At first I had what was an emergency stockpile of frozen milk which turned into a way to extend feeding my baby breast milk without me breastfeeding. I want to be able to feed my baby 100% breast milk for her first year but that doesn’t always work out so I have 100% peace-of-mind knowing that she was 100% breastfeed the first six months and then once she will start eating solids and her milk intake gradually reduces she will still be getting breast milk till age one but there will also be organic formula supplemented as well.
I will be traveling home to the US for two months this summer and I cannot take my pump as it’s too big and the wrong plug so I have no other choice but to stop pumping completely before I leave. So I have a pump weaning strategy to try and avoid saggy boobs and to ensure I will be completely dried up so to speak before I get on the airplane.
My frozen stockpile can’t help me either because I can’t pack two months worth of frozen milk in a cooler and take it on the plane and to fedex a box to my parents house is a couple hundred pounds and you need to pack it expertly with dry ice and hope it gets there okay without thawing or else you have to throw it away. If I was going for a week then I would make this option work. If you are going away and want to try this then the best info you can get about shipping is through women who are in the military and deployed who ship their breast milk home to their babies you can read more about it here on breastfeeding with combat boots.
Once I figured out that formula was my only option I started researching which formula I should be feeding her. If you are considering formula make sure you do some research – there is a lot of bad stuff in baby formula and even organic doesn’t make it 100% okay. I use Hipp organic because they have the best and safest organic formula I can find and apparently doesn’t contain aluminum like the organic link above claims. I definitely recommend you read these links especially the first one to see the ingredients you need to watch out for in the formula you currently use or one you are looking at.
What I did/do:
So I had to devise a plan of action for multiple things to ensure that I stopped pumping in enough time before we leave for the US.
I dropped a pump, from three a day to two a day the last weekend in February. I didn’t mean to drop a pump that day but I felt really nauseous and couldn’t get out of bed to pump so I figured I should just keep going with two after that. In retrospect I should have waited to drop a pump after she started formula so I could have had the extra milk to freeze. I thought I would still of had extra milk to freeze with two pumping sessions but sadly that hasn’t been the case. I not only lost what I produced that pumping session but I also now pump less than before for my remaining two pumping sessions so I am actually not able to freeze anything regularly. I read that if you are weaning yourself from a pump or your baby from you no matter their age it’s best to wait at least a week before you drop another feed. I however want to spread it out even further to avoid saggy boobs – see above for my action plan.
I started freezing my milk at three months because I had so much and didn’t want it to go to waste but I also wanted to be able to stop my milk production earlier but still be able to try and give her breast milk. I freeze in 100ml bags so I know instantly how much milk I have. However frozen milk is only supposed to last about six months – could be less if you regularly open your freezer or more if you store it in a chest freezer. So my frozen milk from three months will only be good if I feed it to her before we leave on our trip to the US which doesn’t help me get her to 1 year with some breast milk a day when we get back. So I have been thawing two bags a day in the fridge overnight in the hopes that I would also have even more milk to freeze each day to replace the milk I just thawed. Unfortunately that hasn’t happened because like above – I’m hardly producing anything now with two pumps a day. So for now I am still using my frozen supply daily and will continue to do so until what I have will be okay to consume six months later. Then it’s just whatever I have left is what I have left and hopefully it will be a bag a day so I’ll need 46 till her first birthday.
She started eating a lot more at the end of four months. Even though I read on kellymom that breastfed babies don’t increase their intake except during growth spurts which isn’t my experience. She started crying and getting angry when the bottle was finished so I started increasing and for the past six weeks she has been having 150ml x 5 feeds a day which is 150ml more a day than before. So this increase in appetite caused me to also have to use my frozen supply in order to have enough to feed her every day to get her to 24 weeks with breast milk exclusively.
I fed her 100% breast milk till 24 weeks (6 months) then started formula once a day in the middle of the day (3pm feed) to see if she had any bad reactions – see above for more detail.
So when we are in the US for two months I will have to feed her formula 100% of the time in addition to her solids as she’ll be nine months when we leave. So I had to start her on formula here first to make sure her stomach could handle it and she had no adverse reactions. I also wanted to do this before I started her on solids. I really like my HIPP Organic formula and she took to it immediately with no change in her bowels. The only thing that happened was I think her stomach was unsettled or gassy from all the air in the bottle that you create when you have to shake it to mix the formula. Instead I no longer shake but instead just tip it to the side and back gently to mix with less air. I also give her Infocal (gas reduction liquid) before her last feed to ensure that she will sleep okay as that was how she was unsettled before and since both of these things she is back to sleeping through the night without random whimpering and moaning.
To read more in depth on how I am doing solids read my solid food introduction strategy Starting Solid Foods Puree vs Baby Led Weaning
Do you have a strategy in place for how you want to stop breastfeeding?
#breastfeeding #pumping #formula #bottle #combinationfeeding #hipporganic #organicformula #bestformula #frozenbreastmilk #newmom #millennialmom