M.P. asks from Chicago, IL on July 31, 2007
Supplememt W/formula or Not?
My second son was born July 17th! He's healthy and beautiful, thanks be to god. He was one month early. I am breastfeeding. Here goes my questions, at the hospital I talked w/the lactation consultant she said don't supplement feed the baby whenever he wants for as long as he wants.
1st: My son had to do a car seat trial since he was born early. The first time he did the car seat trial the nurse said his breathing was too fast because he was still hungry. And if they could give him formula to calm him so he would pass the test so I could take him home. They did give him 1/3 of an ounce. He passed we got to take him home.
2nd: He had jaundice pretty bad. I was being told to supplement with formula again.
It feels discouraging. I want to do the right thing and breastfeed. But then I'm being told; he's still hungry, supplement w/formula. Discouraging to say the least.
I don't understand the lactation consultant says don't supplement. The doctor says supplement. I wish they could both be in the same room with me to duke it out verbally with eachother. Instead of me having to deal with conflicting information.
Then my doctor (a family doctor not a pediatrician) says pump if you don't get a lot when you pump then the baby is not getting a lot - supplement with formula.
I'm going a little bit nutso! I am going to call the lactation consultant today. But I also know the mamas on here are well experienced and may have gone through this situation before. I'd appreciate advice and/or your experience. Thank you so much!
So What Happened?™
Thank you all that responded. I knew I could count on you ladies to help me. Thanks for explainning some of the different information I was getting. And sharing your experiences. You've deffinately helped me feel better about BFeeding and supplementing. I feel a little smarter. I was feeling like quitting. But I know I can do this. Thanks again!
L.S. answers from Atlanta on July 31, 2007
Hi M. - congrats on the birth of your son! I also just had a baby boy six weeks ago. After bringing him home the first night he cried almost all night and the next day we gave him 2 oz of formula and he sucked it down and was so content. I think we may have given him formula a couple more times over the course of the next week or so and then my milk came in big time and he's been on breast milk (either nursing or pumped in a bottle) ever since. I have a great book - The New Basics - and it says "formula is not poison." If your son is hungry, supplementing is OK and eventually he will get enough just from you.
When we had concerns about whether my son was getting enough, our pediatrician suggested to try nursing him and then offering him a bottle after every other feeding - that way he does not think it's a guarantee (like if you were to do it every time) and he'll still work hard at the nursing.
This is just my opinion, but it's not worth the stress - if the formula will help when he's hungry, then why not give it to him? I hope this helps!! Best of luck to you.
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M.R. answers from Chicago on August 01, 2007
Do what you feel is best for your child. My second daughter was born at 10lbs and no matter what I did brestfeeding was not enough for her, so I supplemented. I felt much better knowing she was getting enough to eat, then worrying that she was hungry. She's now 15 years old and if you could see how much she eats you would know why I had to supplement!
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E.W. answers from Chicago on August 01, 2007
OK, I only read a few responses, but it looks like there are some strong opinions. I will just share our experience and hope that helps....
My daughter was born little (5lb 13oz) at full term, but had jaundice. At the hospital, the pediatrician on call and the RNs made it seem as though I HAD to supplement if I ever wanted the jaundice to go away. So, at the hospital, I did. I really wanted to exclusively BF, so when we got home I stopped supplementing. My daughter's regular dr. was really supportive and told me all the benefits of BFing. The day after we came home, I met with the lactation consultant and told her that I wanted to BF. Part of my problem was that, because I was induced (due to preeclampsia), my milk hadn't come in all the way yet. I rented a pump and pumped after I nursed (every hour and a half!!). Sure enough, I had a LOT of milk pretty fast. My baby's jaundice did go away without supplementing, and it did not take any longer than expected.
In my humble opinion... If you want to BF, do it. Your baby and your body will even out- it is supply and demand. The nursing on demand takes getting used to, but he will slow down with it (my daughter stopped the 1 1/2- 2 hour nursing after a couple weeks...). If you can't do it, don't stress too much. Let me know if I can help you out at all- I am not a professional, but I have been there!!!
C.G. answers from Chicago on July 31, 2007
This is bad advice on all three cases! Each time you supplement your body will produce less milk and perpetuate the problem. PLEASE see a lactation consultant. RNs and MDs do not have training in breastfeeding. I know this because I am an RN!
If the baby is still hungry after you nurse you should put him back on the breast to stimulate more milk production. If you give formula instead your body does not produce any more milk. Then when baby sleeps even longer because he is full from the bottle (they take more from the bottle because it's easier to get) that signals your body to produce even less milk.
Baby can get much more out of your breast than pumping can. The only way to tell how much your baby gets is to weigh the baby on a digital scale before and after a feeding (the same scale both time).
Definitely see a lactation consultant. It is possible to supplement and be succesful but it can cause some difficulties.
A.W. answers from Chicago on July 31, 2007
Sorry you're getting conflicting information from different people. I'm sure it's frustrating. I'm not a specialist in this area, but I am nursing our second child and have a little experience.
First, I think you've got to do what you feel is best for your child. If you have a good relationship with your ped or lactation consultant and trust them, by all means, follow their advice.
One very important point though -- how much you pump really isn't a good indicator of how much your baby gets from nursing. Normally, your baby is much better at getting your milk than any pump on the market. Is your baby producing wet diapers? Does he seem satisfied after nursing? Is he gaining weight?
We did decide to supplement with formula with our first child due to jaundice, but it was just an ounce or two the first week or two she was born, then everything was normal.
A.R. answers from Chicago on July 31, 2007
In some situations, some mothers have found it necessary to supplement with formula in the first week or two. In no way does that 'ruin' the child for breastfeeding (although the lactation class I took prenatally at Rush would have you believing that if a child took formula they'd drop over dead practically, and you'd be deemed an unfit mom...). Just keep at the breastfeeding and IF he is still hungry, then top him off with formula - breast first, then formula. You have a newborn child which is stressful enough; don't feel guilty about giving him formula. A handful of times will not turn him off to the breast. There's absolutely nothing wrong with supplementing - hey, your kid needs to eat, right? Chances are, if you really keep at the breastfeeding then this will be a very temporary stage and will be an afterthought once your milk comes in better.
P.D. answers from Chicago on July 31, 2007
I hope that you find a lactation consultant that you are comfortable working with. The mis information and contradictory information out "there" is horrible. I often say, I would prefer they all tell you the wrong information than all saying something different.
Your md has no training or background in lactation.. there are few md's who do. so their knowledge is based on what they are told.. often by the formula manufacturers!
P., RLC, IBCLC
Pres. Lactation Support Group, Inc