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guilt about bottle-feeding Rss

hi guys,
i'm about to introduce my 7 week old baby girl onto S26AR to help with her reflux, however i am really reluctant to do so because i feel in some way i am failing her. i have no problems with breastfeeding, i love it, but at this point the reflux is affecting us all and it was suggested to us that we try a thickened formula. is it normal to feel like this? i know so many babies are formula fed and they're perfectly fine, i guess its more the emotional side. any advice or stories would be great!

Amanda, Emilee Grace 27/02/04, Kynen 11/02/05

Have you gone to your doctor? Mine put us on Infant Gaviscon which you mix with breastmilk. It didn't help George, but a lot of people find it helpful. I think there are other options available too which your doc should know about.

Best of luck.

Rachelle, NZ, son George 10.12.02, Ian 15.06.04

You don't mention who suggested this to you, if it was a medical professional I would get a second opinion from a peadiatrition. It would be such a shame to give away the breast feeding that you love when there are bound to be other options. I think all babies have reflux to some degree I guess it all depends on how bad it is as to whether treatment is necessary. I tried the AR formula and found it only reduced the reflux slightly and being a thicker formula found it difficult for my son to bring up wind which just caused a whole new problem.
Good luck, Amy
i would not be feeling guilty if i were you . you have done well feeding her for 7 weeks i only fed my 1st son 3 days due to problems & the other 2 went straight onto the bottle. it helped me to say to myself no regrets as i belived i was doing the best thing for my son as he was not getting enough from me & was losing wight & dehydrating i reaaly belive it was the best decision for all of us.

mum of 3 boys aged 11, 13 and 14

Don't feel guilty because what matters is your baby is being feed and you are feeling ok. I went thru the guilt with my first child and went thru hell to get her to attach etc.I even tried to go back to breast feeding at 3 months after a friend couldn't believe she wasn't breast fed. My son is 7 weeks old and has silent reflux and colic and breastfed great. It was a tough decision to formula fed him but it has taken the stress off me giving me a little 'time out' while others feed him. I tried to bottle fed him breast milk but my milk had too much foremilk and not enough hindmilk so he was only satisfying his thirst not his hunger. Remember you have to feel healthy too.
I've heard that you can get something to thicken breastmilk but this means you would have to express and then bottle feed. Ask your family health centre about it.

If you cannot breast feed any longer don't feel guilty. I only made 6 weeks as my son was not gaining enough weight. When it was a choice between my sons health and my ego I chose his health and comfort... And I'm glad I did. He's so much happier and rapidly gaining weight. (Now I hate the fact that mums are made to feel so guilty that they constantly have to justify why they are feeding formula!!)

One thing to note about reflux and formula. I've had more problems on formula than with breastmilk. If breastfeeding is working for you and your bub perhaps get another opinion?? It sounds wierd to be stopping breastfeeding to help reflux??

Leesa, NSW, 2 Mth Baby

Here is my tuppance w'th!

Re the reflux ... as I understand it, all babies reflux and most regurgitate. What we call 'true reflux' is actually quite rare - 1 in 300 babies - and the symptoms are :- not growing well, vomiting [that is : HEAVING as opposed to posseting] up old blood which looks like coffee grounds and sometimes coughing and wheezing due to 'spilled' vomit into the lungs. These same symptoms can be caused by many other things and need to be sorted out by a doctor.

HOWEVER, there is NO single test that can determine if the problem is 'true reflux'.

The many tests include - barium X-rays, endoscopy, biopsy etc. Also, Intraoesophageal pH monitoring Though this test cannot tell you if the symptoms are due to reflux either, it can tell you how often and for how long the stomach contents come up into the throat - and you can see if the baby's apparent distress coincides with the reflux.

The acid 'burn' we know happens in adults and older children, luckily, rarely occurs in the 0-4 month stage and is not common up to 12 months of age. I have found that this doesn't stop doctors advising +++, that mums give their babies mylanta, and the like! with absolutely NO testing!!

Even when it is decided [after many, many tests!! ] that a baby is suffering 'true reflux', there is currently NO MEDICATION THAT WILL STOP REFLUX. Though there are antacids, they hardly seem necessary, unless acid burn has been proven absolutely. THICKENING MILK has never been proven to be effective either - in fact some believe it actually can be HARMFUL to the baby. As always it is wise to use caution when considering giving a baby anything other than breastmilk in those first, vulnerable 6 months. Breastmilk is the best for any baby and in particular for the 'true reflux' baby - as it is digested more quickly than formula.

The only reassuring thing is that statisics show that 50% of 'true reflux' babies have lost all symptoms by 10 months - but though most have 'recovered' by 18 months of age some do continue after that .. on second thoughts, maybe that is not so reassuring ..??

Even exclusively breastfed babies can have allergic reactions to the proteins in mother's milk. Dairy is often the culprit. If the reflux is not simple regurgitation [the 'happy spitter' type baby!!] it may be worth while getting bub allergy tested ...

BUT DON'T GIVE UP THE BREASTFEEDING! Your baby's short, & long, term health depends on it!

Keep up the good work!

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