June 11, 2012

For MoMs by MoMs: Feeding & Schedules

Welcome to this week’s link up! This week we are talking about feedings and schedules and Jennifer is this week’s hostess with the mostess! If you’ve posted about either or both topics, be sure to link up your post(s)!

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I’ve talked about feeding and schedules before but for this post I’m going to start with what to do during your pregnancy. Before the babies are born. Just a warning, this post is long but please, please read it through and learn from my mistakes.

While I was pregnant with my girls, I was determined to breastfeed because I knew how good it is for them and it is very economical…easy on the budget. I was so determined that I refused to buy any formula or bottles whatsoever. This is where I went wrong.

My first mistake was not taking a breastfeeding class. After 2 babies I considered my sister a pro and was relying on her to teach me everything she knew. What I didn’t plan on was my babies being in the NICU and the fact that when they did come home, my sister would be working or taking care of her own 2 kids.

Also, I knew nothing about rusty pipe syndrome. I think I pumped in the hospital for almost 2 days before I actually produced anything that I could send to the girls in the NICU. It wasn’t much…like maybe a tablespoon but it had lots of blood in it. So much that the NICU nurse taking care of the girls sent it back & said they couldn’t use it. I continued to pump every 2-3 hours in the hospital and then at home. It was almost 2 weeks before the blood finally cleared up.

Once my milk came in and the blood was gone, I started to try to feed the girls. Tillie was a pro and latched on pretty well but wasn’t getting enough most of the time. Also, it hurt really, really, bad. Tensley would just scream & cry and refuse to latch on so I would try to pump and give her a bottle with breastmilk. So basically, I was doing formula and breastmilk for both. Thankfully, the NICU sent us home with a bag full of the little bottles of formula.

For about 3 months I tried breastfeeding and during that time I think I quit twice. I finally gave up. To this day, I regret not educating myself more so I could feed my babies. Now? We are anxiously waiting for the day that we no longer have to buy formula because of the cost. Even finding the best deals on formula, and using coupons every chance we get, we are still spending around$75 a week for formula.

My advice for you…if you want to breastfeed, educate yourself…and stock up on formula. Even if you don’t end up using it, you can always donate it to a pregnancy center or your church if they have a nursery. If you don’t plan on breastfeeding, stock up on formula.

Ok, now for schedules…I’m not sure what else to say other than use one! Make sure you have the babies on the same schedule. Feed them at the same time, put them down for naps & bedtime at the same time, Bathe them at the same time, etc. Trust me, this will save your sanity.

The good thing about the girls being in the NICU was that they came home on a schedule so when they came home, we kept to that schedule. They ate every 3 hours so we would change them, feed them, then put them back down to sleep. I think I touched on this last week but once the sleep depravation hit, I insisted that we slack off on the schedule. James thought it was a bad idea but gave in to his crazy, hormonal wife. Looking back now, I wish I had stuck with the schedule.

With this said, you’re schedule is not always the best for the babies. I’m not saying don’t stick with a schedule (why would I when I just told you to stick to one!), but be open to when the schedule needs to be adjusted. This is something I struggled with and something that really bothered me. I didn’t seem to understand the girls cries and couldn’t figure out their needs while James seemed to know. He would tell me they were hungry but I would say, “but it’s not time for their next feeding”. I would give in and we would feed them and then they would settle down. This is when you want to increase the amount they are getting.

Because James seemed to know what they needed and I didn’t, I felt like such a failure as a mom. I don’t know if this was because I was a first time mom, or if it was because I didn’t get to bond with the girls much while they were in the NICU. I think James did because he spent a lot of time in the NICU…especially when I couldn’t (I was stuck in bed for 24 hours while getting 2 units of blood). After a few weeks, of being home with them, I was finally able to know what they needed.

Geez, I feel like I’m all over the place with today’s topic. Basically, what I’m telling you is to stick to your gut…follow that mom instinct. It won’t let you down, I promise. You can read all the books and take all the advice that comes your way but it won’t always fit with what’s best for you, your babies, and/or you family. Use all of this as a guideline but know that it’s not the only way.

If you have any questions on this topic, please feel free to email me or Jennifer or Amanda or Megan. We’ve all had different experiences and we all found what works best for us and so will you!

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3 comments:

  1. Your breastfeeding story made me tear up. I fought so hard to breastfeed my girls but it was not at all easy. I'm glad you're advising seeking breastfeeding advice before hand. I assumed because I had already done it once without flaw that it could be easily repeated with 2. So not the case.I pumped until I bled too and was just so taken back by what I was seeing. I later found out I was using the wrong sized horn but stubbornly, I didn't seek out help until well past the feeling of broken. It's not easy being a mother. Being a mother to 2 at once, well... you get it. I'm glad you found what works for you. That last paragraph is so true. You just have to go with makes the most sense in your household. My looks of things, you're doing a fantastic job! Your babies are adorable and happy :)

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  2. I love love love your link up. I have one million things going on and have fallen off my own posts. Just wanted to say thank you for doing this. It is nice to read what works for others because it often gives us ideas and causes us to think differently. However, I am always disappointed to read another mom speaking negatively about different theories. One of the links this week was just so upsetting for me. I think everyone has to find their way in this life, especially when they are blessed with multiples. There are enough battles to fight. I just wanted to speak up and say I hope everyone searchign for answers reads with open minds and doesn't allow themselves to be swayed by any negativity directed at certain theories. I for one am highly educated and I LOVE my children beyond words...AND I am an advocate of the principles of BABYWISE....i know....gasp! The dreaded...'how to dehydrate your baby book' I also breastfeed successfully, pumped with the twins and tandem fed my twins! so I would hope that babywise not be discounted....because it has worked for me and my babies SLEEP ALL night- are 5 months old and my 5 year old also sleeps all night and always had...I credit my hard work, sacrifice and BABYWISE principles for this. everyone has to find what works! for me...it was babywise

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  3. Good on you for being persistent. This is a great link up. Thanks so much. I absolutely agree, it's so vital that Mum's just stick to their gut sometimes. There are so many theories out there, but if you stick to your gut, you'll know which one to choose, because it's going to be the one that suits your family.

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