Breastfeeding dilemma

Breastfeeding has been so easy for me. In the hospital Lion Cub wouldn’t latch because he had to go into NICU for a few hours for oxygen and observation. For the first two days he was fed with a syringe and topped up with formula. On day 3 he suddenly “got it” and latched and drank. Monkey was a little hesitant at first but by the end of day 1 was sucking like a pro. Lion Cub struggled to latch at first while Monkey was a little boob piranha. Now Lion Cub has the better latch and the better appetite. Monkey is somewhat of a fussy eater. He doesn’t like lying in certain positions and needs to be winded at regular intervals during a feed. He also eats much less than his brother. This shows in their weights, at 9 weeks Monkey weighed 3.7kg and Lion Cub a whopping 4.3kg considering they were born with a 200g difference in weight.

I exclusively breastfed until I decided that sleep was worth a formula bottle and we started giving one formula bottle at 7pm from about 6 weeks. It really does help them sleep better and takes the pressure off me a bit. Sometimes we’ve had to top up with formula during growth spurts but they still get mommy milk at every feed.

Recently Monkey started pulling off the boob and crying, this was accompanied by scratching and kicking. All in all very disconcerting as a breastfeeding mom. The calm, enjoyable and relaxing experience of breastfeeding suddenly became a battle of wills and the constant fussing made tandem feeding almost impossible. For about a week the boys were getting bottles almost exclusively with me expressing so that they could at least still drink mommy milk. I would try feeding the boys individually on the boob but Monkey would still throw the performance of a lifetime.

Up until yesterday I was seriously wondering if I was going to be able to continue breastfeeding and then I figured out a trick…

Put Monkey on the boob while he is fast asleep. No fuss, no crying, just content and sleepily suckling baby. We even managed to do a feed with him awake and a tandem feed at 11pm last night. It seems that the nightmare week of bad feeding has gotten sorted out. I can understand how some women give up on breastfeeding. It can be such a battle, bit when it works it is bliss.

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