breast milk or formula

Ruth - posted on 12/21/2009 ( 16 moms have responded )

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I am lost my 8 week old has been bf since birth at 3 weeks she was diagnosed with reflux and was put on med for that at six weeks she started getting painful gas and eating less at each feeding. I cut out milk, cheese, butter, etc (the main dairy products) and she did really well for about a week then it started again, so I am waiting to see he doctor but I have her on lactose free formula while I am pumping and she is doing a lot better in fact she went from waking up all night to sleeping seven hours straight. I really want to breast feed but I am not sure what to do about this. Has anyone else experienced this? and if so what did you do?

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Sharon - posted on 12/22/2009

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Why is it a question?



What is working for your child? what is best for your child?



Stop stressing. Do what works. You've tried your best and this is how its played out. Its not your fault, its not anyones fault.

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JohnCourtney - posted on 12/22/2009

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she may also be alergic to the whee protein in wheat products. I had a rough time when i started out with bf my daughter. She would gasp and chock and make aweful noises. She also would have gas problems and i couldn't get her to burp at all for me. I just kept at it and eventually we figured out that one together. if her belly hurt she would fuss after a feeding and i would jus keep trying to get something out of her till she either feel aslp or burped for me.....i also was concerned about her intake ...i took her to the doctor and he said she is gettin enough to eat and that all is normal for a new baby with bf because they are still trying to figure out how to do it the best and figure out how to swallow and do the two together. We also had the issue of her latching on and staying on. She would latch on and off and get frustrated and cry. She started eatting less and less. but the a lactation consultant at my hosp. offered a "medela nipple shield" and its just a plastic nipple shield that you put over ur nipple to make it easier for them to latch on. She did great with it. It also allows them to learn the proper tech. of bf. She started to hit it and take it off so i started to try without it about two weeks ago and now she is totally not using it at all. She is doing great. If you are also concerned with how much they are getting just watch how many wet diapers your baby has. and dirty diapers. If it is lower than the recommended then they aren't getting enough. but my baby only eats about 8-15 mins at the breast each feeding(every 2.5-4.5 hrs) and she has gained plenty of wt and has a good amount of dirty diapers. My doc says she doing great. I almost gave up bf many times but stuck through the hard times and frustrations and its amazing how easy and comfirtable we both are at doing it now. Trust me stay strong and keep it up!!!

Ruth - posted on 12/22/2009

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Thank you everyone for your post I really appreciate them.I have talked to a LC and her doctor the last two days and it turns out she is lactose intollerent. It is rare with babies but she was a premie and missed out on this development. They say she might grow out of it but since her dad and aunt are too she may not. Also they both recommended soy formula for the time because it is the only thing not hurting her and she only put on 5 oz in the past month so I need to get her to gain some weight. Thank you for you help and support and hopfully this also can help someone else too.

Christy - posted on 12/21/2009

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i didn't have this problem to the extent that you do but my daughter was very gassy no matter what i ate. i used Mylicon drops and they worked wonders. i've also heard that gripe water is good for their stomachs and is more natural than the Mylicon. if you've already tried that and it hasn't worked then i would just go with the formula. my daughter wouldn't accept formula at all but if that's what works for your daughter, by all means do it. and don't beat yourself up about it, you tried to breastfeed but as great a breastmilk is, it's not worth a miserable baby in my opinion.

Emily - posted on 12/21/2009

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Quoting Samantha:

Geeze. I tried to post a reply and my computer deleted it. Anyways, long story short, "breast is best" has been around for a long time. THis was because formula did not have the DHA and ARA that breast milk has. Just weigh out your options and dont worry. It aggravates me that people on here are pressuring you to only breast feed!!! Dont stress :) This makes your baby stressed too!!! Some babies just take to formula better, NO BIG DEAL!!! When i was a baby i refused to latch on and was very fussy. I started formula and, now being much older, havent had any problems health or intelligence wise (except at age 14 or so i became slightly lactose-intolerant) I have not had my lil one yet, i am only 33 weeks pregnant, but from what i have heard, sometimes its just harder to breast feed. Its not just you breastfeeding, your baby has to cooperate too. Though breast feeding does offer nutrients to help your baby build a strong immune system, you have to remember, your diet effects their diet!!! If your baby is happy on formula, why not stick with it? Personally i would work on whatever my baby thinks is best. They dont talk at a very young age so how can they tell you that breast milk is just not working for them? Dont ever think you are a bad mom because you cant breast feed!!!! And PLEASE dont get upset about all these people that say you HAVE to breast feed. It is a choice and some of the happiest, healthiest, smartest babies i know are on soy formula.... Do what i did, make a pros and cons list. You may find at the end that formula will just work better. Your baby wont be drinking formula forever so dont worry. This will pass. GOOD LUCK!!!! :)


Actually, Samantha, breast is STILL best, despite formulas now having DHA and ARA. There are hundreds of nutrients in breastmilk that formulas do not have that are important for infant development. If babies were designed to drink formula, we'd have formula flowing from our boobs ;)



No one is trying to "pressure" her to breastfeed or saying she *has* to breastfeed. She said herself she "really wants to breastfeed." Read her original post. For someone who wants to continue to breastfeed, there is nothing wrong with offering help and support for that.

Christina - posted on 12/21/2009

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First of all... lactose is important for brain growth. babies NEED lactose. There might have been something you were eating besides dairy that was bothering her. Obviously is she is on formula with a milk protein, that isn't the problem. You should talk to a lactation consultant on what to eat and not eat if you have a sensitive baby. You should breastfeed and try different diets. The best thing you are giving her from breastmilk is the immune system from you body. It also might be other proteins in your milk (soy) that can be bothering her. Talk to your doctor and lactation consultant. Formula is missing so many key components that a growing brain and body needs to function properly. (insulin, human fat (cholesterol and DHA) and for heavens sake, DO NOT USE SOY! That will damage her more than breastmilk/ cows milk formula ever could. Soy is an anti-nutrient! Do not listen to the hype. "The Whole Soy Story: America's favorite health food" is an amazing book. I can't tell you how many mom's I know who had MAJOR problems with soy LATER in life than as an infant. Eczema, asthma, soy, peanut and many more allergies. Her body needs time to learn how to function. My son spit up and had gas, too. But his body learned and he is better. Some babies don't sleep, some babies do and do not do a lot of things. Talk to a professional in your area and get someone who supports breastfeeding. Formula isn't the answer, its a permanent solution to temporary problems.

User - posted on 12/21/2009

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Yes, I have experienced this. I have 3 children, I have one that is lactose intolerant, and I have one that is allergic to milk protein. During breastfeeding if milk protein allergy, you must read all of the labels, even Soy milk has milk protein, eggs,noodles,some crackers all cheese crackers.You are going to be on an extreme diet if you do this , but it will make your baby healthy.If not Hypoallergenic formula runs about $$28.00 a can, which you will need 2-3 cans a week.Don't forget if you stop bf your body stops producing.I prefer Alimentum as opposed to Nutramigen, my lactose free baby was on Alimentum and started to have a lot of reflux I put him on Similac Sensitive AR(stops spit up), and switched back and forth with Similac Sensitive(which is lactose free$15.00 a can)and he is doing quite well.My hypallergenic baby is 4 now and on lactose free milk. I hope this was some help(this is not advice, just my experiences :) )

Adri - posted on 12/21/2009

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Seek help from a LC if you really want to BF and it's important to you. Having said that, though, if you and your baby are happier using formula then don't worry. From my experience, formula fed babies are healthy and thrive just as well as BF babies. I have two FF children so I know.

Samantha - posted on 12/21/2009

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Geeze. I tried to post a reply and my computer deleted it. Anyways, long story short, "breast is best" has been around for a long time. THis was because formula did not have the DHA and ARA that breast milk has. Just weigh out your options and dont worry. It aggravates me that people on here are pressuring you to only breast feed!!! Dont stress :) This makes your baby stressed too!!! Some babies just take to formula better, NO BIG DEAL!!! When i was a baby i refused to latch on and was very fussy. I started formula and, now being much older, havent had any problems health or intelligence wise (except at age 14 or so i became slightly lactose-intolerant) I have not had my lil one yet, i am only 33 weeks pregnant, but from what i have heard, sometimes its just harder to breast feed. Its not just you breastfeeding, your baby has to cooperate too. Though breast feeding does offer nutrients to help your baby build a strong immune system, you have to remember, your diet effects their diet!!! If your baby is happy on formula, why not stick with it? Personally i would work on whatever my baby thinks is best. They dont talk at a very young age so how can they tell you that breast milk is just not working for them? Dont ever think you are a bad mom because you cant breast feed!!!! And PLEASE dont get upset about all these people that say you HAVE to breast feed. It is a choice and some of the happiest, healthiest, smartest babies i know are on soy formula.... Do what i did, make a pros and cons list. You may find at the end that formula will just work better. Your baby wont be drinking formula forever so dont worry. This will pass. GOOD LUCK!!!! :)

Amy - posted on 12/21/2009

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We had issues with our son when I had any dairy. We also had to make sure any frozen milk of mine that had dairy waited until we NEEDED it. It's really hard to change your diet to accommodate a happy baby.

You may also want to look into other things to try cutting out in case it's just something else? Another big thing that many mom's need to cut out is Soy. If you talk to your dr or a lactation specialist they should be able to provide you with a list of things to try. Also you need to wait a few weeks after trying something new to actually see the change helped.

If you've eliminated milk and it helped a little bit there's always the chance that it's either something else or a combination of milk and something else.

I'm not sure about lactose free formula, but when my son had issues with dairy it was the protean in the milk not the lactose and that almost all babies have no issues with lactose and that the lactose allergy is something we develop as we age.

Since your son is only 8 weeks old, his stomach may just have a hard time digesting different foods, as he gets older you can always try to re-introduce the foods into your diet. For me I only breastfeed until about 6 months (due to issues I had no control over), however at 1 year our son had no issues with cows milk. I've heard that trying to most babies will be able to handle the food between 9 and 12 months, some sooner.

So basically, try talking to a LC first and see what kinds of food to avoid. You should be able to call the local hospital and ask to speak with the LC and not have to pay. Most places will charge you if you meet in person with a LC, unless it's in a breastfeeding support group.

I agree, you may also want to try another reflex med to see if that helps as well.

Good luck!

Angie - posted on 12/21/2009

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Visit with a lactation consultant and see if she has any ideas for you. Do whatever you can to avoid formula. Breast milk is healthier for you daughter. I hope her doctor will be able to help you continue breast feeding.

Whitney - posted on 12/21/2009

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My little guy gained weight for the first 2 months and then absolutely none after that. I found this out at this 4 month check. Trust me... I felt like a bad mom. But, anyway, we found out that there just wasn't enough. I really wanted to keep going, but I had to put my wants away and work on his needs. I know that breastfeeding is considered best, but sometimes it just isn't. If she is happy on soy formula, it really is o.k. for her to be on it. My older boys had to have formula after 2 months and they are very smart and healthy. Don't worry she will grow and be healthy. Just trust your judgement and read her ques. Good Luck!!

Shannon - posted on 12/21/2009

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A friend of mine had a baby and breast fed for 2 weeks and she had the same problems, turns out her daughter was allergic to the breast milk (her mom is allergic to dairy so they knew her diet wasn't the problem) They switched her to formula and found out her daughter is also allergic to dairy so she was put on soy formula and that was just what she needed. Sometimes, no matter how much you'd like to breastfeed, it just doesn't work out, but I applaud you for trying and wanting to!

Emily - posted on 12/21/2009

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Honestly I would try another med before switching to formula. Breastmilk is still going to be better for your baby than any formula. It's totally normal for babies to be faster eaters as they get older, but this does NOT mean that your baby is eating less. I would definitely get a doctor's opinion and even a lactation consultant's opinion before switching to formula.

Katrina - posted on 12/21/2009

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Unfortunately I didn't have your expereince but I had something similar with my daughter not doing well with breast milk. I had a lot of milk but it was way too thin. She wasn't getting enough of it so it seemed. I switched her to forula when she was 3 weeks old and it has been great since then. Sometimes, as much as we want to breast feed, our babies and bodies don't go together. It sucks, I know this. Over all you just have to try and do what's best for your child. I wish you the best of luck.

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