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Just gave formula to ds for 1st time, devastated doesn't come close

(34 Posts)
smk84 Fri 12-Oct-12 14:53:26

Just so gutted and feel so alone cos everyone around me thinks formula is fine, but my heart is broken. Ds is 18weeks. I didn't want to do it but I haven't been coping well. Feeding has been so difficult and was at end of line with support and his weight gain wasn't good, struggling to track .0.4, seeming permanently hungry.,hoping it will be just 1 bottle a day, but I just feel like I,ve put a massive dent in a new Ferrari. Now will be waiting for his poo to change. Feel devastated and in floods of tears sad

SHRIIIEEEKPoolingBearBlood Fri 12-Oct-12 14:56:48

You poor thing. This does not need to be the end of breastfeeding if you don't want it to be.
Your ds had over 4 months of exclusive breastmilk, that is brilliant and he's in a minority there. He's still your Ferrari and always will be!
A bit weepy is fine but you sound really down. Are you enjoying life with your baby?

MrsHelsBels74 Fri 12-Oct-12 14:57:34

Sorry you feel so bad. I only managed a week with DS2 mainly due to lack of confidence after DS1 got hospitalised at 5 days old because of jaundice which I've never been able to convince myself wasn't my fault. It's difficult but you are doing what's best for you & your baby.

DinosaurSchool Fri 12-Oct-12 14:58:27

Oh my word you got to 18 weeks?!? That is truly fantastic! I don't want to sound patronising but it is a great achievement.

Formula is not dirty ditch water. It is a totally acceptable way to feed your baby. And if giving one bottle a day means you can keep breast feeding longer and the baby is not as hungry then formula is a good thing.

I was rubbish at bf-ing. I still have the odd wobble about not managing it but really it is just a tiny step in your child's life. In a few years he'll be stuffing haribo and monster munch into his precious body. grin

Asmywhimsytakesme Fri 12-Oct-12 15:00:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RedBlanket Fri 12-Oct-12 15:04:28

Don't be too hard in yourself, you've done really well to get so far, many many women don't even try.
I felt the same the first time i gave my DTs a formula top up. I felt like such a failure but they're both perfectly healthy and I carried on mixed feeding till they were 9 months.
plenty of children grow up healthy and happy having being exclusively given formula. Its not poison.
As Dinosaur said, it won't be long before he's eating all kinds of stuff.

QuenelleIsOrangeAndGoldForNow Fri 12-Oct-12 15:05:35

18 weeks is brilliant smk84. Really. You can be proud of what you've achieved. thanks

nocluenoclueatall Fri 12-Oct-12 15:08:29

This isn't very mumsnetty but have a massive (but not too tight, with the boobs and all) hug. I know exactly what you're going through. My DS had a tongue tie and despite loads of BF support, I couldn't get him to feed properly. He took a massive dive down the percentiles, and was marked "failure to thrive"... it was horrible and I didn't want to but I gave him the formula but after seeing 4 different paediatricians, I relented and gave him the bottle.

When I saw his tiny little face glug down 10 oz in one sitting I cried and cried. He had literally been starving. I was devastated.

Fast forward 3 years and he's the most incredible, happy, healthy child you can imagine. We mix fed for another year and you know what, it was TOTALLY FINE.

You both will be too. Honestly.

smk84 Fri 12-Oct-12 16:21:29

Thank u so much everyone, I have calmed down a bit now. 18weeks doesn't seem like much to me but it feels like forever in terms of worry about feeding. Spbb no I am not enjoying I tbh, I think I am quite depressed. With ds1 I had terrible pnd which spiralled out of control when we started giving formula so I think I have been carrying a lot of baggage about that. Ds1 wants his turn on here so will finish his later ...

SHRIIIEEEKPoolingBearBlood Fri 12-Oct-12 16:24:36

Please talk to your health visitor. If you are depressed its not fair on you. You should be enjoying this time, not suffering. This stuff matters.

tiktok Fri 12-Oct-12 17:44:21

I think if there was a phrase I'd like to see banned (or at least given a rest!) is 'formula is not poison' sad sad

No one coming on here worried and upset about giving formula thinks formula is 'poison', or 'dirty ditch water', or anything else (obviously it is none of these things!).

Gosh....I know people are trying to be kind, but when mothers are distressed about giving formula, they already know they are not giving 'poison', but they are upset that it's not breastmilk. It's normal to be disappointed and sad when the desire to fully bf does not work out, and it's normal to be disappointed and sad when breastmilk does not seem to be doing the job of nourishing the baby. It's not normal to be as devastated and in floods of tears and full of anxiety about it and depressed - and this is what needs addressing sad sad ...rather than any idea of what formula actually is.

smk, you know you have been doing, and continue to do, the very best for your little boy. Your reaction to giving formula is linked with your anxiety and other aspects of your mental health, your stress and the fact you are not enjoying life at the moment....and I have no idea if this is because you have very high standards for yourself and you feel like a failure if you don't meet them, or if it's to do with other background stresses and worries.

Giving formula may be the right decision for you and your ds, because of all the things you describe in your post, and there is nothing to feel bad about (which you know in your heart is true) - but if you can, focus on your feelings and your day to day challenges of coping with being a mum and the relationships you're forging....rather than what goes into his tum! I can't remember if you are already getting help with all that side of things but you could ask your HV if there is any specific infant mental health service in your area which uses gentle therapeutic techniques to help you, and where you attend with your baby.

TubbyDuffs Fri 12-Oct-12 17:50:45

I didn't even make it to 18 weeks with mine. I felt very guilty giving formula, but my daughter was gaining less than a third what she should have been per week and she wasn't thriving at all.

Once I started on formula she thrived, I could see an immediate improvement.

(I did get lactation consultant's support with everything I did and tried to increase my milk supply.)

In the end, what is best for your child is what matters, not how we feel and what we want.

Don't be too hard on yourself, you have given her a good start and it doesn't have to be the end of breastfeeding, you can do both.

juneau Fri 12-Oct-12 17:53:39

You've BF him for 18 weeks! That's a wonderful achievement and so much more than most mums in this country manage. You should feel proud of yourself, particularly as you've both obviously struggled, but you didn't give up at the first sign of a problem - you persevered. You've given him a wonderful gift that will set him up for life, so be kind to yourself.

SwivelHips Fri 12-Oct-12 21:26:53

18 wks is such a long time with the difficulties you've had.
You've done so much better than me, I gave up EBF at 7wks and now mix feed. I was very low and couldn't take it anymore. My little boy is thriving and happy, loves his bottles and loves his breastfeeds. I'm no longer the miserable mother that I was, down in the dumps all the time and now have much more confidence well with everything really.
You've given him a wonderful start so now you need to look after yourself.

whatinthewhatnow Fri 12-Oct-12 21:50:27

18 weeks is amazing! I think 4 and half months sounds like ages. loads of babies are already on the jars by 18 weeks, and your baby has had nothing but breastmilk? That's a fricking achievement lady!

I know this is easy to say and hard to do, but don't put pressure on yourself and upset yourself over which milk your baby has from now on.

If you're depressed please do go and see someone. You really need to look after yourself - your DCs will thrive with a happy mum, and you should be happy just for yourself too, so make sure that you are getting yourself all the help you need. There is loads out there, as I'm sure you know.

I liked what dinosaur said, actually. She sounds very sensible.

Jojoba1986 Fri 12-Oct-12 22:05:37

Just want to commend you on being a good enough mum to put aside your initial concerns about ff & actually do it when your DC needed it! I should have done it much sooner than I did! I opted for solids at 17 weeks to try to boost DS's intake as his weight was dropping through the centiles! He continued to drop while being bf & having some solids until we were referred to the paediatrician & given high energy milk! He's now on a higher centile for his weight than his length & there is a part of me that regrets being so stubborn & insisting that my body should be able to give him what he needed!
Well done you for being strong enough to not be stubborn! wink I know it's awful when you feel like you're not doing what you feel is the absolute best for your baby but sometimes the best thing isn't necessarily what our ideal would be! Stay strong & keep paying attention to what your baby needs! You're doing a good job of that already so you have nothing to feel guilty for!

belindarose Sat 13-Oct-12 08:04:48

How are you feeling today? I don't have any constructive advice but wanted to offer support. And we're in almost exactly the same situation. Do you have a DH for support at the weekend? X

DinosaurSchool Sat 13-Oct-12 09:37:53

tiktok actually when I decided to stop bf-ing and move to formula my HV visited and seeing how distraught I was used that exact line that I did above about how formula is not "dirty ditch water" and is an acceptable way to feed your baby. And you know what? It made me feel better, so despite clearly being well informed about many things to do with breast feeding you cannot know how people will respond to what posters say. Why should I not feel free to post something that I found helpful when deciding to give formula? You can speak from your perspective and I from mine. The OP can decide what she finds useful or otherwise.

DinosaurSchool Sat 13-Oct-12 09:39:32

whatinthewhatnow thank you.

tiktok Sat 13-Oct-12 09:47:19

Dinosaur, you are free to post whatever you like smile I am just expressing my opinion of phrases used in this situation - no need for you to take offence. My plea for certain phrases to be 'banned' or 'rested' was clearly ironic and not intended to be taken literally.

I'm glad the phrase helped you.

I happen to think it is missing the point of most people's concerns, and explained why. But as you say, the OP can take what she finds is helpful and ignore the rest.

Grumpla Sat 13-Oct-12 09:58:53

Just to say I know exactly how you feel. I so desperately wanted to BF both my boys and couldn't manage it. With DS1 particularly I struggled on expressing full time for months. With Ds2 I didn't had that option as I had DS1 to look after as well. I shed a lot of tears over it. And felt very murderous towards a lot of people who tried to tell me it didn't matter. Because it did matter, to me. I wouldn't have carried on trying whilst chunks of nipple fell off if it hadn't bloody mattered would I!?!?

But... Now, they are 3.5 and 8 months old respectively and they are both thriving. They both got a good start with all the colostrum and a fair whack of expressed milk on that. And they are both big healthy lads. I am very, very lucky. And I don't feel so sad about it any more.

Don't forget that your hormones are still all over the place, I bet you're not getting much sleep, and this is the first big challenge to how you thought parenting would be. But succeeding at parenting is not about being able to predict what will happen, make a plan and stick to it. It is about rolling with the punches, learning to get yourself through unexpected situations and then teaching your children to be able to do the same.

You have not let your baby down. You need to be kind to yourself now, and get some support so you can carry on being a good mum. If you are anything like me, asking for help is far more difficult than struggling alone - but we signed up to do the difficult thing when we decided to have kids instead of a sports car grin

You will feel better soon. Stay strong. smile

smk84 Sat 13-Oct-12 10:30:33

Thank you so much everyone,I am so encouraged by your posts. I don't know anyone who is passionate about ebf who hasn't managed it so it really helps to know others have been through it and understand. I want to reply individually but I am struggling to type this cos ds2 is asleep on me.... So will be back later...

Flojo1979 Sat 13-Oct-12 10:39:54

I really hate how much pressure mums feel under to breast feed. Everyone gets told breast is best so much, and actually in a lot of cases it just isn't.
I desperately wanted to BF my PFB to 9 months but as he was 10lb7oz at birth, he just fed constantly, and was always hungry. I struggled and struggled, feeding him for about 20 hrs a day.
He was miserable and I was shattered and had no life. When I gave him that first bottle (at 4 months) I felt dreadful, but that 1 bottle a day made a huge difference. Then I started weaning at 5 months and he was a lot fuller and happier.

SirBoobAlot Sat 13-Oct-12 12:07:32

Just wanted to give you a big hug.

You have exclusively breastfed your baby till 18 weeks - that is fantastic, and you should so be proud of yourself. This doesn't mean you have to stop breastfeeding, and it also doesn't mean it has to be forever - I know plenty of mums who have give a bottle (either of EBM or formula) for a while, and then dropped it for various reasons.

It is okay to feel the way you're feeling - try not to fight it or rationalise it, just accept it.

hefner Sat 13-Oct-12 15:24:40

Just wanted to say that I understand how you feel. I started giving DD formula at around 18 weeks when she dropped below the 0.4th centile and I felt awful about it despite everyone saying I'd done really well, formula is fine etc. etc.

We ended up giving 2 bottles of formula a day for a couple of months in addition to BF, dropped one once she was eating breakfast, and dropped formula completely at about 8 months. Giving some fomula definitely doesn't have to mean the end of BF - DD is 15 months now and I'm still BF. Looking back, I can see that giving formula was absolutely the right decision for us but it still felt horrible at the time. Feeding problems are so stressful, be kind to yourself.

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