The End Of Breastfeeding

There aren't many subjects that get parents going as much as the thorny topic of breastfeeding. I now realise that mums often fall into one of two camps. The first group finds breastfeeding easy and can't help but tell everyone about how they wouldn't dream about giving their baby anything else. The second group finds breastfeeding difficult and so give their baby formula instead, which usually means a lot of nagging from health visitors and, in turn, a lot of complaining about this nagging on various internet message boards. The thing is, everyone seems to think they're doing what is best for their baby, and when confronted with conflicting evidence like this, it's not hard to see where the confusion comes from.

We fall somewhere in between those two groups. From about two weeks old G has had a mixture of breastfeeding and bottle feeding, with an initial one bottle feed per day rising to two and then three shortly before Mrs J went back to work last week. We decided to start giving G the bottles because she was a big baby and often seemed to be hungry, no matter how many breastfeeds she got, and sure enough she was a lot better once we switched. Not all babies are happy to take both breast and bottle (the milk flows out at different rates, which can be irritating for little ones) so we were pretty lucky with that too.

But now Mrs J has gone back to work breastfeeding isn't really practical. The less often you breastfeed the less milk you produce, and there just isn't enough to keep our little milk monster happy, so from this week we're giving her bottles only. It won't be for long though, because soon enough we'll have to start trying solid food. Another thing I've now learned is that, once you finally solve one problem with your baby, you're almost immediately confronted with a new one.

3 comments:

Mama B said...

Wow, G looks so grown-up on that picture!

I think you have over-simplified the categories of BFing mothers though. If you're struggling, or BF isn't working for you, it's easy to assume everyone else is doing it easily. In fact there's a group, myself included, who find or have found it difficult but still 'wouldn't give their baby anything else'. My blog friend MAM wrote a good post on this the other day http://muddlingalongmummy.blogspot.com/2010/01/i-am-not-member-of-breastapo.html

Oh yes, and weaning is a whole wide world of mess!

I hope you and G are having good full-time SAHD fun!

Richard said...

You're right, there are lots of different approaches to the feeding issue. I'm afraid my own crudely simplistic view comes from not really knowing very much about it at all! The only thing I am certain of is that the approach which worked for G will not work in any way for any future children we might have.

dadwhowrites said...

We found exactly the same issues - supermum had ambitions to exclusively breastfeed but it just didn't work for us. Works for some people. And being weaned off breast and on to food both seemed to coincide with her return to work.