Breast feeding vs. formula

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JoannaV

Puritan Board Sophomore
Maybe if you could share some particular reasons your wife is leaning towards formula we could help brainstorm some ways to help her.
*Personally* I find the idea of using formula to be very inconvenient, time-consuming, and labor-intensive, so even when I had some very painful problems in the first few months of breastfeeding I still never considered formula. But for others the opposite will seem true, for example the father can be much more involved in making/feeding the formula so it is less labor & time consuming for the mother. This is especially true when combined with tiredness. Once I figured out how to nurse the baby lying down that was the best way to maximise sleep. But if she has to get up to feed baby then it may seem easier to do something that allows the father to share in night-feedings.

Does she have a breast pump or not?

It's interesting that if you survey a large group of women asking which was most important to them, the physical benefits of breastfeeding or the emotional, you will find half say one and half the other. So for some women the biggest motivation in feeding decisions will be the physical benefits, whereas for others it will be the emotional benefits. So for some women being convinced of the physical benefits of breastfeeding will be a major motivation in persevering at it, whereas for others that would not do quite so much to convince them. If your wife is one to whom the emotional benefits is more important that may be something she has to experience more than research about. The treatment center you mentioned does not sound like it would foster that kind of experience. Your wife may be feeling that she connects better to the baby when she is well-rested, and has not found breast-feeding to be a time of particular bonding.

It's hard when the surrounding culture is not supportive, even when the husband is supportive :) If most of the women she comes in contact with do not breast-feed, or if she has not seen it a lot, it will be hard for her to view it as natural or to be relaxed about it.
 

xirtam

Puritan Board Freshman
"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.
:agree:
 

xirtam

Puritan Board Freshman
Maybe if you could share some particular reasons your wife is leaning towards formula we could help brainstorm some ways to help her.
*Personally* I find the idea of using formula to be very inconvenient, time-consuming, and labor-intensive, so even when I had some very painful problems in the first few months of breastfeeding I still never considered formula. But for others the opposite will seem true, for example the father can be much more involved in making/feeding the formula so it is less labor & time consuming for the mother. This is especially true when combined with tiredness. Once I figured out how to nurse the baby lying down that was the best way to maximise sleep. But if she has to get up to feed baby then it may seem easier to do something that allows the father to share in night-feedings.

Does she have a breast pump or not?

It's interesting that if you survey a large group of women asking which was most important to them, the physical benefits of breastfeeding or the emotional, you will find half say one and half the other. So for some women the biggest motivation in feeding decisions will be the physical benefits, whereas for others it will be the emotional benefits. So for some women being convinced of the physical benefits of breastfeeding will be a major motivation in persevering at it, whereas for others that would not do quite so much to convince them. If your wife is one to whom the emotional benefits is more important that may be something she has to experience more than research about. The treatment center you mentioned does not sound like it would foster that kind of experience. Your wife may be feeling that she connects better to the baby when she is well-rested, and has not found breast-feeding to be a time of particular bonding.

It's hard when the surrounding culture is not supportive, even when the husband is supportive :) If most of the women she comes in contact with do not breast-feed, or if she has not seen it a lot, it will be hard for her to view it as natural or to be relaxed about it.
My lovely wife is Korean. There may be a mix of "reasons" why, but I am sure the way of the culture has a major influence. The other apparent reason is just "personal". I don't want to get into too much here, because I love my dear wife, but I would like her to know that I fully support using formula, when or if, she is unable to feed our son. At the moment, there is no such condition under which she is hindered in this process, besides my lovely wife's preference.

Although, I might add, that over the last couple of days we have been working together and I have been trying to encourage here more to "Stay come and carry on". I mean, my son is the most handsome boy and he is growing like a champion, it just seems like in those "dark hours", however short, all seems to be lost.

My lovely wife does pump and has managed to store some in the freezer. We are yet to use formula since they have come home from the clinic, but that has come about by me standing my ground and undergoing severe attacks. As the time ticks by, our boy settles in and falls back asleep. No casualties and another war has been avoided. :married:
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
Just our $2 here - my wife has been breastfeeding constantly since 2006. Babies, toddler, you name it. In addition to all the other pluses listed above, she sees it as a God-ordained rest for her (it forces her to sit for 20 minutes at a time, and in a house with 12 children, that takes some doing). We also found from a number of studies that she has almost a 0% chance of breast cancer because of her accumulated years of lactation. Not sure of the science behind it, but we liked it!
 

xirtam

Puritan Board Freshman
Just our $2 here - my wife has been breastfeeding constantly since 2006. Babies, toddler, you name it. In addition to all the other pluses listed above, she sees it as a God-ordained rest for her (it forces her to sit for 20 minutes at a time, and in a house with 12 children, that takes some doing). We also found from a number of studies that she has almost a 0% chance of breast cancer because of her accumulated years of lactation. Not sure of the science behind it, but we liked it!
Thank you, Sir. You surely have some weight behind your words with twelve children!

In Christ,
 

Joyful Noise

Puritan Board Freshman
I have been nursing for four years and have two children. With both, I found the HARDEST time to be about 2-4 weeks post-partum. After that, it got much easier. There are growth spurts at 2, 4, 6, 12, and 16 weeks (and they can happen other times too) when the baby will want to nurse hourly or more often. They happen later too, but by then you're used to them and know to plan on spending a lot of time on the couch with lots of snacks and water. Once nursing becomes less awkward (and painful, in my case) and engorgement is less of an issue, it is easy breezy goin'!

Also, try co-sleeping. A good bed rail is the safety 1st secure top bed rail because there is no gap to pose a hazard. Milk supply building hormones are released through night nursing and eventually mom can go back to sleep after latching the baby on. We have found a pretty good balance with co-sleeping by having the kids spend the first stretch of the night in their own bed, then when the baby needs to nurse I go to get her and she stays with me.

The benefits of nursing have been well argued here, and it really does wind up being easier than formula. Someone once told me to commit to 6 weeks, then to shoot for 12. It really should be second nature by then unless there are other technical difficulties. And it really forces mama to rest- at 4 weeks she is still recovering too!
 

xirtam

Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you Lindsay. Again, thank you all for our advice and prays. We have not opened the one can of formula that is sitting in the cupboard! And we have a good supply of breast milk in the freezer.

There have been times when tension arose, but I think it is getting easier over all. Mama even said today that our little boy is getting chubby - in a good way. We covet your prayers.
 
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