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Is formula really a huge faff?

(10 Posts)
Joannezipan Wed 06-Jul-11 12:55:39

Hi all,

My LO is just over 2 weeks old, until now I have been bf, but he is not gaining enough weight. The MW suggested we do some formula top up feeds to try and get his weight up as she thinks either I have a supply issue or he is possiting up too much and i'm not able to replace it fast enough. We are going to the doctor this afternoon about the possiting (I think it is reflux, so hopefully we can get it sorted).

The question is is making up formula feeds really a huge faff? I have been using the pre-made stuff up until now, but power is so much cheaper I feel I should give it a go. It's just it seems like it takes such a long time how can do that when the baby wants to be fed? Also can you keep it made up in the fridge so you just have to warm it up? I must admit the whole thing is stressing me out a bit, but I need my little boy to grow big and strong so I'll just have to put up with the guilt!

kimberlina Wed 06-Jul-11 13:04:53

Do you want to stop BFing? Or do you want to mix feed? It mightbe worth speaking to a local BFCounsellor or PeerSupporter or even ringing and advice line a they can give you advice, whichever you choose?
Also MWs aren't always the best on BFing so there may be some simple changes you can make (e.g improving the latch) to help him gain weight (if you did want to continue). Again a BFC would be useful for this

KaraStarbuckThrace Wed 06-Jul-11 13:11:00

Hey Joanne! Did you know we oly have 2 babies we are still waiting for on our AN thread grin

Have you spoken to a bfing cousellor? Because tbh, that is what I would do, you can increase you supply by feeding often, having loads of skin-to-skin contact.
When you say the MW says he is not gaining weight, how much has he gained? did he lose weight after he was born? What growth charts is your MW referring to? Also if he is producing at least 6 wet nappies a day, the chances are he is feeding fine. Not all MWs are experts at advising on bfing and some are still using charts which are more appropriate to ff babies whose growth patterns differ to bf babies.

As to the formula, if you are only giving to ups I would stick to the ready made stuff for the time being, once you open the carton you can keep it in the fridge for up 24 hours, just give 20-30ml at a feed so you don't waste it. The formula in the bottle, once he starts drinking it will be fine up to 2 hours. If you switch to powder you can make up as little or as much as you like, but you need to try and make it up at least 30mins before you need to give it time to cool down (running it under a cold tap will cool it down quicker though).

Pesephone Wed 06-Jul-11 13:27:00

I would definatly say get along to a bf support group. Your MW may not have enough knowledge of understanding of how bf works to adequatly advice you in this situation, if you see a qualified BFC she will be able to give correct up to date information, and explain thouroughly how bf works and what you can do inorder to improve things. Just giving top ups with no further assistance in improving the breastfeeding will not help you to sucsessfully bf. From what you have said in the OP its hard to assertain if indeed there is a real problem but if you do want to try to get back to EBF then providing more detailed information on what the problems are would enable people here to help, and by going along to a group you can get real face to face support. smile and yes preparing powdered formula correctly is a lot of faff. smile

sunshineandshowers13 Wed 06-Jul-11 13:32:51

in my experience its not a faff at all smile. we were always organised with bottles sterilised, made up and refridgerated. Did enough every evening for the following 24hrs. Please dont feel pressurised into continuing bf. Breastfeeding is not the be all and end all of being a good mummy. enjoy your lovely baby!

tiktok Wed 06-Jul-11 13:43:08

On the charts: there were never charts that referred only to ff babies. The older charts - no longer in use anywhere in the UK - were taken from data on babies whose feeding was not differentiated. The current charts are based on bf babies and are virtually identical to the older charts anyway, for the first few months - so charts will really not be an issue in this case.

OP - if your baby is not gaining enough weight, then it can usually be fixed by amending the breastfeeding to make it more frequent and more effective. If you are only offering one breast per feed, for example, you need to offer at least two or three; you can keep your baby close skin to skin and offer every time the baby twitches; it is very, very rare that formula is the only option. It does sound that you need another opinion from someone who is more capable f supporting your choice to bf. Formula topups will reduce your breastmilk supply so it is something to do only when other options are not available.

wigglesrock Wed 06-Jul-11 14:07:23

I am ffing dd3 and have never found it a faff, I know on MN its often mentioned that its such a hassle/faff but to be honest its as difficult as making a cup of tea.

narmada Wed 06-Jul-11 14:22:39

I've done both, FF and BF. Without a doubt FF is more of a faff compared to established BF. It's so much more difficult to go out and about, and be spontaneous, with FF. Plus I hate all that bloody bottle washing.

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Wed 06-Jul-11 14:23:27

sorry to be a pita but making up enough bottles for 24hrs is not recommended. I know some people do that but the op might wish to check out the guidelines (or the many many threads there have been on here re prepping fm)

RitaMorgan Wed 06-Jul-11 14:26:06

Having done all three (breastfed, used cartons and made up bottles from powder) I would say after the first 3-4 weeks breastfeeding is by far the least faff. You can go anywhere and stay away from home for as long as you want without worrying about feeding the baby, milk is available clean, sterile and at the perfect temperature in seconds.

I mix fed for a while using ready made cartons and they were ok, although more faff than bfing as you had to clean and sterilise the bottles, heat the milk etc. I always reverted to just bfing if we were on holiday or something.

Powered formula I do find a faff, and a worry from a safety perspective regarding bacteria in the powder, storing milk, cleaning bottles. Though if this is your only option I've sure as wigglesrock says it becomes no more difficult than making a cup of tea. I found bfing less hassle than making tea though!

So, breastfeeding is easiest for you and best for your baby - if you want to breastfeed I'd get some expert advice before compromising your supply with formula. If you do choose to mix feed or formula feed though I'm sure it'll become second nature too - just read up on the safety advice and make sure you make and store bottles properly.

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