Feeding the baby – Breast or Bottle or Both?

How we all choose to feed our babies is an important and very emotional subject for most mothers. As such this page is designed to bring together all the major posts across this blog on this subject.

At Dodging Tigers we don’t think there is any wrong way so long as it works for mum, baby and the whole family,  but would like to share the experiences that worked for the ladies who contribute to this blog. 

As our ladies find the time and emotional strength to write their own stories they will be linked to on this page, in the hope that it gives new mums a range of experiences to make those difficult and stressful first weeks easier.  It would be nice to include any advice you would love to give to other ladies, as well as advice you wish you were given.

Kath’s story. Breastfeeding a premmie baby who was too small to latch on.

Rachael’s story. Combi feeding, including expressing long term.

 

3 thoughts on “Feeding the baby – Breast or Bottle or Both?”

  1. Pre-baby I took breastfeeding for granted. But baby J was early and, following an induction and a forceps delivery, i tried to feed her but she was too lethargic and to be honest I was too exhausted to even hold her. I still expressed, getting tiny amounts. We persisted with the breast but both of us became frustrated. It really upset me to see her wanting her milk but not being able to get it.
    Still in the hospital, she was admitted for jaundice and given huge amounts of formula and UV light treatment. By now I had resigned myself to her never breastfeeding. I was too exhausted to be gutted; I carried on expressing, producing around 20ml at a time.
    Then my milk came in-I was heavily engorged to the extent that my nipples were flat. I sat in the bath and cried in pain. I wryly thought of how I had envisaged – and been sold – this fantasy of breastfeeding. That she would just latch on and away we go. I didn’t know that some babies find it hard and that you and your baby have to learn this new skill together.
    Still expressing milk I managed to get J to have a go with a nipple shield on the least evil of the two boobs. With the pressure off and her energy by now improved, J latched on immediately. I cried and my partner cried too; she looked so happy. She finally had her milk.
    Over the next few days we were able to phase out the formula and top up with EBM. Her jaundice cleared and a week later we were home.
    I’d been so excited about coming home. Once there I was terrified. We had become institutionalised; I now had to exclusively breastfeed and trust that she would be okay.
    And she was and is. It was a huge leap of faith to trust breastfeeding again as it had, I felt, failed me initially. I later discovered that I’d had almost all the “risk factors” for a baby who would struggle to feed – rupture of membranes before 37 weeks, augmentation with syntocinon, failed ventouse, forceps, baby was back to back and got stuck…the only thing I didn’t have was a Caesarian Section. No wonder she was so tired.
    We had a lot of support from our hospital who wouldn’t discharge us until I got her on the boob and feeding. I think that saved us because otherwise we would have given up.
    For other mums I would emphasise, express within an hour of the birth and keep doing it. Don’t worry if you have to give your baby formula-it’s a short term solution to get their strength up. Keep expressing. J had enough bottles to sink a ship and she still prefers the boob by a long shot.

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    1. Lots of that sounds so familiar Alexandra! I remember the intense desire to go home, and then the terror when it actually happened. Thanks for the comment.

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