Combination Feeding

My nipples are crying out in relief. Runner Bean is feeding and it’s nothing to do with them. We’ve given him his first bottle of formula and it’s bloody joyful. He’s taking it. Hopefully he’ll take my boob again in following feeds but I decided this morning, when he was hungry again for the third time in less than two hours, enough nipple pain and endless breastfeeding was enough.

Before RB was born I was totally open to whatever type of feeding worked best for us all. I didn’t buy into the Breast is Best propaganda and have read that breast milk only equates to one less puke and one less diarrhea in the first year. Though I knew I wanted and needed bottles to work. I wanted RB’s dad to be able to feed him, and I needed to be able to leave RB in other people’s care for longer than an hour. Call it selfish if you want but I’m a human being and have needs too.

But RB came along, and I liked breast feeding. I liked my body nurturing him, I liked knowing the process was helping my body recover. It hurt at times, but not enough to put me off. We had a good few days of The Neverending Booby, but it was still novel and hadn’t yet worn me down.

We introduced one bottle feed a day with expressed milk, but it still takes from me. I still need to express the milk, and I’m not a huge fan of that. It takes time, hurts my nipples and I hate seeing them sucked into the plastic tube. I fear for my nipples after months of expressing and they are already bigger than my pre-pregnancy boobs. My old bras would just about cover my nipples now.

Then I clocked in myself I’d fallen for the Breast is Best propaganda and let it seep into my brain. I started to believe that breast milk is better, breastfeeding is better, regardless of the formula supporting words that came from my mouth. I spoke with a friend about how hormones tell you to keep trying, keep breastfeeding, don’t give up. Acknowledging that helped me to see through my emotional fog.

So we’ll see how this goes. I’d like to combination feed but we have to follow RB too. This one is obviously going to be an ongoing journey and so for now, there’s no real summary to this post other than watch this space…

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