Today I bid a final adieu to formula milk as my twins , now almost 13 months old ,have successfully moved to pasteurised cow milk .
But before I say my goodbyes, I have to make an honest confession about formula milk .
Twin pregnancy is an unpredictable journey , you just don’t know how your body will react to bearing two together . From a surreal experience to suddenly transforming into a series of unfortunate events , I gave birth to my ~7 week premature twins under extremely trying circumstances.
Born at 33 weeks they barely made the 2 kg (each )mark. But the weight started dropping sharply in a few days as it always does in newborns . However , a low birth weight losing his meagre weight can give any mom shivers .
From there began my journey with formula milk. It became the second mother to my twins in NICU and later. After multiple attempts at tandem breastfeeding while struggling to carefully hold two preemies with tiny mouths and weak reflexes , I accepted formula milk as my twins’ caretaker.
While I breastfed one baby every two hours (following a strict schedule) , my family fed formula milk to my other child using a paladai . With each feed I swapped the child I was breastfeeding while formula nourished my second .
In a matter of few days , my twins regained the grams to achieve their birth weight , and fortunately after that the journey was uphill.
My preemies outgrew the paladai and we started bottlefeeding and breastfeeding together , switching the babies at every meal.
Having suffered an antepartum haemorrhage at 26 weeks of pregnancy, I had received multiple vaginal stitches . In a way I had suffered the trauma of vaginal delivery while being pregnant with twins and was bearing the after-effects of C-section birth later . The postpartum healing required me to undergo two operative procedures when my twins turned 40 days old and 3 months old respectively. The formula milk and my breast pump again took over the responsibility of nurturing my babies when mommy was hospitalised .
In a few months my premature twins surprised me by catching up with their growth and coming at par with their birth cohort. I was indebted to formula milk once again.
When my kids turned 6 months old , I joined back work and bid farewell to my breast pump as it was getting extremely taxing to pump every 4 -6 hour and handling two babies well.
That day marked a drastic transformation in my motherhood journey . Having fought the guilt of leaving breastfeeding and forgiven myself for it , I soon realised how happy I had become . My bonding with my babies actually flourished after I left breastfeeding them. I was less tired , happier , chirpier and had ample ‘me’ time. The time I spent with my twins included much more things than just feeding them . We listened to songs and rhymes , danced together , read storybooks and giggled away. They had disassociated mommy from feeding and associated her with fun and play time. My feelings towards them also gradually became more positive . I can say , this is when I finally came out of the post partum blues. I realised that being mommy was not just about feeding , they loved me unconditionally anyways.
I continued giving them the prescribed formula milk till they turned 12 months old through bottlefeeding . Thanks to my strict bottlefeeding hygiene , my twins have not suffered any episode of diarrhoea in the whole first year.
Just like the formula milk , we are gradually parting away from bottles as well , and again I can’t thank the bottles enough for bringing happiness in my life .
At 12 months , my twins have caught up with kids of their age group in all spheres , and fall in healthy percentiles both height and weight wise .
Formula Milk is a boon to all mothers who are unable to breastfeed for any reason related to their health (physical and mental) or the child’s .
This is my honest account and not meant to discourage breastfeeding mothers .This is to emphasise that even formula feeding is a healthy choice for baby. You may have opinions on it , but then you are free to have them . This is not a promotional post and hence I have not mentioned the brands of formula milk or bottles that I have been using.Breastfeeding is the best nutrition for babies under 6 months.
For safe bottlefeeding practices : Read Here !
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