Feeding my baby

My breastfeeding journey with Joshua isn't something I've really touched upon much since his arrival. However, If you follow my social media, you'll probably know that we combination feed Joshua, just as we did for his brothers and this is actually my first experience of having a baby where I've felt a complete sense of ease in making that decision.

I've always held quite an open mind with regards to the varying methods of feeding, especially since I didn't really get to choose either way for myself. I suppose my experiences have shaped my believe that when it comes to a newborn, nutrition and hydration are the most important aspects of their first weeks and not whether they are breast or bottle fed.

My newborns have all been hungry little babes and with Noah and Jonah, I found myself breast feeding around the clock but with the end result of them actually losing weight instead of putting it back on. It took Noah a much longer time to get back up to his birth weight because whatever he was receiving from me was obviously just not sufficient.

When Joshua was born I assumed we would take a similar route as the other boys...and it so happened that within the first week, just as I suspected would be the case, I noticed that he wasn't gaining weight as he should be.

With hindsight, I've often wondered whether I only produce fore milk (the thirst quenching first round), and perhaps for some reason, my body doesn't produce the hind milk (fatty milk that is essential for growth). It would certainly explain a lot! 

For me, formula feeding Joshua top up's as and when he needs them actually allows me to continue breastfeeding him as much as I can. I love being able to breastfeed and have contentedly come to accept the help I require in order for my babies to grow and thrive. Yes, it is somewhat painful and certainly humbling to acknowledge that I can't do it by myself, especially when I look around and see so many other mums managing fine. But that's MY feeling about the matter, certainly not Joshua's who, by the way, will guzzle from whatever you put in his mouth without stopping for a moment to check!

I've been asked a few times exactly how I combination feed and it's actually become really easy and enjoyable for my husband and I. During the day I always offer a breastfeed first at every feed (to encourage my milk production to keep up) and within the space of 5-10 mins, Joshua will have drained both sides. After burping him, he will normally still be hungry, displaying this either by crying or rooting. We then offer him a full formula feed which he will typically drink about 3/4 of. After another burping session he is done- He'll either be awake and smiling, or fast asleep and out for the count! 

At night time he seems happy enough just breastfeeding and as we 'co-sleep', he will just feed whenever he wants to and fall back asleep afterward. Very occasionally he will need another bottle in the night but normally he's fine to sleep through without.

At the moment I tend to follow Joshua's lead with the feeding as he is still so young. Whilst it's a system that probably doesn't sound all that convenient, (having to breastfeed and then have a sterile bottle prepped and ready to go), it's just one of those things you get used to. I often hear people talk about how inconvenient it is having to sterilize bottles and prepare formula feeds but in the grand scheme, it really isn't. It just becomes a new part of your routine that you adopt and takes next to no time once you're into the swing of it!

I hope this post has been helpful, especially to those who have specifically asked me about my feeding journey...

Ultimately, it's all about ensuring a happy baby who is thriving and whether you do that through bottle feeding or breastfeeding, or both- you'll know what is best for your babe!



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