Breastfeeding at 5 months

5 months?  Has it really already been 5 months?  Whew, I can feel time flying now.  Is it almost February?  Crazy.  Well, if you didn’t guess from the title, I am still breast-feeding and it is going really well.  A lot has changed in the past 2 months.  I went back to work, Sam started daycare and I started traveling for my job again.  So here is a recap of the impact those new additions have had on breast-feeding for me.IMG_7128

Back to Work

My goal for breast-feeding was to make it at least one year.  So I knew once I went back to work that pumping was going to be apart of my work day.  I received the Medela Pump in Style at the hospital when I had Sam.  My insurance covered it 100% and the lactation consultant brought it to me the day I had Sam.  I know, amazing right?  {I just spoke with a friend who had a baby last week and she mentioned to me that her breast pump was also covered through her insurance.  Due to the affordable health care act, insurance companies are mandated to cover it.  All you need is a script from your doctor saying you need it.  Trust me, you need it.}  Ok, so back to pumping.  The first week I returned back to work was hard enough and I went from nursing my sweet cuddly baby to pumping in a cement walled storage room at work, sitting on a stool.  Yeah, so not the same.  I cried every single time I pumped.  I was so thankful that I could still provide Sam with breast milk but had a hard time emotionally adjusting to it.  When I got home from work I would nurse Sam for the remainder of the day.  So anytime I was with Sam he nursed.  When I was away he had a bottle.  He didn’t have any issues switching back and forth.

Another new addition was the maintenance of bottles.  Ugh!  No thank you.  Breast feeding is such a challenge in so many ways but it is also a blessing in 10,001 different ways.  One being, no clean up.  I remember one morning I had my work bags, pump, Sam’s bag and even Sam in the car.  I then realized I didn’t pack bottles!  Kind of hard for him to eat while at Daycare without them.

So anyone that works knows that it’s hard to break away from your desk at times because you get started in on a project and you can get consumed.  After about 6 weeks back to work I got kind of lazy with pumping and would sometimes go 5 hours in between sessions.  I also stopped pumping before I went to bed and after I nursed Sam in the morning.  As a result, I lost a crazy amount of my milk supply.  To the point that I was having to pump every 2 hours at work and then run that milk up to the daycare.  It was bad and I was really afraid I was going to lose my supply completely.  Luckily, I had some milk stored in the freezer but I quickly ran out of that and was just relying on my body.  I never once supplemented with formula.  I think that is a big mistake.  You need to stimulate your body to produce more milk and the only way to do that is to nurse or pump.  Although pumping works great, nothing compares to your baby.  They are so efficient and can get so much more milk out than your pump could ever dream of getting.  So that’s what I did.  I would nurse Sam whenever I could and he would usually cry 10 minutes in because there just wasn’t anymore milk.  We would then give him just a couple of ounces of breast milk in a bottle to fill him up.

After a couple of days of pumping every 2 hours and my milk supply not coming back as quickly as I had hoped, I started taking Fenugreek.  It’s an herbal supplement and for some women it has helped them increase their milk supply.  Well, I’m a success story.  My milk supply definitely increased within a day of taking it and was able to nurse Sam with no problems.  I’ve also been either pumping before I go to bed or right after nursing Sam in the morning.  This is also a great way, once your milk supply is established and baby is sleeping through the night, to store up on milk.  I will typically just put this milk in the freezer.

Sam Goes to Daycare

My sister Lindsey was a daycare teacher for many years, so she had all kinds of helpful tips and advice when it came for the gear I may need.  For Christmas she bought us several helpful items for when taking Sam to Daycare.  She told me I would be one of the hipster moms with this stuff 😉  IMG_7142

These are reusable bands, kind of like the stretchy bands people wear around their wrists to support causes and issues.  IMG_7145Daycare requires all bottles to have the child’s first and last name and because I send breast milk with Sam they also need to have the date the milk was expressed and the current date.  So, these bands make life a little easier and let’s be honest, they’re adorable.  Add a little bit of fun to the whole experience.  She also gave us these date stickers.  IMG_7149

 

The first day I took Sam to daycare the teachers immediately noticed the bands and stickers.  I even got a “Wow.  You’re on top of it mom!”  I left with a little skip in my step that day 🙂

Pumping While on the Road…

So for my job I am often traveling around the State.  A lot of times I will have a physician with me.  Most of them are men.  Luckily, my pump looks like it’s just a tote.  So, if the physician I am with is giving a presentation, I just sneak out and pump in the restroom and then return within 10-15 minutes.  So far, so good.  My next challenge is coming up though because I am planning to be on the road and making quick stops with a physician in February.  We won’t be stopping anywhere long enough for me to sneak away.  So I think I may just have to make a pit stop at a restaurant for pumping.  That should be an interesting conversation 🙂

Breast-Feeding at 5 Months

Breast feeding is still going well and I’m even thinking about pushing for 2 years.  It’s just so good for Sam and although he started daycare a month ago, he’s only had one cold to speak of.  I really like the idea of giving his immune system an added boost.

Breast feeding now is so different than even 2 months ago.  It doesn’t take Sam anymore than 10 minutes to nurse vs the 40 minutes it did the first couple of weeks.  Plus now that he isn’t this tiny little baby anymore, I love my snuggle time with him!  He is way too curious about his surroundings and only wants to be held outward so he can see it all!  I absolutely love everything about this time with Sam.  No one else get’s to have that precious, intimate time with their baby like a nursing mother does.  It’s hard to explain but it’s truly amazing and I look forward to our nursing sessions.

Sam usually goes to bed between 7-8pm.  So I will typically pump before I go to bed around 10pm and then nurse Sam around 6am.  I don’t wake up in between to pump.  So for those momma’s looking for some relief when it comes to breast feeding, it’s on the way!  I’ve been doing this for about one month now.  That 8 hour stretch of sleep is glorious.

If you are struggling with breast-feeding and just aren’t able to make it work, I suggest reading this post by Lisa Osborn.  She makes her own formula and it is working really well for her little girl.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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