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My sister is mix feeding her baby - is it really that bad? or shall I leave her to it?

(15 Posts)
FeelingDeviant Fri 25-Jul-08 20:03:20

My sister has a 3 week old baby who she is topping up with formula. this all started because the baby lost 16% of birth weight and was dehydrated.

Sister has been advised that it's okay to top up if baby seems unsettled after a feed. I tell sister that I don;t think top ups are good idea and try to explain supply/demand thing and ideally baby should be exclusively breastfed until 6 months, but she doesn't want to hear.

I do think that if she's happy with mixed feeding, then fine.
BUT, my SIL mixed fed and both her DCs have severe excema (sp?) If it weren't for this, I'd just let my sister get on with what she thinks is best for her baby.
Don;t want to press the issue because know what it's like to be hormonal after birth, but don't want to sit back in case my little niece does develop excema.
Also, both myself and my other sister have breastfed our babies with little difficulty. Don;t want to seem we're rubbing my sister's nose in it for breastfeeding.

BTW - my sister is not the type to phone up breastfeeding consultants (which has been suggested to her) or to do a kellymom search. I'm seeing her on Sunday and have said I will give her some leaflets about benefits of excl bfeeding in case she changes her mind.

Is this enough action by me? Don't really want to interfere.

Thisismynewname Fri 25-Jul-08 20:05:01

Probably all been said on this thread which is current.

butwhybutwhy Fri 25-Jul-08 20:06:38

I would leave her to it if she is happy.

If she wasnt happy then it would be different.

How on earth do you know that mixed feeding has caused your niece/nephews excema?

thisisyesterday Fri 25-Jul-08 20:08:39

I think that if she is happy doing it then there isn't much more you can say.
you could always print some stuff off from kellymom, and also google virgin gut (preserving this is the main reason for exclusively breastfeeding) and print some stuff off.

that way at least you know she is making an informed decision

thisisyesterday Fri 25-Jul-08 20:09:57

butwhybutwhy, OP hasn't said that she thinks the mixed feeding has CAUSED excema.
but it could be linked.
and if the person in question can exclusively breastfeed then it is best for baby.

obviously that choice is hers to make though, but I suspect the OP just wants her to be well informed

berolina Fri 25-Jul-08 20:12:03

First, mixed feeding does not mean your niece will develop eczema, nor that your SIL's children have eczema 'from' mixed feeding. However, it is of course correct that (complete or partial) ff does have risks and allergic conditions are part of that. It is also, sadly, the case that 'topping up', particulrly with bad advice/support (which it sounds a bit like your sister has ), can impact negatively on supply, especially at this early stage, and eventually lead to the end of bf. IIWY, if I said anything*, I would not be focusing on the 'benefits' of excl bf (= really the risks of ff), as that may well cause her to switch off, rather on the mechanics of bf and, importantly, the impact of that on the top-ups.

*Because it is, of course, as you say, none of your business really - although crap support to bf should be all of our business - and if she is confident in her choice and understands its disadvantages you are going to have to leave it.

berolina Fri 25-Jul-08 20:12:39

the impact on that of the top-ips.

Thisismynewname Fri 25-Jul-08 20:13:01

Meant to say - I've got asthma, is that because I was breastfed? hmm

Jojay Fri 25-Jul-08 20:14:28

I think it's a HUGE and unreasonable assumption on your part to think that mix feeding caused excema in your SIL's kids - there can be umpteem reasons why kids develop excema. Breast feeding cannot change your genes.

If she asks for your help / opinion, then give it. If not, stay out of it. It's a hard enough job having a tiny baby without being made to feel like you're doing the wrong thing, and some breast milk is better than none at all.

FeelingDeviant Fri 25-Jul-08 20:36:29

Thanks for all these immediate thoughts.
No, I have no evidence that my SIL's DCs have eczema because of mixed feeding. In fact, I know some children who have been exclusively bf and have eczema.

Will go with my gut instinct to leave her with what she's happy doing, good to have a second opinion on this though ... or six opinions in this case.

pudding25 Fri 25-Jul-08 20:36:45

My baby has already developed excema. She is 10 weeks old, started getting it at 4 weeks and is breastfed. I had it as a child and it is usually hereditary.

I echo the jojay, if she wants your help and advice, that is one thing. There is nothing more irritating and rude than someone venting their views on to someone else. Formula is not poison. Everyone I know was fed on formula as a child and they are all fine. While there is no denying that breastmilk is better, there is no reason to make your sister feel like crap when she has enough stress and exhaustion with a newborn.

zwiggy Fri 25-Jul-08 20:45:06

Have you got any books you could lend her? If you do give her advice, tell her beforehand that she is of course quite welcome to ignore you or tell you to piss off.

I am very pro bf but have now got a baby that won't take anything other than breast and I have to go back to work and am having a real stress, so sometimes there are pros and cons that you don't think of.

cafebistro Fri 25-Jul-08 20:50:51

I would definately leave your sister to it and not get involved. if she's happy mixed feeding then thats ok. She will do whats best for her at the end of the day anyway. She probably wont thank you for if she asks you for advice thats different and you could tell her your opinion.

AuntyJ Fri 25-Jul-08 21:08:49

please leave her be you have already given advice and your own words doesnt want to know.
I struggled to bf dd but as there is a history of eczema and asthma on DH side I struggled on but she still developed eczema.
The constant badgering by my sil with word of advice pamphlets when I said I was planning to mix feed to get a break sent me in a downward spiral where a lacked confidence as a parent and i felt as if i was killing my child with formula.
Please dont put you sister through that.

FeelingDeviant Fri 25-Jul-08 21:47:36

don't worry.
have decided to absolutely let her be. it's none of business.
will only give advice if she asks for it

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