Hi, I am still breastfeeding my 8&1/2 mth old dd, but I had a huge battle with the breastfeeding. The weird thing was she was my 4th baby and I had breastfed all the others. So even though I do breast feed I can fully appreciate why others aren't able to, or chose not to.
My first, a girl, I had a few difficulties with attachment for the first few days and we use to suppliement with a bottle for about the first 6 weeks as she was coliky and difficult to settle and I was not confident about my supply.
But the 2 boys fed like troupers, (I think boys are more greedy and go for it better, just my experience) and I didn't need to give them anything else.
Well, this my 4th, baby was my first c-section due to placenta previa, so I don't know if that had anything to do with it, but she just would not feed. She had both attachment problems and sucking problems. After about a week, her weight was still dropping and she ended up back in hospital and under the care of a paed. Even with formula she was very sleepy and had a very poor suck. She took 90 mins to down 60 ml at one stage!!! They did tests but couldn't find anything to account for it.
So I had to formula feed, or she would have died. But I couldn't give up on the breastfeeding, it just didn't gel with me after having fed 3 others. But as they say, you can lead a horse to water.... So I expressed, fed both the EBM and formula, (I hate expressing and have trouble getting a large amount, yet like I said previously had enough to satisfy my very hungry boys) and continued to attempt bf'ing with nipple shields, syringing formula to encorage feeding rah, rah, rah. It took me 6 weeks before she one day suddenly attached and began to feed at the breast. -??? I KNOW I would have given up if she had been my first, but having fed 3 before I stubbonly refused to give up, even though I knew the midwives considered her a lost cause. Actually I had set myself a date a couple of weeks after that where I was going to give up if she didn't take to it, because I just couldn't continue with it all, I still had 3 other children that needed me.
However, I didn't seem to be able to establish as good a supply and she still needed a couple of bottles a day. At 8 + mths she still has one or 2 bottles of formula a day. But she also gets 3-4 good breastfeeds.
My point is.... WHY does it have to be an either/or thing??????
I know they say they get confused, phewy, most will take it from wherever it comes. You just read my story of my last, (if you got this far), my first didn't refuse the breast after having a bottle, my friend both breastfed and bottle fed her twins, alternating which got what at each feed, as she had health problems and couldn't manage to breastfed both. Another friend gave hers a 5 o'clock bottle everyday, so she could contend with the witching hour and her other children.
So these 5 babies of the top of my head didn't get confused. I don't think they are special. I know how stressful breastfeeding can be if it doesn't go to plan, yet I know how enjoyable it can be if possible. Also it saves a bit of $$$ on formula, if you can still maintain the breastfeeding. I think if there are problems, rather than having a stressed mother and baby, give them a bottle, but don't necessarily give up the breastfeeding, unless you really have to.
And as for guilt, I'm quite sure it is our own guilt that plagues us the most. I was just so disappointed and felt guilty and useless that I couldn't feed this baby, no matter how much I would reason with myself about how I had feed 3 others, so it must be a problem with the baby and I was doing well for persisting as much as I did.
Even just the other day, I have a friend who has just had a baby and he is doing extremely well, fully breastfed. Regained birthweight in 3 days and put on about a kilo in 10 days!!!! Grrrr you know the ones you hear about that make you sick! wink Don't get me wrong I am really happy for her that her baby is doing so well, but her mother just in passing made the comment that, "she was such a good mother..." which made me immediately think, well I guess that means I must not be a good mother as my baby didn't put on weight well. Of course there was no way this lady meant that, she didn't even know my history, but just shows that even now a little thing can make you feed bad all over again. We are our own worst enemies. smile
Thankyou if you got this far,