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Does anyone know about babies' gut flora?

(18 Posts)
mamakim Thu 13-Aug-09 20:04:36

i've been ready some research online and wondering when it is supposed to be "safer" to give a breastfed baby formula? when does the gut close? i can't seem to get my head around the studies..

Babieseverywhere Thu 13-Aug-09 20:38:30

As far as I can remember, there is little evidence for gut flora and how/if formula solids can cause temp/perm damage to it.

Some people think one formula feed can destroy the gut lining, others say it will rebuilt itself.

What specifically do you need to know ? Maybe one of the experts will be along to give you more information

mamakim Thu 13-Aug-09 20:46:25

I think what i want is not to feel guilty at the thought of giving 14wo dd a bottle of formula. I'm at my wits end with exhaustion of 1.5/2hr feeds day and night. I could cope if i didn't have a very wilfull 24 mo to look after too.

I wish i knew if giving her a bottle would help before doing it. Wish i didn't feel guilty. Sick of people just saying it'll pass, it seems to be getting worse..

Babieseverywhere Fri 14-Aug-09 08:48:14

mamakim, It sounds like things are very difficult for you at the momement. Suffering from lack of sleep and trying to look after children during the day on your own is far from fun

Do you have anyone who can help you out partner, family or friends ?

Have you considered co-sleeping with your 14 week old for say naps and nighttime sleep, so you can nurse lying down and catch up on some much needed sleep then ?

I don't think there is any need to worry about gut damage from formula TBH, but as you mention in your post it is doubtful whether it will help. Plus you are adding buying formula, cleaning and sterlising and cleaning after the feed to your already full day.

If you want someone else to offer this bottle feed, why bnot ask them to help you with the toddler, housework, shopping whilst you nurse the baby.

yawningprincess Fri 14-Aug-09 11:07:30

mamakin- hope you had a better night.

I went through this guilty ridden feeling, I have a 18 month dd and a 12 week old dd. It was simply impossible for me to bf my dd2 for longer than 4 weeks. I exculsively bf my dd1 for 6 months and felt I was doing my dd2 wrong by subjecting her to formula.
However I had to consider the happiness of both my babies, me and my dh.
There were a few tears and obviously my milk going made me emotional, however it was the best decision for me. Everyone is happier now.
I am not saying it is the right decision for you but my dd1 was a natural bf, every 4 hours slept through at 11 weeks etc. My dd2 was a different story- fed every 2hrs for an hour was never happy etc.
The way I looked at it was by bottlefeeding my dd2 didn;t mean I didn't love her as much but instead it enabled me to have more time with my children.

Good Luck with your decision x
Also I found the comfort milks very good. It sepeartes like breastmilk if left standing so that made me feel better- some will say it has no link but just that it seemd to look like ebm made it a bit better

mamakim Fri 14-Aug-09 14:00:27

Thank you Babieseverywhere last night was no better unfortunately. There is no one to help in the day and my dh gets home at around 7.30, he cooks dinner while i put them both to bed then i put my feet up. I co sleep after she wakes for the first night feed but she's so unsettled i feel as though i'm up all night. My reasons for considering the bottle of formula are to fill her up so she sleeps longer - therfore i do. She seems very hungry, can take 7/8oz of ebm in a feed so clearly was an appetite. My ebm stores have now all gone.

I feel like my determination to bf will only mean my ds, my dd (and my dh) will all suffer because of my exhaustion. I feel like a zombie, i didn't even know it was friday today because the days and nights have merged into one. It was an awful lot easier when she was a newborn. It is like i'm simply treading water to get her and him fed everyday.

Yawningprincess I really appreciate you taking the time to post so much. It really is a major guilt trip either way isn't it. Hell, i know i'm not superwoman. My ds is suffering from my shortness, i can't maintain a conversation with my dh. I look like a complete wreck. But everyday i say no i won't give formula today, in the hope it gets better.

Did you start formula all at once or gradually?

shigella92 Fri 14-Aug-09 14:36:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

babyboos Fri 14-Aug-09 14:41:05

according to my midwife it will repair itself but it is affected right up until weaning by any formula and really quite dramtically - leading many women to say why bother BF in the first plcae if I am using formula ut you have to think of other reasons for BF emotional etc you are best to not try to mix if you can but easier said than done i am sure

have you tried expressing? it seems awkward ut once you get into it is so quick and you can do it at same time as feeding so in effectcan cut the number of feeds in half and get someone else then to do the other half if you so desire

Babieseverywhere Fri 14-Aug-09 18:47:29

mamakim, Sadly it has been proven that giving one evening bottle of formula to an breastfed baby will result in less sleep on average a loss of 40 minutes sleep a night.

Hence if your only reason to give this daily bottle of formula is sleep related it would not help your situation.

Link to the research

Maybe co-sleeping from the start of the evening might help slightly, maybe it would mean you don't have to get up and fetch baby from her cot ?

Could you eat early with the children ? Or go to bed early for a few weeks just until you are feeling better. When my baby was little I started going to bed at 7pm just to catch up on sleep.


mamakim Fri 14-Aug-09 19:15:27

Am i right in assuming that the reason formula fed babies' parents get less sleep is because of the making up/heating bottle etc?

Surely if i could give my dd a big bottle of formula before bed chances are she'd sleep longer than an hour for the first stretch of the night hence more sleep for me?

mamakim Fri 14-Aug-09 19:18:38

I mean, i can see if i got up in the night to make up a bottle i would probably get less sleep but that's not what i'm planning on doing.. also is that an average of sleep between parents? because my dh gets 8 solid hours a night.. considerably bumping up our average. Maybe if we got 40 mins less between us i'd feel better??

Littledawley Fri 14-Aug-09 19:28:29

You have done so well to get to 14 weeks - the longest I lasted was 4 weeks. I have 3 children who were formula fed and they are all very happy and healthy. I am not encouraging you to stop bf but please don't tie yourself up in knots if that is the decision you reach. A very good friend of mine successfully fed all of her children until 18 months but gave one bottle of formula a day at bedtime (and she used a dummy!!)

A happy Mummy is a happy baby - do what's right for you smile

mamakim Fri 14-Aug-09 19:53:49

Thanks Littledawley infact the more i think about that research - it's actually nonsense.. If you are awake for a solid hour once in the nigh, you would feel better than being awoken for 10mins x 6 - so the amount of time is pretty irrelevant + 2 people a little sleep deprived is better than one zombie.

Babieseverywhere Fri 14-Aug-09 21:52:24

The study is well constructed (according to Tiktok) so is not rubbish.

That said you have to balance the advantages and disadvantages of adding a bottle at night. Whether your DH is willing to do enough night feeds to enable you to get a decent sleep pattern. Whether the introduction of the formula might mean your baby wakes up for longer or more frequently.

Of course these things depend on your husband and your baby.

Could your husband alter his working hours to give you more of a break in the evening ?

yawningprincess Fri 14-Aug-09 21:57:36

mamakin I stopped completely, emotionally I couldn't mix feed, I tried it with dd1 'the gradual approach at 6 months' however it was hell because every time she fussed at the bottle I would tie myself up in knots and then end up offering the boob anyway.

For me, and I'm not saying it is the right way, I went cold turkey. I bound myself and took co-drydemol my boobs stopped hurting after a week my milk took a month to go.

I think 'sleeping through' is down to the individual baby. DD1 just slept thro at 12 weeks (7pm-7am) dd2 who is 12 weeks now goes (8pm- 7pm) and then back down until 9am. I can't see much difference in their night time sleeping in relation to the way I have fed them. I did follow the EASY routine though:

Activity (1.5 hr max)
You (actually you time!!! but for me it is lovely me and dd2 time!)

Don't ounish yourself, your babies are lucky to have such a caring mommy xx

thisisyesterday Fri 14-Aug-09 21:58:13

the gut closes around 5-6 months, it is def closed by 6 months, that's why it is the suggested age for weaning.
the gut does re-build itself, but not if you keep giving formula/other foods iyswim? if you give a one off bottle then it is said that any damage done will repair itself with exclusive breastfeeding for a couple of weeks

tbh i was in your situation with ds2. he fed every 45-90 mins, round the clock, and i too had a toddler to look after as well
he didn;'t go any longer at night when given a big bottle of EBM, or when he started solids.
i had no more than 2 hrs in a row until he was about a year old!

so, i wouldn't presume that formula will give you a longer stretch, it may not

thisisyesterday Fri 14-Aug-09 22:00:31

btw, i got through it by calling on family/friends as much as poss to help me out.
going to bed at about 7.30/8pm as soon as ds1 was asleep- i'd either co-sleep with ds2, or dp would bring him to me for feeds
i tried to nap during the day if i could- this often meant shutting us all in the sitting room with a dvd on for ds1, while i snoozed on the sofa.

mamakim Fri 14-Aug-09 22:53:18

Thank you so much yawningprincess your post means so much to me right now.

I feel so torn, wondering if i stop/supplement breastfeeding i'll feel as guilty as i do now but in different ways. Why's motherhood just one big guilt trip eh??

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