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Thread: Am i a bad mum for switching to Formula?

  1. #1

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    Unhappy Am i a bad mum for switching to Formula?

    OK, so ive had big issues with bfing, ive had infections, and cracked nipples the whole time while bfing and am in pain every time i feed.
    Dh wouldnt let me FF, but i have had enough, ive been doing it for over 6 weeks, my lactation lady rekons ive done really well making it this far, i was planning on doing it til 6 months but i just cant, im constantly in pain and in a bad mood, i get frustrated with miss alissa coz she wont/cant get on properly and i feel aweful for even getting a tiny bit cranky with her coz its not her fault
    So at the end oft his week (when dh gets home from work) we will be switching her over. I feel bad, and angry and sad that i cant do it. i feel like ive failed, and i could maybe try harder but ive already been through so much already and i really feel if i switch her over my mood will get better and ill be a little more motivated in life in general.
    Do i need to go to the doctors so they can give me something to dry up my milk? i wont be drying it up til i know she feeds well on formular.
    also what brand should i go with since she's been bf for almost 7 weeks?
    and will switching her over make her fat? or will it make her more prone to be colicy? 9not that she has been)
    thanks for the help ladies


  2. #2

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    Hun, making decisions in the best interest of your family makes you a good mum! You certainly can't feed in pain like this for six months, so well done on making it this far.
    You don't need anything to dry up your milk, just feed less and less (cut back gradually) and your milk will go on its own. Going on the pill will also reduce your supply, if you want to hurry it along.

  3. #3

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    Oh hun, it sounds to me like you've tried everything you could to make it work before making the decision to switch. No matter what circumstances bring you to it, it is never easy Formula feeding wont make her fat and it wont make her prone to colic, but you should start off with teats with a slow flow so she doesn't get too much at once, because that's what can cause the belly pains. It would be best to start with a formula that isn't a 'gold' one as the gold ones are quite rich and some babies can have upset tummies on gold formulas, as well as constipation. I would get some infacol or brauers to help with that jic it is an issue for her. It is also possible that you can express and give her the ebm as well. Simply not having to feed her 100% BM and knowing that she doesn't have to rely on you feeding her might give you enough of a break to recharge and heal and you may even want to give it another try. Unless you have loads of milk it shouldn't be a problem but don't go cold turkey - start off giving her formula on every second feed for a while so you start to produce less. It may take several months for your milk to completely go but it wont be a problem, and will usually only be a tiny amount.

    Good luck and if you ever need more support, advice or encouragement, please post again. You have done such a wonderful job so far and sometimes the 'best' thing isn't always the 'right' thing kwim?

  4. #4

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    You are NOT a bad mother, lets get that sorted first
    YOU and YOUR baby being happy are the most important things.

    You do not need to see a doctor to change over, but can be beneficial in case of reactions etc.

    As for your milk, as it stops being used it will dry up. You may get engorged for a few days, cold flannels or cabbage leaves will help.

    And as for brand, there is many out there, so take your pick almost. Look aournd online, google and search investigate your choices. We have used S26 Gold for both our girls.

    Good luck, and WELL DONE for making it this far!

  5. #5

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    No. You are not a bad mother for using formula. You are ensuring that your baby is nourished and doing what you can to preserve and maintain a close and loving relationship with her.

    I can't speak to the logistics of switching to formula as sam was formula fed from birth as my milk just never came in... They do suggest that the HA formulas (nan in particular) are closest to breastmilk in consistency and easier to digest so that could be a good place to start.

    Wriggly baby on my lap - have to cut this short. You may want to consider just taking a break and letting your nipples heal and perhaps going back to BF later... either way, you've got to do what you've got to do for the good of the family as a whole.

    BW

  6. #6

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    Of course you are not a bad mum for switching to formula. You need to do what is right for you as well as bubs, and b/f doesn't seem to be making either of you happy.

    Your milk should dry up on its own, although you may need to express a little for comfort when you first ween.

    As for formula, just make sure you are swapping to a good quality one (say Gold) I am sure others can help you with brands.

    good luck.

  7. #7

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    You have done so well to get this far, you should be proud of your efforts. If you think it is best for your family to switch to formula then that's what you should do, b'feeding in pain is no fun.

    I switched to formula full time when DD was only a week or two old...we had problems getting her to attach from the start and I was expressing milk but it was just getting too much. In hindsight I feel a little guilty and think i could have done more to try and make it work, but at the end of the day I wasn't happy expressing and decided to stop and let my milk (what little there was!) dry up. Although I still get the guilts sometimes, DD is happy and well-fed and I'm happy knowing she is getting enough to eat and I'm not struggling to express enough milk to keep her that way.

    I use S-26 as it's what the hospital used, we gave her a little bit of formula while we were in hospital as she wasn't attaching and therefore not getting anything in her little tummy and was so hungry, my milk hadn't come in yet either which wasn't helping, so we just kept going with that. I don't think there are any major differences in formulas, except maybe the price!

    But hun you are by no means a bad mum for using formula, your little girl has had 6/7 weeks worth of breast milk so that's a great start, you need to do what is going to make you happy, it's not fair on you to be going through so much pain every feed, you should feel proud of what you have achieved so far.

  8. #8

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    No way!!!! Huge hugs I understand completely how you're feeling, I walk around for months justifying why I am formula feeding my babies I suffer from so much guilt about it...
    You have given it the best shot and you want to feel happy and enjoy your new baby and if BF is'nt doing that for you well kick it to the curb, no-one should have to suffer through pain and anger..I was diagonsed with PND and i can honestly say that fighting a lossing battle with BF did'nt help... if it is becoming distressing depressing you and your baby will be so much happier going to formula. She may put on weight intially but my bubs are'nt overweight and are mostly formula feed, and if she does what the ..Anne Geddes calanders don't feature skinny bubs
    I have used Nan on the MCHN recommedations, but I know a lot of people who use S26, talk to your MCHN and see what she suggests. She may even have some samples.
    Goodluck and please don't feel guilty.

  9. #9

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    First things first, you're a GREAT mum, hun. Breastfeeding certainly does not come naturally or easily to a huge number of us, and in my mind any success is still a great success! You've juggled some huge obstacles and I know that this decision has been a very, very difficult one for you, but it feels like it might be a wise one. Sometimes it's not worth doing what's 'right' when that thing is in fact interfering with your relationship with your baby, and your mindset sounds very familiar to me - I've been there twice, and both times the switch to formula was the right one for me and my babies. I'm grateful that I made it to 5 months with DD2, but we've been FFing (with one or two BFs a day) for a month now and things are awesome - and the difference between you and I is that BFing was really easy for me, right from the get-go (the reason we switched was that DD2 just didn't seem to want boobie anymore, she still likes a little one at night to put her to sleep but LOVES her bottles now)! So I understand that you feel bad for making this choice, but seriously, you know what is right and I know all of us here are supporting you no matter what you choose. You've given it a bloody good go, you've sacrificed a lot to give your baby the best start, and you deserve a huge pat on the back for that Sometimes it just doesn't work out, and you shouldn't ever beat yourself up about it.

    From my own personal experience, I used S26 (Gold with DD1, but am on a serious budget this time so just the regular stuff for DD2). They were both good-sized babies from the start and DD1 whacked on heaps of weight, but DD2 is just as much a fatty on boob juice as DD1 ever was so I don't think it makes a great deal of difference. It won't make a difference either which brand you choose, just be prepared for a BF'd baby to either reject formula at the start (causing you lots of tears over worry about her not feeding), or she'll take to it like a duck to water (especially if BFing has been stressful or difficult... but then be prepared to feel rejected and terribly upset that she prefers a bottle to her mummy! She still loves you, and will love a more relaxed you!). Then there are issues of constipation, wind, and tummy-aches caused by the switch, but please rest assured, these will sort themselves out within a couple of weeks so while you may have times when you think difficult BFing was in fact easier, it WILL get better


    Best of luck with it hun, keep us posted on how you go with the switch, and know that we are sooo proud of you for trying so hard despite all the obstacles! You've done a fantastic job, now settle back and enjoy being able to feed your baby without unnecessary pain and suffering

  10. #10

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    You sound like an amazing mum to have gotten so far, well done. You have given your baby an amazing boost to their health and wellbeing by breastfeeding and should be commended. Please do not feel guilty about switching to formula. It is not a terrible thing, it is a good alternative when you cannot breastfeed for whatever reason.

    There is no reason to have medication to dry up your milk. You will feel uncomfortable and full for a few days but this will pass. Try expressing a tiny amount to relieve the discomfort, but not too much or the engorgement will not pass. And remember that if you feel better once your nipples have had a few days to heal that it is very possible to re lactate if you want to. You may find it easier to have occasional feeds with your baby once the pressure is off, so to speak, and breastfeeding can be about fun and bonding rather than anxiety and pain.

  11. #11

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    Hun, I'm sorry to hear that you are still having so much pain I think you are really amazing for putting up with the pain for so long. That is really courageous. Making the decision to formula feed is totally understandable and you shouldn't feel bad for making the decision that is right for you and your family. At this point you can make that decision knowing that you did all you could to bf for as long as possible, and that you put up with a lot of pain to do so. That is really something to be proud of, and I hope it is enough for you to be able to switch without guilt.

    All the best hun

  12. #12

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    Thanks for all the support ladies

    I will be sure to let you know how i go, im thinking i may do both and see if i can heal a little bit and then go from there.

    Thanks again xxx

  13. #13

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    Definitely give yourself the chance to heal and see how you feel about it in a few days. Many women have used formula just to get them through a rough patch and even just having a day ot two where you know you don't have to BF can do amazing things for you emotional state and give you a chance to try again.

  14. #14

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    you haven't failed at all, you're doing a fab job & perservered through so much pain.

    miss alissa is looking absolutely gorgeous in that ticker pic

  15. #15

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    That sounds like a good idea. Maybe after a bit of expressing you might find your nipples heal and you may want to try again.
    BF'ing can be so hard to begin with, if you do manage to get past the rocky-ness at the beginning it does get easier. I had bleeding cracks and so much pain for about the first 8 weeks, i really sympathies, it was horrible, toe curling pain and i didn't look forward to feeding at all. But down the track i was very grateful to still be able to BF. It made my life much easier at times.

    If it doesn't work out for you, that's ok too.

    Regardless, how ever you chose to feed your baby is certainly no indication of how 'good' you are as a mother. So what ever path you choose, be happy with it and don't feel guilty.

  16. #16

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    Hi

    no one can tell you what is best because you are her mum and you know.. I would totally do formula if I felt V needed it eve if it was just about the emotional relationship with her and I.

    Good luck with whatever you do...When I was comp feeding I was using nan ha on recommendation from the hospital.

    Sorry, one handed typing is not my forte....On another note take care of you too and I hope your bbs feel better

  17. #17

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    Hi Stevie,

    You poor thing love, it is a hard decision!!!

    I was in a similar situation my little man and i just couldn't get it to work, I was so sore and he was so hungry and we would both end up in tears. So I stopped feeding him at 4 weeks old and expressed until he turned 5 months old (to the day)....and now that i have stopped expressing I am a much happier mum and in turn have a happier baby. Whilst i was expressing i was also giving him one bottle of formula a day to get him through the night and he was happy to go between both, my mchn recommended Nan Ha1 as apparently this tastes similar to BM and easy to digest....he is happy with either and hasn't had any problems with his tummy.

    With the next bub if i have the same problems with BFing I will not hesitate with using formula as i missed out on a lot of cuddles whilst expressing...but i still have BF envy when i see other mum's successfully BFing.

    Good luck

  18. #18

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    How are you going Stevie?

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