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WWYD? Should I swap Breast for Bottle?

(56 Posts)
MadRainbow Fri 22-Jun-18 18:34:41

Feeling a bit fragile so though I know AIBU is shark infested waters please be a bit gentle with me.

Currently have nearly 3 month old DD breastfeeding with the not so occasional bottle of expressed breast milk. WIBU to switch her onto bottles?

Background as I'm trying not to drip feed: fed DD1 for just over a year, was damn hard work at first but got easier and easier despite reflux and possible milk allergy, thoroughly enjoyed feeding her.

Dd2 spent time in NICU after birth and I struggled with expressing enough for her. She was tube fed for the first week with formula top up but when I started feeding her there seemed to be no problem with supply. When she came home she became more and more unsettled and has since been diagnosed with reflux and a milk allergy which has limited my diet but I feel I'm coping with well. She's now more settled but recently I've had to spend fairly significant portions of time away from her (airport runs, adult only father's day meal, school inductions for DD1 so up to 6 hrs a time) I've managed to express decent amounts so this is possible but I find after she's had a bottle she settles and sleeps so much better than if I've been feeding her myself. She can easily go 3 hours between feeds whereas if I feed her myself I'm lucky to get 2hrs before she becomes upset again.

I have PND which I have antidepressants for but I feel as though I'm losing myself still. I don't have the time I had with DD1 feeding to devote to DD2 unless I become a hermit. Expressing takes so long and would compound my lack of time for much else plus if I express too often I seem to not get enough for her feeds again. I feel so selfish and ungrateful considering FF as I can't see how it benefits anyone except me. I'm perfectly capable of BF I did it before and I'm under no outside pressure to FF from family. If anything financially I should most definitely keep BF.

I keep swinging between the 2 options and it's really getting to me now. I suspect DD2 may have a gluten intolerance as well so trying to do gluten free to help her and if I make a mistake she ends up in pain with serious wind/tummy ache/diahorrea.

I fear this is going to start a war of BF vs FF and I just want to make my standpoint clear in that I am firmly pro-choice and a fed baby is best. But for myself I want to keep BF as I do enjoy it, it does make me happy, I just don't know if I can carry on feeling like I have no control where I go and for how long.

Sorry for the essay and if you've got to the bottom of this thanks for reading.

TheMonkeyMummy Fri 22-Jun-18 18:44:05

These threads never end well, imo. Someone always gets offended.

Do what is best for you and your baby. BF has to be a mutually beneficial experience.

(My history, BF ds 1 for 6 months then ff for next 6, dd for 20 months (But FF during day from 7 months as I worked, DS2 BF for 18 months and DS3 for 37 months (we just stopped last week). And they were all given cows milk from 1 year.

Could you maybe continue to do one BF a day so that your baby continues to receive the benefits of BM?

Wellthisunexpected Fri 22-Jun-18 19:13:34

Switch! (Fwiw, I Persis in bfing DS for 2 years. Now pregnant with DC2, no intention of doing that again!)

Barmaid101 Fri 22-Jun-18 19:17:59

It is ok to to change to formula. Fed is best and your mental health is just as important as your dd having a full tummy.

Iggi999 Fri 22-Jun-18 19:30:32

I think expressing is more exhausting than feeding, with none of the positives. I would suggest trying to stop that for a week before making up your mind. The two hour thing sounds perfectly normal for such a young baby. I don’t think airport runs etc are reasonable to ask of you in these early days.

jamoncrumpets Fri 22-Jun-18 19:42:27

I'm ffing DC2, who is one week old. I EBF at hospital to give them my colostrum but when I got home I switched to formula.

I had an AWFUL pregnancy. I have mental health issues. I'm on antidepressants. And I don't like breastfeeding. It makes me incredibly anxious.

And I don't feel bad about it AT ALL. Baby is fed and doing well. I'm not in an anxious pit of despair.

Cornettoninja Fri 22-Jun-18 19:42:30

You’ve done three months so that’s already an achievement no matter what you decide at this point (just to make the point that I consider it an achievement only because it’s bloody hard work - ff is also a great way to make sure your baby is fed and grows well).

I think you should do what suits you best. In retrospect I should have swapped dd to a bottle and formula much earlier than I did because now the bugger won’t get off and it’s just trauma! So much pressure to bf and it changed practically overnight to me being a weirdo for extended feeding hmm

Getting away from my digession I think you should consider mixed feeding with the understanding it may spell the end of bf if it just suits you, and most importantly, your baby better. You may find mixed feeding works really well for you but I think it’s a chance worth taking if the pros are mounting up. None of them mean much if you’re not 100% on board with shedding the guilt though.

callmeadoctor Fri 22-Jun-18 19:48:53

I think that you have done an amazing job xx Do whatever makes you a happier mum. (But there is no way that you should have to be doing airport runs, special meals etc. You have to stop these long events, everybody will manage without you doing these things!!!!)

RosyPrimroseface Fri 22-Jun-18 19:52:48

i am of the view that 3m in, you have done amazingly and should switch if you feel it would be better for you.

Just wanted to flag up that if you have refluxy/cmpa baby you wouldn't be switching to conventional formula as it may kick off a whole world of symptoms.

So you should go to gp and get a trial prescription of Neocate or similar - Don't fuck around with the half-arsed partially hydrolysed formulas, get the one that is no milk protein at all. Your baby seems to have some symptoms of an inflamed gut or over-responsive to triggers so just go straight for the least allergenic, I would.

However it is insanely expensive so you'll need GP to continue to prescribe it for 2 years. If GP won't agree to this off his or her own bat, you will need to self refer and pay to see a consultant and get them to write strong letter saying this baby needs Neocate on prescription.

Sorry if you know this already from your first one! Wasn't sure from OP.

Otherwise you are looking at paying £40-50 every 5 days or so!!

Cheby Fri 22-Jun-18 19:54:51

You must make the right choice for you OP! Nothing you choose here would be unreasonable.

But I will say that I felt similar with DD2 who had feeding issues. DD1 was 4 and it was very hard balancing their needs for a time. I think 3 months was probably the worst point really. From 4 months she started to go longer between feeds, and from 5 months we were managing family days out and life became a bit more normal. She took to baby led weaning with great enthusiasm at 6 months and things got easier still.

It would not be unreasonable at all to switch to formula, but you may find it gets easier soon anyway.

SchrodingersCaterpillar Fri 22-Jun-18 19:57:33

Agree with the above, switch to an extensively hydrolysed formula like nutramigen etc. You could top it up with breast milk for the antibodies if you want but don’t worry if it’s too hard. She will be absolutely fine on formula.

pointythings Fri 22-Jun-18 20:01:49

The only thing I would say is that formula might not be the panacea you are hoping for. Your DD might not go any longer between feeds - it isn't guaranteed. She might develop different intolerances that leave you in exactly the same boat. And if that happens, you can't really go back.

Apart from that it's a balancing act. You say you enjoy BF and it works for you in one sense - but your PND, DD's allergies and resulting constraints on your life make things hard. I don't think there is an easy answer here. Whatever you decide, you have done amazingly well - r months is great and is a lot more than most babies get.

I'm one of those people who found BF easy and it really worked for me, but I have seen friends struggle and switch to formula, so in the BF vs FF debate I am Switzerland.

mindutopia Fri 22-Jun-18 20:04:08

I’ve ff one and bf one. Do what feels right for you. You don’t get a medal for suffering through and being miserable.

But considering the allergy issues, I would tread carefully before making the leap. Maybe get some dairy free formula (you may need a prescription for it?) and see how she gets on. If it works and is easier, great. If she doesn’t take to it and seems unsettled again, then you still have the option to bf. Having done both, bf is loads easier (if you aren’t expressing, expressing sucks) and takes less time if that is a concern. I definitely feel like I’d struggle with all the bottle making, washing and sterilising and paying attention to my older one. Bf is loads quicker and less faff for me than formula was. But you may find it easier and there’s no reason not to try. I have no regrets about switching to formula with my first even though I am glad to be bf my second.

TroubledLichen Fri 22-Jun-18 20:04:11

You’ve done an amazing job so far and if it were me in your position I would switch or maybe mix feed. Oh and standard formula won’t be an option with her allergies so you’ll need to speak to the GP about a suitable prescription milk.

TheLesserOfTwoWeevils Fri 22-Jun-18 20:14:01

Would you consider mix feeding? I had difficulties exclusively breastfeeding my eldest, along with severe PND. When he was about 4 months old I made the decision to give him formula during the day and breastfeed him at bedtime and overnight. It worked wonders for us. He took his formula well during the day and thrived, and our breastfeeding relationship was rescued as I was much less stressed about it and I fed him until he was 19 months. I would recommend giving it a go and seeing if it works for you both before giving up breastfeeding completely.

Poodletip Fri 22-Jun-18 20:18:01

If you want to bottle feed then do. Your body your choice. You don't need to justify it to anybody.

Feb2018mumma Fri 22-Jun-18 20:20:41

I understand your feelings, my baby is 4 months and it is constant. Every time he cries I'm the only one who can feed him and I haven't been apart from him at all yet as can't express that well and he doesn't always take bottles. It is so draining to breast feed. You have done really well managing this long with your depression, it is totally up to you, I think formula can be hard to prepare so might end up taking longer and if baby has allergies formula might upset their stomach but you have to put yourself and your feelings into account too? If you feel like you can't cope then don't force yourself into a deeper depression

GullsHelp Fri 22-Jun-18 20:22:06

I expressed for 3 months as I could not feed my DD at the breast. It was exhausting , I was shackled to the pump and exhausted. Gave her a bottle of Hipp and she gulped it down, didn't notice the difference and is now as bouncing alert and extremely healthy 7 month old. Can't tell you what to do but if BF is getting you down it's not worth it. X

MadRainbow Fri 22-Jun-18 20:31:08

Thank you for all your replies. I was aware about special formula for DD as the paediatrician mentioned nutramigen when she diagnosed the cmpa.

I've always favoured BF from a convenience point of view - as mindutopia said no sterilizing, bottle prep, wasted milk etc and the fact that it's free was always a massive point. However this time around I haven't really had that hmm because of all these commitments I've had to do lots of all of the above.

I like the idea of mix feeding. I tried to do this with expressing but honestly the expressing is making things so much harder, finding the time to do it is nearly impossible.

You've all given me a lot to think about

QueenofmyPrinces Fri 22-Jun-18 20:31:49

Hi Op, I have a 10 month old who is allergic to dairy, soya and egg so I know how draining it can be breast feeding them. I’ve had no dairy for 8 months now and I miss my cheese and pizza sad

But anyway - a few months into me having altered my diet I hit a wall and decided I was going to switch to formula instead. However, the dairy free formula is disgusting and my son absolutely refused to drink it, despite me trying for about a month so I had no option but to continue breast feeding.

I can’t tell from your post whether your baby has had some of and drinks the prescription formula or not? But it’s something to consider.

I’ve accepted now that I’m in for the long haul and one of the things that makes that easier to accept is that, dietary changes aside, breast feeding is so quick and convenient.

If I was a situation which required me to express regularly and frequently I’m not sure I’d be so keen to continue to be honest.

I’m all for babies having breast milk but expressing just seems like such an effort at all.

YNBU at all to consider switching to formula and if your baby takes it then I will be very jealous grin

GullsHelp Fri 22-Jun-18 20:33:48

Expressing is the worst of both worlds....

NotSoThinLizzy Fri 22-Jun-18 20:37:10

I've breastfed for now 9 month and I've hated the last 5 months of it but due to undiagnosed tounge tie he can't take a bottle. Mental health is the biggest factor here it's gotten easier since he's got older and feeds much less. It's up to you want you want to do, a happy mum makes a happy baby 😊 sending hugs to you

JohnnyMcGrathSaysFuckOff Fri 22-Jun-18 20:46:57

Hi OP I have not read the thread (sorry) but I am in a bit of a similar position with DD2.

I fed DD1 for 10mos and wanted to feed the DTs too. But they also spent time in nicu, had tubes in - like you, I expressed then gradually switched to bf with a bottle of formula once a day. They are 4 mos old, 12w corrected and I thought it would get easier.

But DT2 had a tongue tie which we have only just managed to get snipped and it seems to have created some type of feeding aversion. I am gutted as I have worked so hard at bf. Right now I am trying to push to 6mos.

I keep saying, once I give up I can't start again. So if I give up now, in a moment of frustration, that means it is gone. They are my last babies and I hope to keep feeding them past weaning just for closeness and cuddles. I keep imagining all the lovely weekend lie-ins with the twins in bed with me having milk when they are 8, 10, 12 mos old. That makes me keep going.

But if that idea doesn't motivate you then iy might be time to call it a day. Your call flowers

Sharkwithknees Fri 22-Jun-18 20:51:48

You're doing fab. Do something to make life a bit easier on yourself, you deserve it and it's important to take care of yourself as a new mother. Women beat themselves up too much when they're really just being fabulous mothers. I EBF for 6 months and looking back it was so exhausting and it pretty much consumes my memories of those months! I wish id switched earlier tbh. I'm 34 and I was formula fed from day 1, that was in the 80s when formula wasn't anywhere near as good as it is now! And I'm in good health. Give yourself a break flowers

user1493413286 Fri 22-Jun-18 20:53:29

Do what is best for you! I moved my DD to formula as I knew that continuing to breastfed was going to continue to physical pull me apart and it would be better for my emotional/mental health for a variety of complex reasons.
I really struggled and was very worried about what people would think of me but a year on I see that no one else thought much of it and the people close to me were encouraging formula because they knew that a Mum who formula feeds and feels good in herself and healthy is better for my baby than a Mum who breastfeeds and feels physically and mentally on the floor.
For the record I’m not saying that all breastfeeding mums feel that way but by 4 months I did and formula was the exact right decision for me and my baby.

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