Can they give my baby formula against my wishes??

Nicole - posted on 06/02/2010 ( 175 moms have responded )

35

6

3

So I had a doctors appt the other day and since I'm 38 weeks I decided it was about time for me to discuss my birth plan. Everything went pretty smoothly until we came to the part about breastfeeding. My dr says she and the nurses at my hospital do encourage BF but that while I'm in the hospital if my milk hasn't come in and the baby is not getting enough nutrients that the pediatritian will recommend giving some formula. I DO NOT want this at all. I'm not sure I understand right, doesn't it take a few days for the milk supply to come in anyways, and won't baby be just fine with colostrum? Also can they actually give my baby formula without my consent? I was not happy to hear this at all.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

175 Comments

View replies by

Meredith - posted on 06/08/2010

13

33

0

Wow, as a CVICU nurse who routinely cares for preemies, term babies and many many breast fed infants, and who also has a breast fed infant of my own, I must say I feel like the enemy after reading this post!!



I too had a birthplan that included no bottles, no pacifiers, no nothing I did not personally approve. I too had a traumatic delivery, my son was rushed away from my side, but do you know what, nothing happened, they did not shove bottles and pacifiers in his mouth, he did not come to any harm, and when he was returned to my side hours later, he promptly latched on his first try and has been happily breastfeeding in the 9 wonderful months that have followed. He does take a pacifier now and I do pump so that my husband can feed him bottles, but we have NEVER had one problem. And I can say the nurses never did anything I did not want, in fact the lactation consult was kind, caring and a positive influence. The other nurses all provided excellent care to me and my son.



As a nurse, I would never go against the wishes of the mother unless the health and/or life of the baby were at stake, and in that case only with a doctors order and consent and/or help from the parents. I can not imagine any nurse anywhere "sneaking" formula to a baby, we are advocates for our pts (the babies) and are trained and educated on how important breastfeeding is!! I can agree with the other nurses who took the other side of this debate, I have spent hours with moms coaching, practicing, waiting, etc only to step out and come back into the room to find a bottle of formula or pedialyte stuck in the baby's mouth.



I will not comment on the total legalities of this matter as I am not a lawyer but if you are seriously concerned, contact the NICU and the legal dept of the hospital where you are planning to give birth and they will tell you their policies on when and if they override the wishes of the mother in order to supplement with formula.

[deleted account]

first of all when the baby is first born there stomach is the size of a marble so they actually don't need a lot and it is very important for the baby to get that colostrum that comes out first because it is full of nutrients... While you are in the hospital they CAN NOT give the baby formula without your permission...probably what your OB was talking about is when you go in for the babies check up with the pediatrician if they baby is not gaining weight they may suggest to use formula for a feeding or so but to be honest I would not worry about it.. your milk will come in it usually takes a day or two but the colostrum that is coming out is plenty for the baby and the more the baby is sucking it will make the milk come in faster...don't worry it will be all good

Amanda - posted on 06/08/2010

11

10

0

I am a nursery nurse (I'm currently nursing my lo and nursed my son for a year) and at my hospital we dont give formula to breastfed babies without a medical reason or unless the mother requests it. We dont offer breastfed babies a pacifier without the mothers request. Being a miltary wife I have moved and that is the status quo in all hospitals I worked. When we do have to supplement an infant is not done in a sneaky fashion. The mother is spoken to regarding the problem the infant has that requires supplementation. At that time either the mother father or the RN would supplement the baby. We also request that the infant is nursed first then offered a supplement after breastfeeding. We advocate for our patient(baby) and we are not asking for permission rather explaining the problem that requires attention. I have seen a couple peds actually admit the infant to the NICU for noncooperation with the supplementing. When that happens the infant likely stays in the hospital after you are discharged and doesnt stay in the mothers room. No one wants that. Most babys do just fine with exclusively breastfeeding and never require a supplementation. Medical reasons for supplementation include:

Low Blood Sugar: The reason being that continued low blood sugar can lead to brain damage and even death. All of the cells in the body require sugar for energy and persistant low blood sugar is a big deal. Babies at risk for this are the really small, really big and the infants of mothers with gestational diabetes

Jaundice: This too if the level gets high enough can cause brain damage or even death. This is something that alot of peds are really cautious about. The jaundice or yellowing of the skin is due to all infants having an immature liver. The way that the bilirubin(the measure of jaundice) gets out of the body is through peeing and pooping. The way to get anyone to do that is to increase feedings. Indirect sunlight also helps so since all babies (especially breast babies) get a little jaundice it would help to keep the blinds in your room open so the sunlight coming into your room can assist.

Dehydration and Losing too much weight: Pretty self explanatory.

The nurses and the docs are not the enemys here. We all want what you want which is a healthy happy baby. We dont get any joy out of requiring you to supplement. Again remember that the great majority of babies never require a supplement so dont freak out about it now enjoy your last 2 weeks and your new baby.

Angela - posted on 06/08/2010

5

6

0

i don't think they can give your baby formula or anything else for that matter without your say so and especially if you have told them not to i, breastfed all 3 of my children from day 1 and i had c section with them all the 1st one an emergency and my daughter was away from me for over an hour and she was not given anything, she was put to the breast as soon as i was able. The colostrum is all they need to start with and your'e baby should be fine with that and like somebody else said babies don't seem all that hungry in the 1st 24hrs

Michelle - posted on 06/08/2010

28

2

0

Hi Nicole,

I've had 3 children and have nursed all 3 (still nursing #3 as he's only 7 months old). My milk came in around day 5 with my 1st. I nursed her at every feeding and no formula was ever offered. They get all the nurtrients they need out of the colostrum which is why we have that. In the first 24 hours, they aren't too hungry anyway--think about what they've just been through! Most important thing you can do is just get the baby latched on as soon as possible and keep trying. I will tell you that with my 3rd, they actually had o give him formula because he was having digestive issues and my milk hadn't come in yet--and he was in the NICU in a separate hospital from me (I was very sick and he was as well). In any event, as soon as my milk came in and was taken to him, they gave him my mik and no formula was given to him beyond a few days. As far as nipple confusion, there wasn't any--he was bottle-fed my milk for 2 weeks. As soon as I got him home, I nursed him around the clock and there was no problem.

The most important thing to remember is not whether or not your baby gets your milk or formula in the beginning; you need to make sure that you are both healthy.

Best of luck to you!

Tara - posted on 06/08/2010

166

34

12

I didn't want them to give my daughter formula in the hospital, but I had an emergency c-section and I was in recovery for an hour after surgery and my daughter was in the NICU and they gave her formula within that hour anyway! So yes they can, and they probably will unless your newborn never leaves your side. Best of Luck.

Megan - posted on 06/08/2010

8

28

1

They can suggest it, especially if the baby is jaundice, but they will not give it without your permission. That Happened to my daughter, she became very jaundice and they suggested giving 1 bottle just to get her to poop a little more and help move the jaundice out faster.

Nancy - posted on 06/08/2010

30

22

0

Babies aren't even hungry until they r 6 days old.hold your ground its your baby.

Megan - posted on 06/08/2010

190

6

17

I just wanted to add, there really is no reason for your baby to leave your room. The can weigh and measure them in your room and you can elect to have a hearing test done at the clinic at a later date. The is no valid medical reason to circumcise boys, there is no national or international authority that recommends routinue circumcision (purely cosmetic surgery). If you haven't, I would highly recommended researching this barbaric procedure that can cause life long problems and nursing issues.
http://codenamemama.com/2010/02/16/resea...

This is an awesome video, babies that are given this oppurtunity do amazingly well with latching all on their own, no help need from anyone else.
http://www.drmomma.org/2010/04/newborn-b...

Tricia - posted on 06/08/2010

1

11

0

People seem to forget that WE HIRE them, them being the doctors. You do not HAVE to have your baby in a hospital, we choose to incase something goes wrong. They work FOR us, that is YOUR child, I would tell them that, and demand that they keep your baby with you at all times!
a new born's stomach is about the size of a medium marble, so the few drops of colostrum is PERFECT, not just ok for the baby. It is nutrient rich, and perfect sized, many times if they force feed them the normal 2 oz of formula, it gives babys a horrible tummy ache, and they end up spitting up most of it!
It is rediculous that not enough mothers are asking like you are, and just take whatever the doctor says. As if the doctor is in control of your life, and child. We wouldn't take that from say an accountant we hired, if we disscused what our wishes were and were told that they had other plans with our money, and that is what would happen, we would fire them in a heart beat!!

Don't let them scare you into anything YOU FEEL uncomfortable with, you are the mother, you know what is best! Not all doctors are right... please trust yourself, and your intuition! Best of luck to you and your new arrival! Enjoy!

Beth - posted on 06/08/2010

19

13

1

Amy, we check blood glucose levels on babies if they are small for gestational age, large for gestational age, if mom is a diabetic, or a gestational diabetic, stressful delivery, or if the infant is jittery. We also check them if the baby has not had a good feeding in 10 or 12 hours. Most of time they are fine, it is usually the jittery (because they are symptomatic) or diabetic babies that test low. And really, those babies need treated. Often, the babies of diabetic moms end up in NICU for glucoregulation.

Beth - posted on 06/08/2010

19

13

1

I know someone asked why you don't give glucose instead of formula. I suppose it would be the equivalent to eating candy instead of a sandwich. It would temporarily raise glucose levels, which would follow with a crash. They need more than that. It could come in the form of colostrum or formula. I believe the main reason it is usually formula is because most blood glucose drops occur soon after birth and latching the baby on to the breast is not always successful. I suppose the best advice would be if at all possible nurse your baby in labor and delivery within an hour of birth and keep your baby skin-to-skin for as long as possible. Skin-to-skin contact is proven to help stabilize blood glucose levels as well as temperature of babies. Don't be afraid to speak up for yourself and advocate for your baby. Just know that at some point your baby's health is more important. Also, if you decide to supplement with formula at any point pump EVERY SINGLE time your baby gets a bottle.

Heidi - posted on 06/08/2010

1

0

0

Wow there is a lot of great information/advice here from all the moms!! I think the best information/advice is to stick to what you believe. There are so many different parenting styles, but in the end it is all about the health and safety of your baby. I have had 4 children, 2 of which were premies. One was fed formula through a feeding tube because his blood sugar was dropping too low and he wouldn't latch on to stimulate my milk, the other had an IV to stabilize blood sugar because he couldn't eat for almost 24 hours until his breathing became less irratic. Both instances I was asked about formula, it was my decision. I asked all the questions, made what I felt was an informed decision and was comfortable with that decision. I pumped in the mean time. My milk fully came in within 2-3 days, and I found faster each time!
My other 2 were full term babies and latched on right away after birth.
Again, I guess my point is, get all the information you can, feel comfortable in your decision, and know that your baby is getting everything they need to thrive!
Good luck. I know you will make YOUR right choice!

Michelle - posted on 06/08/2010

42

10

2

Your baby may need to have supplement of formula. I so did not want to but for the first three days I had to because he wasn't gettting enough and fussed constantly. I kept my son in my room all most the whole time I was in hosp except for one hour because I was afraid they were going to give him formula. For some reason doc's and hosp believe they always know best but on this subject Im not so sure.

Tanya - posted on 06/08/2010

77

10

8

A baby only needs you! Your baby will not starve and colostrum is the perfect food. Think about it,babies have thrived for thousands of years on only colostrum and breastmilk so why should your baby be any different. If the hospital gives your baby formula all it will do is confuse your baby and make breastfeeding much more difficult to establish. Then you are starting a downhill spiral that is difficult to reverse. Make your wishes firmly known and say that you absolutely refuse that they give your baby formula. They can't do that.

Jennifer - posted on 06/08/2010

8

5

0

Even though my daughter, who is a preemie, had the big "I'm Breastfeeding" sign, they supplemented her while I slept. (The hospital had a No Rooming In policy). We are talking about a tiny baby and a new mommy who had a car accident causing said tiny baby... They took full advantage of that, despite my daughter being perfectly healthy, just small (apgar's 9/9!).



Due to her small size, she fell asleep almost immediately after her PERFECT latch and therefore, wasn't nursing. But we kept trying! The day we were to be released (less then 48 hours after birth!), I was again trying to nurse, and an evil horrible nurse came into my room and gave my husband a bottle and told him to give it to the baby. I said, "we're breastfeeding her" and the nurse said "THAT BABY IS TOO SMALL! If you want to take her home with you EVER, you're going to give her that bottle RIGHT NOW!"



I burst into tears and ran to the bathroom and my husband fed the baby...



DO NOT let the hospital strong arm you! You're the Mommy! I only wish I'd been stronger!



- Jennifer



PS - after a rocky start with some supplementing, we made the EXCLUSIVELY BREASTFEEDING switch by 3 weeks old, and she nursed exclusively after that until food was introduced at 6 months, continued to nurse exclusively as her "beverage" until 1 year, water, strawberry milk and juice were introduced then. She continued to nurse, with HER choosing to reduce the amount of nursing over time, and she ultimately self-weaned at a little over 18 months. I'm super proud of her!

Tine - posted on 06/08/2010

279

9

2

No no no, they CANNOT do that against your wishes,but you'll have to be strong about it!
You are RIGHT, it takes 3-6 days for your milk to 'come in' properly, and if formula is given it will interfere with breastfeeding, as well as compromise your baby's health in other really important ways. This ignorant practice is one major reason for breastfeeding failure.
The very best practice is for your baby to stay with you, skin to skin, after the birth, and have constant free access to your breasts. The baby's suckling and skin to skin contact stimulating lactation hormones is what brings in your milk, so giving him/her formula is the worst! Colostrum is EXACTLY what a newborn needs, nothing else.
I birthed my daughter in a 'baby friendly hospital' - that's one thing they got right! I had her with me from birth, she slept on my chest even in hospital, and they were supportive of breastfeeding. Despite retained placenta that stayed until two weeks ago (!) she is still feeding strongly at 19 months!
Get in touch with the La Leche League or the Australian Breastfeeding Association in Australia, and get really informed. Most medical professionals need a LOT of educating when it comes to breastfeeding. Good on you, do what you know is right for you andyour baby! :-) Best wishes for the birth and beyond :-):-)

Rosie - posted on 06/08/2010

50

18

1

I am sure that if it is an extreme situation, they can give milk with out your consent. But the can't just do it with no cause. Just be clear with every one that is going to be dealing with you and your baby of your choices.

Sona - posted on 06/07/2010

9

0

0

No ur colostrum is the perfect first milk for your baby, you should breast feed right away... don't wait and dont allow them to give your family formula... Insist that ur baby rooms with u...

They can't do this, doc may just be pro formula feeding and knows how hard it will be for you if you dont establish breastfeeding b4 you leave the hospital. Many moms milk wont come in if you dont feed during the colostrum stage...

Alicia - posted on 06/07/2010

28

21

2

They are only telling you this because its called supplimental feeding added to the BF. However they are not supposed to give it with out your wants, and the baby will be fine you will however have to feed more offten and have sore nipples make sure you get lanolin!

Jessie - posted on 06/07/2010

722

60

54

my milk did not come in until 5 days long after we had left the hospital. long before I gave birth I filled out paperwork for the hospital and on them they have you put instructions if you are going to breast of bottle feed and if you are breastfeeding (I am of course) the nurses will not give your child formula or a pacifier without your consent. at one point they gave mine less than an ounce of formula. he was so upset and crying I couldnt get him to latch but after that he was 6 months old before he tasted it again (i got really sick and my milk supply dipped). I do not think they can give it to your baby without permission. to be safe however I would make sure to room-in with your baby. I never let them take him out of the room unless it was for some newbown testing or to weigh him, do his circumcision, etc. if he is in your room on your breast they can't do sneaky things! best of luck with your birth and nursing! (this is a great forum for support)

Tasha - posted on 06/07/2010

27

19

0

Also I wanted to add my dd didn't/couldn't, just plain wouldn't breast feed for 6 weeks! Once she figured it out though she would never take a bottle again!

Tasha - posted on 06/07/2010

27

19

0

I had trouble bf at first but luckily I had brought my pump so I was able to still only give her breast milk, although through a bottle. As long as your LO doesn't loose more than 10% of their body weight they shouldn't push it. Even in that case they just wont discharge you until your LOs weight is stable. You can always leave AMA (against medical advice, at least in Ca.)

Megan - posted on 06/07/2010

190

6

17

Keep your baby with you at all times and DO NOT let them give your baby formula. It is a big deal. Babies are born with virgin guts, what you put in their little tummies is a big deal. I just read an article about breastfed vs. formula fed babies and the way genes react in the gut. Basically, different genes are turned on when you formula feed and not the good ones.
Your milk most likely will not come in in the hospital. My milk didn't come in until day 6 and bubs was just fine on colostrum. Babies tummies are no bigger than a teaspoon and colostrum is power packed with nutrients just right for newborn babies. Why is it that hospitals and doctors think they can do better than nature?

Maren - posted on 06/07/2010

31

9

0

My baby was in the NICU for 2 weeks. At one point, they had plenty of breastmilk on hand (she started on a bottle) for overnight but it wasn't all "fortified". This means an extra 2 calories and ounce added to my milk. My husband found out, luckily, that they were going to use formula for that feeding. He talked to the nurse calmly and she presented our wishes to our pediatrician. Since it was one feeding they didn't think that my unfortified milk would be a problem, so, to my knowledge, my daughter never had formula. I was very much against this as well.

As for nipple confusion, I was very fearful of this happening too. However, after a week of strictly bottles, I was allowed to breastfeed and my daughter took to it like she always had the breast and never a bottle. I'm sure nipple confusion does occur but it's not a hard and fast rule for all babies.

I would print up signs, even if you are rooming in, that state "No formula, No sugar water, no pacifiers" (if that is what you want) and post them on your child's incubator, on your room door, and on your bed so any new nurse that comes in will know your wishes right off the bat.

Finally, I saw 2 lactation consultants in the hospital and neither one really helped me at all. I had to call one to come to my home to help me with a proper latch because they never told me much of anything. I assumed they were helping me but now I will approach with much more skepticism.

Good Luck.

[deleted account]

wow!! they have no authority over your baby (unless of course there was something really wrong) i'm from New Zealand and they arre pretty good with letting you do what you wish, i even slept with my son in the same bed while in hospital as i had a c-section and couldn't get up. let them give you a chance, so many mothers milk doesn't come in due to mucking around with giving formular. ask you doc if she is willing to pay for the formular you will have to give for at least a year if your milk doesn't come in because they gave baby formular when it probably wasn't needed. see what she thinks then

Hayley - posted on 06/07/2010

27

31

3

I dont thnk tey r allowed 2 do that. n babys kan go without milk 4 a while. it takes a few days 4 ur milk 2 come thru so e tey ask about formula id jst stick with sayn no

Tanya - posted on 06/07/2010

316

42

8

the milk doesn;t come in until after you leave the hospital. I would make sure the baby is rooming in with you if you want to stay with this hospital. They cannot give your baby formula against your wishes. The colostrum is def enough for the baby. That is why it's normal for the baby to lose a little weight and be a little jaundiced until your milk comes in. Just feed the baby often and your milk will come in in a few days. Some people take up to a week.

Tamara - posted on 06/07/2010

9

20

0

Start pumping in the hospital as soon as you can. The colostrum is the healthiest thing for your baby. The nurses will give your baby formula even if you dont want them too. My baby was in the NICU for 4 days after she was born and I told all the nurses to call me when she was hungry and I would come and feed her, I was staying in the hospital so its not like I was far away. I was even pumping milk and putting it in the fridge in the NICU for her, but their was this one biotch of a nurse that everytime I went in there she was feeding her formula. I was pissed!!!!! So you have to be extremely watchful of every second of your baby when they are in the hospital.

[deleted account]

I would not let that baby out of my sight....if you are committed to breastfeeding, your doctor should respect & encourage that. Any hospital/doctor/nurse with a clue knows that it can take a few days for your milk to come in.

Tiffany - posted on 06/07/2010

92

24

2

When I had my son he had some minor complications and had to be in the nursery for a while. I had planned to breastfeed 100%, but when my son got hungry and was unable to be breastfed( he was hooked to some sort of machine) the nurse asked if she could use a dropper and give him some formula. I agreed because my son had to eat. He threw up all of the formula and thankfully he was able to be breastfed right after. i walked to the nursery every two hours and breastfed him all night so they knew after that not to give him formula.

Angelica - posted on 06/07/2010

1

35

0

they cannot give your child formula unless you advise them its ok or your baby hasnt eaten in 4 hours.....the best thing for you to do is if you already have a breast pump take it to the hospital so you can avoid them trying to give your child formula...also talk to your doctor about the hospitals regulations on "rooming in" and if this is a possibility!

Acelynn - posted on 06/07/2010

55

45

4

Not everyones milk takes that long to come in it took a day and a half aalmost two days (my daughter had a really strong latch and suck). She did just find on colostrum. The hospital I was at didn't have a nursery but because she had a low resting heart rate they kept her in observation even while there I can down every three hours to nurse they didn't give her any formula and she did great. Turns out there is nothing wrong with her heart it was just a normal thing for her. Other than observation she was with me at all times. I would suggest that if you are worried about them doing something against your wishes.

[deleted account]

IF you are serious about breastfeeding. You need to make the decision that they will not be allowed to take your child out of your room without either you or your baby's father are with them. That should not be a problem, unless there are unexpected complications with the delivery. If your baby is not in your presence, you really don't know what is happening.

Beck - posted on 06/07/2010

609

0

111

Gosh it is different in Australia, you have to beg for formula (not that I had to my milk came in after a few days, WOW the clevage!! hehhehehhe) Its breast feeding all the way here and you are frowned upon for bottle feeding.

Barbora Milena - posted on 06/07/2010

250

5

40

hi, they do it quite often even without telling the mother...thats why my mom followed my new born daughter to all the after birth check ups and since then she stayed with me in my hospital room and i went with her for every vaccination, measuring etc, i never left her from my sight...I was bfeeding with colostrum from the first moment and my milk came in day 3 and when leaving hospital her weight was bigger thab birth weight, so she didnt suffer from not getting formula , colosrum was enough to feed her, plus it helps them to clean inside, i think formula would just make the digestive n cleaning process longer n more difficult... fight for what you think its best for you and your baby, its your right!!!

Jennifer - posted on 06/06/2010

178

12

18

Nicole, no they cannot. Formula is (supposed to be) considered a medical treatment and they are supposed to obtain INFORMED CONSENT before providing any treatment.

And yes, you are correct your baby only needs what you provide. Colostrum for the first few days, then your mature milk will come in at or before 72 hourse after the birth. Even 1 bottle of formula can have detrimental effects on your baby's health and can cause problems breastfeeding. It sounds as though this hospital's policies need some updating. I would get specific. Ask specifically how they decide if a baby is to be supplemented. Make it very clear that you do not give permission for ANY supplementation (no formula, no glucose water, no paci, etc)

After your baby is born, he will probably be looking to nurse within the first hour. It is ideal to place the baby skin to skin on your chest and nurse within the first hour.

After that, for the next 12 hours or so, your baby will be sleepy and possibly not all that interested in nursing. This is ok. This is normal. It is natures way of allowing both mom and baby to recover from the birth.

After 12 hours your baby should be asking to nurse frequently. Watch for early hunger signs: mouthing movements, squirming, hand sucking, etc. This is easier if you keep your baby skin to skin as much as possible during this time.

Until your milk comes in, as long as your baby is latching on and appears to be suckling, no supplementation is needed.

Colostrum is produced in very small quantities so you will probably not actually hear swallowing. But up until 72 hours post birth, as long as your baby is latching and suckling, you can assume he is taking enough.

After 72 hours your milk should have come in and you should start to hear some swallowing and a noticible change in the pattern when your baby suckles. If your milk does not come in by 72 hours (it almost always does by then), please do not rush to use a formula supplement. Contact an IBCLC (proffessional Lactation Consultant).

When supplements are needed, mom's own milk is the #1 choice. Donor breastmilk is the #2 choice. Formula is the LAST choice.

Most of all, remember that this is YOUR BABY. YOU are his guardian. YOU get to have the final word on any and all treatment, medication and procedures. They cannot do anything against your wishes.

Aniesha - posted on 06/06/2010

361

15

35

Colostrum is definitely enough for your baby until the proper milk supply kicks in. Mine did on about the 3rd day, but I had more than enough colostrum to feed bubba with. And I really couldn't imagine that they could give the baby formula against your wishes, unless he/she was severely undernourished, which won't happen if their feeding well on colostrum.

[deleted account]

I found that they can do just about anything without your permission. However, if you keep your baby with you or keep someone with the baby there is less a chance of them doing anything without your permission. My daughter was born c-section and I specified before they did anything that I didn't want them to give her anything including glucose water. I kept her with me at almost all times. If she was gone it was only for a few minutes. I didn't get her for a couple of hours after she was born because of the section, but she latched on as soon as the nurse left us alone. Babies are resilient.

Beware after your baby is born. Mine had jaundice and they were wanting me to supplement with formula. I just kept BF and just took her outside a couple of times and she was just fine.

Colleen - posted on 06/06/2010

46

16

4

The reason it takes 3-5 days for your milk to come in is because it would be like taking a sip of water from a fire hydrent. The colostrum is thick sweet nutrient rich goodness for your baby. You will be fine!
Some advice...Pump and store some of that colostrum. It can stay good in the bottom of your freezer for 4-6 months, if your baby ever gets sick give them a bottle of the frozen colostrum and it will help them get better faster.
keep in mind man kind existed for eons before formula. your baby is going to be fine.

Stephanie - posted on 06/06/2010

208

25

35

I was very specific when it came to my second- NO pacifiers or formula WHATSOEVER!!! well, b/c of the birth and what not I was not capable of going to the NICU to nurse for his first feeding (this upset me VERY much) but he was a preemie so I was somewhat understanding. I vowed no more but after coming home he lost almost 3 lbs. I supplemented for a little bit (after nursing) and now he is just breastfed and growing like a weed!!! don't be too upset about the formula until you have your child- if you can just "roll with the punches"

Amy - posted on 06/06/2010

141

11

4

That's a bit different though Wendy, your baby obviously had symptomatic hypoglycemia if he had to be rushed back to hospital. They shouldn't be topping up babies with formula simply because they're 'small'.

Maggie - posted on 06/06/2010

315

36

34

It does depend on the size of the baby, some smaller babies aren't born with enough glycegen stores and the colostrum isn't enough. We had this issue with my son he was born quiet small and although he was feeding well it wasn't enough, doctors didn't pic up on it and 24 hours after we took him home we rushed back to hospital and found out he went hypoglycemic. They said "normal" weight babies are generally fine on just the colostrum tho. So until smaller babies put on weight they give as much expressed breast milk as possible and top up other feeds with formula

Amy - posted on 06/06/2010

141

11

4

It seems that glucose water can cause fluctuating glucose levels which is why it's not used - but a question for Beth, do they routinely monitor infant glucose levels in the USA? It's not done here. My daughter never had her glucose levels checked. There is no clinical evidence that asymptomatic hypoglycemic infants will benefit from treatment. This is an interesting read: http://www.ilca.org/files/education_and_... I do wonder what part lack of rooming in is playing if there are a number of newborns with symptomatic hypoglycemia. If the hypoglycemia is not symptomatic then perhaps the treatment is overzealous and breastfed babies are being measured with the same yardstick as formula fed ones. Either way, there are dangers in any supplementation, so I'd want to be very sure of the risks of the condition (and whether or not it was actually present) and the benefits of the treatment before I supplemented. Firstly I'd want to be given the option of increased breastfeeding which is the safest and most appropriate treatment for a hypoglycemic newborn. Why any formula is risky: http://www.health-e-learning.com/article... I don't think anyone sees you as the enemy though Beth - best practices are not always followed in hospitals simply because they're large organisations slow to change and advice can change rapidly based on new research.

Kathleen - posted on 06/06/2010

3

9

0

they should not give your baby formula without your consent. The hospital will be monitoring your baby's weight and wet/dirty diapers. They may suggest formula if your baby is losing too much weight or becomes jaundiced. Be sure to ask to work with a lactation consultant if you are having difficulty. Also, Jennifer mentioned giving formula for a low blood sugar. This is not just to scare you... If your baby has a low blood sugar the nurses should allow you to feed your baby to try to raise it's blood sugar. If the blood sugar stays low even after breastfeeding then formula might be needed only because you cannot produce enough colostrum to get the blood sugar high enough. If an infant's blood sugar stays low for too long then it may cause brain damage. The important thing is to get the blood sugar up to prevent any brain damage, after that you will hopefully be able to maintain the infant's blood sugar with breastfeeding frequently. These as just possibilities... hopefully you won't need any of this information. If your baby does need formula- it's not the end of the world. I am a postpartum nurse and my son was jaundiced. He had formula for 3 days after we came home from the hospital. I ended up nursing him for 15mths. Just remember to take a few deep breaths and know that just because your baby gets formula today doesn't mean he/she has to get it tomorrow. Good luck!

Emma - posted on 06/06/2010

507

15

63

When I had my son, I ended up getting an infection and my son would not latch on. He was born via emerg c-section. Although the hospital would not allow my son blood sugar level to get below a cetain point, I had already consented to allowing him to get formula until the infection went away and we could work on getting a good latch. So for the first couple of days he did get formula. Yes, colostrum CAN provide a baby with enough nutrients, and YES babys do lose some weight after birth. But the nurses do have the right to ensure your baby is getting enough and they will monitor the blood sugar regulary. On avg a baby will wake every 2-4 hours, but that is just an average. Some babies will not wake when their blood sugar gets to a low level as they become very sleepy. I'm sure thats all your doctor is preparing you for. Not all deliveries will go smoothly, as mine did not. And since I brought my son home from hosiptal, we have been BF for 11 months :)

Debra - posted on 06/06/2010

16

0

0

Wow, it is different in Australia! They push BF and tell you the colostrum is fine. I had 4 C sections, and was in hospital for a few days, so my milk came in within 2 - 3 days. Babies usually lose a bit of weight after birth - a few ounces, and it is not uncommon for them to take a week or so to regain it. The nurses would only give babies formula here, if something serious happened to the mother ie major infection that could pass on to the baby.

Amy - posted on 06/06/2010

141

11

4

It's great that you're so supportive of breastfeeding Beth, they need more people like you in hospitals. Question though - why aren't the babies with dangerously low blood sugar given glucose, not formula? There are risks to even small amounts of formula, and I'd be very angry if my baby was given formula without my consent. Will the staff give formula on doctors' orders even if mum doesn't consent?

Beth - posted on 06/06/2010

19

13

1

I feel like the enemy in the eyes of many people!! I am a nurse in a postpartum unit and a breastfeeding mother. My youngest will be 1 on Wednesday, and he has never has a drop of formula. I am always willing to help new moms breastfeed and I only give formula per mom's request or doctor's order. Occasionally we will give a baby formula if their blood sugar is too low and mom is unavailable. Studies have shown that babies can suffer neurological deficits related to untreated low blood glucose levels. I seem to encounter the opposite of what you are all saying. I will be working my butt off trying to help someone breastfeed their baby and then an hour later I go in the room and they have fed their baby a bottle of formula. It is so frustrating to try so hard to help someone and then have them negate all the efforts. Just know that I work with many wonderful nurses who will do everything in their power to help you be successful in breastfeeding!!

Nicole - posted on 06/06/2010

334

28

28

Make up an index card with NO Formula written on it and place it in the bassinet in the hospital. Write out your birth plan and hand it to your doctor and the nurses. Be polite but let them know that it is not ok with you! I also had to sign a document so that they would not vaccinate my 3 hour old baby with hepatitis!!!! I just told them I would do it later at the peds office I was not I was not going to fight that battle there. My husband followed my baby to the nursery after she was born to make sure nothing against our wishes was done. Good luck to you. Enjoy your little one. Try to rest as much as possible and drink lots of water. I would also try to get to a local Laleche league meeting before you give birth to set up a support system for you and your baby!

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms