View Full Version : What to do?!
Hi. Ds is 6 months today and we have struggled with feeding since he was 3 weeks old. I have been giving him formula in the afternoons after I feed him since he was 4 months. Lately though he is getting more and more fussy and refusing to breastfeed. I would really like him to still get some breastmilk for antibodies etc. He feeds ok for his 6/7am feed but that is it. I am worried if I do not try breastfeed him throughout the day I will not have enough supply for the first morning feed. But he just screams the second I try sometimes. Just don't know what to do. I have heard people say there babies don't seem to pick up some viruses if they have breastmilk.
I am a huge breastfeeding advocate but heard a professor of immunology talking on the radio recently who said that the important antibodies are actually passed in the first few days - so if your reason for feeding is that, you have already done your job. The other benefits of bf apart from antibodies are that you know that your baby is getting all the nutrients they need as nothing we manufacture can replicate the perfection of bf. That being said - if baby won't feed, you can't force him. Bf works on supply and demand - you will produce enough milk to replace what he is taking from you. The less you feed, the less you will produce. I am aware of a number of friends whose babies went through a stage of refusing the breast but came right a week or so later, so maybe try and stick it out for a bit longer and things might improve again?!
If he will only have the morning feed, keep going with that one - you will keep producing enough as long as he keeps wanting that feed.
Good luck - and well done on making it to the 6 month mark!
Congrats on making it to 6 months. I wanted so badly to breastfeed my baby for the first year. He so so tiny when he was born, and he fed really well once we got past the attachment issues from from being tube fed for the first few days of his life.
I got to 3 1/2 months, and after two cases of mastitus and my right boob was always in pain I decided to introduce a couple of formula feeds to take the pressure off.
As soon as I introduced formula my son rejected the breast. And at the time it was sort of a relief because I'd been in so much pain. but I felt so guilty about giving up. He's now 11 months and so healthy and big that I really don't think it was as bad as I thought at the time. Because it's so much more important for both of you to be happy and relaxed - if your up tight when your trying to feed him he will sense that and reject the situation.
Good luck, but remember the more you feed from the breast the more milk you make, and if he's hungry he will feed, just relax and let it happen.
And don't feel guilty if you can't do it because you being happy is what he really needs ;)
To the OP, I'm sorry to hear that you are having problems. I would contact the ABA for suggestions and accurate breastfeeding information.
I couldn't let this pass
who said that the important antibodies are actually passed in the first few days
I believe that's not accurate. Yes, the mother's body produces huge quantities of antibodies just after birth (which is why colostrum is considered to be 'liquid gold') and the levels do fall and stablise afterwards. But for as long as the baby is breastfed, he or she will receive antibodies from the mother. It will only be antibodies to the things that the mother is exposed to herself (which is why breastfed babies don't seem to get the flu or cold etc). There are also other great things in breastmilk too, it's got antibacterial and antiviral properties. And new research has shown that the levels of antibodies actually increases if the child is breastfed for over 12months.
It is disappointing that there are so many myths out there about breastfeeding that even so called experts quite often get it wrong. I suspect the main reason is because there isn't enough money to be made so no investment is put into breastfeeding research.
Anyway, here are a few links if you are interested:
I am happy to be corrected - I was quite surprised when I heard this professor talking about it, but under questioning he explained himself quite logically (I thought at the time). I am happy to accept that antibodies do in fact keep being passed on - this is one of those times when a small bit of information can be a dangerous thing!
Channy - at the end of the day the best advice you can get is to contact the ABA - they have helplines and whenever I have called they have been fabulous - and probably more accurate than my initial advice to you!!
This is a really great article about ways to help bubs onto the breast if they're a bit fussy. http://breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo/refusal.html
Babies sometimes prefer the fast flow of bottles but for more health reasons than we can number, both in the short term and long term, (for you as well as baby) exclusive breastfeeding to 6 months or beyond, and then for at least the first 2 years is essential. If you comp feed you will wean your baby because your baby won't be able to stimulate your supply to grow with it.
I really recommend that you get along to your nearest ABA group and meet other bfing mamas who can give you loads of brilliant support and information. Breastfeeding is too precious to miss out on and you and your baby will both benefit so much from the relationship on so many levels. :D
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