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Thread: What if breastfeeding don't work? page

  1. #1
    primat's Avatar
    primat is offline Junior Member
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    What if breastfeeding don't work?

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    We're having a baby in july - if all goes well (yay me!)

    I've tested a few of the "regular" formulas, and they trigger sleeping bouts and fatigue. The mother don't have milk protein issues but get insane migraines from gluten - so we're avoiding that altogether.
    * Based on our own experiences am I right to assume that the baby would also be likely to not tolerate milk protein/gluten?

    We're of course set on breastfeeding alone for at least six months, but as I like to plan ahead in case there would be something wrong.
    * I was wondering if there are any non-crap formulas out there? Or any other alternatives? (Milk bank is unavailable)

  2. #2
    Linny's Avatar
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    If you're serious about breastfeeding think of it as the only option initially. If you think as formula as an easy out and have a can on standby you're more likely to fail. If you're having difficulty breastfeeding there are lactation consultants that will help you. You can find one by asking your doctor or midwife or looking in the phone directory. It's common for babies to have a sensitivity to some sort of protein in the mom's diet - usually the big ones are dairy and soy and nuts. If you want to educate yourself more regarding breastfeeding, - Everything for the New Mom is a good resource. They have a forum to ask people questions. Also La Leche League is a wealth of knowledge.

    To feed a baby it's best to feed what was designed to feed them - breastmilk or donor breastmilk. If that doesn't work then formula is the next best option.

  3. #3
    Leida's Avatar
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    The main thing with breastfeeding is not to get bullied into it by the media frenzy. Yeah, it's great when it works, but if it doesn't, it becomes Hell on Earth instead of the serene Madonna experience. Have formula on hand. The baby need to eat, and that's the bottom line.

    I had been through that, and after three weeks, 6 lactation consultants and starting to spiral down into a post-natal depression and weeping uncontrollably every time someone mentioned 'breastfeeding', I finally had wits enough to stop trying. I still feel like slapping hard in the face anyone who starts preaching how breastfeeding is the only option (and possibly keep beating them after that into a pulp - and I am a quiet intorvert who doesn't hurt a fly), . Thanks goodness for the last lactation consultant who outright told me: "Once you are dead, you can go and complain to the Almighty about your nipples." So, determined or not, my advice is to stop if you are two weeks in, and the baby is not latching no matter what you do.

    Supplementing breast milk with formula is not an easy choice. The mother have to pump every 3 or 4 hours, about half an hour on each breast, AND you have to sterilize bottles and make formula. Along with all the OTHER demands the infant places on the new parent, a crew of 3 people working in shifts is the minimal # of people you need to survive for the duration of the exercise. Anyone who thinks that a woman can go this rout alone should be hit hard in the face too. Get a formula that is liquid, and just needs to be diluted. Keep 'ready to go' formula as a back-up. Get a good breast pump, they are normally available for rent, don't even bother with the manual crap. And switch to full formula as soon as you can't take it any more. Be warned that all advice on weening early and how to stop milk properly by whatever reason comes in the chapters on baby's dying. It traumatized me a huge deal.

    You will also have to be on top of the tolerances with your doctor, because infants with specific intolerance may have to have a special formulations or even broth to make sure they thrive.
    Last edited by Leida; 01-25-2012 at 06:40 AM.
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  4. #4
    Kate_Tower's Avatar
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    Congratulations on your new baby! This must be a very exciting time for all.

    Just because the mom has sensitivities to dairy, does not mean 100% the baby will be sensitive to it as well. However, there is that chance that it could be passed genetically.

    Most breastfeeding moms will tell you that, at first, breastfeeding your child is not easy. In fact, sometimes it is very hard. But don't give up and keep trying. I know in the USA, hospitals will give you all of these formula samples and goodies. They will even try to make you feel bad for not giving your baby formula. They will say that you are being a bad parent or that you are starving your child because you are not producing enough milk. Becaus of our health care system, we have made pregnancy seem like a "disease" instead of something natural. Because of all of the medical intervention, sometimes they take the baby from mom immediatly and dont let them try to breast feed as quickly as possible.

    The real answer is that hospitals do not have the time to have someone to stay with the mom and teach her how to work with her baby and get a correct "latch". My advice is to get a midwife or someone like that who is trained in teaching moms how to breastfeed. It does come natural, it is how moms have done it for thousands of years. However, it is like walking or riding a bike, eventually you can learn yourself but there is less stress if you have someone to teach you.

    Obviously, this is a subject that I am passionate about. I could go on and on about it ,so, I will cut myself off now. Basically, I would keep doing what your doing and continue your research early. If you work closely with a midwife they can also help you choose a formula that works for both mom and baby, should that come necessary.

    Good Luck and Blessing to your new family!

    *I do realize that in some cases, a Dr. assisted, hospital delivery is necessary.*
    **I also realize that some moms cannot breast feed because of medical or physical reasons.**
    ***I also think that some moms give up and say they cannot do it because they have not been given all of the information and help they need***

  5. #5
    banananutmuffin's Avatar
    banananutmuffin is offline Senior Member
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    With my first kid, breastfeeding (for the first 5 months) was agony. I was coming from a horrible, traumatic delivery, which only made it worse. I mean... I was in serious pain when I tried to nurse my baby. So much that I'd start crying whenever she cried, because I knew she wanted to nurse. (And I am not a crier.)

    That said, I powered through it, mostly due to pressure from friends and family. In the end, I'm glad I did. But it wasn't easy. I agree that thinking of formula as a "backup" makes it easier to give up during the difficult early stages of nursing. On the other hand, if mom's sanity depends on it, then just use the damn formula.

    BTW, my second kid was a breeze to nurse. So who knows? Your wife may find nursing super super easy.
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  6. #6
    Shijin13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by primat View Post
    We're having a baby in july - if all goes well (yay me!)

    I've tested a few of the "regular" formulas, and they trigger sleeping bouts and fatigue. The mother don't have milk protein issues but get insane migraines from gluten - so we're avoiding that altogether.
    * Based on our own experiences am I right to assume that the baby would also be likely to not tolerate milk protein/gluten?

    We're of course set on breastfeeding alone for at least six months, but as I like to plan ahead in case there would be something wrong.
    * I was wondering if there are any non-crap formulas out there? Or any other alternatives? (Milk bank is unavailable)
    Here are some things you can do to prepare for breast feeding. Attend some la leche meetings, talk to your ob/MW about your bfing goals, interview and establish the raport with the lactation consultant where you'll be delivering. Request the Baby be placed directly on mom after delivery, room in w/baby, ask for help if your encountering problems. Get a breast friend nursing pillow ( provides good being support for both mom/baby.

    If nursing isnt successful, there's always the option of exclusively pumping milk (I did this for 14 mths for my dd b/c she was in able to nurse) you can also request donor milk from other mothers via human milk for human babies on Facebook. W/ds I made more milk than I knew what to do with and I donated all my star milk to a mom who physically could t make milk (IGT), then you can consider formula. W/my dd I never made enough milk for her so we supplemented w/formula b/c milk sharing hadn't taken off at that point.

    While breast feeding is "natural" you have two humans learning how to do something that they both have never done, and they're trying to learn how to do it together once they figure it out, eventually it becomes easy but it can be hard at first. So hang in there, build your support network now.
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  7. #7
    chiromom's Avatar
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    Congratulations! Babies are magical.
    I second the suggestions of attending La Leche League and avoiding free formula samples...just keep the formula out of the house. Most issues can be resolved pretty simply with the support of a midwife or La Leche League leader. If you hire an LC, make sure she is an IBCLC.
    Breastfeeding is like's awkward and a little painful at first. Once you get the hang of it, it's glorious.

  8. #8
    Danielle5690's Avatar
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    Chiromom, I love the breastfeeding/sex analogy. So true!

    The truth is, breastfeeding is almost always possible with the right support and information. is a wonderful resource, and La Leche League offers great support. I would recommend starting to attend meetings while you're still pregnant.

    Breastfeeding was very difficult for me for the first three weeks or so. We just couldn't get the hang of it. If I had considered formula an option (I didn't), and if I hadn't had the wonderful support I had from my mom and a couple of good lactation consultants, I would have given up. But I didn't, and once we figured it out, it was awesome, and my son nursed like a champ for years.

    There really isn't any formula that's just as good. Human milk is the first choice by a long shot, and formula should be a last resort.

  9. #9
    _Wifey_'s Avatar
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    I don't really have much to add to what's already been posted, but congratulations and preparing/thinking about this ahead of time is one of the best ways to help avoid problems.
    I was lucky enough to be able to wetnurse/donate expressed milk to more than one child through local moms as well as Human Milk for Human Babies. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of women/families open to the idea of donor milk & wetnursing. If I ever have troubles with BFing that pumping won't fix, donor milk would be my go to choice.
    Even if you can't attend a LLL meeting, many of the groups have a FB presence. I know one of my local groups is more active online than anywhere else. I'm not even sure they've had a live meeting since DS was born 21 mths ago.

  10. #10
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    I wrote an article on this for my community newspaper. Here it is - it's aimed at people in my town but most of the info is applicable everywhere.

    I had major supply issues when I started breastfeeding - mainly due to blood loss during the birth - but I DID supplement and kept breastfeeding and pumping and putting all the work into it and it was TOTALLY worth it. I supplemented for 3 months and then I was ok without it. Non-hormonal supply issues CAN be resolved, but sometimes it takes time.

    That having been said, on the off chance you do need to use formula, it's rarely actually toxic and you shouldn't assume that a baby will have intolerances if the mom does. I would nearly always choose a dairy-based formula over a soy-based one - less chemical crap, not that dairy-based formulas are crap-free by any means - and if there ARE intolerances, an elemental formula like Nutramigen is a good choice (and also an incentive to only use it for supplementation because it's freakin' expensive!)

    I would also add to the info in my article - keep in mind that it is NORMAL and TOTALLY OK for newborns (and babies up to 3 months) to want to nurse ALL THE TIME. It does NOT mean the mama doesn't have enough milk. Make sure the latch is good, make sure the pees and poops are coming out ok, and then pay NO attention to how frequently the baby nurses or for how long. It's all fine.
    Last edited by spughy; 01-27-2012 at 12:04 AM.

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