You may be thinking “Ashleigh, why are you writing about your experience with breastfeeding when your boy is 16 months and you haven’t breastfed in months?”. Well, I love a blog post on this type of thing (who have I become?) and if at least one woman reads this and it helps, then I’m happy.
I always said with Grayson I was going to breastfeed, I didn’t know how long or anything else other than that I wanted to breastfeed, and I probably should have put a bit more thought into it.
After Grayson was born: because of the diamorphine in both our systems, the fact I’d had a traumatic assisted delivery and my colostrum hadn’t come in much; all meant that breastfeeding was hard. This was only a few hours after and I was already very emotional, so the fact I couldn’t even feed Gracie really wasn’t helping.
I’ll never forget the third midwife who came in to help me. I made a passing comment about the struggle I was having, and she looked me dead in the eye and said “a lot of people won’t agree with me, but if you want to breastfeed but you’re having a hard time then combination feed. As long as your baby is getting fed, who cares?”.
After that, I text Mark to get some Aptimal from Asda on his way to the ward and that was it.
Grayson was an absolute legend, he didn’t care whether it was a nipple or a bottle as long as it was food. I know a lot of people talk about some babies getting confused, but Grayson never did. Don’t get me wrong, we still went through cluster feeding and Breast engorgement and Grayson deciding he only wanted the left boob and nothing else. But I always had formula to fall back on.
I ended up breastfeeding Grayson to around 9 months, which I was crazy proud of. I genuinely loved breastfeeding, because sitting looking at Grayson and all his beautiful features whilst he was feeding just filled my heart with love.
I’m a huge advocate for combination feeding and tell any woman who has any concerns or fears with feeding her baby, to just give it a try. Ultimately though, the decision on how you feed YOUR baby is down to you.
Want to exclusively breastfeed? Awesome! Want to solely bottle feed? You go mama! Want to do combi feed? Fab, it was the best decision I made!
You’ve got to make the decision that is right for not only your baby, but for you as well.
As long as you’re both healthy and happy, who cares!