RA And Breastfeeding

Updated on March 27, 2010
P.B. asks from Anchorage, AK
18 answers

Okay so I typed a big long story then my computer froze so here are my questions and the WAY short explaination:
1) what kind of formula do you recommend?
(we are not lactose intolerant)
2) what kind of bottles do you recommend?
(currently have playtex drop ins)
3) what kinds of nipples do you recommend?
(currently have slow flow regluar ones but each time I put the in TM's mouth she gags)
4) do YOU have RA and what has worked for you?
(currently taking fish oil, aloe juice, flaxseed oil and 800mg of ibuprofen 3/day)

I am a nurse and know that children do very well on formula, however due to the RA will have to start the meds very soon and am looking for other moms input as to bottlefeeding and thier experiences with RA. Any input would be appreciated! :)
Thanks P.

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C.W.

answers from Seattle on

I totally LOVE Dr Browns bottles. They have a special design that is supposed to help them not to get gas. They flow really well.

2 moms found this helpful
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M.S.

answers from Portland on

My daughter is 5 months so I just went through trying to decide what and how to feed her...I feel for you.

I went through every single kind of bottle I could find (I still have them if you need them) from the basic old fashioned kind to the Dr. Browns and Avent and Soothie. The bottle that was the easiest to eat and the most like me was the Playtex Drop-ins. They are great because with the plastic liners you can squeeze all the air out and then the baby has less to swallow. They also do not run when you tip them, they drip. This was the biggest problem I had with the "vented or flow" kinds...they keep the milk flowing and the baby always has it running in her mouth; she choked several times because she couldn't breathe.

I don't have a preference on formula as long as you go name brand. I did quite a bit of research and Enfamil and Similac are the best because they have done all the research and testing. I have heard a lot of moms say that it doesn't matter, but the study I read said it did. I wish I could remember what it is, but alas, I can't. Costco sells both brands in bigger sizes and it is worth the cost of the membership card! If they don't have the kind you want in the store, they only carry a few, then you can order it online. I have heard several bad things about Carnation, but not any specifics.

NIPPLES: do you have the silicone or the latex nipples? I have to use the latex (orangish rubber kind) or she can't keep the bottle in her mouth. She actually has this problem with all silicone nipples. They can be a little hard to find, but Fred Meyer and Kmart have them. I haven't found them at Wal-Mart.

I hope this helps! Good luck.

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A.T.

answers from Portland on

Please look at the ingredient list to the formulas that many below have suggested. It's very surprising. Check out a natural health food store or health section for formula.
But I also wanted to let you know about the Women's Milk Bank, we have one in Portland. Check out their site: http://www.hmbana.org/index/locations
They test & treat all their milk & provide it free for women & babies who are in need.
As for RA, my natural doc has helped lots & I've been able to nurse. If you want her contact info, email me. Good luck with everything.

2 moms found this helpful
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M.C.

answers from Dallas on

What meds are you starting? Are you certain they're not compatible with bf? Is your rheumatologist open to exploring treatments that are? I'm currently on Humira, and it's fine while nursing.

2 moms found this helpful
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S.W.

answers from Seattle on

I have used Similac and Enfamil and both were fine. If you read the ingredients in formula they are all really the same. My Dr said they are all the same. I have only used Playtex drop ins and I have loved them. We used the regular slow flow nipples with no issues. Don't have RA so I can't answer that one. :)

1 mom found this helpful
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B.S.

answers from New York on

It's really trial land error. Every child, like every person, is different. You have to find what they like and what they can tolerate. My oldest took a pacifier and thew it away on her own at age two the other two wanted nothing to do with pacifiers. Formula was different for each because one couldn't tolerate and the other didn't like. Bottle nipples are the same way and as long as you get out all the gas and bubbles from you child, any type bottle will do. You have to learn your child's likes and tolerances. It's not easy and takes time. Do you have a good sitter or partner who will communicate your child's progress with you.?

1 mom found this helpful
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S.B.

answers from Kansas City on

We used Similac, although there is not significant differences in the formulas, the important thing is to pick one formula and stick with it, switching them hurts their little systems. We only used Similac because that's what my hubby's mom used, therefore we could never think of using anything else, not just because it was better than the others. My cousin used the Good Start, which worked just fine for her baby. I had a friend who's doctor told her that there was no reason she couldnt use the Enfamil and the Similac, it was no different from switching kinds of milk, and her poor baby was in a lot of pain, the switching around was too much.

We really liked the Nuk bottles we bought at walmart. They had a nipple with one smooth end, and a little hole that was supposed to help with air bubbles. I'm not sure if it did, but we never had a problem with those bottles.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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R.S.

answers from Seattle on

Enfamil powder or ready-to-use formula. But every pediatrician I've talked to says they are all the same.

Gerber bottles.

I think what we have is medium to slow flow. This is better since it gives the baby time to swallow. It also lets me know when he has had enough. A constantly dripping nipple can choke baby and force him or her to drink even when full.

I don't know what RA stands for, so I can't answer that. By the way, nice to know you're a nurse. I have a lot of respect for nurses especially those in the maternity, postpartum and NICU. They are wonderful for moms, dads and of course, the babies!

1 mom found this helpful
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E.G.

answers from Seattle on

1) I would be looking for an organic formula such as this http://www.naturesone.com/dairy/?gclid=CNDb842_zKACFQlLgw....

2) and 3)On baby bottles and nipples: http://blog.seattlepi.com/greenparenting/archives/134208.asp and http://www.greenlivingonline.com/article/healthy-baby-bottle

4) On RA, this is just one site I found on this which may be helpful. I have known of a few people that have reversed RA contrary to popular belief. http://www.mercola.com/article/rheumatoid_arthritis/index....

I am in no way associated with any of these sites and have no vested interest in what you do except that I care about children being as healthy as possible. Please keep researching and you will make the right decision for you and your family.

1 mom found this helpful
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L.A.

answers from Seattle on

First to answer all the baby formula questions - it's really dependent on the baby. Don't buy a million of everything - see what they like. We used Advent bottles.

I have RA - I was able to breastfeed for 6 months before I went back on my medication my daughter did great with a bottle and is a very healthy happy kiddo. Since the one medication I went back on had a side effect of blindness I was not about to keep breastfeeding.

Since I knew I wasn't going to breastfeed forever - I never let my daughter have a "boob nap" I always had my husband put her down to sleep - she never was able to use me as a pacifer. I had her bottle fed at least once a week once she was a month old - so she'd be used to it. When we weened her - we just dropped one feeding a day until there were none.

It took two years after weening her before my meds kicked in and put the RA under control. X-rays showed a decay in my joints as well. Really in the long run it was key to have her bottle fed. The worst part of it was the guilt that places like LLL and people made me feel.

But my daughter is healthier than her friends who were breastfeed for 2+ years - she's tall and growing like a weed. The best thing to realized is that no matter what - your health is really important - you won't do any good as a mommy if you aren't able to move and keep up with your kiddo.

1 mom found this helpful
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A.C.

answers from Seattle on

Not sure what RA is but I have used Avent bottles and Plyatex bottles. I like the playtex better because there is less air l and they come with silicone slow flow nipples. I have heard that Dr browns has lots of pieces to clean. I have always used enfamil until this time around. I breastfed mostly and used the sample similac and liked it. Now for the last month I am using the costco brand (kirkland) and like it alot. It disolves easier and It is much cheaper. As for the gaging is she bran new? Maybe the nipples are just too long for a little mouth.

1 mom found this helpful
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J.R.

answers from Seattle on

My kids did very well with (1) Nestle Good Start (the protein is broken down a bit and therefore easier on their tummies). I used (2) Avent with my first which was super easy to clean and Born Free with my second due to no BPA.

1 mom found this helpful
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T.P.

answers from Portland on

I can't help so much with the RA but I have a few suggestions with the formula feeding (I also had to use formula due to medical issues). If your baby is ok with regular formula I would use Costco Kirkland brand (if you have a membership or someone who can take you). It is WAY cheaper, but the same or better ingredients than Enfamil or Similac. I used Similac but if I did it over again I'd go with Costco. Also, if you notice a lot of gas from the formula try putting 1 drop of Mylicon (or generic baby gas drops) per ounce of formula DIRECTLY INTO THE BOTTLE. It not only gets rid of the bubbles that come from mixing the formula but it also helps greatly to move gas through your baby so it doesn't linger and make them uncomfortable. I gave my baby the drops directly and it didn't do anything to help, but mixing it into the bottle made a HUGE difference. At 2yrs I still give her a few gas drops in her nightly milk if she's had something for dinner that gives her gas. We used Dr. Browns bottles until she was about 8m old, then switched to Avent. Both worked well.

1 mom found this helpful
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S.S.

answers from Seattle on

Sorry, not good with the short forms so don't know what RA is (rheumatoid arthritis in you??), but I supplemented with my twin boys and now they are completely bottle fed at 8 months so I have lots of experience. I used Avent bottles and nipples which were fine, but they drove me nuts because they periodically leaked. The babies did fine with them, though. I used playtex airvent bottles with my first son and he preferred using an orthodontic nipple, which was fine, too. I recommend starting with the slowest flow nipples and moving up from there. Usually the bottles come with medium flow nipples so you'll have to go buy the slower flow ones yourself. AS for formula, you'll save yourself a fortune if you go to Costco. The Kirkland brand formula is great and it's $20 for TWO tins! Evergreen Hospital strongly advocates this brand as well and it is comparable to Enfamil or Similac.

Anyway, hope that helps!

1 mom found this helpful
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J.M.

answers from Boston on

I recommend BPA free bottles - my son used the born free ones no problem. You can also try glass, but those seemed like a pain to me. My son made an awful face every time he tried similac (he was also nursing) but gobbled down Good Start no problem. My pediatrican said that some babies find it a little thinner (more the texture of breastmilk) and a little sweeter (more the flavor of breastmilk). No advice on the RA - good luck with your little one.

1 mom found this helpful

S.H.

answers from Spokane on

We used Infamil (our son had issues with constipation and our pediatrician said the generic brands will sometimes cause that).
We used Born Free (BPA free) bottles and the newborn Born Free nipple and our little ones adjusted very quickly/easily to them.

1 mom found this helpful
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J.C.

answers from Anchorage on

I used Advent bottles and Enfamil lipil formula with both my boys. I liked it because the powder mixed smooth, never any clumping.

1 mom found this helpful
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J.F.

answers from Medford on

Sorry this is late, but I just read your request and had to reply!

I have RA (was diagnosed about 4 yrs. ago) and have tried various kinds of treatments. I started out completely natural (I was breastfeeding my son at the time) and for awhile that seemed to work. Then, after a third unexpected pregnancy, I got a huge wakeup call! I got to the point where I was completely bedridden, unable to do anything or care for my kids on my own, and in constant pain. After getting by like this for months, I finally broke down and got established with a rheumatologist. I felt like a new woman just after the first visit! He put me on a low dose of steroids through the remainder of my pregnancy, then after breastfeeding my newborn for the first month, I weaned her and he started me on Methotrexate. Though I still have my bad days, I am soooo much better than I was! I would highly recommend seeing a rheumatologist if you haven't yet. For many things I believe vitamins and supplements can be helpful, put an autoimmune disease, like RA, is not something to play around with. I learned this the hard way!

As far as formula, I second Nature's One! Their formula (Baby's Only) was excellent for my daughter and after seeing the extent of information on their website (www.naturesone.com) I felt like was giving her a good alternative.

I used Born Free bottles, which are BPA free, and they worked out wonderfully.

If you have any more questions, feel free to e-mail me at: [email protected]____.com can sometimes be a depressing thing to live with and I know that there aren't too many people out there who can relate, no matter how understanding or well-meaning they try to be.

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