My breastfeeding journey – an update

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,
Jess

4 thoughts on “My breastfeeding journey – an update

  1. My baby is 2 weeks old tomorrow and Ive just read all your breastfeeding posts-they are great! I struggled to solely breastfeed due to the demand and spent at least 3 days of my baby’s new life crying because I was so upset I couldn’t exclusively breastfeed, felt selfish as I was producing milk so felt I should have been giving into the demand (I was so scared I would fall asleep as the baby was using me as a comforter also) but I was also loving tje whole experience and completely related to your own reasons in your previous b/feeding post. I combine feed now too between breast, expressing and formula and felt the support just wasn’t really there. I called a b/feeding support group in my City and they wouldn’t entertain my idea to combination feed and the Health visitor was just glad to see baby put on weight. It took my husband and I time to work it all out and it’s a scary time as it is. Anyway…! Loved your honesty and I jope your feeding journey continues to be a positive one as you say your baby is putting on weight and you are doing amazing. There is no feeling worse than Mum guilt but we are doing our best Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Letici. First of all congrats on your new baby! So sorry to hear about your experience, it seems like a lot of people suffer due to lack of support. It sounds like you’re doing brilliantly though!
      Thank you so much for your kind message. I hope things continue to work out for you! Have a brilliant first christmas with your little one xxx

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  2. Breastfeeding looks ‘easy’ but people just don’t realise how intense and involved it actually is!

    Teddy is two weeks old and lost 15% of his birth weight in the first 5 days. I was breastfeeding after a c section and treatment for severe post natal pre eclampsia and my milk just wasn’t coming in. I didn’t know but there just wasn’t enough for him. All the pointers were there, constant feeding, doesn’t wake for feeds but put down to newborn feeding like cluster feeding or milk drunk. He was admitted back into hospital and tube fed (my worst moment yet) but with the help of the amazing Infant Support team at our hospital we breast fed, and cup fed formula and expressed and he’s now gaining weight!

    Our experience changed the procedures at the hospital so I’m thankful there was some learning from it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow! What a scary experience that must’ve been. I’m so pleased Teddy putting weight on now and able to be at home to enjoy his first Christmas!

      I hope your breastfeeding journey continues to be successful xx

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