Breastfeeding, Pumping, Bottle Feeding and Building a Milk Stash

Daddy feeding baby so she knows she had other resources when mama isn’t around, and that it is ok!

I decided to write about this after so many emails, messages and inquiries about my breastfeeding and pumping journey; Most importantly, how to transition baby from boob to bottle and how I built my milk stash to date.
I’ve been pumping since my milk came in, about 4-5 days after Alexandra was born, so basically the first week of January. I felt I needed to do this in preparation for returning to work and feeling like we needed an adequate amount of milk for her to “survive” without me all day. Us new moms tend to be dramatic about going back to work and will more than likely miss our babies way more than they’ll miss us, but don’t tell us that!

The first time I actually pumped milk was using the Phillips Avent hand pump (I was so proud of myself)! I now keep it in my purse when I’m out in case of emergency (engorgement)

Anyway, in preparation for this, I started acclimating Alexandra to taking my pumped milk from a bottle on and off, so that when I do go back to work she would actually eat and not parrish! Apparently this happens to a lot of babies, where they’ll literally go all day without eating until mom comes home at night to nurse! For that reason, I started feeding her sporadically via bottle around at 4 weeks old, a couple of ounces here and there to make sure she takes milk from a bottle;

“Mom, why am I drinking milkies from a bottle while you’re right there?”. I believe that’s what she’s thinking haha!

I did this after the first month as to decrease nipple confusion possibilities, which basically means she knows what my nipple feels like versus what a bottle nipple feels like. Research says waiting till 4 weeks to introduce a bottle of pacifier is best although I’ve seen others do it way sooner and be fine. This is where you make an executive decision to do what you want as a mother, father or come to a mutual decision.

I quickly learned that this baby will take milk from any source, because when she’s hungry, she doesn’t play around; But that doesn’t mean every bottle is a good vehicle for milk delivery. Some do cause unnecessary gas production and lots of spit up, like flowing throw up due to increased gas. As usual, we learn by doing, so after going through a couple of brands we went for the very popular brand Philips Avent. They have a new technology anti-colic bottle that did just the trick! Not only did Alexandra take the bottle well, but we noticed a minimal amount of spit up and gas on her end (no pun intended!)

No spillage, no mess!!!

 

So why are these Philips Avent Anti-Colic Bottles the real deal?

For one, they are clinically proven to reduce colic and discomfort, which is a problem in most bottle fed babies (mine included). They have an advanced venting system that have scientifically been proven to reduce colic, which for us parents means less fussing at night! (This is priceless).

Ribbed nipple prevents collapse!

Other features include: ribbed nipple texture which prevents collapse, meaning the feeding flow won’t be interrupted, there is easy of latching due to nipple shape, it is so simple to assemble and clean (seriously, not a bunch of parts like other bottles), and it’s leak-free! It’s also easy to hold and BPA free. Did I mention it’s super easy to clean? haha…my husband especially likes this feature!

Enter to WIN your free set HERE!

Enter to win yours!

It’s the little things….and I feel this Anti-Colic bottle really improves the lives of parents, not to mention the fact that these have a Parent Tested Parent Approved Seal of Approval (PTPA), meaning they were actually rigorously tested by real parents and later reviewed. This means there is a high chance that it will work for you as it did for me, although babies are babies, and what works for one may not work for the next.


I love it when my husband winecoach feeds Alexandra so they get that extra bonding time that she’s normally is only able to get with me. It’s also quite a sight to see the two of them together. It’s also nice to have my mother feeding her, especially since she will be the one spending most time with her during the day when I’m back at work (my heart gets tiny just writing about it!).

On to Building That Milk Stash:


As I said, I’ve been pumping since my milk came in, to be exact, January 3rd. On the first month, I was pumping 2-3 times a day, between to 10-15 ounces a day. My left breast has always been super boob, and I can always get 4-5 oz out of it compared to 1-2 oz (3 oz on a really goo day) out of my right, which is still very satisfactory in my book. The disparity has always been there and the right never quite leveled with the left but I guess they balance each other out.
I was pumping 2-3 times a day for all of January, typically about 30 minutes-1hour after she fed. At that point, she was sleeping 2-3 hours between feedings during the day. When she turned 1 month old, she suddenly hit a grow spurt for a good 15 days, so for the entire first half of February I didn’t pump at all. She literally emptied both my breasts all day everyday, and I even had to defrost 1-3oz each night and bottle feed her so she would sleep well and not wake up starving.

Like clockwork, on February 15th, she went back to normal (the growth spurt lasted a full 2 weeks), and I started pumping again. It was definitely not the same, and took a while to get used to pumping (at least a week to go back to getting anything over 1 oz per pumping session). I was maybe getting 1-2 oz out of the super left boob, so I started taking drinking teas containing blessed thistle and taking fenugreek tablets to help with milk production, as I was still very concerned with keeping up with my stash (again, beginner’s mom drama). I feel these really helped, and I talk more about what I drank and ate to help out on my Post-Partum Basics post.

Bags individually freezing flat before they go to the gallon batch bag.

Since mid February till now, I’ve only been pumping first thing in the morning (with the exceptions of a couple of later afternoon pumps here and there) since I wake up engorged most mornings. This is because Alexandra is sleeping through the night most nights, so I’m pretty full in the mornings and can easily pump 3-5 oz and still have enough for a good feeding session with her (that will likely get used at night in case of emergency, aka she emptied both breasts and is still hungry). That means if I don’t freeze that morning milk, I may use 1-2 oz at night, which can happen depending on her demand that day! You just never know…that’s the “beauty” of breastfeeding on demand.

My best case scenario!! My left breast is my wonder boob! It always produces close to double the right.

Breastfeeding is quite interesting, and there is not one day like the other. Babies always have different needs, and when transitioning to bottle feeding or trying to both breastfeed and bottle-fed simultaneously, having a good bottle that they will take and minimize colic + gas production inside their bellies is priceless to the parents, especially at bed time! If you’re a new parent looking for a good bottle for your baby, you will not be disappointed by Philips Avent. Try your luck with the giveaway here, and visit their website to learn more!

Save the little milk bags in gallon ziploc bag batches!

I learned that freezing the milk bags flat allows for better storage and saves space! Notice the bottom (when I froze them in standing) vs top flat tier.

 

As for me, I will continue to build my milk stash for when I return to work in a month, and whatever I don’t use, I plan to donate to the milk bank or another organization in need. This is liquid gold, and it truly saves lives, so I encourage you to do the same if/when you build up a supply that you may not use in its entirety!

Try you luck and enter the giveaway below! Philips Avent will be provide 2 Natural Bottles Gift Sets and 2 Anti-Colic Bottles Gift Sets, for a total of 4 winners!

**Please Note that this giveaway is for CANADA (excl. Quebec) only**

 

 

*This blog post is sponsored by Philips Avent and PTPA. I am a paid ambassador and all opinions and advice provided here are my own. As always, the love and excitement come from the heart; I genuine love these bottles and would recommend them to any mom and dad. Thank you for your support! *

Alexandra: “I’m just chilling with my bottle”.

 

Xo, Ana

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10 comments

  1. Tania says:

    Hi Ana,
    Thanks for this post! My baby is 2 months and I am just now starting my stash.

    At two months, how often were you breastfeeding?

    • Colorfulfoodie says:

      Always depends right? On the growth spurts. My baby used to be extremely slow at feeding, it used to take 1-2 hours!!! So I would feed every 3 hours. Now she feeds for around 10 minutes but is so much more efficient so she can go 2-3 hours sometimes 4 if she got a really good nap in! At 2 months it was about every 2 waking hours.

  2. Magvir says:

    Hi Ana,

    Firstly you’ve got an amazing blog and i am so glad that i came across your blog.lets just say i”m a big fan of your blog now 🙂

    As i’m also a new mom and breastfeeding is all so new to me, i would like to know how long does it take you to pump 3-4 oz of milk per session?

    Thanks!

    • Colorfulfoodie says:

      You might not like my answer but sometimes I get it in under 10 minutes, but I think it’s because I’m used to pumping. There was a period of time I didn’t pump for 2 weeks and then started again and was super slow to warm up. It’s all about “training” that nipple!! Also I only pump when I’m super engorged, the milk is practically expressing itself.

  3. Elozabeth says:

    I’m in awe of the hands-free pumping I see above – could you please tell us the name of the bra you’re using? Thank you!!!

  4. Carolina says:

    I love your blog and all the information you share! I was wondering what pump you are using in the pic that you have your hands free. You said before that you used a manual one from Avent but I didn’t see the name of the second one. Thanks so much 🙂

    • Colorfulfoodie says:

      I use a medela pump. It’s hands free because of the type of bra I use where it attaches. The manual pump is for emergency engorgement! Mostly happens in the newborn stage

  5. Lily says:

    Hi Ana,
    Firstly I just want to thank you for this amazing blog that will help the newer mothers to cope with babies
    My question is what type of medela pump you are used.
    I found many types and I am a little confused what should I choose
    Can you please tell me what type you have tried ?
    Thanks

    • Colorfulfoodie says:

      Hi Lily! I’m glad! I got the medela in style backpack solution. I travel a lot and it’s just easier to bring to work and move about. No one loves pumping but it’s a good one, and insurance covered it – I think I paid a bit extra for the backpack option but it was worth it to me! It’s easy to get confused with so many options out there. Let me know which one you get and how it works for you!!! Take care!

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