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How to transition from BF to Formula without tears?...

(12 Posts)
flamingnora Fri 11-Jul-08 21:53:11

DD is 5 and a half months & was fully BF until 3 days ago when I dropped her 2 o clock BF & replaced with a bottle of formula. I need to get her fully off BF within 3 weeks as I return to work then (and cannot BF - job much too full-on for that). What's the best way to do this without my hormones crashing, my boobs exploding & my DD getting truly miserable & disorinentated. I'm feeling genuinely sorry about stopping BF as it's been such a positive experience for us both - but the time has come...

beansprout Fri 11-Jul-08 21:54:29

Can you b/feed in the mornings and evenings? This might be easier for you both? smile

hellabell Fri 11-Jul-08 22:09:25

DS is 4.5mo and I only BF first thing am and about 3pm, so am sure it would be OK for you to keep a couple of feeds on the go for a while longer if you wanted... concentrate on getting her happy on formula throughout the day while you'll be unavailable, maybe drop a feed every 3-4 days? Daytime feeds might have been cutting down soon anyway as weaning takes off... I know I really could stop BF my DS completely now, but I'M too emotionally attached to it, I know how you feel and it's hard sad Be prepared for some major hormone adjustment that could leave you suddenly weepy (I got that with DD when I stopped feeding her at 5.5mo)

flamingnora Fri 11-Jul-08 22:25:08

I'll be leaving the house at 7am and returning at 7pm every day. Not an option to BF alas. I LOVE doing it for the convenience and the wonderful closeness but I am feeling stressed out enough about going back to work without worrying that I need to be expressing milk or scurrying home earlier than usual to feed her! What I was getting at is when should I drop the next feed? And then the next one? I think the hormonal changes might be happening already as I found myself weeping at Mama Mia today at Mum & Babies cinema - how else can you explain it?!

Pannacotta Fri 11-Jul-08 22:32:08

But even if you work such long hours (poor you), can you not do just the morning and bedtime feeds and give formula at other times? 7pm is not that late for a bedtime feed at 6 months.
Would be easier for you both, much less hormonal and a nice way to begin the day and to bond after a long day apart.

mears Fri 11-Jul-08 22:32:43

You will not be able to get her fully weaned off the breast in 3 weeks and your milk production stopped.

What you can do is drop a feed every few days once you feel your breasts have adjusted. You may find that you need to express for comfort when you return to work.

Can you not express at least once at work for comfort? You are entitled to time at work specifically to express you know.

You could still breastfeed on days off if you want, if you enjoy it so much.

It will be a rollercoaster of emtions to stop completely so you might be better to concentrate on your comfort than complete cessation. That will come later.

The alternatie is to start formula completely and just express over the next 3 weeks when you are overfull. You can give her the EBM. Too drastic an option for me though.

Bimblin Fri 11-Jul-08 22:44:38

I leave the house at 7.30 and return at 6.30 and feed then, overnight and morning, and express once in the day, also difficult with work and have to scuttle to M&S bottle room for half hour session with noisy medlea electric and Heat. I hate it and am waiting for M&S to tell me to bugger off and stop using their room but will keep doing it til they do.
Anyway - am finding it do-able - in case that helps. If not, drop each feed every few days, and hand express when too painful. I've found ds now feeds much more overnight and less in the day. I co-sleep so its not so bad sleepwise and some days he just has EBM and has no formula at all.
Don't do it suddenly though, it'll hurt and leaking at working (or having pneumatic boobs) might be tricky grin

flamingnora Fri 11-Jul-08 22:59:37

Oh Bimblin! Respect to you - that is wonderful that you're able to do that but if I have a client lunch or a full day with a client (which I'll have at least once a week) it'll be out of the question for me to express. I think I will drop a second feed tomorrow and then drop another after another 4 days or so. So far my boobs have responded pretty well to dropping the 2 o clock feed (fingers crossed!). Trying to have even more cuddles and closeness with DD when not BF her to compensate - think it's me who misses that even more than she does!

Bimblin Fri 11-Jul-08 23:18:51

Yeah well - baby will cope - they will have constant adjustment to get used to. Just think the positive - you are providing a good example that mummies work, not just that daddies go to work and mummies stay at home. Needs must and all! Good luck

NellyTheElephant Sat 12-Jul-08 00:07:41

Hi, I stopped bf DD2 just before 6 months and did it completely (from exclusive bf to exclusive formula) in about a week. I know the standard advice is to drop a feed a week, but I did it slightly differently, once I had managed to get DD2 to take a bottle at all (a whole other story) I'd give her half a feed (I knew she'd generally take about 7 - 8 oz in total at each feed), I'd make up 4 oz of formula, once she'd had that I put her to the breast for as long as she wanted. The next day I offered 5oz in the bottle before bf, the next day 6 oz, then 7 oz so each day she was taking less and less milk from me as a 'top up' at each feed. After about a week I stopped offering the breast after each feed and just offered once or twice more over the next few days after a bottle feed if I was feeling a bit of discomfort. My milk supply dropped off a cliff this way and I didn't have any issues at all with pain or explosions!

With DD1 I did the 'drop a feed a week' method and found it much more painful and uncomfotable (and longer drawn out so more mad and hormonal - I found stopping bf a HUGE hormonal weepy challenge - but maybe that's just me!)

NellyTheElephant Sat 12-Jul-08 00:12:07

Just to be clear - I offered the formula first at each feed, so I was reducing all feeds simultaneously.

lilolilmanchester Sat 12-Jul-08 00:27:50

About to be kicked off computer by DH wanting to go to bed, so no time to read all the posts. So will just share my experience...
Neither of my DCs ever had a bottle. Both went from breast to cup (at 7 months), and it wasn't easy, but given that neither DC
would ever, ever take a bottle, seemed no point in doing the bottle battle. With hindsight, it was the best thing to do. No bottle to wean off, ever. I gave breast milk first thing in the morning and last feed at night. Job was also full on but could usually manage at least one of the feeds and unless you are away overnight you should be able to manage to fit your work schedule around waking and bedtime feeds.
bottom line is, it's hard to give up BF, no matter when you do it. Cherish the closeness you had while feeding, but I always tried to tell myself my responsibilities as a Mum were not just to do all the textbook feeding stuff, but to nurture a happy, well balanced child, wtih a happy, well-balanced Mum. Achieving this will always demand compromise, as you are just finding out. MN always here to help you(even if some of us are a bit pissed at this time of night!!!)

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