FLOURISH & BLOTTING

beauty, travel & lifestyle

31 Jul 2017

The Formula Faux Pas?

Ok, I am perfectly aware of how controversial this post might be, but hear me out? As you may, or may not know I recently started to combination feed Phoebe. I was finding that what I was providing wasn't quite adequate enough for her ferocious appetite. She's a growing girl!

Literally, she couldn't go an hour without being fed. I was finding that I was spending my days in bed, feeding her, eating far too much sugar to keep up with her demands, and by the time James got in from work I was still in my maternity nightdress in which he left me in that morning.

I found so much pressure was put on me as a new mum to breastfeed, which even resulted in health professionals not telling the truth just to make the whole thing sound more appealing. Yes, you have to wind your breastfed baby, and no, they don't overeat when offered a bottle as an alternative.

Phoebe was only a tiddler when she was born (6.5lb!!) and I have always felt like she had something to prove, especially when it came to feeding. Introducing formula was a very daunting prospect for me, but it had kind of got to the point where my mental health was really starting to suffer. At one point I was told I had to offer Phoebe expressed bottle top ups.. Like, when? I never actually got a break long enough to get that far.

At first I offered Phoebe only 2oz of formula after every feed. Seeing her thrive and become much more settled made me really think long and hard about upping that amount and reducing the times in which I fed her myself. I purchased the Tommee Tippee Prep Machine and took the plunge. Best. Decision. Ever.

She became a much happier baby as a result. Her character really started to shine through and she became more manageable on trips out. Her nappy rash also cleared up, which I was so glad about. When babies are breastfed they constantly have a pooey nappy, which meant Pheobe kept getting fungal infections due to it always being wet down there. It also meant that other people could feed her, therefore taking the pressure off me to have to always be there.

However, it doesn't help when you have uninformed others stating that breastfeeding is the 'natural state', when offering advice on prescribed gripe medicine in their next breath. It used to be that babies digestion system would mature on it's own, unaided.

What's natural anymore anyway? Take placenta pills. If you want to ingest your placenta, fine, let me pass you a knife and fork. But there is nothing natural about sending your placenta off to an un-liscenced 'laboratory' (I use the word 'laboratory' loosely as it is probably just someones kitchen!) and put in pill form with god knows how many other woman's lady bits! It's not a standardised procedure and it's all kinds of stupid. Science gone mad if you ask me.

I mean, look at IVF for example. There is absolutely nothing natural about that either. I was listening to Radio 4 recently and they were discussing budget cuts to the NHS. There were plans to cut how many cycles that some counties would offer, and to justify that decision they said that before IVF was invented natural selection was relied upon to keep the population manageable.

I think it is terrible that I am on the defence constantly about my decision. In the end I did what was best for Phoebe. It wasn't selfishly motivated because I could see she was starving. I breastfed exclusively for the first 3 months, therefore giving her the best start I possibly could, admittedly that did make the decision to go to formula so much easier. If I was to do it again, I would probably do the same but not be so scared to introduce formula if I was struggling.

If you have any questions on combination/formula feeding please get in touch!

Love, Jo
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