When Wren was about 5 weeks old I published my Breastfeeding Pros & Cons post, one of the pros I listed was along the lines of feeling like a superhero that your baby puts on weight because of your boobs.
What I didn’t realise was the utter devastation you’ll feel when your baby doesn’t put weight on…
Despite Wren weighing a healthy 8.7lbs when he was born, over these last few months he has been slow to gain weight. Although I was told it was nothing to worry about and that some babies, especially breastfed babies, were just slow gainers, being his mother I couldn’t help but worry.
I was exclusively breastfeeding so couldn’t shake the feeling that it was my fault he wasn’t gaining weight. I knew I was producing milk, Wren fed every 2 hours, I expressed to keep my supply up…. so why wasn’t he gaining weight quick enough? What was I doing wrong?
It wasn’t until he was weighed at 10 weeks old and we found out he had gained just 2 ounces in 4 weeks that I completely buckled.
The guilt hit me hard. I felt physically sick. Everyone around me, Brett, my family, the health visitor told me it wasn’t my fault but I wouldn’t listen to anyone.
Of course it was my fault. He’s my son, I was the sole person responsible for feeding him and I had failed.
I’ve felt guilty over lots of things since Wren has arrived, silly little things like spotting a poo splodge on his babygrow I’d missed during an earlier nappy change or praying he would nap an extra 30 minutes so I could finish catching up on Eastenders.
But this guilt was real and raw and I couldn’t shake it.
The health visitor recommended we introduce a couple of bottles of formula a day to up Wrens weight and now further 4 weeks down the line when he was weighed a few days ago he has gained 1.4lbs.
Combination feeding is working for us and I’m now starting to worry less about his weight. The feeling of guilt has subsided, although in all honestly I don’t think it will ever completely go, those 4 weeks where he gained just 2 ounces will haunt me for a long time.
However the introduction of the bottle has meant that Wren is getting more and more use to it and he’s starting to fuss on the breast. Some days are better than others but on his fussy days I have no option but to reach for the bottle.
I’m adamant to continue breastfeeding for as long as possible and I’m hoping with sheer perseverance Wren will get use to both bottle and breast.
Although it hasn’t been the easiest few months I absolutely love breastfeeding and fear it will come to an end sooner than I’d like it to. When that day comes I’ll miss it dreadfully so I’m going to make sure I cherish every second of it whilst I still can…
The way he sprawls out his little hand and rests it on my chest
Popping off mid feed to give me those gorgeous thank you smiles
The look on his little face when he’s fallen asleep after his feed
And my absolute favourite, the feeling of his warm little body, tightly cuddled up to mine