Well, I say chose…
I had every intention of breastfeeding. I had visions of being a true Earth Mother. A baby hanging off my tit as I spent the day up to my elbows kneading dough and knitting booties. Nursing a babe and a sourdough starter all at the same time.
But of course, having a baby doesn’t fundamentally change who you are. Surprise surprise.
But back to breastfeeding. Essentially, Madam Mae was having none of it. Much like her mother, she doesn’t like to put any effort into eating. She’d like her dinner delivered directly into her mouth, thank you very much. Me? I solved this issue by marrying a man who can cook. Mae? She would only drink from a bottle. And I pretty quickly decided that eating was better than not eating, which is essentially what our choice boiled down to.
(Side note: how anybody establishes breastfeeding in hospital is beyond me. Two nights of no sleep, the exhaustion of giving birth and a noisy, stressful environment do not make the perfect ingredients for learning a – tricky – new skill, for either of us. Especially when one of us – naming no names – doesn’t yet know their arse from their elbow.)
So now instead of being surrounded by sourdough, I’m knee deep in sterilisers, bottles and formula. And I’m loving it.
Here are just a few reasons why bottlefeeding is brilliant:
- Alex can help – he does pre-midnight feeds and I do post-midnight. It works a treat and it means we both get a decent stretch of sleep.
- I can get away for a few hours – my Grandma died just a few days after Mae was born and bottle feeding meant I was able to attend the funeral while Alex stayed at home.
- We all get more sleep. Formula takes longer to digest so Mae can go for longer between feeds. The other night she went for five hours. FIVE HOURS!
- It gives Alex an opportunity to bond with her. Mae is comforted by both of us equally, so it’s not always down to me to settle her.
- We know she’s eating well. Bottle feeding means we can see exactly how much she’s eating, no guesswork required.
I’m so pleased I didn’t persevere down the breastfeeding route. It was making both me and Mae very stressed and, as everyone knows, a happy Mum means a happy baby.
And a growing, well-fed baby makes a happy Mum.