Formula Feeding Support

Updated on February 20, 2016
R.N. asks from Albuquerque, NM
52 answers

I am looking for other moms with similar problems. I have a 3 week old boy (Logan), we started out breast feeding exclusivly but Logan had to be readmitted into the hospital on day 4 because he need to be treated for jaundice. He was pretty dehydrated and had lost 1 pound at the time so they had us feed him formula in the hospital while I pumped my milk, which at this point had not come in. When we got home I went back to breast feeding but my milk still had not come in and so he wasn't getting any nurishment and started loosing weight again so we had to go back to formula, after 3 1/2 weeks my milk still has not come in despite pumping every 2 hours to stimilate my milk supply. Now Logan won't even take my breast as he has become so accustomed to bottles and formula. I know breastmilk is the best for him but after 3 weeks I don't think it will ever come in and even if it does how do I get Logan to go back to breast. My husband and I have done a pros and cons list for both breast feeding and formula feeding and we are still unsure of what to do. He is doing well on the formula, he is healthy and gaining weight but I worry about all the illnesses and allergies he will be prone to that breast milk is supposed to guard against. Has this ever happened to anyone? What did/would you do? To top it all off I was/am part of a mothers group that pretty much has banned me from the group because I am not breast feeding, they made me feel like a horrible mother for feeding him formula even though the other option was to possible starve him. Any help or advice would be so grately appreciated.
Thanks I am very open to helpful advice and support from experianced mothers who have been through this before.
R. N.

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So What Happened?

Thank you to everyone who responded to my request for help. You have all be more helpful then you know. I am so comforted to know that I am not the only one with this problem and that there is support. My husband and family have been very supportive as well.
Logan had a follow up appointment today and he is doing great. He is gaining weight and is a happy, healthy baby. I have talked to so many specialist from the hospital and from La Leche League for weeks and still no milk so my husband and I have decided to do formula. All the pumping and stressing about it is taking me away from spending time with Logan and precious sleep at night, it is not allowing me to be the best mom that I can be to him.
Thank you all again for your help and support!
R. N

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A.K.

answers from Denver on

Have you tried contacting La Leche League? Their website is: http://www.lalecheleague.org or to find a local chapter it's http://www.lllusa.org/COWY/CO.html .

I only breastfed for 3 months since my breasts stopped producing. My son has a couple of allergies, and I don't know whether to blame it on that or not. There are so many things to be aware of such as environmental toxins, genetically modified food, rgbh in milk that all have links to allergies.

The main thing I wanted to tell you is that nobody, and I mean NOBODY has a right to tell a mother what to do when it comes to breastfeeding. I would have no respect for a group that treats you like that.

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A.S.

answers from New York on

Use healthy nursing tea by secrets of tea to improve your breast milk production. My milk was low and this tea did great help by boosting my supply.

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F.O.

answers from Colorado Springs on

I did not breast feed either of my children, due to the fact that my body never produced milk when I was pregnant with my son or after I had him, and then again with my daughter. My kids are very healthy and happy children. If he will only take a bottle, then if your milk does come in, then you can always pump and give him that milk in the bottle. I am also responding in hopes you could send me some information on hosting a Stampin Up party, I have heard about it, and it seems like a lot of fun, I am always thinking of new things to do with my kids scrapbooks.

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R.J.

answers from Phoenix on

R., honey, bless your heart! You are doing everything right. As a first-time mom, I had such trouble breastfeeding and coping with PPD. My son was a chomper with no teeth, and the whole experience was excruciatingly painful for me and frustrating as all get out for him. We'd both end up crying - I think I cried harder and longer than he did (and for reasons other than pain, like guilt) - and I started having actual panic attacks at every feeding. I had two appointments with a lactation consultant during which Michael and I did just fine...until we left the office. Then back to square one. Two weeks of that was quite enough. I put him on formula and never looked back. I was determined to breastfeed through the pain with my second child, and now my third (5 weeks old and doing great!). I prefer the convenience and cost-efficiency of breastfeeding, and you're right about the health benefits. Although...my firstborn - the formula baby -is the healthiest of my three kids. God knows what He's doing, R.. Don't worry about others' opinions, sweetie. You're doing just fine. :)

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K.C.

answers from Denver on

Hi,R.,
How sad that a support group should make you feel that way. Good riddance, I say. Anyway, I breastfed my first child until he was 6 mos with no formula or anything else. He was underweight for most of his first year and is allergic to so many things I won't even list them here for you...so much for the theory that breast milk prevents allergies! With my second and third children, I both breastfed and supplemented with formula from the very beginning, switching to only formula within a few months. They are totally healthy and allergic to NOTHING! I think that you are doing exactly what any good mother would do - what's best for YOUR baby. For some, it is breastfeeding, for others it is a combination. For you, it is using formula to prevent your baby from weight loss and possible nutrient deficiency. You're doing a great job, keep it up. Your instincts and your pediatrician's support are the best things for your child. Don't listen to your mothers' group - they're just wrong!

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M.

answers from Phoenix on

Wow. I am sorry to hear that you had that situation with the group you were a part of.
My milk would NOT come in with solely the pump. They just didn't work for me at all. My 2nd daughter was in ICU for the first week or so after she was born and they supplemented her with formula as well. I pumped but got nothing. I would just keep trying to get her to nurse and would still give her the formula if I knew she wasn't getting anything. It was just the attempts to get her to nurse that eventually got my milk flowing in. I think it's just the way the babies nurse that stimulate the milk glands. I am no med pro, but I know our bodies will respond to their needs.

If in the end nothing happens, don't fret. My 2nd child got more formula than breast milk and is the one that gets sick the least. My other 2 kids that were solely nursed have frequent seasonal allergies, and my oldest gets strep like every 3 weeks. :(

So I would say that you just have to play the hand you're dealt and as long as your baby is happy and healthy, than be at peace and accept it for what it is. You did your best and that is what's best for your child. Don't worry about the other moms.

A little thing I found out: there are no perfect moms and no perfect children. They may be quick to point out how good they can do this and this and that. And how you should be doing the same.

Every family is unique. And every family has a different flow to life. Just find the "rhythm" that fits you and your baby and flow with it. You're a great mom!!! If you weren't you wouldn't care and wouldn't be asking for help.

I wish you all the best and many wonderful blessings! You Rock Mom!! :)

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A.H.

answers from Phoenix on

Hello R.,
I was sent home with my son and was breast feeding and formula feeding. he did not take to breast so night time we supplemented. At his 5 day check up we were rushed to the hospital because he too was jaundice. So I pumped and breast fed-mostly pumped. It screwed up our learning process but I just kept trying and eventually we got the hang of it! Daddy helped alot! It was also very trying! If you want to formula feed that is fine you are not horrible!!! But breastfeeding is really exhausting and difficult till you guys get the hang of it. I wanted to quit like everyday because I had no clue how hard breast feeding was. But once we learned it was easy!!!

Now my daughter was also jaundice only they kept us in the hospital an the extra dasys instead of sending us home only to have to readmit her. She refused the bottle so they said breast feed her and I did. She was easy.

I feel bad about your mommy group experience but this topic is a big debate against mothers. I am neutral myself but of course breast is best. My son was breast fed for 10 mos and my daughter for 20 mos. Good Luck.

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T.D.

answers from Phoenix on

Shame on that Mother's group! Don't let anyone make you feel bad. I breastfed my first for 27 months and am breastfeeding my second, now 5 months.
My first son was super healthy until he got pneumonia and was put on antibiotics at 2 1/2. He's got a cold right now in fact...
My 5 month old has a cold too. When he was 3 months old I had to give him breathing treastments. So that's 2 colds in 5 months!
Don't get me wrong, I love beastfeeding, but it doesn't mean that your child will have some sort of bionic health. Most kids get sick. I've never known much difference between breast and bottle except ear infections from cows milk formula.
Look at www.onestepahead.com for a breast bottle if you're looking for something more personal than a normal bottle. You can strap it on and have your hands free. I think that one of the major differences between breast and bottle is the amount of time that breastfeeding takes and how often. So, if you hold your little one alot and don't 'prop' up bottles in place of holding them, it's just as bonding. Go to www.askdrsears.com for great bottle feeding and nutritional info. He also has a great book, Christian Parenting.

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N.O.

answers from Albuquerque on

Hello R., I am a SAHM of 2 (daughter 24 mts & son 14 mts).
My milk supply never came in with my daughter, it was very frustrating and depressing. The hospital I had her in made me feel unworthy because I had planned & did not want to breastfeed (I had planned on returning to work). So I tried to breastfeed and then I felt inadequate because my milk wasn't coming in. After we went home from the hospital I pumped for days with no luck so I left her on bottle feeding and she was happy (& I was happy).

To say the least when I was pregnant with my son, I made the decision not to breastfeed, regardless of the hospital's opinions. I had my son at a different hospital and they were very supportive of my desicion. I once again didn't get my milk supply, which was a good thing since my son has severe acid reflux and wouldn't be able to use my breastmilk anyways.

All in all both my children are bright & happy children. They have never been sick a day in their life, aside from your normal sniffle. My children do not have any major allergies or any less smarter than a breastfeed children.

Good luck to you R. and may everything be ok.
N.

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C.

answers from Albuquerque on

If you really want to breast feed it sounds like you need medical assistance to get your milk to come in. But breastfeeding doesn't work for a lot of people for various reasons and you shouldn't feel bad if you choose to use formula instead. It might not contain the live components of breast milk but it is a complete and good source of nutrition.

Your mother's group sounds rude and obnoxious. You already feel distressed enough without their criticisms. Back when I was born women were told to give their babies formula instead of breastmilk and we all turned out fine and the formula was probably of much poorer quality back then so don't stress!

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T.R.

answers from Denver on

Hello ~

If you are serious about trying to re-initate breastfeeding contact a lactation consultant. There are many available. I found a referral thru the hospital I delivered my son at. You can also contact La Leche League. I am sure there are many lactation nurses in your area. They will need to evaluate you & your son. Your Ob-Gyn can also prescribe a drug which helps recover a lost milk supply. There are options.

I had a similar experience and decided that breastfeeding was the best option for me and my son. I saw the lactation nurse and it cost me close to $200. It was worth every penny. I thought of it this way -- if I do get my supply back I will nurse him until he is 1 year old... if not longer. I'd pay much more than that in formula over that time period.

Yes breast is best but there is nothing wrong with formula either.

T.

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J.M.

answers from Pueblo on

Hi R.,

Breastfeeding is a wonderful thing yes this is true, however your baby eating is obviously the end result that should concern you. If you are stressed, which if you're getting treated that way by a group meant to support you and of course worrying about your child you are, it can hamper your milk supply as well. I had trouble feeding my first child from my breast & about 8 weeks in she was bottle fed with formula. I felt guilty etc. but now after having two more which I successfully have & am breastfeeding I think I partly worried too much and made the whole experience miserable for myself & my baby. Definitely change mom groups. As a person who started my own mother's group here where I live I can't ever imagine kicking someone out especially when they need you the most. In the end if you can't breastfeed it's not the end of the world!! I know it feels like it at the time, but it's not. Enjoy your little one. They grow sooo fast and this time is supposed to be precious. God bless to you and your family. Please e-mail me if ya just need to talk. ____@____.com

J.

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L.F.

answers from Phoenix on

You should contact an RN lactation specialist. There should be one available at the hospital where you had your son. If not, ask them for a referral.
If you don't get a breastfeed, don't feel too bad. Your son sounds healthy and is gaining weight and that is most important.

Good luck to you and your family.
L.

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R.C.

answers from Phoenix on

Please don't beat yourself up over this. I have two healthy children ages three and six and neither of them would breast feed. My son was premature and couldn't figure out how to suck. And believe me, I tried and so did several lactation specialists, who made me feel like a bad mother. My dtr was so hungry that I never had enough milk for her and had to suppliment with bottles, soon I didn't have the milk, even though I was continuously pumping. In the end, you said it best, you have a Healthy boy who is Gaining weight. And that is all that you need to have. It's about him, not if you breast feed. As for the Mom's group, tell them it's not their decision and it's not up for discussion. Hope the best for you.

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S.

answers from Denver on

HI R.,
If you want to give breastfeeding one last ditch try, i would contact your local La Leche League chapter and talk to their leaders about how to re-lactate, and how to get your son to latch on. THey are seriously the experts, their advice is free (you can join if you want, but it's optional) and most of them are so kind and understanding and gentle- they have seen it all and know not to judge or blame mothers for nursing problems. Your little guy is only 3 weeks old so you probably have a good chance at getting him to breastfeed sometime this year! We had nursing problems with my daughter from the get-go because she was a c-section and couldn't get to the breast until about 45 mins after she was born- and she's still not a great nurser, but we persisted, and supplement with formula, and i do think she's healthier for it. Even a little bit of breastmilk is better than none. So give the LLL gals a try, follow their advice, adn if your milk still doesn't come in you can formula-feed without guilt. I think it's wonderful that you're trying so hard to do the best thing- most people would give up after a few days.

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G.G.

answers from Denver on

I had a similar experience to you in that my milk would not come it. My daughter was losing weight really fast and they insisted that I give her formula. I had done a lot of research and totally had my heart set on breast feeding. I was really upset when the problems started to arise. I also pumped all the time trying to get it to kick in and kept trying with the baby as well. I tried everything I could think of to get suggestions. The hospital you went to should have lactation nurses and even when you have left you can call them. I happened to be out of town right after she was born and the local hospital had a nurse come to my house to help me and she didn't even charge me!! There are a lot of people that really want to help you be successful. She told me an herbal root to try. Other friends told me that yeast can help with milk production and some even suggest drinking a beer a day. I am an alcoholic so I didn't try that one. Also I hear there are some medications that a doctor can prescribe to you. The nurse gave me a shield and tube that hooked to me so that the baby was still breastfeeding but getting formula. I called the la leche league to get information as well. As you can see I tried a lot and woke up every 2 hours to pump as well. Finally after 3 weeks with all the stress of trying to breast feed and post partum depression on top of it I was not in the best place. I was totally stressed out and not enjoying my new baby at all. Plus with the formula she was gaining a ton of weight and doing great. I talked to my family and everyone was support of me formula feeding her. I know a lot of really healthy people that were formula feed. Thankfully all the people in my life have been very supportive of me. What it comes down to is I know in my heart that I tried my hardest to breast feed her and for whatever reason it didn't happen. She is almost one and very healthy and happy. If the people in your life are judgemental then they are probably not the kind of people you need in your life. My aunt had the same problem and with her next two she had tons of milk. If I have another kid I hope to be able to breastfeed. Sorry I went on forever! Good luck!

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K.D.

answers from Amarillo on

My friend had twins and her milk never came in and neither did her mother's. It just happens sometimes and I'd say after all your efforts, yours probably won't either - and that is ok! Your child will thrive on formula. The stress the decision (and nonsupportive group) is causing you is probably more harmful to your relationship with your child than not having breast milk. As for the other mothers who have ostracized you because you can't breastfeed, shame on them. They should be supportive, not judgmental. I think it is time you find a new group to hang out with!

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S.B.

answers from Charleston on

You're doing a great job! You're the mom and only you (and Daddy) will know exactly the right thing to do. The most important thing is for Logan to be getting nourishment and if your milk hasn't come in I'm not sure what other choice you have. You could call someone from La Leche League (in the phone book)...their whole purpose is to help people breast feed. It sounds like you have an unusual circumstance and the things they may suggest could be more extreme, like the tubes that cross the breast and baby nurses, but is actually getting formula through the tubes. I think stick with what's working and ignore your judgmental, unsympathetic friends. They're not you, they have no place to have an opinion. Keep your sanity, care for Logan, he'll be fine. Lots of people never breastfeed, even some that wanted to. Pray that God will cover Logan and protect him, He will! And God give you and your husband peace to know what to do.

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M.R.

answers from Denver on

Oh, R.. Other breast-feeding mom's can be so cruel and superior. I'm sorry you're going through this, but I know EXACTLY how you feel. My first baby is almost 2 now. I tried to nurse. I spend all day every day when we first brought him home doing nothing but nursing and pumping. Same thing happened to my son. He lost weight, the nurses said they were surprised he wasn't jaundiced and started feeding him formula. My milk supply never came in fully, either. My husband's ex-wife basically called me a failure as a mother for not being able to breastfeed successfully.

Not to worry. There are PLENTY of good formulas out there now, and the most important antibodies for your son were in your colostrum, which he recieved by nursing immediately after birth. I only breastfed my son for 3 weeks (while supplementing with formula) and he is very healthy. Cold and flu season goes by with barely a sniffle. Of course it was very sad for me and I cried, but I got over it and enjoyed the fact that others were able to help me out by giving him a bottle now and then.

You may want to continue pumping and feeding him whatever you pump and supplement him with formula if you have the time. And the good news? I had my 2nd son a year and a half later and breastfeeding was successful.

Good luck, and don't be too hard on yourself. Not all of us were meant to be milkin' machines! LOL

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L.H.

answers from Denver on

HI R., I have three kiddos & my first two would not nurse, I was not producing enough for them & they were always hungry, so I gave them a bottle with formula & they have only been sick MAYBE two times (2yrs & 5yrs old)& my youngest was a smaller baby & I am producing enough for her, and she is three months old & already sick, so I honeslty dont know if there is any difference between BM & Formula, That is just my opion & about your group, that just seems a lil rude of them, I agree with what you said your baby needed to eat so you gave him formula, Dont feel like a bad mother, you did what was best for him ;)

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M.L.

answers from Phoenix on

I think that is terrible that a group to support new moms would not be supportive for you and your issues with your new baby. Forget about them. I am a first time mom as well, and also pretty new to this site, but I have seen great advice on here so far.
I had the same problem when my son was born. He had to stay longer in the hospital due to jaundice, and was used to the formula and the bottles by the time I brought him home. I heard all of the same things about breast milk being better for their immune system, etc, but I ended up staying with the formula anyway, it was just the best thing for me at the time. My son is 2 1/2 years old now, and has only had a couple of small, short-lived colds, and isn't allergic to anything. My doctor had me put my son on Nestles (Carnation) Good Start Supreme formula...the one that says it is most like breat milk. Try going to the website www.verybestbaby.com and it will tell you everything about this formula and how good it is for your baby. That site will also give you coupons for the formula if you sign up on there. This is probably the most expensive brand of formula you can buy, but I found that it was the best for my baby. Don't worry about the fact that you haven't been able to breastfeed your baby, you tried, and it just wasn't meant to be this time. Good luck to you and your new baby, and if you have any other questions feel free to contact me! :)

M.

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C.

answers from Denver on

First of all, don't forget that you are a great mom, and choose not to be ashamed of your choices--no matter what other mean women say! I HIGHLY recommend getting in touch with La Leche League or a lactation specialist. The gals at Bosom Buddies are amazing. Either of these resources can really help you figure out how to get your milk going and how to help Logan re-adjust (he TOTALLY can!! and so can you!) they are kind, supportive and VERY knowledgeable!! Good luck! Lots of Mama love to you! Don't worry!

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K.P.

answers from Phoenix on

You should never feel like your horrible mother, because you are doing what is necessary for you child. I am a first time mother as well, and my husband and had done our research and we were really looking forward to me being able to nurse our son. We attempted to do so, starting in the hospital, I had a c-section so I was in the hospital a little longer than the vaginal. So, I was nursing (not having a clue, how long it was supposed to take and the nurses were attempting to help me), however end result he had almost lost a pound. So, they said you need to do something right away, so of course we gave him formula in the bottle. The pediatrician came in the next day we told her the issue, she noticed he was slightly tongue tied and he had to have a minor procedure done. Needless to say, he would no longer nurse after the bottle. So, I decided to pump every four hours, but many times had to substitute formula because I did not produce enough milk. I did that for four months, which was better than nothing. My sister never breastfeed and she has two beautiful very healthy boys, which are extremely smart. Her two year old speaks clearly and fluently, knows his ABC's, can count to ten and is very eager to learn. Her 11 month old is about the happiest baby I know. So, feel confident in yourself that you are a good mom, who stepped up to the plate and did what your baby needed and everything will be just fine. By the way, CONGRATULATIONS!

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D.

answers from Phoenix on

If you have no breast milk, you cannot breastfeed your son. Period. There is no shame in that. Thank the Lord that science and technology has created formulas to be similar to breastmilk and have many of the same antibodies and disease fighting agents found in human milk. It sounds like you do not have a choice. Stop beating yourself up and accept it. Be thankful that your son is eating and healthy and gaining weight on formula. The women that are unaccepting of someone who is different than they are are not worth your time. They are not your friends, nor are they people you want to associate with! Pray for strength and accept the situation. Don't try to manipulate it. God knows what he's doing!

Good luck!

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M.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi R.,

My name is M. and I had a similar situation occur where I could only breastfeed my son for 3 weeks and then I had to switch to formula. However, I was concerned that his immune system would not develop properly so a close friend of mine that is a nutritionist got me a copy of the westin price journal that had a recipe for Homemade Baby Formula and I have been feeding my son it since he was 2 months old and he is just thriving. He has had no allergies or ear infections and has only gotten minor colds. I swear by this formula and my pediatrician ok'd it and even took a copy for himself. If you are interested I could give you all the information I am just short on time at this moment. As for me I am going to be a licensed acupuncturist at the end of the year and I am a tea consultant for Let's Do Tea along with working part time for the main office of Zia Record Exchange. Hope to talk to you soon.

M. :)

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D.M.

answers from Denver on

Hi R.. My oldest son is now 4 yrs and my youngest is 2. I did not breastfeed either child at all. Both boys were on formula, and they are very healthy. I do get aggravated at those moms that look down upon me because I chose not to breastfeed my children. When I was going through the decision, i spoke with my mom who let me know that she too chose to use formula exclusively, and neither my brother or I have any kind of allergies, and we are both in our mid to late 30s. And healthy as can be. infact I didnt miss any days of school until I was in 6th grade. That was proof enough for me that formula fed babies could be just as healthy! I had the support of my husband, and that was all that I needed. Hang in there. There are many moms out there that did not breast feed. you will find them! Dont beat yourself up with your decision for formula, it is what your baby needs and you are providing it for him.

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J.M.

answers from Fort Collins on

As far as trying to get you milk to come in, one of the things that I have done when my supply has gotten low is use More Milk Plus (check out motherlove.com... it's an herbal supplement). On the point of getting your little one to go back to breast... try using nipple shields for a bit, it's like putting a bottle nipple on your breast then you can wean the little one of it over time.

I'm no doc, but the More Milk Plus wokred for me and my little one was not able to latch when she was first born and a friend told me about the nipple shields after she was used to a bottle. She didn't mind the nipple shield a bit and it only took about 3 weeks to wean her of it, but DO NOT get discouraged if it takes you longer to wean your little one because I have heard of it taking litterally months to wean a little one off the nipple shield as well, just be persistant and it will happen.

And if you make the choice to not breastfeed, feel confident that everything will be okay because there are many of us out there that were formula feed as it was "the thing to do" in the eighties and we all turned out just fine. :)

Hope this helps!

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C.

answers from Phoenix on

I have nursed three kids - two of them twins so I know it is not easy. First - just relax a bit. There are plenty of happy healthy kids out their who were bottle fed. On the other hand breast feeding is good for Logan and good for your bonding. With my twins I did not have enough milk to nurse both exclusively so I would nurse them both then top them off with a bottle.
This is how I would do it if I were you. Every two hours nurse Logan for 10 minutes on each breast and then give him a bottle. It can take some time to get a child on the breast so don't give up if he refuses it at first. My little guy used to take 10 minutes to get latched on right at first but his twin sister popped it right in her mouth every time. Make sure he latches on right or you will have sore breasts and he will have little milk. You need the whole nipple in his mouth. The easiest way to do this is to use the football hold.
Sit in a recliner and use pillows to prop him up so that his head is right at your breast and his feet are under your arm at the back of the chair. With your right arm hold your breast. With your left arm hold his head. Wait till he's giving a nice big cry them move his mouth to your nipple not the other way round. Then reverse this for the left side. Express a little milk or even put a little formula on the breast so he gets the taste of milk as he puts it in his mouth. This will help him realize he has to suck.

I always had trouble getting breast milk out when I pumped but it came out fine when I nursed so I would definately get nursing as soon as you can.

I am sorry about the other mothers. We all dream about having the perfect pregnancy and childbirth. But then some of us end up with miscarriages, c sections, drugs when we wanted natural childbirth, children who have to stay at the hospital or who are colicky. Life is not perfect. We have to stay calm and enjoy what we have. Don't miss out on the joy of your new little boy because you are trying to be the perfect mom. - O and let your husband give the 2:00 a.m. bottle so you can get some sleep!

C.

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M.P.

answers from Phoenix on

I also had a similar situation happen to me. My son is now 13 months and he latched on right away and my milk started producing right away but he was alway hungry. I started supplementing 1/2 breast milk and formula. I pumped all the time and it seemed like there was no end to the milk supply. About three weeks went buy and my milk dried up there was nothing left to give so he had to be on formula all the time. don't feel bad about giving your baby formula. Some women just don't have it to give. My mother and grandmother both had milk fever and did not get the chance to breast feed so the fact that my milk stopped was not a surprise to me. check your family past that may help you as well. M.

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J.F.

answers from Tucson on

Hi R.,
It sounds like you are having a horrible time of things. I'm so sorry to hear that.

I know all about the pressures put on one to breastfeed. My thoughts and feelings are this; if you can breast feed and it is WORKING for both your baby and YOU, then GREAT! If it is not working for whatever reason, then don't worry about it and continue with the formula.

I breastfed my son for 6 weeks and was miserable everyday of that 6 weeks. I had to supplement with formula because he ate quicker than I could produce the milk. (I heard from all of the breast feeding advocates that him not getting enough from me was just a "Myth", but I swear he was not getting enough!) In fact, when he was 7 weeks old, we started adding cereal to his formula and BINGO, he was happy as a clam!! (FYI: He weighed almost 10lbs when he was born). Two and a half years later I had a baby girl and I breastfed her for about 5 months! We also supplemented with formula from time to time. That worked for BOTH of us!! Can I just say that both of my children are now 7 & 4 years old, happy, healthy and are in no way suffering!

Don't let other people make you feel one way or the other, it's a personal choice and you and ONLY you should make that.

Hope this helps!

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K.H.

answers from Colorado Springs on

First of all, I'm so sorry you're going through this. I had a similar thing happen, although a bit later on, with my dd.

Basically, when I went back to work, my supply tanked. I had bf my older son for 2 years and didn't even entertain the thought that I wouldn't be able to with my daughter. When we went for her 4 month checkup she had only gained 8 oz from her weigh in two months earlier. Not good. So I went nuts. I had multiple appointments with the midwife, the lactation consultant, I tried herbs. I literally lived on my pump. I would pump 3x at work (I was at work for six hours) and then pump after every feeding, before I went to bed and first thing in the morning. Looking back on it, I was crazy. She started taking more and more bottles until she *much* preferred the bottle over the breast. So I let it go, and I think we all are happier for it. So my advice to you is this. If you absolutely feel like you MUST continue bf'ing - if you haven't already, speak to a lactation consultant. Check out www.kellymom.com - they have LC's that moderate the message boards there who are *wonderful*. Try herbs - blessed thistle, goat's rue, fenugreek are all galactogogues (or however you spell it). Wishgarden herbs makes a "Mother's Milk" tincture. And keep at the pump. Do you cosleep? That can help too, as can as much skin to skin contact as possible. Have a nurse in where you spend the weekend in bed drinking water and nursing and not doing much else.

If your son is happy and gaining weight it is much more important for him to have a happy mommy. Babies pick up on your stresses and mood and in my un-scientific opinion, it could do more harm to him if you kill yourself trying to re-establish bf'ing. I know it's not an easy choice, and it flat out sucks that those women kicked you out of their moms group (WHAT are they THINKING?!), but you need to do what's best for your family and if that's formula feeding, so be it. It's really nobody elses business. I know in my case, I really needed someone to tell me what I already kind of new - that it was okay if I fed my daughter formula. So I'll tell you. Don't feel guilty. You're just doing what's best for your son.

Hugs to you and your sweet baby. I hope you can find a solution that you're happy with.

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T.S.

answers from Albany on

Have you spoken to your OB/GYN about this? Mine were always very helpful with tips on nursing. However, my youngest cut me off at 4 months. I wasn't providing him with enough milk, and he was a hungry boy. He was fine, more than fine. He is a much hardier child than my other 2. He doesn't become sicker than they do, not even during the nursing months. I am sure there is something to your children getting some immunity boost from nursing, but my children who I nursed became quite ill while I was nursing them. I honestly didn't notice a grand difference with their immune systems.

I know it's hard, but don't be upset by not breast feeding. The important thing is that your son is healthy and getting the nutrients he needs. With regards to the mother's group that is cutting them off, forget them. Moms tend to be a holier than thou group. That is, of course, until they have to experience it themselves. There is no need to have any negativity in your life, especially when things started off so difficulty. Stick in there, and do what's best for you and your son, not what other people think is best.

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S.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi there,
When my son was born (he's 10 now) I tried breastfeeding - but he got jaundice also. So as not to give him a bottle I was made to breastfeed with a tiny tube of formula taped to my breast because I was told the more he ate, the quicker it would clear up. Anyway, my milk hadn't come in and by day 4 he was miserable and so was I. Just imagine, a first time mom getting up for feedings every two hours, taping on a formula tube to your breast while your son has a light pack under his pajamas for the jaundice and a husband working twelve hour shifts with no time off...Thankfully e went to formula and bottles, the jaundice cleared - he was fine and still is. I also have a daughter who is 18 months old and it never crossed my mind to breastfeed her after the previous trouble we had. Formula fed babies are just as healthy in my mind! My two kids were/are rarely sick, compared to breastfed babies I know who have constant colds, thrush and other illnesses. Maybe I'm just lucky or maybe the makers of baby formula are able to make a healthy and beneficial product - either way - don't feel guilty about not breastfeeding if it isn't working for your son. I understand that is what you had planned, but things with babies are always changing and lots of times they dictate what is best for them!! Best of luck!

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A.L.

answers from Denver on

Have you tried a supplemental feeder system? Basically you can put formula or pumped breast milk in a bottle that you wear around your neck. There is a small tube coming out of it that goes down to your nipple. Your son would nurse as usual, ans stimulate your breasts while getting the additonal calories he needs until you start making enough milk.

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J.T.

answers from Denver on

I find it really disgusting that anyone would make you feel badly about this. I have an extremely healthy 3-year old who was not breast fed. There are several people out there who will tell you that horrible things will happen if your baby is formula fed. Trust me, they're not true. I hope you don't waste more time than necessary trying to force this issue. Your baby is healthy and eating- enjoy it!

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N.C.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi R.. I've got 3 kids, breast-fed the first--my milk took about 2 weeks to come in and I fed her formula in the meantime. She went from bottle to breast and back again no problems. Children 2 and 3 were twins. Again, my milk didn't come in for a couple of weeks (c-section) and I pumped with them to 6 weeks. In the end I stopped because 2 infants and a 3-year-old were just too much on top of the breastfeeding. Something had to give in my house and it was that. Long story short, I've got a child that was breastfed and then twins (born a month early) who essentially weren't. Their health when catching any illness appears no different from the breast-fed child. I had difficulties (thrush) with the first. I looked to breastfeeding organizations for help. I continued and got the knack of it. But it's not easy. Whichever route you decide, keep in mind it's your body and your decision and don't let anyone let you think otherwise. Motherhood is difficult enough without being judged by outsiders. The breastfeeding advocates will tell you feeding your child formula is tantamount to giving him rat poison. It's really not true. The formulas are always improving and I did read an article that said it's actually a very small percentage that a breast-fed child has better immunity, is smarter, and everything else the people who tout breastfeeding to be. It is a wonderful bond, but so is the bond of motherhood. You won't be doing anything wrong if you choose to go the formula route. Do what's best for you. Good luck to you.

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D.C.

answers from Raleigh on

Hi R.,

I also had problems with breastfeeding and went through the same feelings of guilt that you are dealing with. I wanted so much to give my son breastmilk for as long as possible, but my body didn't want to seem to cooperate. The stress was making things worse (not to mention the hormones). After talking to some family and friends, I was surprised to find out how many people had formula fed their babies (not to mention that my mom formula fed me from day one - I had NO CLUE!!!). And all of the mothers that formula fed had perfectly happy, healthy babies (and I was not sickly, nor do I have any allergies). I hope other mothers on this website have given you lots of support. Being a new mom is hard enough, you don't need any negativity making you feel badly for doing what's best for your baby. If he is happy and healthy on formula - then keep it up! My son has been eating formula and is now a very healthy 6 week old.

I hope this helps!

-D.

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A.J.

answers from Tucson on

Hey R.!
I am sorry that you had such a terrible experience with the mommy group. Some people are passionate about things like breastfeeding and others are just nutty about it. Not breast feeding in no way makes you a bad mom. If anything it will make you a better mom because you are thinking of your son and his needs over what others are telling you.

A point to think about, there are thousands of infants adopted each year and about 1% of the adoptive mothers can breastfeed. Most of the time there is not enough notice to start the whole process (yes believe it or not you donít have to give birth to produce milk) and once the adoptive momís milk comes in it usually isnít enough to support the baby, so there are special tools to use that have a small tube that you attach so the baby gets formula and your breast at the same time. But most of us adoptive parents choose to formula feed. From all the people I have spoken to none of us have had children with allergies or illness that some people like to scare into you! Our son is now 14 months old and in those 14 months he has had one minor ear infection. Meanwhile the children down the street who were breast fed past the first year are sick more then I would care to mention! Our pediatrician recommended Enfamil with the iron and we stuck with that for 11 months and started to slowly introduce cows milk. Formulas now are so close to the breast its not worth it to beat yourself up. I think most have the same quality of vitamins and such the pediatrician will recommend one for you, likely one they get promoís for.

If you want to feel close to your son when its feeding time, take your shirt off and hold him close with a bottle. He knows who loves him and that is all that matters!

Good Luck!
A.

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J.M.

answers from Tucson on

I completly understand how you feel....My little girl is now almost 8 months but my milk never came in either and it was a huge sore spot with me for a while. Lily is a formula fed baby and VERY healthy.
If you end up exclusivly formula feeding it will be ok...just so you know as far as powder goes enfamil worked the best for my daughter (it seems to disolve much better)
If you need any support or advise about it you can email me at ____@____.com

Hope that helps!!

--J.

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S.H.

answers from Phoenix on

I say that as long as your baby is healthy and thriving on formula that you are doing a great job as a mom. Don't let guilt take away from this fun and special time with your new little one! My sister was never able to breastfeed and my niece and nephew have both graduated from high school and are very healthy and never had health issues. I think all moms feel guilty from time to time and we need to remember that all that is important is if are children are healthy and happy. I felt guilty myself for having to have 2 c-sect and it has taken me a while not to feel inferior to people who have had natural childbirth. As for the moms group, I would find another one because one of the purposes of belonging to a moms group is for support. They sound as if they are too selfish to think about your needs above their own.

Hang in there and enjoy every minute of being a mom, it goes by fast!!

S.
(mom to 4 and 2 year old boys)

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A.R.

answers from Albuquerque on

First off I am so sorry you did not get the support you needed from the mom group. No mother should be treated like that no matter the circumstance. You as a mother have done nothing wrong. Your baby should be priority and you have done that. I am glad to see that you have done the research and you have the support of your husband. Being what your circumstances are you are doing what's best for your child. DO NOT THINK OTHERWISE. However, I will share this bit of advice with you. The beauty of being a mother is that you can make your milk come in at anytime! The science of it is incredible, if you stimulate yourself to produce the milk it will come. The internet is a great source for tips. It will be a bit of a challenge because he is used to a bottle. Pumping will not stimulate the process as well as your baby will. If you want your baby to be breastfeed then breastfeed him. If it becomes to be too much of a problem then bottle feed. You will not be a bad mother. I know plenty of mothers who have bottle fed and their kids have turned out fine. Sickness is inetivable with children, keep that in mind. If your son is doing great than why stop. Don't let the opinion of other mother's keep you from making the right decisions for your son. Good Luck!

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L.G.

answers from Phoenix on

I had a simalar experience with my first child. He also had to be re-admitted to the hospital and was given formula while there. Like you I faithfully pumped every 2 hours trying to get my milk to come in and I continued to offer him the breast. He would either refuse the breast or take it and then continue crying because he was still hungry after trying to nurse. At this point you are probably exhausted trying to keep up with taking care of his needs and trying to pump to encourage your milk supply, and he probably has some nipple confussion after taking a bottle. I was told that sucking from a bottle is much easier than from the breast and of course your baby is going to want the easiest means of nourishment avaliable to him. Do not beat yourself up over this. While breast is best, you need to go with whatever is necessary for your health and your child's. I eventually gave up trying to breast feed and gave my son the bottle. I find it shocking that your mother's group has basically shunned you. They of all people should be supportive no matter what! You have given breast feeding your best shot and due to circumstances beyond your control, it isn't going to work. I don't think you should feel bad in the least. I also wanted to let you know that the experience with my second child was completely different and he was a happy healthy successfully breast fed baby. Just beacuse it doesn't work this time doesn't mean you can't have a wonderful breast feeding experience next time. Hang in there, it will get better.

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T.H.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi R.,

First off, don't let anyone make you feel guilty about formula feeding! Your first responsibility is to ensure your child is being nourished. I was in the same situation. My milk took over 10 days to come in with my son (now 3 years old). I pumped religiously every two hours with a hospital pump. My son also had jaundice and after losing weight, they suggested I start formula. Once he got the bottle he wanted nothing to do with the breast, too much work, lol. I pumped for 9 months but my supply was super low. With my daughter I think I tried everything, I used Fenugreek, blessed thistle, lots of water, rest and nursing on demand, skin to skin contact, saw a lactation consultant, I even used the prescription Domperidone to help boost my supply. I am happy to say she gets about 2/3 of her nutrition from breastmilk but man, that took some work!! The breastfeeding supply stores also have a tincture called More Milk Plus which is a combo of Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle and Goat's Rue. There is also a tea called Mother's Milk at Henry's with Fenugreek and some other stuff but it usually takes A LOT of the tea to help. If you are in to trying natural/homeopathic remedies that is an option. You can also buy bottles of Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle capsules from Henry and it is not that expensive. I have tons of resources on the internet, email me directly if you would like me to send you some. I drove myself nuts about this issue with my son and when I look back now, it was not worth the stress I put on myself. I was in tears and so was he and that is not the way you should spend your first few months with your new baby. I have been much more successful breastfeeding this time around with my daughter (now 7 1/2 months old) but I had learned a lot with my son too (and the lactation consultant said it gets better with each baby, your body learns more each time). I was a little more proactive and knew I wanted to try some homeopathic stuff but if it didn't work out I was not going to stress about it. She still gets some formula because I still do not produce enough. I don't take any of the supplements anymore either. If you want to pursue it, there are some options like I stated above, but the bottom line is do what you can and as long as Logan is healthy, that is what's most important. Shame on those other moms for making you feel bad. I know I felt bad enough about it myself, I didn't need anyone else making me feel guilty. You should be supported in your decision because sometimes we don't have a whole lot of options. Some people take for granted a good milk supply, my mom couldn't breastfeed either, it DOES happen, regardless of what some fanatics will tell you. Good luck and let me know if you want to chat about this off the board.

T.

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M.M.

answers from Phoenix on

Please do not beat yourself up for feeding your baby formula. I also stopped for similar reasons at around 3 weeks, and also felt terrible about it for a while. Sometimes breastfeeding just DOES NOT work. The women who are shunning you from your mother's group should be ashamed! By the way, my baby is now 19 months old, and has always been very healthy.

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J.

answers from Fort Collins on

Hi R.--

My story isn't EXACTLY like yours, but I faced a similar struggle with breast/formula feeding with my son, who is now almost 1 year old. Like you, I started out exclusively breastfeeding and it went fine for about the first month. I started pumping so that my husband could also feed the baby, but when I started doing that I realized that I wasn't producing as much milk as I thought I was; if I pumped, I would barely have enough to feed my son even a few hours later. And since he was getting older and his appetite was growing, it was like he was ALWAYS hungry and I would finish a feeding and pretty much have to start right on the next one. So since I could see that I wasn't giving him much to eat, we started supplementing with formula. It didn't take long for him to start balking at the breast and preferring the formula for whatever reason; ease, taste,the filling qualities, whatever. I continued to force the breast feeding with him because I felt so guilty about having him entirely on formula at such a young age, but finally at 4 months I was sick and tired of fighting with him and having a horribly unhappy baby after each breastfeeding session, so I switched him entirely to formula. I think it was the best thing I could have done. He was satisfied after every meal and generally happier. He has not had any illnesses (except for the common cold) and he doesn't seem to have any allergies except for seasonal, which he showed symptoms of pretty much since the day he was born. I was assured by my dr. that formula is very nutritious and will provide him with all that he needs to grow; my son has always been on the small side so that's another reason I'm glad he's had some heftier food this past year. So drawing upon my experience, I would say that if your son is happy with the bottle feeding, is healthy and is gaining weight well now, don't feel guilty about feeding him that way (like you said, the only other option is starving him which certainly isn't any better!!) There is absolutely nothing wrong with formula feeding. Of course we're all well aware of how much better breast feeding is for a baby, but sometimes it just doesn't work out for whatever reason and that's why they make formula. So don't let anyone make you feel bad or guilty or like a horrible mother; I felt like that plenty before I realized that there's too much else to worry about!:) You are trying to do what seems to be the best for your son and that makes you a GOOD mother! I hope this has helped a little; good luck with it all! Sorry for my kind of long story, but I figured my advice wouldn't make much sense unless you had some background first!

Jenny D.

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D.W.

answers from Phoenix on

You have already received lots of great advice on your breast vs formula feeding question. I like to invite you to the AZ Birth Network birth circle. This is a non-judgemental group that meets several times per month at different locations around the valley. I'm pregnant with my first and have been attending meetings for a few months. We talk about all kinds of topics and everyone takes a different approach. I think you would feel more comfortable there, than with the group you were with. check out www.azbirthnetwork.com

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A.W.

answers from Phoenix on

Let me start by saying that you have been handling this very well. I realize that breast milk is better but not breast feeding doesn't mean that your children aren't going to be perfectly healthy and happy. I tried with my 2 girls to breastfeed my first was eating more than I was supplying so I finally after about 4 mos. switched her totally over to formula. My 2nd child was a premie and spent time in the hospital. My milk never really came in so she also was bottle fed. They are both perfectly healthy and happy as a matter of fact their imune system is stronger than all the other childrens that they play with. So either way don't worry about just go with what happens.

I personally thing that you should tell your mom's group to get stuffed. They are supposed to be there to support each other not make you feel bad about it. I also belong to my local mom's group and we are filled with women who have done both breast and formula and for some of them they have had to do it differently for each child.

You're doing great just let your son and mother nature tell you what to do. In the mean time discuss with your pediatrician about which formula he recommends they have come a long way on making formula closer to breast milk. Enjoy the fact that you can share the feedings with your husband. This allows him to experience this quiet bonding time as well.

Good luck,
A.

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R.T.

answers from Phoenix on

I had the same problem witht he jaundice, but my milk came in. I pumped right away and forced the nurses to feed it to him before the formula. I had the same concerns as you. My Dr. forced my to include formula because of the jaundice and eventually, at about 4 months my son began rejecting me :( Now, my sister did not have her milk come in until her son was about 2days old. We had to keep working on him latching on and get him to suck. The baby is the best stimulant, better than the pump. I suggest working with him at the begining of the feeding and massage your breaast with a warm wash cloth. That helped my milk come in. You dont want to starve him so after a bit of practice on mommy then the formula. I hope that helps :)

I dont think you have anything to worry about. There are tons of healthy formula fed babies. The fact that you are so concerned shows that you are a great mom!

R. T.

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K.W.

answers from Phoenix on

WOW! you have recieved a lot of support here, haven't you? My son wouldn't latch I pumped for 6 months I had more than enough, 16oz every 3 hours. My son just turned 3 and I still have milk. My mom got on me cause he wouldn't latch. I could only do what I could do. Same for you if you don't have it what do those women expect you to do????? As long as you and you son are healthy thats all that matters!!!! Good luck and cherish every minute it really does go by fast!

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B.K.

answers from Phoenix on

I wish I had direct advice about this particular thing, we were lucky with our daughter.

But please keep in mind that everyone's experience with motherhood is their own private experience. I personally think it is extrememley rude of the 'group' you are in to shun you for bottle feeding - especially since you have tried so hard to breast feed!!!

Don't beat yourself up by measuring yourself against everyone else - follow your insticts & do the best you can. With two loving parents I don't see how Logan can be at any disadvantage at all.

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S.T.

answers from Phoenix on

I am a Doula that believes whole heartedly in breastfeeding if you want to. I have helped adoptive mothers breastfeed so I know it is not too late to build up your milk supply if you want to. Contact the Le Leche League website and call the local corrdinator I am sure they will have some wonderful ideas. I know you can go to the health food store and ask them what herbs stimulate your milk glands. http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/pumpwork.html
here is the website and good luck!

S.

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K.F.

answers from Albuquerque on

R. ~ Hi my name is K.. My son is 1 1/2yrs. I tried breast feeding as well and my milk never really came in. I produced a little bit but not enough for his demand. So we ended up having to supplement with formula. It got to the point where he would spit up the breast milk and keep the formula down. So needless to say we fed him formula. I know Presbyterian has lactose coach who can help with breast feeding. The have all kinds of support groups and people to help you. You can look at their website www.phs.org, talk to your physican or peditrician. I'm sorry I don't know the number for you. If you can't find any help there there are many state organizations that support breast feeding.

Best of Luck ~

K.

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