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Can you help me come to terms with no longer ebf or give advice on giving one bottle a day

(34 Posts)
smk84 Mon 17-Sep-12 14:04:09

Hi, ds is almost 15weeks. I have been struggling with anxiety, mainly about feeding and weight gain, and have posted lots before and received a lot f help which I am very gratelful for, it has helped us get this far. I am on the verge of a nervous breakdown and the impact on our little family is becoming too much to continue ebf. Dh and I have reluctantly decided to give ds a bottle of formula a day to try to ease the pressure on me (most feeds are difficult ATM as ds is pulling on and off or squirming, have tried to get help for this over last 2 weeks to no avail, and his weight gain seems to be slowing again, he is almost down on 0.4 centime now having been tracking between 25th and 9th at previous times). We have been debating this for ages, and the time has come where something has to change. It breaks my heart to think of the formula going into his body, but ebf is impacting my relationship with ds, ds1 and dh, and I am slipping further down and down. We are thinking of giving the bottle in the evenings, (he still cluster feeds in the eves)prob about .1 hour after a bf. I have no idea how much to give. I am planning to express if I can so that my supply doesn't dip, and would like some of the bottle the next night to be expressed if poss. I don't know when to do this though because I don't know if he will want to bf after the bottle for comfort, or how long the formula will fill him up for. I also dont know how long to pump for. I can't hold back the tears just writing about it .....should we give the bottle in a certain way? thank you.

tiktok Mon 17-Sep-12 16:23:04

smk, give the bottle as closely and as warmly and as lovingly as if you were bf him....he can be snuggled in just the same smile

50-70 mls would be a sensible amount and it would be unlikely to impact on your bf at this stage. You will be bf the rest of the time. What does your HV suggest in terms of amount?

smk84 Mon 17-Sep-12 16:23:53

just bumping

smk84 Mon 17-Sep-12 16:30:40

Thank you tiktok sorry didn't see your post before I bumped. Haven't spoken to Hv, seeing her Tom so would like to put off giving formula til Tom, and forever if we get a miracle ! I don't think I can physically do it myself, but dh will.

tiktok Mon 17-Sep-12 16:37:10

I'm sure DH can do it cosily and snuggly, just as well as you smile

smk84 Tue 18-Sep-12 12:15:43

Thanks tiktok. Hv says 5oz, and will know when to stop when it starts dribbling out of his mouth or he is sick. Sounds a lot to me??

tiktok Tue 18-Sep-12 14:11:47

Sounds a large amount, I agree, and waiting until the baby is sick sounds strange should make up your own mind on this one given there is no risk to giving too little (as your baby is fully bf the rest of the time) and some risk to giving too much smile

Loislane78 Tue 18-Sep-12 14:31:13

I thought there was a formula for calculating this my MW told me - its:

weight (in grams) * 120 / number of feeds per day

It might be * 100 and not 120 so check that smile

tiktok Tue 18-Sep-12 14:33:43

Yes, there is a calculation, but the OP's baby is not having a formula feed instead of a breastfeed but in addition to it. Whole different ball game.

ImNotCute Tue 18-Sep-12 14:38:21


Loislane78 Tue 18-Sep-12 14:39:01

PS - smk its one ff a day, don't even think about it! You've achieved 15 wks already which is more than most smile

Plenty of people do this (and eff) and bottom line is if that's the best solution for your baby, you, and therefore your family, its not even worth worrying about smile

Loislane78 Tue 18-Sep-12 14:39:52

Ah OK - sorry misread that about additional feed smile

ImNotCute Tue 18-Sep-12 14:45:04

Sorry for previous post, having phone problems! Don't feel bad. I ebf'd dc1 but now with ds have been giving an evening bottle of formula since 3 months (he's now 8 months). I really like the flexibility of knowing I am not 100% responsible for his feeding and formula is not poison! I had no idea about volume and have always made up a 6 oz bottle but it's very variable how much he takes.

Has your ds had bottles of bm? If he hasn't taken a bottle before it might take him a while to get the hang of it. Bizarrely my dh found our ds accepted it better if dh was standing up while giving it to him.

Cosmo89 Tue 18-Sep-12 14:57:30

We give 12wko DS a bottle of formula before he sleeps.
My supply has always dipped in the eve/afternoon and he was getting so agitated (and not going to sleep).

It's been great. We've been doing it for 2wks. It's relieved the pressure on me, calms him and hasn't affected my supply. One bottle is such a small amount of his daily intake and bfing is much happier for all of us.

Don't give yourself such a hard time. You've done so well, it's only one bottle, and as he gets older u might find u drop it anyway.

There is so much pressure on us to ebf, excessive in my opinion. I was uspset too, and felt like a failure, but honestly looking back I question why I got myself so wound up over what seems now like a sensible, adult decision. Why berate yourself and sacrifice happiness for something that , when seen in context, isn't that important. You're obviously a great mum - give him a bottle, enjoy bfing and your family.

Cosmo89 Tue 18-Sep-12 15:05:04

Should have added, we give DS 3oz, the hv suggested upping it to 4 soon.
I would introduce small amount and increase. F seems to be slightly denser than Bm and DS gobbled his down then got a bit of a shock when it his stomach- and wailed for a minute before being absolutely fine.

EleanorHandbasket Tue 18-Sep-12 15:05:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EleanorHandbasket Tue 18-Sep-12 15:05:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BertieBotts Tue 18-Sep-12 17:01:55

I agree with everything tiktok says - and perhaps HV is basing her amounts on FF babies who would probably be having bigger bottles at this age than a mainly BF baby who tends to eat little and often. Maybe try 2 or 3 oz and see how you go?

If you're planning to pump the best time many women find is first thing in the morning as the let down reflex is strong at that time. I would try and pick a time just before a feed if you can pre-empt it, look at your baby if possible or a photo of him or think about him, all the little gooey things that get your hormones flowing - to get it going and then keep going until the flow slows down to drips. It's fairly normal to get between 2-4oz in one pumping session, although you might still be on hormonal supply which would mean you might get more (if this is the case don't panic in a few weeks when output drops, this is normal) You can breastfeed straight after expressing, even if the pump is not getting any milk out, your baby will be able to.

Babies (and boobs!) normally adapt really well to introducing one bottle a day, as long as you're consistent with when the bottle is or use it as a one off occasionally, and don't get into a regular habit of topping up feeds (unless of course this is medical advice) - basically what I'm saying is bottlefeed at a set time, breastfeed the rest of the time, even if the baby seems unsettled. Your supply will adjust and grow around growth spurts etc.

If your baby seems unsettled about taking the bottle perhaps DH could get in the bath with him and do it? It will be nice and warm, close, skin-to-skin. Obviously not that practical in public etc grin but as a starting point.

As other posters have said you might not need it forever, you'll be weaning in less than 10 weeks, another adventure(!) and that might take the pressure off BF as well.

Good luck smile

SarryB Wed 19-Sep-12 11:00:35

I combine feed, and LO gets a 7oz bottle at 6-7pm ish every day, as this is when my milk is lowest, plus I've just aboud had enough of BF, and my OH can do this feed and give me a break. I then do a BF dreamfeed at about 11pm. LO is just about 5 months old, so older than yours.

I would start with a small amount, maybe just 3oz, try that for 4 days, and if you think he needs a wee bit more, try 4 oz. When he's had enough he'll probably fuss or push the bottle away. Or, stop half-way through that 3oz to burp, and he'll probably let you know if he wants more!

DeeBeee Wed 19-Sep-12 15:06:48

I've been giving my 5 month LO a bottle every evening since he was 2 months, as my supply is low at that time. As someone else said on the thread, formula is not poison and it's not worth so much emotional torment imo! There is so much emphasis being put on babies being ebf that I think becomes another thing for women to worry and obsess over. Your baby will probably be much better off with a calm mother and some formula every day. I had similar worries when my LO was smaller and eventually realised this massive amount of worry over some formula will seem ridiculous when he is a few years old and I look back. Give yourself a break, you've done so well already

jkklpu Wed 19-Sep-12 16:20:03

Really sorry, OP - got times wrong (it's nearly 5 years since I was doing it before yesterday, first time for ds3). But Babycentre says 5 days in 0-4C fridge. It's interesting that different sources say different things.

I learned the hard way that my milk goes off when frozen, so ended up pouring out bags and bags of the stuff after I'd gone back to work the first time around. So depressing. Hope your baby drinks some.

jkklpu Wed 19-Sep-12 16:49:58

blush sorry, posted in wrong thread

smk84 Thu 20-Sep-12 19:23:25

Thank you so much everyone I am so encouraged by your posts.. Thank you for sharing your experiences, it's great to hear that bf can still work when giving a bottle a day. We haVe yet to give the bottle but I feel like I at least know where to start now. Lo will take a bottle enthusiastically he has had a few ounces of ebf. Bertie thats an interesting idea to pump before a feed. . I am not sure I would have the confidence to do that as would worry about there not being milk waiting for ds, but wuss thinking perhaps to pmp one side and offer him the 'full' other side, then go on the side I have pumped.

Raspberryandorangesorbet Thu 20-Sep-12 20:46:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Raspberryandorangesorbet Thu 20-Sep-12 20:48:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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