I never pressured myself to breastfeeding with either of my babies. It was something very foreign I had obviously never done before so I didn’t know if I was going to LOVE it, embrace it and exclusively breastfeed, combi feed for the best of both worlds, or decide that actually I had given it a go but it wasn’t for me.
Straight after Finn I gave it a shot, admittedly not my best shot. I had been in labour for two days that had ended in major surgery, I was absolutely wiped out. With very little help from staff day 2 at the hospital, I tried him with a bottle of formula and never looked back. Formula worked for us. I was happy with the decision because I knew at the time I just did not have the physical or emotional energy to persevere with breastfeeding.
Take two when I became pregnant with Belle. Again no pressure but I was more motivated to give breastfeeding a go. I always said I didn’t want to exclusively breastfeed. I absolutely take my hat off to all the mums that do. My reasons are most definitely selfish I’ll admit. I knew it would stop and hinder me being able to do a lot of things, such as going out on girls days if I wanted to, have the odd night out (I know how terrible does that sound) and to be completely honest I still haven’t done either of them things not breastfeeding 🤷🏼♀️ but hey the options there if I want to 😂 Then there is the whole you can pump, but I also didn’t want to spend the time I wasn’t breast feeding, pumping. On top of this I was very conscious it would take a lot of time away from Finn having a baby glued to me, but this was not the sole reason I didn’t want to exclusively breastfeed because I know mums of two that smash it.
I get the whole breast milk is better if you can, but I grew a perfectly healthy boy on formula, I can’t see him being any more fit if I had fed him breast milk, can you see where I’m coming from?
ANYWAY with all the above being said, I ideally wanted to combi feed Belle (formula and breast). With Belles labour being the complete opposite quick and natural, I had a lot of time to speak to nurses about breastfeeding and her getting a good latch and we both took to it straight away.
I decided to try her with a bottle at 2 days old. I know a lot of people frown and feel you should wait until their around 6 weeks old to introduce a bottle along with breast but my thinking was, if she is going to get used to just breast for 6 weeks she isn’t going to be happy about then being given a bottle at 6 weeks. She wouldn’t no any different if I introduced a bottle so early on, and I’m no midwife (obvs 🤪) but I absolutely stand by this decision. She took to both and we had not problems what so ever. It was the best of both worlds for us.
We combi fed for one month, I sometimes pumped so I knew how much she was getting, sometimes fed her from the breast, and sometimes gave her formula from a bottle. She wasn’t really fussed she is a pretty laid back baby. But at around 3 weeks she became very collicy on a morning and an evening, which were the times I breastfed, throughout the day she was absolutely fine. I thought surly it must be just a fluke, after all ‘breastmilk is better’ and all that malarkey. But I continued and for over a week we found it a struggle to burp her after a breastfeed and she would always be really uncomfortable for a good few hours after. We tested out theory and gave her a bottle of formula one night, and she was a happy little Belle again.
So it’s then I decided I would stop breastfeeding. I didn’t preserver anymore, I could have pumped but to be honest I didn’t want to, like I said, I have a healthy little boy that grew on formula. I didn’t want to breastfeed for the reason that it’s best for them. I wanted that special bond between you and your baby. I can’t lie is was nice to have that for a month but for me that didn’t out way the positives that being fully formula fed brought.
I have absolutely no regrets, and glad I gave it a whirl but for this mama formula works better for me and my babies 🥰
Love Emily X
*products in the images were gifted*