Did you know that August is National Breastfeeding Month? How cool that we picked this perfect time to launch our Mama+Littles gift boxes!
I know breastfeeding is a common topic these days, but WOW, how things change!
When I was expecting my first little… over 27 years ago… I had very little info and even less exposure to breastfeeding, other than through the few of my friends who had already had babies. My own mama had not nursed us (it wasn’t “in” in the 60s), and folks just didn’t talk about it. Mama thought being put under was NATURAL childbirth!
Now it seems that everyone expects the new mama to be ready to jump in and just do the thang.
And many can and do!
But girl, not all of us do, and I just want to share something that my pediatrician told me years ago when I’d had trouble nursing my first little. She said (in her very Southern, ex-Army Sergeant voice), “Lisa, a fed baby is a happy baby. Do what you need to do.” I was so relieved that it wasn’t an all-or-nothing, either/or kind of thing! We determined that a blend of breast/bottle/formula supplement was best for US. And our babies all thrived as I listened to them, my doctor, and my own instincts.
We’ve all heard the benefits of breastfeeding for both mama + baby. And they are many and very important. The phrase Breast is Best is around for a reason!
But if the decision has you twisted up, first consult your pediatrician, and with guidance, you do what’s best for YOU and YOUR baby. The options of formula feeding, pumping, nursing are as varied as mamas and babies. Don’t forget to give yourself grace in whatever you choose. Basically, FED is also best.
As you consider what's best for you and your baby, here are some helpful tips, no matter which you decide:
If you decide to try pumping and storing your breastmilk, be sure to check your insurance to see if a free pump is provided. And just our opinions, paying a bit extra for an upgrade is worth it.
Although a lot of products are out there that claim to boost your milk supply, focus on increasing healthy calories per day and staying hydrated. Yes, hydration can include sports drinks, but plain water is best. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated products. Also warm showers can stimulate milk production.
If you choose pumping and storing breastmilk, or even if you choose formula, be sure to exercise best practices in terms of location, temperature, and length of time for storing with each method. Generally, avoid large-batch formula prep to avoid spoilage.
If you opt for bottle feeding, don't be surprised if you have to try different nipples before baby chooses the "right" one. Nipples come in different shapes, sizes, and material. Silicone nipples tend to last longer and may be easier to keep out bacteria.
Ditto on bottles. There is a huge array of bottles! We'll discuss some of those in a later post!
Blessings to y'all! You got this, mama!!