Tips for moving to FF at 2 weeks(15 Posts)
Have been posting very regularly since DS' (very traumatic) birth just under two weeks ago. Has been a real struggle to get bf started - DS just can't seem to get hold of latching. Have had lactation consultant (who turned out to be a bitch - both times she's called for followup she's said "I'm surprised you haven't got it yet" ), very supportive community midwives and public health nurse, VERY supportive DH and DMIL helping full-time for the past two weeks, and a real determination to bf. DS has been exclusively on expressed milk.
But it's not working. Even with two people supporting me full-time and all the paid help I could get my hands on. And I realised yesterday it was putting me on a fast track to postnatal depression. Very very hard for me to accept given that I had just assumed I'd be able to bf (as had DH and DMIL). I felt like I wanted to die when the GP said it could take 4-6 weeks before DS got the hang of latching. It's completely consumed my life. Even DMIL (very pro bf and trained to be a LLL leader) thought it was time to stop.
So now I'm in the processing of weaning DS fully over to formula. Health visitor has said to cut out one expression/add in a formula feed every other day. Have read some great resources on Kellymom too about this. Any other tips for making this transition as easy as possible - eg making sure DS doesn't get constipated?
Any tips too for dealing with the guilt?
Feel a huge weight has come off my shoulders since making this decision though.
Also just wanted to add that I really appreciate the advice and support of people who have posted messages to me - without Mumsnet I don't think I could've got through these past two weeks.
No advise on transition since DS was formula fed from birth, but just want to say don't beat yourself up about using formula. You are doing what's best for your baby by doing what's best for you right now. Also it's wonderful that the father and other relatives can feed the baby and develop that bond.
I moved DD to ff from bf at 2 weeks, this time last year, for similar reasons. I just did it, One feed boob - next feed bottle of formula. She took it well and was fine. If your DS is already used to a bottle, then whey not just change what's in it?
Guilt - I didn't feel any. I was nurturing DD, had time for DS and protecting my physical (I was very ill after DD was born, and constant expressing or bf wasn't helping my recovery) and mental health. Why feel guilt? Don't feel bad. You are doing what is best for you and your baby.
I can't help with the transition to ff but with regards to the guilt - don't!
You are doing the very best for your child. It is so important your baby has a happy mummy & if that's not achievable bf then you are absolutely doing the right thing.
You've done well to get to this stage & you've given your baby the best start, it's the best kept secret in the world - breast feeding is not easy for everyone & in the main does not come naturally to most women. It can be hard work (I'm currently going through 6 week growth spurt!) & that comes as a shock, it really did to me with DC1 whom I mixed fed.
Now you've made your decision hopefully you'll be able to relax a bit & enjoy your baby.
Don't feel guilty, be happy you can shift your focus elsewhere.
Best of luck.
Oh your poor thing. I don't know your background but it sounds like you've had a rough time.
I had a pretty awful time at the beginning with both my ds' and I suspect posteria tongue tie, coupled with the fact that their mouths are tiny and my nipples are the sizes of dinner plates. I got through it somehow and bfing is now a doddle with ds who is currently something like 20 weeks. Big hungry mouth, efficient feed, convenience - all is good.
With my first, like you I expected to bf and for it to be a bit of a pita but doable. It really wasn't. On day 5 he was on bottles and remained on at least some until week 5 when he used to raise hell when he was hungry and in order to pacify him whilst the bottle was being made, I would let him onto the breast for a bit.
By 10 weeks he spent longer and longer on the breast and then was exclusviely bf until 6months and then alongside solids until 13 months.
Mine's just a story. I'm not telling you what to do. All three of my babies have presented very differently and my feeding them has been very different. I suppose I just wanted you to know that it isn't necessarily a big important decision right now. You can mix and match to some extent and you can go with the flow provided you have the right information about how to avoid blocked ducts and build supply at times when you might want to, and it does sound like you have quite a lot of access to information. support and knowledge.
Thank you all
starlight I don't know whether to try occasionally giving him a boob? Will it just wreck my head again?? Sigh. It breaks my heart to hear him cry when he's hungry and waiting for bottle to warm up - I think, if I could just bf properly he'd be happily suckling away right now
bikerunski do you mean immediately you started alternative bf and ff (ie 11am feed is breastmilk, 2pm feed is formula, 5pm feed breastmilk) etc etc? Not introducing 1 ff every few days? Was that ok on your boobs? I'm bloody sick of expressing...
Zara, In your position I would aim to move to FF. You need to not have the pressure of bfing I think. But when you are relaxed, when it is convenient, when you are watching a film and cuddling your baby, you have have a bit of a snuggly feed - just because. It might hold off that next inconvenient bottle and let you finish the film iyswim.
So kind of no pressure bfing and for your own convenience etc. Then see where it goes. You might lose your supply, you might not. It will all depend on how much you do it and how easy it is once the pressure is off. But if you've made the decision to be a predominately fed FF, then however it turns out won't matter.
zara, have you been feeding to a schedule?
We kind of have a schedule - because DS was dehydrated a bit from problems feeding, hospital and midwives/health visitor say we need to feed him every 3 hours (or, not to let him go 4-5 hours at max without him having anything). He's eating lots and lots (acting like a cluster-fed bf baby I think?) - 100ml expressed every 2 hours or so. A big problem last week was that he was too sleepy to feed or too panicky/screaming to feed. He would (and still does) snaffle up the bottle no problem though.
I want to keep having skin to skin cuddles with DS because it's so lovely. You're right though, I need to have no pressure to bf. But the idea still sticks in my head. Feels like chasing dreams!!
So sorry - I read some of your other threads but couldn't add anything useful. As you are cutting down bf watch yourself like a hawk for mastitis (soreness, redness, tenderness, inflammation or fever) and go straight to drs for antibiotics. I have been to out of hours twice because I couldn't bear to wait over the weekend.
Zara, no I didn't alternate. I just stopped bf completely and went 100% ff. DD was happy, I was happy, boobs were fine.
I also pretty much went cold turkey. I was more or less exclusively expressing (could not get the hang of BF after a difficult forceps delivery, nor could my DS, despite all the help and advice available - numerous BF clinics, private lactation consultants visiting me at home...) for 12 weeks and, eventually, had to stop (it had slowly began to affect my mental state and kept pushing me towards the edge of PND). I kept relieving the pressure in my breasts for a few days (still pumping but maybe only 1-2 a day) as they were rock hard for a bit. Was absolutely petrified I would get mastitis again (had a bout during my expressing phase which left my right breast looking as though it was sunburnt, oozing blisters and all) but luckily didn't.
Guilt was ginormous. Like you, I had bought piles of BF clothing (dresses, tops, vests) as BF was the only way I was going to feed my baby. I bought 2 small bottles just for the sake of it, because, bottles, who needs them if one is going to BF, right? In the end it didn't turn out as planned and from 12 weeks DS has been FF.
You need to give it time to come to terms with it. I still get wobbly if I see a woman BF. But hopefully this will fade away.
No advice and hope you get the feeding sorted soon either way but just wanted to say what a great DH and DMIL! Sounds like they are v supportive, with whatever feeding works for your family, that's really nice and will hopefully ease things for you a bit
Thank you all
bikerunski and balkan I live the sound of cold turkey... But am terrified I'll be unlucky and get mastitis. Trying to stretch out pumps to as far as comfortably possible and pump only to relieve the pressure. DS is happily on about 3 formula feeds a day now, he doesn't seem to care whether its boob milk or Aptamil as long as its warm and gets put in his mouth by way of Avent bottle and not boob. Was trying to pacify him with boob while bottle warming but it just makes him howl with hungry anger - but he will happily take a dummy while he waits!
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