When Wren was about 3 months old I published a post all about my breastfeeding journey. You can read the post here if you’ve not already but to briefly summarise I spoke about how Wren had been slow to gain weight and and although I was desperate to exclusively breastfeed I was advised to introduce a couple of bottles of formula to ensure he was getting enough.
And so we began combination feeding.
I previously mentioned that the introduction of the bottle was causing Wren to fuss on the breast and that I feared I would eventually have to move onto the bottle full time causing my breastfeeding journey to come to a premature end. The good news is that a couple of months down the line combination feeding is working out well for us. Wren does still fuss on the breast, particularly day time feeds but he’s completely fine during the night and morning so we make it work.
He was weighed about a week ago and he’s continuing to gain a nice amount of weight, he’s still a skinny little babe and at 5 months weighs a slight 12.3lbs. He’s never going to be a baby with rolls of fat and chubby little legs but that’s fine! He’s found his natural weight gain pattern.
However, there’s something I can’t quite shake from my mind, a part of me feels like I was coerced into giving Wren formula and actually I’m not sure it’s made that much difference. Whilst he is gaining weight nicely formula hasn’t caused him to pile on the pounds. He drinks 12oz of formula a day and he’s otherwise breastfed.
Although at the time of making the decision to combi feed I was seriously concerned he wasn’t getting enough from me and was happy to do whatever it took to ensure he was fed I can’t help but wonder whether with a little bit more support from health care professionals I could’ve continued exclusively breastfeeding.
It seems to me that whilst everyone knows ‘breast is best’ and midwives and health visitors encourage this, the second baby isn’t gaining the ‘right amount of weight according to the charts’ then formula is recommended without hesitation.
My advice to anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation is to trust your gut.
You know your baby and if you want to formula feed, do it. If you want to combi feed, do it.
However, if like me, you want to breastfeed yet have some concerns about weight gain then talk to your health visitor and your GP. Take your baby to be weighed regularly. Don’t compare your baby’s weight to others of the same age. Ask if there is anything that can be done to up your supply.
Ask for breastfeeding support.
I hope this post has provided some advice to anyone in the same position. I’d love to know if you have similar stories.
As ever, thanks for stopping by,