Guilt over formula vs. breast feeding?

Lisa - posted on 02/27/2009 ( 24 moms have responded )

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Hi Moms,

Anyone out there formula feeding their twins either from the beginning or just recently? I am exclusively pumping (nursing didn't work for us) and every day I'm thinking about going to formula but I feel incredibly guilty about it. If you've experienced this and moved on please share how you managed to deal with your feelings and put the guilt behind you. Thanks.

Lisa

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Tanya - posted on 06/19/2010

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Lisa,
You are amazing- you have twins- you have given them the best start- forget the guilt- if it doesn't work for you, your babies will feel it as you will get more tired and stressed. I managed a month breastfeeding, but almost killed myself doing it- it was pure hell, I could feel myself sinking into depression. I really dislike the guilt we are all put under to breastfeed- do whatever feels right for you!
Good luck- twins are a real blessing x

Rolla - posted on 06/17/2010

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my twins are in 2.5 month old, from the first day i gave them formula beside brest feeding but the formula is the majority cos my milk is not enough 4 them, in the first i was feeling so awful and feel that am not even a good mam but after while i felt that they need me even am not feeding them and i trying to make bondage with them while they playing, so don't feel guilty u r good mom as the way u r

Jillian - posted on 03/06/2009

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Lisa, I was unable to breast feed my twin daughters at all. One of my nurses told me that I should never feel guilty about being unable to breast feed the girls because I will still provide for them and be a good mom. She told me the girls do not love my breast - they love me and that helped. Don't allow anyone to tell you otherwise. You have to take care of yourself as well. Being on formula was the best for us because it also helped the girls bond with my husband more because he could get up and feed them and allow me to get some rest. Good luck.

Jennifer - posted on 02/28/2009

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Hey Lisa,



Don't be too hard on yourself. You have to do whats best for you and your beautiful babies even if that means giving up the breastfeeding. I know it can be so overwhelming in the begining you just want to do everything "right",  but thats not always possible. I wanted to do everything as natural as possible but I ended up with a schedualed c-section and I ended up with two babies that did not want to latch. I probably could have tried a little harder but I was exhausted and just not looking after myself the way I should have. I did pump for the first month, but it just was becoming too time consuming, especially once my husband went back to work and I was also not producing enough probablly because I wasn't eatting or drinking enough. Anyways I just wanted you to know that it is normal to feel guilty. going The most important thing you can do for your precious babies is love them and be as stress free as possible. I wish you the best.



Jen

Stacy - posted on 02/28/2009

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My twins are 8 years old now.  The absolute best thing you can do for your babies is to give them a mom who is well rested and happy.  Stop feeling guilty about breast milk vs. formula...nutritionally, they won't be missing anything.  My boys are happy, healthy, smart little men now, and I only made it three months breastfeeding.  It's obvious that you love your babies.  You don't have time for guilt...trust me, this time will pass too fast.

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Lindsea - posted on 06/18/2010

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What your feeling is normal and totally understandable. Its your right to feel that way as a mother and its also your right to figure out whats best for you and your babies. People can give you flak all night and day but they arent the ones who have to breastfeed/pump for twins, you are. Most of these people had ONE baby had a time sometimes you need to remind them of that..
.Of course you feel guilty because in your heart its best but you know what in the big picture you just remember the important things like: you tried, your still feeding your babies no matter what, how advance the formula is nowadays and your doing the best thing for your family! These are the thing that other people often forget and go straight to criticizing. This is the way I now see it and my sweet husband told me this believe it or not.. He's right.
Good luck, A great mom mean's making the right choices for her family:)

Emma - posted on 06/18/2010

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hi i have a 3 year old and twin girls age 6 mnths and i chose not ton breastfeed any of my 3 children for many reasons! but i know they say breast is beat and that may be true but i have fed all my 3 on formula and they are thriving! my 3 year old is doing very well in nursery and is very tall more like a 5 year old as im also tall and her speech is excellent! i can honestly say it has done her no harm and she has reached all her milestones on time if not before! try not to feel guilty as the twins are never going to think my mum is horrible because she stopped breast feeding me! its all about how you are feeling! you are a good mum and dont let anyone tell you otherwise!

Beth - posted on 06/17/2010

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you dont move beyond it ... im working full time , and have health issues, the twins nurse 3-4 times a day when im n=home which has been 2 days in the past 3 weeks , otherwise nurse at night only , the rest of the time its bottles.. i feel awful about it , as bad is not worse about working while they are so young but i have little other choice...
i try not to think about it too much , honestly ....

Kristina - posted on 06/17/2010

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You say nursing didn't work: did you contact La Leche League for help? No pump is as efficient as a nursing baby (or two), so if you are determined to BF your twins, try contacting them first. They can help you make sure the latch is correct, etc.
As women, we don't have enough faith in our bodies because the media and the medical profession bombard us with messages about doing everything perfectly for our kids. There is no perfect in parenthood. You are doing everything you can, so don't let feelings of guilt get in the way.
That being said, only you know what the right decision is for you, and no matter what you decide, your babies will be happy if you are happy.

Jamie - posted on 06/16/2010

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Do what you need to do!!! Either way your babies will be happy and healthy. It's hard I did it for 2 months and went through the guilt thing to. I was so exhausted and it just made me a happier mommy when I made the decision to switch. I did do both for a while. When there was breast milk I did that and when there wasn't I did formula. Then when they were 3 months I went exclusively to formula. My twins are 5 and nobody would ever know:)

Erin - posted on 06/16/2010

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i tried to breastfeed in the hospital and they would not latch so they did formula. Then when we got home I started trying to pump and my milk never would come in. After a week and a half of pumping the girls were thriving on formula and eating every three hours. So I quit trying to pump and stuck with the formula. I may be strange, but I never had any quilt about it.....thanks to my family and my pediatrician. They all made me feel like I was doing the right thing. Especially since these days formula is almost exactly like breast milk. Do not feel guilty about making your life easier. You have to do what you can to survive, and your babies will be fine. my girls actually gained wieght better than most twins do because they were on formula from the beginning. Good Luck.

Tracy - posted on 03/07/2009

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As long as they are eating and growing, it doesnt matter if its formula or breast milk. In my opinion. Yes breast milk is best, but if you cant do it then dont stress yourself out, its only going to cause it to be harder! My boys got formula occasionally because man, i needed a break every now and again and i wanted to make sure they had something to eat if i wasnt around or if i couldnt get to them in time, there had to be something there for them to eat ya know! So don't feel guilty about formula! My nephews and niece were all formula fed and they are very smart kids and advanced for their ages, so formula is ok in my mind!!

Jessamy - posted on 03/06/2009

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all you ladies are amazing mums!!!!! never feel guilty for the choices you make. and in the case of formula feel grateful that formula exists and we CAN still provide for our babies! we dont have to start them on solids early, leave them undernourished or allow strangers to breastfeed our little treasures! hurrah for livingin these modern times! hurrah for all mums everywhere! you are all heroes!

Olivia - posted on 03/06/2009

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Hi Lisa,
My twins are now 5yrs old, and I too went through this dilemma.... In the end I did what was best for me, as a mum I breast feed for the first 6 weeks and then changed over to formula and my twins had no development problems nor did they have any medical problems from my choice... actually they started sleeping through the night!!!

Lisa - posted on 03/06/2009

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Thanks everyone for all of your encouraging and supportive words. It's been a great help to read about others' experience with twins. It's not quite the same as comparing my expereince with my friends who have singletons (some of whom breastfed until their children were two) and I appreciate getting advice from twin moms who have "been there, done that." :-)

Juli - posted on 03/06/2009

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Don't feel guilty. It was very hard for me to put my twins on formula, but after 4 months I slowly started adding a little to each bottle and by 8 months they were strictly on formula. It was so exhausting to be either pumping or nursing (it seemed like) all day!! It sounds like you have done a wonderful job so far, you should be proud youfself. My twins are now 2 1/2 and are as healthy as their cousins that were breastfed until they were one!

[deleted account]

I always had supply issues. I had a singleton before my twins and because I didn't know much knowledge on BF and went back to work I stopped BFing him at 4 months. Went solely to formula.



With my twins I was determined to BF as much as possible to save money on formula.  one of my twins had a heart issue and had trouble latching to me or a bottle. After 3 weeks I gave up on BF him and solely pumped for him.  I still had supply issues no matter that I BF one and pumped after, every 2 hours, all day long and over night.  The boys got formula overnight always and I pumped during the night for the next day.



At 5 months both my twins started cutting teeth and my BF one wouldn't stop biting so I solely pumped until they were 9 months old.  By then I was SO TIRED of measuring my days in 2 hour increments and fighting a supply issue that I said enough.  By that point I felt a little guilty because my goal was a year but the guilt didn't last long when I wasn't on a 2 hour schedule all the time.  My husband was very supportive too so that helpd.



It was a little sad for me to stop because those were my last kids. It was nice having that feeling of closeness, but after 4 months of only pumping.  It was enough.



Do what works for you and know that no matter what your decision, the kids will be fine.  Focus on how much BM you have given them and be proud of that!

[deleted account]

My twin daughters are almost 10 weeks old. The older one is B'fed and the other is not ( she was way to fussy!) I do both and I do not feel guilty at all about the formula. I do feel guilty that the other twin is not being able to B'Feed. I also find it VERY hard to try and find the time to pump. I also have a 2 year old toddler boy!

[deleted account]

My twin daughters are almost 10 weeks old. The older one is B'fed and the other is not ( she was way to fussy!) I do both and I do not feel guilty at all about the formula. I do feel guilty that the other twin is not being able to B'Feed. I also find it VERY hard to try and find the time to pump. I also have a 2 year old toddler boy!

Dawn - posted on 03/05/2009

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Hi Lisa

My twins are now nearly 4 years old, and although I tried breastfeeding them, had latching issues, and they also both had reflux. All this meant was that feeds took forever, I was exhausted, and I wasn't producing enough milk, so was supplementing with formula anyway. I began pumping and by the end of about 10 weeks was pumping exclusively. It got to the stage where I wasn't eating or drinking enough for myself let alone to breastfeed my babies, so after a lot of soul-searching decided to purely bottle-feed. Yes I have friends with twins who have managed to breastfeed very successfully, but I also have friends with singletons who couldn't. There is so much publicity out there about "breast is best", but at the end of the day as long as your babies are healthy and happy, and you are too, then as long as they are getting the nutrients they need, it's just not worth beating yourself up over. Believe me there were a lot of tears about what I "should" be doing, but once we started exclusively bottle feeding we never looked back. Good luck!



Dawn

Steffanie - posted on 02/28/2009

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Hi Lisa!

Well I've been there too and now 16months later I actually regret not starting them on formula straight away!!! I kept on breastfeeding my girls for 3 months during which time I actually felt terrible and realised that I'm not doing them or myself any good by further exosting myself with that! Look, the simple truth is that having twins has NOTHING to do with having one child where you can actually enjoy your baby and breastfeeding from the first moment. Having twins is actually bloody heroic!!! I'm sure you barely have any energy to even stay awake let alone pumping...please, stop worrying...just move on...

Steffanie

Alana - posted on 02/27/2009

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My twins are now two months old. I tried breastfeeding, which didn't work, as they had serious latching issues. So I exclusively pumped for about 4 weeks. I had to supplement with formula as well, because my milk didn't sustain them for longer than an hour. My day was spent pumping, feeding, burping, feeding again, pumping again....No time to eat, sleep, or spend any play time with them. I was a wreck. I decided to go to formula only, as I knew that they had received their most important breastmilk in the first month. I felt a bit of guilt yes, but I told myself that my sanity is better for my babies than my milk. My twins have now caught up in their weight to those of the singleton babies that were born that day. They are happy, and they get the chance to bond with both myself and my husband. Don't feel guilty about it. You are doing the best you can, and your babes will love you regardless.

Karen - posted on 02/27/2009

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I nursed and supplemented with 2 oz. of formula after every feeding. Partly because I wasn't making enough milk even though I was also pumping (because I worked), and partly because my boys were still hungry after nursing. After I weaned them at six months, I felt pretty bad about switching them over to formula, but I just couldn't handle it anymore and the demands of work were not helping me out either. I felt terrible, but I kept telling myself that they'd be ok because my husband was a formula baby and he turned out ok in the end too. I also kept telling myself that I did a good job for nursing them for six months, which is more than what most working moms do. Keep your chin up, your babies will turn out just fine in the end no matter what you choose to do (formula or nurse). 

[deleted account]

My twins are seven weeks old and I pumped exclusively until they came home from the NICU at around three weeks old. I continued pumping/trying to nurse them for the next week. Then I realized they both preferred the bottle and I was wearing myself out pumping, nursing, and bottlefeeding all at the same time. I knew If I had any hope of lasting something had to go. And since my boys actually preferred the bottle, pumping was out. I had plenty of milk in the freezer to mix formula and breastmilk half and half for about a week and then I gradually added less and less breastmilk to the formula. My boys never even noticed. Currently, at seven weeks old, I prepare about 32 oz of formula and add a three oz bottle of thawed breastmilk. I will continue this until my stores are depleted. I am not about to waste a drop of all that hard work! My pediatrician has been fully supportive of my switching over to formula. Hope that helped you some. Good luck! And get some sleep!

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