Breastfeeding, formula and hungry little Henry

My life since we got home from the hospital (the second time) has been a revolving door of feeding the baby, feeding the baby again, and everything else. I spend so much time feeding Henry that I actually wake up in the night thinking the body pillow I’m hugging (or the cat) is the baby.

For awhile we were supplementing every time he ate, then we finally got it down to supplementing every other time after we established that Henry was gaining weight again. It was still a hassle but felt like such a relief to have a little break. We did that for a week, then went in for a weight check to make sure he was still gaining enough. The doctor said that Henry was gaining, so we could try exclusively breast feeding for a week to see how that went, but we would have to come back in for another weight check after a week.

I was so happy when we got that news since we could finally get on a normal feeding schedule and not spend so much time on feeding the baby. We fed Henry every 2-3 hours, except at night when we let him sleep until he was hungry (he made it almost 7 hours one night!).

We had a great Christmas with family, and didn’t have to worry about taking a break to go pump, or worry about bringing bottles along with us. I could just feed Henry when he needed it, and it was so nice!

One month!

The day after Christmas we went in to have Henry weighed again, and were disappointed to learn that he had barely gained an ounce since the last check. The nurse didn’t seem too concerned, but we got a call later in the day from the doctor telling us we needed to give Henry formula so he could take in more calories. They told us that we could either breastfeed and then give him the formula after or we could gradually switch to exclusively feeding him formula.

This was not what we wanted to hear. At this point we felt like we had tried everything and had spent so many hours trying to get him to gain weight, and none of it was working, which was incredibly discouraging. Geoff and I discussed it, and decided to switch to formula completely but keep one breastfeeding session a day so that Henry can still get the benefits of breast milk, while also getting the calories from the formula. And that way we won’t burn ourselves out or have to change our routine again in a few days.

Luckily, Henry is not fussy when it comes to different bottles and formula, and was able to make the switch fairly easily. Unfortunately for me, my boobs probably thought I was feeding twins with all the nursing/pumping I was doing, so I was pretty uncomfortable the first couple days I didn’t nurse or pump every two hours. The discomfort didn’t last long though, and Henry already looks like he is filling out a little. As an added bonus, other people can feed him bottles, which means that I get breaks sometimes (yay!).

We have to bring him back again for another weight check at the end of this week, and he better have gained a good 7-8 oz by then or I don’t know what we will do! Wish us luck!

(For those who are curious, we started feeding Henry the premixed Similac Advance bottles, then switched to Gerber Good Start Gentle powdered formula in Playtex VentAire bottles. He spit up the Similac premixed bottles two different times, but hasn’t had any issues with the Gerber powdered formula.)

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