When I reached my 1st trimester of pregnancy, I always just assumed that I would be a breastfeeding mother. I believed that my maternal instincts would be all-powerful and I would lactate at any cry I heard from a newborn baby. Boy was I wrong!
As I’ve discussed in a previous article, breast may well be best, but it many, many cases, it isn’t actually possible. In my case, my son had a tongue tie that wasn’t detected, I wasn’t producing enough milk, my breasts became augmented and, seriously, I could go on but I’ll spare you the details.
Having spoken to hundreds of other mothers over the last two and a half years, you’d be surprised at just how common this occurrence is.
My point is that at no stage during my pregnancy, or during the support visits afterwards, was I EVER given advice on bottle feeding. It is a huge, socio-political black hole in the NHS which needs to be addressed immediately.
You see, the NHS believe that milk-substitute formula is forged in the fiery pits of Hell by evil corporate organisations that are conspiring to eradicate breasts from the earth.
So without any, and I mean any, bottle-feeding advice, my partner and I were totally lost. Once we had decided that our starving baby probably disagreed with the NHS, we set off to find an alternative in the local supermarket.
Now, there were ready made cartons, powder form milk, stay down, extra hungry, first infant, added vitamin supplements, follow-on milk, thickened milk for reflux babies, anti-colic bottles and then the hundreds of different brands offering the ‘second best to breast milk’.
We picked the formula which had the happiest-looking baby on the front (it being our only gauge) and slowly introduced this via an easy-open carton (at first), and then in powder form.
We hit plenty of snags, (largely due to my son’s reflux meaning he struggled to keep anything down). In the end, we got the right brand/bottle and type of formula to suit our son, and he has grown up happy and healthy.