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To the Mom Trying to Accept That Your Baby Will Be Tube-Fed Instead of Breast-Fed

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Fed is best, although it sometimes takes a long time for a mom to accept this. Because it might feel natural to breastfeed and you want to breastfeed, but then when that doesn’t work and you’ve cried over it countless times, you accept that bottle feeding may be the way. You’ve got to go to help your kid grow. Then when that doesn’t work and you’ve gone through the same process of grief and despair, you accept that perhaps having a tube is the way your baby needs to get nutrition to grow big and strong. Not many people end up at this stage, though it can feel like a huge part of hospital life.

But when you do get to this stage, and you’ve been through the previous two, for some reason you keep going back to them. There’s something inside you that says you’re “lazy” and “haven’t tried hard enough.”

Sometimes you need an external voice of reason. To say, stop. Is he growing? Is he developing? Is he happy otherwise?


Then at the moment, that’s all that is important.

Let them smile, play and reach for things, and roll, and start to giggle. Let them grow, grow, grow. And with growth comes strength, and with strength comes learning, and with learning comes feeding. Hopefully.

And I guess in the grand scheme of things, hope is all we can do.

We may grieve for the feeding we missed out on, feeling like it’s at the core of motherhood. So cry about it, moms, with chocolate beside you. Then go and turn the pump on and get that kid up a centile.

Breast-fed, bottle-fed, tube-fed? Fed.

baby's feet

Originally published: February 1, 2016
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