Interested in starting to express sometimes-need help!!
I have been EBF for the past 3 weeks (so not very long) but I am wanting to start introducing a bottle or two per day of expressed milk so that I can run errands sometimes without having to worry if LO will get hungry while I'm out and will have to rush home and also so that I can get longer than a two hour stretch of sleep (LO has nights and days mixed up which has resulted in very little sleep for me!). Also, DHs mom will be in town next week and we would love to have a dinner just the two of us while she watches LO...if he doesn't have the option to take a bottle if he gets hungry while we're out, there's no way I could enjoy our time and not feel guilty for being out!!
Any tips/experiences with introducing bottles of expressed milk or how to properly build up a good freezer stash?? I'm afraid to pump too often bc I'm afraid that I will HAVE to pump constantly then. I'm also a bit afraid that LO will refuse the breast after we introduce bottle and that we may be introducing too early (we were told in hospital to wait 3-4 wks before bottle). How much should I offer him in a bottle per feeding so as not to waste milk but get him enough? Any advice???
Re: Interested in starting to express sometimes-need help!!
Giving baby a bottle while out: the easiest thing if baby is with you is to simply nurse baby. Nursing in public takes practice and getting used to (see the nursing in public forum for suggestions), but is so much easier than having to pump, warm up a bottle (if baby is picky about temperature) etc.
Giving baby a bottle at night: I know it is totally exhausting to be constantly nursing, especially in the early weeks! But in practice, does giving a baby a bottle at night help? If you want to maintain supply, you have to pump to make up that bottle - and it's more tiring to pump at night than simply nurse, which you can do lying down in your bed once you master the side-lying position. One suggestion is to try to find ways to nap during the day when baby sleeps; or have DH take over non-nursing activities at night (changing baby's diaper, burping baby, etc).
Occasional outings without baby: if you have a particular outing that you are planning for, you can pump once a day to try to build up a bottle. Usually you get the most bang for your buck in the morning, when supply is greatest. By limiting to once a day you avoid getting into an oversupply situation which you are right to fear! Baby only needs 2 or 3 oz at a feeding, maybe four at the absolute most. So if you pump one ounce a day, in 2 or 3 days you have what you need (if you will only be missing one feeding).
Baby being confused between breast and bottle is a potential concern. You'll want to have whoever is watching baby to give the bottle in a breastfeeding-friendly way - paced feeding techniques using the slowest flow nipple. These links explain in more detail: