The decision to FF — The Bump
Formula Feeding

The decision to FF

Hi my FF ladies! I'm having a tough time right now and I'm not sure who to go to for advice. My DD is 3 months old. My goal was to EBF for one year. We started supplementing at a few days old to help clear severe jaundice from her system. Ever since then, my supply has not increased at all. I've tried everything feasible for me - pumping frequently (even throughout the night), lactation cookies, fenugreek, motherlove more milk plus, breast massages, more frequent feedings, more water, and now I've been on domperidone for two months. I still only produce one to two ounces on the left and mere drops on the right. Lactation consultants are of little help since there are no latch issues - just supply issues, and I've already been doing everything "right". So right now DD gets about 10 oz a day in BM and the rest is formula.

Do you think it's time for me to switch entirely to FF? I'm so exhausted. I'm lucky that I stay at home and I have time to do all this work towards BFing, but I produce so little that it almost seems like a waste of time (my DH thinks so, for sure). On top of that, the domperidone keeps weight on me and I'm not comfortable in my own skin anymore, but when I wean off the doses my supply drops immediately.

I don't know why I'm having such a hard time with this decision. This is my last baby and I feel so much guilt for even thinking about no longer giving her even the small amount of BM I can produce. 

Any thoughts or advice is really appreciated.


Re: The decision to FF

  • I wish I had advice, but you are describing me exactly. My LO will be 7 weeks tomorrow and we did the same supplementing. I make about 10 oz breast milk a day, but am not taking domeperidone. Per LC, DD's latch & suck looked good, but still transferred poorly.

    I will follow this thread. So far I am telling myself get to 8 weeks, 10 weeks, but what will I decide to do when I return to work at 14 weeks?

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    siriusdreamer
  • Huge hugs! At my lowest it would take me multiple pumping sessions to get enough for 1 feeding for LO. I was on domperidone for over a month and I had a week where my supply was okay, then it tanked again. It was always a guessing game on how much to feed LO after...not to mention the screaming that would ensue after being taken off the breast. It sounds like you really have tried everything---huge props on that. It's exhausting! Don't let the fact that your a SAHM pressure you into keeping breastfeeding. If it's not working for you, it's not the best situation. 

    If you want your LO to keep getting breastmilk, you could always try pumping a little less often. It may decrease your supply further but would still allow you to give a few ounces if that's what you want to do. I went cold turkey and regret it because the 2-3 times i pumped it was too watery to feed LO. But LO is now 10 months old, and thriving-- even on formula. :) It's a hard choice to make, but really, the most important thing you can do for your baby is to take care of yourself. 

    As long as your baby is fed, loved, and nurtured, that's all that matters.  
    siriusdreamer
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  • I have supply issues, too. DD maybe gets 2-3 oz of BM from me a day. I was pumping around the clock for weeks. I slowly cut the pumping back and now only pump 1-2 times a day. I enjoy breastfeeding when I can put her to the breast, so even though she is getting so little I continue and plan to until I no longer enjoy it.

    There is way too much mom guilt put on those who formula feed regardless of the reason. Babies have thrived for years and years on formula. Release yourself from the guilt you are placing on yourself. Your happiness as a mom is more important than the minor differences between formula and breast milk.
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    siriusdreamer
  • Self imposed mom guilt is the worst thing ever.

    Here's the good news - my baby girl just turned 11 months. She has not had a drop of breast milk and up until a few months ago was soley surviving on enfamil nutramigen due to her mspi. Now she's eating solids and formula. She's a happy, healthy, typically developing baby!! And I've a happy mom!

    You had a goal in mind and you've worked towards that goal to the best of your ability and possibly to the limits of your emotional capacity. It's okay to weigh the pros/cons and switch to formula. I promise it's not poison and you're not giving her anything that's "less than" or "not as good" as other options. You will be feeding your baby, that's what counts!

    I do understand the guilt. I planned to bf but my supply never came in and 3 days after delivery I developed postpartum pre-eclampsia and the drugs used to get that under control ensure that any supply I was trying to develop dried up. I cried over it then realized that it wasn't the end of the world. Just a plan that didn't work out.

    Take a deep breath and hug your squishy baby. You're not giving up, you're making a choice that's best for you and baby! Happy mama = happy baby every time.
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    siriusdreamerleela02fyreandblooddjluschen
  • My story is a little different but I had low supply and PPD/A. The first 6 weeks was probably the hardest of my entire life. It got to the point where I was resenting my helpless little girl. Breastfeeding what giving me so much anxiety and I was miserable. The light went on when I took my crying/fussy baby to the doctor after a night of 3 hours of sleep. She asked me, after I broke down in the office, if I wanted to keep breastfeeding. I said,"If it was up to me, no. I wouldn't." I will never forget the look she gave me. She said, "You do realize, it IS up to you."
    I related switching to formula to the oxygen mask in the airplane. They always say to put your mask on first, they your child's mask. Yes, breast is best, but for some moms, it just doesn't work out. In the end, I had to do what was best for me and my baby.
    Fast forward 10 months and my baby is healthy and happy. She's rarely been sick and she and I are very happy. Yes, I still wonder if I could have kept going longer with breastfeeding, but then I remember how miserable I was and how I wasn't enjoying my baby and being a mom. Besides, knowing what I know now, I look forward to the next baby and breastfeeding him/her.
    Hope this helps you! Good luck! Remember, whatever decision you make it will be the right one for you and your family.
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    siriusdreamer[Deleted User]
  • snuff9861 said:
    You have to do what's right for you. A happy mom makes for a happy baby. If you're so exhausted with what you're doing (been there too) then stop. Or modify your schedule to whatever works for you. The important thing is you feed your baby, regardless of how you do it.
    Exactly this!  
    siriusdreamerdjluschen
  • You guys are amazing. Thank you all so much for the advice. I've made the decision (though, frankly, my breasts really made the decision for me - going off domperidone made my supply plummet). She gets basically no breast milk now. It's still hard, though.

    I think this is truly a societal issue. I feel that today's pro-breastfeeding society makes me feel like absolute crap for not BFing despite doing absolutely everything in my power. Don't get me wrong - I'M pro-breastfeeding - it was my full intention to EBF as long as possible. But now I get this awful feeling that I'm being judged as selfish and lazy for FFing despite all my efforts. I even hate that "breast is best" phrase - as true as it is, the reality is that EVERY mother wants what's best for their baby, and now by FFing it seems as though that darn phrase is telling me that obviously I DON'T want what's best for her.

    Momma guilt is indeed a horrible thing.
    olookasquirrelfyreandblood
  • Just wanted to send lots of hugs! I just switched to FF after only a week+ of the pumping/supplementing train so I really commend you for going as long as you have! Your baby is being fed- that is the important part, although I totally get the societal pressure as well.

    GL as you move forward, and know you are not alone!!
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    Dh:34, no issues.  Me:31, Endo, slightly hypothyroid, deformed ovary, paracentric inversion.
    4 Gonal-F, Cetrotide, HcG, Crinone +TI cycles= all BFN
    Lap in 2012 to remove large unresolving cyst discovered endo and double lobed ovary.
     6 Gonal-F, Cetrotide, HcG, Crinone IUI cycles= All BFN,
    1st IVF w/ICSI- June '13 Antagonist: Gonal-F, Menopur, Ganirelix, HcG, Estradiol, Crinone= 7 retrieved, 4 mature, 1 unfertilized, 2 abnormally fertilized, 1 normally fertilized.  2DT of only embryo and our miracle BFP.
    Our beloved baby boy was born sleeping Oct. 13, 2013 due to pROM/IC/Uterine infection.
    2nd IVF w/ICSI- Feb. '14 EPP/lupron/antagonist: Estrace, lupron, HGH, Gonal-F, Menopur, HcG, PIO, lovenox, doxy/dex.=21 retrieved, 16 mature, 15 fertilized!!  5dt of 1 blast/ 6 frozen. BFP!  Beta 1 9dp5dt:83.9  Beta 2: 11dp5dt: 145.2  Beta 3  14dp5dt: 497  Please be our sticky rainbow baby!

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  • Just wanted to send lots of hugs! I just switched to FF after only a week+ of the pumping/supplementing train so I really commend you for going as long as you have! Your baby is being fed- that is the important part, although I totally get the societal pressure as well. GL as you move forward, and know you are not alone!!
    Wow so I am not the only one thank goodness. I've been beating myself up about this for days because I felt so frustrated and ready to give up and then feeling so guilty because I feel like I'm giving up on my LO.

    I'm not producing anything at all ,but still pumping and nursing. It honestly is starting to feel like a waste of time where I can be doing other things for her like cleaning bottles, or organizing her things or catching up on sleep, etc.

    @siriusdreamer:
    thank you for starting this thread. To know I'm not the only one makes me feel a lot better. I'll be honest I'm still feeling a bit guilty for wanting to quit and just strictly FF but atleast her needs are being met and I'm not an emotional mess.


  • Cass005 said:




    Just wanted to send lots of hugs! I just switched to FF after only a week+ of the pumping/supplementing train so I really commend you for going as long as you have! Your baby is being fed- that is the important part, although I totally get the societal pressure as well.

    GL as you move forward, and know you are not alone!!

    Wow so I am not the only one thank goodness. I've been beating myself up about this for days because I felt so frustrated and ready to give up and then feeling so guilty because I feel like I'm giving up on my LO.

    I'm not producing anything at all ,but still pumping and nursing. It honestly is starting to feel like a waste of time where I can be doing other things for her like cleaning bottles, or organizing her things or catching up on sleep, etc.

    @siriusdreamer:
    thank you for starting this thread. To know I'm not the only one makes me feel a lot better. I'll be honest I'm still feeling a bit guilty for wanting to quit and just strictly FF but atleast her needs are being met and I'm not an emotional mess.


    You are definitely not alone! I was spending upwards of 45 minutes trying to bf and then DH would supplement and LO would eat an entire feedings worth- she was getting basically nothing from me and I was barely able to pump anything. Don't feel guilty to making whatever choice you feel is best for you and for LO!!
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Anniversary

    TTC since 2008
    Dh:34, no issues.  Me:31, Endo, slightly hypothyroid, deformed ovary, paracentric inversion.
    4 Gonal-F, Cetrotide, HcG, Crinone +TI cycles= all BFN
    Lap in 2012 to remove large unresolving cyst discovered endo and double lobed ovary.
     6 Gonal-F, Cetrotide, HcG, Crinone IUI cycles= All BFN,
    1st IVF w/ICSI- June '13 Antagonist: Gonal-F, Menopur, Ganirelix, HcG, Estradiol, Crinone= 7 retrieved, 4 mature, 1 unfertilized, 2 abnormally fertilized, 1 normally fertilized.  2DT of only embryo and our miracle BFP.
    Our beloved baby boy was born sleeping Oct. 13, 2013 due to pROM/IC/Uterine infection.
    2nd IVF w/ICSI- Feb. '14 EPP/lupron/antagonist: Estrace, lupron, HGH, Gonal-F, Menopur, HcG, PIO, lovenox, doxy/dex.=21 retrieved, 16 mature, 15 fertilized!!  5dt of 1 blast/ 6 frozen. BFP!  Beta 1 9dp5dt:83.9  Beta 2: 11dp5dt: 145.2  Beta 3  14dp5dt: 497  Please be our sticky rainbow baby!

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers


    imageimage
  • Cass005 said:

    Just wanted to send lots of hugs! I just switched to FF after only a week+ of the pumping/supplementing train so I really commend you for going as long as you have! Your baby is being fed- that is the important part, although I totally get the societal pressure as well. GL as you move forward, and know you are not alone!!
    Wow so I am not the only one thank goodness. I've been beating myself up about this for days because I felt so frustrated and ready to give up and then feeling so guilty because I feel like I'm giving up on my LO.

    I'm not producing anything at all ,but still pumping and nursing. It honestly is starting to feel like a waste of time where I can be doing other things for her like cleaning bottles, or organizing her things or catching up on sleep, etc.

    @siriusdreamer:
    thank you for starting this thread. To know I'm not the only one makes me feel a lot better. I'll be honest I'm still feeling a bit guilty for wanting to quit and just strictly FF but atleast her needs are being met and I'm not an emotional mess.
    I FF after a few weeks too when it seemed obvious I was hardly making anything. The important thing is that LO is fed. The "anyone can breastfeed" pressure BS made me so anxious and depressed like I wasn't trying hard enough, even though logically I knew it wasn't working out.
  • My story is a little different but the guilt is still there. For me, I honestly wish that my milk would just dry up. Why? At almost three months of struggle we found out that our little one has a protein sensitivity and to be perfectly honest my breastmilk makes him horribly sick. Partially hydrolyzed formula and he's a little angel, one little feeding with breastmilk and he's exorcist baby (coming out both ends). It just makes us both miserable. BUT on the chance that he'll outgrow it or that he'll gain some small benefit from it, our doctor wants me to continue breastfeeding him as much as I can along with FF for as long as I have milk.

    Over guilt that I should still keep trying as long as I can, I pump and work to keep up my supply and I freeze what's expressed and BF him at least once a day, all the while dreading the time we'll both be miserable after. Maternal guilt is some horrible, nasty stuff. I want it to be enough that I'm feeding my baby, that on formula alone he's so happy and comfortable but everyone keeps telling me to try, just keep trying.

    Frustration aside, it boggled my mind when I was still pregnant to hear my mother-in-law talk of a time when breast wasn't considered best. My husband was exclusively formula fed and she explained that at the time it wasn't considered necessary to even try breastfeeding. Formula was it from the start because it was thought so much better. In fact, you were shamed for choosing to breastfeed over formula feeding. Now my guilt is just plain, frustrating confusion.

    I've read the same studies mentioned by MommyAtty. Why can't the point be made more that the best is truly what is best for the individual mother and child, whatever that may be and let the mother be the one to make the final decision if she wants to or can.

    Meh, my two-cents after sitting here going back and forth on if my conscience can handle letting my milk dry up once and for all and making the commitment to FF exclusively. I wish so much that someone would come along and tell me that it's okay to stop trying, that I tried enough. I would love to hear just once that three months of breastfeeding through persistent vomit and diarrhea caused by the breastfeeding is enough. (I don't want to remember how many times I've been vomited all over partway into feeding. Eww.)

    So it occurs to me, why can't I offer what I'm wishing for? You've tried enough. MORE than enough. You've gone way above and beyond what is necessary to try to do what society has deemed best. Now put the pump aside and enjoy the quiet, relaxing bottle-feedings and the sweet snuggles and precious play.
  • My story is a little different but the guilt is still there. For me, I honestly wish that my milk would just dry up. Why? At almost three months of struggle we found out that our little one has a protein sensitivity and to be perfectly honest my breastmilk makes him horribly sick. Partially hydrolyzed formula and he's a little angel, one little feeding with breastmilk and he's exorcist baby (coming out both ends). It just makes us both miserable. BUT on the chance that he'll outgrow it or that he'll gain some small benefit from it, our doctor wants me to continue breastfeeding him as much as I can along with FF for as long as I have milk.

    Over guilt that I should still keep trying as long as I can, I pump and work to keep up my supply and I freeze what's expressed and BF him at least once a day, all the while dreading the time we'll both be miserable after. Maternal guilt is some horrible, nasty stuff. I want it to be enough that I'm feeding my baby, that on formula alone he's so happy and comfortable but everyone keeps telling me to try, just keep trying.

    Frustration aside, it boggled my mind when I was still pregnant to hear my mother-in-law talk of a time when breast wasn't considered best. My husband was exclusively formula fed and she explained that at the time it wasn't considered necessary to even try breastfeeding. Formula was it from the start because it was thought so much better. In fact, you were shamed for choosing to breastfeed over formula feeding. Now my guilt is just plain, frustrating confusion.

    I've read the same studies mentioned by MommyAtty. Why can't the point be made more that the best is truly what is best for the individual mother and child, whatever that may be and let the mother be the one to make the final decision if she wants to or can.

    Meh, my two-cents after sitting here going back and forth on if my conscience can handle letting my milk dry up once and for all and making the commitment to FF exclusively. I wish so much that someone would come along and tell me that it's okay to stop trying, that I tried enough. I would love to hear just once that three months of breastfeeding through persistent vomit and diarrhea caused by the breastfeeding is enough. (I don't want to remember how many times I've been vomited all over partway into feeding. Eww.)

    So it occurs to me, why can't I offer what I'm wishing for? You've tried enough. MORE than enough. You've gone way above and beyond what is necessary to try to do what society has deemed best. Now put the pump aside and enjoy the quiet, relaxing bottle-feedings and the sweet snuggles and precious play.

    Oh man!! pleas please PLEASE!! Put away the pump and just go to 100% formula!!! I know one internet stranger's opinion is not what you want but I am giving it anyway! If your BM is making your child sick, esp in a way different from say getting gassy from mom eating garlic or oranges once, that is 100% enough reason to stop the torture. Of both of you. What kind of miraculous benefit does your pedi expect to get from BM is your baby does outgrow this??? This is nuts!! A friend of mine has 2 sons and both of them had severe issues with BM and had to feed on some super weird special formula. I can't imagine being told to keep pumping in hopes that they might eat some of that BM.

    STOP! And feel good about yourself!
  • @Mizuiro007‌
    I'm just a lurker here but my story is almost the same as yours. My DS has dairy and soy protein sensitivities. When he was breastfed he was completely miserable. Screaming for hours, blood in his stool, a terrible sleeper, and we had to supplement because I wasn't even producing enough. Around the 2 month mark we figured out that he did well on Alimentum. In an effort to keep breast feeding I changed my diet to completely dairy and soy free. I still wasn't producing enough though so he still had to have formula. I absolutely hated having to study the label of every single thing I ate, just to turn around and give him formula anyway. After a month of that I decided to exclusively FF. I felt so much guilt and cried so many tears but I got over it. I don't regret it because we are finally both happy. Please do what YOU feel would make both of you happiest!!
  • My brother had serious sensitivity to all milk produced by mammals. Including humans. He had to be on super-special formula in the 1960's that apparently looked and smelled like dog food. Some babies can't handle Breast milk. If breast milk is making your baby sick, for God's sake, stop feeding it to him! And seriously, find a new pediatrician. Yours isn't using science to make decisions, he or she is using an advertising campaign. Hugs. Motherhood is hard enough without people feeding you nonsense.
    fyreandblood
  • We'll be sticking with the doctor. He's been amazing with trying to help us get reimbursement for formula so we can afford it and talking to me on the phone in the middle of the night over baby crying so we didn't have to wait and squeeze him in during office hours. He's a family doc, btw. I like that he's my doctor as well. It's really all my own guilt I'm working past. The last time we spoke he told be to go formula but if I had the milk and felt it was tolerated well enough I could mix.

    I'm getting over the guilt. Just enjoying my baby, especially now that I took my own advice and put the pump away last night.Part of it has been getting past that irrational mommy guilt enough to get that his not tolerating my milk has nothing to do with me or anything I've done or haven't done. It's just something that happens. It just comes back to what I intended my main point to be last night, when is it okay to give ourselves permission to let go and embrace the change when things don't go according to plan.
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