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Really upset by what BFC said- is she right?

(75 Posts)
roslily Wed 07-Oct-09 17:11:50

after a meltdown at weekend (I have PND) my husband gave son some formula. Since then he had one bottle a day, and it has made the world of difference. I want to continue breastfeeding, but the intensity and lack of having a break was causing me to crack.

So rather than give up we made a decision to mix feed.

Today BFC told us that formula will mess up his stomach, and mix feeding can't work as the stomach digests them in two different ways. She implied that I was selfish and that I might as well bottle feed now.

I really want to continue BF, is this impossible?

GhoulsAreLoud Wed 07-Oct-09 17:15:00

Mixed feeding is better for a baby than purely formula feeding.

Blu Wed 07-Oct-09 17:19:49

roslily, poor you.
I am absolutely no expert, but feel sure that the stomach cannot digest things in different ways - it has enzymes that break down whatever is in it, and then passes it into the small intetine!

As I always understood it the only potential issue with introducing mixed feeding is that it interrupts the production of milk because demand isn't as high. But if you are bf regularly, then you should be able to maintain milk production. Once he was of an age, I fed DS morning and night only til he was nearly two, and there was still milk.

She had no business to call you selfish. How very distressing.

Take care of yourself.

FlamingoBingo Wed 07-Oct-09 17:22:08

shock Which organisation trained that BFC? Are you sure it was a BFC? Not a self-appointed BF Advisor or something?

Anyway, it's wrong. Yes, it is true that anything that is not breastmilk will affect the lining of your baby's gut, but it is perfectly possible to mix-feed. Many mothers do it. It can affect your supply, but it's not inevitable, or irretrievable. And any breastmilk is better than none. You are not being selfish.

Would you consider complaining about her?

madwomanintheattic Wed 07-Oct-09 17:22:14

what a lot of nonsense.

mixed feeding is fine - if you are managing to keep up your supply then carry on with what makes sense to you and your family.

i am so cross with militants of every guise who make mothers feel inadequate. grr.

Lulumama Wed 07-Oct-09 17:23:33

it's not impossible , it might make it a bit harder to maintain supply though, how old is your baby?

regardless of whether what she said is facutally correct ( i don't think that it is and nor should you have been left feeling that you are selfish ) you have been upset and this is not professional way to treat mothers

are you expressing? maybe you could express milk for your DH to give ?

bumpybecky Wed 07-Oct-09 17:23:49

formula does change the bacterial balance in the gut, but that happens anyway once they start solids

Ghouls is right, giving some breastmilk is better than giving no breastmilk. If mixed feeding makes that much of a difference to you then go for it.

If you are giving some formula then the supply of breastmilk is likely to reduce, but that's doesn't mean it's the end of breastfeeding. Many Mums carry on mixed feeding sucessfully for months.

Good luck

undercoverelephant Wed 07-Oct-09 17:24:38

Although I never mix-fed my DCs, plenty of my friends did, so I would say it is very possible.
Have you spoken to a MW/HV? (Assuming that as you have PND you are getting some sort of professional support?)
I think if you are willing and able to BF then there is little reason for you not to carry on.

TheCrackFox Wed 07-Oct-09 17:26:45

I didn't mix-feed but know a lot of women who did. Your BFC sounds like she is in the wrong job. What a cow.

BertieBotts Wed 07-Oct-09 17:28:29

shock That is awful! How dare she say that to you? angry

It is not all or nothing, if you are happy to give one bottle a day, do! There are still many benefits to breastfeeding even if it is not the exclusive method of feeding. The only thing is it can affect supply, depending (mainly, amongst other things) on the age of your baby and whether you have had supply problems before.

GhoulsAreLoud Wed 07-Oct-09 17:29:32

I should say I mixed fed successfully for 6 months until I chose to stop b/feeding. DD had one bottle at lunchtime and one before bed and literally spent the rest of her time attached to my nipple for the first four months.

She was one of those feeds-non-stop babies and I felt I couldn't have coped without the respite those two bottles a day gave me. Mixed feeding definitely kept me going when I would otherwise have stopped.

mummywoowoo Wed 07-Oct-09 17:31:55

Your health is also important... !

Mixed feeding isn't the end of the world, plenty of people do it.

As for the selfish comment I'd be tempted to report her for being unprofessional and unhelpful, particularly with your set of circs.

roslily Wed 07-Oct-09 17:33:26

Thanks guys. I have tried expressing, but I don't have time- my son is 4 weeks old and will not be put down without screaming so I can't in the morning, when I am told the milk is best.

I have terrible guilt about giving him even one bottle of formula.

tiktok Wed 07-Oct-09 17:36:47

roslily - which organisation was this BFC from? She should not be saying this, or saying anything in that way. If she was at a group, she may not actually be a trained bfc from one of the vol. orgs, and if she is a peer supporter she has gone beyond her boundaries, for sure. If she belongs to an organisation, you can complain.

I am a breastfeeding counsellor (with NCT). Did she really say the formula will 'mess up' his stomach? In those very words?

Formula is handled by the metabolism in a different way (it's not really true to say the stomach digests it differently). How did she make you feel you were selfish - that's awful.

Mixed feeding can lead to full formula feeding - it's true that anyone choosing this needs to know that formula can replace breastfeeding, even when the mum does not want it to. It can be a tricky business, keeping bf going alongside formula but it can be bottle a day is prob ok, as long as gaps between bfs are not too great. Did she not explain this?

I am really sorry you have had such an upsetting experience

tiktok Wed 07-Oct-09 17:38:51

Guys....I don't think whoever-it-was actually said roslily was selfish. This was the message roslily felt was 'implied'.

That's bad enough of course....the job of a bfc is to make women feel better, and supported, and not judged in this way.

Jujubean77 Wed 07-Oct-09 17:39:33

What a disgusting way to treat you. I am not so surprised though after I had a v similar experience with my BFC.

tiktok Wed 07-Oct-09 17:39:35

Who has told you milk is 'best' in the morning?

You can express at any time!

Tambajam Wed 07-Oct-09 17:40:34

Was this person a trained counsellor or someone doing peer support who may have received only a few hours training? I know it's not what you need right now but if you ever have the chance to find out which organization she was trained with it would be really valuable for future mums if her supervisor was informed.

Giving some formula does change your baby's gut flora which does have some effect(I can only imagine that's what she was thinking of) but there are a MILLION reasons why you should still breastfeed. The stomach does not 'digest in 2 different ways'! Your baby will still receive a whole host of benefits if you are mixed feeding. You certainly have no reason to give up. Just keep an eye on supply as others have mentioned and you may need to watch out for cluster feeding and growth spurts particularly. Sometimes if a mum gives formula in the early evenings and the baby doesn't naturally cluster feed it can have a greater effect on supply.

clouiseg Wed 07-Oct-09 17:41:47

Oh roslily poor you!


I see that she was trying to make a point about mixed feeding as BF advocates tend not to recommend it, but I myself mixed fed. Countless women do. The reason is irrelivant, the fact is YOU are the mum, you do not have to tolerate that from anyone. Also YOU know what is best for your situation and should never feel the need to justify yourself.

That you are offering one bottle a day can alter your supply as *lulumama said. Basically, every for every FF you offer in a day your supply will diminish a little more. HOWEVER this does not mean you are selfish or that you need to give up BF!! Thats a hideous thing she told you!

Some women go to work and just give a BF at night...mixed feeding is more common than you think. And aside from that, in hospital, my dd was topped up with formula WITHOUT my knowledge while I had an xray, and yet I was meant to be exclusively breastfeeding.

There is the odd pitfall to mixed feeding. Occasionally there can be nipple confusion as the teat feels different to the nipple. Also the breast can flow slower than the teat causing a grumpy baby on the boob! shock! In my case neither of these were an issue, but just in case you werent aware...forewarned is forearmed!!

As for the tummy the only thing I noticed was the odd poo's, lots of different colours and textures!! As long as lo seems to poo ok then no worries.

Please don't take the negative feedback onboard. xxx

roslily Wed 07-Oct-09 17:47:42

Midwife told me to do it in morning! If I can do it anytime, then maybe that is problem solved.

She said "formula is digested differently and once introduced the damage cannot be undone" She told me that breastfeeding is best, that babies are tiring and that wasn't reason to give up.

I will start pumping in evening then and build up some expressed milk. I don't want to have to give formula, but just couldn't continue with the 24 hour, hourly feeding.

tiktok Wed 07-Oct-09 17:53:56

roslily - I have no idea why the midwife said that. It really is not true. Some women find they have an abundant supply in the morning, so it becomes easier to express then, but the milk is absolutely tip-top whenever you do it.

Please let me know which organisation your BFC was from, or if indeed she was a BFC. If she was from NCT, it can be investigated.

It is not true that 'the damage cannot be undone' - honestly, this really does not sound like anything anyone properly trained would say.

MoonlightMcKenzie Wed 07-Oct-09 17:55:12

Can you clarify the organisation that the BFC was from?

There are a few of us out here on a mission to ensure good quality accurate advice to mums and it would be helpful to have this information. This was NOT the way to support bfing.

MoonlightMcKenzie Wed 07-Oct-09 17:56:01

sorry x post with tiktok - don't want you to feel hounded.

yomellamoHelly Wed 07-Oct-09 17:56:14

That's mad. My ds1 was mixed-fed. I did the mid-morning and dream feed with formula. Gave me space to go to gym etc in morning and allow someone else to feed him and time off in evening. I felt it was important to miss the same feeds each day so I had milk when it was needed. Don't know that this thinking is correct though.

roslily Wed 07-Oct-09 18:18:35

She was NHS

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