23 January 2017


Breastfeeding and formula feeding is one of the many parenting debates that usually turns sour. This isn't one of those sour posts. I'm one of those mums who's proud she breastfeeds and wants to encourage others that they can do it, and likes to talk about it. But also wants to let mums know that if they can't, don't want to or whatever other reason, that formulas okay too. Yes i'm one of those, do what you feel best parents. Mother knows best. Not someone else's mother, not even your own mother (except mine, she's always right and I daren't argue with her) knows your child or what's right for them. I have one breastfed child, and one who was formula fed. 

Being in the world of parenting blogging, you open yourself up to unwanted, unnecessary opinions, rude comments at times and keyboard warriors. I mean I get it in real life, so why would I be naive to think that the online world wouldn't bring in some of these type of comments too. Whilst blogging on my old blogging platform, tumblr, after having Lucas, I received numerous "you're lazy," and "you're milk didn't dry up, you just couldn't be bothered," types of anonymous messages and some "you're just not educated enough" and "you could have breastfed". Not all were meaning to be nasty, some were badly worded supportive messages, some were genuine supportive messages and others were just plain rude. Thats the world of social media and internet and i've learnt to take it on the chin now. Not that we should have to. 

Lucas was breastfed for 10 days, 10 days of pain, struggling and formula top ups. Day 10 came around and i'd had enough, my breasts weren't engorged, there was no leaking and even with going cold turkey, there was no sign milk had ever even been in my breasts. We moved onto aptamil. It made me sad, but if i'm honest with everyone, I was glad, I was so relieved. 

It was making me so low, exhausted from attaching him, him unlatching, topping up with formula and feeling so useless that my 6lb 5oz baby was reaching nearly 5lbs! I couldn't understand why my body wasn't doing what it was meant to.

Lucas was born at 36 weeks + 4 days, 3 days "premature" I say that with quotations, as the more I look back and compare his weight to Iris' I think my dates were slightly out. From being hours old, I was told he needed to be topped up with formula due to low blood sugar levels, they were checked via heel prick and were slightly low. Their reasons behind this were his "prematurity". We were discharged two days later and Lucas started dropping weight. First it wasn't too much of a weight drop so they weren't too concerned, then it got more and more and the recommendation was more formula top ups. More formula tops ups were given, the more he struggled on my boob. 
Lucas was never exclusively breastfed, he was part breastfed, past formula fed for 10 days, then he was exclusively formula fed.

When pregnant with Iris, I had the same determination as I did in my pregnancy with Lucas. Moments after she was born, she was latched onto my boob, just like her brother. 19 hours after arriving at the hospital in labour, I was discharged and on my way home. No formula top ups, no blood sugars were even tested. Iris was born at 39 weeks + 4 days.
I had a really rocky breastfeeding journey to start off with, with Iris, you can read it HERE
We were advised time and time again to use formula top ups but I refused. Iris lost 13lbs in total, less than Lucas lost, with formula top ups.
I battled through and Iris has and will always be exclusively breastfed. She's now gaining weight and is doing really well.
For a long time, i've become defensive over Lucas being formula fed and now that i'm successfully feeding a child myself I now know the reason I believe that one of my children was breastfed and the other wasn't. The answer is support and knowledge, well lack of them. Instead of suggesting expressed milk, donor milk, they jumped straight onto formula. I didn't know formula top ups would affect my supply, I didn't know there are hidden dangers to formula fed children, I didn't know the health advantages, ect... that breastmilk carries. I was a new mum, and clueless. I'd watched a video on latches, getting the right latch and best positions to breastfeed in, given to me by my midwife whilst pregnant, but nothing else regarding it.
I wish that there was more support to help mothers who really wanted to breastfeed and had babies with low blood sugar issues, big babies, babies who lost too much weight, or other factors. 

Formula is something I clearly have no problem with. I mean seriously lets stop the hate for breast vs bottle, EVERYONE knows breast is best, but i'm certainly not going to be hypocritical or also make anyone feel inadequate because they tried and couldn't, didn't want to, or had other reasons that meant they had to stop; or purely picked up a bottle of formula from their baby's first feed. We all have the right to parent how we want, as long as the baby is being fed, they're being cared for. 

I also want to point out that 95% of breastfeeding mothers and 95% of formula feeding mothers are non-judgemental and supportive of a mothers choice. It's only 5% of breastfeeding mothers and 5% of formula feeding mothers that will be judgemental, rude and nasty. Same in general life situations. Only a small percentage of either side of feeding mothers will try to make you feel inadequate and thats not your problem, it's theres. Breastfeeding mothers are really cool, like me, and formula feeding mothers are really cool, like me! 

The point of this post is to encourage mothers who are having a tough time breastfeeding to seek support and if YOU want to keep going, keep going. It's also to tell mums its okay if you don't want to. No one should make another mother feel inadequate, no one should be defending their choices and lastly were a gang of women, we're a motherhood. Stop the hate, stop the judgement, keep the respect and respect for others styles and opinions.

Look at both my littles, they're both full of colds, but generally happy, healthy and Lucas is full of energy -  ALL THE TIME.

I feel like I should end this on

*Mic drop - Nicole Out* or something *cringe*.

Thanks for reading, feed your baby, love your baby and know you're amazing.

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