(Closed) Feeling guilty about supplementing

posted 3 years ago in Babies
Post # 2
Member
5047 posts
Bee Keeper

You should never feel guilty that your child is getting necessary nutrition to thrive no matter how he gets that nutrition. Demand a new lactation consultant.  Is breast milk obviously a healthy choice?  Of course.  But being able to feel self –  righteous about only breast feeding is never more important than making sure a child has adequate food.  She sounds like a judgmental b*tch who has lost sight of the forest for the trees. 

As for your other question,  that will depend on whether you’re ever able to provide an adequate milk supply and you may not. It may be disappointing to you, but many happy healthy children have been brought up on formula only or a combination of the two.  Just know that making sure your child is adequately fed, no matter what the source, to grow and thrive is what makes you a good mom, not just being able to breastfeed.  It is great when nature allows that to happen, but is secondary to the nutritional needs of your child when all is said and done and recognizing that and being willing to put that first ahead of your feelings is being a good mom.

Post # 3
Member
755 posts
Busy bee

Never ever feel guilty for making sure your child is fed. 

I know that’s easier said than done. But you are absolutely doing the best for your child.

I disagree with the breast is best philosophy. Fed is best. Happy (both of you) is best. 

Perhaps get a new lactation consultant who isn’t so single minded?

Post # 4
Member
1219 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

View original reply
lovepuppies978 :  Im currently pregnant so don’t have direct experience with this, but the subject interests me. What I noticed from your post is “he’s more satisfied with formula after nursing” and “I want to make sure he gains weight and the jaundice disappears”. You’re doing this to make your baby better, to keep him healthy and happy. Therefore it’s the right thing to do!!! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, hard as it might be. You’re doing a great job. 

Post # 5
Member
3367 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

View original reply
lovepuppies978 :  Do NOT feel guilty for supplementing with formula! Your baby needs to eat, and formula is much much better than nothing at all! I recently read a news story where a baby actually died of starvation because the mother wasn’t “allowed” by the nurses to supplement with formula (the baby never left the “baby-friendly” hospital after birth), as the baby was constantly feeding but apparently not taking in the breast milk. I couldn’t find that exact story but this one is very similar, please get a new lactation consultant and trust your own instincts!

https://fedisbest.org/2017/01/accidentally-starving-my-baby-broke-my-heart-but-made-me-want-to-help-other-moms/

 

Post # 6
Member
2899 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Never feel guilty for feeding your baby! Any decent lactation consultant knows the first and most important rule is “feed the baby.” 

Some moms can eventually stop supplementing; others need to continue to supplement but go on to have long, satisfying breastfeeding relationships. And some decide to switch entirely to formula and wind up very happy with that decision. If you’d like to continue breastfeeding, I’d look for a new LC right away. Try to find an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) – in my experience, they tend to be much more skilled and helpful for women who are having a hard time breastfeeding. She should be able to help you determine how best to meet your baby’s needs while still protecting and building your milk supply, and she should be able to help you decide if and when to cut down on or stop supplementing. 

Remember that breastmilk and formula are both great ways to feed a baby, and that the best, most important way is with love. Which is exactly what you are doing. Great job, mama!

Post # 7
Member
2899 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

By the way, are you pumping an ounce after feeding the baby, or are you pumping in place of a feeding? An ounce is a lot to be pumping after feeding at 11 days postpartum, which makes me think you don’t have a supply problem but possibly a latch/transfer problem. (Note: I am not a professional so take that with many grains of salt!) Have you asked the LC to do a weighted feeding? Sometimes early babies are “lazy” latchers and need some help transferring milk until they’re big enough to really get it. 

Post # 8
Member
860 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2017 - historical mansion

I recently read that the studies about breast milk being vastly superior are overblown. Don’t feel guilty! What about babies that are adopted? They are raised on formula and turn out just fine. 

Post # 9
Member
2453 posts
Buzzing bee

DON’T FEEL GUILTY. We had t start supplementing before we left the hospital because DS lost over 10% of his body weight. I had to attempt to nurse him, then use a syringe that had a tube next to my nipple to make sure he got fed while he still mimicked breastfeeding. Then I had to pump. It was EXHAUSTING. They had me on meds to try and increase my supply but those didn’t work. After two weeks I decided to stop breastfeeding but try and pump. That didn’t work either because I produced next to nothing. I gave that up when he was four weeks old. I figured my son needed me rested and happy instead of killing myself trying to provide him breastmilk.

He’s 11 months old now and very healthy. I don’t regret my decision one bit.

Post # 10
Member
22 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I had the same problem, and could never fully ebf, and I was devastated.  I tried everything, including domperidone as a last resort, and nothing worked.  The lactation consultants made me feel even worse too.  It was a struggle but I made it 6 months giving him all the breastmilk I could, which wasn’t a lot, but it made me feel a little better.  Looking back I wish I hadn’t been so hard on myself.  I now have a very healthy, smart, strong 2 year old.  Most of my mom friends exclusively supplemented (no breastmilk) and their children are also perfectly healthy.  I know its easier said than done, but try not to be so hard on yourself, you’re doing the best you can.  Feel green to pm me if you need someone to talk to,  I’ve been there.   

Post # 11
Member
1289 posts
Bumble bee

(hugs)…. my story is similar to yours! My dd was born at 35 weeks and was 5 lbs 9 oz when she was born, and dropped to 5 lbs 2 the following week. I was exclusively breast feeding but she never seemed satisfied. I ended up giving a bottle too after each feeding. Initially, we came home from the hospital  with this weird tube thing I was supposed to tape to my breast, but out of sheer exhaustion I said forget it and gave her a bottle instead. She also had jandice and came home with a bili bed and she had to ‘suntan’ on it every day. I can’t remember how long that lasted…

Anyway, I was back and forth to the lactation consultant and she determined that I wasn’t making enough milk.  I ate oatmeal, drank water by the ton and then tried fenugreek.  I pumped after each feeding and then I later tried the presciption Reglan. Nothing worked. I also had some snotty comments from others (professionals as well as other moms) who questioned if I was really doing the things I said I was doing- or if I was doing them as frequently as I reported because ” I have never known anyone who has done all those things who couldn’t produce a drop more of milk.” WTF! Seriously? I was exhausted, doing the best I could and I felt like a failure that I couldn’t give my baby the milk she needed. 

The straw that broke the camels back was when I went in to the lacation consultant after several weeks of this and she determined (after weighing dd before and after I fed her) that I was probably only producing about 2 oz total. Still, she told me I could ‘comfort nurse’ her. I just looked at dh and he looked at me and we both said ‘NOOOOOOOO’. I had stopped enjoying my baby because I was so worried aobut how to feed her. So…. I switched to formula. Then dh and I both were able to feed her and we could take turns in sleeping.

Fast forward several years…. and gues what? she’s fine. she never got colds/illnesses any more frequently than anyone else. she’s smart and has no food allergies or any negative impacts from not being breast fed.  So…. bee, I think you shoudl do whatever you like. Don’t let anyone feel badly if you need to supplement or want to switch to formula exclusively.. It still makes me mad to think about how hard I worked and how badly I felt after dealing wiht this one issue. Good moms are not made by their abilty to breast feed alone. Hang in there, and do whatever it is you need to do!!

Post # 12
Member
1027 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

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KatieBklyn :  I thought about that too. Our son had a lip tie/ tongue tie and although gained weight fine, could not feed well ( bad latch/gas/ unhappy while eating). Feeding improved after we had those revised.

I still supplement formula…. SOn was 2 weeks early, born a small 5 pounds and 11 ounces and at 4 months is almost 18 pounds. He LOVES to eat and I can’t keep up. Don’t sweat it.

Post # 13
Member
7 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2015

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lovepuppies978 :  I had a c section and so my milk took a while to come in. I would pump both sides for 15 minutes and get half an ounce. So we supplemented with formula (if you can call 98% formula and 2% breastmilk supplementing…) for almost 3 weeks. My baby also had a very bad tongue and lip tie and couldn’t latch. Six lactation consultants and three months later, my baby is ebf and latching on his own. It was hard and took a while to find the right people that could help me. Not all LC’s are good at their job. Keep going until you find a good one. Breastfeeding groups and health food stores are a good place to look. 

pumping is not indicative of how much milk you are actually making – babies are much better at getting milk out than a pump is. Keep pumping every time you feed (formula or breast feeding) to keep your supply up.

My LC said that it’s much more likely to be an issue with the baby than an issue with supply. Have you looked into a tongue tie? Is there a specialist in your area that you can see? It doesn’t have to be a LC – lots of dentists, ENT’s and occupational therapists work with tongue ties as well. Even once my baby had his tongue tie revised, it took two more months for him to latch without a nipple shield. He was born early and I think he just wasn’t strong enough to do it. It takes some babies a while. And then there’s always brewers yeast, oats and other supplements to increase supply.

Feeding your baby is the most important thing and no matter how you do that you are doing the right thing. Never feel guilty about feeding your baby. If you want to breastfeed there are a lot of options to help you out and you can do it (even if it feels like you can’t). But if you decide against breastfeeding, that’s fine too. You don’t want to get to a place where you’re resenting your baby. If you need any help or just want to talk about it feel free to pm me!

Post # 14
Member
56 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Don’t feel bad at all!! Whatever gets your baby growing is the best solution!! You’re doing a great job!

My baby is a month old and I was having some issues with breastfeeding in the first two weeks, so I’ve been reading a lot and talking to lactation consultants/my pediatrician about this issue. Here’s my total non-expert advice, based on the advice experts recently gave me. Feel free to completely disregard if this doesn’t sound like it will help! This is just what has helped me in the past two weeks.

If you’re supplementing, make sure that your boobs are still like drained every 2-3 hours to keep your supply up. If you give the baby a bottle for a feeding, still pump at that time. If your boobs are given a break, I guess that starts to signal to your body to produce less milk, and it’s harder to keep the supply up. So like, I was waking up one or two times a night to pump even if my baby wasn’t breastfeeding then, and that has helped a lot with supply.

Also, apparently there’s this thing called “cluster feeding” where babies will eat VERY FREQUENTLY for little stretches. Its really common at night. So my baby was literally eating almost constantly with very short breaks every night between like 9:30 pm and 12:30 am. It freaked me out, but I’ve been told that this is totally normal, and the baby nursing for all of that time will help trigger your body to up the supply. My baby was cluster feeding for a few weeks, and she still wants to nurse a lot more during the late evening, but it’s progressively lessened over the past couple of weeks. So if that’s happening to you, I would let the baby nurse during that whole time to help up your supply, and then if he still seems hungry, give him a bottle too!

Also (last thing I promise! Sorry for the rambly message; I just feel like you sound so much like me so maybe your issues are similar): Nipple shields. They aren’t the solution for everyone, and apparently for some people they cause more problems, but my baby latched SO MUCH BETTER and ate so much more effectively with a nipple shield. The lactation consultant said I should be able to phase them out once she gets used to nursing, but that hasn’t worked yet, and honestly, I don’t care if I ever phase them out. She eats so much more and is gaining weight so much better since I’ve started using them. Also, my nipples aren’t all cracked and blistered anymore, so bonus! Haha

I hope some of this helps! Just know that whatever you do, you’re doing a good job!! Formula is an amazing creation of modern science, and if it helps your baby grow in a way that breast milk isn’t doing right now, then it’s totally the right move to supplement. Hugs to you!

Post # 15
Member
841 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

You have nothing to feel guilty about, at all!  You’ve been working so hard to get your little man what he needs and put your own comfort and desires aside to make sure he is fed and satisfied.  Fed is best.  My advice on the pumping  – if you’re having supply issues and the pumping isn’t working for you, I’d put it away for a while and nurse baby on demand for a couple of weeks.  Babies are reaaaally good at getting your supply built up.  They are much more efficient than the pump!  

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