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Tell me about your beautiful, thriving FF babies

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#1 Avery



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Posted 15 May 2012 - 09:10 AM

My beautiful baby boy is a little over 3 months and I've been struggling with breastfeeding for a while now. I have a very slow letdown/flow, have had mastitis on and off and my supply is dwindling.

As a bit of background:
When he was 8 weeks he started getting very fussy at the breast, seemed hungry afterwards and feeding became painful and difficult (same thing happened with DD at this age)

At 9 weeks old I was put on some strong antibiotics and made the decision to FF him for that time as I didn’t want the antibiotics to affect his gut flora, but I continued pumping to keep my supply.
While on the antibiotics I noticed that it would sometimes take 2-3 minutes to get my milk flowing (no wonder he was fussy!)

After the antibiotics were finished we started exclusively breastfeeding again, but he was even more fussy at the breast and after a few days with him screaming every feed and me in tears I decided I would express and feed him from a bottle. That way he would be getting the milk faster and I wouldn’t be as stressed.

I’ve been expressing every 3-4 hours for over 4 weeks now and I’m totally exhausted. My supply is dwindling and all I seem to be doing is expressing or sterilizing. I notice the sad look on my 3 year olds face when I have to tell her I need to express again and stop playing with her. Im sick of hoping that bubba stays quiet and happy while I’m expressing. Trying to settle a baby while expressing is stressful! At the moment I’m managing 2 EMB bottles a day, the rest is formula.

I’ve tried lactation cookies and fenugreek tablets - the cookies flared up my IBS (I assume the flax) and J reacted quite badly to the fenugreek so I couldn’t take those. Im also not willing to take motilium because it is also used for gastric issues and I’m not willing to risk another IBS flareup.

DD was FF from 3 months but I’m having a hard time with it this time around. I’m sick of the "did I do enough" thoughts and hearing that breast is best. I guess I'm rambling because I want to hear stories of your beautiful, happy, thriving formula fed bubbas smile.gif
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#2 Angel_Elle


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Posted 15 May 2012 - 09:19 AM

Milly was on formula for all feeds expect on until 6months then fully FF and she put weight, was happy content.

Liam was formula feed from around 4months and he was a happy content bub and has grown into a healthy boy.

Daniel we moved to formula around 5months due to failure to thrive (cause of that is still being worked out) and he lost weight was then not putting weight on - only by going to formula and feeding every 3 hours initially did we get him back on track weight wise within a couple of months. Now he is healthy (apart from issues with liver count being high -but that there prior to going on formula and is an underlying medical reason which we don't know what yet)

So yes bubs can be happy, healthy content on FF. I had alot of guilt with Daniel going onto formula but it was more feeling i failed him due to the weightloss and liver-count issue. Once he put weight on etc i knew we made the right decision - its not about what we wanted rather what was best for him.
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#3 Cole29*



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Posted 15 May 2012 - 09:40 AM

Ben started having FF top ups at 2 or 3 weeks when he wasn't gaining weight. My supply was low and at 4 or 5 weeks we had total breast refusal, it was upsetting for both of us and I didn't want to constantly be in a state of upset as I feared it would affect our relationship so we moved to FF full time.

Ben gained weight beautifully, was an unbelievably happy boy, a perfect and settled sleeper and basically a delight as a baby.

I am 22 weeks pregnant now and plan to try BF with this bub again, I know more about it all now and will give it more of a go BUT I know thast my boy was perfectly healthy and happy as a FF baby so if things don't work and I start to feel like the time has come I will move to FF again and just get on with having a happy family biggrin.gif
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#4 MsGems


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Posted 15 May 2012 - 09:49 AM

Penny was FT FF from approx 5 months, and started sleeping through around the same time - by which I mean sleeping a minimum of 10 hours per night.

She's now one of the happiest (almost) 2.5 year olds you're ever likely to meet, and apart from being a shorty like her mum, she's a happy healthy kid who always gets good reports from the doctor.

My reasons for stopping BFing were more selfish than anything else, but she's got a healthy appetite, and is definitely a beautiful, thriving child smile.gif
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#5 beckabunny



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Posted 15 May 2012 - 11:47 AM

DS1 was on one bottle of formula a day from one week old to roughly 8 weeks old and then slowly increased to fully FF by 9ish weeks old. He could not feed from the breast properly from birth due to a tricky birth that resulted in a lot of complications. I was told all sorts of things; that I was practically Satan for not persisting with pumping around the clock day in day out, he's going to have no immune system and will always be sick, that formula was like Mc Donalds for babies and he was going to be a fatty, all sorts of rubbish.

Now he is just over 5 years old, happy healthy, has no issues (apart from his Autism which has nothing to do with formula) doesn't get sick much, and is rather skinny and was never a 'chubby baby' at all.

On the other hand I have had much better BF success with DS2 and he has so far at nearly 3 months old olny ever had 2 bottles of formula, and that was when I had gastro and was also having panic attacks and was on some fairly heavy stuff like Vallium.

Only you know what's best for you and your baby and with DS1, for me it was a decision of sanity, I couldn't keep pumping every 4 hours plus taking care of my baby, it was too hard. Yes, I found formula to be a pain in the ass and hated constantly sterilising bottles, making bottles, needing a heat source to warm the bottle no matter where I was, waiting what seemed like an eternity for the bottle to warm while I had a screaming hungry child, but it was the best choice for him and for me.

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#6 aChocLover


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Posted 15 May 2012 - 11:51 AM

((Hugs)) Utlimately, Happy Mummy = Happy Bubby.
Clearly the situation is not working for you. You sound at your wits end tbh sad.gif

FF babies DO thrive, and DO receive nutritional value. smile.gif I am yet to see conclusive evidence that mother and child suffering with BF provides a more adjusted or more intelligent being. wink.gif

Try not to beat yourself up about it - remember you are doing what is best for you and your baby by providing the best possible source of nutrition. And, boo to anyone else who makes you feel any less of a mother for doing so x

#7 Magnolia


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Posted 15 May 2012 - 12:05 PM

No judgements here, only support smile.gif

A bit of a background for us: DS was born at 36+2 via emergency c-section because I had premature rupture of membranes. My milk didn't come in for 5 days, and even when it did, there was very little. DS was very sleepy and didn't suck properly for at least 3 weeks. Despite the fact that I saw a LC weekly, expressed after each feed up to 8x a day for weeks, was on fenugreek and milk thistle, double the dose of domperidone my DD boobs just weren't meant for milk production and he was comp fed. We even used a supply line for the first 4 months to stimulate my milk, but nothing worked. sad.gif Then, at 4 months, we had breast refusal because there was just nothing really there. It took me a long time to come to terms with stopping breastfeeding because I naively thought that most people who couldn't breastfeed just didn't try hard enough and I never thought I would be in the group that couldn't but I now realise how wrong I was. And the whole "breast is best" did really impact me.

I even tried exclusively pumping, but as DS became more alert and awake, there was just no time to fit in all the expressing sessions and each time I pumped, there was less and less and I physically and mentally couldn't deal with the stress anymore. So at around 4 months we switched to formula.

He was never a big milk drinker, always having less than the amount on the tin. Though he has tracked around or just below the 25th percentile for weight, he has shot up in height and is quite tall for his age.

Fast forward now, DS is almost 18 months, and he's a happy, inquisitive, alert, content and easy going toddler. He's hit all his milestones "on time". He's also never really been sick, just one runny nose in that time - touch wood.

If I had my time again, personally, I think I would still go through all the effort trying to breastfeed, but once I made the decision to stop, I would let go of the guilt because holding onto those feelings is not good.

Feel free to PM me if you need to vent or anything. Hugs

#8 Tigridia


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Posted 15 May 2012 - 01:05 PM

My daughter had a tongue tie and damage to her neck from the birth which made it hard for her to suck. She also had a very weak suck which took until 4 months to pick up.
My milk didn't come in til day 5 and I never had much because her suck wasn't stimulating my supply. I also had retained placenta which inhibited my milk.

I saw LC's, osteos, physios, did accupuncture and took massive doses of motilium, fenugreek and blessed thistle etc for months.

Astrid lost a lot of weight post birth and took til 7 weeks to hit birth weight, then still didn't put it on quickly. We were doing top ups with expressed milk from 1 week old then introduced formula top ups at 10 days as I wasn't able to pump enough. At 3 weeks we started using a supply line but I used formula in the line as I couldn't get enough out by pumping. I was pumping 10 x a day and it's hard to do anything with a baby when you are pumping that much. If I had a toddler as well I wouldn't have been able to do it. I stopped the pumping at 2 months as I couldn't keep up the effort and it was just becoming too much and I was resenting the baby. I still fed with the supply line so she got some breast milk and the rest formula.

At 5 months I weaned off all the meds. My supply took a dive again to the point where it is very very little but I have kept going with the supply line so she can have a little bit of breast milk. She is at least 90% formula fed though. We are still supply lining at almost 11 months but the only reason I am still doing it that way is because it feels right for us and I'm so used to it now. I know that she is mostly formula fed and most people have questioned why I am still perservering at this late stage. It is because I enjoy the feeds with her and I like that she gets some breast milk even if it's not much. However, if I wasn't enjoying it, I had a toddler to chase after or many of the other things you mentioned I probably would have stopped a long time ago and just given her bottles of formula.

It is really only the formula (and lots of it) that has gotten her to put on any weight. So for us it was necessary. From the sounds of your post you have done everything you could have in the circumstances so shouldn't feel guilty about going to formula.
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#9 Jaydee


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Posted 15 May 2012 - 01:43 PM

Levi and Scarlett were FF from very early on, Bee was from 6 months. They're beautiful, happy, healthy, smart children.

You can't look around at a group of adults- or even preschoolers, for that matter- and be able to tell who was BF and who was FF- they all grow and thrive, and it's about doing what's right for you.

#10 Woodland



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Posted 15 May 2012 - 02:53 PM

My DS was ff from 3 weeks old due to me being hospitalised with severe mastitis. That was the final straw in a very difficult bf journey.
He is now 3 years old and very happy, healthy and Im told by many people that he's very advanced with his speech and literacy/numeracy for his age.
I will have no problem with ff my next baby if bf doesn't work out again.
Take care and enjoy your baby.
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#11 **** Sarah and Adam ****

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 03:35 PM

No personal experience but I know that the thought of using formula was really hard for me, I just wanted to succeed at BFing so when a mum makes a decision to FF I certainly don't feel like its come lightly!!!

I know lots of healthy FF babies and children. When my son plays at school amongst 40 other 4-6 year olds I don't EVER look at them and wonder who was BF and who was FF. It is also not apparent to me based on performance in their class as to who was fed in what manner. I think in that newborn haze we can forget that we just need to feed our children to the best of our ability at the time. It can all feel so overwhelming and it is a huge decision at the time, but over the years it will take on less and less significance for you.

#12 beachgurl


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Posted 15 May 2012 - 05:02 PM

Zoe and Ryan have never been breastfed. Zoe is nearly 3 and has had much less illness than relatives kids who were exclusively BF for some time. At 3 months old our little man is doing well. While he currently has a cold due to Zoe's daycare, he is usually healthy and as of this week is sleeping thru the night.

Do what's best for you sweetheart and it will be the best thing for your little one xx

#13 Malibustaci


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Posted 16 May 2012 - 10:32 AM

FWIW I do not know of one FF baby that isn't thriving!

DS was co-fed from birth and eventually stopped BF around 18 weeks - he is off the charts for height and is a bright kid - IMHO this is much more due to genetics rather than what he has consumed.

Some kids are sickly, some are robust lil things regardless of FF or BF! Just my two cents.

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#14 Mel B

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 12:13 PM

I had major supply issues with both of my children. I comp fed them both from birth, moving to full time formula when Rosie was 3.5 months and Eddie was 8 weeks.

The second time around I was more confident and quite determined and we were doing ok, but then Rosie was hospitalised with gastro, I was driving backwards and forwards to the hospital and to be honest it felt more important for me to be with my toddler at the hospital than to be at home breastfeeding my son who was perfectly happy with grandma drinking bottles of formula.

What I really noticed the second time around was that I didn't feel anywhere near as much guilt. Partly because I had one very happy and healthy toddler who had been FF. But more importantly because I was a mother of 2 kids, and they both needed me. When I had one child I would spend an hour bfing, then another 30 mins expressing, plus washing and sterilising bottles and making up formula. I couldn't justify doing that when I had a toddler as well as the newborn. So I didn't express at all. I fed him, topped him up with formula if he needed it, and that was it. Once my supply started to go I stopped bfing.

Overall I would say my children are very healthy. They pick up colds and gastro and that type of thing. However apart from recurrent ear infections (which I had, as did my Mum), they tend to recover from their bugs quite well. Neither of them has ever had a chest infection or a throat infection. Rosie got her first cough aged 3.5! We've never had croup. Eddie gets very mild excema and very mild asthma. And they are both in the 97th percentile for height and the 50th for weight.

I agree with the other girls that genetics plays a much stronger part than how children are fed. My brother was bf and he was a sickly child and is always sick as an adult. His children were all bfed until 12mths + and they are constantly sick as well. I was ff as a baby and I am very healthy, as are my children.

Do what you feel is best for your family and try not to feel guilty about it. As my gorgeous mum always reminded me "feeding is just one small part of being a mother."
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