Combination Feeding- Why?
From the minute I found out I was pregnant I vowed to myself that this I wouldn't feel any pressure, from other mums, professionals or an over opinionated person. I vowed I'd do things my own way, what felt right for me and what worked for my baby.
I'd exclusively breastfed for 4 months this weekend and it had been near enough a breeze, Ewan had always latched on well, was gaining weight as he should and I'd had no conflict regarding me feeding him in public. But suddenly overnight things changed, I was feeding Ewan more and more to the point that by Saturday it was near enough every 20 minutes and I couldn't put my finger on why. He wasn't settling and I felt completely and utterly overwhelmed. I persevered through the night, drank loads of fennel tea, tried pumping to stimulate more milk and nothing was working. I expressed on the Channel Mum Group how much of a failure I felt and the response couldn't have been more positive. People praised me for breastfeeding for so long, mums told their experiences of the exact same situation; second baby,big baby, overwhelming feeling, sense of failure and not enough milk. Then mums started commenting suggesting combination feeding if I wasn't ready to give up the breast just yet. And I wasn't, I so so wasn't. I wasn't ready to give up that 15 minutes that is 15 minutes of my solely divided attention to Ewan, that bond we had developed through the breastfeeding. So we bit the bullet, researched the best formula for combination feeding and did it.
Since then I've had the most settled,content, happy version of Ewan I've known. He sleeps longer at night, doesn't feed as often and is so much more relaxed himself with me no longer worrying about what he is getting from me. I still breastfeed or express milk 2 or 3 times a day to help my supply stay up but I know hand on heart this is the right decision for me as a mum and us as a family.
However.... if somebody has told me this 3 or 4 days ago I would never never thought it was true. When combination feeding or at first the thought of completely leaving the breastfeeding branch came about I was devastated. I felt like I had a failed again, to provide my baby with what I thought was best for him. I'd promised myself this time round I'd persevere, not give up or listen to any of the patronising advice I might have been given. I cried numerous times, apologised over and over to Ewan and questioned why I just couldn't do it.
By combination feeding it allows me some small windows to escape and be Sophie for a few hours, means I know Ewan is happy and his tummy full but I'm not giving up the breastfeeding dream I had always planned...
The most important rule is, what makes a baby happy is a happy mummy and vice versa. Do what's right for you both and sometimes breast isn't always best.
A happy healthy fed baby is!