Breastfeeding round 2: The never ending battle

So you may have read about the rather horrible start we had with AJ, but let me recap. He latched on fine his first time. He kept latching on fine but he never really fed. He was getting skinny. My heart broke. Finally day 3 when the milk came in I expressed like crazy and started feeding him with a bottle. Again midwives, health visitors and breastfeeding councillors, all pushing for breastfeeding – apparently they get points from UNICEF, something like that. I guess the ultimate result is the same – you would like more mums to be breastfeeding but what it meant was we had a kid that didn’t really eat for 3 days and at that age weight loss can lead to severe results. They will always tell you it’s your choice and you need to pay attention to your motherly instinct but its hard. You want them to breastfeed, nature delays your milk coming in for the first 3 – 5 days, meanwhile you have a starving child. Dark days.

These days we’ve almost flipped. Austin has started exclusively breastfeeding! Its really odd. Pretty much as soon as he turned 3 months he started refusing the bottle. He used to have one bottle at 7pm… just the one, and he’s stopped taking it! 2 things; my breasts started getting sore again (yes, again so bored of this. I thought we were out the other side!) as he started needing more feeding. And of course I had a mini panic because so far I have been sure that it’s that last bottle feed that has been keeping him asleep through the night! NOOOOO! So odd, you put the bottle in his mouth but it’s like he can’t get to grips with the teet. Just pushes the nipple to the side of his mouth and turns the head. But I put it near his lips just to see if there’s a desire for the bottle and he physically brings himself forward toward it or uses his hands to bring the bottle toward him, so it seems that there is a desire to eat but he’s gone off the bottle. We’ve tried for the last 2 weeks as I think its good to have the option to feed – what if something happens to me?! Or more importantly I need to go out! 😉

Anyway, we have been struggling through with bottle feeding and had no joy. We’ve had a few nights now where he has fed only from me and going to bed around 8pm. So far, he’s been ok and staying asleep til 6am. We have had a couple of scares at 2am, 1 where I fed him as he was really screaming, the other we ignored as it was more like grumbling and he fell asleep again soon after. I’m thinking the formula in the early days probably helped set the routine and now he’s just used to sleeping the longer hours. Mind you babies DO sleep through the night from an early age just on mum’s milk so it might all be ok. Of course now he’s getting to that age where he’s bigger and needs more food so he might start waking in the middle of the night anyway.

I can’t be arsed to worry. We’ll see what happens. The really good news is during the last month I’ve been getting much better at feeding whilst we’re out and about. This makes being out and about much easier and less stressful. Thank God. This really is a different child.

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