Milk Supply and Formula Questions

Updated on November 02, 2008
K.B. asks from Wichita, KS
63 answers

Hi there. I am a new mom of a 12 day old boy. I am trying to breastfeed, but have found myself frustrated. When I pump I am only getting 2oz total, and that doesn't seem right. My son doesn't feed for a long period of time when I try feeding him but does well with the bottle of milk. My question is...if I'm not able to pump enough milk, is it okay for me to give him formula also?? Any suggestions would help me out, as like I said I am new to all of this. Thanks in advance!

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So What Happened?

Hi everyone! First of all, I want to thank everyone who gave me wonderful advice! My son ended up not latching on at all, and I was having to pump what I could. I am still pumping every 4 hours or so and also giving him formula to make up for the loss. He was on Enfamil with Lipil, but had become constipated so we had to switch to the Enfamil Gentle and that has helped alot. He is drinking 5-6oz every 2 1/2 to 3 hours. We go to the dr. today for our 2month checkup and shots. (exactly 2 months old today) =)) People have said that he is probably ready for cereal, but since I am new to all of this, I have no idea, so I am sure I will be asking more questions in regards to cereal shortly! heheee.

Thanks again for everyone's advice and keep it coming...remember I'm new to all of this, so the more help the better. Anyone have any advice on what to do after they get the shots...am I going to be up all night???????

K.

Featured Answers

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D.B.

answers from Wichita on

i had the same problem when i had my daughter and i found out i just wasnt producing enough milk and i was told it was okay to give them milk...but i ended up switching and went to nestle good start and never had one problem with my daughter

sincerely D.

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S.L.

answers from Joplin on

What makes you comfortable? My daughter went six months on breast milk first, then if she was still hungry, I would give her a bottle of formula. I weaned her completely at 6 months but she hasn't had any problems from taking both.

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S.M.

answers from St. Louis on

When my son was born he was a month early. At that time my body hadn't begun producing the milk either and I was never able to fully breastfeed. I breastfed him as much as I could but when I ran out, I supplemented with formula and he did wonderful. He gained lots of weight and still got all the good nutrients from my body.

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L.R.

answers from Oklahoma City on

K.-I would try mixing the breast milk you are able to pump with formula. That way you are still giving breast milk. Just add 2 ounces of water with 1 scoop of formula to your 2 ounces of breast milk. You can only pump what you are putting out, so if your son is not eating much on your breast, you won't produce much. You may try pumping more frequently if you can and if you really want to breastfeed. I know it is hard, but it has only been 12 days. It will get easier! Hang in there....

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R.C.

answers from Tulsa on

First of all, CONGRATULATIONS on the birth of your little boy!
Secondly, there is absolutely nothing wrong with supplementing with formula if you are not making enough breastmilk. With my first little girl I pumped for 12.5mos with no trouble, so never had to do any supplementing. However, when our second little girl was born I had a really rough time keeping my supply up after the first couple of months. I did what I could, but by 6mos I had to start supplementing the breastmilk with formula. I know this is a later time frame than what you are experiencing right now, but it doesn't matter. The point is, you do what you need to do for you and your baby. If you want to continue to breastfeed and pump as much as you can for your little boy that is wonderful. And then when you need to supplement do so without a heavy heart. As long as your baby is getting the proper nutrition that he needs, that is all that matters. ((hugs))

Oh, and just an extra little tid bit of info for you... If you want to try to increase your milk production levels you can try increasing your water intake and also take Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle daily (both are herbal supplements you can pick up at Atkins or Wild Oats). I took them and they helped my supply enough to get me to the 6mo mark with our second daughter.

Good luck! :)

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H.R.

answers from St. Louis on

My advice is BE PATIENT. It takes time for your body to adjust and around 4-6 weeks your body becomes a supply and demand machine. Your supply will come in as your baby needs. And yes it is ok to supplement with formula if you feel he is not getting enough. My baby is 11 weeks and the first week was soo frustrating because I was having the same issue. I wasnt pumping much So I would give an ounce of formula if she still acted like she was hungry. My baby did fine with the supplements. Eventually my supply came in better and I would say it took a good 3 weeks before I was pumping a little more and she was stasified. Always check with the peditrician but most babies do fine. Some moms are against supplementing and bottles others will tell you like me its ok. Breast feeding is the best way to go but not everyone can do it and babies turn out just fine!!! I just stopped breasting feeding due to me going back to work and not having enough time at work to pump and she does great. Do what you feel is best you will know if your baby needs more or not. Trust your feelings and your baby. I stopped listening to everyone and just listened to my baby. She is a happy healthy chubby baby!

Congrats on the new baby!!!

H.

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M.T.

answers from Kansas City on

I had the same problem with my first, now almost 8 years old. If you are determined to nurse your son, you just have to stick with it, and wait for your body to produce more milk. For me the stress of a new baby, my hormones flying every which way, and my bodies inability to catch up with her eating schedule, bottles and formula was the answer for us. We had to use soy formula. I talked it over with my doctor, and that was the best solution for me. It is so hard to make decisions with a new baby! I think the bottom line is a happy mom makes happy baby - talk it over with your doctor. You aren't the first to go through this and your doctor should have some good advice for you.

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S.B.

answers from Tulsa on

Your Doing GREAT! Make sure you are drinking lots of water that will help increase your milk supply. I have an 8 week old daughter that I am nursing also. If you have breastfeeding questions my sister-in-law is getting certified as a postpartum medula/lactation consultant her e-mail is [email protected]____.com she will answer any questions you have!

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M.H.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi K.!
My name is M., I am a mother of a 8 month old baby girl and my mother-in-law is also a lactation consultant! I also breastfed. Please don't be frustrated or give up on breastfeeding! It is a wonderful thing for both you and the baby! It will be hard and difficult at times, but in the end it is all worth it.

Okay, now lets get down to business about your questions! First of all, NOTHING empties your breast as good as what your baby does-when you pump you will never get the same amount as what your baby gets when he eats from you! When you are pumping, don't pay attention to what milk you are getting in return-look at your baby, concentrate on your baby and how much you love him and how he makes you feel. If you are concentrating and paying attention to how much milk you are pumping, it indeed will stress you out and make you frustrated and that effects your body which effects your supply. Milk supply is based on a supply and demand basis. So the more you feed and the more you pump--the more milk you will start to get and since this is your first baby-your milk supply probally didn't even come in until day 4 or day 5 and up until then the baby was getting colostrum. Your baby should be feeding at least eight times in a 24 our period. If he isn't feeding from you that much, then you need to pump as much. So if he's only eating from you four times a day-then you need to pump at least four times that same day to equal at least 8 times daily.
Keep in mind that it is not how long the baby feeds from you and that just because he doesn't feed for a long time doesn't mean that he isn't getting what he needs. Newborn babies often feed for short periods of time every two to three hours and sometimes more frequently than that. Also when it comes to feeding-keep in mind that if you give the baby bottles frequently at this age he could develop nipple confusion and not take the breast anymore and only want to feed from a bottle. I know that it concerns you with breastfeeding that he isn't getting enough because you can't actually see what amount he is consuming. I had the same concerns. But as long as he is having six to eight wet diapers a day, he is getting enough.
If you indeed want to continue to breastfeed, then my advice to you (which is what my mother-in-law would say) is to just keep toughing it out and feeding your baby boy from your breast as frequently as he would like and to try to stay away from the bottle and only use the bottle if you are out somewhere that doesn't allow for breastfeeding. Babies will not starve themselves-if they are hungry, they will cry and they will eat. Keep track of diapers and how many wet ones you get in a 24 hour period. Also, talk to your pediatrician and keep watching your baby's weight. If your baby isn't gaining weight, then your pediatrician will talk to you about his eating habits. I would stay away from formula if possible as it is much harder on the little babies bodies and digestive system and switching back and forth could reek havoc on their body.

If you indeed are having difficulties with your milk supply, there are things that you can do to increase your milk supply-there are other ways of pumping, medicine, lactation aides, etc. And if you are interested in finding out what those are or in need of someone to talk to then feel free to email me personally and I can give you my phone # so that you can have a support person to contact in times of frustration or need to just talk to someone. If interested email [email protected]____.com.

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A.H.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi K.,
I have three children, 6,4 and 21 months. I nursed all of them until about 18 months. I was never great at pumping and only got minimal amounts. But my children did nurse for good periods of time. Are you concerned about your milk supply? I have heard of people who nurse and supplement formula also. I have also heard of nipple confusion, your breast and the bottle, especially at young ages. Anyhow, visit www.lalecheleague.org. There is a lot of information about breastfeeding there. hope this was a bit helpful! good luck and congratulations!

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R.H.

answers from Tulsa on

hi, my name is R. and i have a one year old little girl. i had the same problem with my daughter. i would try to breastfeed and she wasn't getting satisfied. when i pumped i only could get 2oz also. i had no other choice than to switch to formula. when i did she started sleeping through the night and was less fussy. it was great. i would try it.

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K.K.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi K., I am a mom of a 3 year old whom I nursed until she was 33 months (it gets lots easier). I am actively involved in our local bf support group and involved in the state coalitions for bf.

You are doing a great job and it's VERY normal to feel just like you are. A couple of things to keep in mind, a tiny baby (such as yours) has a stomach the size of a marble... Now - that 2 oz doesn't seem so little, does it - that's a lot of milk to fit in a marble!

If you supplement with formula, you are actually lessening your milk production. The way to increase your milk supply is to nurse him more frequently - or nurse and then between that feeding and the next pump.

He will soon be going through a growth spurt - which will probably freak you out because all he does is eat - but that, too is normal!

He's still little and learning how to do all of this. (And you are still learning too - infact, we never stop.). But, you'll never regret the decision to nurse your baby! It's the greatest gift a mom can give for their child's entire life.

A great website is: www.kellymom.com (it's not affiliated with me). Also, you should give the lactation nurse at the hospital your son was born - she can probably also help you with reassurance, information and other assistance. She may be able to tell you of a support group or LLL meetings.

Hang in there!
Keep up the great, wonderful, awesome work!
K.

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S.B.

answers from Wichita on

Hello K.!! Congratulations on your new bundle of joy! I have a 5 month old little girl (who is my third child). The joys of breastfeeding....number one rule (and trust me I know it is hard to do) don't get frustrated. It is okay. He is only 12 days old. I pump and I normally get 6 oz. That is using a double breast pump and I normally pump for 10 min. The more you feed him on your breast the more milk supply will build for him. His feeding cycles will produce the milk. Make sure you still drink lots of water, and when you feed him relax. Go to a quiet room and enjoy the suckling sounds and the newborn smell. When you pump you need to do the same thing relax. What helps me is a picture of my little one smiling, if I don't have my picture of her I read a book. I do want to let you know that there are all kinds of Le Leche League programs out there that have all kinds of info and would love to help. www.ivillage.com is a wonderful website. If you just want to talk and ask questions I would love to help you.

~S.

A little about me: I am a mother of three, and have been married for a wonderful 6 years. I love to fish, hunt, and spend time with the family. I have been blessed with three wonderful children.

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J.L.

answers from Springfield on

Hello, My name is J., I have an 11 month old son. I am breastfeeding, so I may be able to help you. Are you just feeding him out of the bottle or just your breast? Formula is better than just regular Milk. I have had friends that have had this problem... DON'T give up! First... are you eating and drinking enough? If you baby does not eat alot all at once, then break it down. I "literally" was feeding my son EVERY 10 minutes. Dedication, is the key. Now, I have never had my son on the bottle, but my friends have. One of my friends has always nursed her baby, and also supplemented with the formula. I am a "COW", so I did not need to do that. They have a saying, "The more you milk the more you produce". Allow your son to nurse off of you first! If he has not satisfied himself, then give him a bottle of formula. Do not try to put him on a "Schedule" of every couple of hours. It does not work, especially if you are going to breastfeed. If my son cried, it was for 3 reasons, one: HUNGRY! two: wet/dirty diaper three: needed attention! Are you a stay at home mom, or a working mom? Please, let me know how it works out. Good luck! Jen

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M.W.

answers from Tulsa on

K.-

Hello! Hang in there!! My son is now 6 months old now & still eating us out of house & home!
I breast fed him until 4 months but at 2 months had to also add formula. He was eating 10 ounces off of me & then eating a 6 to 7 ounce bottle. He is an eater!
So don't worry about alot of eating. I had trouble with my milk when he & I were sick together with thrush for a month & my lactation nurse had me use More Milk Plus by MOtherlove. It's all natural & you can find it at nutrition or special maternity stores. You start out taking 4 a day & then cut down. I was completely full by the 3rd day & went down to only one a day. It was wonderful! Good luck!! And with the shots, my son was just a little sore on his legs so I gave him a warm bath & massaged his legs & then gave him some tylenol & he was fine the rest of the night.

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J.M.

answers from Joplin on

I had trouble breastfeeding with my second child. I had a breast reduction 2 years before she was born and the surgeon tried to do it so I could still produce milk - which I could - but not very much. I was told to try pumping in between feedings with my daughter so that way I was stimulated more and would produce more. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get very much. So I just suplemented with the formula. I'm not for sure what the "experts" say - but I would feed her breast milk (which wasn't very much so of course she was still hungry) and then give her some formula. I loved breastfeeding and believe that it truely does benifit your child - so this was my way of being able to still give her some of my breast milk and also still fulfill her hunger. (I only did this for a couple of months.) I stopped doing it because she was getting sick to her stomach and I thought it was because of this - but it turns out she was just getting sick from the brand of formula - so we had to switch the expensive stuff (haha). Hope this helps.

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G.N.

answers from St. Louis on

Congrats on your new baby boy. Make sure you drink lots of water always have water with you whenever you are nursing. Try not to get stressed, being stressed will cause the milk flow to lessen. Relax, Relax, Relax...I heard if you had a breast reduction or breast inplants it could be a problem for the milk supply. (Just thought I would bring that to your attention). I had problems in the beginning with my milk supply I wasnt drinking enough water and I tried pumping I was having the same problem with my milk supply nothing was happening, so I started to drink lots of water and my milk came in lots, I was getting engorged and had to pump and lots was coming out. Oh its ok to supplement formula if your not able to breastfeed.

Good Luck and again congrats on your bundle of Joy

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M.M.

answers from Springfield on

Well, I think the first thing to say is that I applaud you for even attempting to breastfeed in the first place. I just recently weaned my daughter after 13 months of nursing, and I really feel that it was the most special time of my life.

That being said...if you really feel very dedicated to breastfeeding, try not to give yuor baby the bottle anymore. Establishing a breastfeeeding rhythm with your baby can be challenging, and the best advice I heard, and stuck to, was this: "Go to bed and breastfeed". Now, this does not literally mean lie in your bed and nurse. What it does mean is keep your baby close enough so they can feed "on cue". Babies are born to breastfeed, and it is a skill that is genetically encoded in them, but like any skill, they need plenty of time and opportunities to practice. I think the reason that breastfeeding doesn't always work nowadays is that the mothers do not have the luxury I did, which was to lounge on m,y couch for the firat week of my baby's life and literally just keeo her at my breast. She would sleep and nurse and cuddle and that's pretty much it. I had a wonderful husband and mother and friends who came over to help out a lot. I had some healing to do, so I literally could not get up and walk to much. I thought it would be hard, but it turned out to be a blessing, because it allowed me to bond and really get the breastfeeding thing down.

So...my advice is this. if you are able, just camp out with your little baby for a few days. Keep him at your side, at your breast, and any time he starts rooting around, give him the boob. Sometimes they will want to nurse several times in an hour. Just let them.. This will do 2 things; one, it will establish your milk supply, and two, it will give him time to hone his skills. It's important to have things like a big jug of water and snacks within reach, because hydration is another key issue in supply. And try to resist giving him that bottle for a while. There will come a time probably when he needs it, but since he is so tiny and you are with him now, your breast is really best.

Good luck, and please feel free to contact me again! I love encouraging moms to breastfeed!

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A.C.

answers from St. Louis on

It is ok to give him formula but it will most likely lead to you stop breast feeding! he is getting enough, your milk will come more the more as he starts to eat more! don't worry about it. just wait and all will work out fine!

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B.H.

answers from Kansas City on

2 oz is enough for a 12 day old. remember, their little tummies are only the size of ther little fists. it can't hold very much. if your serious about breastfeeding, and have questions/concerns then you should contact a lactation consultant. there should be one at you local hospital.

Congrats on the new baby and for breastfeeding.

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N.

answers from Rockford on

If you don't HAVE to pump....don't do it! The baby will get more from your breast and you will keep your supply up/increase you supply better by having him nurse directly from your breast. I nursed two girls and even after becoming an established nurser I never got much from a pump. I agree with the advise to relax. Good Luck!

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M.H.

answers from Wichita on

hi..my name is M. and i have a 2mth old son, and a 3 yr old daughter...i know that breastfeeding is supposed to be a time for bonding with the child, and have all these nutriants..but if your baby is as greedy as my son..you may wanna go with the formula totally...if not you'll have a kid hanging from you 24-7! :)..even though formula can be expensive...check with his pediatrician, and go from there..i get the baby formula from Sam's club...you get alot which last awhile.let me know if it works...oh yeah...if you do enfamil with lipel and he gets constipated, add a little bit of KARO syrup (the clear kind)to the formula..it's kinda like a laxative for newborns...works everytime...and DO NOT give him cereal yet...his little belly can't handle it yet, wait until he is about 4-6 mths old.

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R.H.

answers from Springfield on

I breastfed my youngest the day he was born. same with the others. my youngest was a week old when I sarted school and he got formula when I wasn't able to leve enough milk for him he gains weight well,and is developing well. a good way to tell if he is getting enouph is if he starts falling a sleep when he eats. my youngest would snack a lot befor he got his routine.on average he has been gaining about a pound a month.

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M.G.

answers from Wichita on

Hey K.,

I am a mother of two boys ages 2 and 9months. First make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids, and eating good meals. Also, babies that age usually eat about 15 minutes each side. Remember their stomachs aren't that big. You can also try pumping your milk and mixing it with the formula. Is he latching on well to your nipple, sometimes if they aren't latching on right they won't be able to get a lot of milk. Try not to get frustrated, because babies can sense it too. I had troubles breast feeding with my first son, but we did finally get the hang of it. Also try contacting La Leche League they can also give you advice and I know they might have a breast-feeding meeting that you and your son can attend! I hope I was able to help you out. Take care, relax, and when you feel the frustration take a breather smile and try again!

M.

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L.

answers from Oklahoma City on

My first advise: if you want to breastfeed successfully, don't add formula. You need to push to get your milk supply up. Second, I don't think 2 oz is bad for a 12 day old. I have an 11 month old. I breastfed for 7 1/2 months. I went back to work when she was 1 month and pumped while at work. At first I got 2-4 oz, then it increased to 6-8 oz, then it decreased to 4 oz, then increased again. My milk supply fluctuated based on how much she needed, how regularly I pumped or let her nurse, and how much fluid, food and rest I was getting. Don't stress this early. If your baby is happy and acts satisfied after a feeding, you are probably fine. My daughter would nurse for 5 minutes per side. I read books that said they should nurse for 20 min. She NEVER did that. But my breast was empty after each feeding and she was growing fine. Some babies can suck it out quick! I think that's a good problem. Keep up the good work.

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C.S.

answers from Joplin on

Hi. I have an 11 month old and when he was born I produced milk, but he had a hard time understanding the concept of breastfeeding. So he didn't get very much that way, but my doctor told me to top him off with a formula of our choice. They suggested that we start with enfamil with iron and go from there. If your child has a hard time with the formula, like an upset stomach or something, consult your doctor. We had to do that with my son. Don't hesitate to try it.

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M.F.

answers from Tulsa on

dont feel guilty about it try your hardest but its ok to give a bottle if needed also a electric pump after a bath helped me some.

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J.T.

answers from Wichita on

I went through the same thing with my son who is now 14mo. I always breastfeed, but when it came to my husband and I needing to run errands or just have some time away the baby we did give him formula. It made it so much nicer not to have to worry about whether we had enough breast milk to hold him over so we could go to dinner and a movie or not. I also used Similac that seemed to digest a lot better than anything else.

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L.F.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Congratulations! I agree with Shannon. Relax!! It takes time. I have 3 great kids who were all three breastfed. I had alot of trouble with the pump the first 2 or 3 weeks but the more you relax the better. Also, I had to try a couple of different styles of pumps before I found one that worked well for me. Just relax and enjoy this time, you'll do great.

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M.P.

answers from Bloomington on

Hi K.. I had the same problem that you did when I first started breastfeeding. First, when you feed your son does he seem happy afterwards? If so he's getting enough each feeding. If he seems fussy, then you could use formula too. I would discuss your issues with your pediatrician first. Our daughter wasn't gaining enough so we had to supplement with formula also. Second, I learned when you pump it's different with the amount your baby gets when he feeds off you. I hope this helps you. Don't get discouraged!

M.

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C.T.

answers from Wichita on

Hi K.! and congrats on your little one! We just had our baby boy two months ago and I had the same problem with my milk supply. My lactation consultant told me that eating oatmeal helps boost milk production so I ate Oatmeal cookies and it helped a ton! Also pumping doesnt remove as much milk as the baby does so I recently went from exclusively(sp) pumping to feeding from the breast for a few of the feedings. Getting your breasts as empty as possible also helps since breastmilk works on supply and demand. Hope that helps and congrats again! Isnt it amazing the things you can still acomplish on so little sleep!
C.

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L.C.

answers from Springfield on

Something that most moms don't know is that the pump "nurses" differently then the baby. I nursed my daughter for 14 months and never got more than 1 ounce out of either of my breasts when I pumped. And I just knew (by diapers, wieght, and contentment) that my duaghter was getting alot more. And the more you breastfeed the more milk you will produce! So if he's wanting to nurse often, than he's just upping your milk supply! Our God made our bodies amazing! Contact a lactation consultant to get the best help! And good job breastfeeding this long! Good luck!

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J.H.

answers from Kansas City on

Dear K.:
There are some unanswered questions in your letter.I was puzzled about why you were pumping, unless you are back to work and leaving your son with a sitter, that is the reason most moms pump routinely. Are you pumping because your nipples are too sore? Is your baby having trouble latching on? A breastfeeding baby your son's age who is routinely offered a bottle is very likely to learn to prefer a bottle nipple to your breast because drinking from a bottle is physically easier for a baby. As far as feeding frequency goes, all four of my breastfed sons were nursing every two hours around the clock at your son's age, and I was told by my doctor that that was normal and expected. Bear in mind, too, that feeding your baby formula frequently will decrease his appetite for your milk, and your milk production will drop. Have you discussed any of these issues with your son's doctor? That is what he/she is there for, and can help you with feeding problems or questions, however, is vital to have a doctor who is very supportive of breastfeeding. I also was a member of La Leche League for several years. The help and advice from the leader of my group, and the mutual help and support I received from the other mothers in my group was priceless.
Good Luck,
J. H.

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B.S.

answers from Kansas City on

I breastfed both of my kids and I NEVER had any luck with pumping. I bought 3 different pumps and none of them got more than an ounce or two at a time and it took 20 minutes just to get that! Luckily for me my kids were great at latching on from the beginning. My son started actually eating and getting milk about the 2nd or 3rd day after he was born, and of course it wasn't much, but my supply and his appetite both increased as time went on. My daughter was a pro from day 1!
Yes, don't give cereal so young unless otherwise advised by your pediatrician. Babies aren't supposed to start on cereal until 4-6 months, and breastfed babies tend to be toward the latter end of that anyway. Good luck!

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M.M.

answers from Tulsa on

Your baby is only 12 days old. His little tummy can only take about 2 ounces at a time. YOur body knows this, so it only produces enough for what the baby needs at this time. It is a supply demand things. Once he starts eating more at a sitting, your body will produce more. If you really want to breastfeed, DONT Give him formula. You can do it. Just be patient with your body. Your baby knows what he needs and your body will respond to that. Good Luck. Enjoy this time, because it goes by so fast.

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B.S.

answers from Tulsa on

hi there! I had the same exact problem. Even down to only being able to pump 2 oz. My daughter is a year and a half now, and I breastfed her and supplemented with formula from the day she was born to 3 1/2 months. She just ate so much that I wasnt able to keep up, and my body never adjusted to making more milk, because I would feed her for 15 min., then she would scream in hunger and i would quickly get her a bottle. Milk supply is very sensitive to what you are doing! It automatically adjusts to your breastfeeding activities. The important thing to remember is that your baby is still getting the good things he needs even in the small amounts. Dont worry about it, breastfeeding and supplementing with formula is very common! Some people will tell you that if you do that, your baby will reject your milk. That was not true for me, or any other moms I have ever talked to. Trust your instinct on breastfeeding.

M.G.

answers from Dallas on

K.,
If you are trying to breastfeed only, the last thing you want to do is give him a bottle before he has established himself as a good nurser. It is much easier for him to take a bottle because he does not have to work as hard. When you put him to the breast and he loses interest it is because he is not getting instant gratification. I suggest trying to express at least a drop of milk onto the your nipple first before putting him to you breast, that way he knows there's milk in there. I nursed all five of my children and every one of them had a different experience with nursing. I was never able to pump. Two ounces of milk was like two ounces of gold. None of the different pumps worked on me and I would get so frustrated. And I found with my children they would nurse ever hour to an hour and a half. If they went 3 hours at night without eating I was in heaven. Your body will produce as much milk as your baby needs so let him nurse past the point of "emptying". The sucking is letting your body know to produce more milk. This is especially important if you are unable to pump. If you are still having difficulties and truely want to nurse your son, call your local La Leche League Leader.

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K.F.

answers from St. Louis on

I was in a similar situation, and was able to BF my first child (now 3 1/2) with minimal supplements per day. I'm on baby #2 now (3.5 months), and the same system is working for us again. BF can be very difficult in the beginning, as you are sleep deprived and worried that your baby isn't getting enough to eat, but is is so worth it if you can hang in there! My sister-in-law told me that if we could make it to 6 weeks it would get easier, and she was right. The BEST help I had in the area was from the staff at Kangaroo Kids, a children's resale/maternity support center staffed by lactation consultants. They are wonderful women who never tire of answering questions and being supportive, and recommending how to proceed in case of "problems". They sell many types of supplements to help milk production, and sell/rent pumps and scales. They also have several mother's groups that meet there, including a BF mom's group. They are located at 10090 Manchester Road (between Kirkwood and Webster Groves) and their number is ###-###-####. http://www.kangarookidsonline.com
Best of luck to you -- you can't give your baby a more precious gift than breastfeeding him!

K.

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M.A.

answers from Bloomington on

I too am a first time mom and was new to everything so I know how you feel. My son is now 12 months old...

If you are really serious about wanting to breastfeed, I would keep at it. Sometimes it takes a while for those little guys to catch on to whats going on. I always had a hard time pumping so I would actualy pump one side while nursing on the other side, this way my "let-down" was already happening and it kept my supply up. It is totally okay to supplement with formula if you need to. Even breastfeeding a little has major health benefits for you and your son. Hope this helps and I wish you the best.

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K.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

I was in the same boat. It seemed that no matter how much and how often I pumped, I never could get enough milk the first six weeks. We had to supplement with formula, but I kept pumping through the entire six weeks. I never was able to increase my supply and finally switched to all formula. My son is now 3 months old and growing quickly.

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K.Z.

answers from Peoria on

The only thing I can add to the advice already listed is to drink plenty of water. Every time I felt there wasn't enough milk, I would get a bottle of water for myself, within 20 minutes I would feel my milk let down & be able to pump & or nurse again. It's easy to forget to drink enough fluids with a newborn in the house. Enjoy these precious moments, don't let worries keep you from that.

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R.C.

answers from Topeka on

Usually at that age babies don't eat more than 2-3 oz at a time. It's normal to get 2 oz. Keep feeding him every 2-3 hours during the day and if he skips a feeding then pump. It's ok to give formula but the more you stimulate your breasts the more milk they will produce. It may take a week or so to get your supply built up...I would definately keep breastfeeding as often as possible. I guess I have other questions...does he seem hungry after breastfeeding?? If so you can give him 1-2 oz of forumula. Is he gaining weight or "thriving" if so then he is getting what he needs even if it doesn't seem like it. Do you think he's not nursing long enough?? Most babies feed for 10-20 minutes total, BUT my son nursed 25-30 min. on each side when he was that age, turns out he just need to comfort suck. Ok, hope some that helps and makes sense!

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J.S.

answers from Springfield on

First time around, it is scary. My doctor had always told me that my body would always make enough milk to keep up with my baby's demand. Lots of babies are on a combination of milk and formula, so don't feel bad if you honestly think you need to supplement. You will catch on very quickly to read your baby's cues to you, if you haven't already. If you feel he isn't full, you can always try to give him a small bottle and see how much he eats after he nurses. That will tell you if he's still hungry, or if something else is the problem. Good luck and make sure to always follow your instinct. Mother's instinct is a lot more reliable than you may think.

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L.C.

answers from Bloomington on

Hey. Congrats on the new baby! I breastfed my daughter and pumped for my son since he was born 2 months early and was in the NICU for 6 weeks. My advice is to keep it up. It is a learning experience for you and the baby. And 2 oz. after 12 days is not bad. And if you do have to put him on some formula, don't feel bad about it. You did at least try. Some moms don't even try and that is ok, too.
Good Luck! L.

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M.R.

answers from St. Louis on

It is ok to supplement but if you are interested to keep breastfeeding, which I would encourage you too, a friend of mine told me that when I was pumping and I had no more milk to pump for a minute or two after and it would tell your body that you needed to produce more milk and you would start producing more. You can take this next advice or leave but I breast feed for 7 months and decided at that time I was tired of pumping at work so I winged him off, by the way it ended up being a hugh mistake to stop. I've already decided my next one I will breast feed for a year. Best of luch with your new bundle of joy.

LOL
M.

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R.R.

answers from Springfield on

Hi there! When I started breast feeding my son I was not too successful. Ane when you get frustrated, it doesn't help too much. I am not sure if you ever heard that breast feeding is a mental thing, if you upsest and frustrated it will affect your milk supply. I was told to just sit and hold my son skin to skin, and relax. I also didn't get very much milk from pumping either. I am not sure what pump you are using, but I had to go to an electric one, it made the world of difference. Another thing I did was wait to give my son a bottle, I have researched and learned that some babies if given a bottle too soon will prefer a bottle to the breast. The reason for this is that with a bottle they really don't have to work for it, the milk comes out easily, and with the breast they really need to work to get it out. I gave my son his first bottle at 6 weeks, I was able to breast feed exclusively for the first six weeks.. this may have been what helped me. Before I started with the electric pump and staying calm the pediatrician gave me formula to supplement, when he did that I became very determined to breast feed only. I hope this helps you out.

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J.G.

answers from St. Louis on

K.,
Don't worry too much about your milk supply right now. Giving your baby formula at this point would do more harm than good. Your milk supply works based on supply and demand. Giving your baby formula will deplete the amount of milk you are providing. At twelve days old, your baby's stomach is about the size of a walnut. The important factor is whether or not he is having wet & dirty diapers. When babies are so new, it is important not to get too hung up on a "schedule" . It is important to feed newborns every 2-3 hours, but if your little one seems hungry before that, do not hesitate to feed him sooner. He is the one who determines your milk supply. If he demands more, you will supply more simply by nursing him. Pumping can be challenging, and you can expect it to take at least 10 times of pumping to "bond" with the pump. It is likely that you are producing a little less milk for the pump than for your baby, but don't worry, following your baby's hunger ques will be the best determinant for how often to pump or nurse. If you are really concerned that he is not getting enough, or if he is not wetting & dirtying diapers, you can take him to a lactation consultant at your local hospital or a maternity support center like Kangaroo Kids on Manchester. They will weigh your baby before & after feedings to see how many ounces of milk your little bean is actually getting. Thank you for giving your baby breastmilk!!
Warmly,
J. Guttmann, CD(DONA International)

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J.A.

answers from St. Louis on

If you want your son to breastfeed you need to stop using a bottle for a while until he gets well established with the breast. Your breast milk will be produced according to how much is used. The bottle delivers a much easier supply of milk than the breast does, in other words a baby doesn't need to suck much to get "milk" from a bottle, but they do to get it from the breast, at this age it is not recommended to go back and forth. I breast fed my daughter and I just had to feed her more frequently. Breast feeding is basically an on demand feeding regimen, and as long as your baby continues to gain weight, you're good.

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D.G.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi K., Here are some tips for you. Breastfed babies nurse about every 2 hours. If your baby is sleeping alot you need to wake him up to nurse. try patting his back or feet or undress him to his diaper to keep him awake. he should nurse for about 20 min. to however he is interested per feeding . try switching him for one side to another. burp him between switching. it is important that you nurse him alot to build up your supply. try not to worry about pumping this early in the game. if it is because family wants to feed him there are other ways they can bound with him like bathing, changing , rocking him, taking care of him so you can shower, nap, eat. if you give him a bottle it can cause nipple confussion because it is easier to get milk from a bottle than a breast and he can refuse to nurse at all. if you are going back to work in six weeks or so start pumpin a few weeks before you go back to work. and getting 2 oz when you pump is great. that is an avrage amount. so you just need to relax and not pressure yourself. also he should have about 10 wet/dirty diapers in a 24 hour period. to keep track try setting out just ten diapers at a time and you can keep track. also you can contact Le Leche League who has a central line in St. Louis they are a great resourse for moms. I was a Leader and nursed 3 kids. Best of luck-D.

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B.C.

answers from St. Louis on

I know you have received lots of advice and some of it probably differs. Do talk to a lactation consultant. I know they have some great ones at Missouri Baptist Hospital. Next, I would want to know what kind of pump you are using? Rent one from Walgreens - the Medela brand, if you can at all afford it ($60 per month, prorated for less time than that). Finally, 2 oz of milk per feeding is normal for a 12 day old baby. Don't worry so much so long as he isn't crying for food less than ever 90 minutes. If he will nurse for about 10 minutes on each breast you are doing great. Concerns would be sore or cracked nipples, pain with nursing (baby not latching on properly), baby crying constantly (not being fed enough, potentially). My pediatrician was very kind to me, as I had the same concerns when my daughter was born. He let me come into the office for free "weights" just to prove to me that she was growing (of course, babies lose a couple pounds the first week or so, they should start gaining again around the second to third week, your pediatrician can explain). Keep trying to nurse the baby, even if you must pump afterwards and give a bottle. I pumped and fed my daughter with the bottle (though always offering the breast first and for comfort)for her first 2 weeks of life, then my milk supply took off and I've been exclusively nursing her ever since. She will be 6 months the first of October. Hang in there. Things will get better!

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L.W.

answers from St. Louis on

Pumping doesn't always result in much milk, babies are MUCH more effective than pumps. Can you simply nurse when he needs to eat? You will run the risk of supply issues if you suppement...the more you nurse the more milk your body makes. It takes a good few months to get your supply right. Nursig gets easier but I would encourage you NOT to supplement. And you might want to consider contacting La Leche or a lactation consultant.
L.

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S.C.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi K.,

I know you posted this five months ago, but...I am a certified lactation counselor and was compelled to read through all of the suggestions you received. How confusing to get such conflicting information! But, how wonderful to have received such great support from other mothers! Sometimes that alone can make all the difference. I am the owner of a store called Kangaroo Kids in Glendale, Mo, just east of Kirkwood. I was delighted to see that a mom had mentioned our store to you. As I mentioned, we are certified lactation counselors and we do it for FREE. You can call or come in anytime to get help or questions answered or even just a good old pep talk! I wanted to let you know about our nursing mother's group that meets every Thursday at 12:30. We'd love to see you there! Congratulations on you baby! You're doing a great job! Remember, this is important work!

Warm Regards, S.

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J.F.

answers from Oklahoma City on

I think it is ok to do both. U need to do what is best for your baby. And mommas know best. Just becareful cause until his bodyis use to the breast milk and formula.. he will probably get constipated. Congradulations on your lil boy! .. Good luck.. don't give up

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E.R.

answers from St. Louis on

I gave birth to my daughter almost 6 weeks early b/c my placenta had detached. Meaning that I almost bled to death whiel in labor. She was taken my c-section and I spent 3 days in ICU and had a blood transfution. By about day 4 I was well enough to start pumping for breast milk, and finally got to try my hand at breastfeed when my daughter was 2 weeks old. Needless to say, all the tramua effected my milk supply. I pumped and breast fed...and had to suppliment with formula. I would breast feed her until she would stop, burp her, and then give her a bottle of formula. I had to...I just didn't produce enough milk. I fought with this for 4 months when I finally decided that I couldn't do it anymore, and she was switched over to formula. She is now a very healthy, tall, smart 2 year old.
So in the end....yes it is fine to mix. Sometimes things just don't work out the way you want and you have to roll with the punches. Don't let anyone make you feel bad b/c you don't breast feed exculsively. We have to just do our best....

Good Luck
E.

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L.C.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Hi K.. My son would not breastfeed at all. He got used to the bottle in NICU. However, I did continue to pump. It can be frustrating b/c each time you pump, you get different amounts. I suggest pumping more frequently (I did every 2-3 hours) and also, increase your water intake. I am still pumping and my son is almost 8 months. As he has gotten older and has started baby food, my supply decreased. I tried a tea to increase milk production. It's called Mother's Milk and can be found at Akin's. It has worked for me. Good luck!!!

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T.C.

answers from Wichita on

I exclusively pumped for my son because of a birth defect and i had to supplement with formula. I put one part formula to three parts breastmilk. The more you pump, the more milk you will produce. I pumped every two hours for about 3 weeks and then went to every three hours.

T.

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A.E.

answers from Rockford on

hello i just read ur story and i seen on tv once that they put a warm washcloth onthe breast when feedin or pumping and it helps the milk flow better.
If it really works i have no clue but u dont hurt to try. goodluck:)
i have never breast fed and i have three children i know its healthier for the baby. I think formula is good too. some people just cant breast feed.

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K.H.

answers from St. Louis on

Keep in mind that the pump does not get all of your available milk. Your son will stimulate the glands necessary to produce more milk, and the let down is stronger when he eats vs. the pump. 2 oz at less than 2 weeks is great, you'll notice that it is still yellowish, that is still some colostrum. Relax, and if you are uncomfortable with the amount or you think your little one is not thriving, you can supplement, but remember this will deplete your supply, not enhance it. It is a very personal decision and you need to do what you think is right.
Breastfeeding is not easy at the beginning, I have breastfed 2 now and my last, 5mo old daughter and I had a rough go, she wouldn't latch on, but we got through it and now she's a pro.

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K.B.

answers from Nashville on

Oh! You are pumping plenty! I breastfed my 2 year old daughter and my 5 month old son, and when they very first start they only eat a few teaspoons of milk. It doesn't sound like you need to supplement with formula and if you did it might interfere with the amount of milk you produce, especially in the first few weeks. When I would pump for my son when he was a couple of weeks old I only got a little over an ounce, but now when I pump, I get almost 4 ounces! So you see your body produces only as much as the baby needs. If you add in the formula, then the body will produce less because he is eating less and then you start a vicious cycle. The things that I did to help out my milk supply the most was 1) Drink a LOT of water. A LOT OF WATER! 2) Pump a bottle send your husband into your babies room and sleep four uninterrupted hours at least once per week. When you are tired, your body does not produce as much milk either. Seriously, if you take care of yourself, it will be better for you AND your baby. After a few more weeks, I'd say 3-4, it will not interfere so much with your milk supply to supplement with formula. Once my son was a couple months old, I was able to leave him with his dad all day on Saturdays with pumped milk and formula for back up and my milk still came in like a champ, but give it a little time if it's important to you to breastfeed.

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A.H.

answers from Springfield on

I had to pump early on, too. I was averaging about what you are and they told me that it was fine. Its hard to gauge when you're breastfeeding, but in general you should produce what they need. They eat so frequently at that age and its more like they're having little snacks than full course meals. I know for me it felt like if he was awake he was eating! Perhaps you could call on a lactation consultant to put your mind at ease. I know mine was a wonderfully kind lady and helped me quite a bit. Hope this helps a little.

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T.S.

answers from Kansas City on

Congratulations on becoming a new mommy!!! It sounds like you have received a lot of great advice... and I commend you for nursing for this long... !!
Keep up the hard work, dont get discouraged... it is the most selfless job in the world... on top of being a mom...
Keep in mind what everyone here has written... your baby can suck more than a pump. My son would nurse for an hour... which meant technically I would only get an hour to myself, before I would have to feed him again.
The more I nursed, and the longer, the easier it got for both of us... I am weening now, down to two feedings a day... and they are only about ten minutes. :)

GOOD LUCK!!!

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J.L.

answers from Springfield on

I am not really sure why you are giving a bottle and pumping at this point, but here is my advice. STOP BOTH NOW. Don't do any pumping for at least the first 4 weeks. You are not allowing your baby time enough to establish a good milk supply. Let him feed as often as he would like. My daughter ate about every one to two hours for the fist couple of weeks. Once you have gotten the nursing down pat and your son seems satisfied after each feeding (i.e. no longer fussing). Then you can start pumping for 10 minutes after each feeding in order to build up your supply of frozen milk for when you need it. WHATEVER YOUR DO - DON"T SUBSTITUTE. That will make your milk supply become even less. I have found the book "The womanly art of breastfeeding" to be a wonderful source for breastfeeding questions. I strongly suggest that you purchase a copy and read it at once. Hope I helped.

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T.H.

answers from Kansas City on

all great responses above, i have been in both courts, my first was BF and supplemented with formula from day one- had great milk supply and he never had issues going back and forth, my second(3.5 mo) is EBF and we are doing great, i have had some up and down days with my milk supply, a couple things that help me for increasing milk are-- TONS of water-I keep my hospital mug with me 24/7 and drink at least 3-4 during the day, I also eat oatmeal or the quaker oatmeal to go bars are great in the am-- both help me keep my milk up-- if you are struggling, find a lactation consultant to talk to (and ask around or let them know it may just not work for you so you want to consider formula/supplementing too- there are many who go with the mom's feelings, but many who are what I call "BFing Nazi's" and only think that BF is the way to go--find one you are comfortable with and make your decision based on what feels right to you!)
Good Luck!

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