With the constant debate on breast or formula, I thought I’d write my thoughts on how I’ll be feeding baby number 2. Feeding your baby is a personal choice and shouldn’t be influenced by anyone, unless you’ve asked specifically for their help and advice.
When Lamb was born I absolutely wanted to breastfeed, nothing else crossed my mind. I knew exactly what I wanted to do. Breastfeed until around 6 months then move onto formula for 6 months, then cows milk. The thing is, you can never plan how feeding will go and you may face some challenges, I certainly did. I wrote a post on my breastfeeding challenges with Lamb if you want to read it.
The short version is he couldn’t latch. After staying in hospital for 2 nights/3days with plenty of help from midwives, it just wouldn’t happen. Apparently I’ve got ‘inverted nipples’ which basically means they are too small. I never thought I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed due to small nipples!
These stressful few days of Lamb barely getting any milk (because the midwives didn’t want me giving him formula until we had found a solution to help me breastfeed) I eventually decided to buy a breast pump and express. Lamb was fed with expressed breast milk until he was around 6 months. I expressed for 4 1/2 months, but had a huge supply in the freezer which meant I could continue giving him breast milk for a little longer. I, of course, topped him up with formula. There was no way I could keep up with his demand – he fed every 2 hours in the beginning!
This time round I’m more prepared. I now understand that not everyone is blessed with the ability to breastfeed naturally. But that’s ok. There are ways around it. I’ll make sure there are shields in my hospital bag, I’ll ask the midwives for a pump if I’m struggling. As long as my baby gets my milk that’s all that matters.
This may mean I combination feed from the start. Again, that’s ok. I’m not one of these pro breastfeeders who despise formula and think it’s devil juice. I’m also not one of these crazy ‘lactivists’ who attack woman who use formula. My personal opinion is to try breastfeeding, and if it’s not for you then fine, no matter what the reason, but I believe it’s worth a try. At the end of the day breastmilk is free! I’m not going to rant about it being better for the baby, we all know what the doctors say and it’s up to you if you listen. However for me, formula is expensive. We are living on a very low income with another baby on the way, so if I can avoid buying formula for as long as possible I will.
You never know, breastfeeding may come easily with baby boy, he may be able to latch unlike his big brother. The bottles might stay in the cupboard for a while before I need them.
One thing I do know is I’ll be expressing from the beginning. I want a supply in the freezer ready for when I do bottle feed. Or to give myself a break, daddy can do one night feed so I can get an extra couple of hours sleep.
Like I said earlier, feeding a baby can’t really be planned. You just don’t know how things will turn out.
The most important thing is that you are both happy.
A happy mother (and father!) equals a happy baby. If you are struggling and in a bad place, the baby will pick up on those emotions. Feeding your baby is a beautiful thing, whether it’s from a boob or bottle. Make sure you’re using the time to bond. That’s what I’ll be doing.