Had formula for first week, now BFing — The Bump

Had formula for first week, now BFing

Hi, hoping someone could weigh in here. I had gestational diabetes so I was really determined to EBF in order to help both of our blood sugar levels and improve my baby's chances of avoiding type 2 one day. Unfortunately, I hemorrhaged really badly after delivery and while I was being worked on/recovering, the hospital gave my baby formula for his first two feedings. I then received so many IV fluids that I struggled to get a good latch and we had to supplement some formula with breastfeeding for a week. At one week, I was finally able to stop formula completely and am now only breastfeeding. 

I feel really disappointed that I couldn't exclusively BF from the beginning. Maybe it's the hormones talking, but it feels like I've already started my baby out on the wrong foot. Does anyone with more knowledge/experience with BF have some insight into whether BF at this point is still beneficial? Or have I already compromised a lot of the benefits by introducing something foreign? I just read about the idea of the "virgin gut" and I think that's what got me feeling worried. Apparently I've already messed up my baby's gut. 

Re: Had formula for first week, now BFing

  • You're doing great if you're able to nurse after all that you and baby have already gone through. Any breast milk is better than nothing. If you doubt its nutrient properties, if you or baby has a scratch, put some of your milk on it and watch how fast it heals. Same thing happens with your baby's belly. I know it wasn't the ideal beginning that you wanted but it is better than having your baby cry and be upset because the poor lil thing is starving.

    Just a side note too but the day after I gave birth to my son, my daughter (lil over 2 yrs old) got a bad fever that she couldn't break. I waited til my milk came in and then pumped and gave her about 3 oz, 2 separate times. This was on day 5 of her fever being on and off, Tylenol wasn't keeping it away. After I gave her 'special milk', which she loved, it broke for good and didn't come back. Not sure if it was my milk or the Tylenol finally decided to work but it didn't hurt the situation, except for the fact that she asked for 'special milk' for 2 days after.

  • I'm no expert, but I absolutely think BFing is still beneficial at any point.  And good for you for being able to start after what sounds like a really difficult delivery.  
    I had to supplement with formula for my little one in the beginning as well.  It took 5 days for my milk to come in so he lost a lot of weight.  Between that and the jaundice, the pediatricians were worried about his caloric intake and had us start supplementing the day we left the hospital.  He'll be three weeks tomorrow and is down to an ounce or two of formula/day.  We go in for another check up tomorrow and I'm hoping we get the go ahead to eliminate the formula altogether
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  • I agree with pp,BF is beneficial at any point.
    One of the best things my mw said to me when I had my first baby was, "you can only do what you can do." Which is so true. Yes there might be the "ideal" but life is what it is.

    Plus even doing all the "shoulds" doesn't give you a guarantee. BF statistically reduces the risk of chest infections, but at 18mths my EBF daughter who was still BF still ended up in hospital for a week with pneumonia.

    I had GD with my last baby, so I know what it's like to want to try and prevent future problems for your baby, but I really think the lifestyle you set up for your baby as they grow will have a much bigger impact on their overall health than a few days of formula.

    Best wishes to you!
    Elizabeth 5yrs old Jane 3yrs old

  • Of course it's still beneficial! You did not ruin your babies gut! Even if you had to continue supplementing some breast milk is better then none at all. Your milk changes and adapts to your babies needs it will be beneficial until you wean, kudos to you for getting as far as you have, that sounds like you had a rough start!
  • Sweetie, you were hemorrhaging after birth!! You can't breastfeed when you are being operated on for a traumatic birth!! Your little one will be just fine! I'm sure when your first milk came in it was colostrum and baby got the antibodies. Additionally, your body makes antibodies as you continue to breastfeed depending on what he needs.

     Please don't let mom guilt creep in, you're doing great! You have met your goal of ebf and hopefully that will continue, but sometimes there are speedbumps along the way, and if you have to supplement again in the future, remember, formula is also excellent food for babies!  Good luck!
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