Friday, January 13, 2012

Transitioning From Breast to Bottle

So you already know that I decided not to breast feed after I went back to work.

After doing a bit of research, I made this feeding chart in excel to help me transition.  Yes, I know I am a huge nerd.  I knew the date I needed to be done, so I worked backwards to figure out when to start.  I dropped a feeding every 3 days or so, and left a few days at the end just in case I got off track or needed a bit more time to drop the last night time feeding.  My Dr suggested dropping a feeding every 3 days, and no less, to prevent mastitis and infection.

I found the MAM Anti-Colic Bottle was the best bottle for us, after trying several others, it was most like the breast and she liked it the best.  I used a Level 1 nipple, which is for birth to 2 months, but since she wasn't too experienced with the bottle, she needed the slower flow.

My pediatrician suggested Enfamil, and I had a few samples cans of the Infant formula so I started with that.  I suggest you grab samples of formula from your classes or Dr's office, they will come in handy!  Although I could tell she liked breast milk better, she did fine on the formula and did not develop any gas or fussiness.  The slow transition was good because I could try and track any changes in her disposition to make sure it was feeling ok in her little tummy.

Since we were breast feeding, I had no idea how much formula to start on.  I pumped one day instead of feeding her, which I had never done, and quickly got 6 oz of milk.  So she was getting more than I thought.  Formula is more filling, so I started her with 4 oz at a time, and that seemed to work perfectly.  I purchased a Brita water filter just to use for her bottles (our Pedi said tap water was fine, but I wanted to filter it just a bit more just to be safe) and I keep it in the pantry to it is room temperature.  I mix each bottle as I need it, so they don't have to be heated or anything - she likes it at room temp.

The transition went really well, she wasn't fussy or gassy or anything.  Introducing formula slowly helps to know if it is settling ok in their tummy, so the slow transition worked well for both of us.  After I was done breast feeding, my boobs did ache quite bit, and I found that a very tight sports bra (the ones I used before I was preggo) helped.  I also did a little bit of heat to work out any knots or clogged ducts.  Everything I read said heat was bad, but it was the only thing that helped me so I did it anyway.

One big question I had was what to do with the milk that was still in there after my last feeding with her.  I called my lactation consultant, and she said it was ok to just leave in there, that it would dry up eventually.  I did have to pump once to relieve some pressure, but only for a few minutes.  Remember, its a supply and demand thing, so you need to send the message that you are done feeding!  I still leaked a bit for at least 3 weeks, so be sure to have plenty of breast pads on hand.

Hope this helps any of you that are about to make this transition - its is a combo of all the articles and research I did for myself and the transition went very smoothly.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Big help, THANK YOU!!