t taking him as long to drink the bottle and that he was taking in more milk than he had with the slower nipple.
The few times during the holidays that I did sneak away to breastfeed baby brother I felt like I missed out on very special moments with friends and family, but especially with Miss Lace. Every event and holiday we experience with her feels like it is the first time all over again as she changes drastically from what seems like month to month. Her opinions, thoughts, comments and reactions, as well as how she interacts with people and things, are so different than they were previously. As a #PlaytexMom, having these bottles around to feed baby brother makes my life easier, and as you can see from the pictures below, baby brother and even big sis are pretty happy with them too!
*This post was sponsored by PlaytexBaby but all opinions, pictures and content are my own.