Babies: 0 - 3 Months

Anyone switch from BF to FF early on?

We have had problems from the beginning. At first, J was affected by the percocet I was taking and sleeping through feedings and I could barely keep him awake to nurse. He lost an entire pound of his birthweight in six days. He has a poor latch and falls asleep almost instantly. We intro'ed the bottle today but I only got a half ounce on each side. Pedi said go ahead and supplement with formula until our appt Monday. But with all the relatching and trying to get him to stay awake, it takes over an hour to feed him and I am scared he is still not getting enough. I think I am going to give him formula tonight... I so wanted BFing to work, but I need to know that my baby is getting enough to eat.
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Re: Anyone switch from BF to FF early on?

  • I had problems early on with long feedings and low birth weight. My pedi said 15 mins left breast 15 mins right breast chase with 2 oz formula. That way if LO didn't get enough you at least know he/she got ff and you're still stimulating your breasts. Good luck.
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  • I BF for a week but then got an infection and had to stop in order to take strong antibiotics.  I tried pumping but my supply quickly dried up and I switched to formula.  In the week that I did BF, I had to supplement a little with formula because my milk hadn't come in enough to satisfy my daughter.  I had the same latching issues as you- I think a few people get lucky and have an easy time but it seems many women have a tough time BF at first.  You're definitely not alone!

    My best friend tried BF for about 2 weeks but her son had the same problem as yours- he lost too much weight and the doctor told her to switch to formula. 

    We both wanted to BF but in the end, it's what is best for the baby.  My son (I got an infection with him too and had to stop BF) turned out fine on formula and I'm sure my daughter will be too.  Of course, breast milk is best but there is an entire generation or two of kids who were raised on formula who turned out just fine!

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  • First and foremost know that what you are experiencing IS NOT UNUSUAL.  It is actually really common to fear that your baby is not getting enough.  A couple of suggestions for you before you decide to stop.

    1. remember that it is common for babies to lose 7-10% of their body weight in the first week.  It is normal and ok and he will regain it. AND surpass it! (faster than you can imagine)

    2. For the bad latch I highly recommend a lactation consultant.  No one ever wants to use one, call one, whatever...but everyone who has ever told me they did consult one, says it was a tremendous help. Even better, find a local La Leche League meeting. Contrary to popular belief they are NOT militant and judgmental in fact our local leader starts every meeting by saying that she helps women with 4 year olds continue BFing AND people with 4week olds to wean and everyone in between. she is there to support women PERIOD not to judge.

    3, Your breasts work on a supply and demand system, the more LO feeds the more you will produce. If you feel you are not producing enough, keep feeding him.

    If you do decide to stop because BFing has you too stressed, too infected (if you get infections) or too anything....anyone who has tried will support you because it is never easy.  for some reason we expect it to be and when it isnt we stop...we need to share with each other how hard it is...maybe more people would stick with it.

    My first month was HELL.  mastitis 3 times, one day my nipples DRIPPED blood!  I had excruciating pain every time he fed.  Then one day....it wasnt just easier, it was EASY.  no warming bottles, no hassel, no pain, no worries....it was always there when I needed, it was free, it was always the right temperature, and despite debate on whether to or not to nurse it IS better for your baby. 

    I wish you the best of luck and support in whichever decision you make!

     

  • Hey!  Nice to see a familiar face around here!  We're struggling BIG time with BFing as well.  Jamie is LAZY and doesn't like to work at it plus I have flat nipples so latching on is nearly impossible.  The LC at the hospital finally let me try a nursing shield on our last day there which helped some.  I also don't have much supply...partly because I'm not nursing enough so the supply and demand is off.  We've been doing pretty much all FF since we got home and I'm pumping every 2-3 hours...but 30 min of pumping barely gives 1/2 an ounce and that's total from both sides.  I'm getting very discouraged and want to throw in the towel.  We have our first pedi appt on Monday and I get to meet with their LC who is supposed to be very good.  At this point since we've been FF I'm not concerned about LOs weight...but I would like to give BFing more of a chance since it's only been 5 days.  Even if I have to EP, it's better than nothing.  I understand your frustration...hang in there. 
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  • We had similar problems as well. I really wanted to BF and know all the benefits. There were many people pressuring me to continue but my DD weight had dropped to the point that she almost ended up back in the hospital. We supplemented with formula. I pumped first and used the BM in one bottle and supplemented with formula in the other. 

    For me, I was too stressed out to continue with both. Again, I wish I could continue but for my mental health and sanity I switched to FF. I am now able to function without being in tears much of the day. I was FF, my mom was FF, and my doctor FF. We all turned out ok. So while BF may be best, your LO will survive if you end up FF.  

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  • image mrs.g_6708:
    We have had problems from the beginning. At first, J was affected by the percocet I was taking and sleeping through feedings and I could barely keep him awake to nurse. He lost an entire pound of his birthweight in six days. He has a poor latch and falls asleep almost instantly. We intro'ed the bottle today but I only got a half ounce on each side. Pedi said go ahead and supplement with formula until our appt Monday. But with all the relatching and trying to get him to stay awake, it takes over an hour to feed him and I am scared he is still not getting enough. I think I am going to give him formula tonight... I so wanted BFing to work, but I need to know that my baby is getting enough to eat.

    Mrs G, 3 weeks ago I could have written this post!  BF was SOOOO hard for us at the beginning.  Miles absolutely would not latch, and when he did he fell asleep after 3 minutes and there was nothing I could do to wake him up.  He was born weighing 6lbs 15ounces, and by his 5 day appointment he was 6lbs 2 ounces, which was beyond the 10% weight loss allowed.  My pediatrician encouraged me to keep nursing, all day every day if I had to, and they had me come back 5 days later for another weight check.  At the next appointment, he was back up to his birth weight.  Granted, those 5 days sucked - I felt like my nipples were just going to shrivel up and fall off, and I never dreamed I could be so exhausted.  Even after that, it wasn't easy going.  It was hard, and I wanted to quit every minute of every single day. 

    Then one day (right at 3 weeks), it just worked.  Both he and I figured out how to get him fed, and breastfeeding became so much easier, and actually enjoyable!  I remember feeling like it would NEVER get easier, but it really does!  

    If you have to supplement, don't feel bad or guilty about it - I just want to encourage you that if you keep trying, both you and LO will likely be just fine!  It is definitely a challenge feeling like your baby isn't getting enough nutrients, but it's very likely that he IS getting enough, even though it might not feel like it to you.  Count his wet and poop diapers - if you're getting a sufficient amount of them in a day then you can rest assured that your baby is getting enough to eat!  Good luck!

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  • image Kerianne1176:

    First and foremost know that what you are experiencing IS NOT UNUSUAL.  It is actually really common to fear that your baby is not getting enough.  A couple of suggestions for you before you decide to stop.

    1. remember that it is common for babies to lose 7-10% of their body weight in the first week.  It is normal and ok and he will regain it. AND surpass it! (faster than you can imagine)

    2. For the bad latch I highly recommend a lactation consultant.  No one ever wants to use one, call one, whatever...but everyone who has ever told me they did consult one, says it was a tremendous help. Even better, find a local La Leche League meeting. Contrary to popular belief they are NOT militant and judgmental in fact our local leader starts every meeting by saying that she helps women with 4 year olds continue BFing AND people with 4week olds to wean and everyone in between. she is there to support women PERIOD not to judge.

    3, Your breasts work on a supply and demand system, the more LO feeds the more you will produce. If you feel you are not producing enough, keep feeding him.

    If you do decide to stop because BFing has you too stressed, too infected (if you get infections) or too anything....anyone who has tried will support you because it is never easy.  for some reason we expect it to be and when it isnt we stop...we need to share with each other how hard it is...maybe more people would stick with it.

    My first month was HELL.  mastitis 3 times, one day my nipples DRIPPED blood!  I had excruciating pain every time he fed.  Then one day....it wasnt just easier, it was EASY.  no warming bottles, no hassel, no pain, no worries....it was always there when I needed, it was free, it was always the right temperature, and despite debate on whether to or not to nurse it IS better for your baby. 

    I wish you the best of luck and support in whichever decision you make!

     

    I agree with this.

    My DD lost 10% of her body weight the first week. We then made sure to feed her every two hours. She gained, then lost, then gained, then lost, for three weeks. I saw the Lactation Consultant 2-3 times a week as DDs latch sucked. I bled, had horrible nipple damage and thought, "OMG this absolutely sucks, no wonder people give up." I started going to a baby class at the hospital once a week which allowed me to weigh DD. It reasured me that she was gaining and I was producing enough for her. I nursed her through the terrible soreness and used a nipple shield for about 5 weeks. I used creams and anything that was recommended online. I was determined not to give up and as I had heard, it did get better. By 8 weeks, my nipples had healed and nursing no longer hurt. DDs latch got better and now she nurses like a champ. She was born at 7 pounds 11 ounces, went down to 6 pounds 15 ounces and at her 2 month appointment weighed in at 11 pounds 4 ounces. I am proud that she has not had any formula yet.

    All I can say is don't give up if you really want it to work. Just keep trying. But if you do decide to switch to formula, don't feel bad. Do what is best for you!

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  • You are not alone! Hang in there and just try your best. We went through a very similar experience and are FF. It was really hard for me to give up BF, but in the end I was really encouraged by people saying "happy mom = happy baby"

    If you're still working on the BF, have you met with a LC or tried using a SNS (supplemental nursing system)? It should help build your milk supply while letting LO still get enough to eat

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