one of my first pictures with Oliver
This go around, I was given a really nice pump. I was shocked when I opened a gift to see a fancy pump in there. I knew I wanted a pump. I knew I wanted to use it. But I wasn't really sure how to go about it pumping since it was something I'd never really done before. Sure, I knew how to do it, but not all the logistics and such like when and how often and what not.
While I pumped several times while at the hospital after having Oliver. The first time was a few hours after he was born; he was in the NICU and I was in recovery and in my room for a while without him, so I pumped because that's what I needed to do. Then once my milk came in, Oliver would eat and I would pump and pump some more. It was a little crazy and an answer to prayers at the same time. Even the nurses were impressed with how much I was already making. Once I got home, I continued to pump as I felt was necessary, but never offered Oliver a bottle.
Then, a week or so ago I was thinking about what the coming months hold for us, mainly two things: Bible study and small group. Bible study is only with other women, and of course none of them would care if I nursed during the group discussion. Our small group consists of couples and I'm sure no one would mind if I nursed while we were there. I have a cover and would use it regardless of if I nurse around one other lady, a group of ladies, the couples in our small group, or strangers in a restaurant. If other people are around, I use a cover. The only trouble is: I hate using a cover. They basically don't work for me. I've tried a few different ones and they just don't work. And I'm they type of person to nurse without one, the goods must be covered.
While thinking about my hate of using a cover and nursing in public [i.e. not the privacy of my home] I realized I could give a bottle to Oliver. After all, I have a good pump, why not put it to good use? I could take a bottle to Bible study and small group and pump before or after as needed [right? for those of you who've done the whole pumping thing, is that the way it works?]. A revelation I wish I'd come to sooner, but one that I was happy to to come to. A bottle would solve my struggle with nursing in public and using a cover. I'd be happy. Baby would be happy. Win win win.
So I dug out our one good bottle, got a replacement nipple for it since the other one had been thrown away after Emerson's thrush, and washed it. Then I gave Oliver his first bottle. He ate so well and I absolutely loved giving him a bottle. I don't mind breastfeeding and it's going much better this go around with Oliver [thank the Lord], but I don't love it. It's just what I have to do. But I loved giving that bottle to Oliver. It was simple, I didn't have maneuver my clothing this way and that, I didn't have to use both hands, I didn't have to sit a certain way, I didn't have to be exposed at all. I actually enjoyed feeding him. And he seemed more than happy to take a bottle.
Which is when I wondered why in the world I didn't bottle feed Emerson when we were dealing with thrush. Stupid me. Live and learn, right?
But here's where I run into a predicament: how do I do that? I know moms usually only pump if they're going to be out and about or if they work outside the home. Since I work at home and don't have to pump, it makes it a little more tricky. If I give Oliver a bottle, I still have to pump, which would take longer than just nursing him in the first place. But bottle feeding him is actually fun and I like that method of feeding him.
Have any of you stay at home mamas pumped and bottle fed instead of nursing? How did you go about doing that? Or are you comfortable nursing anywhere, any time? If the so, what are tips you have? What are your thoughts on breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding vs. formula. My intention is not to get in a great big debate over what it best or better - you know what's right and best for you and your baby; I'm just curious to hear your thoughts!