If you had told me I would still be breastfeeding C at 8 months old I wouldn’t have believed you. After failing miserably to breastfeed J, I wasn’t very optimistic that breastfeeding would work out with C. Anyway it did and here we are 8 months in. *JUST*
C has drastically cut her feeds down in the day, most likely because she is a massive fan of food. I feed her first thing in the morning and then she sometimes feeds to sleep at nap times. I was trying to feed her more in the day and she was being really fussy. At first, I thought teething was a factor, which it was, but it wasn’t until a friend suggested that she may just be filling up on food and wasn’t actually hungry for milk. When she suggested this I made an effort not to automatically offer milk if she was being a bit fussy, as it’s such a natural instinct when you are breastfeeding. Now she does seem to be feeding better again albeit less often. If I am not with her C will quite happily go 9-3 with very little milk only a few oz in a bottle.
It has not been easy by any means, I have nearly given up several times along the way. There is definitely such a thing as breastfeeding aversion. There are only so many times you can tolerate being scratched or hit before it gets to you. Currently, I am writing this as C is crying at her dad upstairs. She has just woke again from her bedtime/nap, I’ve fed her so I know she isn’t hungry.
It is slowly driving me insane, being the only one that is able to settle her back to sleep be it feeding or bum patting. Recently we have introduced a bottle of formula at around 10/11pm. My reason for this is because C seemed extremely unsettled for several evenings in a row. It was as though she was getting frustrated at not being able to get milk out quick enough. Now I know you never truly run out of milk etc.. however my mental health was taking a beating and the constant waking hourly through the night was getting to me. I was spending most of the evening with C faffing and moaning at me. She is going to bed at bedtime but then waking up an hour later and refusing to go back to sleep. By giving her a bottle of formula at 10/11 I am able to get at least 3hrs in a row of sleep. It is amazing how much that makes a difference. I did start giving her another bottle in the night at around 2am but I can’t work out if the faff of making up bottles in the night is worth the slightly extra sleep. For now, I’m just sticking to one bottle of formula overnight.
Since originally writing this we have flitted between sometimes having a bottle and sometimes not. We had a week away in the caravan so I didn’t want to be faffing around with bottles so I just carried on breastfeeding. Since coming home we have had the odd night of having a bottle, but in all honesty, I don’t think it has made any difference other than the fact that if I wanted to, someone else could give the milk to her.
At first, I was really against the idea of giving C formula, as I didn’t really want to wean C this early. However the more I have thought about it the more I am ok with it. She still breastfeeds in the day if she wants to and breastfeeds in an evening. It gives me that little bit of space if I need it, as I know she can always have a bottle at 10. I have also eased off the need to express if she isn’t with me and I miss a feed. My anxiety had kicked in and I had started to worry that I wasn’t making enough milk to keep up with her. By relaxing on the fact that she could always have formula that pressure has eased off on me. I was only getting 2oz every time I expressed and I didn’t want to start expressing more as I have a feeling that is why I ended up with mastitis again recently. The mastitis was that worse this time round that I nearly decided there and then to stop breastfeeding as I was in agony and felt like death.
My one thing is “Never give up on a bad day” there have been several moments I have wanted to however by following this mantra here I am 8 months in.
How long did you feed for? Any advice?