Formula Feeding — The Bump
March 2018 Moms

Formula Feeding

Hi, guys. I'm super new around here and a bit nervous to be posting A Brand New Thread but I got some encouragement that the topic of formula feeding would be met with approval, so here goes.

I'm basically jacking the following from the April 2018 board, where there's an interesting thread on the subject. (I'll preface the following by saying that this is my first pregnancy and so I'm looking for information rather than being in a position to offer it – sorry about that.)

Why are you choosing to formula feed, if you're comfortable saying?

What formula do you plan on using (subject to change of course if allergies present)?

STM/TTM – any tips on drying up your milk supply after delivery?

Please share how you dealt (or are planning to deal) with judgement and guilt.

If this will be your first baby, do you have any particular questions or concerns that more experienced moms might be able to answer?

(I'll provide my own answer to that last question in the comments so as to keep this less cluttered.)

Thanks in advance for sharing!
Pregnancy Ticker
ShawnnaOhollyk224

Re: Formula Feeding

  • edited October 2017
    So I'm planning to formula feed because I'm on an anti-depressant (specifically Prozac) and I've heard that's incompatible with breastfeeding. I need to discuss it further with my OB, but from the preliminary conversation we had I was given to understand that it's not recommended; if anyone has experience breastfeeding on an SSRI that would interest me. I'd certainly be willing to try breastfeeding if it was feasible, but currently my plan is to formula feed from the get go.

    I'm definitely concerned about being unsupported in this decision at the hospital where I'll deliver. I've heard bad things about baby-friendly hospitals, and while my OB is supportive of me formula feeding, I know this particular hospital strongly favors breast-feeding. I'd appreciate hearing how other women handled feeling pressured to breastfeed immediately postpartum.

    (Edited to remove unnecessary hyphens.)
    Pregnancy Ticker
    ShawnnaOGingermom15sarahhedger7
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  • I’m going to answer these in regards to my first baby if that’s ok?

    Why are you choosing to formula feed, if you're comfortable saying? my son and I had a lot of difficulty breastfeeding. Undiagnosed lip tie, clogged ducts, oversupply. I weaned at 6 months because I hated the process and felt disconnected from him. It was amazing to be free from how I felt feeding him. We have a better bond because of it. 

    What formula do you plan on using (subject to change of course if allergies present)? my son could only tolerate the ready to feed Similac advantage until he was 11 months old when I discovered Aldi brand powder similar. He did better on that than anything. I highly recommend generic formulas, they all meet the same FDA requirements and sometimes kids actually do better on them. 

    STM/TTM – any tips on drying up your milk supply after delivery? I took high doses of Sudafed and pumped to comfort, but but that was with an established supply. A well fitting (not too tight) of a bra and cold cabbage leaves will help. Sudafed if you need it once your milk comes in. Be sure not to allow any stimulation to your breasts and keep the hot water from the shower off of them. I wore a supportive nursing bra in the shower to help prevent them from moving and being stimulated. 

    Please share how you dealt (or are planning to deal) with judgement and guilt. don’t be afraid to tell people to eff off. Seriously, the kid isn’t coming out of their body and they aren’t paying your bills. Their opinions means nothing. I found my own guilt was worst than anything, it’s SO important to remind yourself daily that a happy, well adjusted mom is more important than breastfeeding, regardless if it is due to a medication incompatible with breastfeeding, a breast surgery or by choice. You are the only one who can make this decision and know what is best for your family. 

    If this will be your first baby, do you have any particular questions or concerns that more experienced moms might be able to answer?
    belindablumenthalsarahhedger7
  • afoul said:
    So I'm planning to formula feed because I'm on an anti-depressant (specifically Prozac) and I've heard that's incompatible with breast-feeding. I need to discuss it further with my OB, but from the preliminary conversation we had I was given to understand that it's not recommended; if anyone has experience breast-feeding on an SSRI that would interest me. I'd certainly be willing to try breast-feeding if it was feasible, but currently my plan is to formula feed from the get go.

    I'm definitely concerned about being unsupported in this decision at the hospital where I'll deliver. I've heard bad things about baby-friendly hospitals, and while my OB is supportive of me formula feeding, I know this particular hospital strongly favors breast-feeding. I'd appreciate hearing how other women handled feeling pressured to breast-feed immediately postpartum.
    Make sure to tell your nurse upon admission (they usually ask), that you will not be breastfeeding due to medications. Be firm. If it is due to a med they shouldn’t push the subject
    belindablumenthalkiki75sarahhedger7
  • I’m new, and just introduced myself. I just wanted to chime in and say I exclusively formula fed our first due to unexpected issues with supply. I did not expect that it would take so long to find a formula that agreed with my son! The best advice I received was not to rush and change formulas too quickly, because that can cause digestive issues. Try to use each formula for a few weeks before changing. 
    belindablumenthal
  • Also, I found we struggled more with bottles than we did with formula. It was likely due to his lip tie, but he never minded bottles when we did breastfeed and he went to bottles cold turkey without skipping a beat. Dr. Brown’s wide neck bottles were wonderful for him, we tried Playtex and the nipple was too short. He ended up taking in a lot of air and it made his belly hurt so bad. I’m using Playtex drop ins with this one if they work. They were my favorite and so simple. 
    I switched from Dr. Brown’s to Avent Classic. They have similar nipple shape and he did ok with them. As much as I love Dr. Brown’s bottles there are so many parts!
    belindablumenthalCowboycorgi
  • I exclusively breast fed my daughter so I can’t offer much advice for formula feeding, but as far as drying up your supply goes, I recommend pumping when your boobs are so full that it’s uncomfortable, and otherwise just wearing the breast pads to help with the leaking. 

    As as far as guilt, if your baby is being fed in any way, you have nothing to feel guilty for. Like others have said, make it known early on to your doctors and nurses that you are firm on formula feeding, regardless of your reasoning, and there shouldn’t be a problem. And honestly, if someone DOES give you a hard time, I would go above them (assuming it’s a nurse) and request that they no longer care for you if they’re not supportive.  
    kiki75belindablumenthalsarahhedger7ksmwalters
  • If medications are what are keeping you from BFing and you want to try, I think it's worth talking to your OB/lactation consultant/the pediatrician/person who prescribed those meds to you about alternatives. I'm pretty sure I've known people who were on medication for PPD and were still able to BF. But, I would also be prepared and would plan on maybe more counseling sessions postpartum since I might worry about switching meds at the same time you're at risk for PPD. But, they may want to switch up meds postpartum for something that will work better with your chemistry at that time. And, while we're on the topic, know that if you do BF it is possible for PPD/PPP problems to crop up when you wean. 

    To be clear, I'm not saying that you should BF or FF or FF only if all other options have been exhausted. I'm just saying that I don't want you to find out months later that there were other options and then be bummed out that you didn't actually get a chance to fully choose. 

    As for the judgement, unless it's someone who is genuinely trying to understand and educate themselves asking, I think a simple, "Why do you ask?" Or "Not a welcome topic of conversation" is just fine. No one has to justify their choice to anyone. Both have benefits. I like that bottle feeding gives partners and family more of an opportunity to take part in a sweet, snuggly activity. Other than baby giggles and smiles, nothing in parenting is perfect. It all has tradeoffs. You do you. 
        
    Me: 34 DH: 38
    Married: June 2011
    TTC since Feb 2016
    BFP#1: 7/7/16 MMC: 8/16/16 
    BFP#2: 5/8/17 - CP
    BFP#3: 6/27/17 EDD: 3/10/18
    belindablumenthalleilaquinnsarahhedger7ksmwalters
  • IF you’re planning on typing up a birth plan I would put your breastfeeding (or lack of) plans in there. And let your nurse know before hand so everyone is on the same page. Hopefully they will behave like the professionals they are and accept your plan without trying to push you. Like others have said, fed is best. And baby needs a healthy mama more than he/she needs to be breastfed.


    Pregnancy Ticker


    ShawnnaObelindablumenthalleilaquinnksmwalters
  • @kiki75, is right in that meds don't necessarily preclude you from BFing, and I'm pretty sure that Prozac is one that may be permitted with certain dosages and following certain protocols, but I think some docs and LCs share differing opinions there, so it's good to check with your own medical providers for their best guidance on your specific situation, but again, ONLY IF YOU WANT TO.
    ***March '18 October Siggy Challenge: Halloween Costume Fails***

    leilaquinnksmwalters
  • @bettyvonsomethingstein @Gingermom15 @ShawnnaO @k318 @leilaquinn @kiki75 @heatherdubrow

    Thanks so much for your thoughtful responses – I really appreciate the support being offered. I totally agree that how to feed is a personal choice needing no explanation, but I thought I’d mention the anti-depressant in case anyone has had a similar experience. It sounds like if I’m prepared to stand up for myself and my decision I shouldn’t face too much opposition from the hospital staff.

    @kiki75 From what I’ve heard, Prozac is considered the SSRI that’s safest to use during pregnancy, and Zoloft is the best option for women who breastfeed, but you’re right that I’m concerned about making a medication change right when I’m most susceptible to postpartum depression. Obviously this warrants a more in-depth conversation with my OB and possibly my psychiatrist as well. I’ve always assumed I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed, but if it’s safe I wouldn’t be wholly opposed to trying.

    I hope it doesn’t seem like this whole thread is about me and my particular situation. While the advice is most welcome I certainly didn’t mean to monopolize the discussion…

    Pregnancy Ticker
    ShawnnaOleilaquinnsarahhedger7
  • Hi! Our son was FF after one month of nursing difficulties, our daughter was EBF until 2 1/2. I was on Zoloft for PPA from the time she was about 2-3 mos old until around her 1st birthday when I felt comfortable attempting to wean off. I was told by my OB, MFM, and LC that it was okay. 

    I know its not Prozac, but wanted to tell you if you don’t want to push breastfeeding entirely off the table, you may have options, though I don’t suggest switching medications at the last minute. Maybe sit down with your doctor and a lactation specialist and get their thoughts/advice if you have interest in attempting nursing.

    If not— don’t! Your baby, your choice, as long as you are loving on that baby, feeding baby, and caring for baby, it doesn’t matter how baby is fed. Do what is best for you.  <3
    belindablumenthalleilaquinnsarahhedger7ksmwalters
  • Is there reason to think Zoloft is safer that Prozac? I think of them as so similar.
  • @leilaquinn From what I've read, sertraline (Zoloft) is not passed from mother to infant in breastmilk whereas fluoxetine (Prozac) is.
    Pregnancy Ticker
    leilaquinn
  • I don't have any personal experience with formula but I wanted to chime in that my mom had low milk supply with both my older brother and me, so she had to formula feed us both.. and guess what? We are both now happy and healthy adults. 
    ShawnnaOleilaquinnCowboycorgibelindablumenthal
  • afoul said:
    @leilaquinn From what I've read, sertraline (Zoloft) is not passed from mother to infant in breastmilk whereas fluoxetine (Prozac) is.
    Hmm, my doctor said trace amounts were passed but my dose was low enough to not worry. Either way this thread made me want to talk to her more about it, I really want to breast feed, but maybe I need to consider that it might not be a good idea. Thanks a lot, I'm done derailing this thread!
  • I tried to breast feed both of my kids- DS wouldn't try and would fall asleep and almost ended up back in the hospital for jaundice and lost too much weight. DD had a tongue tie and couldn't latch. I have inverted nipples and a low supply. I pumped for a month with each and would get hardly anything. I will probably try again with this one but will also take formula and bottles and put that in my birth plan.
      I felt like a failure with DS and cried about it for a couple days because I felt so pressured by the hospital personnel. My mom reminded me that all that matters is a healthy baby with a full belly whether it came from me or a bottle. If you feel like this is your path be strong about it and go with it. Don't let others bully you or make you feel like a bad mom because you aren't breast feeding.
    Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

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    leilaquinnCowboycorgibelindablumenthalsarahhedger7


  • Why are you choosing to formula feed, if you're comfortable saying?

    im not sure if this is allowed but: 

    Im planning on trying to breastfeed, but open to failing spectcularly like I did with DD. I was hit hard with PPD when my 'feeding plan' did work, and guilt set in. I still want to try BF just to save money (and bottle washing) but im just not investing my heart in it. 

    What formula do you plan on using (subject to change of course if allergies present)?

    kirkland yellow label from Costco (so cheap!) 

    STM/TTM – any tips on drying up your milk supply after delivery?
     
    I will pump at first and slowly pump less and less. It worked well the first time and I had no issues. 

    Please share how you dealt (or are planning to deal) with judgement and guilt.

    I was blessed with not 1, but 2 middle fingers. I can use them extremely well! 

    If this will be your first baby, do you have any particular questions or concerns that more experienced moms might be able to answer?



    belindablumenthalashtuesdayambybambipregobeth
  • Late to the game, but wanted to chime in!

    Why are you choosing to formula feed, if you're comfortable saying?  Like @Cowboycorgi , I currently plan on attempting to breastfeed, but if it doesn't go well, I will happily make the move to formula.  There are a million reasons I think formula feeding would be the better option for my family and me.  TTC, dealing with multiple losses, and being pregnant has meant that for the past year and a half, EVERYTHING has hinged on my body.  For my sanity's sake, I look forward to my body being MINE again.  My husband and I plan on sharing the responsibilities of parenting as evenly as possible, and I hate that breastfeeding is an act that only I can do (I know pumping and bottle feeding is an option; it still doesn't fly without me!).  And however it may sound, I hear so many horror stories about the painful process people experience when trying to breastfeed: again, after the year and a half we've had, I just want to enjoy my daughter and husband.  If breastfeeding comes easily to us, great!  But I'm not going to dread providing nourishment for my kid every day when I could just as well give her a bottle.

    What formula do you plan on using (subject to change of course if allergies present)? Currently, I'm leaning towards Enfamil Premium, but this is based on research I did months ago and have largely forgotten.  I need to look into it further.

    STM/TTM – any tips on drying up your milk supply after delivery? Good question!

    Please share how you dealt (or are planning to deal) with judgement and guilt. At the end of the day, it's about making the right choice for my child.  Of course her physical health is extremely important to me, and I know the benefits that seem to be associated with breastfeeding.  But mental and emotional health matter too, and if bottle-feeding functions better for our family, baby will be better off for it!  Will I give that explanation to everyone who is judge-y?  No.  They will get responses that tend to feature four letters.

    If this will be your first baby, do you have any particular questions or concerns that more experienced moms might be able to answer?  Not yet!
    leilaquinnambybambi
  • I am choosing to formula feed because I had a terrible experience with my first. Besides the physical infection that I got and my son not latching it was just to much pressure emotionally. With the pressure of having a newborn plus anxiety and hormonal changes we just decided to switch. As soon as I started formula feeding my first the pressure lifted and I realized I was a much better mama. This time I figure we’ll just keep the pressure off from the get go and try to make the transition from 1 to 2 as easy as possible. 
    I used Similac with my first but haven’t really decided this time. His pediatrician always told me that they are pretty much all the same. I mean obviously except for the special ones. 
    I didn’t really have any judgement that I know of with my first with this one, well I am doing whats best for me and my family and that’s all that matters. 
  • Why are you choosing to formula feed, if you're comfortable saying?
    Not planning, but anticipating it because breastfeeding with my first did not happen
    What formula do you plan on using (subject to change of course if allergies present)?
    I think Enfamil gentle-ease is what worked best for us last time
    STM/TTM – any tips on drying up your milk supply after delivery?

    Please share how you dealt (or are planning to deal) with judgement and guilt.
    No guilt from me here no matter what others say, I think fed is best and my first is an overall healthy, thriving child. I beat myself up so badly the first round and not being able to breastfeed, but life went on and I've healed and since met a lot who've had the same experience. 
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