A Combination Feeding Story

Oh parenthood! When you’re pregnant you have all these expectations of how things will go, but when your little one arrives, things are just not as you planned. Breastfeeding for me was one of these things. In my mind, it was natural and therefore should be easy. You just give the baby your boob and voilà! Prior to giving birth I embarrassingly had not read much about breastfeeding. I focused mostly on natural birthing and the pregnancy, and by the way... our baby was breech, so I needed to have a scheduled c-section.

After my c-section (while in the hospital) the lactation consultant showed up once at 11 pm when I was sleeping, then I never saw her again. Perhaps because it was the weekend, I’m not sure. I felt pretty optimistic since my little baby latched immediately. I was so thrilled because I heard many times babies do not. The thing I was not very thrilled about was that our daughter lost eleven percent of her birth weight when leaving the hospital and the nurses were pushing formula.

When we brought our daughter to her first doctor appointment we were told she had a bit of jaundice and that we would need to flush it out by using formula. Immediately I was crushed. Not the “F” word again! But of course we did it... which I’m sure messed with my supply. For the first months I nursed all day and night, but our daughter still was not gaining enough weight. We had a pee/poop log to measure how much output she had, and that looked great according to our lactation consultant, but her weight gain was not sufficient for our doctor. I began feeling like such a failure. It truly was my first mom guilt moment and I was beyond crushed. It was like part of my soul that I never knew about was so sad.

Eventually we began supplementing with formula with one bottle at night and she gained weight. Our doctor was happy with this, I however felt guilty once again. My thoughts were, OMG my poor baby was hungry! Eventually I got used to the supplementation, and was able to enjoy a breastfeeding and formula feeding. I breastfed for 14 months and it was a beautiful journey. I loved nursing my daughter and will always remember our special bond. I’m happy that formula and my breast milk were able to help her grow and develop into the strong and healthy toddler she is today.

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