Tuesday, 13 May 2014

bottle feeding - the guilt

It took a while to settle into bottle feeding. There are lots of hassles as you can't simply put the baby to the boob and have an instantly satisfied baby! Instead there were the dos and don't of making up bottles to get my head around - how to heat them up, whether to keep them in a fridge in advance, use of a microwave, taking bottles out with me, sterilising, which formula to use, and so on, all while looking out for new signals of hunger to prevent unnecessary crying! 

I'd just settled in to it when I had a wave I guilt over me. At the mums and babies group some mums were breastfeeding babies older than Hugo. Although some were also bottle feeding, I just felt disappointed in myself. I hated sitting there bottle feeding and was thinking that I should have carried on and persevered. It wasn't as bad for me as for some people and looking back I had thoughts that I could've made it work. I was also thinking that it would've got easier, which is possibly true, but how could I ever know?!

The truth is yes I could perhaps have persevered, but would I have been happy? Would I have even made it to that group if I was as tired as I had been? Probably not. I wouldn't have had as many happy times as I've had I'm sure.

Before I breastfed I hadn't quite realised just how much is would stop me from doing as much. Not because I was afraid to breastfeed in public, I truly mastered that, but because of such frequent, long and tiring feeds.

I breastfed that night thinking I'd start it up again, but was instantly reminded of the reasons that I'd stopped. My boobs were very sore and starting to bleed, my arms were incredibly achy from trying to hold him in position to get a good latch, and he simply wasn't as satisfied as with a bottle and wanted another feed straight away.

Instead I thought I'd try to get as much expressed milk as possible so that I could at least be happy that he was getting breast milk. I borrowed a friends electric pump, but couldn't get as much as I did with a manual and realised that even with the manual I was getting a lot less than before. I'd just been so busy that my supply had diminished as I hadn't been able to keep on top of expressing.

So, to cut it short, my breast milk has pretty much dried up. I feel very frustrated at myself as I so wanted to breastfeed for longer, but I need to think of the positives and the healthy, happy little boy I have.

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