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Any other bottle feeders out there? I need some moral support!

(27 Posts)
wonderingmum Mon 02-Jun-08 14:08:16

For a variety of reasons too long to report here, I am having to move from bf to ff for my DD1. I'd love to continue bf but it's just not feasible at this point, but the pressure to keep doing it is doing my head in! Any other formula feeders out there who can let me know that DD1 will thrive even though she is no longer bf?

wonderingmum Mon 02-Jun-08 14:09:06

I forgot - she's 9 weeks and counting!

Ellbell Mon 02-Jun-08 14:17:04

Hi wonderingmum. I too would have dearly loved to have bf my dd1, but had to give up at about 6 weeks. It was hard (and in some ways I still regret it, looking back, and wonder if thing would have been different if I'd had better advice and so on and so forth...) BUT I can tell you that your dd will be just fine. We all know that 'breast is best', but formula exists for a reason. There are people who, for whatever reason, can't bf, and their babies can and do thrive. Try not to beat yourself up about not bf-ing any more and think about what you can do to give your dd the best start in life (I know it's not the same thing, but I reassured myself that I don't smoke, for example, and barely drink.). In fact, my dd thrived much better once I changed to formula. She was under 6lbs at her 6 week check but gained weight steadily thereafter and was an average weight for her age by the time she was about a year old. She is now 8; very bright, very lively, very healthy, very 'normal' (whatever that means!) for her age in all ways. I do still kind of wish I'd been able to bf her. But I firmly believe that I did the right thing for me and for my dd in the particular circumstances that we were in at the time. That's all that any of us can ever do, really.

Good luck.

Ellbell Mon 02-Jun-08 14:18:30

Ah well... there you go. You managed three weeks more than me. wink

Medowflowers Mon 02-Jun-08 14:19:20

YES ME! smile

I have found I must say IMHO, that mumsnet is not the greatest forum for support if bottle feeding.

I felt terrible after ds1 whent onto bottle, (long story)I would wake in the night and check he was still breathing! He is handsome bright funny sparkly eyed shiny haired little boy.

I know 1 person my age (early 30's)that was breast fed. I cant say he stands out as being super on the strength of it!

Hugs to you smile

SniffyHock Mon 02-Jun-08 14:21:25

It will take you a long time to stop feeling guilty about this but your DD will be absolutely fine. You've done really well to get to 9 weeks too.

My DC were both formula fed - DS from 6 weeks, DD from day 1. They are both happy and healthy. Neither have ever been ill (except for DS who was hospitalised at 2 weeks from dehydration, hence the move to formula) and both are very bright (IMHO!!)

If you really want to continue you can get support but if you don't or can't, please don't worry. Your DD needs you to be happy and healthy too. smile

pinkspottywellies Mon 02-Jun-08 14:23:44

Hello! I'm not a bottle feeder but I'd like to offer you some moral support anyway smile

Like Ellbell says, formula is there for a reason and we're very lucky to live in a society where we have formula as a back up if, for whatever reason, breastfeeding isn't possible. You've given your baby the best start and every feed in these 9 weeks has been beneficial. If you're sure you want/need to give up and feel you've had the advice and help you need then you've got nothing to worry about. Lots of babies are ff for lots of reasons - she'll be fine.

TheUnsinkableMB Mon 02-Jun-08 14:26:58

Well done for managing for so long!
I couldn't bf my dd, so bottle fed from 2 weeks old.
She's coming up to 2 years old, is fit, healthy and thriving

sis Mon 02-Jun-08 14:30:38

I bf ds for 6 weeks and then moved onto ff and was drowning in guilt until a kindly friend pointed out that in the great scheme of things, whether you bf or ff isn't really a huge issue as long as you do your best for your baby.

I am sure you are doing your very best for your dd and feeling guilty won't do either of you any good so try to accept that you have made the right decision for your family and just enjoy your baby.

nickytwotimes Mon 02-Jun-08 14:31:07

I also struggled to bf and had no support. I gave up after a few weeks. I did feel guilty for a long time, but ds did well on it and is a happy healthy kid. Obviously, I'd have preferred to keep up the bfing, but it didn't work out. I still feel close to him and that I am a good Mum to him. We did lots of skin to skin contact to help maintain the closeness. Please don't feel bad. You've done really really well to jhave manged 9 weeks.

lackaDAISYcal Mon 02-Jun-08 14:41:41

I gave up at 6 weeks with my DS, mainly due to lack of support and not understanding what the particular issues were. Like most women, I felt very guilty for such a long time and I think that was a contributing factor in the crippling PND I had, and the depression that I've battled with since.

You know that there is support out there if you did want to carry on, but if you have exhausted all avenues, please be assured that you have done your very best for your DD by going on as long as this, and you now need to do what suits you both as a mum/baby partnership smile.

FWIW though, when I had DD last year, I was determined to give it my best shot, but not to beat myself up about it this time if it didn't work. We lasted for nearly 10 months and really only stopped because I am pregnant again and she went off it and naturally cut down the feeds she was having. I've also come to terms with my failure to feed DS through the information and support I've had on here and on sites like kellymom.

good Luck to you and your DD smile

OiMum Mon 02-Jun-08 15:26:53

Please don't beat yourself up about this. I bf my ds until he was 6 months old and even then I felt terrible for putting him onto formula! I think I would even have felt guilty if I'd bf him for a year!! You clearly love the little one else you wouldn't feel this guilt.

I think it's a shame that formula mums are branded and made to feel so bad about it. If only the world was like a Disney film and the sun always shone and the birds always sang as our mammaries overflowed with milk which our little angels always gobbled down. Sadly not.

It's difficult to separate the emotions from the practicality of matters sometimes- if you can't continue to bf then your only option is formula. He's had a good start, he just wants feeding now.

Give your conscience a rest and know that you are a good mum doing what is best to keep your baby safe and content. Keep your chin up wink.

VictorianSqualor Mon 02-Jun-08 15:49:37

She will be at risk of more illness than Breastfed babies, but you need to look at the positive side.
It sometimes isn't feasible to BF and we are lucky that when it isn't we do have formula milk to turn to.
You have accomplished great things feeding to 9weeks as it is, look here to see what you have already achieved.

If the reasons you are stopping BFing are possibly able to be worked around, ask for help, if not, or you don't want to then take comfort in the good you have already done for your DD.
smile

sophiewd Mon 02-Jun-08 15:51:53

FF dd as can't BF for various reasons, she is now a healthy 2 year old apart from the odd cold.

Louise76 Mon 02-Jun-08 15:52:31

Hello

PLEASE don't feel guilty about giving up bf!! I think that as women we beat ourselves up about everything to do with babies. Yes we all know that breast is best for baby but in my experience it's not necessarily best for mum!

I stopped when my dd was 5 months and I had wanted to give up from when she was 10 weeks so I can't believe I kept going as long as I did. I wanted to make it to 6 mths but I think it was making me ill (tired all the time, losing weight, feeling trapped with my dd, feeling under pressure because only I could feed her etc)

Since I gave up my dd has been fine - she continues to be a happy, healthy baby and if anything is more content because feeding seems quicker and easier both for me and her. I don't know if it is connected to formula feeding but I also find it easier to get her to have a nap during the day. I also feel a million times better both mentally and physically since I gave up. I have my life and my body back and am finally able to enjoy being a mum.

I agree with Medowflowers that mumsnet is not the best place to find support for bottlefeeding and if anything exacerbates the guilt about bf.

Good luck - be proud that you bf for 9 wks!!

lizziemun Mon 02-Jun-08 15:55:35

As others have said before please try not to feel guilty, sometimes we just can't bf for whatever reason.

DD1 was bf for 3 weeks before dh put his footdown and we moved to formula (i was crying in pain everytime i had to feed) and she has never been ill. Is now 4.4yrs and has only had 2 colds.

DD2 was bf from birth (milk never came in) has been a bit more difficult but i am convinced she just doesn't like milk and now she is on solids she is much happier.

wonderingmum Mon 02-Jun-08 20:07:16

Thank you all for the supportive notes. It's a hard choice, but we've been down every support route we reasonably can and I know that the switch will be best for the relationship I am developing with my daughter. Fearing the success or lack of it at each feed doesn't make for a good partnership! But it is really hard to find other ff moms out there - I'm surrounded by bf moms which makes me feel a bit like a pariah!

savoycabbage Mon 02-Jun-08 20:18:45

I couldn't breast feed my baby and I felt so guilty. And a failure. My mother said that it was only one thing that I would have to do in her life. There were millions of other things that I could be a rip-roaring success at and she was right! There are. I have done lots of other things for her brilliantly grin I know it is a really important thing but it is not the end of the world.

SirJimmySeville Mon 02-Jun-08 20:25:49

Times were a bit fraught when I gave up at 8-weeks, but for me it was absolutely the right decision - I started to feel much more capable and happier and certainly less sore. Granted the support I had was rubbish (will try more effective sources if there's a next time), but 3 months later I don't feel remotely guilty about the decision and we're both doing brilliantly.

Martha200 Tue 03-Jun-08 12:31:39

Wonderingmum - be proud of what you have achieved

My ds1 was bf for less than a fortnight, and having bf ds2 for 4mths I realised how poor the support was around me with ds1 and besides other circumstances were not in my favour.

I believe many mums ride the guilt road when they stop bfeeding no matter when they stop. I found remembering the bigger picture of raising children some comfort when it came to stopping bfeeding with ds2. I am ever thankful to Mnetters that I made it to 8weeks, then when I was able to get to bf support group I took the advice I could until I felt I had reached as far as I could go with bf, my mental health was starting to be affected

I sympathise with the pressure you may feel, don't be hard with yourself, take a break from looking at this thread subject if need be (I used to make myself feel even worse by reading more bf threads!!)but your dd is going to need more than bm in life, i.e lots of love, security, fun, laughter, positive discipline, nice meals when weaned, go enjoy being a Mum and do what most of us do, our best, even in the difficult times.

I'd rather you did what it takes to bring up your DD so she thrives and functions within society, yes, even if that means being ff like both of my boys, because quite frankly I want them to meet other stable, happy peers.

wurlywoo Tue 03-Jun-08 21:00:54

Hi, Havent read all of the thread, but just to give my penny's worth as your story is similar to me. I went onto ff after having to stop bf after about 5 wks, it was making me go slightly nuts I think and because dd is my first didnt know how to deal with the feeding in public dilemna. Was scared all the time that if I went out and dd started screaming for food I would look like the worst mum on the earth.

I had a section too so that didnt help but felt an INCREDIBLE amount of guilt and it mad me so sad for a while because I thought I would lose the bond that helped me to bond initially with her after section.

Over time I got through it and with ff it seemed to suit her better probably because i wasn't so stressed at her being on me all afternon lol! In essence moving to ff paved the way for her to sleep through the night too and I would rather have a full nights sleep any day as selfish as it is. I am glad now that I moved to ff as now that I am going back to work it is so much easier. Yes, she has had little bugs and colds but there is nothing to say she wouldnt have got that had I carried on bf, you never know.

So sorry about that essay but I wanted to lend my support, you need to be happy because it will get to you in the end and if bf is becoming a hindrance rather than enjoyment stop and do what is best for you. Although we try and do the best for our babies, we forget ourselves sometimes, remember this is about you too.

I hope that helps..don't ever feel bad about it. (you have done better than me btw to get to 9 wks so credit to you for that!!)

keresley Tue 03-Jun-08 21:06:09

I didn't breast feed either of my children and I don't feel guilty. They are both healthy and well.

kw13 Tue 03-Jun-08 21:51:24

I ff from 5 weeks - and me and my DS (now nearly 2) never looked back. We had both struggled with bf and it was threatening to destroy the beginning of my parenting. I never felt guilty - quite a few people tried to make me feel that way but surely it's what's best for you and your baby that's important? FF can be great, convenient, and I certainly feel that it saved me from a downward spiral. It allowed my DH to easily feed in the night if he wanted to and my DS regularly put on the appropriate amount of weight and then moved on to food etc. I can vividly remember the first bottle my DS had - and it made me cry. As I realized how hungry he had been and how much of a struggle bf had been for him. He literally lapped ff up! Good luck with whatever you choose - it will be the right thing for you.

wurlywoo Tue 03-Jun-08 22:06:12

I echo what kw13 says, dont forget the fact that ff is convenient and it allows the father to be far more involved I know that helped my dp when I gave up bf. He said he had more of a role and we could share the night feeds!! Don't forget also, that you can always see how much they have had with ff!

I agree it saved me also from a downward spiral!

EyeballsintheSky Tue 03-Jun-08 22:09:10

I could never bf dd (20 weeks), not once. She didn't latch on at all. All she ever got from me was about 2oz of ebm at about four days old and that was damn near impossible to squeeze out despite an electric pump.

I have never got over the guilt but it has gone on the back burner. If I think about it, it makes me cry. So I don't think about it. She's fine and dandy and wonderfully happy. That's what matters.

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