One mum shares her baby feeding journey:
She writes: “My wee girl was born underweight and therefore very hungry. She was in NICU for 6 days and it was not until day 5 that we got her latched on properly. Before this I was expressing (when my milk came in) and we were either feeding her through a syringe, or a cup, plus she was getting IV fluids. Once home all she wanted to do was feed, feed, feed. She fed hourly pretty much for her first 5 weeks, day and night! Which meant not much sleep was had by me. However, it gave her the start that she needed and I kept going with breastfeeding even though I was utterly exhausted and no one could help me. We eventually started to top her up with formula in the evenings as she was so grumpy as she was not getting enough milk from me. This helped immensely and it was soon apparent that I really did not have enough milk. This was despite taking herbs, drinking feeding tea and taking medication to build up my supply.
We decided that we would give her formula whenever she was getting too frustrated with breastfeeding as she was pretty obvious when she wasn’t getting enough! This eventually settled down to me feeding her first thing in the mornings and in the evening (tea time grumpy time), and her having bottles the rest of the time. Boy did we see some weight gains! It was just what she needed and wanted because suddenly we had a lovely, content, happy baby that started to sit on 2.5-3hourly feeds!
I suffered a lot of self-guilt in giving her formula, as I really wanted to breastfeed, however I had to realise that this is what she needed and that I had done everything I possibly could to keep breastfeeding. Obviously my body just could not do it, and so we settled with her having the best of both worlds! Breast and bottle. Suddenly, when I let go of the guilt I was able to enjoy my new daughter so much more. She was so settled, and wanted to interact, and play where before it was all just about wanting to be drinking 24/7 (just to get enough I assume). We both started to get more sleep and the light at the end of the tunnel was extremely close.
Now as she comes up to 6 months old I have never looked back on our decision! She is the most contented little girl that is now starting to sleep through the night. She has caught up, and even overtaken most of the other babies her age with her weight (3rd percentile when born), and is striving developmentally. We have only had one little cold with her *touch wood* so she is healthy as an ox, aside from some reflux issues. She decided to self-wean from breastfeeding at around 5 months old, I think she just found she was doing too much work for too little.
She is now completely formula fed and I have no guilt as I know my baby is fed, happy and thriving in every possible way.
Of course breast is best, however, feeding your baby is better! I will endeavour to breastfeed our next child, however I think I will be morerelaxed in having to use formula if it is necessary.”