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Why do I feel so guilty about switching to formula?....

(25 Posts)
TaraQ Sat 14-Mar-09 14:39:17

My twin boys are now 4 weeks old - born at 34 weeks. I also have a 2 and a half year old dd. We spent the first 2 weeks in hospital and when we returned home, we realised that having twins plus a toddler is a huge juggling act. The boys would take a long time to feed and are feeding every 2-3 hours. My dd's behaviour was starting to be affected by the fact that I spent all day sat on the sofa feeding them. Initially she was happy for me to read to her etc while I was feeding them but, day by day, she started doing naughty things to get attention.

At 3 weeks we made the decision to use more bottles during the day so that i could give her more attention but it has now got to the stage that any feeding that i do with them is a nightmare - she wants me to play or wants my attention and I can't give it to her.

We've now made the decision to stop completely - husbands doing back to workl day after tomorrow and i simply can't feed twins plus look after toddler. Have not fed them for 2 days and breasts are completely engorged. But why do I still feel bad about this decision? Am I doing the right thing? I have given them a month of breastmilk but am still massively questioning our decisioon. I just want my milk to dry up completely so that I can't go back. Has anyone else had this issue?....

faeriefruitcake Sat 14-Mar-09 15:42:17

I also faced this dilemma, my DT's born at 37 weeks and I have a toddler. I was spending all day sat on the sofa BF or expressing (T1 wouldn't latch on) and the toddler was roaming loose. I BF for 8 weeks and it nearly killed me. The lack of sleep alone caused me to get ill.

We swapped, I felt bad for a while but then I got to have a shower whilst DH fed them, I got to play with DD, other family members can help out more. They are growing quite happily and gaining weight and I don't feel guilty any more.

Cut yourself some slack, twins are hard enough without this. If we could of we would of simple as. smile

idobelieveinfairies Sat 14-Mar-09 17:41:19

Don't feel is hard work breast feeding twins when you have other children around. I had 4 already when i had my twins and i managed to breast feed for the time in hospital and 2 days at home only. They were absolutely fine on formula and it was great that other people could help so my other children didn't feel left out.

The main thing is that you are happy and your babies are drinking their milk. Enjoy them smile

Bmum1 Sat 14-Mar-09 21:30:39

DON'T FEEL GUILTY. I have five week old twins and I have never breastfed them. I have two other boys - aged 3 and 5 - and I just knew I wouldn't have the time to spare to breastfeed, so I just put them on formula from birth, they were born at 37 weeks.

I was really lucky, I had mine at The Portland, and they were really supportive of my decision and gave me a pill to stop my milk, which helped with the engorgement issue.

I know how you feel, I made myself sick with worry when I gave up breastfeeding my first son because he was sick and losing weight and needed more milk than I could produce, but the moment I let go of that guilt everything looked up.

Feeding twins is tough enough, without beating yourself up about it. Give yourself a break and start enjoying all your babies.

kathryn2804 Sat 14-Mar-09 21:42:00

You could just feed them at night when dd is in bed. This means they would get their daily dose of breastmilk. It's like taking their vitamins, then the rest could be formula. Plus breastfeeding is much easier at night than bottle feeding! You don't have to get out of bed and warm milk etc, just stick them on the breast.

Or, if that's not possible, you could express for one feed a day.

There is a lot of research that even one breastmilk feed a day is beneficial to the health of babies. The milk becomes more concentrated, more like colostrom, as less is produced, so there is actually a higher concentration of all the good stuff. And if you do the same every day, your milk supply just adjusts.

I would give that a go, it would relieve your conscience a bit if you're still doing some.

neverknowinglyunderdressed Thu 19-Mar-09 18:32:57

I personally think that all the antibodies etc are only in the colustrum. I read a study to that effect at one time. I struggled to B/f mine as they wouldnt latch etc. I was being pressurized by the mindwives that one was not gaining weight so i cracked and added in formula feeds too. Milk dried up at about 5 weeks, no pain etc as it was gradual so think Kathryns idea is a good one. But i still feel bit guilty now and mine are 5!!

PS get some Podee bottles so you can FF handsfree. Then if you need to spend some time with your DD, the twins can be feeding away happily whilst you are free to do other stuff with her.

kathryn2804 Fri 20-Mar-09 14:19:34

Colostrom is just a more concentrated form of breastmilk, they are not different things! So all the things you find in colostrom are still there in breastmilk, but with added water! We were taught this on the two different breastfeeding courses that I have done, one run by the BfN and one by Unicef.

Toddlers still get immunity from breastmilk, not that I'm suggesting you feed that long at this stage.

Try to keep one or two feeds a day and the babies will really benefit. A twin Mum I knew fed hers once a day and said she viewed it as giving them their vitamins every day. I thought this was a really nice way of thinking about it.

KHS Fri 20-Mar-09 23:21:56

Forget the breastfeeding now if it's stressing you out.

I mix fed mine for about 5 weeks then ended up crying on the phone to the GP because I felt so guilty for not being able to cope-I wanted to breastfeed so badly but it was so difficult. She told me to give myself a break and stop there and then. Wise woman! We switched to formula and never looked back - it was so much easier to get them on a routine with naps etc when we knew how much they'd eaten and how much they needed at each feed to last a few hours.

I can only imagine how tricky it must be to juggle a toddler and two babies. You'll probably all feel more relaxed with formula, especially as it means you can share the feeds between you, DH and other willing milk maids instead of it all being on your shoulders.

Your probably feel guilty because of all the pro-breastfeeding propaganda - I was told by a BF consultant in hospital that my babies would have nicer head shapes if they were BF, etc. The pressure to BF is immense nowadays, and while we all know the good reasons why this is, sometimes it jsut isn't possible to do it and twins are a damn good reason not to. My two are now happy, perfectly adjusted and bouncing 4-year-olds with headshapes that are just perfect grin....

KJTWINS Sat 21-Mar-09 18:35:00

do not feel guilty you are doing what is best for you all in the family i bottlefed from the start my twins and never regretted it you have to be healthy yourself and please believe they will come to no harm cant be doing with guilt trips about people not breastfeeding you have done brilliantly and agree with KHS totally twins are difficult at first but bottles really do help as you know what they are getting you always get coments but do these people have twins and an older too?

StealthPolarBear Sat 21-Mar-09 18:43:41

I'm not a twin mum so apologies if I'm muscling in but apparently breastfeeding prem babies for 4 weeks =For lower risk factors for heart disease in later life.
(shamelessly stolen from Reasons to be Proud)

So that in itself, as well as the immunity you have passed on and the lovely feeds they've had so far (and more lovely feeds to come I'm sure) is worth celebrating. Whether you continue to ff or try something like kathryn suggests, good luck, and congratulations on your twins!

StealthPolarBear Sat 21-Mar-09 18:44:17

Don't know where that "For" came from, I can't even quote right hmm

curiositykilled Fri 05-Jun-09 20:01:00

Don't feel guilty, if you're stressed breastfeeding then the babies can be upset and stressed by the hormones coming through the milk so it really wouldn't be better to try and force it. The last thing you need is two screaming babies and you are wisely considering the needs of all the members of your family so why feel bad?!

I think your bad feeling is probably made worse by baby hormones too. Best to get as much emotional support from your friends and family as you can to just get you over this hill - pick ones that'll tell you how fantastically you are doing and how considerate of your toddler and husband you are! It'll probably get better once your boobs are not massive and leaky and reminding you all the time too.

MrsMattie Fri 05-Jun-09 20:04:32

When you have more than one (and I haven't even got twins!) you have to make a judgement call on how things are going for everyone in the family. I had a very compassionate and lovely HV (miraculously! wink) who told me this after my third hideous bout of mastitis with my second baby led to me stopping bf-ing.

I would never advise someone to stop breastfeeding, but I will say you must do what makes you and the whole family feel happiest. If you decide to go with FF, the guilt will subside.

rubles Mon 08-Jun-09 09:58:06

Those of you who ff twins with other children around, how did you do it when you were on your own and did it actually make it easier to deal with your older child/ren? I can't get my head around the practicalities of that, although I will just go off now and google the podee. It always seems to me to be impossible to look after everyone, however you feed.

rubles Mon 08-Jun-09 10:15:15

Having looked at the podee bottles, they have to be able to sit upright and support their own head don't they?

kathryn2804 Fri 12-Jun-09 09:06:40

It depends on the Mum, and the age gap!

My friend has 5 kids, the last 2 being twins and she said she would never be able to cope if she bottle-fed. It was too much like hard work! There is under 2 years between all of hers so she had 4 at home for about 6 mths!

However I do know a couple of Mums who swear bottle's easier!

Personally if I was in that situation I'd probably go with breast because I'm not organised enough to bottle feed. I would probably give them food poisoning or something! However, I'm not in that situation so the call is yours!

TsarChasm Fri 12-Jun-09 09:15:54

I was in exactly your situation TaraQ - a dd of 2.5 and newborn twins.

You have done a brilliant job so far and if you need to switch to bottles then do so without a backward glance...and you will continue to do a brilliant job, I promise you. Do not feel one bit guilty.

I remember my dd1 was the same. It's v important that she doesn't feel that the dt's get all mummy's attention. Bigger families have to find their own way through.

Do it today and welcome the extra help that others will be able to give you. You have more than enough to manage without being extra frazzled because of bf.

TsarChasm Fri 12-Jun-09 09:24:27

Rubles I used to feed mine at the same time rather than one after the other. That cut down on the time it takes.

In the night or when I was on my own, i would put them into their little car seats, sit them in front of me and carefully hold their bottles. Then I'd cuddle and wind them separately afterwards.

StealthPolarBear Fri 12-Jun-09 09:31:34

This thread is about 3 month old so her DTs will be 4 months - how are you getting on OP?

LaLoose Wed 15-Jul-09 16:08:18

I'd like to know how she's getting on as well. My twins were four months old yesterday and it has occurred to me quite suddenly that I really, REALLY need to give up breastfeeding NOW! I think it's making me ill. I feel dizzy and sick and my hair's falling out. So I'm trying to bottle feed but they HATE it! Any tips for bottles/teats/formulas that don't make them look at me as though I'm force-feeding strychnine?

Also it's so lovely to read all the comforting words here. I really do think there's a breastfeeding mafia out there - it's easy to get help for breastfeeding but I can't seem to get help with my problems bottle feeding anywhere.

And I feel guilty, too. I will try to stop that!

kathryn2804 Tue 28-Jul-09 19:36:07

Laloose, everyone's hair falls out after they have babies. Nothing to do with breastfeeding!

Why don't you give up on a few feeds and keep doing some of them. that way the babies still get the goodness of breastmilk but you don't have to do all the feeds. Having said that, I personally found it a lot easier to breastfeed. Found bottle feeding twice the work!

KeithTalent Sun 16-Aug-09 08:52:25

Yes but the babies will still need to be fed, and often switching to formula puts extra demands on time shopping for milk, making up feeds, washing and sterilising, anxiety about how much milk has been drunk at each feed, extra time winding/patting etc.

It is always hard when you have a toddler as well, and of course you need to do what you feel, but don't think that bottle feeding will make the time pressures go away.

I have 2 year old twins who were born when I had a 3 and 5 year old, so yes I understand your problems!

dingdong3 Fri 21-Aug-09 22:37:54

I formula fed my girls from day 1 and they are the healthiest wee babies - the formula is full of vitamins too. Don't beat yourself up about it. Your breastmilk is full of toxins and chemicals from you anyway...unless you are eating an organic diet and not using any cosmetics and living in the middle of nowhere!
Buy a load of readymade formula for these first few months. It's easier to make up the feeds then and the bottles are easier to wash as you don't get the same residue in the bottle.
Best of luck with your little ones x

BertieBotts Fri 21-Aug-09 22:45:17

Don't feel guilty, feel proud for the start you have given them and move on if that is what you want to do Equally though if you do want to carry on with breastfeeding or mixed feeding, the support on mumsnet is here - but there is absolutely nothing wrong with using formula. You have tiny baby twins and a toddler! You are doing fab

kathryn2804 Fri 04-Sep-09 17:07:42

dingdong, I'm afraid tests have shown that formula is full of the same toxins as breastmilk, as cows live in the same environment as we do and formula is cows milk.

Anyway, just thought I'd point that one out!

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