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Switching from breast to bottle feeding - milk issues

(16 Posts)
mandy99 Mon 23-May-05 22:35:59

Hello I've decided to switch my six week old boy from breast feeding to bottle feeding because of several things. The problem is that I cant seem to get any advice from anyone on how to switch. My public nurse was no help at all (muttered something about lazy parents and then changed the subject) and every website i go to seems to just berate parents for choosing the bottle. I know that breast is best, but I honestly have thought long and hard about this. Anyway, my question is this... *how do I go about switching from breast to bottle* My son has already been drinking EBM from a bottle once a night since he was three weeks old, so I dont have a problem with him taking a bottle. Its just...since I've started to switch from breastfeeding to bottlefeeding my breasts have become rockhard and i'm worried about mastitis. I cant express because I want my milk to dry up :-(

Any suggestions anyone please? I'm at the end of my rope and am not enjoying motherhood at the moment.

Thanks

starlover Mon 23-May-05 22:38:13

express a small amount when your boobs are very full to take the pressure/pain away.
that way your supply will gradually diminish.

can i ask why you are giving up? i am also having a hellish time with breastfeeding at the moment!

aloha Mon 23-May-05 22:39:05

I think it's best to drop the breastfeeds slowly, adding more formula feeds as you go. So you dont' stop abruptly.
I think if you just stop you will be very uncomfortable. Why do you want to stop so suddenly?
Well done for getting to six weeks, but really if you were to stick with it, it gets much easier from here on in, honestly it does!
Also you could mixed feed -giving some feeds by breast and others by bottle. I just say that because not everyone knows that is possible.

aloha Mon 23-May-05 22:39:44

Starlover, so sorry to hear that. How is it atm?

mears Mon 23-May-05 22:49:05

mandy99 - if you have truly decided you do not want to continue, you can do 3 things.

You can stop completely but you will have extremely engorged breasts for a few days which will gradually improve over a few weeks. You are right that you may develop mastitis this way though. You need to wear a firmly supporting bra and you could use cabbage leaves (savoy is best) from the fridge. You put them in your bra and they help relieve the engorgement.

The other alternative is to drop a feed every 2 or 3 days. This allows your body to wind down milk production. You might actually find that you enjoy the breastfeeds that you do when the pressure if off to do them all.
This method obviously takes longer but prevents severe engorgement.

The other thing you can do is switch baby to formula and express for comfort when your breasts are really uncomfortable. It is a myth that you cannot express. There is some evidence that expressing your breasts completely a few times does not cause a massive upsurge in milk. Although you are still stimulating your breasts with a pump, it is no where near the same as actually breastfeeding directly. If you choose to do that I would certainly give the expressed milk to babe.

Is mixed feeding a total no no for you?

starlover Mon 23-May-05 22:49:19

think i have thrush again aloha!!!
ds has been b/f over the weekend but he'll have a bit and then cry and refuse point blank.
Have had some luck feeding him when he is very sleepy though LOL

when i feed him he will have a few sucks and then look up and grin at me! this can go on for easily half an hour, with him on and off the boob continually. then he just gets cross and i give him the bottle. it has been difficult as we have been staying with dp's family for the weekend, so will try persevering at home for a while, and gradually lowering the amount of formula he gets!

sorry for hikacking thread Mandy!

aloha Mon 23-May-05 22:53:40

Oh poor you Starlover! How incredibly frustrating it sounds. I can hardly believe you have persevered so long - respect!
Get some Diflucan if you have thrush, maybe.
My dd behaves a bit like that sometimes...bobbing on and off and grinning and then making really strange growling noises but I just carry on and she does have a relaxed feed eventually. I don't know what I'd do if she didn't.

starlover Mon 23-May-05 22:59:02

yes, will be off to the doctors again! they're sick of me i'm sure, and ds won't be pleased to be put back on the nyastatin... but never mind!

i am so close to giving up... but keeop telling myself just to carry on for another week... fingers crossed!

mears Mon 23-May-05 23:01:22

Hope things improve some more for you Starlover. Agree with Aloha about Diflucan if you feel it is comin back. Another thing to do is drink Actimel every day - boosts your defences against thruch. Did you try Domperidone out of interest?

ps sorry for highjacking thread too

starlover Mon 23-May-05 23:04:03

will pick some actimel up tomorrow then!
haven't tried the domperidone yet, but aloha has kindly offered me some!

(have CAT you re that btw aloha)

mears Mon 23-May-05 23:06:06

Hopefully you will get on better at home starlover - must be difficult with others around even though they are family.

ps multifruit Actimel tastes the best to me.

starlover Mon 23-May-05 23:08:30

thanks for the tip! think i will have a few days at home so we can get back into the swing of things.
he is more amenable to the boob if I catch him before he gets too hungry, but also prone to "messing around" a bit more... but I figured even if he has just a little bit at least he is getting used to being back on the boob

mandy99 Tue 24-May-05 10:44:29

Thanks for the help everyone. I'm giving up breastfeeding because from day one my son hasnt really taken much milk...he hasnt put on enough weight each week either and is constantly trying to feed but doesnt seem to be able to take enough milk. When I give EBM in a bottle he takes it all easily so the doctor thinks that giving bottles will be the healthier option. I know that I could express and give that milk to him but I'm also returning to work in two weeks and I think the easier option is to go onto formula feedings.

believe me I really dont want to do this...I've tried all the ways to get him to breastfeed successfully, and my aunt runs a breastfeeding clinic in my home town and has been helping me...nothing seems to work.

And to top it all off I know feel really bad about stopping the breastfeeding...I feel guilty as hell about it but as long as my son is happy and healthy then thats the only important thing isnt it?

Thanks agian everyone - starlover...hope everything gets better for you soon!

lovelybird Tue 24-May-05 11:21:25

Good advice from everyone just wanted to add my bit too!
I breastfed exclusively for 6 weeks and then did mixed feeding for a further 6 weeks until DS was 12/13 weeks and since then he is on formula.
What worked for me was giving up slowly, and it did take 6 weeks to stop completely. You could try breastfeeding for a short time so that you express some milk and don't have the fullness and the pain and then give a bottle. Your boobs will start to produce a smaller amount of milk and then you could start missing a breastfeed in the day and giving a bottle feed instead. Expect it to take at least four weeks. I only breastfed when my boobs were really full and that did become less and less until I was only doing 2 feeds a day (morning and evening, and then 1 and then every couple of days before stopping completely. Most importantly DON'T feel guilty. As long as your baby is happy and getting milk, and you can see they are putting on weight they will be OK. They won't care where their milk comes from, you need to be happy with feeding YOUR baby. It's what works best for you as a family. Good Luck.

aloha Tue 24-May-05 11:33:06

Do you want to stop breastfeeding? If you do, then great, but I would really advise you to do it gradually over the next few weeks.
If not, then you have two options, to ignore your doctor (they can be pretty ignorant) and just feed your baby whenever he wants feeding. I'm not sure what 'enough' weight means for you. If your baby is gaining, seems well and alert, poos and wees well then you have enough milk for him. But that might all seem too stressful which is obviously important too.
Or you could mixed feed if you think that might make you feel happier. ie give your baby a morning and evening breastfeed and feed as much as you and he want at weekends, and give formula the rest of the time. This might help if you do feel sad about stopping breastfeeding altogether, especially if you are going back to work. Are you going back f/t?

starlover Tue 24-May-05 11:38:52

Mandy... i am mixed feeding at the mo (as you probably have gathered)... I had supply issues and am currently working on giving DS a morning and evening feed (although getting him to have a go at each feed as well to boost supply)...

I found it incredibly stressful, especially when expressing. I made the decision to switch to formula completely and felt SO relieved.
It is only due to the great advice, and lovely people, on here that I am carrying on!

I feel really guilty for not b/fing exclusively... but as you say a happy mum, and a healthy happy baby is the ultimate goal! And if that means formula feeding then that's absolutely fine.

Ditto what aloha said about your baby being happy and alert, and poo-ing/wee-ing ok...
You could try spending a few days doing NOTHING but relaxing, and feeding him on demand and getting lots of skin-to-skin to see if that helps?

Honestly though, please don't beat yourself up over it. It is SO complicated, and no-one tells you all this before you have the baby!!!! I still don't really know if I am doing stuff right, or if I will be able to carry on b/f.... but once I relaxed about it it all seemed a lot easier!!!

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