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Thread: Formula guilt

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    87

    Default Formula guilt

    I work full time and I haven't been able to keep a freezer stash, so every drop I express goes to my baby the next day. I feel like I'm on a treadmill and I can't ever catch up, so pumping for me can be quite stressful.

    This weekend through a series of bad circumstances I was unable to pump, so this morning I had no choice but to fill 3 of his 4 bottles with formula. I told myself he will be starting solids soon (he is 5 months) so his digestive system (hopefully) can handle formula. But it didn't make me feel any better.

    My sister watches him during the day and she said this morning that he took 2 bottles with no problem, but just called me at work this afternoon and I could hear him screaming in the background. She said he has been inconsolable for the last 30 minutes and none of the usual calming techniques (walking him, etc) have not worked today.

    I feel an enormous amount of guilt right now. I have this irrational urge to leave work NOW and run home, but I work 50 minutes away and it wouldn't help him in the meantime. If I could have transported myself through the telephone like in The Matrix I would have done it in a heartbeat.

    Could it be the formula that's making him cry like that? Maybe it's causing digestive problems? Or does he miss me because he misses the taste of the breastmilk that he associates with me?

    Sorry for the long missive, but I'm hoping someone's experienced this and can help me cope with it.
    Sarah
    mommy to Liam, born 2/15/07
    14 months of breastfeeding and counting!

    "The amount of time I spend attached to this machine..." - Officer Danni Sofer on her breast pump, on "The Shield"

    Another cloth convert

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Sunny Arizona
    Posts
    3,190

    Default Re: Formula guilt

    I don't really have any experience to share but I can sympathize with how horrible you feel having to listen you DS scream. I doubt it's the formula but he might miss you. Or he could just be having a bad day that he would have had regardless. It's really hard to pump and have enough for every feeding. You are doing the best you can, don't feel guilty.

    Oh have you tried those cookies that help increase your supply? Maybe that would help you get ahead a little.

    Amy married to my bestfriend since 10/30/04

    Proud SAHM to DS born 2/17/07 and DD born 9/11/08 Both weaned together 11/2011
    Currently milk, peach, peanut and tree nut free. DD has outgrown her wheat, cheese, egg, garlic, and citrus allergies

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    miles from nowhere
    Posts
    11,126

    Default Re: Formula guilt

    When my lo started day care she refused to eat anything from a bottle for almost a week, then she'd take the breastmilk but not the formula, now she takes them both. It could be an upset tummy, but it could also just be that it isn't as familiar as the bm. I know what you mean, though. It's terrible to hear them cry and not be able to do anything. I had to stop calling the day care to check on her because I could hear her in the background and it broke my heart.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Delaware
    Posts
    1,383

    Default Re: Formula guilt

    Don't beat yourself up over it! You are doing the best you can for your precious baby!! Just think, you baby will be so happy to see you tonight and all will be forgotten!! Hang in there!!
    Betsy
    mama to:
    N 5/03
    J 6/07

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    382

    Default Re: Formula guilt

    I don't know about the formula but I just wanted to let you know that I know how awful it is to hear your LO crying through the phone. I left my DD with my DH one day while I ran to the store for a few things. I had nursed her before I left so that she would have a full belly. I called when I was leaving the store about 30 minutes later and I could hear her crying and crying. My DH said that she started almost right after I left and hadn't stopped. It broke my heart. I raced home and after I held her for awhile she stopped. So, maybe your DS just misses his Mommy today? You'll know for sure when you get home if he calms down after some love from you. Or if it is the formula then you'll know if he has the same reaction when you give it to him again.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    87

    Default Re: Formula guilt

    Thanks everyone for your kind words of support. I just spoke with my sister again and he's calmed down now, and I am sitting at my desk counting the minutes until I can leave this place and go home to him!
    Sarah
    mommy to Liam, born 2/15/07
    14 months of breastfeeding and counting!

    "The amount of time I spend attached to this machine..." - Officer Danni Sofer on her breast pump, on "The Shield"

    Another cloth convert

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    N. TX
    Posts
    1,237

    Default Re: Formula guilt

    I went through that in the beginning with mine too waiting for my milk to come in, the formula made his stomach SO upset. I feel for you, but know that he will be SO glad to see you tonight and get a sip of the real thing!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    307

    Default Re: Formula guilt

    don't you feel guilty about a thing! You are doing the best job you can for your baby. There are plenty of babies out there that get formula and are just fine. You're doing a great job!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Formula guilt

    I hated giving dd formula a couple of times. Did you give him the soy formula? Sometimes that is easier on baby's tummy than regular formula. We used similac advanced soy a couple of times and dd had no tummy problems. Are you taking fenugreek? Or drinking mother's milk tea? Those are supposed to help increase your supply. I know it's hard when working but could you get up once on the middle of the night to pump? This might help you build a stash. MIlk levels are higher after sleeping because we produce prolactin(i think it's called that) which increases supply-hence why wea re so full in the mornings. If you could get up once a night you might get one bottle each night and be able to get a stash. Or pump right after you ds goes to sleep. After a few days of pumping when he goes to sleep you'll see an increasein supply at that time and eventually be able to get enough for a bottle.

    Good luck and keep up the great mommying!
    Proud wife to Pete, 5-9-04
    Proud 1st time mom to Lilly 2-1-07 born at 36 weeks, 5lbs 1 oz, au natural!

    http://www.lillybugdesigns.com
    Handmade accessories for mom and baby
    All made with love, and by hand[/COLOR]

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: Formula guilt

    When I read your post, I felt as though I was reading something I wrote!

    I have a tremendous amount of guilt when I have to give LO formula. I also only pump enough for the next day and sometimes (when my day is stressful), I can't even get the amount needed. I've increased pumping to 3x while at work. I'm also starting to pump after she first eats on the weekend since she doesn't empty them in the mornings.

    I also have to supplement with formula and hate it. I hate the smell, hate how poop is, and hate that she spits up.

    Hearing them scream is the hardest thing. My LO screamed yesterday and she is normally a happy baby. I hate to hear that she cried because I know if she were with me, she wouldn't cry. Working mothers beat themselves up all the time.

    I doubt one day of formula would cause her to cry for 30 min.

    Hang in there.

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