April 2013 Moms

FF moms come in

Why did you choose formula and are you happy with your choice?

I've been breastfeeding since LO was born (almost 6 weeks) and have struggled the entire time with supply issues due to my hemorrhage and LO not being a very efficient nurser.  I'm about at my wits end and thinking about switching to formula.  My feeding sessions now (with breastfeeding, bottle supplement, pumping) take at least an hour, if not more, and happen about every 2 hours. Part of me feels like I'd be a better mom if I switched to formula and drastically reduced my stress levels.  But with all the talk about "breast is best" I also feel like a bad mom for not wanting to do this anymore.  And then I can't help but wonder if my wish to switch is just a "grass is greener on the other side" situation, and things will still be just as hard.

 Sorry I got so long winded.  Basically, I want to know what your experience has been with formula feeding.  Thanks!

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  • I had no choice from the start. We tried BFing at the hospital and she dropped below the 10% weight loss. We were forced into formula supplementing and continued to work on BFing. My milk never "came in." I pump every feeding for a measly 4-6 oz a day and the rest is formula. I've been working with a LC, have tried support groups, online resources, and am using an SNS so LO is at least on the breast sometimes but it still is not increasing my supply. Nothing I do increases my supply. I'll be trying medication next (not herbal supplements, I'm already on those - trying Domperidone or Reglan). 

     It took me a long time to get over crying that I had to bottle feed her and that I had to give her formula. It was painful that she "rejected" the breast and would fuss off of me. I wanted to feed my child and felt like I wasn't good enough. It is really hard because everything says I'm a "bad" mom for not BFing, but it for some reason is just not possible for me no matter how hard I try. I have come to accept that I am doing everything that I can regarding BFing and providing breastmilk for her and while I still am working at this because I want her to have more of my breast milk and I REALLY wish we could have a BFing relationship, I've accepted that the way things are right now is likely the way things will remain.

    So, all this boils down to - you need to do what is best for your health and LO's health. If I were in your situation, I'd work with an LC and keep trying and certainly pump at the very least, but if you feel like YOU have had enough, because this is YOUR decision, then do what you need to do. Like I said, the guilt and feeling like you aren't providing for your LO or having that close bond are really challenging, but if you honestly did all you could, you will come to accept you are doing the best for LO.  


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  • image starlightstef:

    Why did you choose formula and are you happy with your choice?

    I've been breastfeeding since LO was born (almost 6 weeks) and have struggled the entire time with supply issues due to my hemorrhage and LO not being a very efficient nurser.  I'm about at my wits end and thinking about switching to formula.  My feeding sessions now (with breastfeeding, bottle supplement, pumping) take at least an hour, if not more, and happen about every 2 hours. Part of me feels like I'd be a better mom if I switched to formula and drastically reduced my stress levels.  But with all the talk about "breast is best" I also feel like a bad mom for not wanting to do this anymore.  And then I can't help but wonder if my wish to switch is just a "grass is greener on the other side" situation, and things will still be just as hard.

     Sorry I got so long winded.  Basically, I want to know what your experience has been with formula feeding.  Thanks!

     

    I have been supplementing with formula ( enfamil infant) since week 2. The first week when i tried breast feeding alone i almost went crazy since baby was constantly hungry and latched on. I also hated that i couldnt tell how much she was actually eating and she was not sleeping well because she was still hungry. I asked my pediatrician and she said it was perfectly ok to do both formula and breast feeding. So i have been doing just that ever since. Before every bottle i BF her for 10 mins on each side. Now she has a pretty consistent schedule. she eats every three hours 3 ounces of formula and 10 mins on each side of BM. I am glad i made the decision to supplement with formula because i think i would have lost it by now.

    That being said I also felt like a bad mother for a while. Everyone preaches how great breast milk is yada, yada. I think if the mommy is not happy then the baby will not get the best care she can get. Everyone is different and you have to do what is best for you.  



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  • My baby was tongue tied so had horrible latch issues. I had to wait two weeks for an appointment with the oral surgeon to get his tongue clipped and I could not get my supply to increase no matter what I did. I tried pumping and it was just never enough and my supply depleted. It is such a horrible feeling, but like PPs said, you have to do what's best for BOTH of you. If mommy isn't happy, baby never will be. I was up for an hr every two hrs and I almost lost it! Feeding time is much more efficient and peaceful now, for both me and baby because he was so frustrated with breast feeding as well. So follow your gut and do what will work best for everyone! GL!
  • I too have been supplementing since day 3 in the hospital, baby lost a full pound and my milk still isn't enough. We nurse in the morning and evening, I pump 34 times a day and she formula feeds on enfamil about 16 ounces a day! Find what works for you, if you are stressed and not sleeping that's not good for you or baby. My baby sleeps six hours continuous at night and about 3 hours at a time during the day knock on wood! I am so jealous of women that are pumping so much milk the most I have gotten is three ounces, generally two ounces from both breasts combined. Hang in there and choose sanity :
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  • JSS1002JSS1002
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    I'm struggling with this as well.  My guilt comes from teh fact that I have ample supply and no latch issues, so this SHOULD be easy for me.  But I also have incredibyl large breasts and am a plus sized woman so getting little guy in position is hard -- we can really only do football hold and now that he is getting super LONG, even that is getting hard because there are very few chairs he doesn't run into the back with his feet and then he's uncomfotable.  I feel like I SHOULD be grateful for the supply when so many struggle.

    But I kind of just want to give the kid some formula and call it a day, especially because all my FF friends keep telling me how great their kid is sleeping at night, whereas James is up every 2-3 hours.

    So I think I'm going to just move towards pumping more and nursing less, and then I will also know how much he's getting.

    It is all very confusing.

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  • image JSS1002:

    I'm struggling with this as well.  My guilt comes from teh fact that I have ample supply and no latch issues, so this SHOULD be easy for me.  But I also have incredibyl large breasts and am a plus sized woman so getting little guy in position is hard -- we can really only do football hold and now that he is getting super LONG, even that is getting hard because there are very few chairs he doesn't run into the back with his feet and then he's uncomfotable.  I feel like I SHOULD be grateful for the supply when so many struggle.

    But I kind of just want to give the kid some formula and call it a day, especially because all my FF friends keep telling me how great their kid is sleeping at night, whereas James is up every 2-3 hours.

    So I think I'm going to just move towards pumping more and nursing less, and then I will also know how much he's getting.

    It is all very confusing.

    i definitely could've written this myself. My goal was to make it past 2 weeks, which was when I gave up with DD1. I have passed that point and have had formula on my mind ever since. I told DH it was like crack. The first bottle was hard on me bc I felt guilty but then every feeding all I can think about is how much easier a bottle would be. Then i feel even more guilty since my supply and her latch are both good. So I feel ya girl. 

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  • I stopped BF at 4 weeks for a couple different reasons. LO and I are both a lot happier now!! I don't regret my decision for one second!! You have to do what's best for you.
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  • You could always supplement... I ebf until this week April 1 baby. I now do half pumped bm half similac advanced during the day and if he wakes up at night I bf. and often bf before he goes to bed as it relaxes him. I'm having a better time with him not being so stressed about producing enough.

    Part of my decision to supplement:

    Going back to work soon and there is no way I will be able to take time pumping as many times per work day as needed to keep supply as is.

    My mother is staying with me for a few months and having formula around just makes sense as I did not build a freezer stash. I make ample bm for his bottles per day, always just one day ahead.

    Bm is best, but I figure he is still getting quite a bit of mine even with supplementing so I feel good about that. Really though, I wouldn't have a problem eff however, I do enjoy the bond it gives us and I know he really loves feeding from my boob. It works for now. Happy baby happy mommy. Try not to give yourself additional, unnecessary stress... As long as baby is healthy and full when he needs to be, all is good.
  • My baby has been EFF since day 1. FFing has gone well. She is almost 4 weeks old and takes on average 4oz every 3-4.5 hours. Her sleeping has gotten longer in the last week to more 4 hour stretches than 3 hour ones. It generally takes 20-30 minutes to feed her. At one point I worried we were over feeding her but that seems to ave evened out after her 3 week growth spurt.

    I did feel a bit guilty about not BFing but it was not an option due to my need to be on medication for severe psoriasis. Left uncontrolled it was leading to staph infections and, obviously, that would not be good for a baby.

    Trust yourself enough to know that whatever you decide, it will be the best decision for your family.

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  • It's nice to know I'm not alone!  DD was born small (4lbs) and couldn't latch.  She was also in the Special Care Nursery for a week so I pumped what I could and supplemented the rest.  Well, my supply always ended up sucking so after 5 weeks of pumping what I could, fortifying that for extra calories, and filling in with all formula feedings in between, I threw in the towel.  Between taking the time to pump and taking the time to then feed LO every 2 hours, I was overwhelmed.  Since going to formula full time, LO has started sleeping through the night and we are both much happier.  Not to mention, I can get other things done around here like cooking and cleaning so I feel much more productive!  I felt really guilty at first but I am now at peace with my decision.  

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  • I chose to FF DS from day 1. With my first, I started out BF and absolutely hated it. I resented having to spend so much time feeding DD and felt like I never was able to bond with her because of BF. I had a lot of guilt when I switched to formula, but it was the best decision for our family.

    FWIW, DD did not sleep longer/ go longer between feedings when we switched to formula. She still wanted a bottle every two to three hours around the clock, but it was nice that someone else could take an occasional feeding. I made sure to buy enough bottles to last 24 hours so I could just throw them in the dishwasher once a day.

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  • Thank you for sharing your stories and support.  I think for now I'm going to continue pumping, but just bottle feed the bm I can get and then supplement with formula.  Putting him to the breast has just gotten too stressful for both of us, and this will (hopefully) reduce how much time it takes to feed.  I started doing this today and already miss having him on my breast!  We'll see how this goes!
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  • I'm feeding my LO pumped BM and formula. While in the hospital, I saw about 4 different lactation consultants and then a few after we were discharged and no one has been successful in helping me latch him properly. After a lot of tears (on both our parts), I chose to exclusively pump. I won't lie, I've tried to have him go back to the breast since coming home ...without success. 

    In the hospital, he only lost 7 oz (he was 7lb9oz), but we started supplementing with formula while we were there, starting when he was about two days old. 

    LO is 4 weeks old today and eating about 35 oz a day. I'm currently only able to pump about 16-20 oz of BM for him and that's with me pumping up to 8 times a day. My husband winds up bottle feeding him while I'm pumping and I am starting to feel robbed of quality time with him.  He eats every 2-3 hours, so formula isn't giving us longer sleeping times necessarily. 

    I'm frustrated that I can't provide more than 50% BM to his diet. I think DH wants me to stop obsessing over BF and pumping and just make the switch to EFF.  I don't see how I can keep up with this after my husband goes back to work after Memorial Day. 

    I think BF has a lot to do with my struggles with PPD.  

    As far as our experiences with formula, it's been pretty positive, actually, beyond the sheer cost of it. We started off with the pre-mixed infant formula to start but as we work through what we have here, we're stocking up on bottled water and started to collect coupons for powdered formulas. DH thinks he wants a bottle warmer now. I'm trying to talk him out of it.  


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  • ka2shazka2shaz
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    I formula fed DD1 and now DD2 from birth. For me it's not about BF issues, but keeping sanity. It's hard enough to have a newborn, so I chose the easier path. Extra hour of sleep between feedings, DH sharing middle of the night feedings and not waiting for milk to come in all were reasons I made the choice that I made. I have not regretted it either. Please don't feel guilty if you choose to switch.

     For whatever its worth, DD1 has very strong immune system and practically never gets sick. It's too early to tell about DD2. 

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  • I'm so glad this post exists! I was starting to feel so alone.

    We had bad latch issues in the hospital even after working with 4 different LCs. I thought we'd finally gotten it a bit when we got home, even though she was totally inconsolible when she was awake. i just didnt know what could be wrong with her. But at her first ped appt she'd lost a pound and an ounce and they asked us to supplement with formula. She took a bottle at the office and she was instantly at peace and a totally different baby.

    The plan was to have her BF on each side first and then supplement, but instantly after taking the bottle, I could never get her to latch again. She would fuss and cry and push away endlessly. It was so hard to handle and I kept caving and eventually gave up trying to get her to latch.

    I've been pumping but am only getting a half oz from both sides combined during each session. I am only getting about 2 oz a day. I don't think my milk even had a chance to come in.

    So now I am starting to come to terms with the probability that we will be EFF. I think all of this has given me a serious case of the baby blues and I don't feel like I've been able to enjoy my newborn due to all of the stress. I dreamed of BF her for a year and having that bond and giving her what's best, but I'm realizing that what's best is for me to be happy and give her a loving environment devoid of stress.

    I have an appt with another LC on Friday, but I fear it's too late to change anything now.
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