So why do you formula feed? Is it a medical reason? Is it a personal decision? Were there other factors? Share your stories here without fear of judgment!
Please also share your stories here about why you are bottle feeding even if there isn't formula in your baby's bottle. We welcome everyone.
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Last edited by Stacey/ASTLawyer July 11, 2007
My older 2 kids I knew right from the start that I didnt want and try to bf, but this last time thats all I could think about.
AT 26 weeks I started having really bab back pain. went to l&d and found out I had a serious UTI. They did a u/s and found out I had water on my right kidney. I was put on Microbid right away and spent 2 of the longest days in the hospital. I was supose to take it untill I went back for my post partum appt. But I stioped taking it after the baby was born. My dr wouldnt give me any info on the meds affects to bfing so a friend from another board gave me the link to a message board that a dr will answer ?'s about bfing and meds. I found out I could bf but would have to wait till the baby was born and see if he was jaundace. Well after everyone left the day Kaden was born I called my nurse in and told her that I wanted to bf but only after I got home. Im a very private person and didnt want other people seeing me, giving birth was bad enough. I told her I needed Kadens billrubin tested cause of the meds I was on. She contacted the drs and they told her the same thing. I had already been told that by a dr so I knew what I was talking about. Well it turns out that his billrubin was to high for me to bf but not high enough to be put under that special light/blanket. I was completley heartbroken. If I would have thought for a minute that I wouldnt be able to bf I would have schedueled to have my tubes tied. SO now here I am Kaden is doing ok on the soy formula but Im really regretting not doing more so I could have bfed him. He was my last chance cause my dh and I are done having kids.
Kaden was born 8-2-05 @ 2:57pm 17 days early weighing 7lbs 11.5 oz and 20 in long.
At his 2 week appt the day before I was due he weighed 8 1/2 lbs so Im glad he was born 17 days early cause it hurt bad wnought him being 7.11 1/2!!
Thanks for letting me share my story!!
I always knew I wanted to bf my DS. I had hoped to bf at least a year to 18 months, but I was open to more if it seemed right.
DS has a difficult birth. He was in a posterior position and there were way too many interventions and there's a long story about needing an epidural and an OR to turn him, but the hospital didn't have either available for seven hours. The upshot is that it was a rough birth, I didn't handle it well, and I had a rough start breastfeeding.
I got home and was prepared to do what it takes to make bfing work for us. Unfortunately I began suffering from waking nightmares, I felt paranoid and unsafe most of the time, couldn't stop replaying the birth in my mind, and insomnia was the result. And breastfeeding was still going very poorly, I was pumping like crazy and already supplementing w/ formula. At my two week checkup, my mw suspected post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and prescribed a sleep aid. It helped with the insomnia and, in turn, the PTSD, but it also probably reduced my supply, which made bfing even more difficult.
I tried several times to go off the sleep aid and increasing pumping/bfing sessions to reduce our dependence on formula, but the PTSD symptoms would reoccur. I can count the number of times that DS actually was satisfied from bfeed alone on one hand, which completely breaks my heart.
By 2.5 months I was pumping 4-6 oz a day (in 6-8 sessions--it was awful) to supplement formula. I lasted until 5.5 months this way until I couldn't even look at my pump w/o crying. I was finally feeling better (PSTD symptoms were mostly gone) and ready to get to know and bond w/ my DS. The time it took to pump was time that I could be spending with my son. So I quit, though far short of my hopes and my son's nutritional needs.
And that's it. I don't know if that qualifies as medical reasons to anyone else, but I tend to believe that psychological and physical health are interrelated. To me, using formula is a medical necessity.
My Medical Problem was my fault technically.
In the 5th grade at the age of 10 I was already wearing a size "C" bra. How embarassing. By the time I was in the 8th grade at the age of 14 I was in a "D" size bra. By the time I graduated high school at the age of 18 I was in a "DDD". I was teased for many many years on how big my breast were and my shoulders were in pain all the time and I had indentions there from the bra. I never got to wear little "dainty" bras either. My back was constantly hurting and I had a large muscle that had formed a knot at the base of my neck. Therefore, when I went to a doctor in the fall of 1991 and he suggested a breast reduction, I went for it!
At the age of 18 (almost 19) I was told of the risk of not breastfeeding and it was a possible 50/50% chance I couldn't do it. I took that chance. I got pregnant at the ripe old age of 30 and had Reagan on 7/7/03. I was pushed "big time" into trying to get her to breastfeed and not to supliment at all. They gave me "pediacare" instead of formula and said to use that instead of the formula. Therefore, I did this. My breasts became engorged around day 5 after birth. I tried for almost 1 week and nothing ever ever came out. The doctor said that when they removed my nipple it had been severed from the milk ducts and probably did not reattach to the ducts when they attached it back during surgery. I cried for a good month or so feeling so guilty and just down and out that I couldn't give my baby what she really needed. Well, Reagan was gaining weight and doing really well. The doctor said that she was doing great on the formula and I needed not to worry.
I still feel a little guilt every once in a while, but I know that both my kids are going to grow up good and healthy being fed formula for their first year and they are doing great! I wouldn't change anything for the world. I am happy with the breast reduction and wouldn't want those "things" back!
Mom of three girls
I had a feeling with this baby that I should wean him around 3 months. I had no idea why I felt that way. I brushed it off and kept on nursing.
When he was about 7 months old I had a serious bout of bipolar depression. Elated one day, staying up all night, painting like crazy, then the next so down that I couldn't barely get out of bed. I seriously contemplated suicide as the only way out and the best idea for my kids too. I felt they'd better off without me. I was finally diagnosed and put on medication. The problem was I would need to wean the baby. Even Dr. Hale said not to breastfeed on one of the meds I take. Believe me, I researched it to death!
I don't feel guilty for weaning so much as I feel sad. I nursed my others for years, and it's so hard to know how to parent him without nursing as a tool. I feel differently toward him now, like we broke up, like our physical relationship is gone forever. It really breaks my heart and I've had some good cries over it.
I wish I could have kept nursing, but an alive mother who bottle feeds is better than a dead one who can't feed the baby at all.
I'm a HUGE breastfeeding advocate (although I do try to be sensitive to mothers choices) those who know me from other boards know this. As a result, I had no plans to use formula with this baby. I figured that I successfully nursed 2 others and I would do it once again.
Well, as planned as I had things, I didn't plan on getting very sick myself. I've always been rather healthy and rarely get sick, so when I got sick towards the end of my pg I figured I would get better soon enough. Well, it was like my body was saying it was done, I'd get over one thing to get another. I'm sure now that my body was fighting to get better inside so hard that my immune system was very weak.
At 36 weeks pg, I woke up very ill. I was throwing up, had diarhea, was contracting and getting dehydrated. I ended up in the hospital that day and the dr insisted it was pregnancy induced. Rehydrated me through an iv and sent me home. I should have insisted on tests, because I knew better, but wanting to believe I went home. I was sick the entire week, until friday I woke with an excruciating pain in my right side. I knew something was wrong other than childbirth, but at the hospital they insisted it was merely childbirth. I got an epidural, and had my water broken, and about 4 hours later had the baby. Meanwhile my dr ran a few tests to placate me, and nothing was conclusive. The next day they sent me home.
6 days later, I was back in the er with the same pain in my side and my left shoulder/arm going numb (I actually thought I was having a heart attack). At this point I still looked 9 months pg even though I'd given birth. They went over the results from the previous week, and ran a few of their own tests. Finally they did a cat scan (or mri don't remember which) and discovered I had a ruptured appendix and a massive amount of infection in my abdomen because the appendix had been ruptured for a long time. 10 min later I was being wheeled into surgery.
Being as Caleb was 6 days old, I had a whole 6 oz of bm in my fridge. Needless to say, he was switched cold turkey onto formula by the end of the day. I couldn't even hold my baby, much less feed him. It was 3 weeks before I was able to try nursing again, and then another 3 weeks of constant nursing with supplementing when he was getting frustrated, before I had enough milk for him. Then after 3 months, as he continued to grow, and I continued to have problems after everything that happened it became apparent he needed more than my body was currently able to produce, so we went back to using formula every other feeding. At this point we're at a pretty happy medium of formula and breastmillk.
dh ~ Jacob
dd ~ Ruth(11), ds ~ Jotham(9), ds ~ Caleb(7), ds ~ Evan (4), ds~ Ted (2)
My story mirrors Sarah's (rkgregg). I have had breast reduction surgery due to ongoing back problems. I am sad that I am not able to breastfeed but realize that Henry will have a wonderful and healthy life on formula.
I'd love to hear everyone's stories but I think they are being put off by "medical reason".
I'm going to add my story anyways and invite everyone else to do so too even if they're not sure if it's really "medical."
I chose not to try to bf my daughter. Reasons I’m not going to gt into right now.
Drew was born on a Tuesday at 3:45pm and into the evening he still hadn't nursed. I couldn't seem to find anyone to help me get him to latch on. Without even trying the nurse said he was prob in shock still from the delivery and give him time. I finally got someone to help me later that evening and was getting excited that it might actually work.
I nursed him with help form the lc at the hospital through the next day and 1/2 until we went home Thursday. It was painful and his latches were FAR from perfect. After 2 hellish nights at home we returned Sat for a weight check and bili check. He had lost a whole lb and his bili level was 24! We were admitted and had to start supplementing with formula during his breaks from the bili lights. We were there for 2 nights and I continued to nurse him and then give bottles afterwards. It was Sunday when the LC noticed that he was tongue tied. Prob one of the reasons we were having so much trouble. By this time my nipples were almost completely scabbed over and we were using a nipple shield.
Of course in my post pardum state I didn’t think I could continue on like we were. Before and after weigh-ins showed he was only getting ½ an ounce during our nursing sessions on day 7. I made my decision to stop on that day. I couldn’t see myself continuing the 45 minute nursing sessions, followed by bottles of formula and still take care of my 20 month old. I was overwhelmed, in pain and not producing enough milk.
I still think to myself all the time “ what if I stuck with it?” Would I have eventually made enough milk for him? Would supplementing or pumping have been as much work as I thought it was going to be? was I selfish in my decision? But I look at him and he is healthy and happy and I can live with that!
Dylann 11/03, Drew 6/05, Daisy 4/10
OK... here's my reason(s) too... most of our bottling is by choice, though there was some degree of necesity with both kids
My dd was a preemie and in the NICU for a month. During that time I pumped and she got bm first via tube and then bottle and then we did start bf'ing. She never had any trouble bf'ing and I could've done that exclusively but I chose to continue pumping/bottling about half the time for another 3 months after we came home... I am not one who will NIP and I also like the idea of being able to let somebody else feed baby.
With my ds, he was full term and we bf'd in the hospital, though it seemed he was lazy and had trouble latching... though once he was latched he seemed to be on just fine. Once we got home he didn't appear as lazy and was doing better at bf'ing so thought it was going to be smooth sailing. I had already decided that I was going to rent a breast pump so that I could pump/freeze/bottle some of his feeds from the get-go... so he was always going to get some bottles. After about 1.5 weeks bf'ing started to become excrutiatingly painful, nipples were cracked and blistered and after spending a few days in tears I finally caved and contacted my IBCLC SIL and we discovered that he had a very bad latch. So I started pumping exclusively... which I continued until about 2 weeks ago when I returned the pump (and have a good 2 months supply in my mother's freezer LOL). During that time I did try bf'ing now and again with and without a nipple shield but I didn't persevere too much on it... maybe tried once or twice every couple of weeks. Then, a couple days before I was returning the pump he bf'd for the first time without any pain at all! So... now he's getting bottles during the day for the most part (either ebm or formula) and if he wakes in the night or first thing in the a.m. we usually bf... I imagine we'll continue that at least as long as he's not sleeping straight through the night, after that we'll see.
With both kids I introduced a bottle of formula a day after a month or so... and then once I wasn't pumping anymore and relying on the frozen ebm, they got/get formula whenever we're out and about as well.
OK... I'll share my story. My reasons for using formula aren't exactly medical and everytime I think about them I feel like I'm making a bunch of excuses. Oh well... live and learn, right?
Thursday evening July 21st (2 weeks before my due date). One of our dogs starts to have seizures. This had never happened before so we were pretty concerned. The seizures continued throughout the night and we got a total of about 3 hours of sleep that night. Our plan was to take her to the vet on Friday morning before going to work. Lily had other plans... my water broke at 5:30 on Friday morning. We headed to the hospital and after almost 16.5 hours of labor including 3.5 hours of pushing, our beautiful baby girl was born at 9:49 p.m. She had inhaled and swallowed a lot of fluid with meconium so we were only able to hold her for a couple of minutes before she was taken to the special care nursery where she spent the night. DH and I finally got to the recovery room at about 1:30 a.m. We were able to sleep a little. At around 8:30 a.m. they brought Lily to us. They had no sooner wheeled her into the room than she spit up a ton of meconium. She went back to the special care nursery. We finally got her at around noon. We met with a LC who advised to wait awhile before trying to nurse her because of all that she had been through with the meconium, etc. A couple of hours later the LC returned and helped me latch her on. The day went on and we had a nearly constant stream of visitors in and out of our room. Big mistake! Neither DH nor I slept at all during the day on Saturday. Saturday night came and I think I nursed Lily for about 4 straight hours. Her latch was not good and I had bruises and cracked nipples. Lily proceeded to scream the entire night despite nursing her for most of the night. Again... no sleep for either of us. I asked for help from the nurses but was told that her latch seemed fine. Get home from the hospital on Sunday afternoon and our dog is not doing well at all. My parents had taken her to the vet twice and we knew we had to have her put down. So, Lily's first trip out of the house was to the vet so we could have our 8 year old dog put down. (Lily stayed in the car with her grandma.) On Tuesday, we had to return to the hospital for Lily's newborn screening since she was not yet 48 hours old when we left the hospital. They weighed her and said that she had lost too much weight so we needed to see our ped the next day. Talk about a blow to my confidence. The nurses suggested pumping and supplementing with EBM. We also met with the LC consultant again who said that her latch was fine. (After seeing her latch on to a bottle, I'm positive that her latch was not good. I don't think her mouth was open wide enough) I had a manual pump and managed to pump only drops in 30 minutes. I think I tried the pump at least a dozen different times with no better results. We went to the ped on Wednesday to find that Lily hadn't actually lost too much weight... the scale at the hospital must have been off. We continued with BF throughout the week but DH and I were both getting more and more exhausted. I cried almost every time she latched on due to my sore nipples. I contacted the LC at the hospital to ask about renting an electric pump to see if that would work better than the manual pump. I really just needed a break to let my nipples heal a little and to get more than an hour of sleep at a time. When I told the LC that Lily was just 1 week old she just said that it was normal for her to nurse almost constantly and that I really shouldn't mess with pumping at this point... just stick it out. I spent the next couple of days struggling with trying to decide what to do. I was miserable and was not feeling bonded to Lily at all. DH was so supportive with whatever my decision! He's awesome! For some reason, in my post-partum/hyper-emotional state, I thought it was all or nothing. I never once considered having DH give her a bottle of formula once a day to give me a little break. Looking back, that's definitely what I should have done. Ultimately, I decided to switch her to formula. I still feel guilty sometimes but I know that she's doing great. I also look back and wonder if it would have gotten better in the next couple of days. It's amazing how much more I know about BF than I did just a few months ago! I definitely plan to give it another try with our next child.
Well... I realize I've written a book. Thanks for reading if you've made it this far!
Lily ~ 7/22/05
Cameron ~ 9/28/07