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Captcha
01-09-2011, 02:18 AM
I have a six-month old baby (well, my STORY does) whose mom has just been in a serious car accident. He was nursing prior to the accident, just about to be started on cereals but not yet there.

Since his mom is unable to nurse, I'm assuming he'd go to formula - it would be nice for the plot if he didn't care for it. I figure he could refuse to eat until he got really hungry, with lots of screaming and yelling. And then after he gives in and DOES eat, I'm assuming he could be colic-y from the sudden change in diet.

What I'm hoping to hear from you folks is:

a - are my plans re. refusal and colic realistic? What's a time-frame for this? How long would a typical six-month old go without giving in and drinking the formula, and how long would he likely be colic-y for afterward?

b - does anyone know what a motivated, problem-solving caregiver might try during the transition, to lure him to eat? I was thinking maybe we could try different brands or types of formula...and maybe different kinds of bottle? My understanding is that breast feeding is generally more work for the baby than drinking from a bottle would be, so maybe if they tried a nipple with a really small hole? I don't know. Any suggestions are welcome.

c- finally - I've heard of women donating breast milk to other people's babies, but I'm thinking that at six months, this baby would be past the point where that would really be necessary - I know that mom's milk is BEST, but at six months, formula isn't tragic, is it? Any experience on this? How wide-spread is the donation network? (My story is set in Ontario, Canada, if that matters)

d - I lied, (c) was the penultimate question, (d) is finally - would the mom's milk automatically dry up if she was in a serious accident? (I want her in a coma for a few days, and then a drugged-up haze of surgeries and recovery for at least a few weeks) I'm assuming the hospital would want her to stop producing milk so her body would have full energy for its recovery - is this accurate? Even if she didn't, it seems like there'd be too much medical stuff in her body to make the milk suitable for a baby, right? And after several weeks, she'll be dried up for good? Like, this non-nursing thing is permanent, right?

Aubie
01-09-2011, 02:34 AM
Okay, I'm going to try and clear some of this up for you...hope I can help!

A six month old baby would be on solids already, for starters. Babies generally go on cereal at four months and then stage one baby foods at six months.

Mom would defnitely start to dry up after about a week, but even before that the baby would not be able to nurse from her because of the drugs in her system. They would be passed to her baby through her milk.

The baby could go on formula, but for sure not all formulas are created equal for all babies. I ran into this problem between my first and second. I'm not sure if certain formulas that didn't agree with the babies would make them colicky or not.

The baby could also be lactose intolerant, and have to be on soy formula, which would be a reason you could give for nothing agreen with his/her system, and could be a mystery if the caregivers didn't realize this. Lactose intolerant babies being given regular formula would make them very very fussy and hard to deal with.

I have no clue about donated breast milk, but formula even for a newborn baby isn't tragic. Sure, breast milk is by far the best, but some babies don't take to it and some moms don't produce enough milk.

Does that information help you at all?

Marlys
01-09-2011, 02:45 AM
I don't know anything about donation programs, but I do have some personal experience with breastfeeding and formula.

My son was about 7 months old and being breastfed when I went away for a few days (my dad was sick). Even after 2-3 days, I was already drying up--it took a few days before production returned to normal. A month later, my dad died and I went away again for a few days. Same thing happened, but by then my son was less interested in breast feeding, and although I'd planned to continue until he was a year old, after a few days of offering and him not accepting, we just stopped. By then, though, he was nearly 9 months old and had been eating 'solid' foods for at least a few months, with breast milk and formula as well. I don't remember exactly how long it took for my milk to dry up completely, but it was well under the weeks your character will be out of commission. Like I said, it began with just a few days away from him.

We decided early on to get our son used to formula while he was breastfeeding--I had a difficult time pumping milk, so when I would leave him to go to work, my husband would bottle-feed him formula. That means I don't have direct experience with a breast-milk to formula switchover, but I do remember that he preferred some formulas to others. We were always getting free samples and/or coupons, so tried a lot of different ones. I remember trying one and noticing the kid about bouncing off the walls--then looking and seeing that it was almost all sugar. It's not at all unlikely that your infant character will resist the changeover, and that the caretaker will have to try several before finding one he likes.

I don't, thank God, have any experience with colic. Someone else will have to jump in there--but it doesn't seem unlikely that a change in diet (or the upset of his mom disappearing on him--my son was FURIOUS that I left him for a few days) would upset his digestion.

Best of luck with it!

JulieHowe
01-09-2011, 03:00 AM
I know a woman whose baby was separated from her when he was six months old. The separation was only about five days, but the baby never again took her breast milk. He screamed almost non-stop for the whole time she was gone (I was the one babysitting him.) I tried to give him regular milk, as I didn't know you weren't supposed to put cow's milk into a baby bottle.

Eventually, the baby's grandmother showed up, and she bought a can of powdered baby formula. The baby didn't want this either, but around day four, he took the bottle. The grandmother said he'd take the bottle when he got hungry enough, and he finally did. The whole experience was really traumatic, and he went from being a calm baby to one who was completely insecure. After the baby was reunited with his mother, the second she was out of his line of sight again, the baby would scream at the top of his lungs, until his face turned red. She would go into the bathroom and if she closed the door, he started screaming. For the next year, he wouldn't go to sleep anywhere except in his mother's bed, with her laying next to him.

The baby never took his mother's breast milk again. The five-day separation was enough to start the process of drying up her milk.

There may have been something else wrong with this child, and the mother was already mentally unstable. When she was reunited with him after the separation, she reacted hysterically, and this may have added to his trauma. Her frustration and guilt over the separation also may have increased the baby's anxiety.

The reason for the separation? The mother was leaving night school, made an illegal u-turn out of the parking lot, and she was pulled over by the LAPD. Doing a routine check for outstanding wants and warrants, an old jaywalking ticket showed up. (Unpaid jaywalking tickets used to turn into arrestable warrants - this local law has since been changed.)

Through a complicated series of events, by the time we found her, it was Monday or Tuesday (she'd gone missing on a Friday night), and she'd been in custody over the weekend, until after her first court hearing before a judge, where she was finally able to explain the situation to someone who would listen. In those days, (this procedure was eventually changed), even if the judge ordered you released, or if he dismissed the charges, you still had to go back to the jail in handcuffs and wait as long as twenty-four hours to be processed out.

Interesting to note - completely irrelevant to your original question, but the woman's own mother never really believed her story. There was indeed a very old unpaid jaywalking ticket that had turned into an arrestable warrant (I know, because I paid the court fines so we could get her released from custody) but the woman's mother believed she was actually arrested for something else, like buying drugs from an undercover cop. She never believed the LAPD would really haul a hysterical, breast-feeding, milk-leaking mother of an infant into custody at night, over a jaywalking warrant.

Stlight
01-09-2011, 03:28 AM
Side issue, but wouldn't the baby need vaccinations for diseases fairly soon after the breast feeding stopped?

I have no authority for my question, but I have been lead to believe that there are some immune enhancing elements in mother's milk. I could be wrong.

JulieHowe
01-09-2011, 03:36 AM
Side issue, but wouldn't the baby need vaccinations for diseases fairly soon after the breast feeding stopped?

I have no authority for my question, but I have been lead to believe that there are some immune enhancing elements in mother's milk. I could be wrong.

The baby I mentioned didn't have a changed vaccine schedule. (I was his regular caretaker). As far as I recall, he took all of his vaccinations at the regularly scheduled times.

thothguard51
01-09-2011, 03:41 AM
Nursing Babies kept from their moms - what would they eat?

Each other...

Marlys
01-09-2011, 03:42 AM
The baby I mentioned didn't have a changed vaccine schedule. (I was his regular caretaker). As far as I recall, he took all of his vaccinations at the regularly scheduled times.

Ditto. Babies have the same vaccination schedule whether they're breastfed or not.

lbender
01-09-2011, 03:48 AM
Nursing Babies kept from their moms - what would they eat?

Each other...

You need help.

MAP
01-09-2011, 04:14 AM
This is just my personal experience.


What I'm hoping to hear from you folks is:

a - are my plans re. refusal and colic realistic? What's a time-frame for this? How long would a typical six-month old go without giving in and drinking the formula, and how long would he likely be colic-y for afterward?

Refusal is definitely realistic. If a baby is exclusively nursed, he/she is very likely not to take a bottle. I had this problem with both of my kids.

As for the colic, I don't think so after 6 months. At six months they are eating some solid foods, and most babies don't have any problems with the change in diet. Of course if the baby has a food allergy to cows milk that could cause problems if you want more complications.



b - does anyone know what a motivated, problem-solving caregiver might try during the transition, to lure him to eat? I was thinking maybe we could try different brands or types of formula...and maybe different kinds of bottle? My understanding is that breast feeding is generally more work for the baby than drinking from a bottle would be, so maybe if they tried a nipple with a really small hole? I don't know. Any suggestions are welcome.

I would think that the caregiver would try lots of different bottle types and formulas. Try warming it up and stuff like that. The baby should be eating some solid foods so that would help, but I think most of his/her calories should come from formula or breast milk at this age. The caregiver could also try some sippy cups that regulate flow.


c- finally - I've heard of women donating breast milk to other people's babies, but I'm thinking that at six months, this baby would be past the point where that would really be necessary - I know that mom's milk is BEST, but at six months, formula isn't tragic, is it? Any experience on this? How wide-spread is the donation network? (My story is set in Ontario, Canada, if that matters)

At six-months, I don't think it is really necessary to try to get donated breast milk. I nursed all my kids, but I don't think giving a baby formula is a big deal. Just a personal choice for all moms to make. I don't really know if giving a baby breast milk from a bottle would make him/her take the bottle. I think babies love nursing to be close to their moms, but I'm not an expert, JMO.


d - I lied, (c) was the penultimate question, (d) is finally - would the mom's milk automatically dry up if she was in a serious accident? (I want her in a coma for a few days, and then a drugged-up haze of surgeries and recovery for at least a few weeks) I'm assuming the hospital would want her to stop producing milk so her body would have full energy for its recovery - is this accurate? Even if she didn't, it seems like there'd be too much medical stuff in her body to make the milk suitable for a baby, right? And after several weeks, she'll be dried up for good? Like, this non-nursing thing is permanent, right?

I'm pretty sure the mom's milk would be dried up unless she kept pumping. If the mom was really determined to continue nursing she might be able to take hormones to start up the breast milk later, but I really don't know.

Hope this helps.

Captcha
01-09-2011, 04:15 AM
Nursing Babies kept from their moms - what would they eat?

Each other...

You're the second person to suggest that - the first had the taste (get it, 'taste'?) to make their comment via private communication.

I will have you know, this is NOT that sort of a book! Besides, babies don't have teeth yet. Toddlers, on the other hand...

amyashley
01-09-2011, 05:00 AM
While most caregivers might try different types of formula, a pediatrician will advise that you stick to ONE for at least a week unless there is a problem such as frequent spitting up, constipation (as in more than 5 days without a BM), or diarrhea.

Formula is perfectly fine for a baby, even a newborn. They can be just as healthy as a breastfed infant. Many mothers who have health issues which make them unable to breastfeed (such as myself) have had succes with formula and healthy, happy kids.

It won't affect any vaccines. Any extra immunities are really passed in the first few weeks. Breast milk has plenty of extra stuff, but at that age, and infant would be fine on formula too. Most pediatricians will tell you that the first 3 months is more critical.

I would say that refusal could go from nothing to several days depending on the temperament of the baby. I also had a baby who refused to breastfeed too, this was my first when I was still able. I tried for 2 weeks. I pumped instead but finally had to give up because pumping AND feeding was too exhausting. I also tried relactation twice, which he refused.

Although the mother's milk might dry up, relactation is a very viable option. She would need to be patient and have time and support. The process can take a few days, and you must be very determined. You can bring your milk supply back, but there are infants who are unwilling. I have one that is 1 year old, never breast fed, and if he gets near anything: ear, nipple, thumb whatever he'll latch on. Every kid is different.

I don't think that reaction to formula would be a big deal, but I do think that missing mama would be major.

jennontheisland
01-09-2011, 05:16 AM
Re-lactation can begin at any time post nursing. My kid is 7 and I've been able to restart it.

JoNightshade
01-09-2011, 05:20 AM
I breastfed my stubborn as all heck baby for the first six months and then switched him to formula shortly thereafter. Everyone's baby is different so what affects them really depends on the baby and the mother and whatnot, but from my experience...


a - are my plans re. refusal and colic realistic? What's a time-frame for this? How long would a typical six-month old go without giving in and drinking the formula, and how long would he likely be colic-y for afterward?

Yes, your plans are realistic, but the term "colic" is not correct. The definition of colic is a baby who cries every day for at least several hours a day, usually around the same time, for no well understood reason. Yes, my baby had colic, and yes it was a nightmare. Just crying because he wants mom's milk is not colic, though.

My baby, who has a head as hard as a rock, lasted about 8 hours before he took the bottle. That was from ME, though, and even at 1 year old he REFUSES to take a bottle from anyone else. He's been left with grandma most of the day several times and she has never been able to get him to take it. So if the baby is fairly "bonded" (ahem, "spoiled"), he might hold out a LONG time before taking a bottle from anyone else.


b - does anyone know what a motivated, problem-solving caregiver might try during the transition, to lure him to eat? I was thinking maybe we could try different brands or types of formula...and maybe different kinds of bottle? My understanding is that breast feeding is generally more work for the baby than drinking from a bottle would be, so maybe if they tried a nipple with a really small hole? I don't know. Any suggestions are welcome.

Different formula types, no. As someone else said, you gotta stick with something at least a few days before you know if it works or not. Trying different types of bottles (and nipples) is probably the best way to go. When I switched from breastfeeding to bottle we had to try like three different types of nipples because he was really particular about the shape and the rate of flow, and also some bottles let him gulp a lot of air and then he would be uncomfortable and have to be burped a lot. If someone is just immediately panicked, like "I need to get this baby to eat now!" they might try putting a little sugar or something sweet (NOT honey - babies aren't allowed) on the nipple to get him to take it.

Just FYI bottles come in "slow flow" and "fast flow" nipples - the slow flow is recommended for younger babies and fast flow for older babies who are more greedy about getting their milk!!!

Also, at 6 months my guy was really teething so I would try different temperatures. Sometimes he liked having a really cold bottle because it was soothing on his gums.


c- finally - I've heard of women donating breast milk to other people's babies, but I'm thinking that at six months, this baby would be past the point where that would really be necessary - I know that mom's milk is BEST, but at six months, formula isn't tragic, is it? Any experience on this? How wide-spread is the donation network? (My story is set in Ontario, Canada, if that matters)

Ha, no, plenty of babies never get any breastmilk and turn out just fine.


d - I lied, (c) was the penultimate question, (d) is finally - would the mom's milk automatically dry up if she was in a serious accident? (I want her in a coma for a few days, and then a drugged-up haze of surgeries and recovery for at least a few weeks) I'm assuming the hospital would want her to stop producing milk so her body would have full energy for its recovery - is this accurate? Even if she didn't, it seems like there'd be too much medical stuff in her body to make the milk suitable for a baby, right? And after several weeks, she'll be dried up for good? Like, this non-nursing thing is permanent, right?

Each woman is different, so you can work this however you want. If she's on certain medications, she will not be able to breastfeed, but if she's determined about it she can "pump and dump" to keep her milk going. Some women dry up quickly, but others don't. When I weaned, it took me about a month to completely dry up. Actually, even if a woman has dried up mostly, if it's less than a month she can usually restart breastfeeding again relatively easily - the milk will come back. (Side note - some women who adopt even take some hormones and pump to start their breastmilk so they can feed the baby, so it can be stimulated manually.) However if she is fairly sick and the baby has already switched to formula most doctors would say just stop breastfeeding. In fact my breastfeeding experience was really unenjoyable (SQUIRMY, COLICKY, FUSSY BABY!!!!) so the pediatrician pretty much said "Good job, you can quit now" at the six month mark.

I know your story is set in Canada, but I'm in California and the push here is to breastfeed for "at least 6 months." I was told over and over that the majority of the benefit of breastmilk is delivered during that time. So even if you can't go a full year, it's beneficial to the baby to go even a few months.

One more thought. Even when my baby refused breast or bottle, I could always pop it in his mouth and get him to drink whenever he (eventually) passed out. I had to do that quite a lot, actually... he'd scream, I'd try to feed, eventually he'd get exhausted and pass out. I'd pop the bottle in, then nudge him a little until he woke up just enough to suck. That's how he finally gave in and took the bottle, actually. :)

Devil Ledbetter
01-09-2011, 05:21 AM
You've got a lot of good information already, but I have a suggestion for the "trying everything" phase. At six months my breastfed daughter would take a bottle from her regular sitter, but refused it from her "backup" sitter - someone I knew well but whom she'd did not know. This sitter was only able to feed her by facing the baby away from her, and putting a Piglet hand puppet on to hold the bottle.

A baby refusing milk for long periods is in grave danger of dehydration. It would die of that within a couple of days of milk refusal. Or would be hospitalized and put on IV hydration fluids.

As for babies "normally" starting solids at 4 months ... sorry, no. Some folks may start them that early, but it's not "the norm." Solids are rarely recommended before six months by any respected medical or nutritional experts. Current WHO recommendations are that babies should ideally be fed nothing but breastmilk for the first six months of life, then solids should be gradually introduced.

But no, formula is not "tragic" in first world countries with good sanitation and clean water supplies. The baby refusing formula, or it not agreeing with the baby in your story, is quite plausible.

The mother in your story would be given meds to dry her milk because her doctors would not want to risk her developing mastitis, a rapid-onset breast infection that can develop with unrelieved engorgement. This would be a much graver concern than how much "energy" was focussed on "healing."

The best answers to any questions about breastfeeding, weaning, lactation, milk drying up, starting solids, etc. can be found at the La Leche League website, http://www.llli.org/. This is the world's foremost authority on breastfeeding.

JoNightshade
01-09-2011, 05:25 AM
The mother in your story would be given meds to dry her milk because the hospital would not want to risk her developing mastitis, a breast infection that can develop rapidly with unrelieved engorgement.

YES - I totally forgot about the horror of mastitis.

amyashley
01-09-2011, 05:37 AM
I second the nipples and temperature switches--I had kids sensitive to both. I too forgot about mastitis.

Re-lactation is very possible. I only breastfed for 2 weeks total, but I can still produce milk 4 years later. I did have another baby a year ago, but I never stopped lactating through 2 pregnancies. I'm like Bessie the cow.

Devil had a good point about water supply. If it is a first world country you are fine. Also ditto on the 6 month thing. Some ped's will say you can go ahead with cereal at 4 months, but it depends on the infant and development of the baby. Babies do not derive any real nutritional value from foods other than breastmilk or formula for the first year. They may get something, yes, but it is not needed. It's all in practice.

You can give them water to prevent dehydration, and also feed from a spoon if bottles don't work well. Some do this happily.

To check for proper hydration, obviously they should have wet diapers, but you mainly want their gums and the insides of their eyelids to be moist. I doubt an infant at that age would refuse a bottle to the point of dehydration. Just my opinion, but my guys are pretty hardy!

kellymom is also a good source of brestfeeding info.

COchick
01-09-2011, 05:37 AM
I breastfed my oldest until he was 6 months old and then quit cold turkey, but I continued to leak for another 6 months. Literally, I could squirt the stuff across the room. It wasn't until much later that I realized there was medication that would stop it.

And mastitis...ugh. I went through one terrible bout of it 3 years ago, and I will never forget how terrible that was

Devil Ledbetter
01-09-2011, 05:56 AM
c- finally - I've heard of women donating breast milk to other people's babies, but I'm thinking that at six months, this baby would be past the point where that would really be necessary - I know that mom's milk is BEST, but at six months, formula isn't tragic, is it? Any experience on this? How wide-spread is the donation network? (My story is set in Ontario, Canada, if that matters)
I should have answered this. In my experience (5 years as a La Leche League leader), breastfeeding mothers are extraordinarily generous with their milk, especially if it's to help a family dealing with tragedy. If any type of network of breastfeeding mothers knew of her situation they would happily donate milk for free, in my experience. If she had a breastfeeding friend, that friend would likely offer to wet nurse the baby. Yes, even at 6 months.

You're instinct is dead on about milk banks though. This more formal approach is expensive because they pasteurize the milk, store it, etc. and that adds up. It would be around 2 or 3 dollars an ounce ... a very expensive option that few would pursue for an otherwise healthy 6-month-old.

Kenra Daniels
01-09-2011, 06:14 AM
I breastfed my daughter until she was 7 months. She refused formula for nearly a week, but she would take water and juice, since she was already accustomed to them. She was also on cereal at the time. To get her accustomed to the taste of the formula, I mixed it in her cereal until she started taking it.

re re-lactation - After I stopped nursing her and my milk dried up, it would come back in whenever I developed a strong emotional attachment to a baby. I worked in daycare for fifteen years and occasionally, there would be a baby that I would get extremely attached to. It would dry up again in a few days, but still, lol. Then when my first grandson was born, it came back for nearly a month. Same with the second grandson. I expect the same with the third, due in May. Daughter was 22 when the first grandson was born.

I think missing his mama would be the biggest obstacle for your character. Of course, if he has been in day care, he will be accustomed to others taking care of him and it wouldn't be so difficult. The kinds of things his caregiver will try to help him through it will depend on their level of experience with babies. Someone who has raised several of her own or worked with babies will know of more things to try than someone who has only raised one of her own. If you want it to be easier for the baby, you can have the caregiver place an item of clothing that smells like mama between her and baby, have her use the same perfume or other scented products, etc.

JoNightshade
01-09-2011, 06:19 AM
You guys are freaking me out with this ongoing lactation stuff. I've been dry for six months now, but you're telling me it could come back at any time?! WTF?! WAAAAH!

Devil Ledbetter
01-09-2011, 06:30 AM
You guys are freaking me out with this ongoing lactation stuff. I've been dry for six months now, but you're telling me it could come back at any time?! WTF?! WAAAAH!I wouldn't worry about this. It's not common.

Captcha
01-09-2011, 06:40 AM
Thanks for all the excellent information, guys.

It's got my brain working, that's for sure...

Cyia
01-09-2011, 07:11 AM
Side issue, but wouldn't the baby need vaccinations for diseases fairly soon after the breast feeding stopped?

I have no authority for my question, but I have been lead to believe that there are some immune enhancing elements in mother's milk. I could be wrong.


I was allergic to breastmilk (don't ask me how because I don't know). I didn't need any unusual or early vaccines.

thothguard51
01-09-2011, 07:31 AM
You're the second person to suggest that - the first had the taste (get it, 'taste'?) to make their comment via private communication.

I will have you know, this is NOT that sort of a book! Besides, babies don't have teeth yet. Toddlers, on the other hand...

Kate,

I have four kids and five grand kids. My wife nursed each of our kids for anywhere between 10 to 12 month. Very healthy kids...

My response was one of those say the first thing that pops into your mind based on the title... loosen up. ;)

amyashley
01-09-2011, 07:35 AM
I wanted to add that if you are in a 3rd world country, goat milk would be a better choice than cow's milk. Very few people have any sensitivities to it. Pretty nutritious stuff (smells nasty). I had to use this for my second who was sensitive to soy and lactose intolerant.

It's not the best but it will do in a pinch. If mama is coming back soon a 6 month old would be okay on it.

So glad all this is behind me and the last of the milk bottles are almost gone.

jallenecs
01-09-2011, 09:31 AM
I have four children, and breast fed three of them. My first child never took to the breast, because he was in NICU for his first two weeks; they fed him by bottle. Drinking from a bottle is a lot easier for the baby than drinking from the breast, and he refused to make the switch.

There is no correlation between breast size and milk production. So despite the fact that I am quite generously blessed in the boobage department, I did not produce enough milk to satisfy my younger children. So right from day one, we gave them a combination of breast plus some formula. In a pinch (say there is no formula in the house), and for brief periods of time, a combination of cow's milk plus a little sugar or (better) evaporated milk can satisfy a baby. However, formula is always better.

I know that doctors recommend that babies not be started on solid foods until four months, in practical application, it doesn't always work like that. My oldest son was started on "solid" foods (we're talking baby cereal mixed with formula, and flavored with just a hint of mashed fruit baby food) at about two months, and he did just fine, no allergies developed, and he actually slept better for it. god knows, it didn't stunt his growth; he was always my biggest baby, and is now 6'2".

Colic is a different animal altogether. My second child had colic, and it started at about six weeks. It has nothing to do with her feeding, so far as I could find out. It lasted about six weeks, and was never heard from again. Except in my nightmares; God, that was a rough summer.

Babies are very very very conservative. They don't adapt well to change. Or at all. Any change in their routine can get them agitated, make them very clingy, very weepy, even tantrumy, no matter how young. My daughter had to spend four days in a hospital when she was about a year old. They had to give her an IV and laid her in a baby bed to do it. Apparently this was EXTREMELY traumatic, and from that day forward, refused to sleep in a traditional baby bed. I ended up making her up a little pallet on the floor, with her baby bed mattress, because that's the only way I could get her to sleep. If I tried to put her in a baby bed, she would SCREAM until somebody got her out again.

Canotila
01-09-2011, 09:52 AM
You guys are freaking me out with this ongoing lactation stuff. I've been dry for six months now, but you're telling me it could come back at any time?! WTF?! WAAAAH!

Most people have to work hard at re-lactating. Actually, you can induce lactation without ever having had a child. Some women do this while preparing to adopt an infant. I wouldn't worry about just randomly lactating one day.

My last boss used to have meetings out of town during the week. I took care of her son from the ages of 6 weeks to 9 months. She would pump and freeze the extra milk for these trips, or in case she got sick and had to be on antibiotics so his stomach wouldn't be upset, or in case she wanted an alcoholic drink (she'd pump and dump, then get him thawed milk in a bottle). There was a frozen two week supply at any given time. It's very possible your character might have a frozen supply that would tide the baby over for a while.

He had a huge appetite and wasn't satisfied by milk alone at four months. He'd eat and eat, then start crying because his stomach was full but he didn't feel full. Or he'd get hungry less than an hour after eating. We added a little bit of oat cereal and pureed blueberries and he became much happier after that. By the time he was six months he'd mastered diced up string cheese and those little baby rice crackers. It really depends on the child. They are all different. My daughter was screaming at us for a taste of solid food every time she saw us eating when she turned four months.

The other thing is he became very clingy while she was gone. Like he wouldn't let me set him down and had to fall asleep while I was rocking him. If I accidentally jarred him awake while laying him down, no nap. As soon as she was back he went back to normal, but he was pretty used to her taking trips and I'd been his daily caregiver for most of his life. He also got very clingy with his dad and brothers, being a lot more enthusiastic to see them.

Drying up happens pretty fast. She could possibly try to re-lactate if she wanted, or she could let the docs know she wants to try pumping through recovery and dump it (the meds would contaminate it).

JulieHowe
01-09-2011, 11:25 AM
I have four children, and breast fed three of them. My first child never took to the breast, because he was in NICU for his first two weeks; they fed him by bottle. Drinking from a bottle is a lot easier for the baby than drinking from the breast, and he refused to make the switch.

There is no correlation between breast size and milk production. So despite the fact that I am quite generously blessed in the boobage department, I did not produce enough milk to satisfy my younger children. So right from day one, we gave them a combination of breast plus some formula. In a pinch (say there is no formula in the house), and for brief periods of time, a combination of cow's milk plus a little sugar or (better) evaporated milk can satisfy a baby. However, formula is always better.

I know that doctors recommend that babies not be started on solid foods until four months, in practical application, it doesn't always work like that. My oldest son was started on "solid" foods (we're talking baby cereal mixed with formula, and flavored with just a hint of mashed fruit baby food) at about two months, and he did just fine, no allergies developed, and he actually slept better for it. god knows, it didn't stunt his growth; he was always my biggest baby, and is now 6'2".

Colic is a different animal altogether. My second child had colic, and it started at about six weeks. It has nothing to do with her feeding, so far as I could find out. It lasted about six weeks, and was never heard from again. Except in my nightmares; God, that was a rough summer.

Babies are very very very conservative. They don't adapt well to change. Or at all. Any change in their routine can get them agitated, make them very clingy, very weepy, even tantrumy, no matter how young. My daughter had to spend four days in a hospital when she was about a year old. They had to give her an IV and laid her in a baby bed to do it. Apparently this was EXTREMELY traumatic, and from that day forward, refused to sleep in a traditional baby bed. I ended up making her up a little pallet on the floor, with her baby bed mattress, because that's the only way I could get her to sleep. If I tried to put her in a baby bed, she would SCREAM until somebody got her out again.

The six-month-old baby I mentioned, separated from his breastfeeding mother for five days, was completely retraumatized about a year later, and the mother never forgave herself for it. When her work schedule changed, of course, so did the baby's sleeping habits. After their first separation, the baby had refused to ever sleep anywhere but in her bed, cuddled up with her. So the mother woke a visiting relative, asking the woman to take her place in the bed and lay down with the baby until the sitter arrived.


The baby grabbed onto the woman's hair while he was sleeping, the same way he did with his mother, so his aunt thought everything was fine. Then he opened his eyes, saw her face and realized she wasn't his mother. He started screaming at the top of his lungs, and didn't stop until his mother left work at lunchtime, and came home to try and calm him down.

He never let her out of his sight after that - I've never seen a kid act this way. Any time she turned her back, he went into a complete panic, even when she was standing a foot away from him in the kitchen. The hours she was at work were hell for the babysitters, because he never stopped crying. Any woman with long, shoulder-length dark hair sent him into a screaming frenzy, so they could only hire babysitters with short hair. If I hadn't seen all of this for myself (I shared a townhouse with the baby's mother and her family), I never would have believed it.

This went on for more than a year, until I finally ended up moving out, because the baby's constant screaming almost drove me crazy. I also felt terrible for him, because I'd been there since the day he was born, and I knew what kind of a baby he'd been before.

aruna
01-09-2011, 11:52 AM
Drying up happens pretty fast.

Or pretty slow:) I was lactating for MONTHS after my first baby (at 18 months) stopped nursing.

shaldna
01-09-2011, 04:38 PM
Side issue, but wouldn't the baby need vaccinations for diseases fairly soon after the breast feeding stopped?

I have no authority for my question, but I have been lead to believe that there are some immune enhancing elements in mother's milk. I could be wrong.

Vaccination schedules are the same for breast fed and non-breast fed babies, so this wouldn't be an issue.

In terms of the OP question, it depends. The baby should already be on solids or semi-solids, even if still nursing.

In addition, there is breast replacement milk, which is as close a match to breast milk as possible, chances are he would be put on that first, but most babies go onto formula with no problems at all. It's common also to supplement breast milk with formula if the baby is a big drinker and the mother is not producing enough.

The change in diet probably wouldn't have much of a colic effect because of the nature of forumla and how close it is to breast milk now.

And in terms of eating, some babies will refuse food, and this can be really traumatic for the carer, however, in my experience, a baby will eat when it's hungry enough.

shaldna
01-09-2011, 04:40 PM
The six-month-old baby I mentioned, separated from his breastfeeding mother for five days, was completely retraumatized about a year later, and the mother never forgave herself for it. When her work schedule changed, of course, so did the baby's sleeping habits. After their first separation, the baby had refused to ever sleep anywhere but in her bed, cuddled up with her. So the mother woke a visiting relative, asking the woman to take her place in the bed and lay down with the baby until the sitter arrived.


The baby grabbed onto the woman's hair while he was sleeping, the same way he did with his mother, so his aunt thought everything was fine. Then he opened his eyes, saw her face and realized she wasn't his mother. He started screaming at the top of his lungs, and didn't stop until his mother left work at lunchtime, and came home to try and calm him down.

He never let her out of his sight after that - I've never seen a kid act this way. Any time she turned her back, he went into a complete panic, even when she was standing a foot away from him in the kitchen. The hours she was at work were hell for the babysitters, because he never stopped crying. Any woman with long, shoulder-length dark hair sent him into a screaming frenzy, so they could only hire babysitters with short hair. If I hadn't seen all of this for myself (I shared a townhouse with the baby's mother and her family), I never would have believed it.

This went on for more than a year, until I finally ended up moving out, because the baby's constant screaming almost drove me crazy. I also felt terrible for him, because I'd been there since the day he was born, and I knew what kind of a baby he'd been before.

This sounds more like problems caused by the parents pandering than a problem with the child.

jallenecs
01-09-2011, 05:48 PM
Vaccinations are recommended at a certain age, but there is room for variation. In my family, we have a deadly allergy to the DPT vaccination: my uncle died from the vaccination. My sister had a booster shot for DPT, and, between the time it took to walk from the back of the doctor's office to the front door, had become so ill she had to be hospitalized; she nearly died.

So when my own children were born, I refused to have them vaccinated until they were five years old (when the law required it). I had to fight our pediatricians tooth and nail to get my way, but I DID get my way. I wanted them to be strong enough to tolerate an allergic reaction, should one come their way (yes, two of my children did end up having reactions anyway)

shaldna
01-09-2011, 07:27 PM
Vaccinations are recommended at a certain age, but there is room for variation. In my family, we have a deadly allergy to the DPT vaccination: my uncle died from the vaccination. My sister had a booster shot for DPT, and, between the time it took to walk from the back of the doctor's office to the front door, had become so ill she had to be hospitalized; she nearly died.

So when my own children were born, I refused to have them vaccinated until they were five years old (when the law required it). I had to fight our pediatricians tooth and nail to get my way, but I DID get my way. I wanted them to be strong enough to tolerate an allergic reaction, should one come their way (yes, two of my children did end up having reactions anyway)

Family allergies and known intollerances are important to consider too. I never had my BCG, I took suck a bad reaction to the six needles that I still have the scar some 20 years later. My mother and aunt never got it either, for the same reason.

Kenra Daniels
01-10-2011, 05:38 AM
You guys are freaking me out with this ongoing lactation stuff. I've been dry for six months now, but you're telling me it could come back at any time?! WTF?! WAAAAH!

I wouldn't worry over much. The first time it happened to me, I went to the doc, sure something terrible was wrong. After an exam she said it was likely a hormonal thing and probably wouldn't be a problem. And so far it hasn't been.

tarkine
01-13-2011, 03:18 PM
I have a six-month old baby (well, my STORY does) whose mom has just been in a serious car accident. He was nursing prior to the accident, just about to be started on cereals but not yet there.

Since his mom is unable to nurse, I'm assuming he'd go to formula - it would be nice for the plot if he didn't care for it. I figure he could refuse to eat until he got really hungry, with lots of screaming and yelling. And then after he gives in and DOES eat, I'm assuming he could be colic-y from the sudden change in diet.

What I'm hoping to hear from you folks is:

a - are my plans re. refusal and colic realistic? What's a time-frame for this? How long would a typical six-month old go without giving in and drinking the formula, and how long would he likely be colic-y for afterward?

b - does anyone know what a motivated, problem-solving caregiver might try during the transition, to lure him to eat? I was thinking maybe we could try different brands or types of formula...and maybe different kinds of bottle? My understanding is that breast feeding is generally more work for the baby than drinking from a bottle would be, so maybe if they tried a nipple with a really small hole? I don't know. Any suggestions are welcome.

c- finally - I've heard of women donating breast milk to other people's babies, but I'm thinking that at six months, this baby would be past the point where that would really be necessary - I know that mom's milk is BEST, but at six months, formula isn't tragic, is it? Any experience on this? How wide-spread is the donation network? (My story is set in Ontario, Canada, if that matters)

d - I lied, (c) was the penultimate question, (d) is finally - would the mom's milk automatically dry up if she was in a serious accident? (I want her in a coma for a few days, and then a drugged-up haze of surgeries and recovery for at least a few weeks) I'm assuming the hospital would want her to stop producing milk so her body would have full energy for its recovery - is this accurate? Even if she didn't, it seems like there'd be too much medical stuff in her body to make the milk suitable for a baby, right? And after several weeks, she'll be dried up for good? Like, this non-nursing thing is permanent, right?


The caregivers would try different types of formula and different teat shaped bottles, and would give the baby water in a bottle. Baby bottles come with different sized holes - the up to 6mth ones have a lower flow rate than the 6-18mth ones.

The caregiver might try giving the child some pureed food (apple etc). I guess it would depend on whether you wanted the baby to be interested in food at an early age.

I think about 6mths they start getting curious about what mom and dad are eating, and will usually try and stick their hands in your food.

Yes they wouldn't want the baby to be Breastfed if the mother was on pretty strong medications.

The question on immunisations. They get a series of standard immunisations here in Australia at 2,4,6mths then at 12mths and 4 years (I think from memory)

skylark
01-13-2011, 08:12 PM
While it might be a big thing for some six month olds, most will have had milk from a bottle or cup by then (either formula or expressed) and almost all will either be already eating solids or very, very close to starting. If you have a baby who's eating solids but refuses a bottle, you simply give them milk or very, very runny "solids" on a spoon. It's tedious but perfectly safe.

Six month old babies are at the point of rolling / sitting / trying to crawl, and also at the point where everything they can get their hands on goes in their mouth. It's really unlikely that they'd still be so sensitive that drinking formula would make them ill. Colic's generally stopped by 3 months.

If you want concern about the baby because of their diet to be a plot point here, the baby needs to be much younger. When I had my daughter, about 6 months was the normal and recommended time to give up breastfeeding. These days it's recommended for breastfeed for longer, but many, many people stop at that sort of age (it's also when baby gets teeth) and it simply isn't an issue.

hammerklavier
01-14-2011, 01:42 AM
Colic would not occur, that is something that happens with 2 month old babies, not 6 months.

If they were smart, they would offer a "gentle" formula spiked with enough apple juice to make it palatable. That should aide the transition (and keep the digestive system moving).

shaldna
01-14-2011, 02:37 AM
Colic would not occur, that is something that happens with 2 month old babies, not 6 months.

If they were smart, they would offer a "gentle" formula spiked with enough apple juice to make it palatable. That should aide the transition (and keep the digestive system moving).

Mix formula with apple juice? I've never heard anyone suggest that before, but it sounds like a really bad idea.

And colic can occur in babies up to a year old. My daughter suffered bouts of it up until she was about 8 months.

Kenra Daniels
01-14-2011, 08:52 AM
Colic would not occur, that is something that happens with 2 month old babies, not 6 months.

If they were smart, they would offer a "gentle" formula spiked with enough apple juice to make it palatable. That should aide the transition (and keep the digestive system moving).

The acids in fruit juices, even mild ones, would probably have an unpleasant effect on the formula, causing it to 'clabber', at least in spots, so it would have chunks in it. Not particularly appetizing, lol.

And while colic normally ends around three months, it isn't unheard of for babies to suffer with it up to about a year old.

Fruitbat
01-19-2011, 06:12 PM
Le Leche, I believe, recommends not starting solids until six months, the time when the baby starts grabbing at your food on his own. But most women don't follow Le Leche's ideal standards that strictly, and might start solids at more like four months. So, the baby would probably be getting solids too, making the transition less traumatic.

I had to stop nursing for a day or two a couple of times earlier on, didn't express the milk enough and got painful hot spots and feverish from it. It's not as bad later when the baby eats solids and the milk supply is lower.

My baby accepted a bottle right off during those couple of times but got constipated, which never happened on breastmilk (they aren't kidding when they say it's the perfect food for the baby, in so many ways). If the baby starts all the crying at this time, I don't think it would be colic but tummy ache from the abrupt change in diet, intolerance to milk-based formula, constipation, or missing mama. A little dark Caro syrup added to the formula fixed the constipation right away. Also, a bottle fed baby needs separate bottles of water, unlike a breastfed baby. And, needs to be burped, unlike a breastfed baby. Breastfeeding is also a lot of closeness with the mother, so the baby would probably like to be held and given the bottle, even though he'd be old enough to hold it himself. Maybe a pacifier too, if he didn't use one before, because the baby has to work harder to get the breastmilk and is used to more suckling. Smaller nipple holes might provide that but the baby might give up or get frustrated. Larger ones might be better, then again he might suckle too hard and get enough formula to choke on. They have their own personalities from day one and so all of it would vary according to that particular baby. Some accept change much easier than others, or are just more easygoing or fussy, or more attached to mama or independent.

Also, gross but if you want realistic details, if the baby is not eating any solids yet, breastfed baby poop is lighter colored and much less smelly than when they start solids or than formula fed babies'. Breastfed babies also tend to be thinner, more alert, and tanner or less pasty or whatever you want to call it, if they're fair-skinned. They also tend to not sleep through the night. Breastmilk is lighter on the stomach than formula, so they're not as placid and don't sleep as long before they want another feeding.

They do get the mother's immunities, which is a whole different thing from getting immunizations as in "vaccinations". I still got them their baby vaccinations according to schedule, that's a different topic. I mean, when my babies were breastfed, they didn't seem to ever get sick, as in colds, flu, etc.

With solids, I believe they recommend starting with the cereals first, then fruit, vegetable, and meat last, although recommendations change over time so I'm not sure now. They used to say only one new food per week. So, probably the caretaker would give the baby formula, perhaps with a bit of Caro syrup, and bottles of water as well. Often mothers fix the baby's whole days' worth of formula at once, but the temperature change of having a cold bottle out of the fridge might be a big shock. She might warm the bottle a bit first. Then she would start the baby on solids because if it hadn't been done already, it would be time. Formula babies are started on solids earlier because formula, unlike breastmilk, is not the "perfect" food for babies and does not provide all the nutrients they need. A six month old shouldn't be on formula only.

Also, many babies seem to like sweet, such as fruit, much more than the other foods. I often mixed a little fruit in with cereal, vegetables, and meat. Breastmilk actually kind of has built in dessert, the milk at the end of the feeding is sweeter. I believe cow's milk is not recommended until one year old. Babies often don't tolerate it well (and of course, with all of it, many people do things differently than following the latest pediatric advice.)

I don't know about sharing breastmilk but illness can be passed through it so there might be a risk. I don't think most people would mess with it.

Breast milk can be brought back. How hard it is to do differs by woman. I have heard of women who pumped their breasts regularly, for example if they had adopted a baby, and did produce breastmilk without ever being pregnant.

Rachel Udin
01-21-2011, 05:01 AM
There is kind of a myth that all Asians are lactose intolerant, so in the circles I am involved with, some of the parents (who aren't Asians, but taking care of Asian babies) feed their children soy milk. They usually come in an say that the doctor told them to switch to formula because the soy milk isn't good for the children (i.e. giving that to them alone caused nutritional deficiencies.) (Let's skip the whole Race Fail in this belief...)

I've heard, though, that goat milk is closer to human milk. My Aunt says she's only lactose intolerant towards cow's milk.

Just throwing that out there. You might want to consider the type of milk and formula as well.

shaldna
01-21-2011, 02:47 PM
Most human beings are lactose intolerant to some level, many people will find that they simply get a little phlemy after drinking a glass of milk, for example. For most people it's not a problem at all.