So far, this pregnancy has been easier and much less fraught-with-nerves than my first go-round. There’s no doubt that actually having a baby is the best crash-course in all things parenting, and nowhere is this more true than with feeding a baby, which for many women can be wonderful, frustrating, and sometimes even a source of guilt or anxiety. To nurse or not to nurse? For some women, biology or life’s demands (like a workplace that’s not breastfeeding-friendly) makes the decision for them; others may decide that not nursing, or supplementing with formula, is simply the path they’d like to choose. I’ve had close friends take just about every possible approach when it comes to feeding, and the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that there’s no one “right” way for everyone. The only real advice I can give to other current and future mamas is to not put unnecessary pressure on yourselves to follow someone else’s feeding journey — only your own body and baby can make the decision about what’s right for you.
I’m sharing more about my own nursing journey with Phoebe and my approach with Baby #2 below — but first, I’m super excited to unveil a new collaboration and awesome giveaway with one of my very favorite companies, The Honest Co. For today’s post, I wanted to share some of my very favorite feeding essentials (just launched by Honest!) whether you’re nursing, using formula, or doing a combination of both. No matter what you choose, there’s no question that being prepared with the right tools to promote good health for mama and baby is the first step in making the entire process easier, so checkout the boards below for the essentials I’m stocking up on — for both breastfeeding and bottle feeding. We’re also giving away an Honest Feeding Kit including formula and accessories to three readers who sign up for an Honest.com account and then leave a comment on this post. Scroll to the bottom for details!
Now as promised, my own baby feeding story. When I had Phoebe, I was determined to exclusively breastfeed for the first year — no formula in our house! Since I went back to work part-time when Phoebe was 6 weeks, I became close friends (frenemies?) with my breast pump, and making sure I was storing enough pumped milk in the freezer for when I had to be away from Phoebe became a bit of an obsession. I remember accidentally dropping one of the storage bags on the floor one day and watching the hard-earned milk (aka “liquid gold”) spill all over the floor. Let’s just say there were tears, and lots of them.01 Honest Organic Nipple Balm 02 Honest Wipes 03 Nursing Tops from Au Lait 04 Two-in-One Organic Nursing Cover + Scarf 05 Nursing Pads 06 Lactation Plus supplements 07 Nursing Bra
My milk supply naturally started to decrease when Phoebe was 6 months old, and I began having to supplement with formula for one or two feedings a day. And you know what? Nothing bad happened. Phoebe actually loved it, and I discovered that it was really nice to be able to have a glass of wine at night and not worry about it. Or if I had to go out of town for a couple days of work, I didn’t freak out about the exact number of bags of breastmilk I’d been able to store up in the freezer in the days preceding the trip. At about 8 months, I stopped nursing altogether. Phoebe had started eating a good amount of solid food in addition to milk, and when I found out I had to be gone for 3 days on a work trip, I decided that my breast pump was not going to make the trip with me. (Pumping in an airport? Not so fun.) So maybe I didn’t make it for an entire year nursing, but Phoebe continued to be an incredibly healthy baby with a strong immune system and I was glad that I’d been able to nurse for the first several months.01 Silicon 8-Ounce Bottles 02 Burp Cloths 03 Drying Rack 04 Hand Sanitizer Spray 05 Organic Premium Infant Formula 06 Baby DHA
So what’s my plan for this next newborn journey? All I know for sure is that I’ll nurse for as long as my body allows me to, and as long as it works well for our lives. I do believe in the health benefits of nursing — but I’ve learned that supplementing with formula doesn’t negate those benefits, and this time around, I’ll probably lighten up and buy some formula to have on hand from the start for those times when it comes in handy. It’s all about a happy balance. And speaking of happy…
The giveaway! We’re making it super simple for THREE of you guys to win an Honest Feeding Kit including formula and accessories. Just sign up for an Honest.com account and then leave a comment at the bottom of this post letting us know which Honest feeding product you’re most excited about trying out. Contest ends Sunday 3/29 at midnight and is open to readers in the US and Canada. Enter here for your chance to win!
*top image: boudoir chic photography via the bennett bump
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