Boob or bottle.. or combi!!

I need to start off this blog post with a disclaimer – please don’t take what I say as gospel or that it is the right way or wrong way. This is purely my experiences and sharing those with you as I’ve been asked numerous times. I’m a strong believer in fed is best! So do your own research etc and do what’s right for you and your baby 💗

So when you’re pregnant, you start thinking about how you want to feed your baby. I never really had my heart set on either way and I don’t feel like I was educated at all!!! With Nate, I was going to give breastfeeding a go mainly because I just felt like it was the right thing to do?! But honestly, I had no idea on anything to do with it. So he was born and was rushed off to NICU, I didn’t get any time with him in recovery so I didn’t get to feed him. I had a C section so I couldn’t even go and see him in NICU. It was horrendous. However the following morning the midwives said he was much better and I could go up to feed him. He had pnenomia and was grunting so was struggling to breathe. I tried to put my nipple in his mouth however he then tried to focus on feeding from me and it messed up his breathing. Unfortunately this cause him to regress to being put back into an incubator. This totally freaked me out. I expressed colostrum however I agreed for him to be fed formula. As soon as I said I would try him on a bottle, I felt a weight lift off my shoulders and I could focus on recovering and could focus on his recovery too. He absolutely thrived on formula and I don’t have any regrets.

By the time I was pregnant with Callie, I did a little more looking into it about latching etc and learnt a bit. I had no idea what combi feeding was. I thought it was just boob or formula. So I started harvesting colostrum because I was so worried she’d be sick so I collected 30 syringes!! I think this definitely helped boost breast feeding. I took a starter pack of formula just Incase it didn’t work out again. So when she was born, she latched straight away in recovery and fed for almost the whole two hours!! Then when I went to the ward it kind of changed. She had a good latch at times but other times she wasn’t latching. I felt like my colostrum wasn’t enough for her either so I started harvesting it again and could literally fill a syringe in a minute! Where I was in hospital, I just didn’t like it. I wanted to bond with Callie and work on our feeding and establish it privately without the pressure. Midwives want to watch and I hate not being able to do something and someone tell me how. So I started giving her the starter pack of formula whilst my milk was coming in. When we left hospital I was recovering from major surgery. So my mum had Nate for 2 days and it meant I could lay in my bed and just bond with Callie. Jack was there too obviously and helped me with everything but I do believe it really is a time for mum and baby. I still was giving her the formula until my milk came In. This meant I know she was drinking and getting full!

We then moved into my mums and it was first lockdown and really strict. We soon fell into a routine. As you know, newborns have no routine or concept of time or day and night. They settle to sleep at like 9pm! Callie was also colic! So we got into a routine of Jack giving her a bottle of formula her ‘bedtime bottle’ at around 9pm. I went to sleep about 8pm then she’d have a good stretch of sleep or about 3-4 hours. I had no idea if what I was doing was right. I was worried different milks might irritate her belly and I hadn’t heard of combi fed. I felt like I was cheating so I had to Google it and finally found out it was a normal thing! Also when my midwife she asked how I was feeding and I was scared to say both. But she was over the moon! She was glad baby was getting boob however also glad we knew she was getting good feeds. For the first few weeks I’d track how long she’d have on my boob etc. I was breastfeeding all day and all night. So when she woke about 1, I’d take her out her snuz pod and breastfeed her back to sleep then we’d co sleep. It’s what worked for us and I absolutely loved it. It’s such a difference waking up going to make a bottle instead of rolling over and putting them on boob on our side. I would breastfeed all morning too then our routine of Jack getting up witg Nate in morning taking him downstairs qne Callie when she woke. It meant I could catch up on sleep until 9/10am. After a few weeks, we changed her to comfort milk as she was colic and it worked miracles! That and infacol. Then also after a few weeks we upped her formula to 1 morning bottle too so she was having two bottles of formula a day. I actually started pumping too and one of the bottles or however much I could get she would have in a bottle fed by jack. It meant husk www involved and could bond too. It meant when he got up with the kids, he could give her a bottle and she’d be settled whilst I Slept! It’s what worked for us.

I was still breastfeeding through out the day, it was lockdown so we didn’t go out. We was at home and daily walk! It was just so easy getting your boob out! I know I’m so blessed for Callie to take to bottle so well. Babies can struggle going between bottle to nipple. But I think where I introduced it from the start it definitely helped! The recommendation is to establish breastfeeding first but then baby may not take a bottle ?! Do what you think Is right and your baby will let you know!!!

So we had it nailed and then after a few months it slowly turned into just breastfeeding during the night she was still co sleeping with us and waking up once for boob. Then at 4.5 months, she slept through!!!! So naturally breastfeeding came to a stop for us as she no longer needed the comfort during the night. I honestly loved it so so much and I was sad for it to come an end but I’m glad it was a natural end. I’m so so lucky I never had any problems, I don’t think I used nipple cream once etc. There wernt really any complications! However I do recommend Breast pads and lots of them! And a hakka silicon pump to put on your other boob when you’re breastfeeding to catch your let down! You get heaps!!

Anyway that’s our breastfeeding journey! I had never even heard of combi feeding until I naturally wanted to give it a go and I looked into it’ I deffinitly recommend! It worked for us so so so well and I want to try it again. However I know, next time will be different. I will have a 14 month to look/ run after. Plus jack has a different job so will only take a few weeks off so he won’t be there to do the mornings! So I’m not sure how we’ll navigate through but I’m sure we will figure it out!! I love breastfeeding and 100% want to do it again however for any reason I can’t then I’m not going to be upset as Nate thrived on formulas!

Lots of love

Daisy Jane x

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