planning on BF - do i need formula just in case? — The Bump
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planning on BF - do i need formula just in case?

We have a scheduled c-section this Wednesday. I know it may take a little longer for my milk to come in. Do I need to have formula on hand? How much? What kind? I really wasn't planning on any formula, so I disregarded it all along. TIA 

Re: planning on BF - do i need formula just in case?

  • I would recommend you bring your pump or make SURE they know you want one AND  to talk with an LC when you get there, before the babies are born. Mine had trouble latching and the nursery nurses kept giving them formula (even though I said no) so I sent DH home for my pump and was able to pump for them the rest of the time we were in the hospital (I still EP, DD never did get the hang of latching and I just wanted the BM any way I could get it to her). The hospital can provide formula if you want it though. Good luck!!!

  • I planned on BF but it didn't work out too well. My milk never came in because of a retained placenta. The hospital will have a pump for you to use and if you end up using formula, they should send you home with enough to last until someone can run to the store for you.  I wouldn't have any at this point because if you end us wanting it, you may want to stick with whatever brand the hospital uses, at least initially.  My babies always got constipated when we switched formulas.

    Good luck!!! 

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  • I have a friend who has successfully BFed each of her 3 kids for at least a year and is in LLL and stuff. She really recommended that I NOT have any formula on hand; she explained that during those tough times in the early days, especially in the middle of the night, it can be extremely tempting to just break down and give them formula rather than pushing through. I didn't follow her advice and I did end up supplementing starting on day 3 so there might be some truth to it. ;) (We had kind of an odd circumstance though; one of our boys hadn't peed in 14 hrs since his circumcision and we wanted to make sure he had enough liquid in his system TO pee so we wouldn't unnecessarily take our 2-day-old to the ER at 3 a.m.)
    fraternal twin boys born january 2009
  • This is just my opinion but I feel strongly about it. When your babies get home and you are trying to BF and you are tired and all you want to do is get them full so that you can get an hour of sleep it will be very hard to resist giving them formula and that can be very bad for your supply. I know lots of ladies say that their milk never came in or they never got a good supply. My guess is that many of those times moms supplemented early on which kills your supply. (Please don't think I'm generalizing here because I know that sometimes people struggle with supply when they're not supplementing).

    So my best piece of advice is that you specifically don't have formula around. When you're at the hospital make sure they know not to give the babies formula and when they give you the sample bags at the end ask them to take the formula out. Even when you're sure your babies aren't satisfied and need formula they probably don't. Their sucking establishes your supply. So unless they are having weight issues or the pedi recommends it just keep putting them on the boob. 

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  • it's always good to have some on hand... but no need to buy it now - just take what they give you in the hospital (have your DH bring it home every day if he goes home to shower, etc)... then if youd don't end up needing it - you can just give it away on freecycle or to friends.

  • You don't need to buy any in advance-- you can get some from the hospital and that will hold you until you can go buy some *if* you end up needing it. We were told to buy some to have on hand, so we did, but we've never used it because we ended up on a special kind of formula (Alimentum).

    BTW, I was planning to BF exclusively, but after my c-section my twins got really sick and jaundiced because of not getting enough to eat. It was actually the LC begging me to give them formula that got me to do it. Sometimes, you just have to do what you have to do, and try to not feel bad about it.

    One last piece of advice: make sure to take a hands-free pumping bra (or something that will let you pump hands-free). It was the one thing I didn't have that I really wish I had had.

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  • We have some on hand, as I always planned on doing a combo BF/FF.

    We've never used it.

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  • You'll most likely end up carrying some home from the hospital (they pass out samples). So I wouldn't buy any.

    I'll just say, if you are really serious about wanting to BF, don't give yourself the option of using formula. I think a lot of people (not ALL, but a lot) go in with a predetermined attitude that it will be too hard/they can't do it. If you go in thinking you're going to fail, you'll increase your chances of failing. So, go in KNOWING you can do it, and you most likely will! 

     

  • image Polofsky:

    I would recommend you bring your pump or make SURE they know you want one AND  to talk with an LC when you get there, before the babies are born. Mine had trouble latching and the nursery nurses kept giving them formula (even though I said no) so I sent DH home for my pump and was able to pump for them the rest of the time we were in the hospital (I still EP, DD never did get the hang of latching and I just wanted the BM any way I could get it to her). The hospital can provide formula if you want it though. Good luck!!!

    This exactly, I wish that I had my pump in the hospital b/c one of my LOs could not latch well and was ff by the nurses behind my back.  We started pumping at home and they still get little to no formula. You will get formula at the hospital and can buy more if you need it.

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  • We were sent home with 2 boxes of RTF bottles. We still have a full box on the fridge that we've never even opened. I wouldn't buy formula ahead of time. I would make sure that you let them know at the hospital that you intend to breastfeed and make sure to get them to breast ASAP. Also, utilize their LC's on staff to help with latching and also making sure you're using the right sized flanges with pumping.

     

    TTC#1 since Mar 2008. Serious MFI due to cancer. 3 cancelled IUI's, just about every test in the book. IVF#1 - BFP! Twin girls arrived 2/5/10 at 35w2d. Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • If you are committed to BFing don't have formula at home.  It's just too tempting.  If BFing isn't going well in the hospital they will give you formula to take home and someone will be able to go buy some for you.  Or it will be a good excuse to get out of the house and go get some yourself.  As for the pump, I wouldn't bring a pump, I would ask to use a hospital pump - they are better quality and really help w/ getting your milk to come in.  Remember BFing is primarily supply and demand - so if you want to establish a good milk supply put them to the breast or pump everytime they eat. 

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