Before having Luna, I always thought I would like to breastfeed, after reading up a bit, it became apparent that maybe it’s not as easy as I had, naively, first thought.
Our little bundle arrived and we fortunately (due to unfortunate circumstances) to stay for a bit in the hospital, I say fortunately as it gave us lots of time to establish feeding before returning home. We were so lucky that she latched in straight away and was very happy feeding, it wasn’t perfect but it was happening and it wasn’t painful and she latched on pretty quickly each time.
When we returned home, as new parents, we were so keen to pass her around and have lots of people meet her, this ended up with a lack of time just cuddling and feeding. I was so uneducated on the fact of how important this time was. On day 7, the midwife sent us back to hospital as she had lost 13.4% of body weight. This was horrendous, it was completely my fault that our baby hadn’t had enough feed.
The team at the hospital (as always-were amazing) but I did really feel the pressure to get feeding right and there was a slight lack of consistency from different people giving different advice, I felt this both overwhelming and confusing, chatting to other new mamas, some breastfeeding some bottle feeding gave me confidence that fed is best.
On the way home we decided to get a pot of formula as we didn’t want her to lose weight and if we needed we could then top up. I cringe in my skin writing this bit, but I was so paranoid if anyone would see us buying the formula. So many people had preached the importance of breastfeeding and not only had I failed, but we were buying formula. One thing I have definitely learnt during motherhood is to do what you think is right and right then that important to us. We carried on feeding and sometimes it has been painful and sometimes I wished she didn’t want to feed anymore but ultimately I have loved the experience and feel so lucky to have had that time.
Nine months on and we have just ended our breastfeeding journey, I was apprehensive and sad before we did it but I have learnt (just about) to listen to Luna and myself. Advice told us not to cut feeding and do it gradually. Knowing both of our personalities, I know that I would struggle to gauge which feeds to keep and which to cut and Luna would have mixed messages about it all. Anyway a week on and Luna is happy with a mix of cows milk and formula and my boobs are getting there, very wonky but fine (said in a Ross from friends voice).
We are finding new things to do now together like go to the park 5 times a day to play on the swings and that’s now our special little thing.
Ultimately you do you, whatever you do is best for your baby as you chose it.