Ok so this will seem a bit long winded but I would really like to hear some suggestions as to where I went wrong with breastfeeding my baby boy.
Breastfeeding to me is so important and there wasnt any question as to how I was going to feed my baby. I had a drug free perfect birth with skin to skin contact immediatly after birth where my baby fed for 2 hours. He attached well and I had no pain or any other issues.
He was gaining weight well at the start and was totally fed on demand. He slept well and was generally a settled baby.
At his 4 week check he was still gaining but not alot but my MCHN wasnt fazed as she was happy with his overall appearace ie alert etc. She is a long term breastfeeding advocate tandem feeding her 4 and 2 year old so I was happy with her advice. She told me to come back in 2 weeks just to check on him but told me she wouldnt be there I would be seeing another lady.
At that check up he had only gained 100g and this MCHN told me that this weight gain wasnt sufficient and I needed to think about topping him up.
I left there shattered but still determined to continue our breastfeeding journey. I went to my GP who gave me medication to boost my supply and was pumping after every feed to help things along.
I thought I was doing everything I could to help our journey along.
At the next check 2 weeks later my little boy had gained NOTHING! I was devastated to say the least. This new MCHN told me "you cant let him keep going this way, you need to top him up with formula. Your baby isnt content he is lethargic!!!"
I asked her whether I should give it to him in a syringe as I didnt want to give him a bottle and risk nipple confusion. She told me "no, he's 8 weeks now he wont forget how to nurse from the breast.
What a mistake!!! Within 2 days he was totally refusing to feed from me and I had to express and give him all feeds from the bottle.
This continued with top ups with formula for the next month until I was getting NOTHING from expressing!! So now at 4 months he is fully on formula and I hate everytime I put a bottle in his mouth coz I know its not what I wanted for my boy.
So where did I go wrong before giving him a bottle, why was he not gaining weight even being demand fed and having enough wet nappies etc? Its the most normal natural thing in the world so why couldnt i get it right?.
Sorry for the long post xxx
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05-04-2012 09:23 #1
Where did I go wrong?
05-04-2012 09:36 #2
Have you had a look at the hidden hindrances to a healthy milk supply in the breastfeeding section? It's a sticky at the top of the section.
05-04-2012 09:36 #3-
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
I was so sad reading your post. I am really sorry as I have no advice but just want to let you know that I am wanting to give you a big hug right now I breastfeed my daughter and she is on the light side and can sympathise with how difficult it must be having to formula feed. I was told to feed her formula too and thankfully my little one refused it. I hope you have more luck in the future At least you gave it your best shot xx
The Following User Says Thank You to rachel27 For This Useful Post:
05-04-2012 09:43 #4
Big hugs. You poor Mummy. I don't think you did anything wrong! It sounds like you were trusting the advice of people that should give you sound advice. The only thing I'll say is that you should trust yourself and you gut feelings and instincts. Do you think he was lethargic?
My little girl was tiny while being b/f. Was only putting on 200g in a month sometimes. Everyone always commented on how little she was. The only thing that made me continue was that she was content. Not lethargic but a happy baby.
She now eats solids and has chubbed up enough to stop the comments.
After the first time that the early childhood clinic lady suggested formula I didnt go back but just trusted myself as a Mummy.
I didnt trust myself with my DD1 -who is now 10 and she was on formula by about Day 6. It still makes me sad. I hope you are ok. Xx
The Following User Says Thank You to Kyls For This Useful Post:
05-04-2012 09:50 #5
Thanks for the posts so far.
Looking back I dont think he was lethargic but sitting in that room with that lady and no weight gain my mind went into overdrive and I panicked. I felt like i was failing my son and he wasnt thriving.
I too had the comments of "oh he is so tiny" which I tried to ignore but played on my mind at times.
My guilt at not giving my baby the best and most natural thing in this world plays on my mind and will continue to.
05-04-2012 09:54 #6
05-04-2012 11:18 #7
I just wanted to give you some of these
Please don't be hard on yourself, being a mother is so tough... Always trying to make the best decisions, second guessing ourselves. Especially when people are putting those ideas in your head, Of course it will cause doubt. My DD was born big and made massive gains until 5 ish weeks when she only put on 70g (for the week!) and the midwife told me it wasn't good enough and I needed to formula feed. They were coming every three days to weigh her and I would be shaking with anxiety knowing they were coming, even though my DD was chubby, happy, alert, plenty of wet nappies I still doubted myself. I can't even imagine feeling that way and having a smaller bub!
You really did the best you could and feeding is one small part of parenting, be proud of yourself for trying to do the best thing for your DS.
Baby wearing, co-sleeping, booby feeding mummy to one
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05-04-2012 12:25 #8Senior Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2011
I just wanted to play back some of your post, so that you can start to dismantle your idea that you've done something wrong.
You had a perfect birth. Didn't even have any drugs for pain.
You breastfed your little one straight away and had skin contact.
You fed on demand.
You took your little one for regular health checks.
You followed the advice of professionals when it looked like maybe your boy wasn't as healthy as he could be.
You questioned the advice of the professionals when it didn't feel right, and only went ahead when they gave what sounded like a reasonable answer.
Your DS is now gaining weight and is healthy (I assume?).
If you had a good friend that had done all the above and still felt guilty about formula feeding, what would you tell them? Can you honestly see any mistakes in there? I can't. IMO, the only place you are going wrong is that you might be asking the wrong question. Maybe instead of "where did I go wrong?", you could ask "how can I make formula feeding the best possible experience for me and DS?"
Don't give yourself a hard time about it. Keep your focus on the bigger picture of developing DS into the best person he can be. There are still plenty of opportunities to get things right, but none of us have a perfect parenting experience.
05-04-2012 12:41 #9
I think you've done an amazing job and there wasn't anything you could have/should have done differently.
There was just a couple of things I thought I could mention - the growth charts we use in Australia are based on formula fed babies, not breastfed babies, and they each follow a slightly different weight gain pattern. The WHO has growth charts based on breastfed babies which are really useful to look at. Looking at those, you may just find that your bub's weight gain was normal (lots of breastfed babies go through a "weight plateau" around that time). But of course, there's no way you could know that without your MCHN telling you! The best thing to look for is normal nappies (eg 6-8 wet nappies in 24hrs etc) and general health (eyes alert, content etc)
The other thing was, if you are interested, it's not too late to get bub back on the breast. With support, many women find that they are definately able to do it. Call the Australian Breastfeeding Association on 1800 Mum 2 Mum and they can talk you through exactly what you need to do if that is an option you want to take. Or feel free to send me a PM, I'm a counsellor with the ABA.
Best of luck! One thing I always try to remind mums of though, that breastfeeding is just one tiny, tiny part of mothering. I know the grief can be really tough, but the fact that you have come on here to try and find answers means that you are a great mum!
05-04-2012 13:09 #10
You did NOTHING wrong
Unfortunately so many people think the only thing to do when a baby isn't putting on weight according to the text book is to reach for the bottle of formula which is simply NOT the case. I know, I've been there. I'm so sorry and sad that you've experienced this.
By Bonkers in forum General HealthReplies: 2Last Post: 28-05-2012, 18:49
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