Breastfeeding Baby #2

Share the joy

Last week as parents around the world celebrated breast feeding and attended Big Latch On events, we found ourselves firmly back in breast feeding mode after a break of eight years.
To be honest, it wasnt going well.  Just like everything to do with Ethan’s arrival, breastfeeding was ridiculously easy {I have realized with hindsight!}.  He was hungry, I had crazy good milk supply and he just got it.
Nixon has turned my whole experience of baby rearing on its head and breast feeding has been no exception.  Nixon just didn’t get it.
His delivery via forceps nailed him. He was so tired and probably so sore that he would barely stay awake longer than three minutes once on the breast, and so the vicious cycle began. As his calorie deficiency became even more marked he had less and less energy with which to feed.  My big 10lb 2oz baby was fading away.
Week two resulted in another hospital admission so his weight could be monitored and he could be checked out fully.
It’s pretty common knowledge that bottle feeding is easier for babies, they don’t have to work so hard to get full.  Not one of the hospital staff or lactation specialists suggested this as an option for Nixon, even with expressed milk.  This would have saved us weeks of worry.
So we persevered with our sleepy giant but after a day long hunger strike enough was enough. Dave came home from work with a tin of formula and we gave him a 50ml top up after breast feeding. I felt sick to my stomach.
What had we done? Never in my wildest dreams had I imagined having to bottle feed either of my kids.  E wouldn’t take a bottle so I feed him every two hours, that’s right, every two hours for a year.  I assumed Nixon would be just as boob-loyal.

It turns out that formula didn’t kill my baby!  Huzzah!

It turns out that he didn’t get “nipple confusion”!

It turns out that my milk supply did NOT suffer from a formula top-up once a day!

There was light at the end of the four week old tunnel and this past week has seen a huge change in the little guy.  He has packed on half a kg in seven days, is happier and more settled and responds perfectly to every feed.

So, we are now breastfeeding, bottle feeding expressed milk for a top-up when needed and bottle feeding formula top-ups when needed.  It’s all good!  Nixon doesn’t care how he gets it, he just loves his milk!

As a second time mum, I was completely naive to assume that Nixon would follow the same path as baby Ethan, everything is different, not in a bad way, but just enough to remind us to keep open minds as we raise two individual sons who are their own little people.