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Advice plz from women who breast fed for just the earliest days then went to formula

(9 Posts)
Peacenquiet2 Thu 06-Feb-14 11:13:17

Hi all, im due dc 3 in 4 weeks and through this entire pregnancy ive been torn between bottle or breast feeding.

I bf dc1 for a few weeks exclusively and although i produced plenty of milk and dc thrived, i felt under such pressure from the constant feeding the whole time that i put her on formula in the end and felt so much better in myself emotionally.

The problem i had on stopping physically however was engorgement of my breasts with mastitis/pain/fever,etc, which was really awful for a couple of days.

With dc2 i never tried bf, partly due to the pain id gone through on stopping after dc, and also i could'nt face the pressure again. Its somthing i have always felt guilty about as he has eczma and poss athma (both things i realise he may have got anyway but dc1 never did).

Now with this dc im considering bf just for the essential first few days when they get the colostrum/antibodies. I think if set off knowing its only short term i will feel better about it.

HOWEVER my main worry is that if i do this then suddenly stop, will i get engorgement again, etc, from such a short amount of time bf?

Would love to hear from anyone who did bf for just a few days then went to bottle and how it affected their milk?

Sorry for the rambly post.

KatAndKit Thu 06-Feb-14 11:16:45

I dont have experience of moving to bottles but the usual advice is not to stop suddenly. Slowly making the transition over a couple of weeks is a better way to avoid mastitis. Start with one bottle a day, three or four days later introduce a second bottle and so on until you are done.

Tambajam Thu 06-Feb-14 11:23:53

You may well get engorgement with absolutely no breastfeeding at all. The transition of the milk 'coming in' is hormonally driven and also happens for women who don't breastfeed.
Worrying about engorgement is no reason not to go with the plan that feels right for you. You can take ibuprofen and there are medications that can be prescribed by a doctor to stop milk production. The herb sage is also really effective in drying up milk - eating it fresh and taking small amounts of dried sage in a teaspoon.

I think it's a good idea to give your baby the colostrum as you plan and feed for a few days and just see how it goes. You have lots of options - mixed feeding, continuing with breastfeeding, moving to just formula feeding. KatandKit is right that it usually is more comfortable if you make a transition gradually but there are ways to help with engorgement - and someone who never breastfeeds can get pretty uncomfortable too.

Peacenquiet2 Thu 06-Feb-14 14:06:40

Thanks for replies ladies. I didnt get any engorgement with dc2 and my milk went away pretty quickly naturally so id assumed same would happen this time if i didnt df.
I hadnt even considered mixed feeding tambajam which sounds a bit daft saying it now! Maybe this would be the way to go so that my partner gets to help with some feeds but i also get to do some bf.

I made the mistake of suddenly stopping wih dc1 rather than taper so thats obviously where i went wrong, it just all got too much one day and i went out for formula and didnt bf again.
Im getting such mixed responses from family and friends who are asking me what i intend to do and its all extra pressure which doesnt help. On the other hand i think i may well regret it if i dont even try for the colostrum.
I wish there was a one size fits all solution!

Tambajam Thu 06-Feb-14 14:11:28

Just take it one day at a time, you don't even need to decide now. It sounds obvious, but I would try not to worry too much about it over the next couple of weeks. See how you feel when the time comes. You can say that to people who are asking, "you are going to wait and see." I think if your heart is telling you to give your baby the colostrum, that sounds like the option that's right for you. Do that first and then just take every other day one day at a time.

Mixed feeding is definitely an option. It could be a good idea to chat to someone about how to make that work. Breastfeeding counsellors on the NBH 0300 100 0212 can help you talk your plans through.

Paintyfingers Thu 06-Feb-14 14:14:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bonnella20 Thu 06-Feb-14 15:01:28

Hi, I bf with my now 9 year old. My intention was the same as yours to give the best start then wean to bottles. Unlucky for me I only got about 5 days of bf then my milk stopped. I'm 7 weeks pregnant again and I have have same Intention if all goes well to bf for a few weeks then stop. I would always advise to try it to deliver the colostrum then see how you feel. Xx

sparkle101 Thu 06-Feb-14 15:22:22

I did this with both of mine despite my best intentions. Both times my milk came in, they were swollen and painful and with dc2 I had quite bad cracked nipples after a few days.

It took about two weeks before they felt normal ish.

whiteblossom Thu 06-Feb-14 17:38:28

OP, I just wanted to say that I did bf DS1 and he does have eczma and asthma. So you just cant beat yourself up about that.

For similar reason to you plus very bad PND last time which I partly blame the BF, I will not even attempt it this time round. I don't feel bad, my sanity & family welfare come first. My dh who was VERY pro BF 1st time around is in total agreement. I'd rather be here (alive) for my children than go though hell again- I just might not make it this time so Im doing everything I can to prevent such a situation arising again.

Don't be bullied into anything do what is right for you. Its nobodys business but yours.

For what its worth I went cold turkey and just stopped, I do NOT recommend that, slowly reduce each week.

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