Switching to Formula? - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-19-2011, 09:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't agree with this but am looking to understand why someone might do this.

 

In my mom & baby yoga class two girls are working to switch to formula after successfully breastfeeding. I do not know their reasons for doing this as I have not asked, but have watched them move from breastfeeding in class with their then 6 week old babies to offering formula 7 weeks later. One girl's DS is now 13 weeks and she started formula in the last week or so and it sounds like she is aiming to ween her son completely. The other girl weened her DD 3 or 4 weeks ago and now exclusively formula feeds. This caused an issue one class when her baby was hungry and she couldn't get the tap warm enough to warm the bottle.

 

Listening to their conversations, it sounded like they were hoping FF would encourage their LOs to sleep better/longer at night, but they've since found this not to be so. One was even talking about sleep training and refusing to give her LO a bottle at night so DD wouldn't "expect" it... Didn't sit well with me but I'm not one to tell others how to parent, especially when I'm new at this myself.

 

After successfully feeding from an essentially free and instant source, why would they/you switch to formula after already making it this far in their breastfeeding relationship?


  

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Old 05-19-2011, 09:16 PM
 
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Are they returning to work?  I am a teacher and pumping for my 6 month old and it is not easy (time-wise and exhaustion wise) - my almost 5 year old has not yet weaned and I am very committed to breastfeeding but I can definitely see how much easier it would be to leave formula with the babysitter rather than have to pump during the day, panic because I mightn't have enough and get up in the middle of the night to try to wring out a few more ounces, and constantly have to keep a change of clothes on hand in case I spring a leak.

People have all sorts of reasons.

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Old 05-19-2011, 09:25 PM
 
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in this case it sounds like they are victims of two misconceptions that our society has 1) babies should sleep through the night by 6 months 2) formula will fix any problem you are having with your breastfed baby

 

obviously neither of those are true, but society tries to make new moms believe they are. 


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Old 05-19-2011, 10:39 PM
 
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Could be many reasons. Some people make it to 6 months and are completely happy with that milestone and stopping. 

For us I got pregnant and my supply went out the window, plus I did not want to tandem nurse at all. My own well being would not have held up to the pregnancy and nursing so it was better for all of us. While I was a bit sad I was happy that I was able to nurse her for 5.5 months before giving DD any formula. 

 

I guess it really shouldn't matter what their reasons are. 

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Old 05-20-2011, 09:53 AM
 
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Different strokes for different folks.

 

Some people start out only intending to BF for 3 months or 6 months or whatever and once they get to that point they are fine with stopping.

 

Some are returning to work and can not pump.

 

Some, I would imagine, are having a hard time coping with the sort of "all-consumingness" of the BFing relationship.  DS is 10 months and has only just now started eating enough solids/spacing out his nursings long enough that I can feel comfortable leaving him alone with DH without dipping into the precious freezer stash.  But I'm a homebody so it hasn't been so bad.  For someone else with a different personality that could be really, really hard to cope with to the point where it may actually interfere with the woman's ability to be the best mother she can be.

 

I know it can sometimes be hard to see things like that if you are someone (like myself) who cherishes the BFing relationship you have with your DC, but I try to remember that we are all doing what we think is best for our LO's even if those choices are different from parent to parent.


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Old 05-20-2011, 01:53 PM
 
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This post makes me sad.

 

Sad for all those moms who desperately wanted to breastfeed but had a traumatic birth and a low supply, or a doctor that gave them false information, or an LC that arrived on the scene too late, or a hospital that didn't understand nipple confusion. Those moms who would have given anything for a good healthy breastfeeding start... to watch someone have it all and give it away? That makes me really sad.


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Old 05-21-2011, 09:13 AM
 
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I'm pleased to see most folks here are at least working to see the other side. I am sadened that they are weening to formula, but also agree that we don't understand there life or even need to.
I wish there was some better was to reach out to moms before it was too late and help correct some of the misconceptions that prompt some ladies to do this. And yet others do it knowing all the facts, at least they breastfed for the first few months, they gave their baby something very special in that time and they will always be better for it.

As a mom who has struggled EVERY day to breast feed my now 5 month old twin, I have fanitized about giving up the fight and just "doing something else" something that does not make me feel rejected, something that does not ask me to stay up late and make my nipples hurt pumping.
but thankfully for better or worse, I understand that formula has it's own cross to bear, it's own hassles and drawbacks, so I am committed to breastfeeding %1000 percent as the lessor of to huge frustrations. I can however really understand that the mass majority of ladies in my shoes with even just slightly less info or slightly less stubbornness would have switched long ago.

MDC conversations tend to the absolute on many things like breastfeeding, there is no absolutes.




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Old 05-21-2011, 09:43 AM
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Well, I would hate to see someone who wanted to breastfeed stop doing so because they were misinformed but I would not assume that is the case.  There is a lot of pressure on women to breastfeed, and it's hard for women to say that they just don't want to do it for whatever reason.  So they have reasons or justifications for why they are formula feeding - but the ones that they share may not be their real reason.

 

I switched to formula with both my kids.  DD was 3 mos old and I felt self-conscious about not breastfeeding her, so for a short while if it came up I told people that I stopped because my milk dried up.  Which is true.  My milk dried up because I got on BCP.  I did not want to get on mini-pill since it has such a high failure rate.  My OB warned me that it might reduce my milk supply and if it did, if I stopped taking it my milk should return.  I was OK with that risk - not getting pregnant is more important to me than breastfeeding.  Also this was around the time I returned to work, and I had such a miserable pumping / working experience so I was really OK with it.  My supply went down and I stopped breastfeeding.  I know that there are women who judge me for this, so I just made it sound like I tried and failed to breastfeed.  Then I got over it and stopped worrying about what other people think about me. 

 

So my rambling point is that the reasons that women give for not breastfeeding are not always their true reasons.  In addition to my personal story, I have had friends tell me similar tales.  

 

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Old 05-21-2011, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by howeberry View Post

 

After successfully feeding from an essentially free and instant source, why would they/you switch to formula after already making it this far in their breastfeeding relationship?


Breastfeeding is only free if you assume that women's time has no financial value.  But as for other reasons, they include 

  • not enjoying breastfeeding - not pain - just not liking it
  • wanting other people such as father to be able to feed baby
  • hating pumping
  • not being able to pump enough milk
  • having a job
  • needing to travel
  • wanting to sleep through the night - and wanting someone else to feed the baby
  • discomfort in breastfeeding - I had oversupply issues and it was not fun
  • wanting your body to be yours again - not pregnant, nursing, etc
  • being on medications incompatible with breastfeeding
  • wanting to drink / use drugs
  • just not wanting to do it

 

 

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Old 05-21-2011, 10:07 AM
 
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Yeah I really agree that while breastfeeding often easier and faster than bottles that is not always the case. And it is certainly not free and instant. It takes lots of time and toll, even if it's worth it. the notion that it is free and instant I think sets moms up for failure, they often are not prepared for the task and it's requirements. With some babies it can be a nearly full time job
And then when add pumping and bottles as some ladies need to it gets to be the worse of both worlds. If you say me out NIP happily (they seriously nurse better at the book store than home it feels like) you would never in minute guess how hard my evenings at home are most nights, when my tired babies demand bottles and screen to near choking while a scramble to pump or thaw if I have run out of the frig stash for the day.

Very nearly nothing is free and instant, but many things are worth it!

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Old 05-21-2011, 10:29 AM
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Amen to it being a lot of work and not free.  Just out of pocket I spent $300 on a pump, $200 on nursing bras / tanks, $200 on nursing friendly shirts, $20 on cloth pads for leaking, $10 on lanolin, $20 for thrush medication, $10 to dry clean a silk shirt when I leaked through in a meeting.  Not to mention the time with LC, doctor visit for thrush, time breastfeeding, or time pumping.  

 

I did like breastfeeding but I think we need to be realistic about it.  

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Old 05-25-2011, 06:10 AM
 
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A year ago, I would've been scratching my head over that one, too. Breast milk is what a baby is designed to eat, it's free, and it burns a ton of calories. Seemed like a no-brainer. And then I had my daughter. 

 

BFing was 1000x harder than I thought it would be. I had supply issues and my baby had latching issues. I was trying to recover from an emergency c-section. I called a LC that was thankfully able to help us. I also had an incredibly supportive DH and mother; they cooked and cleaned and allowed me to do nothing but feed the baby. It took about 8 weeks to get everything ironed out. Those were the hardest 8 weeks of my life (so far). BFing a newborn isn't for wusses. For women returning to work right away, 8 weeks could be your whole maternity leave. I kind of get why other women would jump ship. 

 

I'm glad I stayed on board though. 


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Old 05-25-2011, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I do understand breastfeeding isn't a cake walk - we had our own issues but it was very important for me to breastfeed my son. I also understand it is not technically free - I too have over-priced nursing bras & tanks, a pump, never mind I eat more than a grown man to feed myself and my baby.

 

Thing is, these girls have successfully breastfed for 3 months. One of their babies is 12 weeks and weighs over 16 lbs on just breast milk! They are past the hard part (IMHO). I know the one who stopped a few weeks ago is not returning to work until the fall.

 

They do seem completely overwhelmed by how demanding a new little can be, so I wouldn't be surprised if that has something to do with their decision to wean.

 

 


  

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Old 05-25-2011, 12:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MsFortune View Post

Amen to it being a lot of work and not free.  Just out of pocket I spent $300 on a pump, $200 on nursing bras / tanks, $200 on nursing friendly shirts, $20 on cloth pads for leaking, $10 on lanolin, $20 for thrush medication, $10 to dry clean a silk shirt when I leaked through in a meeting.  Not to mention the time with LC, doctor visit for thrush, time breastfeeding, or time pumping.  

 

I did like breastfeeding but I think we need to be realistic about it.  


Just wanted to second that "amen". I fought like hell and spent a small fortune to breastfeed my DD. She had a weak latch and it took multiple visits with several lactation consultants to get her sucking properly. The first consultation was $120.00 and each follow-up was $70.00. In addition there was the pump and the accompanying paraphernalia (about 500.00). The herbs my LC recommended to boost my supply when I went back to work ($30.00 every two weeks), the Domperidome I needed to take when I couldn't pump enough to keep up with DD's needs ($200.00) a month, plus the bras, tanks, nipple cream, freezer bags, etc, etc... In addition I can't even begin to guess at how many hours I spent pumping, which was always uncomfortable and sometimes downright painful.

 

Please don't misunderstand, I truly believe the time and money were both well spent and have no regrets. I think the benefits of breastfeeding are beyond measure and am delighted and proud to have breastfed my little girl for a year but honestly, I can understand why some mamas may choose to give it up much sooner. I think we do ourselves and other mothers a disservice by not acknowledging the possible hardships involved with breastfeeding. Before I gave birth I assumed it would be the easiest thing in the world, "attach baby to breast, commence bliss". Thousands of dollars and some very sore nipples later, I wish someone, my OB, a nurse, a friend, anyone would have clued me into how much hard work breastfeeding can be. I still would have done it but at least I wouldn't have spent several miserable months thinking I was the only one who had problems.

 

For those mamas who breastfeed with ease, I say congratulations, count your blessings and please try not to judge those of us for whom breastfeeding was or is a financial, physical or emotional struggle. At the end of the day, however we feed our kids doesn't mean we love them any more or less. We're all just trying to find our way and do our best.

 


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Old 05-25-2011, 01:02 PM
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Some people do breastfeed without extra expenses. With my first DD I bought nursing bras. But I would have had to buy some kind of bra anyway. I did buy a pump with my second DD because I was working on Saturdays. The income from working paid for the pump in a little over a month. So it was relatively free.

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Old 05-25-2011, 06:32 PM
 
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Well, I would hate to see someone who wanted to breastfeed stop doing so because they were misinformed but I would not assume that is the case.  There is a lot of pressure on women to breastfeed, and it's hard for women to say that they just don't want to do it for whatever reason.  So they have reasons or justifications for why they are formula feeding - but the ones that they share may not be their real reason.

I completely agree and I'm so glad to see supportive posts about this on MDC.  It can be hard to be a formula feeder in pro-breastfeeding circles, whatever your reasons for it are.  I have to admit I was very judgemental about it before having a baby of my own but I've learned a lot since.  And as a mama who couldn't breastfeed due to low supply, breast refusal, thrush, and latching issues I can honestly say I have nothing against mamas who choose formula for their own reasons.  I know for me giving up on breastfeeding has let me do all those AP things I wanted to do but that the constant pumping (to try and bring up my supply) and the stress of it all was preventing.  Though I still feel like I often have to justify why I'm feeding formula (see above, lol) but I'm working on that!

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Old 05-25-2011, 08:10 PM
 
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I weaned my first DS at 4 months. Though I will say we didn't exactly have a "successful" start as you mentioned with these women. If I had to name a reason I switched to formula feeding, I guess I would say just complete lack of knowledge. My DS was 4 lb 11 oz and a very small, tired little guy. His latch was lazy, but I didn't understand anything about what that meant at the time. Because I was afraid he wasn't getting enough, I pumped and fed, OFTEN. Sometimes in place of nursing sessions, hence lessening his nursing abilities. I had to return to work at 6 weeks which lead to MORE pump-and-feeds instead of nursing. I wasn't pumping while I was at work (again - serious lack of knowledge here)... I didn't really know I was allowed, much less entitled, and I wasn't prepared at all to do it. I was very young and overwhelmed and just essentially clueless. The fewer nursing and pumping sessions of course lead to low supply, which lead to formula supplements & eventually weaning. I was also on WIC at that time, and they seemed to think weaning was a good idea. I was very mainstream at the time, I thought my experience was pretty typical (in fact, I breastfed longer than any other mom I know IRL to this day). 

 

Now that I have MDC joy.gif & have found myself to be an AP parent, I do things much differently. I knew when I started TTC DD last year that I would find a way to breastfeed successfully and do it for the long haul. I got an LC before she was born and educated myself about typical problems and solutions, what to do to improve hard situations, how to keep my supply when I returned to work & etc. DD will be 4 mo in a few days, so I've made it as far with her as I did with DS and haven't supplemented in anyway. I actually plan for CLW with her. 

 

 

Also, I know I had a much different thought pattern when I was a more mainstream individual. Breastfeeding was HARD and EXHAUSTING and I just didn't really see why in the world I would kill myself like that when I didn't have to.... I genuinely believed that formula was just about as good as breastmilk (Have you read a formula ad lately? They pretty much claim this to be true). I did not sleep train DS, but I do remember thinking STTN was a really important milestone or something like that. My DD actually DOES sleep through the night & it kind of makes me sad... like I'd like more time with her - because my point-of-view has completely changed. I'm just saying, among the zillions of reasons women may choose formula, complete ignorance IS a true possibility. When I had my first DS I didn't know there were women in the US that breastfed past 6 months; literally. 

 

 

Also, as a PP mentioned, it's hard to be a formula feeder around anyone pro-breastfeeding. I still really regret not nursing my DS his due time. But I didn't know what I didn't know... and all I can do now is feed him whole foods & breastfeed DD & any future children. But I still feel the sting when I have to say "DS was formula fed". Don't be too tough on them.


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Old 05-25-2011, 09:41 PM
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I second the "medications that are incompatible with breastfeeding" suggestion.

 

I have an adopted 4mo, and the reason I did not induce lactation is because it would have necessitated weaning myself off of an anti-depressant, a muscle relaxer, and an anti-inflammatory, all of which I desperately need.  While it is unlikely that these women were heavily medicated when they began breastfeeding, it is quite possible that they may have developed postpartum depression, gone on medication to treat it, and are now looking to wean for safety issues.  And this might be particularly hard to admit, especially to other mothers who did not go through postpartum depression.

 

Luckily for me, I have an extremely generous friend with a surplus, so my son is fed formula and donated breastmilk, but I would not be ashamed of my decision were that not the case.  I know that being the best mother I can be involves doing what I can to be mentally and physically healthy, regardless of the effect this has on his feeding.

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Old 05-26-2011, 10:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MsFortune View Post

Amen to it being a lot of work and not free.  Just out of pocket I spent $300 on a pump, $200 on nursing bras / tanks, $200 on nursing friendly shirts, $20 on cloth pads for leaking, $10 on lanolin, $20 for thrush medication, $10 to dry clean a silk shirt when I leaked through in a meeting.  Not to mention the time with LC, doctor visit for thrush, time breastfeeding, or time pumping.  

 

I did like breastfeeding but I think we need to be realistic about it.  


Absolutely. I am still breastfeeding my 12 month DS, but it has cost probably more than formula would have. Besides the nursing tanks, bras, and pads, because I work I also had to buy a double electric pump, and bottles. The Lansinoh milk storage bags are $.10 each and for many months I was freezing 5 a day. I've gotten Mastitis twice, thrush, and a breast abscess (resulting from mastitis) that ended up having to be surgically drained. The lactation consultant was a few hundred dollars (many visits), and the surgery bills were over $1000.

 

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Old 05-26-2011, 12:36 PM
 
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Most people I know who stopped breastfeeding did so because working and pumping is so hard.

 

I agree it is hard, even when you have a place to pump! I was pumping three times a day at work, then twice at home, and barely getting enough milk to feed DD during the day while I was at work.

 

I have recently began drinking Fenugreek tea all day, and that has helped a lot and cut down on the number of times I needed to pump, I am getting by with two at work and one at home, but if I kept having to pump 5 times a day, I don't know how long I could keep it up!!!

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Old 05-26-2011, 01:43 PM
 
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Breastfeeding is WAY more expensive than formula would be for us. I WOH and spend $81/month renting a pump (because the only one that works for me is the Symphony and it's cheaper to rent than purchase) and $160 every 3 months on Domperidone, and way too many LC consultations at $140/hr (not to mention the smaller expenses like freezer bags, nursing bras, pads, etc). I still pump 6 x day at 7 months. I was waking up at 2am every night to pump to keep my supply up even though DD STTN. I just weaned off the 2am pumping last week and I feel like a new woman already! I HOPE I can keep pumping for a bit longer than DD's first birthday but we'll see. It's the hardest thing I've ever done. Formula would be so much easier and cheaper. The constant pumping is even starting to wear on DW and she would rather us just formula-feed. I definitely see why a mother would switch to formula if they've gone through what I have, and others I've seen have. The mom in the OP might not have had such an easy time. I think any mama milk is better than none, so kudos to her! It can be REALLY hard sometimes.

 

I also agree about the judgment in breastfeeding circles. DD drinks EBM out of bottles only and I've even resorted to feeding her in the car a few times because I've gotten so many looks and comments from people in my uber-crunchy area, thinking that I was formula feeding and "did I even try to breastfeed?!". Total strangers telling me "breast is best". :( It's so sad and hurtful. If they only knew what we've been through with breastfeeding and how much I work to give DD 100% breastmilk.


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Old 05-27-2011, 06:09 AM
 
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While I think it is horrible and sad that anyone feels judged about using bottles, period, I am also very sad when a momma switches to formula out of what I do believe are perpetual myths.


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Old 05-28-2011, 08:44 AM
 
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I've been going back and forth with this post.  I have a friend who tried and tried and tried to breastfeed her son and for some reason it just didn't work.  She had a very difficult labor (who doesn't) and then had latching problems that left her nipples so sore it was agony having him attached.  So by the time she finally got an LC and Drs to help it was too late.  She had to do formula.  I get it.  I also get that for some women their life circumstances, demands of a job and the lack of support for pumping women in the work place makes it really difficult to continue.  I've been there.  I was pumping every 3 hours and sometimes gone 13-14 hours a day when my LO was 4-8 months.  Plus nursing all night long to make up for supply issues and just to have a connection with him.  It was exhausting.  But for me it was worth it.  I knew that I was doing the best for LO and I'll be damned if I was going to succumb to supplementing.  I don't know why it became so important to me but it did.  We had a lot of problems in the beginning with latch problems and a short frenulum and I remember feeling like such a failure when after almost 2 days I'd gotten him to the breast only a handful of times.  But still, formula was not an option.  I also had thrush, off an on almost the entire summer.  But still, something about breastfeeding this baby, and having this amazing connection with him was so special that I couldn't imagine missing out on this.  And I personally couldn't make the decision to stop just because it was hard.  My LO just started sleeping longer than 1 1/2 hours at a time, just started napping and still loves breastfeeding.  He just turned a year.  I guess my point is that parenting is hard!  Having a baby is hard!  And comparing cost between formula and the breast is really not the point.  I think that some of these difficulties are going to happen whether or not you breast feed, bottle feed, formula feed, co-sleep, CIO, SAH or work to support your family.  One final, note, for the women who are going to rent pumps, they've brought in tax breaks for breast pumps so go out and buy one!  In the long run it's cheaper especially if you plan on having more than one kid.  My sis has had a Medela Pump and Style for over 10 years now and it still works!

I don't know....  I'm getting on my soapbox and need to step down.  I wish these women weren't choosing to switch to formula when their babies are so young and there's no need but who am I?.......  All I can do is make the best choice for my kid, and hope it is the best one.......

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Old 05-28-2011, 04:39 PM
 
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It makes me sad when a baby isn't breastfed, but I have learned not to judge other people's situations unless I know quite a bit about them because you just don't know what else is going on and has led to that moment.  I figure a lot of those moms are sad, too, because for whatever reason breastfeeding didn't work well for them, whether there was misinformation involved or not, they did to some degree want it to.  So I'm sad and they are sad.  Or I am sad and they are content not to BF.  That one's not my business, and those are people with whom I have no reason to start a conversation about BF with anyway--too little common ground for us to relate. 

 

I would never make a comment about breastfeeding to someone I saw bottlefeeding.  I think that is terribly inappropriate.  Giving unsolicited advice after the decisions are irreversibly (or nearly so) made?  Only to a close friend or relative who was actually in the middle of struggling to BF and considering giving up and wanting help or to a pregnant mom who felt like talking to me about BF would I consider my opinions and advice appropriate.

 

Personally, I simply do not like to hear people talking like it's "no big deal" whether they quit BFing early on.  Or as if no one should care whether a baby if BF or FF.   It does matter, and I respect a mom a lot more if she speaks of it like it matters no matter what path she has taken.  But even if a mom is speaking lightly in a way that bothers me, I also recall that sometimes when we have a hard time with something we make light of it in certain casual conversations or to ease our own feelings about it or keep people we are not close to from getting near our pain.  When you hear only a few snippets you still know very little.   

 

I think when parenting a baby is hard, some moms look for anything to make it easier because they are tired, things are a hassle, there are too many demands on their time and body.  There are a lot of people who make choices like that because something is difficult and they want to feel more comfortable.  Some people struggle and give up only after throwing everything they can at their obstacles, some give up as soon as they feel uncomfortable.  I suppose most of us are somewhere in between.  That said, I have no idea at first glance which people are which and I am not trying to find that out.  It's the kind of thing you might realize about someone's character as you get to know them.  I know people who tend to change direction whenever they face even small difficulties and I don't spend my time judging them.  I just realize that's how they are.  They like quick fixes and get uncomfortable easily and thus they make very different decisions than I do about a lot of things.  If I spent my time being upset by various failings and inadequacies on my part and everyone else's I'd be an unhappy unpleasant person. 


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Old 05-28-2011, 04:50 PM
 
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I know a few people who did this.  They just find FF easier and don't see much advantage to bf'ing beyond the first few months.  Good for them, I say.  We all need to parent as we see fit.  Who am I to tell them bf'ing is easier/cheaper whatever?  Obviously if they liked it (as I do!) they'd keep it up.


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Old 05-28-2011, 10:02 PM
 
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wow, reading this thread makes me feel so incredibly blessed to have an easy nursing relationship. I have a hand me down pump, hand me down bottles, I got tons of breast milk storage bags, breast pads, nipple cream, etc for my baby shower(enough to last me forever, lol) and a champion nurser. For me it is definitely financially and emotionally better to nurse. I also never had mastitis or anything like that with my DS, and don't expect to with DD either. I've never had supply issues with either child. Makes me feel so incredibly lucky! If I had some of the issues you all have had I don't think I'd be able to continue breastfeeding either. :( Has anyone using formula looked into homemade formula or milk-sharing? Homemade formula I believe is infinitely superior to commerical formula. I know if I had to stop breastfeeding, I'd make my own or look for other mamas willing to donate milk.


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Old 05-29-2011, 12:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FarrenSquare View Post

This post makes me sad.

 

Sad for all those moms who desperately wanted to breastfeed but had a traumatic birth and a low supply, or a doctor that gave them false information, or an LC that arrived on the scene too late, or a hospital that didn't understand nipple confusion. Those moms who would have given anything for a good healthy breastfeeding start... to watch someone have it all and give it away? That makes me really sad.



I feel the same way. I desperately wanted to breastfeed. But I had a low supply, due in part to my DD's NICU stay after she was born, and I couldn't increase it very much no matter what I tried. We had help from LCs, the LLL, fenugreek, oatmeal, water, pumping round the clock, etc. We still did breastfeed, but my low supply was never enough to be her exclusive food source so we had to supplement with formula from the time we brought her home. At 9 months old, she is still able to eek out a teensy little bit of milk at night when we're relaxing her down to sleep, but not much more than that. I would have given ANYTHING to have been able to EBF. Stories like the OP make me very sad.

 

At the same time though....I have no idea why those mamas wanted to wean early and I can't really judge them, not being in their shoes.  

 


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Old 05-29-2011, 07:11 PM
 
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I desperately wanted to BF and struggled for months, trying  to increase my supply.  We tried it ALL and there were times I was overcome with jealousy of all the women who just DO IT, just feed their baby, for who it just WORKS, and who only have the normal struggles and difficulties.

 

Half of my struggle was dealing with the guilt and the perceptions of others when I had to supplement and then fully formula feed. I just feel like there is this Breast is Best fanaticism that glosses over the fact that so many women have legitimate and significant difficulties. And judges anyone who dares to be selfish enough to formula feed, regardless of the reason.  It was very clear that some felt I could have tried harder.  How? I don't know. 

 

So, while I would have done anything to be one of those women who could BF easily and I do believe breast IS best....would I judge those women in the OP's story?  Nope.  In fact, it makes me angry that this discussion is even happening.  Breastfeeding is hard.  Even if you don't have supply problems or physical issues/pain...there are plenty of reasons that it might not be working for them, in their lives.  And the casual way they discussed it may well be their way of coping with those reasons.  Or maybe not.  Maybe they just don't want to do it anymore. Maybe they want to wear normal bras and go back to work without pumping.  Maybe they want their bodies back.  Who cares?   They are making their own choices as parents.

 

Before my inability to BF, I would not have felt that way.  I would have tsk-tsk'd in my head and judged.  But now I have been on the receiving end of that judgement.  And it sucks.


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Old 05-29-2011, 09:18 PM
 
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I find this whole thread very sad but for a whole other reason then has been listed...I find it sad that mother's would judge other mother's for choice they make.  You have never walked in their shoes...you don't know the whole story.   

 

As someone who proudly formula feed one child and proudly BF another...I would never judge a mom for making a choice for their child...how dare you? 

 

I am very much an AP mother...how I feed my children had no impact on that...So why would someone asume because someone choses to bottlefeed for what ever reason they have no common ground with them?

 

I am chosing to formula feed my twins from day one...do I care what you guys and others think of that choice no...because you have never walked in my shoes...I am 100% at peace with my choice and will never feel a bit of guilt or regret....because I know for my family as a whole it is the best choice.  If someone wants to put up their nose at me I will just laugh and know that they must be unhappy with something in their life in order for them care so much about how I feed my babies.   And if anyone thinks i am less of an AP mother because I am bottlefeeding...well that is just a load of bull....


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Old 05-29-2011, 10:50 PM
 
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I'm glad that this discussion is more balanced than I expected, and that most posters here seem to at least sympathize with the girls who are weaning to formula. I fought for my nursing relationship, endured a month-long nursing strike and spent weeks laying down when my son would only eat in a side lying position, and it has given me infinite sympathy for people who switch to formula. Only the knowledge that there would be other problems if I quit nursing, that he wouldn't necessarily sleep through the night if I switched to formula and the knowledge that breastmilk is the perfect nutrition for him kept me going. I can totally see why people give it up, and I don't judge them for it, now that I know how hard it is. At least these ladies stuck with it for 12 weeks plus. 

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