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To formula feed baby despite OH's objections.

(514 Posts)
Herbie22 Mon 29-May-17 17:08:28

DD is 5 weeks old and exclusively breast fed. I am finding this tough because she is either on the boob or upset.
This is my first baby so I'm not sure what I am doing. I think she might not be getting enough from me as she needs near constant feeds. I would like to top her up with formula as I literally do nothing all day/night but feed her. I know that it's hard work a newborn but I can't even walk down the road to the shops without her screaming. I don't get to see anyone and it is making me sad and lonely.

I tried to speak to OH about this and he said that he doesn't want her on formula. He said that I am making enough milk because she is gaining weight. I don't think she is gaining it fast enough though which worries me.
I also wonder if she would sleep better if she was formula fed. I am up nearly all night feeding her at the moment which is another reason I think I'm not producing enough milk as she won't settle.
I don't want to give up BF completely. Maybe just supplement her feeding but at the moment I feel like I've lost all my zest for life because all I do is sit either on the sofa or on my bed feeding. It is also damaging my relationship with OH as we can't even have dinner without DD wanting to be fed (though I do feed her just before) and I'm starting to resent him getting to do things, even popping to Tesco, without a baby attached to him.
I know I sound horribly ungrateful as I am so blessed to have DD! I just want to be able to do things other than feed her!

winchesterfan Mon 29-May-17 17:10:42

No you're not being unreasonable at all.
Your 'DP' isn't the one having to feed all hours off day and having a baby attached to him, he's probably scared he'll have to start doing some feeds if the baby starts to have formula in a bottle.

Do what is right for you and the baby, not what your 'DP' demands.

NorthernLurker Mon 29-May-17 17:11:17

Formula won't make any difference. She's supposed to be attached to you, a few weeks ago she could hear your heartbeat the whole time. Yes it's tough, it's just a very few weeks though. Having a baby is not a lot of fun at some points.

PeaFaceMcgee Mon 29-May-17 17:11:21

Please call a breastfeeding helpline, go along to your local support group or see a lactation consultant if there's one in your area. Also search KellyMom website for info on growth spurts and cluster feeding.

It won't ways be like this, but after all the above (if you want to get help) it's fine to use formula - he cannot forbid you.

LuluLovesFruitcakes Mon 29-May-17 17:11:48

I'm very much of the thought that they are your boobs and therefore it's your choice and no one else's.
It sounds so so tough and I hope you manage to find a solution that works for you flowers

Amanduh Mon 29-May-17 17:13:05

It is bugger anybody else's opinion how you choose to feed your child. Do what is right for you, your baby and your mental health. Yanbu.

ButtMuncher Mon 29-May-17 17:14:59

Definitely your choice but from my experience what your baby is doing is entirely normal. They have to 'cluster feed' in order to establish your supply and then it settles. Yes, she might sleep better during the night with formula, but if you bring formula into the mix to combine feed you'll notice your supply may suffer as a result and you'll have to give up BF completely.

Could you express and get your husband to give her a bottle of your breast milk? We did this in the early days. This would enable you to get a bit of time to yourself. Your baby will be able to smell your milk whenever she is near you, which would account for why she wants to be close to you at all times - she literally is entirely reliant on you, as they are for a long time. But it does get easier - I promise x

Herbie22 Mon 29-May-17 17:16:08

Thank you
Northen I am aware of that and I love that we have a bond but I literally can't even shower without her wanting to feed. It's making me feel very low and I don't want negativity spreading to her. I want to do what's best for her and I think these are signs she isn't getting enough.

NapQueen Mon 29-May-17 17:16:42

Formula won't make any difference

What codswallop.

Dp could do some feeds.dp could take the baby to tesco and take a bottle with him. DP could do two nights a week of wakings.

OP could have a lie in. OP could go to tesco alone. OP could have two nights a week to sleep through. OP could eat her dinner when it is ready and hot. OP could actually have some autonomy over her body.

What I suspect OP is that he doesnt want tk do his share.

Swap by all means. But be orepared for him to shirk.

BlahBlahBlahEtc Mon 29-May-17 17:17:05

first of all, it's your body and it's up to you if you breast feed or not because of that reason, breastfeeding is hard, especially in the first few months. So your oh is being unreasonable.

secondly, your baby is 5 weeks and if I remember rightly that was a really tough time, they have a growth spurt around 5 / 6 weeks and they cluster feed...a lot.

If your baby is putting on weight you are producing enough milk, that being said if you want to top up with formula then that's up to you. Don't feel bad about it.

Thirdly. It gets easier, honestly it does, feeding and looking after the baby in general. You're doing a great job, don't doubt yourself / your instincts flowers

CommonSenseIsNotAllThatCommon Mon 29-May-17 17:17:07

You sound exhausted. If you want to give formula then go right on ahead. Your DP has no right to dictate what you do with your breasts.

WellErrr Mon 29-May-17 17:17:23

Formula won't make her sleep longer.

Babies do feed a LOT in the newborn stage - but if it's literally all day and night then there's something wrong.

How many feeds does she have in 24 hours?

ceceliajames Mon 29-May-17 17:17:57

This is completely normal - they are building up your supply, and I'm afraid by supplementing with formula your supple with suffer and you may end up having to give up Bf'ing all together.

It is hard work, it's really tough those first few weeks. If you've got to formula feed to give you a bit of a rest and make things easier for you then no-one will judge you - your "DP" certainly shouldn't be anyway! But I promise promise it gets so much easier soon.

gluteustothemaximus Mon 29-May-17 17:18:35

I feel your pain. 5 weeks is tough. Cluster feeding is so hard. It's like they're either feeding or crying wanting to feed. Growth spurts are very tough.

If she's putting on weight, enough wet nappies, enough poos, then you are producing enough.

At times I felt like boobs were empty, but they just wouldn't stop feeding. They need to stimulate supply.

I fed all 3 dc's. The first 6-8 weeks, were hell, for me.

After that though, it becomes SO easy.

However, BF was my choice with 100% support from DH. He would never have told me what to do.

It is truly exhausting, but 5 weeks is still tiny. It won't always be like this flowers

Coldilox Mon 29-May-17 17:20:15

I stuck with BFing despite the fact that it was severely affecting my mental health. I mentioned it to a health visitor who told me I'd make baby sick if I formula fed. Bollocks. I supplemented with formula after 5 months, and felt horribly guilty, but I wish I'd done it earlier as DS would have benefitted far more from me being happier.

CommonSenseIsNotAllThatCommon Mon 29-May-17 17:20:18

Buttmuncher millions of parents combine feed very successfully.

It will make a difference though, as even if she was still feeding at the same frequency (which she may well not do, formula fed babies often feed less often) the feeding would not be entirely up to you and your boobs. Your OH would be able to give her a bottle in the evening so you could have a shower, eat, drink a cup of hot coffee!

Breast feeding is great, but it can be very hard on the woman especially if you have a constant feeder. Many people mix feed with great success, and I think this is one area of parenting where the woman's opinion very definitely trumps the man - you are the one experiencing this.

TheLegendOfBeans Mon 29-May-17 17:20:26

Can I be blunt?

He needs to fuck right off.

BF for some is really tough. Trying to latch a baby to a cracked and bleeding nipple was utterly mentally draining for me. DD was so badly tongue tied it wrecked BFing for me so I expressed bottle fed, started topping with formula and then went to formula only after six weeks.

If my OH had guilt tripped me about that I'd never have forgiven him. It's just such an individual experience and the emotional impact of feeling like you're failing at "what nature intended" is wretched.

Your bond with baby won't suffer, you can measure exactly how much baby is getting and (IME) DD slept better and still sleeps well once the switch to formula was made.

You deserve to be happy and your baby deserves a happy mummy. Just remember - fed is best

flowers

Calphurnia Mon 29-May-17 17:21:05

They experience a massive growth spurt and developmental leap at around 6 weeks, so what you're experiencing is entirely normal.
If you're feeling unsure about the rate of her weight gain, speak to your HV. Is she following her centile?

Bf is supply and demand, so your DD is just letting your body know how much she needs by feeding often.

Is she having plenty of wet and dirty nappies?

NorthernLurker Mon 29-May-17 17:21:38

It's not codswallop actually. I've had three babies. I know exactly what the op is talking about and formula will not change how demanding a newborn baby is. Presumably the partner is back at work now? He's not going to completely evenly split night feeds and still function at work. The op will mostly wake anyway unless she sleeps in another room. Formula fed babies don't sleep better and actually the partner is being supportive assuring the op she has enough milk because if the baby is gaining weight, she does have enough.

Mymouthgetsmeintrouble Mon 29-May-17 17:21:41

Do whats best for you and her , daddy could give an evening bottle and you could grab a nice bath or early night im sure that in itself will help you feel more positive

Herbie22 Mon 29-May-17 17:22:05

Thank you everyone. We have lots of wet/dirty nappies. HV is coming this week so will check with her about whether she is gaining enough weigh.
Err I haven't been keeping count as it just feels constant. I will count tomorrow though :-).

acquiescence Mon 29-May-17 17:22:07

You're not being unreasonable, it is up to you how you choose to feed your child.

If you introduce formula so early and are already concerned about your production levels you must be prepared for your milk supply decreasing and having to stop bf altogether quite soon. At this stage your supply is still establishing and the baby is feeding so much to up your supply. Once this bit is done then there are practical advantages to bf such as not needing to faff about with bottles when you go out.
I found breast feeding excruciatingly painful for the first 3 months, I got very little sleep and did wonder if formula would help. I didn't really enjoy it however in hindsight I am glad I persevered.

Have you tired expressing and introducing a bottle this way? This could give you a break and get your partner more involved.

Borntoflyinfirst Mon 29-May-17 17:22:14

Just wanted to add that I gave up bf dd1 because of similar which I found hard. Moving to formula didn't really help. I then had ds who I fb for a bit longer and stopped due to other reasons. With dd2 I decided to give her one bottle of formula a day whilst bf or expressing. This enabled me to continue bf for longer.
It's your choice. I just wanted to say that I wish I'd been advised that I could mix feed with dd1 because I know I would've been happier. Seek out people with experience and do what's right for you and your baby. Your oh is entitled to his opinion but it's not his decision

BattleaxeGalactica Mon 29-May-17 17:23:02

Until he's the one with no sleep and no life beyond feeding in a chair he doesn't get to say.

Ask him to pick out the formula fed kids at the local primary and I can guarantee he won't be able to. Hope things settle down soon smile

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