First of all, I want to say that I never intended to be a mom blogger. But whenever I post something about Jordan on my social, I get so many questions that I wanted to cover some of my most requested topics! And being that it is #nationalbreastfeedingweek, I thought it was the perfect time to cover all of your feeding questions! I also want to add that I’m a new mom and by no means an expert. I’ve learned a lot of things along the way by taking to family and friends, our pediatrician, blogs and googling. I am simply doing what works best for our family and it might not be suitable for everyone.
I decided to title this post “Feeding My Baby” because we have done different methods of feeding our lil’ guy. When I was pregnant, I was so eager to breastfeed and prepared myself in every way possible because it was something I really wanted to accomplish as a new mom. Since Jordan was born though, he had problems latching and it became a very stressful process for the both of us. After leaving the hospital, every feeding was met with difficulty. I would have 8 pillows just to try to prop him and then he would cry hysterically because he was not eating fast enough. I would then cry and get so stressed seeing my baby so upset. Jordan would also only latch to one of my breasts so I always had to pump right after every feeding as well. I found I spent almost every waking moment trying to nurse my baby or pumping or researching how to nurse my baby. Breastfeeding had not become this beautiful experience that I had imagined for me and my child. I would see all these lovely images on Instagram of a mom sweetly nursing her baby and I knew my reality looked nothing like that. I actually began to dread feeding time and feeling like this every 2 hours sucked. I could feel it taking a toll on me emotionally. I felt like I had failed as a mom when all I really cared about was making sure he was fed. I remember Jason looking over at me and saying “It’s ok if you don’t breastfeed, as long as he’s fed and you aren’t stressed out, I’m ok with however you choose to fed him”. So after 3 weeks, we decided to make an important change for our family and that I would pump instead of nurse. And to be honest, I felt so relieved! I was concerned about missing out on the unique bonding experience with him, but I knew I was his mom. I knew I would bond with him in so many other ways and I shouldn’t feel like I’m missing out on this!
Kudos to all the moms (and dads) out there that spend so much time feeding their little ones! It’s not an easy responsibility!
Once I decided to pump exclusively, I was committed to learning and doing as much as I could to build up my supply. I know breastfeeding was difficult for me, but pumping can also be very time consuming. I spend about 2 hours of my day pumping and washing pump parts on top of the time spent feeding Jordan. I do love that since Jordan is 100% bottle fed, Jason, grandmas and aunties can also feed him. Jason loves feeding Jordan and it was especially helpful when he use to wake up in the middle of the night for feedings. Thankfully he doesn’t anymore and sleeps 8-10 hours straight every night!
My insurance covered the Spectra S1 Double Pump and I love this pump because it’s very quiet, very portable (it has a rechargeable battery) and very efficient (20 minute pump sessions). I pump about 4-5x per day and wear a hands free pump bra so I can relax, catch up on social media and emails and get some work done! The Spectra S1 has a rechargeable battery so you can use it without it being connected to a power outlet. This is especially great for me as I always have so much going in. I’ve certainly pumped while eating breakfast, curling my hair and replying to emails.
Because I work and travel a lot, I also invested in the Willow Pump (wearable breast pump). I’ve received so many questions about my Willow Pump after posting about it on Instagram that I thought I would share my review of it here. I’ve been asked a lot about which pump I prefer and I’d say that I need and use both of them – the Spectra at home and the Willow when away. I pump every 4-5 hours so if I know I’m going to be away from home for more than 5 hours, I will pack my Willow with me.
However, I would say the Willow is not for everyone. First of all, it is quite expensive at $500. I was willing to spend that $ because I imagined I would have long days at work often and I plan on pumping for at least 6 months if not longer. If you don’t plan on being away for long periods of time or don’t mind the inconvenience of packing your pump, the Spectra works just fine. What is great about the Willow is that it doesn’t have any cords so yes you can wear it (inside a nursing bra) and essentially have your hands free and be mobile. There have been times that I need to get stuff done around the house and so I’ll wear the Willow and have my hands free to wash dishes, clean up, etc… The hardest part about being a new mom for me is balancing between baby and work so the Willow has helped me in that respect. The Willow is bulkier than I imagined and when I’m wearing it, it’s not very discreet given that my bust size has just about doubled lol. So I haven’t worn the Willow much in public – only in the car or in the office. It was very convenient having the Willow during these times and allowed me freedom to do other things while pumping. The Willow Pump has been very useful for my busy work schedule and also plan on using it a lot when we start traveling again.
Some other cons about the Willow:
- you have to use their own milk bags and this can get pricey – I think it ends up being $0.50 per bag! But the bag is spill proof and convenient to use and store;
- the suction on the pump is more intense than my Spectra so it hurts a bit more (even at the lowest level). I recently went away for 2 full days and pumping 10x a row using the Willow took a toll on my nipples. For longer trips, I would do a combination of the Spectra and the Willow; and
- it takes longer to pump than my Spectra (25 min to pump using the Willow versus what I can do in 15 min with my Spectra).
But again the convenience of the Willow Pump has been beneficial for my lifestyle so the pros have outweighed the cons for me!