This isn’t a dig at breastfeeding Mama’s nor am I encouraging others to formula feed, it is simply my story.
Little has pretty much been formula fed since day one and I am totally ok with this. She has gained weight every week and she is a happy and content little girl.
I remember at every midwife appointment I would be asked on my plans for breastfeeding. Although I never felt 100% comfortable with this idea I thought I would at least give it a go. I knew the benefits of breastfeeding and I assumed it was something that everyone could do.
How wrong was I?
When Little was born I’m pretty certain I suffered with shock. I didn’t really know what I was doing so relied heavily on the midwife to tell me what to do. It wasn’t until a few hours after her birth that I was shown how to latch her on. I was told we had a good latch but I couldn’t feel anything. This was because she wasn’t actually suckling!
As the midwifes saw we had a good latch we were sent home the same day. It wasn’t until we were home that I realised that Little hadn’t fed for quite a while. She was sleepy and not really interested at all.
The same day she was born we were back up the hospital in A&E. After her throwing up large amounts of brown liquid despite not feeding much, it was advised that we got her checked out. I’m sure you could imagine the hormonal state I was in!
It was discovered that her blood glucose levels had dropped which in turn made her sleepy and not wanting to feed. It was a vicious circle so unless we could get her to feed they wouldn’t rise. I tried breastfeeding again with the support of a nurse but still Little wouldn’t suckle. It was decided that we would try her on formula. But still she wasn’t interested. It was actually the nurse who managed to get her to feed something in the end.
About an hour after that feed they retested her levels and thankfully they had gone up. I then had to feed her every 4 hours, even if she didn’t wake. for 6 weeks.
At the time it never even crossed my mind to go back to breast once my milk came in because I was just happy that she was feeding. I didn’t want to chance her blood glucose levels dropping again.
So yes I do feel bad for not being able to breastfeed her but she is happy and healthy. That’s the main thing right?
What I found was there is very little advice available on formula feeding which was super hard for me as a first time parent. I know that breast is probably best for some babies but it isn’t always possible for all Mamas. Why should we be made to feel like we are doing something terrible by choosing to formula feed?
So whilst I normally hate the saying “it never did my child any harm” I’m going to continue to make the bottles the way I have been as it works for us.