'I had to give breast milk at all costs'
Fairly exhausted, my husband and I are back at the consultation office after ten weeks—bags under our eyes, pale faces, tired. Downright deadbeat. Cautiously, the paediatric nurse asks if I don't want to bottle-feed in addition to breastfeeding. I look at her gratefully.
After ten weeks of only breastfeeding, I am worn out. It is very laborious. I seriously question whether enough milk is coming out of my breasts, and I have already had two breast infections and nipple fissures. Before giving birth, I had vowed not to make a fuss about it, but little did I know that those hormones would be such a mind fuck!
Is breast milk a must?
I was determined, and I cried my eyes out. But I had to give breast milk at all costs because it's the best! I still believe that, but now I also know that many variations are possible. Some mothers succeed, and others don't.
Our little one is not gaining enough weight; the paediatric nurse is worried
At the consultation office, they are thankfully relaxed with the all-too-familiar "curves". That said, my little girl remains underweight. A lovely lactation consultant observed the situation many more times. It was only later that I learned they are not allowed to advise me to stop breastfeeding or give formula alongside it! Such a shame that there is little transparency on this matter...
It is in my daughter's best interest to start bottle feeding alongside it
I don't want to give up breastfeeding, but at the moment, it takes too much energy from both my husband and me. It reached an all-time low when I was breastfeeding for three hours in a row in the middle of the night. I had no idea what was "normal". I figured that was the way it was supposed to be. I didn't believe a friend who told me she breastfed for just ten minutes; I couldn't imagine that.
The paediatric nurse explained that milk production decreases due to fatigue and stress caused by breast infection. It takes a lot of effort and energy for my daughter to drink the milk. So we ended up in a vicious cycle.
Thanks to that clarification and because it dawned on me that things can't go on like this, I took the advice to start bottle-feeding as well. This will give me some space to breathe and get the production going again. But...how do you do that?
I can't find any decent information anywhere about combining breast and bottle feeding
It's either one or the other. Websites claiming "breast milk is best" do not cheer me up; it kind of makes me feel like a failure. I had no idea that manufacturers must state this on their sites!
We feed on demand and intuitively start combining breast milk and formula. We start with breast milk so I can be sure she has fully ingested it. If she is still thirsty after that, we will make a bottle. We are going to maintain a journal and hope to gain insight into what she drinks approximately
Slowly but surely, I see our little girl changing...
From a petite baby to a "chubby" baby. Little by little, she is getting 'on the curve'. And, not unimportantly, we are regaining our energy. Hooray!
Do you have any questions in response to my blog? Simply send an e-mail to Pure Goat. They will be happy to pass your questions on to me. I will try my best to answer them all!
Response Pure Goat Company:
Naturally, Monique is not the only young mother going through this. Breastfeeding does not always go smoothly, even though your little one needs to drink because of the well-known growth curve.
Pure Goat Company advocates breastfeeding. But is this not working out? Or is there not enough? Then we are happy that our bottle feeding can offer a solution! In consultation with your doctor or the consultation office, of course.
Are you looking for organic bottle formula? You've come to the right place. Our bottle formula is made from full-fat Dutch goat's milk. An excellent alternative to formula based on cow's milk.
Team Pure Goat Company