Breastfeeding or Bottle Feeding? & Product Recommendations

I always knew that I wanted to breastfeed my babies. I knew it wouldn’t be incredibly easy, but I’ve honestly had it pretty easy. I’m so grateful for that! The only issues I’ve had were her weight in the first couple months & not getting a freezer stash.

I truly enjoy nursing. It’s our time together. I’m so amazed at what our bodies can do. Not only can we create life, but we can sustain it.

There are times where it is inconvenient, but that’s mostly on me. I’m never going to be the woman in Target who just whips the girls out for baby to eat. There’s no judgement to the women who do. Do you, girl! I just would not be comfortable. When we go out, I schedule that she’s eaten and won’t be hungry while we’re out, or I’ll bring a bottle of breast milk that I can warm up. Even when I’m at my parents’ house, I go into their guest bedroom unless it’s just me & my mom.

My sweet Avery was a pro at nursing from the moment she entered the world. When I was being wheeled back to my room from the OR, she was trying to latch on. I didn’t have to do any work and the nurses didn’t have to assist her. She just did it!

My milk came in while I was still in the hospital. I never had an issue getting a supply for her.

Avery lost about 8% of her birth rate, which isn’t too terrible. Our pediatrician said she wasn’t worried until babies reach a 10% loss. She had terrible jaundice, which made her extra sleepy & not interested in eating. Because of her jaundice and not gaining weight, she was re-hospitalized at 10 days old. After 2 days of getting everything going in the right direction, we were discharged.

At her 2 month appointment, her pediatrician recommended adding cereal to 2 bottles of breastmilk each day. She had been gaining weight and eating all the time, but she was only in the 3rd percentile for weight. I love my pediatrician so much more for recommending this, instead of making me switch to formula. She barely gets any cereal, but she LOVES it.

Avery also definitely had some colic. By the time she turned 3 months old, she was completely over it. Since then, we haven’t had any issues! She gained almost 2 pounds in just a month! She’s so happy. She’s thriving.

These are some of the products I’d highly recommend to any nursing mom. I’d also recommend a lot of these to any momma, whether you’re nursing or formula feeding.

Baby tracking app – Ovia Parenting

I used the Ovia Pregnancy app to track baby girl’s development before she was born & loved it. The Ovia Parenting app is great for tracking baby’s sleep, diapers, and feedings (nursing and bottle feeding). The home screen tells you exactly how long it’s been since the last feeding, so there’s no need to do math when you haven’t slept. It also has weekly/monthly development information & parenting tricks and hacks. In her first few days earthside, nurses wanted me to record her feedings and diapers on a paper for them. I used this app instead (because why go home & figure out an app instead of using the app from the start?) and told the nurses all the info they needed. I 100% recommend this to every momma. You can also invite dad to “join” the app on his phone, but Avery’s daddy doesn’t really monitor when I feed her. After all, they aren’t his boobs.

Haakaa

I didn’t know about this until a breastfeeding consultant at the hospital recommended it. My husband went & bought it on the day we came home from her birth & I honestly forgot about it for quite a while. I wish I would have used it from day 1. I was so surprised with how much it catches. I can catch anywhere from an ounce to 3 at a single feeding. It catches your natural letdown from the side baby isn’t nursing on. No need for a breast pad! I use this every time I nurse and store the expressed milk in my fridge or freezer.
https://tinyurl.com/y5zmc6gm

Spectra S1 pump

I didn’t start my breastfeeding journey with this pump, but I use it now and love it! It’s so quiet and effective. Even though it’s a hospital grade pump, it’s so user-friendly!
https://tinyurl.com/y59tfdak

Medela pump cleaner

Cleaning pump parts is one of my least favorite tasks. I clean it and/or switch parts every night (during the day I store my pump parts in the fridge). If I need to quickly clean anything during the day or while I’m out and about, I’ll use these wipes. There’s also a foaming soap and spray that work too! These are just very convenient and affordable.
https://tinyurl.com/y5dnkp78

Breast milk collection bottles

These bottles are so nice for the refrigerator or on the go! I store my milk from the haakaa and pump in these bottles in my fridge every day. At the end of the night, I freeze that milk in bags (keep scrolling). They are so easy to use and clean.
https://tinyurl.com/yygm9y6e

Breast milk collection bags

I tried a different kind of storage bag, but prefer this brand much more! I bought this brand simply because I was using Tommee Tippee bottles and really ended up liking it. I love that it’s so easy to pour milk into (no need for a funnel or any “extra things” that could contaminate the milk). It’s got a spot to label the date & other information on the back. This also fits into my bottle warmer, and can be warmed up in this pouch even frozen!
https://tinyurl.com/yys2yp2a

NanoBebe bottles

I really liked these bottles in the first couple months for Avery. I love that they’re designed like a breast. Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but Avery never had any nipple confusion. I could nurse her or even give her this bottle myself. My 2 concerns were that the bottom can be difficult to keep attached (and milk can easily leak out) & they are hard to transport because they’re oddly shaped. When she turned 2 months old & I had to start adding a little cereal to a couple bottles each day, I realized that the shape of these bottles makes it hard to add cereal and thoroughly mix it. For the next baby, I probably won’t use these again. But again, they did the job & she never had nipple confusion.
https://tinyurl.com/y3cpceu5

Tommee Tippee bottles

I love these bottles. I’ll most likely use these from day 1 with any future babies. They are so easy to clean and secure the lid to. No milk ever leaks out! Replacement nipples are not expensive at all. Tommee Tippee also has an anti-colic line, although the bottles pictured above helped my little girl’s colic. I love that Tommee Tippee has bottles and pacifiers suitable for newborns and every age baby, but also sippy cups for toddlers. There’s a bunch of colors and sizes. They also aren’t the cheapest bottles, but are much more affordable than some brands. I got some of mine at discount stores like Marshall’s and TJ Maxx!
https://tinyurl.com/y2pqapev

Bottle warmer

After an unfortunate experience with breastmilk spilling into the tap water I was warming it in, I immediately made my husband buy this & get it delivered ASAP. You can cry over spilled milk, especially when you work so hard to pump it between feeding your baby all day. This fits my bottles & storage bags specifically. I can warm the milk from room temperature, the fridge, or even freezer. Sometimes I have to run the warming cycle twice, but that’s just because my fridge is set to super cold.
https://tinyurl.com/y2zmkq2b

Bottle sterilizer & dryer

I hand wash bottle and pump parts all the time. I wish my dishwasher had a drying cycle, but it doesn’t. Every couple of days, I run everything through this sterilizer and dryer. This will sterilize and dry everything in 60 minutes. It’s so convenient and sleek. Sure, I could sterilize everything in boiling water, but I don’t want to stand over the stove with a baby on my hip. I use this to sterilize bottle parts, pump parts, pacifiers (even wubanubs), and teething toys. This is a must have, especially if your dishwasher doesn’t dry.
https://tinyurl.com/y6hx8jpq

Nursing bras

Nursing bras aren’t cute and are usually very expensive. These are very comfortable and come in very cute colors! They disconnect easily, but don’t accidentally disconnect. You can order this 3 pack from Amazon for the price of one bra at many stores. They’re great! Even if you aren’t breastfeeding, these will be very comfortable postpartum!
https://tinyurl.com/y48aqoaj

Boppy

I thought I would be a huge fan of the boppy. It’s ok, but I rarely use it for feeding. I never use it to nurse Avery, which is the entire reason I wanted it. I find it uncomfortable for myself & that she doesn’t fit on it well. Honestly, I place a medium firmness pillow or an extra couch blanket under her for nursing and it’s much easier on both of us. However, the boppy is helpful for bottle feeding & to use after feeding. Sometimes you’ve got to just sit them up to avoid spit up.
https://tinyurl.com/y5f4ngzk

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