So I've got a friend whose harassing me about not giving my baby any sort of formula or anything else for the first six months... This seems Extreme to me for a few reasons.
1. I have chrons disease. My drugs for that are class D. Anyone know what that means? It means you absolutely CANNOT breastfeed while you're on those drugs. CANNOT! The risk to the baby is super high. I can't afford a milk bank and she swears theres FB groups for every state where the moms will give you the milk free of charge yet she has yet to give me a link for it.
Even the nurse at the hospital when Patrick was born said that I was just fine formula feeding him from day 1 and that I may be confusing him by switching him from bottle to boob and that if at six weeks I was going to go exclusive to bottle, I may as well just give him formula from the start.
2. Our pediatrician had us start on baby rice between 4-5 months and move to baby food at six months. She says this increases the chance of open gut but I can't find a link that makes sense without having a medical degree. I would rather start him on formula at an early age just for the factor that he'll get used to the taste of it just so he doesn't scream when we run out of breastmilk no matter how much I pump like crazy to get a small stash of it.
Am I a bad mom? I've never once heard of open gut. Patrick had just the smallest amount of collostrum before the nurse conviced me to stop breastfeeding (to my own shame I listened to that advice rather than going the six weeks as planned and I will do that with this one), but I also plan on supplementing with formula so that we don't have a problem down the road where he won't take formula. As it was I had a hard enough time getting Patrick to take a bottle after I started giving him cereal. He just didn't want it. He wanted the spoon and that was it. It took a good week or so and a few full on battles to get him to take a bottle in between cereal feedings.
I think as a parent there is always all sorts of conflicting advise, points of view, studies, etc... My advice would be to do what feels best for you and your baby. In the end, as long as hes getting his needs net one way or another, getting attention, and is loved, you are doing just fine
If you can't breastfeed because of the medicine you're on, I would think that pretty much settles the matter. While I think that breast is best in a perfect world, I also think that we live in a far from perfect world, and if you are in a situation where you pretty much CAN'T breastfeed, it's pretty crappy of someone to try to pressure you and make you feel guilty about it.
-Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)
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Breast is best. That's really easy to say, and it's usually true... but sometimes for some moms it's not. Obviously you have to take care of your own health, and your medication is not going to be compatible with nursing. That pretty much settles the issue for you. I would recommend nursing at least until your milk comes in so the baby can have your colostrum, but if that's not possible that's fine.
Regarding milk banks, call your local LLL. They'll know where to find free donated breastmilk if it's available in your area. I have two friends whose babies were fed donated breastmilk for months on end when their moms couldn't nurse, so it is possible. I actually donated milk to one of those moms, though it wasn't much. I was never very good at letting down for a pump.
And finally, about open gut... I think it's mostly theoretical at this point. We do know that breastmilk and breastfeeding can prevent a lot of problems, but that doesn't mean it's fool-proof. I had a friend whose baby was 100% breastfed and had the worst food allergies you've ever seen at only a month or two old. He was reacting to corn, eggs, wheat, oatmeal, dairy, bananas, nuts, peanuts, etc in his mother's milk, and all at a month or two old without ever having been supplemented.
The truth is that the whole breastmilk-formula debate is a whole lot like the natural birth-epidural-induction-c/s debate, the cosleeping-sleep training debate, or the spanking-attachment parenting debate. The truth is that none of those choices is going to ruin the average child. Yes, there are more risks with some of those choices, but the odds are very much in your favor. Making a well-thought-out decision to have a c-section or induction, formula feed your child, thoughtfully sleep train them, and use reasonable and controlled spankings is NOT going to permanently damage the average child, and the clinical research backs up all of those positions.
Somehow we've become a society that has made parenting an all-or-nothing battle, and any little compromise you make is going to ruin your child. But that's not true. Except in extreme and rare cases, loving parents don't ruin their children because of a sub-optimal choice here or there. You do what's best for your family, and give your child all the love and attention they need, and in the end you've done your best and your child will probably be fine.
... and I say this as someone who had a natural birth, breastfed DD for almost 3 years (pretty much exclusively for 14 months), wore her everywhere I went, co-slept, didn't do any sleep training until she was 2 years old, and intends to homeschool. (We follow a lot of attachment parenting philosophies, but after doing considerable research on the subject we decided that there was reasonable evidence to support spanking under certain circumstances. I'm pretty sure the AP crowd won't accept us because of that, so I typically don't describe myself as an AP parent, even if that's how I see myself. )
In my opinion, dogmatic parenting only causes mommy guilt. Make informed choices, but in the end all you need to do is love your baby and do your best. JMHO
Harmony, JM, A, & M Our preschool-at-home blog
6w5d on 6/19/07 hb of 107 bpm 10/1/07. Lost at 7w6d
From what I've read colostrum and early milk *helps* seal up the gut for bacteria (keep good in, bad out), etc. I had an article written on this in down to earth language, but can't find it now of course! If I ever do find it, I'll share. Yes, breast is the intended food for babies by nature for a reason but thankfully we have the technology to have an alternative for moms who simply cannot and should not BF. No mom should ever be guilted for not BFing anyways, since the US is generally set up to make succeeding with BFing difficult at best. With most of parenting all we can do is inform ourselves and make the best decision that we can can at the time. You know the risks and benefits of your medicine, BFing and formula, and you are making the best decision for you and your family. So there's no way you're a bad mom.
This "friend" doesn't sound very friendly to me.
(And this is coming from someone who is still nursing her toddler.)
Mama to Kostas with the Mostest, born 07/10/07
and Marek "Cricket" Joshua, born 12/07/12
My goodness. Do not stress about it! Start with formula from day 1! That baby will be perfectly healthy.
Katherine 7/5/02 Olivia 8/2/04 Freddie 5/31/07 Ellie 5/24/11 and Owen Benjamin 10/31/12
I agree with everyone else - you have to do what works for your FAMILY. Your baby needs a healthy mommy, so do what you need to do to take care of yourself! Until your "friend" is actually in your shoes, she has no place to judge your decisions. Besides, you are clearly making the best decisions for your baby!! You are going to be feeding and nourishing and loving your precious baby, and that is what matters!
Erin + DH - 10/6/06
W - 11/14/08
D - 9/21/10
someone new! - 11/5/12
i'm sorry that your friend left you feeling so unsettled and upset. that really sucks! please don't say you are a bad mom. you are a good mom. i don't know why some people feel the need to make villains out of formula feeders. you don't have a choice in the matter anyway. i have never heard of open gut before...
Thanks guys. I went to a few other friends as well and they all said to hang up the phone on her if she started on me again. They said yes breast feeding is important but having me out of the hospital and healthy for the baby was even more important. So we're back to plan one, breast, pumping and storing, and formula