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can i have your opinions on BF decision please?

(31 Posts)
ithoughtofitfirst Fri 13-Jun-14 15:38:19

I know these threads can be quite heated but this is just a genuine what would you do type question!

My last pregnancy and labour went really well and I had a healthy boy. I breastfed him for 9 weeks before having to go on a stronger antidepressant and then just popped him straight onto formula with no issues. He is now a healthy happy 2 year old.

Ok so this time I am taking said strong antidepressants all the way through my pregnancy (I'm 22 weeks) but psychiatrist said if I want to breastfeed again I can switch back to sertraline in time for the birth and postnatal period. He did kind of hint that now might be a good time to trial a switchover rather than dicking around with my meds when I've just had a baby. A really good point.

But now I'm left with that massive decision because I can see the pros and cons of each scenario. I really enjoyed breastfeeding while it lasted (it was about the only thing I did enjoy) but then really enjoyed other people offering to see to him overnight knowing I could just rest.

I can't remember giving a crap about guilt or any of the nonsense that women put themselves through over the decision at that time. I was told not to continue breastfeeding and that was that really. But this time I feel like I must do for one what I did for the other... if that makes sense. I am very much in camp give yourself a guilt trip over everything these days and now I don't know what to do.

Was hoping someone might be able to help? X

lljkk Fri 13-Jun-14 15:41:18

Wouldn't a less strong antiD be better for you, anyway, if you can manage well on it? I think I'd try that & make the other decisions later.

widdle Fri 13-Jun-14 15:45:48

If your psychiatrist thinks you will do well on the lower strength antidepressants this may be a good time to trial it as he says. You will not have the added stress of a new baby and will have plenty of time to assess whether the new medication is working before the birth. So - even without adding in the bf decision - this may be a good idea.

Then you can decide on bf or not once baby is born - good luck for your pregnancy thanks

ithoughtofitfirst Fri 13-Jun-14 15:51:04

I have been wondering that for a while. I think just cause I was so bad and now I'm relatively stable that no one wants me to change anything. It's only now that breastfeeding is in the equation that it's really brought it to my attention iyswim x

gatti Fri 13-Jun-14 16:00:46

I think you need to put yourself first to be able to care for your baby properly and this is how it should be with all mums! If you are content with your medication and are worried that you won't cope with the different one just leave it and formula feed your baby.

If you think it is worth trying with milder antidepressants and try to breast-feed as it was enjoyable experience for you - GO for it girl!

but don't put too much pressure on yourself - there are plenty mums out there who bottle-feed from day 1 without good enough reason not to breast-feed.

You are the most important person now, if you take good care of yourself then you will be able to take a fantastic care for your baby (it won't work other way around wink )

All the best!! you are amazing!!

hubbahubster Fri 13-Jun-14 16:37:08

Since you enjoyed it last time, it could be worth doing at least a bit of breastfeeding, especially at the very beginning so baby can have the colostrum. Would it be easy enough to switch back to your regular meds as soon as you felt you needed?

Thurlow Fri 13-Jun-14 16:43:24

I would try the milder anti-depressants now and see if they work for you. If they don't, you can switch back to the stronger ones, but if they do you can give breastfeeding a go with this baby if you want to.

The most important thing though is to remember that if it ends up being formula from birth that's fine too, you are still feeding your baby. You already mention the positives above (OH or family doing night feeds, ahh, bliss!) so remember them if it turns out that you do formula feed, and don't beat yourself up about it.

I guess something at sometime would prompt the discussion of lowering your meds, so maybe it would help you to separate out the meds and the breastfeeding in your head, if that will take away any pressure?

whiteblossom Fri 13-Jun-14 16:52:31

personally I think you need to consider staying stable, overall this might be best for you and your family. You need to be well, and you need to be well even more so after a newborn.

However if you have your heart set on bf, then now might be a good time to try new drug- but bear in mind that if it dosent suit you then you can go back to the original drug and FF.

I speak as someone that suffered very badly with PND after PFB. Whatever you decide, make sure it is your decision and that you know you have options, nothing is set in stone.

You don't have to do the same for both children, your health dictates that. My mum bf me but not my brother, she was far too ill after having him to even try. You do what you can at the time.

all the best x

peeapod Fri 13-Jun-14 16:53:34

ok i have a couple links for you to have a browse of..
www.breastfeedingbasics.com/articles/breastfeeding-benefits-how-they-add-up
this outlines per week all the different benefits of bfing. have a google for benefits of breast feeding by week there may be more..

I also stumbled upon this blog which is the same situation you are facing.. alovelymess.net/2014/04/14/bonding-with-the-bottle/

I have mh problems and its meant that after 5 weeks of bfing i have reduced the evening n night feeds and turned to formula..

its been emotional, but its a good balance/compromise for now. remember that feeding your baby is one aspect of their whole life. how they are fed is imo less important than the fact that they are.. as long as they can bond with you and get all the other love and stuff they need..

ithoughtofitfirst Fri 13-Jun-14 17:08:44

Aww thanks ladies these are really helpful suggestions. I really really appreciate your time.

I am so torn. I look back on breastfeeding really fond despite it being such a dark time.. quiet time with the boy, pumping 4oz out of one boob so I could go shopping with my mum. steralising my little pump etc

BUT that first night my husband said 'i'll take him tonight' after 9 weeks of no sleep!!

lljkk Fri 13-Jun-14 17:14:56

combi feeding works brilliant for some, too.

widdle Fri 13-Jun-14 17:20:31

I think Thurlow has summed it up best.

If the lower meds don't work out then you have time to go back to your old meds before the baby is born.

FWIW I was ff and I'm a genius grin

ithoughtofitfirst Fri 13-Jun-14 17:23:24

Haha widdle that made me laugh. My

ithoughtofitfirst Fri 13-Jun-14 17:23:25

Haha widdle that made me laugh. My FIL

ithoughtofitfirst Fri 13-Jun-14 17:25:08

.... Was FF and he speaks about ten languages!

PrincessTheresaofLiechtenstein Fri 13-Jun-14 19:37:01

Breastfeeding can actually help with PND for some mothers -I don't have a link to the full studies but here's one summary: www.intermid.co.uk/cgi-bin/go.pl/library/article.cgi?uid=89206;article=BJM_20_2_88_93
If you enjoyed bf before, you are likely to again so it seems worth a go? Also, if it isn't working out you can stop, or mix feed, or express the odd bottle - whatever works for you.

Am also a strong believer that you can't treat each of your children exactly the same, however hard you try. You are an older and more experienced person in different circumstances with every baby, and you just have to respond in whatever way you can at the time. No need to feel guilt!

softlysoftly Fri 13-Jun-14 21:45:19

Don't feel guilt over not treating them the same, DD1 I "failed" at bf and got one Dd2 I fed to a year there is sod all difference between the two!

I personally in your situation would be more interested in staying stable than BF.

ithoughtofitfirst Fri 13-Jun-14 22:07:14

Thanks ladies that's really helpful.

I think I might stay as I am. Guilt or no. I really don't want to risk a hideous relapse at the end of the day. I might even buy the avent newborn starter kit soon and then try to stop tormenting myself over the decision.

I didn't even give it a second thought 2 years ago. Just went to sainsburys, bought a tub of aptamil and some bottles and went on my merry way!

mummy101214 Fri 13-Jun-14 22:26:56

I was on citalopram for most of the first 18 months of my DS2's life, and I realise I needed them after DS1 too but never got help (plus my gp was useless at the time and after DS2 was born told me if I wanted antidepressants I would need to stop breastfeeding because NONE were suitable - he was 6 weeks old! I refused, we then moved a month later and I got a gp who knows what they are talking about)

Anyway, on the "doing for one what the other had" thing, I kind of know how you feel - I fed my DS1 until 28 months, (6 of those were tandem feeding though as I fed through pregnancy) and DS2 is already 26 months and showing no signs of stopping. DS1 self-weaned, I didn't offer and didn't refuse if he asked but he stopped wanting it :-( I feel bad that DS2 will probably be feeding for a lot longer than DS1 did, I'm also 13 weeks pregnant and it looks like I'll be tandem feeding again DS2 could end up feeding for a year or so longer than DS1 and I feel really bad about it :-( I think it's normal though, to want to treat our children the same. I don't buy one something without the other and the breastfeeding thing feels like favouritism or something!!

CoolCat2014 Fri 13-Jun-14 22:27:32

As someone who's had serious clinical depression and other MH issues in the past, I personally think the most important thing is keeping yourself stable and avoiding a relapse. Only you know what you're feeling like, and if your instincts are telling you to stick with your current meds, then do it. Staying stable will surely mean you're in a much better place to bond with and enjoy your new baby?

Have you ever taken sertraline before? It was a lifesaver for me in the past, but the first week going on it was tbh hell... Though I know not everyone has that experience, and everyone reacts to different meds differently.

Don't feel guilty whatever you do. The best decision for your well being is IMHO also the best decision for your baby. X

Also we got a fab deal on Avent natural kit in mothercare. If you register for the parents club they give you a £10 off £100 voucher too ;)

ithoughtofitfirst Fri 13-Jun-14 22:47:38

Thanks guys smile

I tried sertraline before but I seem to remember complaining about insomnia (which I since realised is like the most common SE which does stop eventually) and my GP whipped me straight off them and onto mirtazapine which basically just made me drowsy and suicidal for 8 months until my mum dragged me to the local MH unit and I narrowly escaped being sectioned. they put me on Venlafaxine and (after 2 weeks of start up Hell like crawling to the toilet and my mum helping me have a bath) I've never looked back!

I still have the odd blip but it never gets that bad

Sorry... bit of a long reply.

Hazchem Sat 14-Jun-14 06:59:53

First off I'm a huge breastfeeding advocate.

Secondly it's stories like yours ithought that makes me really pleased that we have really high quality ways of feeding babies when breastfeeding isn't the right choice for the mother. Your health as well as your babies health as both super important. If anyone ever gives you stick about it, they are just being an arsehat.

As you mention colostrum I also thought I'd add that he hospital if you are eligible for donor milk for a day or two or try Human Milk 4 human babies which might yeild some donor milk too. It's not for everyone and I don't if I would ever use donor milk myself so I can't recommend it on a personal level but I know some people like it.

ithoughtofitfirst Sat 14-Jun-14 08:35:24

I remember the colostrum stuff, I produced so much of it that my son only lost something like 1% of his birth weight.

The first few days of his life I just had him on my chest in just a nappy and let him pop on and off my boobs as he pleased. It was so lovely just getting to know him in hospital and not having to share him with anyone like when we got home.

It's such a tough call but I just want to be stable for DC1 as well as the baby... and my husband... can't forget him ;)

Hazchem Sat 14-Jun-14 10:53:09

There is a type of bottle feeding called something like natural/biological/nurture or something. Anyway the idea is that only the mum feeds the baby, on demand and in the same sort of hold as you would with breastfeeding. You can do lots of skin to skin contact. Maybe have a look into that and you could do that for the first few days (or as long as you like).

ithoughtofitfirst Sat 14-Jun-14 11:14:59

Omg thanks hazchem that sounds wicked. I'm going to try and stay in hospital for a week or so if I can (my mum is the manager of the postnatal ward so should be able to wangle it) and just get as much one on one time as I can.

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