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Possibly Switching to Formula - Advice!


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  • 2 Post By shanirah

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  #1  
October 17th, 2012, 09:19 AM
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Posts: 355
I know I almost never post here, I lurk a lot though

so here's the situation, I have depression and anxiety and have tried all of the breastfeeding safe medications and none are working as well as they should. I'm mostly able to function but I still get really bad anxiety at points.

Jeffrey will be 6 months October 28th so whatever I decide, I'm not officially going to decide until then but I need some advice and help here.

I can stay on what I'm on and deal with the slight anxiety and hope that with therapy it goes away. My inital goal was to breastfeed for at least a year and try for 2.

Or

I can wean off breastfeeding on to formula and go on a medication that will be 99% likely to be completely effective. But I would have a lot of guilt with switching.
It was a real struggle to breastfeed in the beginning and I feel like I'm really enjoying it now. It's hard for me to give up something that we battled with so hard to maintain and get to work for us.

So I guess I'm looking for:
-Did you switch from ebf to formula? When and why?
-How did you feel about it? If you felt guilty/other negative thoughts...how did you get passed them?
-How did you baby handle it? (I have done very little research about what goes in to formula. I know there are so many kinds and "rules" with water and such bUT Don't know details).
-We havenT Startedsolids yet either. If we decide to go to formula, should I hold off on solids for a few weeks? It seems like they are both such a new thing to his system, I don't want to upset his digestion too much.
-Oh he also has reflux and I've read a little that breastmilk is better...any experience?
-any advice on weaning? I can't pump enough to mix breastmilk with the formula, is THAT GOING TO BE A PROBLEM?

any other experieNces, thougy6hts or advice are very appreciated!

(ps sorry for the typos and such. Jeffrey is having a day of being happy only on mommys lap so he's also trying to help me type this haha!)
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  #2  
October 17th, 2012, 10:44 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 865
Well I don't have any experience with switching from EBF to formula, but here's what I do know....
Transition: I assume it's like the transition to cow's milk. the slower you do it, the easier it is for thier bellies to tollerate. If you can mix formula and Breast milk (BM) that's the best. start out w/hardly any formula and transition to all formula over a week or two. We changed the percentages each day, not each feeding. If you don't pump enough milk to mix, try offering a bottle with an ounce after he nurses - just to see how he likes it. if he likes it, then offer less time on the breast each day and offer more formula - if he seems to like it and have no belly issues, then one day just stop offering to nurse. You might find that if you end the nursing session short, you will then have milk to pump off.
Solids: I would NOT start both at once. if switching to formula is an immediate goal then do that first and see how he takes it, maybe start solids on week 2 or 3 of having formula. if you dont like using formula, starting solids first would necessitate less formula when you do switch. In addition, if you start solids, and try to pump right after a food meal, you might get enough milk to be able to store and then mix with the formula when you do decide to transition him over.

my only other thought would be this...he's 6 months now, and although you wanted to BF for 2 years, he can handle cows milk around 1. so if you do swtich to formula he wouldn't have to be on it for that long - maybe that can help your mommy guilt about swtiching. and you said that your meds are doing an ok job now, if you can handle being on them for 3 or 4 more months maybe your pediatrician will give you the ok to switch to cow milk then - even though its a few months earlier then 'recommended'
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  #3  
October 17th, 2012, 11:40 AM
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-Did you switch from ebf to formula? When and why?
Yes we switched very gradually starting from 5 weeks old and completely transitioned at 12 weeks old. I simply couldn't produce enough milk, and I had a recurring thrush infection that we kept passing between us.

-How did you feel about it? If you felt guilty/other negative thoughts...how did you get passed them?
I felt bad and I hated my body for not producing milk like everyone else can. But I know I did the best I could do with breastfeeding -- I tried everything to increase my supply, but my boobs just must be defective or something. Besides, formula isn't bad. There's nothing wrong with it. Sure, some people like to tell us that formula is evil and that we're failures for using it, but those people suck and they can go drown in a giant vat of their own breastmilk for all I care.

-How did you baby handle it?
She did fine. Her bowel movements started to look a bit different, but it didn't cause her any problems.

-We havenT Startedsolids yet either. If we decide to go to formula, should I hold off on solids for a few weeks? It seems like they are both such a new thing to his system, I don't want to upset his digestion too much.
I'd wait on the solids, like owensmom recommended.

-Oh he also has reflux and I've read a little that breastmilk is better...any experience?
Keep him upright after feeding. I sit DD upright for a good 30 minutes before laying her down.

-any advice on weaning? I can't pump enough to mix breastmilk with the formula, is THAT GOING TO BE A PROBLEM?
I couldn't pump much either, so we nursed during the transition. I'd let her start out a meal by nursing, and then when she'd get too frustrated with the milk flow, I'd give her the bottle then.
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  #4  
October 17th, 2012, 12:39 PM
shanirah's Avatar Mommy Strawberry
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I'm going really strong EBFing with her but my first two children, I started weaning them at 6 weeks each, for different reasons both times and had them fully on formula at 12 weeks (and my 11 year old is so awesome that he scored the highest on the beginning of the year math test for his entire school, so it didn't do any harm). 6 months is nothing to sneeze at and you've given him a good start with it, if you need to switch for your health, then don't feel guilty. Would you rather give him a healthy mom or breastfeed when a perfectly acceptable substitute is available (but there is no other substitute for you like there is for food for him).

Take it slow getting him use to it, does he take a bottle easily? Amelia doesn't take one so that would be a concern if I was having to wean. But don't feel guilty, you need to be your best and if you aren't then it makes raising a child harder. Hang in there!
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  #5  
October 18th, 2012, 06:19 AM
pr1madona's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Here's my 2 cents. IF your meds are doing an ok job and you can function ok, I would try therapy, natural options, and to "deal" with it for a few more months. I've dealt with postpartum anxiety so I can understand somewhat how you are feeling. A good B complex and fish oils has helped me a lot. If he's doing fine on BM, why rock the boat with trying formula? If he has a problem with the formula (and a lot of babies do) then to me that would cause me more anxiety and issues. Yes BM is better for reflux. It is a natural antacid and nursing also comforts them. If you do switch to formula, definitely wait on the solids, esp since you may have to try several formulas. Don't want to upset his tummy even more
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  #6  
October 19th, 2012, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shanirah View Post
6 months is nothing to sneeze at and you've given him a good start with it, if you need to switch for your health, then don't feel guilty. Would you rather give him a healthy mom or breastfeed when a perfectly acceptable substitute is available (but there is no other substitute for you like there is for food for him).
Ditto this
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