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Worried about bonding?

(27 Posts)
minibmw2010 Sat 18-Jun-11 02:32:23

DS is 4 weeks, was born by emergency CS due to being breech. I had real problems BF in hospital due to jaundice making him too sleepy to latch. Had lots of help from great midwives while in but eventually I had to start expressing and also top up with formula as the jaundice was not clearing.

So now we're home and things have not really improved. Have had lots of support from BF counsellor who lives nearby but I can only get Hinton latch maybe once or twice a day and then generally using nipple shields. The rest is a mixture of expressed milk or formula top ups. My milk has never fully come through I think or J guess my supply has always been low due to lack of latching on his part. I'm struggling now with finding time to express during day but manage a couple of times when he's asleep and then at night after his feeds (like now at 2.30am, sigh). I'm not sure how much longer my supply will carry on like this but although he seems to be doing OK on formula and expressed I'm really nervous to make him fully FF led.

I genuinely don't want this to be a FF v BF thread but my worries are: if I stop the 1 or 2 feeds we are managing now (when he still needs a big formula top up anyway) are we still going to bond as well? Ther have been a lot of tears and I really want to do the best for him but when he won't do his bit it's heartbreaking. Second worry, if he does become fully formula fed, how do I avoid constipation as he won't be getting water from breastmilk? Am I allowed to give water .. I can't get an answer from breast clinic or HV.

Thank you.

minibmw2010 Sat 18-Jun-11 02:34:05

Ps, apologies for some random words, blooming iPhone and predictive text grin

alitesneeze Sat 18-Jun-11 03:03:43

Hi mini I know how you are feeling as I have been there and it can be a heart breaking decision choosing whether or not to give up bf. If it helps, I felt that I bonded with dd more when I gave up. This was really just because it lifted a lot of stress from my shoulders as trying to bf and ff and express is such a nightmare.

If you do decide to quit then I hth

Ps neither dd nor ds have ever had constipation, but if you are worried about this you could chat to your hv. They can have sips of cooled boiled water if you can get them to take it. Also avoid sma as it is notorious for constipation

PenguinArmy Sat 18-Jun-11 05:28:28

tbh knowing the stress that expressing causes, if it was just for 1 or 2 meals a day I don't think I felt it would have worth it, unless there was goal to return to ft BF. How much of the day do you spend with a heavy heart knowing you need to express? The answer to that might help with your bonding worries.

AlpinePony Sat 18-Jun-11 13:57:17

Like sneeze I felt better about 'everything' when I went fully over to FF. There's a great support thread on this section for ff mums. The 'bonding' thing is not done via nipples, that's such a damaging 'story'. If it were true it would suggest that men, adoptive/foster parents and women who express don't 'bond' with their childen! smile

As for water, yes it's a fine to give boiled cooled water.

Enjoy cuddling and feeding your baby, the delivery method does not negate either of these actions.

cocoachannel Sat 18-Jun-11 15:24:32

I have recently started combined feeding with DD, having EBF for 15 weeks as she refused a bottle. I feel far more of a bond when bottle feeding!! She can look into my eyes, I sing to her (poor child...) and she will smile at me and 'chat' when pausing. I also find that having to use both hands to bottle feed means I concentrate far more on DD when feeding by bottle instead of reading MN or something when BFing, further enhancing the bottle feeding experience.

shuckleberryfinn Sat 18-Jun-11 17:18:44

bonding happens when you take care of your baby however that is. However you choose to feed is fine in that respect.

4madboys Sat 18-Jun-11 17:23:45

having bfed all of my children the first three totally bfed and then the last two only bfed fora bit and then bottlefed i can say categorically that changing to bottlefeeding did NOT stop me bonding at all, infact i probalby helped as i wasnt so tired and fed up with bfeeding all the time!

with regards to constipation i use hipp organic and never had that as a problem but also make up the feeds with an extra half ounce of water ie a 5ounce feed would be 5 scoops of powder and 5 and a half ounces of water, the hv has said this is fine, esp in hot weather, you arent diluting it so much that they dont get the nutrients etc ifyswim, you are just giving them an extra 15ml of water (30ml is an ounce) smile hth smile

sc2987 Sat 18-Jun-11 17:24:23

I don't think you should ignore the contribution of oxytocin - it does assist in bonding you, and also enabling you to cope with the trials of parenthood. And you won't get it if you FF (not to mention the other benefits of BF of course).

I would get him checked for tongue tie (posterior ones often go undiagnosed) or other physical problems and if something like that is found, fix it and BF as much as possible to get your supply up.

In the meantime you should express more often, to maintain supply, and BM is better for clearing the dangerous type of jaundice than F anyway.

minibmw2010 Sat 18-Jun-11 19:08:08

Thank you everyone. We know he doesn't have a Tongue tie, that has been checked and he has a very strong suck if I give him my finger to suck (helps when he gets hiccups), he just wont latch. Met a friend today who had her daughter 4 days ago, she said her boobs were rock hard and full when she isn't feeding and I felt so jealous as that just has not happened for me at all. His jaundice is fine now it's been cleared for a week or so now.

My breast feeding support lady is coming on Monday and I will talk it over with her a bit more then.

squishysquashy Sat 18-Jun-11 19:25:06

Hi, DD wouldn't latch at all I gave her expressed BM for as long as I could cope with the stress of doing that all the time and trying to bf. I didn't give formula for first few weeks until she needed more which I couldn't express. When I gave formula it was such a weight off and I gradually tailed off the expressing over a few weeks until I dried up.

It does sounds like at least he is bf'ing a few times a day so maybe you could carry on with that but drop the expressing? Will affect your supply and he'd be having more formula, but it would probably make things a lot less stressful, and you're not closing the door on bf'ing then.

I don't think I ever thought ff was particularly 'bonding' equally I don't feel like I've missed out on bonding. I had to carry her around for so many hours in a sling to stop colic crying, co-slept for first few months and carried on holding her for all her naps until 12 months. Also in those first few week when trying to breastfeed lots of skin on skin, lovely naps skin on skin watching greys anatomy box set those were the days :-)

Also when I went to a breastfeeding group one of the Mums was saying about how it had taken about 4 months to get her DD breastfeeding ok, and she still (I think about 7 months) wasn't always successful. Sounded like this Mum had a terrible time, and while very admiring o her resolve and strength TBH I wanted to be able to relax and enjoy my baby.

No problems with constipation btw.

minibmw2010 Sat 18-Jun-11 20:31:46

Thank you for the replies. At the moment we are using SMA first infant which is pre-prepared but someone mentioned above that it is known to cause constipation. Aptimil has been recommended by a friend, can anyone else give me a recommendation??

Ivortheengine8 Sat 18-Jun-11 20:37:58

I think the bonding thing is way over rated! I BF for a short while after the birth but like you, she just wouldn't latch on properly and I was worrying constantly. I switched to FF and although I knew it wasn't the best I felt so much more relaxed with my baby and I was able to just enjoy her rather than fretting. I feel I have a great bond with my DD, always have and I don't blame myself or regret what I did. I know I tried and I was not happy with the way it was going. It is so important to enjoy that time with your baby, I would say a calm, relaxed mummy is easier to bond with than a stressed out mum who feels on edge all the time.

Ivortheengine8 Sat 18-Jun-11 20:45:09

We never really had any problems with wind or colic with DD. We used SMA when she was little and I don't remember any long periods of colic etc....
Some babies get it, others don't, I don't think colic/wind can just be blamed on formula.
I am 23 weeks pregnant now and plan to take the same course of action. I will try breastfeeding ad give it a good go but I am not going to get depressed over it. What matters is that baby is fed and happy.

japhrimel Sun 19-Jun-11 08:32:16

You can get to EBF if you want, but it is work. I did it with DD and never looked back.

For me, getting bfing to work was important for my mental health and happiness, especially as I hadn't wanted to have a C-section and was quite upset by it.

tiktok Sun 19-Jun-11 21:17:58

If you decide not to continue with bf, then of course you can bond with your baby - oxytocin is indeed produced by bf, but not only by bf, and anyway, there's a whole lot more to bonding than oxytocin.

The thing about bonding and bf is that very frequent touching, cuddling, soothing, responding, intense emotional connection (which promotes attachment) comes as a package deal with bf, when it's going well (less automatically when it's not going well). It's not necessarily as easy to get this 'package' with ff - so you have to create the conditions for it. This means you being the one to do the vast majority of feeds while your baby is still young. It means responding quickly to your baby's feeding cues and not giving up skin to skin contact during feeds just because the bottle is the means of milk delivery.

Bonding and attachment are to do with relationships and care and not milk - but having said that, there may well be hope for you and breastfeeding yet, so hope you get the chance to make a genuine choice.

choceyes Sun 19-Jun-11 22:15:21

I have both bottle fed and breastfed.

My now 2.6yr old DS couldn't latch on just likeyour LO, despite a lot of help. So I expressed BM for him and all his milk feeds till he was 11 months old. I did top up with a few bottles of formula in the first couple of weeks as he was jaundiced and was hungry. But I was lucky that within 2 weeks I had enough milk to give him BM exclusively.

My 10 month old DD breastfeeds like a dream, we never had a single problem.

I can categorically say that for me, breastfeeding hasn't been anymore bonding for me than bottle feeding. DD is much clingier and attached to me more than DS was, but I don't know if that's her personality or the breastfeeding. On my part I didn't feel any less bonded to my DS than I do to my DD.

If anything I felt bottle feeding was very bonding because I had to use both my arms and really concentrate on feeding him. Like someones else said earlier in the thread, I used to talk to him, sing to him, he would look into my eyes, smile at me, make cooing noises while he fed. it was lovely.

When I breastfeed I'm usually reading a book or surfing the net! DD is a very fast feeder and the feeds are over in a few mins anyway. There are certain things I love about bfing, like the cute way she roots for the nipple and she strokes my boob while feeding which is so lovely, but really there are both much of a muchness in terms of bonding I'd say.

choceyes Sun 19-Jun-11 22:21:10

Are you using a double electric pump? I rented a Medala Symphony. Double pumps stimulate your milk supply much better. And Fenugreek worked for me too.

minibmw2010 Sun 19-Jun-11 23:20:59

I'm aware it's work japhrimel, I've been trying for 4 weeks now but when your LO just will not play ball it's downright impossible ! Anyway thank you ladies you have helped put my mind at ease.

TheFowlAndThePussycat Sun 19-Jun-11 23:33:40

I agree with what sneeze and others have said, I got myself into such a horrible state bf dd1 that it was a huge relief & massive boost to our bonding to stop.

FWIW I then went on to have dd2 who was prem, and fed initially through a drip, then through a tube. Nevertheless we did manage to establish bf & I fed her through till she chose to stop at 11 months. There is no difference at all between my bonding with her & my bonding with dd1.

Oh and yes, my experience was that SMA caused constipation in dd1 & Aptamil did not.

kazzamacd Sun 19-Jun-11 23:48:11

I eneded up with PND I was so upset about not being able to BF my 1st boy. I still get teary 5 years later if I talk about it! (Inverted nipples make it make it really difficult) 2nd boy was the same but I felt better about it. I expressed milk and bottle fed both of them but I found my milk dried up pretty quick unless you want to do nothing but express all bleeding day and night. Ive got a 9 week old girl now and due to the help of an amazing midwife managed to get her to latch on . I am having problems but I can categorically tell you there is NO difference in my bonding feelings. My boys are as cuddly and loving as they come too. I was really hurt when a friend said"theres nothing like the bond between a mum and a breastfed baby" but I think its insulting to loving mothers to suggest there wont be as strong a bond. One thing I did was sleep with the boys in bed so they were close to me all night and I felt that helped. Please dont worry, soon enough your little un will be running about glugging water and juice and thew hole Boobs or bottles thing will be a memory! Good luck.

Ivortheengine8 Mon 20-Jun-11 07:13:42

I think it's insulting too to suggest that you can't bond with FF. At the end of the day how do these mums know if they have never forumal fed?
How do they know the difference if they have never tried FF?
The best people to ask would be mums who have tried both.
I don't want to get into the BF versus FF debate but just remember that most of these babies who were formula fed have grown into healthy little little babies and from what I can see there is no difference between their emotional and developmental health. I agree BF is the best option if its possible ad if it goes well simply because it is more natural, but I think all this hype about it just makes alot of mums feel insecure and inadequate. I wish the NHS would quit all this.

The worst experience I had with this was when I was in hospital when DD was ill when she was young and there was a notice (we had to stay in overnight) that read that 'breakfast was only available for Breastfeeding mums. It actually got me pretty upset to think that because I was bottle feeding I had to buy my own breakfast. The NHS has got to the point of insulting lots of wonderful mummies who have brought their children up in a remarkable way and to make them feel like failures - that in my opinion is their loss, it's them that will be picking up the pieces when these women fill their clinics with PND.

Its early and I'm hormonal smile

choceyes Mon 20-Jun-11 08:01:54

OMG Ivortheengine8 can't believe your hospital only provided food for breastfeeding mothers shock that's just terrible and discriminatory!

However I think the NHS should be promoting BF as like you mentioned breastfeeding is the best for babies, and even formula feeding mothers must know that. Breastfeeding provided immunity against a lot of illness and it's in the best interests of the NHS to promote it.

Ivortheengine8 Mon 20-Jun-11 08:16:36

I agree it should be 'promoted' choc, nothing against that at all but I really think it has gone too far. The problem is with the stats is that they are not done fairly. There are too many associations made with the FF mother.
I'm sure many of the mums on here are experienced, informed and intelligent mothers who have made thse choice or had to to FF.

PenguinArmy Mon 20-Jun-11 08:28:51

ivor the posts on here have been supportive of the OP and explaining (with many of them contributing personal experience) that bonding is fine or could even be improved with the switch.

You have a point, but this is not the thread for it.

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