I've been sharing lots of pumping selfies over on my Instagram accounts, which has led to many questions regarding my pumping and breastfeeding routine. so, here's an update, including some of my favorite products lately!
breastfeeding is still going well - even better, actually! it's still the best part of my day - when Luca and I have our alone time together and I nurse him. he makes the most adorable milk drunk faces!
as everyone told me would happen, we really got into our groove around 3.5-4 months. for awhile, I couldn't get Luca to nurse in the classic cradle position. my breasts seemed too heavy and he wouldn't be able to maintain his latch - it was almost like he wasn't strong enough to keep my nipple in his mouth (that sounds odd typing it out, haha - but there's no other way to put it!)
well, now we can nurse well in the cradle position, which makes feeding him outside of the home much easier! his latch is much stronger, finally.
before having Luca, my goal was to breastfeed for 6 months, but now that it's already 4 months, I can't imagine stopping in just 2 months. my new goal is just to breastfeed until it no longer works for us. perhaps Luca will wean early or I won't enjoy nursing him anymore. who knows! I'm keeping open-minded about breastfeeding, but I'm still really grateful that it has worked out so well and I've been able to keep a healthy milk supply, nurse without pain, and keep Luca growing! he's almost 17 pounds now, I can't believe it!
as I mentioned in my post about baby Luca's current schedule, I feed Luca on demand. that is, whenever he shows hunger signs (usually around every 3-4 hours), I feed him. I don't feed him unless he "seems" hungry. hunger signs include putting his fists in his mouth, rooting, and fussiness that isn't due to being tired or boredom (he's rarely fussy unless it's one of those 3 things - hunger, boredom, tiredness.)
a typical feeding schedule may be this:
7:30am: feeding 1
10:30am: feeding 2
1:30pm: feeding 3
4:30pm: feeding 4
7:30pm: last feeding, feeding 5 + put to bed (he sleeps through the night, until 7:15/7:30am)
now, sometimes, the baby only has 4 feedings in a day - it all depends on his naps and how it all works out (ie if he skips a nap, then he'll end up sleeping longer and perhaps skip a feeding.)
after his last feeding, I work in one pump session. this is my only designated pumping session, as in, the one pumping session I always do daily. this session helps keep my supply strong, since baby Luca sleeps through the night. when I wasn't doing this, I was noticing my supply dip. after adding the pumping session, my supply went right back up!
other times I'll pump are:
- if the baby only nurses on one breast, I'll pump the other breast for 10-15 minutes
- if I miss a feeding, as in, I'm not home when the baby is due to eat, I'll pump once I'm home. I rarely miss feedings, but if I do, I pump!
other than that, I don't pump during the day in addition to breastfeeding! and I only really ever pump for 10-15 minutes, no longer than that. since I have a strong supply, I don't want an over supply, so I keep it to under 15 minutes every time. I don't think I could go much longer than that - it's so boring!
latest nursing and pumping products I'm loving
I LOVE this nursing and pumping bra by The Dairy Fairy - it's hands-free, which is just so incredibly convenient - AND I can wear it and have support for my larger breasts (I got it in a size Large and it fits well!)
I got the Medela Freestyle pump for Florida, because I was lugging around my Spectra S2 pump around and I needed something more travel friendly. The Medela Freestyle has a chargeable battery, so you can charge it and then use it wirelessly. it gives me so much more freedom, and I can put it in a tote bag and always have my pump with me (it hardly weighs anything!) it's compact, efficient, and packs well.
I LOVE the Spectra S2 - it's pain-free, seems to extract milk slightly better, and makes barely any noise. at home, it's my go-to, but on the go, Medela Freestyle is my choice.