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My Feeding Battle

I’ve been considering writing this post for a few weeks now, but felt unsure how to go about it.

I’m not pro-breast feeding per say, I’d say I’m pro-feeding, but the problem is as soon as you start writing about breastfeeding people think you’re anti-formula, which isn’t the case at all. I’m currently breastfeeding Nicole, but I’ve formula fed, I’ve bottle fed expressed milk and I’ve breastfed, they were all great and all difficult for different reasons, so I thought I’d write my take on each of them.

I’ll start with saying breastfeeding is much harder than I thought it would be, the four things that tipped the scale for me in the favour of breast feeding were:

  1. No going downstairs in the night to make bottles up
  2. No washing and sterilising bottles
  3. No-one else can do it
  4. You don’t have to prepare and take bottles out with you

But I never realised the battle that can be involved with breastfeeding, my first son was 10 weeks premature and never latched, I tried and tried but the sucking reflex just wasn’t there, it was heartbreaking and frustrating.

My second son was premature but eventually latched, but it took a few weeks to get him exclusively breastfeeding, I gave him bottles occasionally, but the teat and nipple confusion made it more difficult.

Then I had Nicole, I was fully aware she might be my last so I really wanted to exclusively breastfeed, just as a personal goal for myself.

She is now nearly 10 weeks old and hasn’t had one bottle, but oh my the first three weeks were so hard. My nipples were blistered and bleeding, from where she hadn’t been latching properly, I got Mastitis (ouch!) and she was feeding every two hours, plus no-one else can do it, which is a bonus for bonding but not when you’re exhausted. I’m now two and a half months in and it’s a doddle, I’m so glad I pushed through that hard time, I’ve reached my goal and I feel like I can keep going for as long as I feel happy.

Formula feeding was more complicated than I thought, you don’t realise how many different formulas there are to choose from! First there’s the different brands and everyone has their opinions of of course! Then there’s the different types of milk, some rave about hungry babies yet others warn you to stay away. I did find that formula always made them more constipated. The washing and sterilising of bottles was frustrating at times, but then being able to ask someone to watch the baby whilst you have a shower or go do some shopping is attainable because they aren’t surgically attached to your breast! The benefits I found of formula feeding were:

  1. There isn’t the frustration of baby latching
  2. Other people can feed baby
  3. You can eat and drink whatever you like without worrying about it affecting baby
  4. You know how much milk they’ve consumed

I say that formula feeding was more complicated than I thought but in some ways it’s really simple, you make the bottle, you feed the baby and that’s it, there’s not need to work on latching or worrying about how much milk baby is getting because you can see it for yourself.

Expressing milk, I take my hat off to any momma who express their milk and feed it their baby through bottles. Above I’ve discussed the pros and cons of breast and bottle feeding, well this is both! So you’re getting all your amazing ‘liquid gold’ milk (as it is referred to in NICU) out through a breast pump, washing and sterilising bottles then feeding baby. It takes double the time and double the effort. I expressed while Jack was in NICU for 6 weeks, then for 6 weeks at home, he ended up needing premature baby formula to put weight on, but during the time I expressed it was very rewarding but it was hard work. The benefits to expressing are:

  1. Baby is still getting your milk
  2. Other people can feed baby
  3. You know how much milk baby has had
  4. You can freeze the milk and stockpile to use at a later date

Even though expressing is hard work, it is definitely worth it, it has so many great benefits for both mum and baby. Having battled trying to get Jack to latch and being unable to, I found this worked so well for us and I was so happy he could still get my milk.

So there it is, my take on the different types of feeding I’ve experienced first hand. There is a lot of judgement out there about each of these types of feeding, but there is one statement I stand by…

“All a baby cares about is that their belly is full and that you love them”

Really, as long as your baby is fed and happy…that’s all that matters. People will judge you no matter what you do, so you have to do what is best for you and baby not anyone else.

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A break from blogging

So  I’ve had a bit of a break from blogging the last few months. I’ve really missed it and feel there are so many things I have missed recording about my little monkey’s.

To re-cap I have two little boys Jack (2.5 yrs) and Michael (1.5 yrs) and write about all the trials and tribulations of being their mummy. Since I stopped blogging things have changed quite a lot, I am now expect a baby GIRL!

I will talk about my pregnancy more in upcoming posts but I’m still in shock it is a girl!

I just wanted to write a quick post about why I haven’t been blogging for a while, there has been no major reason other than life just getting in the way.

So now I have my 2yr old, 1 yr old, 20 weeks Pregnancy and my wedding in 8 weeks! Safe to say I have plenty to write about…..

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Yes breast is best…but stop battering the bottle! (Warning..rant post)

If you follow my blog, you know breast feeding is important to me personally, I tried to with my first son who was too premature to latch on so he was bottle fed breast milk for 12 weeks then moved on to premature baby formula, I now breast feed my second son exclusively 🙂

What I realised with my first son was, it can be very hard to breast feed, the latch, the supply and the commitment, it’s not as ‘natural’ as you expect it to be, so I found giving him it in bottles was better for him. It was extremely exhausting, washing and sterilizing bottles and breast pump equipment 8-10 times a day as well as expressing 8-10 times a day and then finally being able to feed him 8-10 times a day as well, which is why I lasted 12 weeks when I really wanted to do between 6-12 months.

When I pulled a bottle out to feed him in public people would first have comments like ‘that baby is too young to be out in public’ or ‘have you just come out of the hospital with that baby’ I would then explain that he was 11 weeks premature so he looks a lot smaller for his age then most babies. I would then get the comments about how I should breast feed and not give in by giving him formula!

It annoyed me that these strangers didn’t know my rigorous routine to give my baby breast milk but what annoyed me more is that…what if I was giving him formula? Who cares!

We have the choice whether we breast or formula feed our babies! Yes it may have benefits when breast feeding, but it doesn’t do damage to formula feed! Who knows a women’s reasons for formula feeding maybe she couldn’t breast feed her baby for whatever reason, maybe she needed to work tirelessly to provide for her baby or maybe just maybe…she didn’t want to breast feed!

Who’s business is it? I tell you who’s…no-one’s

We campaign about how women should be able to breast feed in public without getting abuse, which I totally agree with, but shouldn’t women be able to formula feed?

We can’t win either way, if we breast feed then we should cover up and hide in the corner, if we formula feed then we’re not doing the best for our baby!

I have the answer to all these issues:

DO WHAT YOU WANT!

If you want to breast feed or if you want to formula feed…do it!

The main thing is your baby is getting fed!

Sorry for the rant 🙂 But had to get it out!