Saturday, 18 December 2010

Why is formula a doctor's default setting?

My beautiful godson (3 months) has just been admitted to hospital with bronchilitus this evening.

His mother called to let me know and of course to see if I had any tips for her.  He is a fully breastfed baby and yet on admittance to hospital the doctor told her how much formula he would need.  She explained that he was breastfed and said that she had to almost argue her point and get them to note that he was only to have her milk.

I confess to being stunned that despite all the knowledge about breastmilk, when a baby is ill the default is formula.  

This isn't about not wanting/liking formula.  This is about an exclusively breastfed baby being given a foreign protein to digest whilst his body is fighting an infection.  I'm sure that one day someone will be able to explain it to me

My gorgeous, newest godson. Haroun


  1. I found this when ds3 was a newbie in SCBU. Also a friend of mine who had a baby in the same SCBU said that although she expressed milk, her baby was still given formula. And although ds3 could latch on, we weren't encouraged to feed direct as they "didn't know what he was getting" I found it was only my own stubbornness and the help of one supportive doctor and one supportive nurse that got us through it with him being fully bf.

  2. I had this last Christmas with one of my twin mums. The doctor told her that they couldn't tell how much a baby was getting from the breast and therefore she should use formula. When she said that she'd express he told her that the breastmilk wouldn't be enough or right etc. After standing her ground and asking him to provide research based evidence as to why this was the best thing for her baby, he told her "I've been doing this for over 20 years. I don't NEED research based evidence". After asking him about the trials with formula milk in the hospital he backed off and left her to breastfeed and express.

    The twin girls are now 1 and still exclusively breastfed.

    So well done Orla. Perseverence is the key.

  3. Had exactly the same when Ben went in with Jaundice. They gawped at me when I told them I hoped to breast feed. Made it as hard for me as they could as well.