Debate: If a mom told herself there was no such thing as formula...

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Debate: If a mom told herself there was no such thing as formula...
11
Wed, 02-23-2011 - 2:42pm

If mom told herself there was no such thing as formula - do you think that she would struggle thru longer with any problems that came up?

Not to take away the choice, just a change of additude to help a mom get thru the early weeks when she might encounter more problems getting started - or even when baby gets older and other problems might crop up?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-23-2011

I appreciate your view.

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2008

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I stopped when it became so incredibly painful when my daughter and son both were tearing me up with their teeth when they turned 10mo.

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Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010

I was thinking more on this, and although I have little contact with a large number of young women IRL, we have had 10 babies born into our family within the last 12 years.

One baby BF for 12 months, till mom went back to work.

One baby BF for 3w, but she had a breast reduction, and may have not gotten a full supply. She had FF from birth her previous 3 children. She refused any help, and so got little support to increase her supply. She was a stay-at-home mom.

One baby to a mom who has a severe milk allergy of her own, whose mother BF and who BF her son for 2+ years. She was also a stay-at-home mom.

Two babies, both were FF from birth, BFing was never considered and as far as I know, mom did not have any reason other than she just didn't want to. Mom returned to work after a year.

Four babies, both were FF from birth, BFing was never considered and as far as I know, mom did not have any reason other than she just didn't want to. Mom was a stay-at-home mom.

One baby born premature at 32w, with a life-threatening illness, who had to be tube-fed. Her teen mom did pump for a while, but long-term seperation due to the distance to the hospital and not having tansportation made it difficult. Baby was in hospital for 4 months and only home for one month before she passed away. Mom was a stay-at-home mom.

So from my experience - the longer maternity leave hasn't made much difference to the amount of BFing.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2005

If a mom told herself there was no such thing as formula...

I'd tell her to get a reality check.

You can't go down the baby aisle without being bombarded by formula choices. (now available in chocolate flavor, apparently. *eyeroll*)

Now, I'll be honest with you, my daughter is 2. I tried, it didn't work for me.

So we opted to use formula; that, and it made it easier on daddy when I was at work.

enter siggy here

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008

The thought-provoking aspect of this topic is not really saying that the mother has no idea of reality - formula is there and plentiful. We know that. It is, as you say, in the shops. The idea was about how a mother who may have been thinking of formula as 'nearly as good' instead chose a viewpoint where she worked to solve the issues that many women who have breastfed have learnt to deal with and overcome. A viewpoint that said breastfeeding will happen.

There are many reasons of course why breastfeeding can be difficult for women. No-one is denying that. We are as aware as anyone that issues to do with lack of support when things go wrong, lack of knowledge about how to evercome problems and so on. There are many breastfeeding issues that are relatively common, but also avoidable. There are many things that well-meaning, loving mothers do that sabotage breastfeeding, and they do not even know that they are sabotaging it.

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2008
angel_of_satan wrote:

If a mom told herself there was no such thing as formula... I'd tell her to get a reality check. You can't go down the baby aisle without being bombarded by formula choices. (now available in chocolate flavor, apparently. *eyeroll*)

The point of the question was not the mothers truly believing formula didn't exists but rather how would she handle BF problems if she decided to act as if formula did not exists. Thus is her case she realizes formula does actually exists but instead decides to tackle her BF problems as if formula was not available as a backup. Of course any such mother would hopefully realize if she came to a point where formula was the only choice to keep her baby alive, as in she can't resolve her BF problems and she can't obtain donated breastmilk from any acceptable (as defined by her) source.

Now, I'll be honest with you, my daughter is 2. I tried, it didn't work for me. So we opted to use formula; that, and it made it easier on daddy when I was at work.

I don't know the specifics of your situation but I wanted to share the standard protocol for addressing low milk supply or "drying up" issue with breastfeeding as you seemed to have had just in case your where not given proper support and to educate lurkers on this board.

1. If a mother thinks she might be not producing enough or has dried up then the first step is to properly diagnose whether she truly has a low milk supply. This is done via counting the number of wet and dirty diapers her baby is producing and looking at the baby average weight gain since birth. If the baby is putting out the proper minimum amount of wet and dirty diapers for his age and has the proper average weekly weight gain for his age then he is very likely getting enough. You cannot properly tell how much baby is getting by any of the following factors:

  • Whether your breast feel full/engorge or not or soft or not.
  • Whether you fell letdown or not.
  • Whether the baby eats all the time or how long per session they eat.
  • Whether the baby is fussy at the breast or in general
  • Whether the baby pulls on and off the breast constantly
  • How much or little breastmilk your able to pump if any.
None of the above behaviors or indicators are accurate signs of low milk supply or drying up in and of themselves and can have other causes or simply be normal. Only diaper output and weight gain can accurate tell you if the baby is getting enough BM.
2. If you truly do have signs of low milk supply or drying up completely, realize that this is extremely rare to just happen all of a sudden and often has a diagnosable cause. It is very rare for it to be the uncorrectable/untreatable. The rare cases where it is untreatable is cases where the moms has physical issue the prevents proper milk production such insufficient glandular breast tissue, an issue causing a lack of hormones needed for milk prodcution or some cases of breast reduction surgery where the severed milk ducts have not had the opportunity to grow back together. If you can illuminate one of the rare cause then most likely there is a fixable cause. Below are the most common fixable causes of low milk supply:
  • Improper transfer of milk due to either improper latch or tongue-tie both of which can be corrected.
  • Not feeding the baby frequently enough. A proper milk supply is a supply and demand sort of deal where the more you feed the baby the more milk your body will make.
  • Unnecessarily supplementing with formula or supplementing too much with formula. If your supplement unnecessarily with formula you run the risk of causing your baby to nurse less frequently causing your milk supply to go down leading to further supplementing which in turn leads to low milk supply and so forth. Even if you truly do need to supplement, you need to make sure it's managed very carefully. You want to give only the minimum amount of supplement needed while working to increase your supply. As your supply increase you want to slowly wean off the supplement until it is no longer needed. Now in a small number of cases you may find you can never fully improve your milk supply and in such case you may need to consider supplementing long term where you carefully make sure you feed as much BM as possible first then supplement only as much as needed to make up the difference. You can combo-feed for the entire first year, introducing solids at 6 months as you normally would. There is no reason you have to switch completely to formula even if you are never able to provide 100% of the baby's BM needs.
  • Certain medications can decrease one's supply such as the combo birth control pills (due to the estrogen in the combo pills). Also herbal remedies can also have this effect.
  • Feeding too many solids too soon can cause your baby not BF enough. Also not pumping enough at work, if your a WOHM, can cause a drop in your supply.
  • Extreme stress can make letdown and proper milk transfer more difficult.
  • Not drinking enough water/liquids can effect supply.
If you are able to determine the cause of the low milk supply (and even in some case where you are not able to) the following are the standard steps to addressing the problem:
  • Address any issues with the baby not latching on properly. If the latch seems OK but their is still a problem with milk transfer then have the baby examined for tongue-tie. If the bay has tongue-tie then you need to have an appointment set up with a doctor who can clip the frenulum to fix the tongue-tie. This is a relatively simple procedure that can be done in a single office visit. It is general involves a simply clip of the frenulum via surgical scissors without any need for pain local anesthesia due to an absence of pain nerves in the frenulum.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-16-2008
This is how I thought with ODD. Of course I *knew* formula was available but for me, it just wasn't an option. I had peeling, cracked nipples, mastitis, over supply, and I lived alone. I cried each time she latched for 5 weeks. Formula still "didn't exist" and I pushed through. I knew ODD could nurse and I produced milk, quitting seemed silly for us so I just didn't entertain the idea.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-30-2008
I kind of thought that way with my son. I didn't want to pay for formula so to me it wasn't much of an option unless things got really desperate.

The other question about maternity leave and breastfeeding. I know way to many SAHMs who use formual and working moms who pump/breastfeed for maternity leave to be a big factor in things. That said I think we should have longer maternity leave in the US.
bigbro

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