Breast feeding vs. formula

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xirtam

Puritan Board Freshman
What are some of your views on formula?

Should a mom only breast feed? If so, how long?

If not, how much is a good balance between breast feeding and using formula?

We used formula pretty early on with our first child, but have not with this child, although we are uncertain if he is getting enough since he gets up a lot through the night.

Any info would be appreciated.

In Christ,
 
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Mindaboo

Puritan Board Graduate
Breast feeding is always best when possible. It builds a child's immune system, and it's the perfect milk for a baby. With that being said, when I had my oldest daughter I tried to breast feed, but we ended up on formula. I was uncomfortable with it. I'd never seen anyone breast feed a child before. My mom thought it was the most disgusting thing she'd ever seen. My last three were all breast fed, the second and third went on formula after five months. My milk supply wasn't strong and dried up. I just wasn't able to nurse for long. I had supplemented each of them with a bottle. When baby number four came I nursed her with absolutely no supplement, and we made it to her first birthday. I've read the first year is important for breast feeding.

The only time I'd be concerned about the baby not getting enough is if he is losing weight. I always worried about it, but my children were growing and healthy. My doctor always told me as long as they were growing not to worry. Babies go through growth spurts and often need to nurse more. My last child woke up through the night a lot during the whole first year. My formula fed babies did too. I never noticed much of a difference.

I've been all over the place with breast feeding and formula. Everyone has a different answer to this type of question. I've known women who didn't breast feed at all, and I've known women who breast fed their child until they were four years of age. I really believe it is a personal decision.
 

xirtam

Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you, Mindy.

I would like to stick with breast feeding, because I think he is growing rather well. The tension comes in when it seems as though he wakes up every other hour and nothing is working, so the "simple" solution seems to be to give him a bottle. But I think, as you said, no matter if you are breast feeding or giving formula, your child will wake up when you want sleep. We are all adjusting, but I think I better do a better job with helping and encouraging mama that she is doing a good job and for her to not give up.

Thank you again.

In Christ,
 

Mindaboo

Puritan Board Graduate
How old is your baby? I think it's wise to encourage mama to keep going. Support is essential, especially if she's not sure of herself. If the baby is growing I wouldn't stress about it.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
A lot depends on the first few weeks with the child. If the mother takes ill or...other circumstances...happen, b-feeding simply might not be an option.
 

DeniseM

Puritan Board Freshman
Breast feeding also helps the baby develop a healthy digestive system. This can help prevent allergies and other health problems later when the child is older. With our first child, I stopped breast feeding at about six weeks, and he is the one that ended up with food allergies, eczema and asthma. With the other children, I continued breast feeding until they were around a year old or until they weaned themselves and the only one with any problems(a milk allergy) is the one that had to be in the NICU when he was first born and was given two different IV antibiotics throughout the duration of his first week of life. Antibiotics can mess up the digestive system, and if you mess up the digestive system other problems are sure to follow.
 

Miss Marple

Puritan Board Junior
If he is waking up every hour, it is possible the problem is confusion between formula and breast feeding.

In my opinion, you generally can't do both. I am not a doctor. But.

Formula delivers fast and furious. Nursing is slower and takes more time.

If baby is used to drinking for five minutes and being done on the bottle, he is unlikely to settle in for a half hour of breast feeding. So he nurses for five minutes; then an hour later, he's hungry. Of course. I'm sure he's also confused!

So I'd just go breast feed all the way and view it as a season and enjoy it as best you can. Around 9 months you can start him eating rice cereal and so forth and he will not want or need to nurse as much or as often. Why be in a hurry? Feed your baby.
 

Scottish Lass

Puritan Board Doctor
Breast-fed children often wake more because breast milk is more easily digested by his body (one of the *many* reasons it's best). Keeping him close by (crib in the room, co-sleeper attached to the bed, etc.) can help with that. Gracie would even nurse in her sleep. It beats walking down the hall to make a bottle most times. :) For the vast majority of kids, this is a pretty short phase and everyone will get more sleep in just a few months.
 

Romans922

Puritan Board Professor
Now you might think I am ignorant because I am a man, but I'll agree with Anna. My kid is one of the few who have not slept well after a few months (mostly due to teething).

Breastmilk vs Formula: http://www.bcbabyfriendly.ca/whatsinbreastmilkposter.pdf

But as a husband, keep encouraging. If the baby is hungry he will ask for food (crying). :)

Remember that newborns don't have very big stomachs (sizes: http://sweetsprouts.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/newborn-stomach-size.gif), so it doesn't take long to digest and need some more. It also doesn't take much to fill them up.

FACT: Breastmilk is the best thing for your child. God made them (babies and mommies) that way. :)
 

xirtam

Puritan Board Freshman
How old is your baby? I think it's wise to encourage mama to keep going. Support is essential, especially if she's not sure of herself. If the baby is growing I wouldn't stress about it.
Not even a month yet. There is tension on this issue.
 

Scottish Lass

Puritan Board Doctor
Is there a way she can get extra support from other nursing moms? In the States, many cities have La Leche League meetings and they are an international group. Moms can get great advice and encouragement there as well as at home. Nursing was hard for us; I ended up pumping my milk for fourteen months even though my daughter couldn't nurse because I knew it was essential for her. Was it hard? You bet, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat. The cost alone of formula can be oppressive for many families, too---pragmatic, but a factor, nonetheless.

I commend you for supporting your wife through this, especially if there's tension.

Oh, hey, look--Andrew beat me to the La Leche League info and included a link! :up:
 

Backwoods Presbyterian

Puritanboard Amanuensis
My wife is physically unable to nurse longer than a week at best and so all four of my kids had to go straight to formula. They all are healthy, wealthy, and wise. My kids are almost never sick (I cannot even remember the last time any of my children had so much as a cold).

Don't feel like (and certainly do not allow your wife to think she is) you are a failure if you have to go to formula sooner rather than later.
 

Mindaboo

Puritan Board Graduate
Don't feel like (and certainly do not allow your wife to think she is) you are a failure if you have to go to formula sooner rather than later.
It's absolutely not failure if nursing doesn't work out. My children have been fine with being formula fed. I don't see a difference in the mental or physical abilities of the one I nursed exclusively for a year and those I did not.

If the baby is only around a month old the baby will not sleep much anyway. It won't matter if he's formula fed or breast fed. If she's able I'd encourage her to continue to try, but if she can't, she can't. It's not the end of the world if the baby is on formula. I would stay away from soy formula for a male. It's not good for them.
 

irresistible_grace

Puritan Board Junior
I am NOT a fan of formula UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.

Should a mom only breast feed? YES, if at all possible. If so, how long? At least the first year of life. The first 6 months exclusively, then at six months introduce fruits, veggies, & meat etc.

If not, how much is a good balance between breast feeding and using formula? If you are going to do both then you need to make sure that she is using that thing that attaches to her breast so that the formula is a supplement OTHERWISE don't bother breastfeeding at all because the more you introduce bottles the harder it is on Mom to produce milk & it will hurt her more than help her. The first month is the hardest.

Breastfeeding is becoming a lost art. I think this is tragic. I hear all the time that not everyone can breastfeed but I think everyone should at least TRY. Obviously, she is trying & that is what counts. I know far too many women that aren't even considering it an option.

If he is not even a month yet, I doubt that breastfeeding is his biggest issue (as far as waking up in the night/not sleeping etc.). He is still adjusting & Mom is still adjusting. You may have unrealistic expectations as to his eating & sleeping schedule.

I nursed a lot at night with all three of mine. The first three months of each of children's life, we lived on the couch so I could nurse while sleeping (without fear of Daddy rolling over on the baby)!

Regardless of what you decide to do...
I'm :pray2:ing!
 

DeniseM

Puritan Board Freshman
I should add that certain families are predisposed to certain health problems, like allergies, asthma, etc. I had asthma as a kid and allergies and eczema also run in my family. In families that are predisposed to certain health ailments, whether the mother breast feeds or not can sometimes be the deciding factor as to whether the child will develop these same problems. The mother passes antibodies of many kinds to her child, through the breast milk.
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
Many babies take a while to settle down and this can be difficult for the whole family. If your baby is gaining weight, it sounds he is doing well. Medical advice changes, but four to six months of exclusive breast feeding is generally the healthiest for the baby, when possible. Next, follow whatever your doctor recommends for introducing foods, but continue nursing through the first year. May your family be blessed in its efforts.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
My wife nursed our four biological babies, but we formula-fed our four adopted babies. in my opinion, the major difference is not a matter of physical health but of emotional attachment.
 

xirtam

Puritan Board Freshman
Breast feeding also helps the baby develop a healthy digestive system. This can help prevent allergies and other health problems later when the child is older. With our first child, I stopped breast feeding at about six weeks, and he is the one that ended up with food allergies, eczema and asthma. With the other children, I continued breast feeding until they were around a year old or until they weaned themselves and the only one with any problems(a milk allergy) is the one that had to be in the NICU when he was first born and was given two different IV antibiotics throughout the duration of his first week of life. Antibiotics can mess up the digestive system, and if you mess up the digestive system other problems are sure to follow.

Thank you for the info, Denise.
 

xirtam

Puritan Board Freshman
If he is waking up every hour, it is possible the problem is confusion between formula and breast feeding.

In my opinion, you generally can't do both. I am not a doctor. But.

Formula delivers fast and furious. Nursing is slower and takes more time.

If baby is used to drinking for five minutes and being done on the bottle, he is unlikely to settle in for a half hour of breast feeding. So he nurses for five minutes; then an hour later, he's hungry. Of course. I'm sure he's also confused!

So I'd just go breast feed all the way and view it as a season and enjoy it as best you can. Around 9 months you can start him eating rice cereal and so forth and he will not want or need to nurse as much or as often. Why be in a hurry? Feed your baby.
Thank you. The thing is that we agreed to allow my lovely wife to enter a two week treatment center two days after giving birth. Basically, she got to stay in a hotel for new moms, with a bunch of other mothers, in individual rooms and they breast feed when they can, but the majority of the time, the babies are in a big room in little bins having the nurses care for them. I would visit each day but only see my son for a short period of time. They feed them formula, when the mother couldn't or was too tired...

Then we brought our son home on the 20th and he has since been breast feeding only. Undoubtedly, this is a big change for both mama and baby. He is actually getting much bigger and has been sleeping 2-3 hours at a time. I don't see any problem, except for my own selfishness getting in the way.

My dear wife is adamant about putting him on formula.
 
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xirtam

Puritan Board Freshman
Breast-fed children often wake more because breast milk is more easily digested by his body (one of the *many* reasons it's best). Keeping him close by (crib in the room, co-sleeper attached to the bed, etc.) can help with that. Gracie would even nurse in her sleep. It beats walking down the hall to make a bottle most times. For the vast majority of kids, this is a pretty short phase and everyone will get more sleep in just a few months.

I understand and agree.
 

xirtam

Puritan Board Freshman
Now you might think I am ignorant because I am a man, but I'll agree with Anna. My kid is one of the few who have not slept well after a few months (mostly due to teething).

Breastmilk vs Formula: http://www.bcbabyfriendly.ca/whatsinbreastmilkposter.pdf

But as a husband, keep encouraging. If the baby is hungry he will ask for food (crying). :)

Remember that newborns don't have very big stomachs (sizes: http://sweetsprouts.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/newborn-stomach-size.gif), so it doesn't take long to digest and need some more. It also doesn't take much to fill them up.

FACT: Breastmilk is the best thing for your child. God made them (babies and mommies) that way. :)
Thank you, Sir. I'll look into your links.
 

xirtam

Puritan Board Freshman
My wife is physically unable to nurse longer than a week at best and so all four of my kids had to go straight to formula. They all are healthy, wealthy, and wise. My kids are almost never sick (I cannot even remember the last time any of my children had so much as a cold).

Don't feel like (and certainly do not allow your wife to think she is) you are a failure if you have to go to formula sooner rather than later.

Your advice is good to keep in mind, especially if the tension breaks and then I know that formula "ain't" so bad.
 

xirtam

Puritan Board Freshman
Don't feel like (and certainly do not allow your wife to think she is) you are a failure if you have to go to formula sooner rather than later.
It's absolutely not failure if nursing doesn't work out. My children have been fine with being formula fed. I don't see a difference in the mental or physical abilities of the one I nursed exclusively for a year and those I did not.

If the baby is only around a month old the baby will not sleep much anyway. It won't matter if he's formula fed or breast fed. If she's able I'd encourage her to continue to try, but if she can't, she can't. It's not the end of the world if the baby is on formula. I would stay away from soy formula for a male. It's not good for them.
Thank you, Mindy.
 

xirtam

Puritan Board Freshman
I am NOT a fan of formula UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.

Should a mom only breast feed? YES, if at all possible. If so, how long? At least the first year of life. The first 6 months exclusively, then at six months introduce fruits, veggies, & meat etc.

If not, how much is a good balance between breast feeding and using formula? If you are going to do both then you need to make sure that she is using that thing that attaches to her breast so that the formula is a supplement OTHERWISE don't bother breastfeeding at all because the more you introduce bottles the harder it is on Mom to produce milk & it will hurt her more than help her. The first month is the hardest.

Breastfeeding is becoming a lost art. I think this is tragic. I hear all the time that not everyone can breastfeed but I think everyone should at least TRY. Obviously, she is trying & that is what counts. I know far too many women that aren't even considering it an option.

If he is not even a month yet, I doubt that breastfeeding is his biggest issue (as far as waking up in the night/not sleeping etc.). He is still adjusting & Mom is still adjusting. You may have unrealistic expectations as to his eating & sleeping schedule.

I nursed a lot at night with all three of mine. The first three months of each of children's life, we lived on the couch so I could nurse while sleeping (without fear of Daddy rolling over on the baby)!

Regardless of what you decide to do...
I'm :pray2:ing!
Thank you, Jessica.
 

xirtam

Puritan Board Freshman
Many babies take a while to settle down and this can be difficult for the whole family. If your baby is gaining weight, it sounds he is doing well. Medical advice changes, but four to six months of exclusive breast feeding is generally the healthiest for the baby, when possible. Next, follow whatever your doctor recommends for introducing foods, but continue nursing through the first year. May your family be blessed in its efforts.
Thank you.
 

xirtam

Puritan Board Freshman
My wife nursed our four biological babies, but we formula-fed our four adopted babies. in my opinion, the major difference is not a matter of physical health but of emotional attachment.
Thanks, Ken.
 

Miss Marple

Puritan Board Junior
"the majority of the time, the babies are in a big room in little bins having the nurses care for them. I would visit each day but only see my sons for periods of time. They feed them formula, when the mother couldn't or was too tired..."

I think this is the problem, right here. No going back, but I wouldn't do that again.
 
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