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I plan on exclusively breast feeding, but despite telling my family… 
22nd-May-2012 11:16 am [breastfeeding, formula, preparing for baby]
Bandit Driving
I plan on exclusively breast feeding, but despite telling my family this, I have received two cans of formula. I'm worried that if I have it around that I (or my partner) will "cave" and use the formula. I'm also worried that if I give it away that I'll end up not being able to breast feed for whatever reason and that I'll have to go out and buy more and I know how expensive it is. So I guess my question is, do you think it's better to not have any formula around at all or have some back-up just in case?

Also, is there anything you forgot to get before the baby was born that you really needed? Or things you wish you had got more of?
22nd-May-2012 03:25 pm (UTC)
I don't have any around, to not give myself the easy way out. I figure, the kid is not going to starve in the time it takes to go out and get formula if it is truly needed. However, it's a lot easier to break down during a stressful time and use it.
I am currently pregnant with my first, so I don't have any experience with this
22nd-May-2012 03:29 pm (UTC)
I figure, the kid is not going to starve in the time it takes to go out and get formula if it is truly needed

That's how I mostly feel, but I also live in the middle of no-where and everything closes at 9pm. I guess I'm worried something would happen at night and wouldn't be able to get anything until the next morning or have to drive an hour to get it.
22nd-May-2012 03:32 pm (UTC)
I'd keep them.

I was only able to BF my first for about 3 months before I dried up (thank you thyroid & going back to work, LOL). We had a couple sample cans from the doctor/hospital which ended up being really helpful in our transition, especially when we were trying to figure out if we needed to supplement/switch. Knowing this, I collected sample cans again in prep for baby #2, yet still kept the "I will breastfeed this baby" mentality. Honestly, I wasn't tempted by them at all - I did everything physically possible for as long as possible. When he started losing weight (again, thank you work), we had the supplies we needed and ended up saving us at least $150.

Not everyone is tempted by a bucket of fprmula in the closet. Watch the expiration date - if you get to a month or two before & you're not going to use it, you can always pay it forward to someone that will. =]
22nd-May-2012 03:36 pm (UTC)
If you're really worried about caving in the middle of the night, put it somewhere that's not easily accessible... then it's more of a pain to get it out at 2a than it is to nurse. Honestly, I think a lot of women are a lot stronger than they realize, even in the tempting moments.=]
22nd-May-2012 03:37 pm (UTC)
If you're intent on breastfeeding and are able to pump enough to have some available when your spouse needs to feed the baby, then I don't think you'll be as tempted by the cans as you think, especially if you see breast milk as a significantly better thing to give your baby than the formula. There's no need to throw them out. Keep them around as you say for a "just in case" situation, but put them somewhere where you're not going to see them all the time.
22nd-May-2012 09:13 pm (UTC)
there's no need for a spouse to feed the baby.
22nd-May-2012 03:40 pm (UTC)
I had none, ended up having to buy some when DS was 3 days old as my milk took too long coming in and he was losing weight. My boyfriend ended up having to buy some, the majority of which we gave away after day 5 when everything settled and my milk came in.
Can your partner stash it somewhere? Although breastfeeding is not easy at first for most it does really get better and I have never been worried about being tempted but that is completely personal.

Have you joined the breastfeeding comm here on lj? Very helpful. I also highly recommend kellymom.com who is an amazing source of knowledge.
Good luck!

As for things, I really cannot think of any.
22nd-May-2012 03:44 pm (UTC)
We had some as backup in the beginning. The only time we came close to using it (but didn't) was when my Dad was watching my son and he had already used all the expressed milk I had left. At this point he was pretty little (2 months, maybe?) so I was only pumping a little.
22nd-May-2012 03:48 pm (UTC)
I breast fed. But, honestly HONESTLY if it comes to it that you NEED a can of formula in the middle of the night, unless you live in BOO FOO, you will be able to I'd think find a 24 hour Walgreens, Target or Walmart or grocery store if you're in that situation.

The ones i got, I donated to a food pantry. :) Those mamas need it more than ANYONE ELSE!!!!!
22nd-May-2012 03:51 pm (UTC)
I'm not exactly sure what Boo Foo is but the closest 24 hour stores are an hour away. But it is highly unlikely I would absolutely need one in the middle of the night right?
22nd-May-2012 03:58 pm (UTC)
Just so you know, using formula once doesn't have to mean abandoning BFing. For me nursing was easier than worrying about bottles, and I had no supply issues, but I know one person who had to supplement at first, and is now down to one formula feeding a day, nursing the rest. And another person who does half and half at each feeding, because her supply is low due to hormones.
22nd-May-2012 04:02 pm (UTC)
I had a can and it wasn't tempting. I kind of forgot I had it. I didn't really know how to prepare formula or bottles, and there wasn't any idea in the back of my head that it would be easier or better, so it wasn't a problem. However, if you have people who are not supportive of breastfeeding (you know, like people who buy you formula despite you saying you are going to nurse), you might want to get rid of the formula so that you are not pressured to use it later.

I didn't buy nursing pads and I didn't have enough menstrual pads to last through the lochia. (I ran out before I was cleared to drive, so I had to send my husband, who came back without any because he wasn't sure which ones to get. And I'm like, anything is better than nothing!)
22nd-May-2012 06:44 pm (UTC)
I could see my husband getting one of each if he didn't know. Too funny. :)
22nd-May-2012 04:02 pm (UTC)
I had two sample cans on hand, and I was glad I did. My milk never came in (even when I stopped breastfeeding, I never leaked or got engorged). I asked my husband to hide the formula somewhere, so I wouldn't be tempted to just grab it so I could sleep. But since we did end up needing it, I was glad to have it.
22nd-May-2012 04:15 pm (UTC)
Keep it but put it somewhere really weird and inaccessible. Maybe down in the basement if you have one? Under a bed? In a hall closet?

It's okay to have some for an emergency. I kept one set of pre-made formula bottles on hand just in case there was a serious illness on my part or we got hit by a tornado or who knows what. But they were down in the basement with the other jugs of emergency water, in a corner that we never go to.

Remember that everyone's milk comes in on its own schedule. You will have several days of colostrum even after the baby is born. That stuff is liquid gold! Not everyone gets engorged. Not everyone leaks. Don't freak out if something weird happens-- sign up for the breastfeeding community now, keep reading, and be ready to ask for advice and give detailed info, and you will more than likely be just fine.
22nd-May-2012 04:18 pm (UTC)
I didn't have any formula on hand, and never needed it. It takes some time for your milk to come in, but that's normal and what's supposed to happen. Formula doesn't really seem like the easy way out to me....having to wash bottles, mix it, or whatever...truthfully I've never done it so I don't know exactly but it always looks pretty complicated to me. I was lucky I guess, breastfeeding went relatively smoothly in the beginning for me. I knew it wouldn't be perfect at first, and knowing that made dealing with any minor issues doable.

I was glad to have a shit ton of burp cloths. Not so much for the very beginning, but my baby spat up A LOT starting at a month or so. Before she was born I was like, why do we need so many burp cloths? Then the spit up started and I was very grateful. But you can use anything as a burp cloth really.

Having a wrap (a moby-type in my case) was invaluable in the beginning. Absolutely invaluable.
24th-May-2012 02:37 am (UTC)
I wish I had had more burp cloths.
22nd-May-2012 04:21 pm (UTC)
Since you already have the cans I'd say hang onto them, but make sure you donate then before they expire since you won't need them ;)</p>

Like others have said, the first weeks aren't fun, but hang in there, it gets better! Definitely join the breastfeeding community!

When my baby was a few days old I sent my husband out to get a breastfeeding pillow. I had originally planned on just using bed pillows or couch cushions, but when trying to arrange those and wrangle a crying infant it became a huge bother. I'd reccommend one of those if you don't already have one!

22nd-May-2012 04:29 pm (UTC)
I EPed (exclusively pumped) and my DD was EBFed and we had all sorts of formula around the house.

We got some from family (even though we said we were going to BF) and the hospital sent us home with all sorts of gift bags filled with formula. We just put it in a closet and I had forgotten we had it until just recently (a year+ later) when I was spring cleaning.

22nd-May-2012 04:38 pm (UTC)
I'd hang onto them.

With my first we did end up supplementing a tiny bit, since my milk was taking forever to come in, she was jaundiced and getting dehydrated.
My second we used it occasionaly because he would drink all the expressed milk I had left with him and couldn't wait half an hour until I would be home from work. He quit nursing at 10 months and went onto formula. It was nice not having to buy the first few cans!
My third hasn't ever needed it, but I have some. When it gets close to it's pull date I donate it.
22nd-May-2012 04:39 pm (UTC)
There are several studies that have indicated that having formula around the house makes it more likely that you will use them. That's why formula companies mail pregnant women and new mothers free cans in the hope of disrupting the exclusive breastfeeding relationship. Trust your body! If you have problems later, then you can consider buying formula, but the vast majority of women won't have supply issues as long as they commit to the notion that the first six weeks of the baby's life will be practically a 24/7 nursing session. :)
22nd-May-2012 05:08 pm (UTC)
All of this. http://www.bestforbabes.org/what-are-the-booby-traps

We did come home from the hospital with several of those little premixed bottles; they lived in the back of a cupboard in the kitchen until I cleaned it out a few weeks ago. I was only tempted to use them once or twice, during the 6-week growth spurt but it was a very fleeting temptation, similar to the "oh god, I can't do this, give me the c-section" thoughts I had during labor, immediately before pushing the baby out. :P

We're coming up on 7 months of exclusive nursing now, and if I have a second baby, I probably won't even bother to pack up the formula samples when leaving the hospital. The ones we had got donated.
22nd-May-2012 04:46 pm (UTC)
Before I had our son I had two sample cans of similac (one milk based, one less gas) and two samples of enfamil (newborn and less gas), 4 packets of enfamil infant and 4 bottles of gerber good start that we recieved in the hospital. We also had 4 bottles that we sterilized and had ready to go just incase.
I found breastfeeding to be so much easier then waking up and mixing a bottle at night every 2-3h. I breastfeed and pumped until he was about 8mo and we never opened a single can until then. Plus, with making milk, it HURT to skip a feeding and i would be forced to pump it out anyways if he didn't nurse. That really made it easy to keep nursing.
I would have nursed longer, but my supply dipped when we found out I was pregnant with #2. Now we use Similac and that stuff is not cheap. We can't wait to swap him to cow's milk.
22nd-May-2012 05:03 pm (UTC)
This varies from person to person. Personally, I don't think having a can in the cupboard will be a recipe for disaster. I was happy to have a can in the cupboard so that when my nipples were cracked on a Saturday night at 2am when I was so exhausted and ready to snap from the pain, I handed the child to my husband and went outside to calm down. The latch on one side was horrible, the latch on the other was fine. So I pumped from the sore side and baby fed from the other after that initial bottle. And the nearest 24 hour store at that time was an hour away so driving to get formula for an already screaming child was not really an option. I was happy to have my little trial can in the cupboard.
22nd-May-2012 05:58 pm (UTC)
Seriously, don't keep it around. It's easy enough to pick up if you need it, and if you DON'T have it, you can't cave. Every formula feeding takes the place of TWO breastfeeding (because it takes so much longer to digest), and it really undermines your breastfeeding relationship.

Donate the formula to a shelter or food bank, they need it.
22nd-May-2012 06:24 pm (UTC)
Get rid of it. It can be a big time booby trap.
22nd-May-2012 06:53 pm (UTC)
I had a couple of the sample cans around just in case. I was only able to breastfeed for six weeks before I had zero supply at all (thanks body :/) so they ended up coming in handy. If I hadn't needed them I was just gonna take them down to the church kiddos grandma goes to and put them in the food pantry.
22nd-May-2012 06:59 pm (UTC)
We never had any in the house and I'm sure if we did we could have been tempted, and that's a slippery slope. I would not have it in the house, give it away or give it to someone who lives not too close by to look after (preferable someone supportive of breastfeeding?).
22nd-May-2012 08:34 pm (UTC)
The only formula I've ever had in the house was the free samples sent to me and they got tossed. I wouldn't keep it and I would tell them that if they continue to give you more you will get rid of it.

Also, if you aren't a member of the breastfeeding community, join now! You will learn so much by reading other women's posts/issues/successes and the comments from other knowledgeable women. I really think reading about BF here and another board I'm on for a couple of years before I got pregnant has helped me in successfully breastfeeding both of my babies. I knew what issues could arise and what to do it they did. Lots of women don't realize there is more to breastfeeding than just wanting to breastfeed.
22nd-May-2012 10:03 pm (UTC)
Also, it has moderated membership, so if you wait until you have a problem to join, then you won't get immediate help.
22nd-May-2012 08:53 pm (UTC)
If you feel pressured by their presence, I would put them away with the mental label: " for visitors with kids who need formula". ;-) I wouldn't even worry about not being able to breastfeed, because if you want it, you'll keep trying and likely succeed even when initial problems occur. And if you really can't do it, you can try to find milk donors so *your* kid will still be able to need little formula if any. When it's just the financial aspect you're worrying about, you could also give it to another mom who uses formula and make the deal that you only want it (the same amount) back *if* you need it, and that otherwise it would be a present.

We knew we wanted no formula, but I bought two tiny samples after he was born anyway, to have some emergency stack in case I was suddenly seriously ill and wouldn't be at home (at that time I didn't even know milk donors were still around). Luckily no worst case scenario occurred, because when we sampled the formula, we nearly vomited, it tasted so vile. My dad tried giving my son formula once, and he spit it out faster than he had sucked it in, haha.

Have you thought about returning it to the family members with a polite no and an explanation (it expires, too, after all), asking them to return it? With the option that you'd gratefully come back on their offer once you figured out which formula you'll need (since there are plenty different ones, and if you need none, that solves itself).
22nd-May-2012 09:30 pm (UTC)
I didn't read the comments, but here's a nugget of info to think about...

The cost of a good IBCLC consultation (certified lactation consultant) is going to cost WAY less than a baby's first year's worth of formula, so if you're having problems don't rush to go buy a can of formula, rush to get *help* so you don't need to supplement and can just avoid that downward spiral all together.
23rd-May-2012 04:31 am (UTC)
Fantastic advice.
22nd-May-2012 10:20 pm (UTC)
If you're able to breastfeed (I wasn't able to and needed formula) then just donate it. If you absolutely need to run out and get some for whatever reason one night, it shouldn't be too much of a problem. Or just put it in a place that isn't accessible. You'll likely forget about it unless you need to use it for some reason.
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