(Closed) Feeling guilty about supplementing

posted 3 years ago in Babies
Post # 16
Member
4673 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

My son and I had latching issues and I had to supplement because I was pumping for him. I felt horrible. I cried so much that first few weeks, and the hormones don’t help at all. After a month of pumping every two to three hours I decided to supplement again. It took me a long time of being miserable to let myself be okay with formula. And even though my son is now on cows milk, I still am sad that we never really nursed.  

You are feeding your child, and that is the most important thing. It may or may not help your guilt, but try to tell yourself that. Fed is best. 

Post # 17
Member
589 posts
Busy bee

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sapphire27 :  yes, that’s story I was going to mention.

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lovepuppies978 :  please don’t beat yourself up. You’re wonderful Mom that just created a beautiful little human. Hes getting the nutrients he needs and that’s all that matters! 

Hugs to you!

 

Post # 18
Member
986 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 1984

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Dahlia921 :  I had issues ebf with all three of my babies and ended up supplementing. They are all now healthy, strapping adult sons – 29, 25 and 22 years old. Don’t worry, you are doing the very best you can for your baby! Enjoy this time with your little one ’cause, believe me. it passes very quickly.

 

Post # 19
Member
229 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

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lovepuppies978 :  First of all, we have twin babies! My LO is 12 days old, was born 3 weeks early and also had jaundice. I have had ups and downs with breastfeeding and we had to supplement with formula before my milk came in. It’s really hard when they were not full term and the jaundice makes them super sleepy. You’ve gotten a ton of great advice but I just wanted to tell you that my lactation consultant said that because my little guy was early his stamina for Bf just isn’t there he will need a bottle at each feeding, for my baby about .5 oz. So I am pumping as well as nursing right now. If I can’t get him to latch, which happens sometimes, I give him a whole 2oz of bottle. It’s definitely so much work to be bottle feeding and nursing but hopefully it is temporary. My lactation consultant also said I should see a difference in his feeding when we get to 39 weeks. I am right there with you struggling with all this, and my DH keeps telling me not to beat myself up and be so hard on myself so I’ll tell you the same thing! Good luck!

Post # 20
Member
776 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

My baby lost too much weight, we stayed longer in the hospital after she was born. By the 5th day I decided to give her formula. My milk just wouldn’t kick in. I did everything they told me but I was so insecure about my supply I kept supplementing till she was a month old. I tried to ebf for a weekend to see how it goes, and we survived! So I stopped pumping and supplementing. My baby was full and happy and so I kept breastfeeding her. She is now 13 months and I still do, she just loves it .

PS. Even if your supply comes in, breastfeeding can be hard especially the first 6 weeks, after that it will be easier. Good luck!

Post # 21
Member
4252 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2009

I was never able to get much from pumping and have always been told it is not a good indication of supply.    I agree that latch issues is prob more likely if bbay seem unsatasfied at the breast.  But for ebf, feeding every 3-4 hours would not have been enough to keep my babies happy.  Breastmilk breaks down much faster than formula, so the same rules do not apply when it comes to timing of feeds.  I would need to breastfeed every 1.5-2 hours generally, in the newborn phase.  It would sometimes feel like that was all I did, but it did build up my supply, lol.  Look at Dr Jack Newman if you think you may need breastfeeding help.  He is super helpful!

Post # 22
Member
626 posts
Busy bee

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lovepuppies978 :  You don’t have to justify this. I hope you will feel proud about doing what is best for you and your baby. Congratulations and I hope things improve soon!

Post # 23
Member
197 posts
Blushing bee

I had to supplement for a couple of days because baby lost so much weight (11%). I was given fluids in the hospital and swelled up really bad. I believe it’s because of the fluids that it took my milk a week to come in. As soon as the swelling went down my milk came in. Anyway, his doctor told me we would wait it out over the weekend and see if it came.in, but I couldn’t wait that long. Baby was crying so bad I sent my husband to the store for formula. I am so glad I did. He could have gotten dehydrated and ended back up in the hospital.

We stopped supplementing when it came in. Baby never did have a problem with nipple confusion. And he is good about taking a bottle with dad and at daycare. Huge plus because I can escape for a bit and leave bottles.

Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about formula. Feeding baby is what’s important. And another thing to note is to be careful with trying to up your milk supply. I tried everything suggested to me by doctors and nurses and ended up with an oversupply that landed me back in the hospital. Oversupply is a double edged sword. Aside from throwing away a lot of milk it is incredibly painful and hard to keep up with.

Post # 24
Member
2668 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

You have nothing to feel guilty about!

My SIL had problems breastfeeding both of her kids – her milk supply was really low and dried up within 6 weeks of giving birth, even though she was doing everything she could to keep it going. The first time around, the lactation consultant was very understanding. The second time around, the (different) lactation consultant basically said she was a bad mother because she couldn’t breastfeed. She told the consultant to leave her home and refused to see her again.

If I was you, I would definitely be requesting a new lactation consultant. I don’t have kids yet (we start TTC next month) but hearing these sorts of stories makes my blood boil – you are doing the very best you can for your child, and no one should judge you for that.

Post # 25
Member
9800 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

Don’t feel guilty, formula is fine.  It is normal for them to lose up to 10% of their bodyweight but yeah if they lose too much a good ped or LC will suggest you supplement or offer bottled breastmilk if that is available.  Some women are definitely able to stop supplementing, if that is your goal it is worth it to try.  Most important thing to do is to pump everytime you offer formula.  And you need to find a new LC, an IBCLC.  Have you looked to see if you hospital has the breastfeeding clinics?  They are usually free and have IBCLCs there.  Or another hospital if that is where your LC was at.  Have you done a weighted feeding?  Most important thing is to do that to see how much baby is transferring.  And then the IBCLC can help you from there.  Also keep in mind that if baby is having latch issues or trouble transferring it may be worth seeing a specialist to see if baby is tongue/lip tied (not all LCs, IBCLCs, or peds are actually able to diagnose these, many will miss them).  Just keep pumping for every time you offer a bottle so you body knows to keep supply up.  The first 6 weeks are the most important for establishing a good supply, you need to pump or feed 10-12x in 24 hours.   I have listened to the IBCLC’s at my hospital’s breastfeeding clinic talk to other women and never heard them say offering formula was bad.  They are very supportive of formula use.  Formula is great as long as you have proper support and know how to work on upping your supply while supplementing.

Post # 26
Member
9524 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

FED is best.  my son was 3w1d early.  so on top of his mouth not being developed finally having tongue and lip ties discovered at 8 weeks and me having a breast reduction, i could never get my supply up.

he was 5lb3oz at birth and went down to 4lb9oz.  he was in the nicu for a day, then roomed in, then we were sent home.  at our first ped appointment, he was jaundice and couldn’t maintain body temp so we were sent back to the nicu for a week. 

i made it to 6 months with breast, pump, and bottle feedings.  it was long and stressful.  at 6 months we went totally on formula.  

now, he is a happy and healthy 20lb 13 month old.

don’t feel guilty, again, fed is best.

Post # 27
Member
433 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

This is almost my story! My DD was born 6.3 then got down to 5.6. I pumped alllllll day and realized I was starving her 🙁 I felt like the worst mom in the world. I sad in our peds office and cried b/c I knew I had to supplement. In fact I didn’t produce any milk except 4 oz all day. So I had to strictly do formula. 

Don’t feel bad. Certainly report that LC for making you feel bad. My DD is thriving being a formula only baby.

Post # 28
Member
2521 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Absolutely don’t feel bad- and anyone who makes you feel that way is wrong.  You are being a great mother by making the absolute best decision you can for your baby.  Fed is best- and it seems like you are giving baby the nutritions it needs!!

Post # 29
Member
600 posts
Busy bee

I had to supplement, my son was in the nicu for 3 days and the nurses during the day were just awful to me, I was in tears because I was trying to BF but he was starving and he was losing so much weight and I was already a hormonal mess after just having a baby and then him being in nicu. They made me feel terrible like I was failing my son by not producing enough for him. Then his night nurse came in and she said “Your baby will be fine if you give him some formula” And he was, and he still is! I had to stop BFing around 6 months because I was in the hospital for awhile and he had no interest in it anymore after that, and my supply was non existent at that point. Once I gave it up for good, I felt so much more relaxed. I stressed myself out so much with the pumping and trying to BF him, and then still needing to give him a bottle afterwards.

Post # 30
Member
9396 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

my mom supplemented for me cus I was a greedy baby that wanted to eat nonstop (nothing has changed..)

I was always top of the class and am a pretty darn healthy person.  

Also, recent research has shown that the idea that BF is better is pretty darn questionable–most of the “better” that comes from BF has to do with the fact that BF moms tend to spend more time with their babies, making eye contact, skin to skin contact, etc.. if you control for that, it doesn’t seem to matter if its formula or not.

 

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