D.K. asks from Homewood, IL on November 11, 2008
Supplementing with Formula
Up until now, I have exclusively breastfed my 3 1/2 month old daughter. However, in the last six weeks, she's been weighed 3 times (at the doctor's office) and has gained nothing - not one ounce. She's otherwise healthy and happy, so the issue appears to be that she's not getting enough calories from my breastmilk and the doctor says it's time to start supplementing. I don't want to give up nursing altogether, though, so my question to the other moms out there is, how did you go about supplementing your baby's diet with formula? How did you make the transition and how much/how often did you supplement once the switch was made? Her next appointment is the 25th and she needs to show some weight gain by then. Thanks so much!
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D.P. answers from Chicago on November 11, 2008
yeh i kinnda agree with everyone on that. my nephew is 3months old healthy breastfed boy. another ladys baby same age formula only is "big". so my sister thought something had to be wrong with her baby. Nope, he's just as healthy. .is she a healthy weight for her age is all that matters.
M.P. answers from Chicago on November 11, 2008
YOur doctor obviously knows NOTHING about breastfeeding. Breastmilk has way more calories and fat than formula. I don't understand why supplementing has become the answer for everything. If her diapers are wet and poopy and she's happy, then she's gaining/growing appropriate to her. My first doubled in weight by 3 months, my second not until 6 months. Same milk, different baby. You CAN provide for her on your own, otherwise our species would have died out a long time ago. Have confidence in your body. It was made to nourish your daughter. I would contact a La Leche League leader in your area or a lactation consultant. As soon as you start supplementing, that's where the trouble starts with supply issues. The more you nurse, the more you make, simple as that. I have tons of experience nursin (I'm tandem
nursing my 2 kids) so feel free to email me if you have any more questions. If YOU want to supplement that's one thing, but don't do it because an uninformed doctor is telling you you should.
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G.H. answers from Chicago on November 12, 2008
You may have to give up nursing. If you're under stress or somethings going on in your life you're having trouble dealing with, your milk could be defecient of vitamens. I was a basketcase with my 1st child and she actually lost weight. The dr. made me quit nursing. It hurt me terriably but I did it for the sake of my little girl. I had no problems at all with the next 2 children so it all worked out for the best. Good luck mommy
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D.R. answers from Chicago on November 12, 2008
When my daughter was first born those first couple weeks I had to do weight checks because she just wanted to sleep and not eat. I nursed for a year. I did have to do supplements also. The doctor gave me a syringe to give formula so she wouldn't get use to the bottle, but my daughter had the bottle a few times and she was ok with nursing still. Try to nurse for a while and then give the formula after nursing and hope that will work. How much just use your judgement. Try 4 ounces first and if she is still hungry a little more or nurse a little more again. If she doesn't finish it try 2 ounces. My doctor said that they should always leave a little in the bottle when they are done cause then they won't get air. Hope this helps and if you have questions email me back. You could also as La Leche League which is a group that answers questions with nursing. The website is www.lllusa.org Go there and search for someone in your area. They are very helpful. Yes do the block on one side for 3-4 feedings and then switch to the other side for the next 3-4 feedings. I did that as well. If you are getting full on the other side when nursing the other you could pump a little and give that through a bottle instead of the formula.
D.N. answers from Chicago on November 12, 2008
I was a nanny for a short period of time. The woman I worked for had the same problem. Her daughter had great difficulty gaining weight-nothing for the second month or so. She did hire a lactation consultant-and it was expensive though talking to someone at the hospital may help or insurance may cover since this is a health issue. She did supplement with formula 2 times a day but also continued to nurse so that she did not lose her supply. The woman ate a very healthy diet as suggested by another poster so that was not the problem. After a few months she was able to go back to exclusive breastfeeding. You may want to give alternate the formula with breastfeeding, say feed in the morning, bottle in the afternoon and in the evening and nursing all other times.
E.N. answers from Chicago on November 12, 2008
Have you considered seeing a nutritionist and supplementing your diet so that there is more nutrition obtainable through nursing? My son (now 8 months) has grown incredibly fast, and for a while it seemed as though he wasn't gaining any more weight, and I was losing it. My nutritionist instructed me to eat more "good fats" - nuts, butter, avocados, etc, and we both started to gain healthy weight again. He now weighs 21 1/2 pounds, is 28 inches long and VERY healthy. This is exclusively breastfeed, absolutely no supplementing at all.
Just a suggestion that worked for me. :)
B.G. answers from Chicago on November 12, 2008
I do agree with some of the other posters that you may want to consult someone to see if you can increase your milk supply. However, to answer your question, I'd suggesting supplementing at whatever time of day your milk production is lowest. For me, that was always late afternoon and with my second child that seemed to be the time she most wanted to nurse. Start by mixing breast mild with the formula in the bottle just to get her used to it. Then you can switch to just formula. Good luck!
V.S. answers from Chicago on November 11, 2008
I agree with the other responses. And try contacting your local La Leche League and a LC for more help. That is if you don't WANT to supplement. It's your choice but you don't have to if you don't want to. It's true that formula fed babies typically weigh and gain less than breastfed. If your baby is happy and healthy, she's not starving.
You could try nursing more. But you are back to work so don't know if that's possible for you. Is she eating expressed milk bottles? If she's taking say four ounces, increase it to six. If you nurse/pump more your supply will increase and there's lots of info out there on increasing supply.
Here's a link to yahoo's breastfeeding group:
You can also search yahoo groups for breastfeeding moms.
Now I did breastfeed and supplement with formula because we had latching issues that we couldn't fix, hard as we tried. I would nurse and pump as much as I could. Whatever else she needed I gave in formula. At four months I think we were nursing about three times a day and bottles three or four times a day. And I think she was taking six ounce bottles. I fed her a gentle formula so it was easy on her tummy and gradually introduced her to it.
Good luck with whatever you decide!
D.L. answers from Chicago on November 12, 2008
I would not supplement with formula until you consult a lactation specialist. I also think your Dr. should have suggested this before telling you to supplement. Breast milk is so much better for your baby & if you supplement your milk production will decrease. I would also talk to some other Ped. Dr.'s.