bottlefeeding mums please read.....help needed

Kirsty - posted on 01/31/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I am really keen to get together information for new mums who are struggling to breastfeed or have decided to bottlefeed and hopefully start with flyers in hospitals that help with bottlefeeding. Eventually I would like to write a book about bottlefeeding as really struggled as a new mum with what bottles, formula etc to give my son. Breastfeeding didnt work for me from the start and with my dad passing away 4 hours after my son was born I couldnt handle things just not working so Lachlan was bottlefed and is a wonderfully happy and healthy 19 month old. I would LOVE to hear your bottlefeeding stories which includes your circumstances and what you found helpful/not helpful and what help you feel you lacked as you started your bottlefeeding journey.

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Melissa - posted on 08/07/2011

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Oh wow I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your father! We had a similar situation in our family, though not nearly as tragic for me; my mother-in-law lost her mother within minutes of our son being born. That wasn't why I was unable to breastfeed, though.

I was a month shy of 24 when my son was born; a little on the young side, but I'd been caring for children since I was 10 (including doing the majority of raising my brothers from they time they were newborn and 5) so I was confident in my ability to make decisions and comfortable handling everything with minimal assistance. I knew I had my hubby if I needed anything, and I wasn't opposed to asking for help if I needed it.

My son was unfortunately born via c-section. I had pre-eclampsia (which comes with high blood pressure) and after 3 days of attempted induction he just didn't want to go anywhere, so we had to get him out as soon as possible. So when I was finally able to breastfeed a couple of hours after he was born, I just wanted it to be the two of us. Daddy had gone for a walk down the street to get something to eat other than hospital food (bless his heart he stayed with me every single day and night for the entire week we ended up being there!) so I took it as the perfect opportunity to bond with my son. I knew that breastfeeding MIGHT be difficult, and I knew that for some it was nearly impossible without a great deal of help, but I wanted to try on my own first. To my amazement he latched perfectly! He was eating away and looking up at me and it was just amazing. But it being my first time, and my never-ending ability to second guess myself, I kept thinking "is he really getting any milk?" so I kept checking. When the nurse came in to see how we were doing I asked her "How do I know he's getting any milk?" Unfortunately these nurses weren't very helpful. They seemed kind of like they were just there to do their jobs, but they didn't really enjoy the work or dealing with people. She kept repositioning him, which upset him and made it more difficult for him to latch. From there she made us move to a rocking chair. He latched again, and I started to rock gently, at which point she yelled at me for rocking because "I'll put him to sleep". I didn't know if that was true or not, but I stopped anyways. She kept coming up and poking his cheeks and saying she had to to make sure he kept eating. I really wish I'd gotten rid of my need to second guess myself, and I wish I'd had more confidence in my abilities as a mother at that point, because I would have told that nurse to get the F out of my room and leave us alone! Her medling and her constant poking upset him so much he refused to eat!

Through out the next couple of days he breastfed well. Whenever the nurses asked how we were doing, even if I did have a question, I simply said we were just fine simply to avoid their poking and proding again! The day I left the hospital I was given a perscription to lower my blood pressure. I asked the dr if it would have any effect at all on my milk production, and she said no. Within a month my supply was completely dried up. When I noticed it was dwindling I began pumping and taking fenugreek (sp?) to try and boost my production, but to no avail. I couldn't pump more than a couple of ounces COMBINED, and within days it was down to one ounce. And I beat myself up about it constantly, because had I simply researched the medication BEFORE taking it, I would have known that the most common side effect of the drug is deminished milk production.

Our son formula fed for his entire first year (got breastmilk for maybe 3-4 weeks). He started solids at around 3 months, which I know many say is a horrible thing to do but it was recommended by his pediatrician (who also cared for my and both of my brothers, we love and trust him) because he would eat and eat and eat his formula, get sick, and then be hungry again. When we started introducing a little bit of actual food into his meals, we noticed that he stopped doing that. Maybe his stomach had a hard time recognizing that it was full with only liquids? I'm not sure the exact reasoning, I just know it worked. Maybe it's linked to the fact that he was over 10 lbs when he was born? And he's always been big - 95th percentile for heigh, 75th for weight. It's never changed!!

At now 20 months of age our son is happy and healthy, loves any and all foods, I think the only thing he's not a fan of is mushrooms lol. While I still wish I could have breastfed for the bonding, the connection, and because breastmilk is obviously better than formula, I don't regret the experience. My son is still amazingly healthy, we've still bonded, and I think it helped me gain a lot of confidence in myself that I didn't have before. Now when we have our second little man this coming winter I'll know it's ok for me to put my foot down and assert my wishes when others don't listen. As mothers, we know what's best for our children, and I think it's important to listen to what our hearts are telling us. I'm really glad you posted this for bottlefeeding, because even though I am a breastfeeding advocate, I get a lot of slack and I see a lot of trash talk for mothers who fed their children formula, but so often people don't take the time to learn WHY the children were fed formula as opposed to breastmilk. And that's a very important thing to know!

Stephanie - posted on 07/02/2010

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I have two month old twins who were 3 weeks premature. Though it doesn't seem like a lot, they were not as strong as two full term babies and would fall asleep out of exhaustion. They had me on a risiculous schedule, pumping every three hours, trying the breast in between, and formula feeding. I have managed to hold on to a little bit of breast milk which I pump out a few times a day, but I mostly formula feed. It is frustrating sometimes but I know my babies are being nourished and that's all that really matters.

Melissa - posted on 06/11/2010

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Well I did not breastfeed my 2nd baby do to milk not coming in and baby being hungry! My 3rd refused to lach on no matter how much or how hard I tryed so I just bottlefeed them and Noticed that it is almost like people look at you like your a BAD mom for not breastfeeding. and seemed to want to lecture you on how breast milk is best like I didnt know that already and felt bad like there was something wrong with me that I didnt get my milk or that i was doing it wrong or that my baby was rejecting me. So I think it is great that you want to right a book on bottle feeding for my boys are happy healthy bottle feed babys to with stong immune systems. Way to go!

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