It’s crazy to think that the world we live in today would make any parent feel inadequate when it came to feeding their child, and by this I mean the age old saying of 'boob is best'. Fuck that, I say! Instead my mantra is 'fed is best'.
The reason that I felt compelled to write about this is because in my early months of being a mum I did something called mixed feeding, and the more I talk to new parents or parents-to-be about this, the more I realise that this isn’t something that is typically talked about until that awkward moment when you’re trying desperately to fed your baby for the first time. And then it hits you. Waves of every emotion are coursing through your body and all you can manage to do is cry in pain and feel incredibly guilty, because that initial beautiful boob attachment moment is a no-go and you have to figure out that next step.
So what is mixed feeding? The ABA calls it combination feeding, and pretty much it’s exactly that; a bit of boob juice and a bit of the ol’ powdered formula. Reasons for mixed feeding can vary from bub needing to gain a little bit more weight, to mum not being able to produce an adequate amount of breast milk. Or in our case, the first time I went to attach my tiny human onto my boobs she leeched me so good that she ripped my nipples in half (insert muttering and much eye rolling), which then led to pumping, and then to topping up the greedy human thing with formula, and then weird mixed spew smells and yada yada yada.
Also! Sometimes kids are just fucking hungry. Some just love milk SO MUCH! and will gorge themselves completely senseless on it, until the day you introduce solids. So, this is another reason why mixed feeding can be considered helpful because it’s a good way to make their little tums feel fuller.
One other really important thing that I gained from mixed feeding was that my husband was bale to be super hands on. He could get up in the middle of the night and feed her, or I could go away for a couple of hours and know that if she got hungry, she’d be fine. Topping up my baby with formula wasn’t a reflection of bad parenting, if anything she was stoked because she was fed, which in turn meant that we were doing it right. Full belly = squishy baby and froggy tummy. Delicious!
If any of you parents-to-be are worried about breastfeeding, or if any current parents out there are struggling with feeding and feel like there is a lack of supply, or you want a little more routine or control over your body again, go and visit a midwife or lactation specialist and ask them about the logistics of mixed feeding and if/how that can work for you. Again, please PLEASE don’t feel pressured by old hodge podge fucking stupid mentalities that breastmilk is the only milk. We are a progressive society, so we can parent and feed the way that suits our situations best. Breast, bottle, mixed, no worries!