Our beautiful baby daughter Anabelle was born sleeping June 2010.
Blessed with the screaming arrivals of our gorgeous rainbow sons,
Alexander October 2011, Zachary November 2013 and Lucas July 2016.

After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows
Heartbreak. Joy. Death. Life. But most of all Love.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

B is for...

... breastfeeding...

Well I haven't done a feeding journey update for a while, so thought that the letter B was the perfect opportunity! 

Alexander is coming up six months old now and we are still feeding! Now if you've read my previous blog posts on this subject you'll know what a huge milestone this feels for me. In those early days this felt like an unachievable life-time away goal; the difficulty getting established, the feeding shields guilt, epic hour long plus feeds to be doing it all over again two hours later, feeling smothered and trapped, the pressure to express a decent amount. Now all that feels like a distant memory! 

Now we've reached that all important six month mark. 

I can pinpoint the day my feelings changed, when it stopped feeling a chore; the day I allowed myself and allowed Xander to have formula for his late night feed.   

Up until then I had been expressing for that last feed of the day and this had been working really well for us. I was getting one feed 'off' and getting some sleep in before the middle of the night feed started. Until my excess supply tailed off as my body stopped over-producing. Then expressing became a burden, struggling for a few ounces and struggling to find the time in between his epic feeds. 

For days I tormented myself about what was best to do. I needed that break every day, when Jon took over for a little while, but I wasn't getting enough milk for the baby to carry on the way we were. So we considered formula and I got the formula guilt didn't I...looking back it is beyond ridiculous! 

Why did I beat myself up so much about introducing formula for one bottle?   Because in hindsight it is this one bottle of formula that was the beginning of everything getting better! I thought it would be a slippery slope to stopping altogether, but infact it has been the the exact opposite. I truly believe without that one bottle I would've reached breaking point and given up entirely long ago, not here at this golden six month mark! 

The changes we made and the pressure I took off myself was the best thing for my family. 

Now we have fed for six months I know we can do it for another six months and alongside weaning and solid food I would love to keep going until his first birthday! A few months back I never in a million years thought I would feel this way. It took a long time but I've gone from feeling a bit non-plussed about feeding Xander, sometime hating it to now enjoying it! Sometime in the middle of February I suddenly realised I was enjoying it and only enjoying it - all the negative feelings were gone. 

I can't claim to have exclusively breast-fed my son for those golden six months, but all for that one bottle a day it feels as good as! And you know what, I am proud and glad I made those changes that were right for my family. 

So anyone struggling right now, it will get better. It is hard to believe in those shattered early weeks but it will! Whatever better means for you; whether that be like me one bottle to give you a break, exclusively breast, a bigger mix of breast/formula or exclusively bottle... whatever is best for you is perfect because the only thing that really matters is a happy family. 

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Stumbled across this blog whilst searching for answers on breastfeeding..currently breastfeeding my 8week old little girl and feeling exactly how you did after her it gaining weight and me struggling to express even an oz :( feel almost ready to give in but seeing this I realise it's not *the worst* thing I can do to give her one bottle in the evening..

Caz said...

It really isn't lovely. One bottle in the evening saved my sanity and saved our breastfeeding. X is 8 months old now and we're still bf. I really don't think we would've still be going strong now if I hadn't made that change when I did in the earlier months. Be kind to yourself, its such an emotional time in the beginning xx

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After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows. I'm Caz, Mummy to beautiful angel Belle and my wonderful rainbow boys, Xander, Zachy and Luc. Wife to Jon. Twitter @cazem Instagram @cazzyem
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