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To feel guilty for thinking of introducing formula?

(71 Posts)
Babadoooo Thu 21-Mar-19 23:16:47

DS (first baby) is 4 weeks old. Seriously struggling with breastfeeding. He doesn’t seem to be getting enough and is constantly throwing up and is never satisfied after a feed. I resorted to giving him a bottle of aptamil last night and he was a different baby. Happy and content and fell into a very peaceful sleep and we probably had the best night yet. He woke to feed in the early hours of the morning and he breastfed.

Aibu to consider combination feeding going forward (ideally one bottle of formula before bed)? My reasons:

- breastfeeding sessions take forever (sometimes 1.5 hours). He never seems to feed completely despite patching on well and tongue tie being ruled out. He just seems to suck and goes mad when he can’t latch on immediately. He’s definitely constantly hungry.
- when I breastfeed he always throws up and I hate leaving him to sleep in wet clothes so the bedtime feeds take in excess of 2 hours most nights when everything is factored in.
- I just feel like I’m failing him by considering formula at this early stage especially when everyone seems to breastfeed for months and months.

I can’t be the only one? I am definitely not depressed and I love everything about being a mum except for breastfeeding which I despise. I don’t find it painful or anything like that, I just hate the fact that I feel it’s spoiling my experience of being his mum and i am obsessed with it.

Trills Thu 21-Mar-19 23:18:58

Your baby will be fine.

It's not unreasonable to feel guilty, we're in a world that is unnecessarily black and white on these things.

But if you can, try to chill out about it. It's really going to be fine.

Toddlerteaplease Thu 21-Mar-19 23:20:27

A fed baby is best. A happy mum = happy baby.

SkintAsASkintThing Thu 21-Mar-19 23:20:50

Just give him the bottle, why make him feel miserable just so you can persevere with something neither of you are benefitting from ??

Don't feel guilty. You tried breastfeeding, it wasn't for either of you so use something that you know works.

It's really that simple

BananaFace5 Thu 21-Mar-19 23:23:05

I think it sounds like a great idea if he's happier and you're happier!

Marlena1 Thu 21-Mar-19 23:23:14

What you have done up to now is brilliant, whatever you decide! Don't feel guilty it's very hard

Pleasedontdrawonyoursister Thu 21-Mar-19 23:24:03

Do whatever you need to do, no need to feel guilty for providing food for your baby. On the flip side, this is such a short period of time - you may find it worth sticking at the breastfeeding. I know so many mums who gave up early and regretted it. It does get easier flowers

ZippyBungleandGeorge Thu 21-Mar-19 23:27:16

Do what works, DS had quite a severe tongue tie that meant he couldn't breast feed until we had it snipped, by which point he'd been on formula for two weeks, try as I might i cannot get him to give up some of his top ups although at 4 months he is now mainly breast fed, on occasion of he's really unsettled and won't latch properly I let him have a small bottle of formula, people told me combination feeding would ruin my supply, it hasn't although I take fenugreek to keep it boosted. Whatever is best for you both just do it. I agonised over getting to solely breast feed because I felt I hadn't had that choice at the start, nipple infections, blisters, bleeding, under supply, over supply, screaming baby, no sleep, pumping every three hours. In all honesty it was about my mindset he's just as happy either way. My one concession is that I use Hipp organic, I found aptamil gave him dreadful trapped wind, and the is something irrational in my brain that tells me I'm more comfortable with an organic product, his nappies are more like the short time he solely breastfed on Hipp too

HeyCarrieAnneWhatsYourGame Thu 21-Mar-19 23:28:19

I gave myself a very hard time with DD1 over breastfeeding- I carried it on til she was two and it was very painful and draining for the first 8 weeks or so. With DD2 I was kinder to myself: finished sooner (weaned her off at around 9 months) and combination fed (did it for practical reasons really as I had a two year old as well and it did make life easier). Looking back I wish I had applied the kinder philosophy to my feeding of DD1 too. Breastfeeding is lovely once you’re in an established routine but I did get fixated and almost evangelical about it, feeling guilty if I even considered the idea of giving her a bottle. And for what it’s worth, both DDs are happy, well-adjusted and you couldn’t tell which one was fully breastfed and which wasn’t.

ZippyBungleandGeorge Thu 21-Mar-19 23:28:26

Oh and from about 8 weeks BF has been much easier, at one point it was like razor blades coming out of my nipples and I thought it would never get better, it really did and quite suddenly.

babyfloof Thu 21-Mar-19 23:29:04

I bottle fed from 5 days as we just wasn't getting the hang of BF. I felt incredibly guilty but 8 months later I think I made the right choice for us and would probably make the same decision again. Compared to other children of a similar age DC is as happy and content as a BF baby.

Keep doing what you are doing and you may find you settled into one, or a combination of feeding.

Also, I never felt anyone judged me for bottle feeding and if they did I didn't pick up on it.

If he's throwing up after BF could it be something in your diet which he's reacting to? Ask your health visitor if there is a BF support group nearby. My friend went and she found it incredibly helpful.

Thequaffle Thu 21-Mar-19 23:31:14

Fed is best. Do what makes you and your baby happy and healthy.

converseandjeans Thu 21-Mar-19 23:33:06

If he slept better and was more content then you know what is best. People on MN usually try and imply it's awful to not BF. I am surprised at the lack of comments trying to force you to do whatever is humanely possible to keep BF. Good luck x

Itwouldtakemuchmorethanthis Thu 21-Mar-19 23:35:09

I did that with mine from about 6-9 weeks. It works for me.

CautiouslyPessimistic Thu 21-Mar-19 23:35:25

Echoing everyone above, absolutely do what works for you. Breastfeeding is great if it works but hell when it doesn't. Both mine have been combi fed from day one because I was more worried about the impact on my mental health of ebf than I was about nipple confusion etc - it's been fine and been the right thing for all of us. It's definitely not worth making yourself miserable over.

snowbear66 Thu 21-Mar-19 23:36:58

It’s very hard and Brest feeding doesn’t work out for everyone. I ended up doing both, I felt like my son was very hungry and you sort of run out of time to fix things.
My son is 18 now and going to Uni.
It didn’t matter.

Babdoc Thu 21-Mar-19 23:39:21

It’s formula milk, not rat poison, OP! Millions of babies have been successfully fed on formula. Please don’t guilt trip yourself over such a simple thing. If you look at older kids or adults, you can’t tell which ones were breast fed- it makes damn all difference long term.

BlueSatsuma Thu 21-Mar-19 23:43:05

Why are you feeling guilty about wanting to feed your baby in a way that doesn’t make him throw up after every feed?

Absolutepowercorrupts Thu 21-Mar-19 23:43:58

Please try not to feel bad if breastfeeding doesn't work for you both. You won't be the first or last mother to change to formula. It's not the crime of the century, it's about working out what's best for you and your baby

dorisdog Thu 21-Mar-19 23:45:41

I switched after five weeks to mixed and then formula. It was so much easier for my partner to help and out and made everything smoother for me. Go for it. It's formula milk - there's nothing wrong with it. x

Lovescookies Thu 21-Mar-19 23:48:46

My DS is now 5 months old. We've combination fed since day 6 (10%+ weight loss and severe jaundice) and have never managed to get my supply up enough to exclusively BF (despite having either DS or a pump attached to me). We started by giving the last feed of the day as formula. My DH stayed up to do this feed whilst I went to bed, he then settled him in his carrycot and brought him up to me asleep. This allowed me to get a good chunk of 4-5 hours sleep! As time has gone on we've had to introduce more formula through the day when DS is hungry and isn't settled by BF. I hated BF him, but I'm more indifferent to it now. Life would definitely be easier if I switched to formula full time. Combi feeding can definitely provide the best of both worlds, DS sleeps better with formula, but BF has prevented him getting any of the 6 colds I've caught since having him.

Don't beat yourself up over it either way. Enjoy this time as you can't get it back. My DD is now 6 and you can't tell who in her class was BF and which FF and it's never discussed at the school gate!

For comparison my DD was exclusively BF (including expressing enough for my DH to give a bottle an evening so I could sleep) before I had to give up at 6 weeks and switch to hypoallergenic formula as she had more allergies than I could cut out of my diet! Proof it isn't always better!

cantbebotheredtoday Thu 21-Mar-19 23:49:58

You are not being unreasonable at all! You've done wonderful and breastfeeding is not easy. Please don't feel guilty. Happy mum equals happy baby! I only made it to 4 days breastfeeding then a further 10 days pumping and I couldn't do it anymore so on to formula she went. She is now 5 and just perfect and I am not regretful in the slightest. It was the right decision for us at the time. Xx

Wingingitsince2018 Fri 22-Mar-19 00:06:39

I struggled with BF to start with, had to use shields to get a latch, constantly falling asleep so never having a full feed, getting really frustrated that I was completely glued to my sofa and saw the same major benefits when I gave a bottle of formula.

My DS is now 14 weeks and we do a combination of breast, expressed and formula before bed and if needed at any other time. I really hated BF at first, but actually accepting I didn't have to do it and knowing that there were other feeding options out there made me much more relaxed and happier to BF when I wanted to.

Combi feeding allows you the best of both worlds, options for what suits each day (sometimes we BF all day on the sofa if I fancy it, others he has more bottles if we are out and about and have timings to keep!) And means you are less likely to have issues weaning off the boob further down the line. I also found that bottle feeding meant he got used to eating a little quicker and more in one go (I did pace feed before anyone goes there!) Which meant when I did BF he took more so became more content from that too.

Formula is not the devil (I like the fact I know he is getting certain vitamins etc that I may not always have in my daily diet) and you shouldn't feel guilty about your feeding choices. Your mental health is more important for a happy baby than EBF.

Crabbyandproudofit Fri 22-Mar-19 00:33:15

I found BF got easier over time, particularly with my first baby. Being sick after every feed is not normal so I'd try to get some advice over that. Also, the more you feed the more milk you will make but if you and baby are both unhappy this is not good. With my third child I gave a bottle of formula milk for the night feed - this was when I felt I had least milk. I decided that BF was giving lots of health benefits to baby but occasional bottles of formula did not undo those benefits. I didn't feel that I had to choose one method or the other. Hope you can get some support and enjoy every feed.

scottishlass123 Fri 22-Mar-19 00:49:19

Hello op, just do what works for you and baby. Stop being so hard on yourself. You are doing a great job. You said that baby was sick after ever feed, that could be a sign of an intolerance. I breast fed 4 babies and one of my babies threw up after every fed, it was exhausting with the constant cleaning. Turns out she was allergic to eggs and dairy. Which I found out when I weaned her at six months. I was told it was collic. Once I stopped eating eggs and dairy in my diet and continued to breast feed her to stopped being sick. So baby may have an intolerance to something you are eating such as egg, you said you gave baby formula so baby is not intolerant to milk. Hope things improve. And take it easy on yourself. Try not to stress and enjoy every moment with baby.

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