baby milk or breast feeding

Becky - posted on 02/03/2011 ( 77 moms have responded )

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i read a comment on here putting mothers down that have their child on baby milk. wher i know breast milk is better i think it is unfair to put mothers down for this. i would of loved to of breast feed both my children but my body would not prouduse past the first 24 hrs and i tried untill i had blisters and cried every time i fed in the end i had to put her onto the bottle i even tried to express and still couldnt get enough to feed my children. it broke my heart but what made it worse when people put me down and made me feel that i was doing something wrong and i think that is unfair for any 1 to judge some 1 for doing what they feel is right for their child every child is differant and and as long as we look at all the facts and not put our child at risk whos to say whos way is the best and whos isnt as long as you always do whats best for the child

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Gina - posted on 02/10/2011

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Come on- I don't think anyone here is trying to say that formula is BAD/HARMFUL. If it were, it would not be a viable option and so many children would not be thriving on it. And yes, if one is going to cast stones, make sure you do not live in a glass house.
The comment that La Leche League makes Moms feel bad/guilty is a crock... maybe a particular Leader did not represent the organization the way they should have or something along those lines, but don't criticize the organization as a whole for that. Have you ever really been to a meeting or are you just stereotyping La Leche League as the "breastfeeding Nazi's" like a lot of misinformed people do? La Leche League is about Mother-to-Mother breastfeeding support and education. It's women who've actually been there, done that trying to share info and support those Moms who have a desire to make breastfeeding work from their own experience or from the education that is required of them to represent the organization. If educating and sharing facts makes one feel guilty about their choices, then it seems to me that the right choice wasn't made. If you cannot have conviction in the choices you make and know that you are doing the best by your children and giving them your all, then you are always going to have self-guilt and doubt when something is said, even though that was probably not what was intended, so don't blame the other person. And, La Leche League does not negate the importance and well being of the Mom. On the contrary, it is through sharing personal experiences and info that Moms are able to come up with best possible scenarios for everyone to feel happy, well rested, and satisfied (whether that is through exclusive breastfeeding or a combo... andyou wouldn't be at a LLL meeting if you are exclusively formula feeding).
So, if sharing factual information and educating women on the realities of breastfeeding is "pressure", then I am guilty as charged. I am happy to be doing my best to break down the negative stigma that breastfeeding has in our culture. In our over-sexualized society, the breast has lost it's intended identity and purpose.
You do realize that formula hasn't always been around and what do you think was done before that????

Gina - posted on 02/06/2011

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Instead of casting judgement on each other, we need to turn our attention and demand more of the medical community. They are doing Moms and babies a huge dis-service by not educating enough- on the realities of breastfeeding as well as the RISKS that choosing not to/the inability not to breastfeed puts the Moms in- and the lack of support when it comes to overcoming the difficulties many experience. Womens bodies go through countless changes in preparation for their new lil bundle of joy to arrive, including being able to nourish that baby. If this is not done and the fats/proteins, etc. that Moms body has stocked up on for months are not eliminated as was intended, it actually puts the Moms at a higher risk of cardiac disease and diabetes. And, we also need to hold baby food/formula manufacturers accountable for the misleading information and scare tactics they use to target a vulnerable population in order to ensure a healthier bottom line for themselves. As Moms, I think most all of us only want the best for our children and we make the best decisions we can with the resources and information we have. I just think we need to raise our expectations of the medical community and to have a more support networks in place to help the countless Moms who do desire to breastfeed but experience "real" issues that inhibit this. That's my two cents!

Sherri - posted on 02/03/2011

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Copied and pasted this from another thread I also just commented on.

Here is what I know to be true walk into any Kindergarten class in America and you will not know what children were bf or ff. Or what children were bf for 1wk and what ones were bf for 3yrs. There is no significant difference in any children bf or ff as they mature. Plain and simple!!

Gina - posted on 02/10/2011

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This is exactly why I am committed to continue doing what I do! Sure- genetics plays a role in one's IQ. But, there is not an IQ gene that is transferred via breast milk. It's actually the proteins and fatty acids in human breast milk (which have not been duplicated by formula) that are associated with supporting and boosting the brain and thus accounts for the differences in IQ's. They're also finding that it has a lot to do with the physical, skin-to-skin contact and interactions that occur with breastfeeding which may or may not occur with bottle feeding. FACTUAL information and education is the key to making informed decisions, whatever path that takes you down!

Tanya - posted on 02/10/2011

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I agree that it is unfair to put mothers down for their choices in feeding, wether by breastfeeding or formula, or a combination of both. I did a combo for all three of my children, although my youngest is still nursing at age `9 months and got the least amount of formula. However, I do not feel that most women who say they couldn't produce actually have/had this problem. The problem is lack of support and education. It's actually very rare to have a true case of insufficient milk supply. Mothers need more support, which includes not having people around them saying, "Oh your starving your baby, here's some formula." Just my two cents for what it's worth.

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Sharlene - posted on 10/19/2011

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I wasn't able to breast feed my 4 children either I even went to my GP to describe medication so I could produce more milk it was'nt sucessful at all especially the midwifes telling you keep trying keep trying. It actually depressed me that much day 12 of trying course all my babies were premmies they were saying that much for them I demanded baby formula .So I think a baby drinking baby milk to taking breast milk theres no differences.All the best xxx

Denise - posted on 10/19/2011

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Being judgmental does not help anyone. People can be given all the help and support that is available but are still entitled to make their own choices - whether or not we agree with them. Having said that when we make those choices we also choose the consequences of those choices, whatever they may be. I believe that mums should breastfeed as long as possible but for some it is not possible for whatever reasons - physical, emotional or financial. Each person has their own unique set of circumstances and until you have 'walked in some one else's shoes' being judgmental is wrong. As women (and mothers) we have enough negativity around us anyway so let's not be negative towards each other

Jennifer - posted on 10/19/2011

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Don't know why this post is comming up again, but seriously, this putting people down for formula feeding has got to stop. With my 4th child, I did try to breast feed. I ate incredibly healthy. I made sure to drink a lot of water (yes water, not soda or other junk) and my little angle ended up having to be life flighted to the nearest children's hospital (1.5 hrs away) because her billiroubin levels were so dangerously high (from my breast milk) that if they didn't get them drastically down fast, her blood was going to have to be filtered by machines. Maybe, just maybe if I had given up a little sooner, she wouldn't have been so sick. Noone is perfect, and we are all going to make bad decisions along the way, but for my children, formula feeding was not one of them.

Sherri - posted on 10/19/2011

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Wow well thank you very much for slapping me in the face K for choosing to formula feed so I could return back to work and put a roof over my kids heads, food in their bellies, and anything else they needed.

K - posted on 10/19/2011

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I agree with Heather and many others on here so I'm not going to re-write what a lot of you have said. Someone said that it is hard cause we don't have mums,grandmas etc around to help teach us !!!! True but instead of them there are many many free resources available which are probably better than mum and grandma giving INACURATE information or their own opinion. There are trained people out there that are available for people who actually WANT to breast feed..and for everyone else...well I guess they will just continue to make excuses for their bad parenting decisions.For those who say that we should not judge....well,offering support in abundance hasn't helped,feeling sorry for you hasn't helped,doing studies on the benefits of breast feeding hasn't worked,doing studies on the RISKS of bottle feeding hasn't worked and the world health organisation recommending formula feeding as a LAST !!!! I repeat LAST resort hasn't helped....so people have resorted to harsh judgement and I think,so they should !! ...When people appear to be soooooo selfish that all the help and effort in the world does not rise the breast feeding rates then what are we supposed to think???????. I don't believe all the women that say their milk didn't come in or the baby wouldn't latch (that is when you ask for help and don't stop asking till you get help). I would absolutely LOVE to see what would happen if all of as sudden there were restrictions on formula or dare I say NO FORMULA without prescription from a Paediatrician !! I don't actually believe it should go that far but as far as newborn babies being fed naturally instead of artificially....well the rates would go through the roof if only it was not made so easy to give up and if women were forced to prove that the baby actually NEEDED formula. I think sometimes they need a Psychiatrist more than the formula if they are so deluded that they honestly believe that their body is that deficient that it is unable to function normally....one more comment...eat properly,keep hydrated then there is no reason why your body won't work !!!!

Leslie - posted on 02/11/2011

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Stacey, genes are past through breastmilk. You are born with all your genes. Breastmilk is full of the good fat and DHA that supports brain development. Although I agree IQ weighes a lot on the genes your parents passed on.

Jennifer - posted on 02/11/2011

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"i feel like some women may be a little selfish in the fact that sometimes they just give up on bf bc it hurts." -copied from an earlier post.
This is supposed to be a place where we can get some advice, and lift each other up, not put others down. Yes, I did stop BF because of pain, but I don't feel the need to explain myself to anyone, so I won't. I will say that I am not selfish, and often have my husband tell me that I should do something for myself once in a while, since I never do. My kids are my world, and I'm sure all of you feel the same way about your own kids. I don't think anyone has ever argued against the fact that Breast milk is the best nutrition for a baby, but sometimes the bad out weighs the good, and that is a decision each mother has to make herself.

Paula - posted on 02/10/2011

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I firmly believe breastfeeding is best but there are some mothers out there that unfortunately are unable to. Every woman has their choice and opinion on this matter and should not be put down for whatever reason. I applaud every woman that tries and believe in helping educate woman that need help or suggestions on how to try to be successful in breastfeeding. I bf my 1st child until she was 9 months old and put her on formula until she was a year-old. I didn't want to stop but she started losing interest. I plan to bf my son that I have on the way. I have a mother-inlaws that gives me a hard time for breastfeeding my children..how crazy is that?! She says its too stressful..but it doesn't even bother me. I love breastfeeding! I think its just stressful to her because she can't to force my baby to constantly eat.

Emily - posted on 02/10/2011

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Well I think the problem is this thread was really directed at one person. If we're going to talk about judgmental people in general, there are judgmental people on both sides of the coin.

I'm not sure which study you're referring to with the domestic abuse.

As far as correlation vs. causation.. I don't know, you be the judge:
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/5894...
I don't think anyone knows for sure why, but there are multiple theories about why breastfeeding protects against SIDS.

Jennifer - posted on 02/10/2011

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So, the whole point of this thread was that she was getting tired of getting put down for not breast feeding, yet some of you have chose to put formula feeding mommies down in your post. HMMMM.....So uplifting now aren't we.

Alexandra - posted on 02/10/2011

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Hi Emily,
The study you mention concerns me. Have they established any kind of causation between SIDS and not breast-feeding or is it just a correllation. The distinction is incredibly important.
One section of the article from your link started to suggest a correllation between domestic abuse and not breast feeding. I had to stop reading at that point because it was a) ridiculous and b) making me angry. Before her focus on women during pregnancy and motherhood my mother's work and research focussed on domestic violence and sexual abuse. She has testified as an expert witness in many trials. I can safely say that that study is an excellent example of junk science and also an example of the scare tactics and mis-information that SOME (not all) BF proponents use to push an agenda.
Most people who are passionate about breastfeeding are also non-judgemental. This whole topic was only focussed on those people that ARE judgemental, not on breastfeeding proponents in general.

Alexandra - posted on 02/10/2011

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Gina,
Thanks, first of all.
I think things may also be quite different in Canada or at least here in Toronto in terms of the pressure to breastfeed. I have spoken to many mothers who gave birth in the same hospital that I did (one of the biggest and the best) who had a similar negative experience with the staff and who felt very pressured and mis-informed.
I am very lucky actually that my mother is an MD who founded and still runs the Women's Clinic at a different but also major hospital here. The focus of her clinic and research for the past decade or so has been women's mental health surrounding childbirth, from infertility to post-partum issues. Through her and my personal doula I was extremely well educated about almost all aspects of motherhood, and BF in particular. I knew the information I was getting at the hospital was not entirely accurate (although based on truth) but I was still intimidated and guilt ridden. Imagine a poor new mother who didn't have the benefits of my support system.
If mothers in this city were given the balanced and non-biased information that you included in your post it wouldn't worry me so much. It seems that here, though, the worst case scenario tends to be the only one most often presented.
When I arrived home I immediately ignored most of the info the hospital had given me and trusted the info given by my doula, my psychiatrist and my mother. I never woke myself or my baby to feed and even though his demand was often every 3 hours, occasionally I was lucky enough to have 5 or 6 hours between feeds. My milk supply was always abundant. Babies more than anyone else on earth know to eat when they are hungry and need it (unless they are not in full health of course). Extending the time between feedings on occasion won't significantly or irreparably affect milk supply
I also did make sure that my son knew how to latch and BF well before I started bottle feeding. If this is the case there is not a significant risk of "nipple confusion" and the benifits of getting a bit of a break as a new mother are significant.
It seems from what I am hearing that BF education and support in the US is definitely lacking. Our healthcare system allows for lots of free pre-natal and post-partum education and support and I think all women should take advantage of those programs before making decisions about all aspects of parenting.
I just wish that here they would give women credit enough to assume that they will make good decisions when given accurate and balanced information and not feel they need to guilt, shame or trick them into anything. I also wish they would equally provide information and be equally as fervent about many other factors that can significantly affect children now and in the future. For example, post-partum depression is barely mentioned here (I gather the US is the same) and that is also something that can significantly affect the current and future health and mental health of both mother and baby. I was prepared because of my mother's work and a history of depression. Most women are not and it is still taboo. The image of the blissfully happy mother is still the predominent one and mothers who feel differently feel ashamed and like failures.
Anyway, that's a whole other tangent. I just wanted to illustrate the point that so many factors affect how our kids turn out. Breastfeeding is only one.
I think I need to get off this site now. It's taking over my day and it's going to give me an ulcer! : )

Emily - posted on 02/10/2011

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I guess it's about how each mother "takes" educational statements. I agree that there are lots of factors that affect health, well-being, etc. However, when I personally talk about breastfeeding benefits, it is never to imply that any mom is setting their child up for hardships or low acheivement. If that is the way a mom reads that information, I really think that's their own spin on it. I would never imply that a formula-feeding mom is harming her child or doesn't care about her child simply for feeding formula. The problem I see is that there is so much misinformation about breastfeeding. People also should take the time to understand statistics and research. When a study finds that more formula-fed babies die from SIDS than breastfed babies, that does not mean that an enormous amount of formula-fed babies are dying from SIDS. It simply means an increased RISK. That's just one example of how some moms can take a statement like that and assume someone is implying that they are killing their baby for feeding formula. I think that's a big leap to make and just not the point. I think every mom deserves to have accurate facts. That's not being judgmental, in my opinion.

(And again, I think this whole thing is silly anyway because this thread was started as a response to what some other person said on another thread. Should have been addressed with that person if it was a rude comment).

Alexandra - posted on 02/10/2011

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Emily, let me restate; overstating benefits of BF is not the problem. There are absolutely many benefits. The problem is also overstating the cons of not breast feeding.
It is very easy, especially with the internet, to find research and statistics to prove almost anything. There is, however, a lot of "junk science" out there. Good data comes only from research done without a bias and following the proper very strict methodology. A basic tenet of good research is that correlation does not imply causation.
Again let me say that I agree that breast is best. My point is that saying any one group is healthier does not automatically mean the other group is not also healthy. i.e. my allergy to cats makes me less healthy than a person with no allergies at all but it does not make me a sick person nor does it impact my ability to do well and acheive in life.
There are so many factors that affect how our children turn out. Breastfeeding is just one of those factors.
Again, this thread is not a BF/FF debate but about judgement. Treating mothers who do not breastfeed as if they are setting their children up for hardship and low acheivement in the future is not fair. Treating them as if they don't care enough about their children to want the best for them is also not fair.
When I find a perfect mother she can be as judgemental as she wants. I'm not sure she exists though.

Alexandra - posted on 02/10/2011

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Heather, I breast fed for one whole year but during that whole year my husband would give one bottle each day and my son's nanny would usually give him one. Sometimes that bottle was breastmilk and sometimes it was formula.
When I say "just fine" it means that I have always been healthy apart from the occasional cold and flu and I have never had any sort of significant illness. I was healthy enough to be a professional ballet dancer for 27 years. I also have no allergies apart from cats. I was skipped a grade when I was 9 because I was very advanced and then completed 5 years of highschool in 4 years. I have always done well at any academics and did so, to be candid, with very little study or work. I always found myself to be at or close to the top of the class
Maybe I could have been healthier and maybe I could have been smarter. A lot of the breastfeeding rhetoric suggests that not breast feeding causes children to go through life always being sort of sickly and not able to perform intellectually at a high level. There are a myriad of things that can affect our children's development. My issue is that many breastfeeding proponents treat BF as if it is far and away the most important determinant of your children's future all around success in life. I don't think that is fair.
I actually believe that breastfeeding is the best option and does have definite benefits. My point is that breastfeeding needs to be considered equally with all the other things we do to promote health and well being in our children and in ourselves. I think it actually does a disservice to our children if we leave ourselves out of the equation completely. I think all of these factors need to weighed and balanced and as long as mother's are doing that there is nothing for them to feel bad about or be judged about. If you remember this thread was NOT about whether or not breast is best (with which I agree) but about not judging mothers for their decisions. I think most mother's absolutley want the best for their children so why can't we assume that they have made an informed decision based on all aspects of their and their child's lives and not act as if they are going to screw up their kids.

Gina - posted on 02/10/2011

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Alexandra,
I am truly sorry that it sounds like from your experience, you were given overwhelming and mis-information.

LLL is a BREASTFEEDING support group. I would not go so far as to say that LLL is anti-formula. Yes, it is the goal to promote and encourage breastfeeding through support and education, but not to a Mom or baby's detriment. As with much in life, there are extremists in just about any arena. And, unfortunately, it is the extremists that tend to get the media coverage and attention and that also give the balanced, more realistic majority a bad rep.
Here's the facts... supply is based on demand. To establish a supply, you must FREQUENTLY (10-12 times in a 24 hour period, which if you do the math equates to ~ every 2-3 hours) empty your breasts, either by nursing or pumping or a combo. Once your supply is well established, you can stretch it to 4-6 hours without negatively impacting your supply. That said, it is important to remember that breastmilk is more quickly and more completely digested than artificial formula, which hence requires more frequent feedings. Also, when the baby's cues are being followed instead of a clock, babies are able to learn the feeling of satiation (fullness) and the Mom's supply is able to naturally adjust, which decreases the likelihood of other complications, such as plugged ducts. Bottle fed babies tend to miss out on this because most people visually see a particular amount in a bottle and will give the baby that amount whether the baby really wants/needs it... which is what all the recent findings about bottle fed (regardless of breast milk or formula in the bottles) babies having higher risks of obesity are showing. Along these lines, newborns stomachs are tiny and lack elasticity. Their stomach size is relative to their birthweight, and a 8 1/2 pound baby's stomach capacity is only 38 mLs (a little over 1 ounce). Over time and as they start to take smaller more frequent feedings, their stomachs begin to expand more easily to hold more milk. This is where reflux and regurgitation tend to fit into the mix.

As far as "nipple confusion", it is less to do with actual confusion and more to do with the effort required. Breastfeeding requires effort on the baby's part and in most instances, milk does not just readily flow out. Whereas, bottles tend to offer less resistance and thus require less effort from the baby. So, it is not uncommon for a newborn/infant to get frustrated at or even reject the breast when given bottles before breastfeeding is solidly established. Yes, many babies can and easily do switch from bottle to breast, but on the other hand, many have difficulties with this.

Again, I stress that more emphasis needs to be placed on breastfeeding education from the top down since most of us solely rely on the guidance of our doctors/pedis to make decisions. And, with such minimal exposure (a mere 9 hours dedicated to the topic during their training), it is hard to rely on them as "experts." This became blatantly apparent for me when it came to the growth charts... most US doctors use growth charts based on bottle fed babies. The WHO has growth charts based on normal fed (aka breastfed) babies, which does have differences.

I don't feel that educating and providing Moms with factual information so they can make an informed decision is using scare tactics. The truth of the matter is that there are a LOT of scary stats and risks involved, for babies and Moms. I feel that being educated to the realities of breastfeeding make it more likely to push through when challenges arise becuase it is far to easy to just give up.

I agree whole-heartedly that formula fed babies can CAN have strong, healthy relationships with their Moms... I, too, am living proof of this. But, after researching and educating myself on the topic, I wanted better for my own children. Fortunately for me, I had LLL to turn to for support as my own Mom was unable to help me in this matter and I have all brothers. So, needless to say, I was lacking in exposure and help when it came to breastfeeding, I probably would not have had the successful breastfeeding relationships I've had/have if I had not had this wonderful resource.

Yes, Mom and baby's well-being need to be taken into account when making the decision and factual information is critical in making a well-informed decision.

Heather - posted on 02/10/2011

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In my personal opinion, I hate when people say "and I turned out just fine, or and my kids turned out just fine"
Really??? How do you know that you or your children are just fine? And you know this goes for all sorts of things from formula feeding to sugar intake etc.... I have had this concersation millions of times with my Mom she formula fed and was quick to offer formula when my brestfeeding issues happened saying well your just fine. No I don't believe it, what if I could be smarter, have a better immune system etc.... don't you want to at least give it your best good faith attempt to give you children the very best. I believe that" and I turned out just fine" phrase is BS frankly.

Heather - posted on 02/10/2011

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Gina!!!
Thank You! You said what I was trying to and to know that someone else feels and KNOWS what I do awesome! I am very happy for those who have such postive experiences ans support but I feel it's not the norm.
Thank you again.

Emily - posted on 02/10/2011

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http://www.mommyzone.org/cost_savings.ht...

Read this and tell me that not breastfeeding doesn't have risks? Formula-fed babies, overall, are not as healthy. That does not mean that all formula-fed babies are going to be sick. Just that there is a greater proportion of illness among formula-feeders.

My point is not to "put down" formula-feeding moms. I have had to use some formula with both of my kids. But what I don't like is people giving information that's inaccurate. That doesn't help any of us.

Emily - posted on 02/10/2011

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Of course LLL is going to be anti-formula. Feeding formula inherently has RISKS. RISK of not being as healthy, and yes, a RISK of not getting as much brain benefits. That is not "overstating" benefits. It's simply the truth. Does that mean that all formula-fed babies will be sick and dumb? NO. That is not the point.

It is also NOT TRUE that the majority of the immunities are transferred in the first six weeks. True, the immune system *starts* to develop around that time, but a child's immune system isn't fully developed until closer to age 6. Which is why immunities in breastmilk continue as long as a child nurses.
http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/milk/i...
http://www.kellymom.com/newman/how_breas...

Alexandra - posted on 02/10/2011

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Dear Gina,
I'm not saying that the people at LLL are all "breastfeeding nazis" but let's be honest; they do more than just objectively educate mothers about all the facts concerning BF. Their mandate is not only to assist women who come to them for help or information but to promote breastfeeding to all mothers. They do have an agenda for that. Unfortunately some (not all) LLL members and BF proponents in general can become quite fervent in their promotion. They don't just say "breast is best" they are often anti-formula. They tend to overstate the benefits of BF by making it seem that FF babies will be sicker and not as smart. Yes BF passes immunity but it actually does most of that within the first 6 weeks. They don't generally mention that. You can also get some of that immunity transference just through skin on skin contact so mothers who have to or choose to formula feed can get some of those benefits as well.
It's almost universal that new mothers worry about their ability to do a good job and have doubts about every decision. That feeling is quite normal but can easily lead to feelings of failure and guilt. That doesn't mean they have actually done anything to feel guilty about. It is important for anyone who works with mothers to be very aware of their normal feelings of doubt and make sure they are not enhancing them.
I actually breastfed my son for a year. I also pumped from time to time so that my husband could feed him by bottle and used formula from time to time. I did all three from day one.
This is my experience:
My son was premature and needed to get his glucose up quickly. Since my milk had not yet come in the Pedeatrician asked if she could give him some formula from a bottle. I told her she could do whatever he needed as she was the expert. I then went up to the ward where I was in the post-partum depression prevention program. In this program mothers stay in hospital for 5 nights and each night give their baby to the nurses so that they can get a full night's sleep, as sleep deprivation is a major cause of PPD. The nurse on the ward my first night was astonished that the doctor had allowed my baby to take formula from a bottle. She told me that I shouldn't have allowed that and that my first night I would have to wake up every 2 hours, breastfeed from each side for 15 minutes and then pump for 20 more. The approximately 1/4 teaspoon of colostrum I gained each time I then fed to my son from a cup. The next morning his glucose was normal but I was a disaster. I felt guilty for having let the Dr give my baby formula - even though I logically had no problems with it at all - and I was a depressed mess. I was ready to leave the hospital without the baby because I couldn't take any more nights like that. My daytime nurse was continually coming in and telling me she wanted to see me breastfeed. I told her that I was doing fine (I was. My son was latching well) and that I had a personal doula who was helping me (I did). She didn't seem to believe me and would actually start to pull my nightgown down so that I had to kind of push her away. When my psychiatrist and my mother (also a psychiatrist) came to visit they could see I was a disaster. Luckily the night nurse on my second night was reasonable. Even though I logically know and believe it and would give the same advice to any friend, I had to be convinced by those three women that I was in the PPD program for a reason and that I should absolutely give my son to the nurses and get some sleep. I believed it was the right decision but I still felt horribly guilty. The next morning my favourite day nurse woke me up by wheeling my son into the room. On the PPD program the nurses are supposted to ask the mother first. As she brought him in she told me with a smile how much my son missed me and how much he needed his mommy. At the most a horrible guilt trip and at the very least totally insensitive. I knew she was totally in the wrong for saying that but I still felt horrible and the constant doubt that I wasn't doing a good job was getting stronger. I also noticed that a large "B" had been taped to the cradle for "bottle fed". It might as well have been in scarlett. There was no reason for that to be there - certainly not at that point.
When I finally went home my psychiatrist advised that my husband should take at least one feeding a day so that I could get at least one round of semi-proper sleep. During the BF classes that my day nurse told me I had to go to (not true) I was told that I would have to set my alarm to wake up at longest every 3 hours to feed, even if the baby wasn't awake. They said if I didn't continue to feed on that schedule my milk supply would dry up. They told women who hadn't got their milk in yet that not doing this would cause their milk to not come in at all. These statements were hugely exagerated (going 5 or 6 hours instead of 3 will NOT dry up a milk supply) or just untrue (a woman's milk will come in after childbirth on its own. If she doesn't use it it will dry up but it will come in because of nature not because of breastfeeding or pumping). I was also told in these classes that if a baby feeds from a bottle within the first 6 weeks they will reject the breast. As long as a baby knows how to latch that's utter garbage. Every mom I met had either been told that or read it somewhere. It is a very popular myth. I know many who did both very easily including my son. He could switch from one to the other mid-feed if needed. The bigger concern is actually that a baby who has not had a bottle at all for the first 6 weeks will have a hard time getting used to one, therefore not allowing the mother to get any break at all. It seems to me that this "no bottle for 6 weeks" myth is really there to ensure that mothers have to breastfeed only instead of ensuring that they are able to - but that's just my cynical opinion
When I was discharged a different nurse told me to keep close watch on my PPD symptoms and reminded my that having help and getting sleep were essential. She then, however, told me and highlighted in my official nurses handbook and discharge papers that I had to feed every 3 hours or would lose my milk and that I couldn't use a bottle for at least 6 weeks or my son would reject the breast. It was clear that she herself could see the contradiction but she said that this BF advice was what the nurses had agreed to as official policy to give all mothers upon their discharge.
My son has been extremely healthy and happy from the begining but I suffered for a long time with PPD. Even taking medication and seeing my psychiatrist I still felt for more than 6 months that I had made a terrible mistake having a baby. It took me almost a full year to actually bond with my baby and feel that he wan't just a cute stranger. Having a mom with PPD should have been the nurses biggest concern for my baby, especially since upon discharge he was BF well, had gained weight and was totally healthy. Instead they still seemed to need to drive home the BF message and put their emphasis there.
For the record my mother formula fed both me and my sister. She was a new doctor and at that time and there was no official maternity leave. She had trouble with her milk supply at first and since she had to go back to work after three weeks anyway she decided to just go to the bottle. I have always been extremely healthy. I have never had an ear infection and am only mildly allergic to cats - mild enough that I have one as a pet. I have always done very well academically (sometimes with minimal effort) and am generally considered to be quite smart. I also have a closer relationship with my mother (as does my sister) than almost any other woman I know. My sister is a lawyer and earned two academic awards when she graduated law school. The only serious illness she has had was a bout of pneumonia when she was about 10. I think she has mild ragweed allergies. It seems that I and my sister both turned out just fine despite being bottle fed. That's the part of the message that I find to be lacking from most BF proponents.

Megan - posted on 02/10/2011

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I do agree that it is unfair for people to do this, I don't put people down for not breastfeeding. But I also think that women need to start Breastfeeding. Too many women don't even try, and that I do look down on. It is a mothers duty to try and do what is best for their baby. That includes their safety and their health. So I believe everyone should breastfeed, or at least try. Even if they don't do it for the full first year.

A long time ago people didn't constantly have their babies dying because they starved. And they didn't have formula. You breastfed. Period. So it is possible for all of us to do it fully. The problem is that we don't have the help they had back then. They had their mothers, sisters, aunts, and grandma's in the house helping to teach them. Yes sometimes they would hire a wetnurse to feed the baby if they couldn't but that was expensive.

Don't let people get you down for it. I didn't breastfeed mine for the full year, I think I would have been able to if I had more help. If I ever decided to have another baby I will do it during a time I know I'll be able to just be home for the first few months and just focus on feeding the baby. My problem was needing to get up and go too soon and having trouble feeding the baby. With my first baby we had to run from a hurricane when he was 11 days old. It's not an excuse, I KNOW I could have done better if I had tried more. No one can put me down for it, I feel bad enough.

Emily - posted on 02/10/2011

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Stacey, there is no "gene for high IQ." Babies are born with all the genes they're going to get. Genes are not passed into them through breastmilk. Not sure where you got that information. There is some new research that breastmilk can affect what genes get expressed in a baby, but babies don't receive any genes through breastmilk. They got those when they were conceived.

Stacey - posted on 02/10/2011

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Higher IQ associated with breastfeeding has to do with the gene for high IQ being passed through breast milk. So if Mamma does not carry the gene for high IQ, baby is not going to be any smarter as a result. By contrast, if Dad and Mamma have a high IQ, it is just as likely to be passed through the simple genetics of biology whether baby is breastfed or not. :) Breastfeeding is a smart choice--but don't count on it to make your baby a genius, just well fed.

Carrie - posted on 02/10/2011

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What you choose to do for your child is your decision. The most frustrating thing as a parent is that while you are trying to do your best for your child others want to chime and and make you feel as if you are doing wrong. Personally I chose to breast feed with both of my children. my milk took awhile to come in, but after a few weeks it did, and yes it does hurt. They always make it sound like it's real easy and I would say until the third month it's not. Honestly the best choice is breast, from what I have read at our doc's office. Children do have higher IQ's who are breastfed especially boys. Not too mention the huge boost to their immune systems, less problems growing up such as ear infections, lowers risk for childhood diabetes, there's a lot more benefits. Honestly it's scary when I see formula recalled, and I have to think that nature is always better than what man can produce.....

Sandra - posted on 02/10/2011

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I never understood this argument. People should do what is right for them and stop listening to all of those who think their way is the right way. I always find it very interesting when I hear mothers say that they could never have formula fed because its not as nutritious or its wrong for whatever reason. Because you know what? I'd bet that a huge majority of these mothers when finished telling you how much better they are because they did not allow formula into their childs body, take those very same children to McDonalds and feed them processed foods which by the way is SO much worse for the body than formula! So the next time someone is telling you that your wrong- just chuckle to your self because you are most likely talking to a huge hipocrite!!!!

Alexandra - posted on 02/10/2011

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Stacey Butler, again you are great!
I know that here in Canada there is tons of support for BF moms but also tons of pressure.
My mother is a psychiatrist who runs the Woman's Clinic in a major hospital. She has a very big problem with a lot of the BF pressure that women get from other women but especially from "supportive" BF proponents. There are a lot of doctors, nurses and lactation consultants (especially La Leche League) who seem to have forgotten the mother in the whole equation. Their sole goal is making sure babies are breastfed and they are not uncomfortable using subtle guilt and scare tactics to make that happen.
Motherhood is never easy, especially right after birth, and I dont' think it's ever selfish to balance the needs of the baby with the needs of the mother.
A mother who is sleep deprived, stressed and feels like a failure is more likely to become depressed. These are all feelings that occur for every new mother and an extreme focus on BF and attitudes that formula is going to harm their children or cause them to be sick and/or to have lower IQs (NOT proven) only magnify those feelings.
I say with confidence that an unhappy, stressed, guilt-ridden and or depressed mother is far more detrimental to a baby's development than formula. a lot of us were brought up on formula and we seem to be doing okay!

Cheryl - posted on 02/09/2011

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Hi Becky I am a mother of 3 and I breast fed all of them and I am very proud of that. I came very natural to me and I had alot of milk which made it alot easier also. I do not understand why people judge those that don't/can't breastfeed. Most of my friends who have children didn't because to put it simply they couldn't!! Like you they didn't produce the milk, 1 of them had inverted nipples which made it impossible for her and a couple of them plain and simple didn't like the feeling of it and chose to stop. That is there decision and Im happy if their happy. I think people should be more worried about mothers taking drugs around their children, mothers smoking in their cars with babies/children, neglected children etc....I think mothers need to stand up for themselves although this may be hard and you may feel intimidated be strong and stand your ground. You are the babies mum and only you know whats best not nosey people who might think they know the rights and wrongs of this world. I hope you feel better and remember to smile :)

Denise - posted on 02/09/2011

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Breastfed is definitely best as you said Becky but that is no excuse for putting someone down. Good on you for trying. Some of us have an easier time than others but everyone is different and their bodies behave differently.
The only thing I would add is that if you must bottlefeed for whatever reason, do your research as to what formula is best. Many are cow's milk based and there is evidence that early introduction to cow;s milk can produce lactose intolerance. Check with your pediatrician for advice on formulas

Leslie - posted on 02/09/2011

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Monica, I read that they think the IQ difference may be because of the DHA and healthy fat that supports human brain development.

Gina - posted on 02/09/2011

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Stacey,
You should count your blessings that you received such support! I am working the front lines, and I can tell you from the stories I get from MANY Moms that they do not receive enough information, education nor support to overcome obstacles they may encounter, particularly from their doctors. Doctors only receive 9 hours of breastfeeding education in their training, and yet they are the "experts" many women have to rely on for advice and information. While WIC is making great strides in many areas, there is still a VERY large chunk of the middle class population that are not eligible for this. And, while some hospitals offer LC support, the overwhelming majority do not. There are a number of great LC's out there, but there are also a lot of clueless ones (I mean come on, you don't even have to have first-hand experience to be a LC) and LC services can be expensive. I know that many hospitals give new Moms a "goodie bag" when they're discharged, which of course includes formula samples and coupons but little to no info on breastfeeding resources. Ultimately, all it takes is a few well-meaning comments from family members and friends to plant seeds of doubt and make it all too easy for Moms to throw in the towel before it is truly necessary. La Leche League is great, but it is only as strong as its VOLUNTEER leaders, which unfortunately is on the decline making it harder for Moms to get help close to home.
No, nobody should be judged or put down for their choice as long as they are a loving and caring parent. But, women need to be better educated so they can make an informed decision based on the undisputable facts and given more resources to help them overcome the hurdles that they will likely encounter with breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is natural, but it is not always easy!

Cassandra - posted on 02/09/2011

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Breast is Best.. and however i believe that i dont put down mothers who have no choice but to bottle feed.. its the mothers who choose to bottle feed for selfish reasons that makes my blood boil! But i also research my judgements before hand!

Amber - posted on 02/09/2011

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High five for trying! I know some moms who do not even attempt breastfeeding. I had major latch and supply issues with my first born and battled it out for six months....he finally latched and was able to maintain a good milk supply but it required me A LOT of work. We are talking pumping every two hours around the clock for over a month. I bottled fed him pumped milk and worked on his latch every feed. It was a full time job, he had weight issues, I wad blistered for months, and i had no life but eventually all my hard work paid off. I had to use nipple shields when I nursed him for the first six months. I hear story after story of moms who stop nursing because of supply issues, latch issues and blistering painful nipples. Those are all reasonable reasons to not nurse but I strongly encourage a mom to stick with it and seek help. Their are plenty of resources out there to help. I am curently nursing my second child and have no breastfeeding issues thus far....she is a champ latcher and loves to eat!

Emily - posted on 02/09/2011

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Threads like this frankly irritate me. #1, if you have an issue with what someone says on another thread, why not state it to that person directly rather than making a new topic about how judgmental breastfeeding moms are.

#2, I really feel that some formula-feeding moms assume that a breastfeeding mom is being condescending simply for giving correct information about breastfeeding. Don't get me wrong, it is NEVER okay to put someone down. However, so many times I see a BFing mom type something about the benefits of breastmilk vs. formula, and immediately a FFing mom insists she's being judged and degraded. I have to wonder where that is coming from.

No one can "make" you feel a certain way. If you're confident in the choices you've made, you have no reason to have to justify those choices or feel like you're doing something wrong.

Plus, if someone here is truly being mean and spiteful, that is what the moderators are for. Report them.

Stacey - posted on 02/09/2011

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Heather Seymour:
I am sorry that the area in which you live does not offer the support you needed. As an Army wife, my children were born in different states and there has always been support available. They were not born in Army hospitals so I know that, in many areas, there is a vast array of support in the private sector. Our WIC offices provide hospital grade electric pumps as well as all the supplies to go with them. It is too bad that not all offices are as well equipped.

It is important to be educated on your state's laws. There are four basic classifications of state breastfeeding laws. Kansas falls in the category of the the highest level of legal protection for breastfeeding mothers.

K.S.A. § 43-158 (Lexis 2008) permits a mother breastfeeding her child to postpone jury service
until such mother is no longer breastfeeding the child.

K.S.A. § 65-1,248 (Lexis 2008) supports and encourages a mother’s choice to breastfeed and
permits a mother to breastfeed in any place she has a right to be.

I agree that we all have different experiences. My point was not that everyone has access to a lactation consultant but that each person has a different experience and we should support and not judge. I am not an island unto myself. If I have access to all these programs, I am certainly not the only one. My point is that there IS support available. I hope that soon, it will be available to you in the area you reside.

I wish you much success in raising your children and all your future feeding endeavors!

Heather - posted on 02/09/2011

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Dear Stacey Butler:
You are wrong in my case! The only pump WIC provides is a hand pump and I could not get ANYTHING out of breast with it..so UNHELPFUL. No I did not receive help from LLL they told me when I called they didn't have enough educators to make it to my home and the phone consolutations where not helpful as they could not actually see the problem. I did not experience pressure to breastfeed as you say; in fact the hospital kept bringing me little premade bottles of formula (NOT VERY SUPPORTIVE) Also, I live in KS and it is NOT a protected right to brestfeed, might I add not supportive!!! I could go on and on but the point I am trying make is that we all experience this differently and when I say there is NOT enough support I feel it true and know MANY women who feel the same. I would say that since many women comment to the same it might just be true! You, I feel have had positive support experience Yeah for you but that's not most!

Christina - posted on 02/09/2011

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I think successful breastfeeding starts with a good support system, and having a full understanding of how breastfeeding works. There are so many women out there who quit early unnecessarily because they think their body isn't producing enough, when in fact, the baby is going through a growth spurt, and it is normal for the baby to want to nurse all the time and act like they can't get full. Also, there are a lot of women that don't know that you need to pump to replace any feeding given by a bottle. Breast feeding is about supply and demand. If the body is told there isn't a deman, it won't supply. When I had my second son, my roomate told a nurse that she was going to breastfeed and supplement with formula from the start because she thought she wasn't able to produce enough milk for the baby. That is the biggest and fastest way to sabotage a breastfeeding relationship. Breast is best, but I think it's not so much that mom just can't, as they don't know enough about breastfeeding, and don't have people around them who know and support it.

Stacey - posted on 02/09/2011

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I see a lot of posts saying that there is not enough support for breastfeeding mothers. I find that hard to believe. With all five of my children, there was not only support available, there was unbelievable PRESSURE to breastfeed and to see a lactation consultant. In some cases, I had to tell the consultant to leave me alone, stop touching my breasts and let me and my baby figure it out on our own. Even when my triplets were born, I was under immense pressure to exclusively breastfeed them all. Never mind what my body had been through, how tired I was and the fact that there were THREE of them and only one of me.La Leche League is EVERYWHERE and are more than happy to provide all the support you could ever want. WIC provides free breast pumps and lactation counseling in your home. Most hospitals will send a lactation consultant to your home and most insurance pays for it.

I also see people saying that it is wrong to judge or criticize and in the same paragraph they question how hard women are really trying, implying that they are selfish and that formula fed babies grow up to be fat, unhealthy and stupid. So many breastfeeding mothers criticize bottle feeders for not breastfeeding because of the pain. Everyone experiences pain differently. If you choose to suffer through it, that is great but don't act the martyr. Breastfeeding does not make you a better mother in the long run.

I breastfed all of my children, including the triplets. I had an over abundance of milk and no problems other than using a nipple shield for the preemie babies until their mouths got a little bigger. But I refuse to get on my high horse about it and pick on women who make a different choice and question their motives, strength or effort.

I breastfed privately as a choice but there are laws in almost all states protecting those who choose to feed discreetly OR make a spectacle if they choose.

Way to go bottle feeding moms--whatever the reason for your choice. Your baby is getting fed and loved and that is what is most important.

Way to go breastfeeding moms! You are making a great choice for your baby. But lets stop pretending that breastfeeding women are so persecuted and under-supported. Let's try supporting each other as mothers--WITHOUT reservation, questions, speculation or criticism.

Hooray for ALL mamas!!

Heather - posted on 02/09/2011

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Oh it does hurt!! It's very time consuming! Takes all the energy you have thats for sure! I worked so hard for 5 months to get it down with my son..a very LONG 5 months!! And he and I finally got it! We BF till 15months..It was worth the struggle!! I agree some give up it's hard, I know. I think a bigger problem is that women are not prepared or educated on bfing....Women go into it thinking it's what they were made for, how hard can it be, I'm a woman and a now a mother sure I can do it....then reality sets in and you quickly discover it's not that easy and you have no clue what you are doing! That's what happened to me. I read articles and I skimmed the topic in books but I really thought it would just come to me and when it didn't I was horrified at what I couldn't do!
And I had all these women who had bf their babies telling me this and that and I was so depressed at all the trouble I was having....the second time around was no picnic either but we stuck it out again till 15mos. At 9 mo I lost all milk I mean it was gone and my baby was NOT ready so I quickly did some research turned to a whole/organic food store and found this amazing tea that brought back all my milk and let me continue bfing! I think there needs to be more education on how hard it is the reality of bfing! And more education towards things like teas and herbs and even foods that will aid in milk supply!! I had no clue I had to go searching for answers...if we are supposed to bf and it's so amazing for Mom and Baby then why is so hard to find support, in all forms from advise to supplies to things like teas??
To all those that gave it a good faith atempt, Congratulations!!! You worked hard and deserve a pat on the back for a job well attempted! It really counts for a lot!

Lupe - posted on 02/09/2011

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You gave what you had and that's that. Your kids are blessed to have you and you are blessed to have them.

Cary - posted on 02/09/2011

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I actually saw it as the other way around when I was breastfeeding, there is less support locally with breastfeeding mothers. I can not tell you how many comments I got or looks I received from bfing in public places. And I was quite discreet, always covering up with a blanket. And yet, people still had something nasty to say. People are just rude and it doesn't matter what you do. As long as you know you are doing everything you can then that is all that matters. As long as you are putting your childs best interest infront of yours.

Leslie - posted on 02/09/2011

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I don't think women should be put down who try to breastfeed and aren't physically able to. I think part of the problem in America is lack of help for the BFing mother and the fact that many of our mothers didn't BF since formula was in vogue at that time so they don't have a lot of advice. I was really blessed to have a mom who breast fed and a local children's hospital who had a clinic for breastfeeding medicine.

However I do wonder sometimes how hard some women really try and also I have a hard time understanding why when a lot of women face trouble with supply that they stop breastfeeding all together. Of course I think exclusively breast feeding is best, but some breast milk is better than none. If you have to supplement with formula it doesn't mean you have to give up on the breast. I'm sure there are situations where a woman just can't nurse or pump, but I think these are rare. However, this goes back to my first point that it's not really the mother to blame, it's a lack of general support.

I don't mean to criticize other mothers, BFing is just one piece of the puzzle in parenting, but it is something that lots of research has shown is very benifical for the baby, mother, and society as a whole. And these benifits extend beyond infancy. Breast fed babies are less likely to be obese later in life, they tend to have a higher IQ, they are sick less often, etc. So while I don't think we should put down mothers who don't/can't breastfeed, I do think as a society we should do all we can to encourage breastfeeding.

Rebecca - posted on 02/09/2011

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a problem with nit producing is usually a sign of a bad latch or positioning....if you would have received help from a IBCLC or a nurse, you may have been successful!
Yes, every child is different, but that doesn't mean that one needs formula and one needs breastmilk. All babies are hardwired to breastfeed.
best of luck to you...

Krystal - posted on 02/09/2011

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I totally agree Becky. Thou I have been lucky enough to breast feed for one year plus i have no problem with a mother giving her child formula. As long as her child is taken care of there should be no judgement.

Filomena - posted on 02/08/2011

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Becky know what I say, ignore people that do not have a life and need to tell others what to do!!! I also had the same problem, and with rafa my 1st, I breast feed for a month and had mastite and he had horrible colic...as soon as I started formula he became so calm and the colic was gone. With Nadine my 2nd, I just had nothing after the c-sect and so, the nurse having heard of my previous ordeal, told me to start formula straight away. My milk came after 5 days but again Nadine was all colicy so I carried on the formula and let my milk dry and to this day i am not sorry for it and they are both very healthy children:) So dont stress over it, Mom's always know best, follow your instinct:)

Linda - posted on 02/08/2011

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Becky, you are absolutely correct. I'm so sorry that you had such difficult experiences. Every mother has to do what is best for their baby. And no one has the right to question those decisions. Love is the most important thing the mother can give her baby. You did what was right.

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