Welcome back to another week of The Newborn Feeding Series – and I’ve managed to get it up on time, yay!
This week I’m featuring Amie’s story of how she fed her son, Noah, the youngest of her four children.
Noah arrived on 12th December 2015 at 12.15am and we were in awe that finally we had our little boy!
From the moment he was born, we had skin on skin and I breastfed immediately. He fed like a dream! I was confident and determined to breastfeed him as I did with his 3 elder sisters. But with all the girls, I only managed several weeks. The first few weeks, like with any new born, were spent feeding on demand. Christmas came and went and I spent most of the festive season feeding my boy upstairs, out of sight of relatives! To be honest , it was all a bit of a blur!
Everyday was a new day and came with its own complications and challenges but I was determined to feed through the pain and get past those hard few weeks.
My health visitor would visit regularly as Noah was not putting any weight on. In fact, he kept losing it, which as a parent to a new born was a real worry. I took her advice and introduced a formula feed once a day. He took the bottle great and downed that bottle like there was no tomorrow!
Breast feeding was becoming easier each day. I took to sleeping on the settee on a night as I fed better sitting on that than I did sitting in bed. I was determined for nothing to stop me or give me an excuse to stop breast feeding.
The health visitor came to visit every 3 days to see how we were getting on and weigh Noah. And every time he got weighed, he had lost weight. I introduced another formula feed to our daily routine to try and get Noah to put even an ounce of weight on. And still nothing! I felt totally deflated that I could not provide that wonderful breast milk I’m meant to for my boy to thrive. I changed my diet dramatically (I actually ate more than 2 pieces of toast a day) to boost my milk! I borrowed an industrial breast pump from the hospital to see if that would help me produce more milk, but the most I pumped was 1 ounce. Shockingly crap!
At 6 weeks old, we visited the hospital for a routine check on his hips as he liked to somersault in my stomach whilst I was pregnant! A nurse viewed her concern for how underweight Noah looked and we were admitted to the children’s ward straight away. After talking to doctors, we agreed that I would ‘top up’ with a 3oz bottle of formula after every fed from myself. If he only drank a little, he was getting milk from me. If he was drinking the whole bottle, he wasn’t getting enough from me. As it was, he finished that bottle on every feed.
I was totally gutted that he wasn’t getting enough from me as we had fought through the hard times, got over the pain barrier and overcome breast feeding in public!
I made the tough decision to stop feeding him myself and purely feed him on formula milk. He needed the nutrients and he clearly wasn’t getting anything from me. I felt this poor boy had been starved for the first 6 weeks of his life and I couldn’t risk anything happening to him or even losing him.
After the first day of totally being on formula milk, it was like I had a totally different baby. He was happy, content, alert and most importantly putting weight on!
It’s been a hard start for him and he’s given us a few scares in these 5 months but we wouldn’t be without him and this little boy has completed our family.
As you can see from Amie’s story, sometimes breastfeeding just doesn’t work out for some Mamas and their babies, and shows how important it is to get the right support from health visitors and doctors to make a successful move to formula feeding. What I’ve seen from her Instagram Noah is a very happy little boy so it’s obviously worked out well! You can find Amie on Instagram at @amieplusfour, her pictures are adorable – definitely worth a follow.
I’d love to hear from you if you have a newborn feeding experience to share, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Whether you have a blog or not, I’d be happy to hear from you!