Hi ladies, new here! This thread seems to be napping so I figured I’ll add my two cents for the FTMs here. I haven’t seen too much mentioned about experiences with mastitis, which I was evidently unprepared for the first time around. I exclusively pumped with a massive oversupply, so I wasn’t surprised to get mastitis but I did not take it quite seriously enough as it turned out. I got sick with mastitis (chills, fever, body aches) and tried to pump out the clog and sleep it off. My fever broke the next day so I didn’t call my doctor right away, but I had a hard time fully clearing the clog. I was still working at it a couple days later when I had sudden, severe stabbing pain in my breast and immediately felt terrible. I only waited a couple hours to get to the ER and by then I was borderline septic and barely with it. With morphine and antibiotics I was able to pump out the blockage and clear the infection. Moral of the story is, if you get mastitis you HAVE to nurse or pump the clog out pronto, even if you’re feeling better otherwise, and call your doctor! It’s an infection and has to be treated as such, and it can come on surprisingly quickly. Also, please don’t let this deter anyone away from pumping or breastfeeding - I loved pumping for my first (even with dealing with an oversupply since I was able to donate over 60 gallons of milk) and I will do it again if I have to, though I’m really hoping to breastfeed this time around if at all possible. I just wanted to mention this for those who haven’t experienced mastitis before, since I know we’ve all heard of it but it’s hard to imagine what it’s like if you haven’t had it, and it really can run the gamut from minor nuisance to serious. Hate to say it but several of us will probably end up with mastitis — if you do, don’t panic. Just clear those clogs and do not delay calling your doctor! Exclusively Pumping Mamas Facebook group if you EP and Kellymom are great resources if you need help getting a clog out. (Also, I pumped a LOT of milk for over a year, there’s a lot of good information in here already from everyone though I’m happy to answer any questions for any mamas thinking about going the pumping route.) Two cents over!
My initial plan (who knows how long this will last) is to go exclusively bottle, whether that's pumping or formula. I know there are some sacrifices in that, but once Baby is about three months old, any help I had from DH is gone because that's when basketball season starts and realistically I don't know how much I can count on him. If bottles allow me to share even a little of the burden (he'll be up MUCH later than me so if he can handle a feeding in the 9-11 range I can get a few hours of sleep then, or if it's passing Baby off to another coach's wife at a game to have a bottle so my arms get a break) it's worth it to me. Plus that gives him a chance to spend some time with Baby and bond a little that way since he won't be around as much for other stuff during the day/evening (in season he's gone at 8am, and if he's home before 7 something is weird, 6 and sometimes 7 days a week). And being the delightful combo of an impatient perfectionist, I don't go crazy in the process.Edit: I'm obviously a FTM, so STM+, talk me out of this if I'm being naive or nuts.
Some moms don't like to do this, but letting baby suck even after you "don't have any milk" is really helpful in establishing supply. Yes, this might mean the baby is latched for 3 hours. No, it does not necessarily mean your baby isn't getting enough milk. My son gained a pound a week for the first 4 months of his life, and he would still suck and suck and SUCK.