R.N. asks from Albuquerque, NM on September 13, 2006
Formula Feeding Support
I am looking for other moms with similar problems. I have a 3 week old boy (Logan), we started out breast feeding exclusivly but Logan had to be readmitted into the hospital on day 4 because he need to be treated for jaundice. He was pretty dehydrated and had lost 1 pound at the time so they had us feed him formula in the hospital while I pumped my milk, which at this point had not come in. When we got home I went back to breast feeding but my milk still had not come in and so he wasn't getting any nurishment and started loosing weight again so we had to go back to formula, after 3 1/2 weeks my milk still has not come in despite pumping every 2 hours to stimilate my milk supply. Now Logan won't even take my breast as he has become so accustomed to bottles and formula. I know breastmilk is the best for him but after 3 weeks I don't think it will ever come in and even if it does how do I get Logan to go back to breast. My husband and I have done a pros and cons list for both breast feeding and formula feeding and we are still unsure of what to do. He is doing well on the formula, he is healthy and gaining weight but I worry about all the illnesses and allergies he will be prone to that breast milk is supposed to guard against. Has this ever happened to anyone? What did/would you do? To top it all off I was/am part of a mothers group that pretty much has banned me from the group because I am not breast feeding, they made me feel like a horrible mother for feeding him formula even though the other option was to possible starve him. Any help or advice would be so grately appreciated.
Thanks I am very open to helpful advice and support from experianced mothers who have been through this before.
1 mom found this helpful
So What Happened?‚ĄĘ
Thank you to everyone who responded to my request for help. You have all be more helpful then you know. I am so comforted to know that I am not the only one with this problem and that there is support. My husband and family have been very supportive as well.
Logan had a follow up appointment today and he is doing great. He is gaining weight and is a happy, healthy baby. I have talked to so many specialist from the hospital and from La Leche League for weeks and still no milk so my husband and I have decided to do formula. All the pumping and stressing about it is taking me away from spending time with Logan and precious sleep at night, it is not allowing me to be the best mom that I can be to him.
Thank you all again for your help and support!
A.K. answers from Denver on September 13, 2006
I only breastfed for 3 months since my breasts stopped producing. My son has a couple of allergies, and I don't know whether to blame it on that or not. There are so many things to be aware of such as environmental toxins, genetically modified food, rgbh in milk that all have links to allergies.
The main thing I wanted to tell you is that nobody, and I mean NOBODY has a right to tell a mother what to do when it comes to breastfeeding. I would have no respect for a group that treats you like that.
S.T. answers from Phoenix on September 14, 2006
I am a Doula that believes whole heartedly in breastfeeding if you want to. I have helped adoptive mothers breastfeed so I know it is not too late to build up your milk supply if you want to. Contact the Le Leche League website and call the local corrdinator I am sure they will have some wonderful ideas. I know you can go to the health food store and ask them what herbs stimulate your milk glands. http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/pumpwork.html
here is the website and good luck!
B.K. answers from Phoenix on September 14, 2006
I wish I had direct advice about this particular thing, we were lucky with our daughter.
But please keep in mind that everyone's experience with motherhood is their own private experience. I personally think it is extrememley rude of the 'group' you are in to shun you for bottle feeding - especially since you have tried so hard to breast feed!!!
Don't beat yourself up by measuring yourself against everyone else - follow your insticts & do the best you can. With two loving parents I don't see how Logan can be at any disadvantage at all.
K.W. answers from Phoenix on September 14, 2006
WOW! you have recieved a lot of support here, haven't you? My son wouldn't latch I pumped for 6 months I had more than enough, 16oz every 3 hours. My son just turned 3 and I still have milk. My mom got on me cause he wouldn't latch. I could only do what I could do. Same for you if you don't have it what do those women expect you to do????? As long as you and you son are healthy thats all that matters!!!! Good luck and cherish every minute it really does go by fast!
R.T. answers from Phoenix on October 02, 2006
I had the same problem witht he jaundice, but my milk came in. I pumped right away and forced the nurses to feed it to him before the formula. I had the same concerns as you. My Dr. forced my to include formula because of the jaundice and eventually, at about 4 months my son began rejecting me :( Now, my sister did not have her milk come in until her son was about 2days old. We had to keep working on him latching on and get him to suck. The baby is the best stimulant, better than the pump. I suggest working with him at the begining of the feeding and massage your breaast with a warm wash cloth. That helped my milk come in. You dont want to starve him so after a bit of practice on mommy then the formula. I hope that helps :)
I dont think you have anything to worry about. There are tons of healthy formula fed babies. The fact that you are so concerned shows that you are a great mom!
A.W. answers from Phoenix on September 13, 2006
Let me start by saying that you have been handling this very well. I realize that breast milk is better but not breast feeding doesn't mean that your children aren't going to be perfectly healthy and happy. I tried with my 2 girls to breastfeed my first was eating more than I was supplying so I finally after about 4 mos. switched her totally over to formula. My 2nd child was a premie and spent time in the hospital. My milk never really came in so she also was bottle fed. They are both perfectly healthy and happy as a matter of fact their imune system is stronger than all the other childrens that they play with. So either way don't worry about just go with what happens.
I personally thing that you should tell your mom's group to get stuffed. They are supposed to be there to support each other not make you feel bad about it. I also belong to my local mom's group and we are filled with women who have done both breast and formula and for some of them they have had to do it differently for each child.
You're doing great just let your son and mother nature tell you what to do. In the mean time discuss with your pediatrician about which formula he recommends they have come a long way on making formula closer to breast milk. Enjoy the fact that you can share the feedings with your husband. This allows him to experience this quiet bonding time as well.
J. answers from Fort Collins on September 13, 2006
My story isn't EXACTLY like yours, but I faced a similar struggle with breast/formula feeding with my son, who is now almost 1 year old. Like you, I started out exclusively breastfeeding and it went fine for about the first month. I started pumping so that my husband could also feed the baby, but when I started doing that I realized that I wasn't producing as much milk as I thought I was; if I pumped, I would barely have enough to feed my son even a few hours later. And since he was getting older and his appetite was growing, it was like he was ALWAYS hungry and I would finish a feeding and pretty much have to start right on the next one. So since I could see that I wasn't giving him much to eat, we started supplementing with formula. It didn't take long for him to start balking at the breast and preferring the formula for whatever reason; ease, taste,the filling qualities, whatever. I continued to force the breast feeding with him because I felt so guilty about having him entirely on formula at such a young age, but finally at 4 months I was sick and tired of fighting with him and having a horribly unhappy baby after each breastfeeding session, so I switched him entirely to formula. I think it was the best thing I could have done. He was satisfied after every meal and generally happier. He has not had any illnesses (except for the common cold) and he doesn't seem to have any allergies except for seasonal, which he showed symptoms of pretty much since the day he was born. I was assured by my dr. that formula is very nutritious and will provide him with all that he needs to grow; my son has always been on the small side so that's another reason I'm glad he's had some heftier food this past year. So drawing upon my experience, I would say that if your son is happy with the bottle feeding, is healthy and is gaining weight well now, don't feel guilty about feeding him that way (like you said, the only other option is starving him which certainly isn't any better!!) There is absolutely nothing wrong with formula feeding. Of course we're all well aware of how much better breast feeding is for a baby, but sometimes it just doesn't work out for whatever reason and that's why they make formula. So don't let anyone make you feel bad or guilty or like a horrible mother; I felt like that plenty before I realized that there's too much else to worry about!:) You are trying to do what seems to be the best for your son and that makes you a GOOD mother! I hope this has helped a little; good luck with it all! Sorry for my kind of long story, but I figured my advice wouldn't make much sense unless you had some background first!
M.M. answers from Phoenix on September 13, 2006
Please do not beat yourself up for feeding your baby formula. I also stopped for similar reasons at around 3 weeks, and also felt terrible about it for a while. Sometimes breastfeeding just DOES NOT work. The women who are shunning you from your mother's group should be ashamed! By the way, my baby is now 19 months old, and has always been very healthy.
T.H. answers from Phoenix on September 14, 2006
First off, don't let anyone make you feel guilty about formula feeding! Your first responsibility is to ensure your child is being nourished. I was in the same situation. My milk took over 10 days to come in with my son (now 3 years old). I pumped religiously every two hours with a hospital pump. My son also had jaundice and after losing weight, they suggested I start formula. Once he got the bottle he wanted nothing to do with the breast, too much work, lol. I pumped for 9 months but my supply was super low. With my daughter I think I tried everything, I used Fenugreek, blessed thistle, lots of water, rest and nursing on demand, skin to skin contact, saw a lactation consultant, I even used the prescription Domperidone to help boost my supply. I am happy to say she gets about 2/3 of her nutrition from breastmilk but man, that took some work!! The breastfeeding supply stores also have a tincture called More Milk Plus which is a combo of Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle and Goat's Rue. There is also a tea called Mother's Milk at Henry's with Fenugreek and some other stuff but it usually takes A LOT of the tea to help. If you are in to trying natural/homeopathic remedies that is an option. You can also buy bottles of Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle capsules from Henry and it is not that expensive. I have tons of resources on the internet, email me directly if you would like me to send you some. I drove myself nuts about this issue with my son and when I look back now, it was not worth the stress I put on myself. I was in tears and so was he and that is not the way you should spend your first few months with your new baby. I have been much more successful breastfeeding this time around with my daughter (now 7 1/2 months old) but I had learned a lot with my son too (and the lactation consultant said it gets better with each baby, your body learns more each time). I was a little more proactive and knew I wanted to try some homeopathic stuff but if it didn't work out I was not going to stress about it. She still gets some formula because I still do not produce enough. I don't take any of the supplements anymore either. If you want to pursue it, there are some options like I stated above, but the bottom line is do what you can and as long as Logan is healthy, that is what's most important. Shame on those other moms for making you feel bad. I know I felt bad enough about it myself, I didn't need anyone else making me feel guilty. You should be supported in your decision because sometimes we don't have a whole lot of options. Some people take for granted a good milk supply, my mom couldn't breastfeed either, it DOES happen, regardless of what some fanatics will tell you. Good luck and let me know if you want to chat about this off the board.