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Getting fed up with people asking why I haven't switched to ff

(19 Posts)
ParanoidAtAllTimes Thu 05-Nov-09 22:40:13

I've been bfing 16 week ds exclusively and plan to continue until he's at least 6 months. Since he was 7 weeks he's had a mild reaction of the bottom variety to something in my milk. Paeds think it's dairy and egg which I've cut out and he seems to be improving

I'm also a veggie so now I'm effectively a vegan. While this is a bit inconvenient and I miss certain foods, I'm sure that I'm still doing the best thing for my baby.

So why do people keep asking me why I haven't switched to formula yet?

It makes me feel like I'm poisoning him with milk he's intolerant to

Reassurance needed that I'm making the right choice much appreciated, please!! I'm starting to worry that I'm only continuing for selfish reasons...

MamanCochon Thu 05-Nov-09 23:01:20

Of course you are making the right choice. Breastmilk is so much better for him than formula, even if you slip up and have a few dairy and egg now and then. Besides, the pre-digested formulas (prescribed for babies sensitive to cow's milk) are truly disgusting so why should you make him drink something horrible, if you can provide something much better yourself?

If you want to arm yourself with loads of information about food intolerances I would highly recommend The Complete Guide to Food Allergies and Intolerance by Jonathan Brostoff and Linda Gamlyn.

If you would prefer an anecdote to tell your critics, tell them about my family: Ds1 had terrible colic and infantile eczema and it took us quite a while to realise he was reacting to cow's milk through my breast milk. After cutting it out for 2 weeks he was far better. Then, after a reasonable time avoiding milk, every time i tried to reintroduce it, by the evening he would be screaming again. Only after we'd worked this out about ds1 did our parents (mine and dp's) remember that we couldn't have cow's milk either when we were babies. But, stupidly, when I went back to work and put him in a nursery I didn't think of expressing and thought I should start to give him formula. So I put him on a soya formula, and the nursery gave him soya yoghurts etc. as dairy substitutes. And then he started to react to soya too. He ended up on a diet free from all cow's milk and soya and we did this until he was 4. It was pretty difficult, although very healthy as we had to make most things from scratch.

Needless to say, before ds2 was born I was determined never to give him any formula, and so the only milk he had for the first year of his life was mine.

You are not being selfish. You are doing the best for your child.

tiktok Thu 05-Nov-09 23:37:42

Er....I don't get it. Your baby appears to be sensitive to dairy (that is, foods made from cows milk). And they think you should feed him solely on cows milk formula? Why would that be better for him????

ParanoidAtAllTimes Fri 06-Nov-09 03:23:15

MamanCochon- thank you, I really didn't want to go down the foul-tasting formula route but was starting to doubt myself! Soya is the next thing to omit from my diet if things still don't clear up (that will be interesting!!). Glad you sussed out your ds1's problems in the end- it's a case of painstaking trial and error isn't it!?

Tiktok- apparently there is a formula on prescription that doesn't contain cow's milk. However I can't help thinking that even if there is still something in my milk he's sensitive to, it's still better for him...? Thank you for the advice you gave me last time I had a crisis BTW (lack of weight gain and hv said I need to eat more) - now when people suggest that my limited diet may be starving my baby (which they do!!)I can put them right

Why must other people question our decisions?

ParanoidAtAllTimes Fri 06-Nov-09 03:25:47

Oh maman- when you realised he couldn't have soya what did you give him as a milk substitute? I'm really unsure what to do when I do stop bfing.

olivo Fri 06-Nov-09 08:22:14

Paranoid - I am having the same thing.sad
My dd is 11weeks and ex bf, i am doing fine but people seem to think that i should be ff so that she sleeps more. i am happy ( if shattered!) with her waking every 3 hours in the night. She suffers from reflux and yes, it might be easier to medicate her if i was bottle feeding, but she is loads better as i've been persisting with syringing the medicine.
I now cross my fingers that people wont ask about sleep or sickness so i dont have to justify myself. My local BF cafe has been a great place to reassure myself that iam dpong the right thing for us both. they always pick me up when i'm having a wobble.

good luck, you are definitely doing a great thing smile

gingerbreadlatte Fri 06-Nov-09 08:57:35

Im sorry you are getting these comments.

I struggled to BF my daughter at the beginning (poor wt gain mainly which made the whole thing v stressful). I got people telling me to FF all the time (including DH hmm ) saying she'd sleep better, cry less etc.

Personally I think they were trying to reduce their own guilt at having abandoned BFing so easily.

Tell them to sod off grin

belgo Fri 06-Nov-09 09:02:16

Paranoid - the longer you bf, the less people will ask, they will just give up asking why you are still bfing.

My ds has also got a cow's milk protein allergy and that's a very good reason to continue bfing for as long as possible.

tiktok Fri 06-Nov-09 09:09:08

Paranoid - the only formulas which don't contain dairy available on scrip would be soya formula (something to avoid anyway for other reasons and in the UK at least only ever suggested when it really is impossible for the baby to have anything else); rice formula (obv necessary for some babies but again, in fairly extreme situations). The 'allergic' formulas you mean have their cows milk protein broken down to make it less difficult for the baby to digest it - but they are still cows milk formulas.

It would be utterly crazy for a thriving breastfed baby to be taken off breastmilk in order to have these synthesised formulas, don't you think?

belgo Fri 06-Nov-09 09:11:52

tiktok - can you come and explain that to my mil please she tried to tell me to switch ds to follow on milk. She looked at me doubtfully when I told her he couldn't have it as it is cow's milk.

belgo Fri 06-Nov-09 09:12:57

but I do try and not use his cow's milk allergy as the reason for carrying on bfing, as I would still be bfing him anyway even if he didn't have any allergies.

tiktok Fri 06-Nov-09 09:16:03

belgo - she can read the tin

It says cows milk on it.

Main ingredient on ingreds list is skimmed milk, IIRC.

belgo Fri 06-Nov-09 09:17:16


ParanoidAtAllTimes Fri 06-Nov-09 09:30:21

Thank you all to the reassurance- it's lovely to talk to people who are like-minded about bfing.

Tiktok- I wasn't sure what the prescription formulas were made of but I was thinking they must be very synthetic. Now I am armed with more than 'they taste horrible and he's bound to not want them'!!

ParanoidAtAllTimes Fri 06-Nov-09 09:30:58

for the reassurance blush

MamanCochon Fri 06-Nov-09 11:28:15

Paranoid I completely agree, the longer you go on breastfeeding the fewer comments you will have. I found once ds2 was about 12m most people assumed I'd stopped anyway.

By the time we realised about ds1 reacting to soya, he was already >12m so we didn't really have to give him any kind of milk at all. Rather than looking for dairy substitutes we just had a diet with no dairy in it. He ate so well that the nursery chef said she didn't mind cooking him special meals because she knew he would eat it all! The only slight concern was whether he was getting enough calcium, but I didn't even have to give him calcium drops. I found the vegan society website useful for non-dairy sources of calcium. He had calcium-fortified orange juice on his cereal, which we later switched to rice milk. And lots of hoummous, broccoli, apricots, raisins, homemade wholemeal bread etc.

Olivo well done for keeping going. smile Ds2 did not have any intolerances but did have severe reflux. I found the healthcare professionals were quite confused by a breastfed baby having reflux. I lost count of the number of times I was offered a prescription for Neocate or Nutramigen - despite them paying lipservice to how good it was that I was still breastfeeding.

If I ever started to doubt myself I used to call a La Leche League leader as they were always very reassuring. (I did this when ds2 was in hospital at 6m old after heart failure and they were trying to get me to give him chocolate pudding ffs.)

MamanCochon Fri 06-Nov-09 11:30:24

oh unfortunately I have to say the Vegan Society website isn't great regards extended breastfeeding (or at least it wasn't when I checked it last) but apart from that it's good.

ParanoidAtAllTimes Sat 07-Nov-09 04:52:06

How long did you feed your ds1 for Maman?

MamanCochon Sat 07-Nov-09 09:11:49

ds1 only about 10m, wish it had been longer sad. ds2 3 1/2 yrs grin

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