Bottle Feeding and Expressing

My first child (who is 3 now) ended up fully bottle fed by two weeks of age.  He was topped up in hospital with formula as he just cried and cried and was hungry.  I was C-section and knew nothing about the fact that this can also make feeding harder.

All the night midwives had different ways of trying to latch him on and not long after I ended up with cracked nipples.  When we left the hospital we had to stop at the supermarket and my husband went in to get some formula, he just got a couple of sachets of the first one he saw.

I persevered with the feeding but just got more and more despondent when he would feed for an hour or so and then guzzle down what would have been a full feed of formula (so don’t even know how much he got off me).  We asked my midwife for recommendations of formulas and got told she couldn’t give any so we just went with the one my husband originally chose – Heinz Nurture. I was not told anything about lactation consultants or the breastfeeding clinics.

There was not a lot of information so I had to search the internet to find out the best tips like keeping him more upright to avoid ear infections.  All the information we did find said not to microwave to warm up the milk.

So we would:

  1. sterilize bottles (make sure you have a microwave sterilizer they are brilliant),
  2. fill them with cooled, boiled water (about 120ml) and put them in the fridge
  3. then when he was ready for a feed we would boil the jug and fill the bottle to 200mls and it ended up at the right temperature for him.

When going out I got good at taking boiling water in the bottle so it was at the right temp when he was due a bottle.  The formula feeding containersare great and fit 3 feeds, as it is suggested to only make up feeds as needed.

I had heaps of guilt with my first having not breastfeeding him (not helped at all by the breast is best bunch of ads that were on all the time!!).  I thought I hadn’t tried hard enough so looked forward to baby number 2 and giving it a better go.

For number 2 I had a different midwife and said how I really wanted to breastfeed.  Again it was a struggle.  I thought I was doing okay as I got to day 10 with no formula (but cracked and bleeding nipples) but she was still losing weight so had to be topped up with formula.  This was very disappointing but I was given much more support by my midwife she gave me loads of free samples of S26 Gold (which we have now stuck with), she sent me to breastfeeding clinics.

I expressed for 8 weeks while taking fenugreeknursing tea and drinking special milkshakes (all which proved to be very expensive).  I had to feed her, give her EBM and then formula and then express!!  I gradually built up my milk supply.

But by 8 weeks I had had enough, I gave her breast and then formula ( no expressing) and so my milk supply dropped, i then tried domperidone but even that didn’t help and by 3 and a half months she was fully on formula.

I am still disappointed but I am now enjoying my time more with her and now I have to look at the positives that I can get out for a bit and someone else can give her a bottle (most of the time I choose to feed her just as it is our time).  This time around we had everything which was easier and I bought an insulated bag which keeps the bottle for even longer.

Anyway that is my story with a few tips of things I found out along the way, I just wish that people would understand how hard some people try and how hard it can be.