Darcyby Aoife Anderson
One of my babies came to me formula fed and on a schedule. As a mom of twin daughters, I started the journey breastfeeding one, while the other was whisked away to the NICU and given formula immediately. I didn’t see her for a day and a half, didn’t know what was going on. My husband told her they were feeding her formula. I didn’t get any skin-to-skin and they never asked me about feeding her.
So much of my anxiety pre-motherhood was about being able to deliver healthy babies. I remember reading that doctors would ask me if they needed to give formula. Well, they didn’t. For better or for worse, that decision was taken away from me. On the other hand, there were a lot of benefits so I had to get over it.
Despite breastfeeding and pumping every 3 hours, I could not produce enough to feed them both. When we got home, my NICU baby was so lightweight I was scared to breastfeed her, so we gave her bottles of pumped milk and formula. After 2 weeks, we started mixing and matching for both girls and that opened up a lot of flexibility. So we breast and bottle fed what ultimately became a 70/30 mix of breast milk/formula.
When I finally got sick of pumping, and both babies had bitten me enough to stop breastfeeding and I was back at work, we went full formula from 8 to 12 months.
The whole feeding topic is so daunting. It's a journey and it’s very different for every single person.