Aibu to be so angry with hv?

(42 Posts)
Fairy130389 Thu 25-Jul-13 15:17:55

My babyis 4 weeks. He was mixed fed but now is mostly ff. so far this week, when taking him to gp I have been advised to 'water down him formula'... When I looked this up online it screamed alarm bells, so ran it passed my hv who agreed that it was not advisable. I asked if she felt it was serious enough to report to practice manager as gp's advise was poor.

I then phoned our local midwife service who offer 24 hr feeding support etc last nit to ask about how to prepare feeds in advance. I was told to boil the water, cool it, leave it on side and add powder as necessary. Posted here and was told by everyone that powder is the dangerous bit and needs the water to be hot t sterilise it. So, again it seems like bad advice from midwife.

Phoned hv today just for clarity really. Understand that advice is make up as you go but as this wont a,ways be possible, would like to be able to make informed decision as to how I do it based on risks. Hv absolutely refused to discuss it. Just said 'I think in your case fairy, as you like to look everything p online, I will just give you the standard gov advice which is to make up feeds as you need them.' When I asked her to tell me at least the safest way so I would not do something stupid due to ignorance she just reiterated that feeds need to be made then and there and she couldn't advise any differently.

I am sooooooo angry. How can I make an informed choice??

www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/Documents/Guide%20to%20bottle_feeding.pdf - formula feeding leaflet.

The safest way to make up feeds is to make them up as required. If you want to make up in advance then it is best to make the feed up with water over 70°C, cool quickly and store in the fridge for a maximum of 24 hours. You could also use cartons if out and about or for night-time feeds.

If you dont want made up formula hanging about for hours on end then you could make up a couple of bottles, put them in the fridge and then once they have been used make up another couple to replace them.

Shamoy Thu 25-Jul-13 15:32:04

Not sure why you are so angry with Hv? You have told Hv you are reporting the gp and the midwife for giving you info that is not right so she is sticking to the recommended correct way to do it as her advice so you have the absolute correct info from her? That's how I read it!
If you want a way of using formula without making up each time that is totally safe then you need to buy pre made up cartons and pour it into a sterilised bottle when you are out and about. Hth

the leaflet above gives information in what to do if you cant follow the guidelines strictly - maybe you should show it to the hv!! There are going to be occasions when you cant make the bottles up as you need it so there has to be a workaround solution for those occasions e.g. pre-made cooled formula or ready made cartons, etc

juule Thu 25-Jul-13 15:45:00

I agree with Shamoy.

Nightfall1983 Thu 25-Jul-13 15:46:35

But your HV is 100% right, formula should be made up only when needed - not in advance. Do you know the quick method for making up a bottle of formula safely? This method means it takes only a couple of mins from starting to make a bottle to it being ready to feed:

In advance:
Measure out the appropriate number of scoops of powder into a clean pot.
Measure out 2/3 of the required boiled water into a sterile container - bottle or similar. So for 6 scoops this would be 120ml.
Fill a (good) Thermos with (boiled) water at around 80 degrees. Either use a thermometer or boil a litre of water in a kettle and wait 20mins.

When needed:
Put 1/3 of water at 80 degrees into a bottle (for 6 scoops this would be 60ml). Add the formula, replace the lid and shake for 10 secs.
Now add the 120ml (or whatever it is) of cool water into the hot formula, shake briefly and it's ready.
TaDa.

thats what she was looking for from her hv though Nightfall1983, a safe way that is faster for making up formula. It can be safely made in advance too, as stated in the leaflet above.

Nightfall1983 Thu 25-Jul-13 15:57:39

Actually the leaflet says that the ONLY safe way to make up formula is to make it up when needed. It then goes on to give the safest method for making it up in advance if you are going to do it otherwise but does specify that it is not as safe.

Agree that it would have been nice if the HV had some ideas for making up the formula faster but maybe she didn't know? I had to "invent" this method for myself (I have seen others posting it as well so I do realise I'm not unique for "inventing" it).

purrpurr Thu 25-Jul-13 16:01:41

Crazy, just report everybody, can't go wrong then can you?

heidihole Thu 25-Jul-13 16:04:06

I agree with Shamoy.

You told her that you'd reported another HCP for giving advice that went against gov't guidelines.

How can you not understand that your HV is now not going to tell you ANYTHING other that the gov't guidelines which is to make up as you go along.

FWIW I made them in bulk and stored a days worth in the fridge. Baby still alive.

Fairy130389 Thu 25-Jul-13 16:30:29

I did not tell her I was going to report the gp. I did not report the gp. I had a conversation with hv that went like thi 'gp has suggested watering down formula, I'm a bit worried about this, is this ok?' Hv ' we would not suggest doing that, it can make baby ill'. Me ' oh, do you think it is worth me mentioning that then S I wouldn't want him giving out the wrong advice?' Hv 'yes, if you wanted you could report him to practice manager' me' well ill have a think, not sure of it is worth the hassle'.

I did not even tell her that I had spoken to another midwife. I asked her to tell me an alternative to making them up as needed, that would pose the least risks. I wanted her t give me some options so I could make an informed choice.

I am capable of making my own decision but I don't want to do it wrong because I don't have the information to weigh up the risks appropriately.

Fairy130389 Thu 25-Jul-13 18:03:32

But thank you nightfall for the info, that's the sort of thing I was after.

AidanTheRevengeNinja Thu 25-Jul-13 21:17:59

It sounds like her attitude was the problem - "as you like to look up everything online" sounds a bit defensive and snarky.

My HV is perfectly nice but I don't really see the point of her, if I'm honest. I just look up the NHS guidelines myself and then come on Mumsnet to find out what real people do

Fairy130389 Thu 25-Jul-13 22:16:11

yes aida, thats exactly it. The way she spoke to be implied that she had my card marked as a difficult moany complainer and she therefore wouldnt offer me any info incase i found something to report her about. She had started to tell me about what to but then thought better of it, paused, and launched into her sticking ridgidly to guidelines speech. I am not a complainer at all, i'm not a difficult person, i'm just a new mother baffled by ff and not wanting to do it wrong! now i feel like shit.

itchyandscratchy26 Thu 25-Jul-13 22:25:36

How CAN the HV advise anything other than the latest guidelines? Were you expecting her to endorse some other 'easier' method..
DOI- FF my own twins. I use 70 degree water to make up the feeds, add the powder and then make them in batches to store in fridge for up-to 6 hours. I have to do this to survive managing twins. BUT it is not best practice and I wouldn't expect any healthcare professional to err from giving correct info.
If I had the slightest inkling someone was trying to 'second guess' me at work, or may report me in some way, then I would give rigid and up-to date guidance that is based on evidence, not personal opinion. i.e... do as I say, not as I do.

Fairy130389 Thu 25-Jul-13 22:31:44

the nhs website says if you have make up in advance, you should store in the fridge for 24 hours. those are still official guidelines. all she had to was point me in that direction or give me that advice herself, or, heaven forbid, a leaflet telling me what to do. it was my first day moving away from pre made as she suggested trying on comfort milk which doesn't come pre-made.

instead she made me feel like a trouble maker and someone that had to be managed.

LaChaiseVerte Thu 25-Jul-13 22:37:43

It seems a bit unfair that your ire is directed solely at the HV. Why not write a thread about a GP giving poor advice, or a MW giving downright dangerous advice? People love to bash HV (many may have good reason but it's practically a sport).

Your HV gave you the advice re: the safest way to make up formula. You pushed her for further methods which she didn't feel comfortable to advise on and she said so. For her to state that you look everything up on line, you must have said something surely? Otherwise, why would she make a wild statement like that? If her tone was off, it maybe because you wouldn't take the advice she was giving?

There are a couple of links on line to the "second best" method to make up in advance, but they are more risky than the current advised method.

LaChaiseVerte Thu 25-Jul-13 22:40:52

Here is is very clear that not making up feeds fresh is a more risky practice.

Viviennemary Thu 25-Jul-13 22:41:33

I'm not surprised the HV doesn't want to give you advice. You've already complained about the advice given to you by the Midwife and the GP. I think she did the absolute right thing in advising you of the best way and sticking to it.

TheSecondComing Thu 25-Jul-13 22:42:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Fairy130389 Thu 25-Jul-13 22:44:46

because i was frustrated by the poor advice from the gp and mw which was exactly why i went to hv for clarity. her comment about me looking everything up online was because i once joked that mn was my bible, and because when i talked to her about whether to follow gps advice i mentioned that i had read online not to mess with formula.

to be honest i am sick of the conflicting advice, being told one thing only to be told after that the advice given was dangerous etc. i just wanted somebody to tell me what the actual guidelines were: i.e - make it up and put it in fridge. iwas initially going to make the thread more along those lines, but as i was in tears by hvs comments i thought i would seek support in that vain. more fool me.

Fairy130389 Thu 25-Jul-13 22:49:17

Just to clarify I HAVE NOT COMPLAINED ABOUT A SINGLE HCP and have noot told hv that i had or would either. all i wanted to know was if there was another way to do feeds, overnight, so ds doesnt have to scream for 30 mins whilst his milk cools down.

Fairy130389 Thu 25-Jul-13 22:53:31

clearly the answer to the title is that IABU then. maybe i am just over sensitive.

LaChaiseVerte Thu 25-Jul-13 22:54:07

I'm sorry that you're upset. Are you finding things tough in other ways? Is the comfort milk for a reason?

Your baby is only 4 weeks old and this is all new and difficult, but I think this is something that really doesn't need all this aggro.

The guidelines are not to premake and store in fridge. They are to make each feed as it is needed with nearly boiling water and discard after an hour. IF and only IF you HAVE to premake your formula than you can mitigate the increased risk by making up, flash cooling and storing in the back of the fridge at less than 5 deg for no more than 24 hours and a lot less if poss, or use premade stuff.

You now have several sources of written information to help guide you, and a lot of peer advice from MN.

You could perhaps make an appointment with hv to discuss all the issues and explain your need for further support, and maybe follow through on a calm, written complaint re the mw or gp if you feel their practice is dangerous.

purrpurr Thu 25-Jul-13 22:54:19

Fairy in fairness I can see where you're coming from completely, I find FF baffling. I'm uncomfortably aware I'm not doing it the recommended way. We boil and cool water, refrigerate, then when it's feeding time, add the powder then. Any unused feed is disposed of. Our understanding is that whilst the powder is not sterile it is not a seething melting pot of bacteria and maggots. So in the time It takes for the water to be added and the milk to be eaten, it can't turn into inside-melting poison.

DD is 9 weeks and alive. And making an ahhh face at me so I better go add some powder to some pre boiled cooled water...

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