Babies: 0 - 3 Months

Breastfeeding vs Formula feeding

I am 10 days away from my due date and still on the fence about what I should do.  I have an insanely speedy metabolism and I'm just concerned that I won't be able to stay healthy while breastfeeding and the baby could suffer from lack of nutrients in the breast milk.  This is my first child, and I just want her to be healthy - should I just try to breastfeed anyway?[Poll]
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Re: Breastfeeding vs Formula feeding

  • why do you think a fast metab would affect BF?
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  • image Clarissad23:
    I am 10 days away from my due date and still on the fence about what I should do.  I have an insanely speedy metabolism and I'm just concerned that I won't be able to stay healthy while breastfeeding and the baby could suffer from lack of nutrients in the breast milk.  This is my first child, and I just want her to be healthy - should I just try to breastfeed anyway?

    I've never heard of this being a problem for breastfeeding.  Unless a woman is severely malnourished--I'm talking famine level malnourishment like you see in the developing world or someone who has a serious eating disorder--her body will produce high quality milk for her baby.  The milk that women around the world produce is remarkably similar, regardless of their diet, weight, etc.  If your diet is missing something, your body will draw from its own stores to make sure your baby is getting everything it needs.

    I weigh only 90 pounds when I'm not pregnant.  I'm one of those people who is naturally very thin, no matter what I eat or how much I sit around on the couch.  I had NO problems breastfeeding my daughter.  She was EBF and never had even one bottle of formula.  For a while she was even in the 90th percentile.  My son is also thriving on my milk.  Your body type and metabolism have nothing to do with the milk you produce. 

    GL with your choice.

     

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  • I totally agree with Iris.

    Breastmilk is a product of your blood, not your food. Do you worry about having high enough quality blood? That's the same blood that has nourished your baby through this whole pregnancy. If it could do that, it's capable of nourishing your baby via breastmilk.

    There's a lot more to breastfeeding that weight loss for mom. It really is a superior food source, among many other benefits for both of you.

  • Your body is a miraculous machine and will make perfect milk no matter what or how much you eat. Your baby will not be undernourished. You need to make sure to drink lots of fluids and eat whenever you're hungry so that YOU don't suffer. Your body will always choose baby over you.
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  • AmyG*AmyG*
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    Your body produces breastmilk and uses the leftovers for yourself when breastfeeding.  that means if you don't eat the right foods, your body will pull from your own body stores.  that means if you dont' take in enough protein your body might pull from your own muscles to provide for baby.  but the US diet is so heavy in protein, that really doesn't happen. 

     

    The US diet is often a bit low on calcium so your body may pull extra calcium from your bones.  Very very interesting, however, is that once you wean, your body will pack calcium back into your bones in a higher density than it was before--something that normally can't happen at all because once we reach puberty we can't really add calcium to our bones anymore.  This works to protect you from osteoporosis as an adult. 

     

    Our bodies are incredible, they can make babies from a small cell, and can then nourish baby to grow for the next year or more on just breastmilk alone.  Isn't that amazing?

     

    I will suggest that you breastfeed for at least the first 3-6 weeks.  then you can make the decision to continue or switch to formula.  Your body will make milk whether you nurse or not-- it's a hormonal thing that happens once the placenta detatches from the uterine wall.  if you are going to have milk anyway, shouldn't you see what it's like to use it for those first few weeks?

     

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  • Thank you for all the replies.  I just know I have to eat a lot more than usual, and with a new baby know I may not be able to keep up the healthiest diet when I have to make sure she is taken care of first.  It isn't necessarily the metabolism itself that I was concerned about, more the being able to keep up with what my body needs to give her.
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  • image Clarissad23:
    Thank you for all the replies.  I just know I have to eat a lot more than usual, and with a new baby know I may not be able to keep up the healthiest diet when I have to make sure she is taken care of first.  It isn't necessarily the metabolism itself that I was concerned about, more the being able to keep up with what my body needs to give her.

    I'm not sure where you are getting this idea from.  If you eat when you are hungry, it is not hard to eat enough to breastfeed a child.  You don't have to count calories or plan out your day's meals or be an expert in nutrition.  You just eat.  Millions and millions of women have breastfed babies and they weren't Super Moms. 

    If you don't want to breastfeed, then you shouldn't.  But I think you are getting some bad information about breastfeeding and I hate to see decisions made based on wrong information.  Is there something else going on here?

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  • image iris427:

    image Clarissad23:
    Thank you for all the replies.  I just know I have to eat a lot more than usual, and with a new baby know I may not be able to keep up the healthiest diet when I have to make sure she is taken care of first.  It isn't necessarily the metabolism itself that I was concerned about, more the being able to keep up with what my body needs to give her.

    I'm not sure where you are getting this idea from.  If you eat when you are hungry, it is not hard to eat enough to breastfeed a child.  You don't have to count calories or plan out your day's meals or be an expert in nutrition.  You just eat.  Millions and millions of women have breastfed babies and they weren't Super Moms. 

    If you don't want to breastfeed, then you shouldn't.  But I think you are getting some bad information about breastfeeding and I hate to see decisions made based on wrong information.  Is there something else going on here?

    Agree with the above. I have an extremely high metabolism as well and have lost all my pregnancy weight. I work out a lot as well. I do not eat much more at all, and my baby is gaining weight like crazy from my breast milk. If you don't want to breastfeed, don't! But the reasons you are giving simply don't make sense.
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  • image iris427:

    image Clarissad23:
    Thank you for all the replies.  I just know I have to eat a lot more than usual, and with a new baby know I may not be able to keep up the healthiest diet when I have to make sure she is taken care of first.  It isn't necessarily the metabolism itself that I was concerned about, more the being able to keep up with what my body needs to give her.

    I'm not sure where you are getting this idea from.  If you eat when you are hungry, it is not hard to eat enough to breastfeed a child.  You don't have to count calories or plan out your day's meals or be an expert in nutrition.  You just eat.  Millions and millions of women have breastfed babies and they weren't Super Moms. 

    If you don't want to breastfeed, then you shouldn't.  But I think you are getting some bad information about breastfeeding and I hate to see decisions made based on wrong information.  Is there something else going on here?

     

    Agree with this quote. Also, from what I've understood, the only medical reason someone shouldn't breastfeed is if they can pass on something to the child (i.e., HIV or something) or if you were born without milk ducts. The only thing you need to do is eat when you're hungry and enjoy your LO. Plus there are so many other great benefits for BF - your child gets your antibodies making LO more protected from germs, studies have shown BM may also help LO brain function, reduce your risk of breast cancer, help your body recover from pregnancy quicker (more than just weight loss), etc.

    As for formula feeding - there is no doubt that formula can provide the right nutrition but not all of the benefits listed above. Also, the nurses in my hospital told me that there is no such thing as giving your baby too much BM but you have to be careful with how much formula you give your baby because it's easy to give babies too much starting them down the road to obesity really early. One last thing about FF is that (and I haven't done any shopping on this yet) is how expensive formula is. BM is free though :)

     I am a BM advocate - but obviously it's a personal choice - you have to do what's right for you. I have friends that did exclusive BM, exclusive formula, and those that do both. The ones that are using formula had to because they physically couldn't produce milk - per their Docs/Lactation Consultants. They just were short or didn't have milk ducts at all. But all their babies are happy and healthy. 

    GL with your choice!

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  • image inthewater:
    image iris427:

    image Clarissad23:
    Thank you for all the replies.  I just know I have to eat a lot more than usual, and with a new baby know I may not be able to keep up the healthiest diet when I have to make sure she is taken care of first.  It isn't necessarily the metabolism itself that I was concerned about, more the being able to keep up with what my body needs to give her.

    I'm not sure where you are getting this idea from.  If you eat when you are hungry, it is not hard to eat enough to breastfeed a child.  You don't have to count calories or plan out your day's meals or be an expert in nutrition.  You just eat.  Millions and millions of women have breastfed babies and they weren't Super Moms. 

    If you don't want to breastfeed, then you shouldn't.  But I think you are getting some bad information about breastfeeding and I hate to see decisions made based on wrong information.  Is there something else going on here?

     

    Agree with this quote. Also, from what I've understood, the only medical reason someone shouldn't breastfeed is if they can pass on something to the child (i.e., HIV or something) or if you were born without milk ducts. The only thing you need to do is eat when you're hungry and enjoy your LO. Plus there are so many other great benefits for BF - your child gets your antibodies making LO more protected from germs, studies have shown BM may also help LO brain function, reduce your risk of breast cancer, help your body recover from pregnancy quicker (more than just weight loss), etc.

    As for formula feeding - there is no doubt that formula can provide the right nutrition but not all of the benefits listed above. Also, the nurses in my hospital told me that there is no such thing as giving your baby too much BM but you have to be careful with how much formula you give your baby because it's easy to give babies too much starting them down the road to obesity really early. One last thing about FF is that (and I haven't done any shopping on this yet) is how expensive formula is. BM is free though :)

     I am a BM advocate - but obviously it's a personal choice - you have to do what's right for you. I have friends that did exclusive BM, exclusive formula, and those that do both. The ones that are using formula had to because they physically couldn't produce milk - per their Docs/Lactation Consultants. They just were short or didn't have milk ducts at all. But all their babies are happy and healthy. 

    GL with your choice!

    There are other medical reasons. I can?t pass my disability on to my LOs but my necessary medications are toxic in my BM. It?s just never as simple as ?these are the only 2 reasons ever? -  like everything it?s a case by case thing.  

    OP -  I?m not qualified to give advice for BFing since it was never an option for me. I can give info on formula if you have any questions about it, otherwise good luck with your decision.

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  • As far as eating goes, you just need to make good, nutrient dense food choices. Snack on things like almonds, cheeses, hummus and veggies, yogurt and granola, fruits, avocado/guacamole, peanut butter... Even supplementing with protein fruit smoothies, or drinks like Ensure. And not things like chips and crap. Nutrient dense, high calorie foods will help you keep your calories up and provide vitamins and minerals.
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  • image Clarissad23:
    I am 10 days away from my due date and still on the fence about what I should do.  I have an insanely speedy metabolism and I'm just concerned that I won't be able to stay healthy while breastfeeding and the baby could suffer from lack of nutrients in the breast milk.  This is my first child, and I just want her to be healthy - should I just try to breastfeed anyway?

    I have never heard of this as a problem.  Who put this in your head? If you are concerned about lack of nutrients continue your prenatals.  Speedy metabolism? sweet!  You'll be thin again in no time! Talk to a doc or someone about your concerns, but I don't think these are reasons not to BF. 

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  • image Angel0423:

    image Clarissad23:
    I am 10 days away from my due date and still on the fence about what I should do.  I have an insanely speedy metabolism and I'm just concerned that I won't be able to stay healthy while breastfeeding and the baby could suffer from lack of nutrients in the breast milk.  This is my first child, and I just want her to be healthy - should I just try to breastfeed anyway?

    I have never heard of this as a problem.  Who put this in your head? If you are concerned about lack of nutrients continue your prenatals.  Speedy metabolism? sweet!  You'll be thin again in no time! Talk to a doc or someone about your concerns, but I don't think these are reasons not to BF. 

     I wanted to reply since a majority of those are asking who put this in my head.  Also, there is nothing "else" going on as was suggested.  Simply put, I have an issue with my own nutrition and have been tested for anemia and things of the like several times...I got on this board to ask simply because I did not know and my doctor isn't the most helpful...I thought it would be better to get opinions of moms experiencing the situation.  I'm not worried about my own weight, in fact I'd like to keep it if I could.  Like I said, I just want her to get what she needs and after reading the first set of replies I see that it IS in fact possible.  Also, some of the baby books out there mention that without the proper diet your breastfeeding could suffer...however, I'll talk to nurses more in depth after birth so I don't go into anything blindly and I'll definitely give it a try.  Thank you for all the replies, again. 

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  • I tried desperately for 6 weeks to get breastfeeding to work, but with the boys getting bottles in the NICU and a lack of supply (I just couldn't make enough for both of the boys), I grudgingly switched to formula. If you're on the fence, my advice would be to give BF a shot. You can always change your mind if you don't like it, but if you don't try BF from the get-go, it's almost impossible to change your mind if you want to try later on. GL!

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  • j&amp;j508j&j508
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    I do both, but it's because I have to. (Had to start supplementing early on b/c their weights were low and now I don't produce enough to fully BF.) If I had the choice, I would absolutely EBF.  I think PP had good advice- try it for at least 4 weeks before deciding.  You can't beat the benefits of BF, and it takes a while to get the hang of things. It's not easy to start with, but so good for your baby!
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  • I would make sure to keep up with a multi vitamin after the pregnancy. I always take mine when i am taking out my contacts so I don't forget in the craziness of having a newborn. It is important to get nutrients from your foods mainly but it is good to have the multi vitamin just in case. Also i would suggest stocking up on easy to eat snacks and meals now. Things like low fat string cheese, apples, granola bars, etc as well as making some dinners to freeze can help you keep well fed during those first weeks where things are hectic. Oh and I agree you need to keep up a healthy diet more for you than the baby, he/she will get what they need and leave you in debt, my sister was terrible about forgetting to eat and she turned scary thin yet her babies in the meantime were in the 95th percentile in weight. Just make sure to take care of yourself!
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  • I also have an extremely high metabolism, so I think i know what your asking. I breastfed for 6 weeks and am so glad I did, but I will say i had concerns about the baby getting enough nutrients and stuff as well and was assured that the baby gets what he/she needs first, then you get whats left. I would get very tired and actually kind of sick feeling during feeding and right after, but I found that drinking a lot of water and taking vitamins helped, as well as making sure I was almost constantly eating something... crackers, fruit, peanut butter ect.. just know whatever you decide to do its okay. 
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  • image sonya_00:
    I also have an extremely high metabolism, so I think i know what your asking. I breastfed for 6 weeks and am so glad I did, but I will say i had concerns about the baby getting enough nutrients and stuff as well and was assured that the baby gets what he/she needs first, then you get whats left. I would get very tired and actually kind of sick feeling during feeding and right after, but I found that drinking a lot of water and taking vitamins helped, as well as making sure I was almost constantly eating something... crackers, fruit, peanut butter ect.. just know whatever you decide to do its okay. 

     

    That was exactly what I was asking, thank you =) 

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  • before getting pregnant I truly did not fully understand BF, I actually thought it was gross. well it changed as I educated myself on how and why it is important. I love BF my little girl. It is such an amazing feeling knowing that I can do this for her. it is such an amazing bonding experience for both of us, even dh feels the bond.

    your baby will take what he/she needs first. still take your prenatal vitamins while BF. you need to do what is right for you and your baby. it hurts nothing to try, you will be amazed how you will feel in the moment.

    good luck in whatever you choose. talk to your lc in the hospital or the nurses for tips on how to BF. I took so much advice when I was in the hospital that was so helpful that had I not  asked I might have given up but glad I stuck with BF. it works for me.

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