« Inheriting traits | Main | A perfect 10 »

April 21, 2005

Comments

Leti

It really made me feel so much better reading some of the other mother's comments. I had a c section and was in pain with hormones raging. I was not producing enough milk to feed Natalie. My husband thought breastfeeding was best for her, but I was so tired and in pain. He was supportive to the point of being extreme and sometimes commenting that I was ready to quit when I was so tired. She wouldn't nap and it was to the point I dreaded hearing her wake up. I was a scared to supplement formula because I had heard the horror stories of how once you feed formula in a bottle it will be hard to breast feed. The lactation consultant rather reassuring me and saying maybe I didn't have enough milk and maybe I should supplement just kept telling me that it was growth spurts and everything was normal. I believe there is a fine line between being positive and dreaming. I didn't have the milk and Natalie was unhappy.

Natalie is now going on 10 wks. I had no problem switching between giving her a bottle of formula and breastfeeding her. She is to the point she sometimes still takes 2 ounces of formula, but that is it. Also, I am starting to give her breastmilk in a bottle and I think by doing the formula in the beginning she takes to the bottle easier now. It is not all or nothing. I now know better.

Raquita

My daughter who is ten months old now, weaned herself right around five months, for financial reasons I couldn't stay home longer than 12 weeks, which was twice as long as I, and my job, had planned. She simply seemed more comfortable with the bottle after spending so much of her day bottle feeding due to my work schedule - 12 hour work days don't facilitate family time, but we've gotten better. She always seems to be working with me and I'm trying to be the best I can for her. I did pump for quite a while but my job was not supportive and it was overly stressful so my supply never increased to enough to be her primary supply but she drank what I could give her and switched bewteen the two with out a problem. She still looks at me like I'm the best thing that ever happened to her, and I know she's the best thing tha happened to me ( her father withstanding) We are lucky enough to have stay at home care for her while we work, She runs to me laughing at the top of her lungs everyday when I get home, and calls our care giver ma ma , which is okay cause its my grandmother, and she calls her daddy "daddy" and just blesses me with big toothy smiles and happy screams so we caller siren - and I know we are doing just fine.

muse

Try goat's yogurt from a cup. at 6 months, you don't have to express milk for when you're not available.

an ol' granny

Jo

I found BF to be more challenging than I had hoped it would be. Dealing with the blues at the same time was difficult, but I got through it and by 3 months, we were into a good routine. Yet, I work part time, and I had no choice but to supplement. I think this was what also helped me move forward from my slightly crazed mental state as a new parent as well; realizing that supplementing two meals a day with formula was not a big deal was very enlightening for me. (I had struggled with the guilt of wanting to do so). My son thrived on it - he didn't take the bottle as ready as I had hoped, but with practice, he was FINE! We BF with formula supplements at the 10:30 and 1pm feedings, and I fed him the rest of the time (3 - 4 other feedings per day) until he was about 5.5 months. We then started to wean; I did everything very gradually so it was comfortable for him and for me, physically. I don't regret my decision to do it this way; I did pump as well, but it was difficult to balance it with working PT and taking care of him when not working - my husband travels for work, so I had much responsibility those months and it was what we needed to do. No regrets. I suggest it as an option :)

Michelle

I agree with Nicola. At the risk of sounding too militant, when I did try formula, I found that heating the water and cooling it to the right temperature, sterilizing bottles (withouth a dishwasher), measuring, remembering how "old" a bottle was, and then the reheating time while my baby was screaming was too much for me. I tried bottle-warmers and they took the same 3-5 minutes that using a pot of water on the stove took. It became too stressful for me. Microwaving was too risky for me to try.

It is hard to nurse in public at first, but if you get the hang of pumping, maybe you can do bottles in public. Or if you keep trying in public, you'll get the hang of positioning a blanket. Most people won't even realize you're nursing. If you pump, a fresh bottle of breastmilk can remain unrefrigerated for 8 hours. And, most state laws say that a workplace has to provide you with a clean area to pump and store milk when you're at work. And, if you get pumping down, hubby can give bottles to give you a break. As the baby takes in more solids, you'll find nursing gets more efficient and shorter. I'm amazed that I made it to 18 months.

Now I am expecting twins and my older family members think I'm crazy to consider nursing two at once. But the choice of whipping out a boob at a moment's notice versus preparing twenty or so bottles a day has already made up my mind for me.

Hang in there.

Mari

I've got to admit I was a bit self-righteous as a first time mom who nursed and pumped for 15 months. I knew all the reasons "breast is best"...but then I got knocked off my high horse.

With Baby #2, I had an appendectomy that required I not breastfeed for 5 days. I worked in an environment that made pumping impossible to do consistently. I also had my older son hospitalized for medical tests out of town when my daughter was five months old. I stayed with my son, and my mother-in-law watched my daughter. I couldn't pump enough while we were out of town, so my milk supply dropped.

So much was going on, I finally decided that I had to do what was right for my health (emotionally speaking). I stopped stressing about relactating and finding time to pump...and I'll tell you this: my daughter survived formula feeding.

I think I expected her to shrivel up and wither to nothingness. Ear infections. Asthma. I panicked that she would be allergic to everything. She survived. I survived. I miss the intimacy of nursing; I really did love it (after the first weeks). But you do what you have to do for your family, and the sky will not collapse no matter what you decide.

You have the love part down, obviously. In the end, that's the most important nourishment your baby can get.

Redhead Mommy

The other posters said a lot of the same things I thought. I remember feeling the incredible burden of being soley responsible for my son's meals.....no matter what, it fell on me. My husband has been remarkable, but he and I both know it's on me. And we put Isaac on a schedule (flexible, not strict). However, now that my son is nearly eight months, with four nursings and three food meal included, he is nursing MUCH LESS. I mean, it went from fifteen minutes on each side to five. And I've checked to make sure he gets all he wants, he just doesn't want anymore! So, it does get easier. I think the previous posters are right when they say that the 3-4 month period is difficult. They are also right when they say that you have to make the best decision for you and your baby. There are no "right" answers, only what is best for you.

joy

i agree with others that have posted. do what's best for you and your baby.

with that said, the 4 month mark is tough. things get easier. nursing gets quicker and less frequent. but that doesn't change the fact that you will still feel tied down.

i will say that now that we've weaned (my son and i) after 13 months of bf, looking back, it was such a short time. i wish now i never complained.

someone once told me that you don't always have to love it. it's okay to not like it. A LOT.

good luck. ps. don't be surprised if you feel pretty weepy once you wean. no one warned me about those hormones!

bethany

Oh Lana! I was SO THERE when my son was 4 months old. Even tried to do the formula switch. And well--nadda. The boy wouldn't even take the bottle. So what did I do? Kept nursing. He's almost 2 1/2!

You have gotten lots of great advice and support, I am not going to add to it--just do what you can. My son--Mr. High Demand Nurser--nursed constantly until about 10 months (you read that right folks, 10 monhts) and then all of a sudden it wasn't as necessary. Now he nurses at night (for a whole 2 minutes) and in the morning. Just for comfort. He'll be done soon, I can tell-- and I know I will miss it. Even though, in the beginning, I was only going to do it for the first 3 - 4 months. Now look at me- long, long, long time nurser! :-)

webhill

Hi. I've breastfed three kids for over a year each for the first two kids, and my third is only 11 weeks old so far :)

My comments are:
1. you CAN combi-feed, using both formula and breastmilk
2. regarding "no going back" once the decision is made... if you decide to BF, you can always switch to formula later! By which I mean, if you decide to give it one more week, you can re-evaluate then.
3. also regarding no going back, even if you decide to switch to formula, you may be able to relactate - I know several women who did that after it turnedout their formula-fed babies were intolerant of formula! also if you start combifeeding and it doesn't work out you can probably build your supply back up ok.
4. congratulations on your successful BFing this far!! So many women don't even try...

Mar

It doesn't have to be an all or nothing proposition - I did both w/my son for about 3 months, and my daughter for almost 6 months - both starting at about 4 months old. I seemed to have plenty of milk for him, but never any extra to pump (and my job didn't allow me the luxury of being able to pump at work!). I breast fed in the a.m. and the p.m., and he had 2 bottles of formula during the day - with my daughter, I worked across the street from her day care, so I did a midday feeding as well. If you want, try storing breast milk starting now - it can be frozen, and used as needed in the future - saving you time in the mornings!

Try not to stress over it - even if you never feed breast feed him another drop, you gave him the best possible start in life. And if it works out that you supplement, that's ok too! I gave myself alot of angst about it with my first, and it turned out it was all for naught - I didn't even worry about it with my second, and was much happier for it!!

Whatever your decision - good luck!

Nicola

I was in exactly that place when my son was 3-4 months old. I hadn't ever intended breastfeeding long term, as I knew I'd be returning to work when he was 6 months old. And at that 3-4 month mark, I was fed up. In a big way. It seemed so inconvenient and I felt that its all we ever did. Nurse, sleep, nurse, sleep. But it got better quickly. They go through a major growth spurt around this time. Soon he'll slow down and you'll be comfortable and more confident in your nursing. Pumping also becomes very easy with practise.

When my son was 4 months old I remember looking at the formula and telling a friend, "I think we'll make this the last month of breastfeeding". Kellan is 14 months old today. He just finished nursing and is having his nap. He nurses when I'm home and drinks regular milk when I'm at work. I pump every day at work, only once, it takes no time or effort (I enjoy having a little break to read a book!). And now that he's turning into an independent toddler type person, I'm so glad for the close moments that we spend nursing. Its the only time that he really needs *me* and only *me*. Its also pretty much the only time that he sits still for a cuddle, lets me stroke his head and talk to him quietly. I'm so happy that I didn't give up.

Give it some time, just a little bit. You'll save a fortune (formula isn't cheap!) and you'll be so thankful in the end. Trust me.

patrice

I can totally, totally relate. I am trying to slip in some formula with my milk, and it worked for a few weeks (just long enough for my supply to go way down) but now, she refuses the mixture and only takes my milk again. with my son, it was very easy to switch back and forth between formula and breast milk, but with my daughter - she just isn't having it. so my advice, along with the other advice here, is not to just take for granted that she'll drink the formula when you decide to give it to her. if you're really considering switching her over to formula, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to do so. (as in, don't give a time limit, like "I want her to go on formula when I go back to work".)

and also - there are going to be people telling you that you are doing the absolute wrong thing. that you should give it more of a chance. that you should pump because it's what's best for your baby. but no one is you, and you know what's best for both your baby AND you. being totally stressed about pumping and trying to work and breastfeed at the same time isn't what's best for your baby. formula doesn't kill children.

and lastly - as a pumper, I can tell you that should you decide to go that route, pumping gets alot easier with practice. just like breastfeeding did when you first started.

good luck! whatever you decide, it will be the right decision.

deb

Lana,
I know your situation well. I nursed both of my kids (now 4 and 2) until they were nearly 2. I didn't start out planning to do that. I started out just saying "I'll try it for a couple of months" Then, 2 turned into 4, then 6 and well, you know the rest. Right now you are in the hardest part. By the time your baby is 6 months old, things will be much easier. They start to slow down, and by 8 or 9 months even better. Truth is, for me I found bottles more difficult and I absolutely hated pumping. But, most importantly you need to do what makes you all happy. If that means switching back and forth between breast and bottle that's okay. It doesn't have to be one or the other. Babies will prefer the breast, that's true. But even the fussiest will take a bottle if they have to, just make sure it's not from you. You don't have to switch all the way to formula. If you want you could do both. Then your baby will still get benefits from breastmilk and you can still have some freedom. Just make sure that if you keep nursing when you can, to keep a supply. Good luck to you. I know it feels neverending. Everything does with a new baby. But you are doing the best for your baby and you won't regret it. Best wishes. If you have any questions, please feel free.

Cathy

My daughter will be seven months old next week and I began weaning her three weeks ago. Bear in mind that there are a lot of factors here. Weaning takes a long time, one bottle supplement a week at the most (every two weeks, if you're more comfortable). I was having the same feelings, worried that I was doing the "wrong thing" by thinking of bottle feeding her, but feeling bogged down by being uncomfortable nursing in public and being her sole provider. I also hated pumping and felt it was a waste of time.

Just remeber that what is "right" is what is right for you and your baby. When I started weaning Eve, I realized that it's okay for her to have a bottle, that I can go out and stay out for an extra hour. And realize also that you don't have to go totally to bottle. You can still nurse your baby at night, in the morning, or whatever your favorite feeding is. And I am now (though I wasn't at the start) comfortable with the knowlege that I did nurse her, that I gave her what was best for as long as I could, and that she benefitted from it, and will continue to benefit from it. I really enjoyed nursing, and still do, but it's great to have the freedom to go out or hand her to her Daddy for a while.

Good luck with your decision, it is a difficult one, and one you have to make for what is best for both you and your baby.

The comments to this entry are closed.

DotMoms Daily

    follow me on Twitter