I started this post a while ago, but it was right when we were moving and I never did publish it.
Ethan is now 10 months old and still breastfeeding like a champ. I plan to post a 9 month update....shortly.
Here is the 3 month update on Breastfeeding.
Now for the 6th month update.
Not much has changed in the way that Ethan is breastfed from 3 months to 6 months. He still eats regularly on a 3 hour schedule. I have been trying to wake him at 10:00 PM to give him a "dream feed" where he is not totally awake but takes a full feed. Sometimes he wakes enough to do it and some times he does not. If I am especially tired, I will give him a pumped bottle of milk so that I can get a few extra hours a sleep in a row. I still pump twice at work at 10:00 and 2:00 and Nate gives him bottles around those times, sometimes I also pump at noon because Nate gives him a bottle then too. However, I am not pumping after he feeds only instead of feeds when I am at work. Ethan breastfeeds at 6:30 AM, 5:00 PM, 7:00 PM and is up usually 2 times at night. Lately it has been 2:00 AM and 4:00 AM. Usually I wake him to feed him at 10:00 PM to, so that is still 8 times a day or so. I feed on demand at night and on the weekends so it does vary. This however means that I am still in a sleepless zombie state at 6 months postpartum. I guess you do adjust to it and it's not so bad as in the early days.
At 5.5 months, Ethan decided that we didn't need to use the nipple shield any more. He pulled it off in the middle of one of his "dream feeds" and latched without it. We never turned back and he never needed it again. I hated that freaking thing and am glad to be rid of it. I tried to wean him off of it and he could not latch without it. I tried several different kinds of nipple shield (Nu.k, Tom.mie Ti.ppie, and Mede.la, who knew that each company made their own and that they were so drastically different). The Nu.k and Med.ela were the best. Regardless of nipple shield E could just not do without it. I really feel that I had flat nipples. There was a short period of time around 4 months where I believe that Ethan's suck became strong enough to break the adhesions that were keeping my nipples flat. Breastfeeding was uncomfortable after a long time of it being fine, even with the nipple shield, for about 2 weeks. I gave up on actively trying to wean him off of it. I would try at the beginning, middle and ends of feeds to see if he would do without it and we never got a latch that lasted more than 30 seconds or so. I'm glad he is able to do without it, because it was such a pain. You have to clean it and have it with you at all times. Heaven forbid you leave the house without it, you have your boobs but can't feed your child!!! I hope I never see one again!
I am now able to feed Ethan in bed sometimes, I have to get burp cloths ready and tucked in to catch leaking, but it means that I don't have to be fully awake to feed him.
The spit-up, however, is outrageous. He can soak a swaddling blanket in no time flat. He spits up all day long (never at night though). Sitting, laying down, being held, in his swing...anywhere and everywhere. It is not projectile...it's just a lot, a whole lot! It really is impressive to see how much comes up. I asked his doctor about it, he seems unconcerned. He is not uncomfortable and is gaining weight appropriately, so the doctor called him a 'happy spitter" and said that it was more of a laundry issue than a real problem. I would agree, and since I don't want to put him on another medication (he is still on his hear medicine) we agreed to do nothing for now. I was frustrated by it and brought it up at a La Lec.he Le.age meeting. Although the empathized they all seemed to think he would grow out of it, I agree that he likely will. The leader even said that her daughter used to spit up but "look at her now, she's 4 and doing just fine" it was very funny at the time and did ease my fears about it.
I've done a lot of research about starting solids and I know that most will say that it's ok to start at 6 months and that babies will show signs of readiness, I simply don't think that E is ready just yet. He has no teeth, he still has a tongue thrust reflex, he is not sitting unassisted and his coordination in getting things to his mouth is not great. I think we will hold out and reassess in 6 weeks (the number of weeks he was premature) and see if maybe he is ready then.