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I am so confused...!

(6 Posts)
coveredinsnot Sun 28-Dec-08 21:23:38

I'm in such a fuddle I don't even know where to begin... I've been bfing my nearly 10 month old son pretty much exclusively since he was born. We were 100% exclusively bfing until about 6months, when he started getting all fidgety and I got fed up of exposing my boobs in public so now I bottle feed him when we're out and about. The trouble is, I just feel now that my boobs aren't producing much milk. I know they are producing a bit, but I can breast feed him and I hardly hear him swallow anything at all, and then if I top up (bad me) with formula, he really gulps it down... why doesn't this happen when I breastfeed? I know I probably sound stupid for not knowing what's what by now... but I'm really thinking I should just switch to formula because I just think he gets a few sips worth from the boob and that's it. I've never had a strong let down sensation, but whatever I did have just isn't there any more either. Hmmm...

Also, he wants to feed a lot at night, and I'm exhausted, and I wonder whether if I fed him a bottle in the night he would wake less...

I don't want to stop, but I feel now that I'm continuing for my sake and not his. He's happy with a bottle, although I know he likes to snuggle up to a boob at bedtime, but the rest of the time he's not bothered.

Don't even know what I'm asking really, just a bit of advice, or if someone has been in the same boat it would be good to know what you have done.

thisisyesterday Sun 28-Dec-08 21:27:37

well, 6 months is a prime time for distractibility. a lot of babies get very interested in what's going on around them and find they just want to look about, even when on

also, most babies will take a bottle if offered one, even straight after a BF. this is NO indication that he isn't getting enough milk. but of course if you keep doing it you will produce less because he'll be taking less milk from you and your body won't know to make it.
if that makes sense?

feeding a lot at night.. also normal. ds2 was feeding 2 hourly at night or more at 9 months. we managed to introduce a dummy, which cut down the feeds a bit but did not stop him waking 2 hourly. just meant I could pop dummy in instead of feeding him.
so, I wouldn't assume that giving formula will make him sleep longer at all. it isn't usually about hunger at this age but about wanting comfort

persoanlly, if it were me, I would ditch the formula and just stick with boob. it's a lot easier. he'll let you know if he's hungry. and if he does you just need to offer boob again

I'm not an expert, but from what I know of the physiology of breasfeeding, night feeding is how the baby will boost your supply as the hormones involved on milk production are more plentiful at night.

Him gulping down a bottle is no indicator that he hasn't had milk as I've read on here before, and have been told by a BFC that even babies who have had a good BF will gulp down a bottle afterwards as it comes out very easily.

I know from experience that that giving a bottle at bedtime is no guarantee of the baby sleeping through at night.

I think wanting to continue BFing is for his sake in the long term as BM is the best and most appropriate thing for him. you shouldn't feel bad about wanting to give him the vert best start in life and what nature intended him to have.

the formula top ups will have affected your supply to some extent, but you should be able to get things back to exclusive BFing if you want to, with some help and advice, as well as a bit of dedication from yourself.

and re the letdown; not everyone gets a sensation of letdown and if they do it can vary from woman to woman. My sis never felt it at all, but to me it's like someone tightening a steel band around my boob.

I suppose what it comes down to is whether you feel you have the will to continue or not. Getting to 10 months, whether mixed or exclusive means you are in a minority in this country and no mean feat in my opinion. You should congratulate yourself for getting this far.

I gave up with my DD at 10 months as well as I was pregnant and my supply was dwindling as well as it being very painful. I wanted to continue, but she stopped nursing and it kind of made the decision for me. I was sad and disappointed, but she is a happy healthy toddler and I'm proud of my achievement.

Good Luck, whatever you decide smile

coveredinsnot Mon 29-Dec-08 21:17:03

Thanks, I will try to keep breastfeeding for as long as I can - I know if I gave up now I'd feel sad about it, as I want to get to at least 12 months, plus I do actually enjoy breastfeeding. Thanks for your advice. I think he may be going through a growth spurt at the moment, plus teething, and perhaps he's trying to get my supply up by feeding more at night. It's so hard to know!

kathryn2804 Mon 29-Dec-08 23:35:46

Try to ditch the formula if you can. If he's not satisfied, just stick him back on the breast, even if it's only 10 mins since he last fed!! You will still get milk. the more you latch your baby on, the more milk you produce!

When you feed during the day, try to do it in an unintereting place, lights low, etc, then you should get a better feed oput from him. If you want to bottle feed when out, make sure it's expressed. The expressing will take the place of the feed and so you will not lose your milk supply.

coveredinsnot Tue 30-Dec-08 18:39:06

Problem is, I seem to be one of those unfortunate women who is crap crap crap at expressing! Only get 2 ounces out at a squeeze, I know this is normal, but to be honest, I'm going back to work in 2 weeks, he will have to have formula during the day as there's no way I'm going to be able to express what he needs for a day at nursery... I think I'll have to succumb to daytime formula and night time boob...

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