It’s been a couple of months since our lovely Lila came into our lives and we are beginning to emerge from the oh so precious, yet rather demanding, newborn baby haze. I had been breastfeeding Lila exclusively until I was admitted to hospital a few weeks ago with a reoccurring case of mastitis.
To give my infected and rather painful side a break, I was expressing when one of the nurses looking after me saw the milk I was collecting and encouraged us to try feeding it to Lila in a bottle so we were not letting all my valuable milk go to waste. I was a little reluctant at first as I was conscious of the possibility for nipple confusion, but I was also excited at the prospect of having a much needed rest from round-the-clock feeding by being able to get my husband involved. The nurse guided him on how best to feed Lila with the bottle and I was really surprised to see how easily she took to it.
There are so many different bottles on the market, but we were given the Medela Calma feeding solution and have found it to be great as it maintains the natural feeding behaviour on the breast and allows Lila to drink, breathe, and pause regularly just like she would if she were breastfeeding.
Now I’m on the mend and home from hospital, we are making expressing and feeding Lila a bottle part of our daily routine and I’m very happy to say, she is going back and forth between the bottle and the breast with ease. Typically, my husband now helps with one of the feeds at night to give me a little more rest, but we’ve also found it really great to have the freedom for someone else to feed Lila if I am out and about and she happens to wake up hungry. One of these days my husband and I might even get to go out on a date or two!
At the moment I am expressing once a day with the Medela Swing electric breast pump, which I’ve found to be really efficient and comfortable with its 2-phase expression technology that’s been designed to mimic a baby’s natural nursing rhythm. I usually express in the mornings when my milk supply is at its highest and simply reserve the milk for the evening, or I express and store it in a Medela Pump & Save bag in the freezer so we can have a good stock of breast milk to use down the track.
Aside from the newfound freedom, I’m noticing my husband has become really confident and relaxed in his role as a father now he can help feed our girl. Breastfeeding can be such an empowering experience knowing you are able to care for your baby in the best way possible and it’s great to see my husband starting to feel this connection too.
Now we’re into this routine full swing, there is a whole lot more I’d love to share when it comes to the overall management of breast milk such as thawing, warming, and sterilising of bottles and parts, but Miss Lila has just awoken from her afternoon nap so it will need to wait till my next instalment. Please stay tuned for more from me then.
– by Sally Wood
Sally’s Diary of a New Breastfeeding Mum is sponsored by Medela.