Need Advice on Formula Supplement

Updated on January 05, 2010
J.C. asks from Keokuk, IA
20 answers

Hello Moms, I'm needing some advice on the best formula to supplement with. My daughter is 5 months old and has only had breastmilk thus far. However, my frozen supply is gone and I don't seem to be producing as much as I used to and when she is not with me she eats more it seems like then I can keep up with pumping. Anyway, I am continueing to pump and giving her everything I can but the times she needs more I need to have a formula for her. Does anyone have any recommendations? We used Enfamil with my son when this happened but I was looking at Walmart and the Parents Choice brand has an Advanced formula that says it is most like breast milk so I'm wondering if that would be a better choice. The other benifit to the Parents Choice is it is half the price which would be helpful but I'm not going to put price over quality when it comes to nutrition for 6 months. I just don't know the big difference and was wondering if anyone out there did or has come recommendations. Thank you!

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for your responses. I am a working mother and have tried fenugreek and the mothers milk tea so this was my last resort. I finally broke down and bought a can of formula but in the past week she has only had to have one bottle and doesn't seem to mind it. I am pumping as much as I can when I'm at work to send to daycare with her the next day and nursing her whenever I am with her. So I am doing everything I possilby can to continue to give her breastmilk but it comes down to the point when I don't have enough to give her she needs something to get her by during the day. Thank you to those of you who were understanding of that fact! I was really upset about the fact my milk supply was decreasing but I am dealing with it better now. Thanks again!

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answers from Davenport on

J.- I'm in the exact same spot as you. My son is 10 months and I ran out of frozen a couple weeks ago and I'm not a great pumper so I can't pump a full bottle for him. He takes 8 oz bottles, so I put in as much breastmilk as I pumped from the day before and make up the difference with formula. That way I'm hoping the breastmilk will help him digest the formula and balance it out. I've been using Enfamil brand but I've heard that the generic brands are basically the same as far as nutrition- just compare the labels. He should be fine no matter which brand you choose because you're still giving him breastmilk too.



answers from Madison on

There are strict guidelines on the formulation of baby formula, so the generic brands are just as good as the more expensive brands. Just compare the nutritional values on the sides of the containers.

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answers from Duluth on

before you decide ANYTHING, go to contact a local or nearby la leche league leader. she can help you determine if your supply is decreasing, what to do to increase it, and then she can help you to figure out how and what to suppliment. its likely that you dont have to, you just might have to make some adjustments. to me, it just sounds like you are more worried that you arent making enough milk that whether or not that is a fact.

some important questions to ask: are you ever feeding your daughter a bottle when you are present and able to nurse her? the problem with pumping is that it doesnt stimulate your breast the same way, and your milk supply is determined by the nursing from your baby, not from a pump. sure, it helps, and its a very good thing, it just doesnt stimulate you the same. make sure that you are nursing on demand, anytime you are with your baby, NOT giving her any bottles.

also, if this is during a growth spurt of any kind, your baby will not seem like shes getting enough. this is normal, and part of the process of increasing your milk. like i said, let her nurse on demand, and no bottles when you are with her, this will help tremendously to increase your milk when shes growing. also nursing at night is important, that is when you are most relaxed, and babies do typically still need to nurse at night, so dont be afraid to do it. cosleeping, or bedsharing is safer than most people think, and its really beneficial to your breastfeeding relationship. i wouldnt wake her to nurse, but dont be afraid to nurse her if she wakes up. shes old enough that you shouldnt have too many worries about suffocation, but also be aware of blankets and pillows. a lot of times, you can literally get her latched on and all while you are mostly still asleep. instinctivly, you will know where she is in bed, unless you are under an outside influence of a drug or alcohol, or whatever. so dont worry about it if you feel like giving it a try. its almost a work-free way to increase your supply. :) it takes some getting used to at first, but i found it the best thing i ever did.

anyway, if you do NOTHING else, contact a la leche league leader or attend a meeting. i had to drive an hour to the nearest one to me, but it was WORTH IT. there are a TON of resources available to moms from the lll, and also the priceless information from other moms who have BEEN there. :) you wont regret that. :)
good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Cloud on

The doctor told me that all the formuals have to have the same nutritional components. The only difference is the ingredients that make up the taste.



answers from Minneapolis on

We used Goodstart and had great results (less spit up and gassiness). My friend used the Parents Choice and her kids did well also. We both breast fed our babies as well.



answers from Minneapolis on

I used the Parents Choice with my 2nd daughter and was very happy with it. Just an FYI... pretty much all of the "generic" formulas out there are made by the same company (Cub, Target, CVS, WalMart for sure). You can see this by the code on the bottom of the cans. They are regulated by the gov't so they have to be safe. I do believe the expensive formulas taste a little better but not enough that I wanted to spend twice as much.



answers from Fargo on

Read the labels! The Parent's Choice is nutritionally the same as the name brand is I remember correctly (it's been over a year since we've had to buy formula). I used the Walmart/Target/grocery store brand for my children and they did just fine on it. The store brands have expanded their product lines so you can get soy, gentle, etc but not have to pay with an arm & a leg. :) My youngest two were in the WIC program. My 2nd had Enfamil and did well on that. My 3rd was on Similac Neosure which is a 22 calorie/ounce formula because he was preemie (very happy we had WIC as it was about $150/month for that formula). Ask your pediatrician and then read labels.



answers from Madison on

We used Enfamil Lipl for our daughter, If I had another I would deffinatly use it again. I think after she turned one and ate less formula and more real food we started using some of the generic brands, just because it wasn't her main source of nourshment... but yet it is better than milk. Sorry if that wasn't helpful. :)



answers from Omaha on

The Walmart and Target brands are FDA approved and they contain the exact same ingredients/amounts as the name brands. My first son we used Similac, when I found out about the FDA and the generic brands we used those with our youngest son - wish we would have done it with the first too - major savings for the same product!




answers from Minneapolis on

My daughter got Parents Choice from about 7 weeks on and she did fine. The government/FDA has very strict regulations on the safety and nutrition in baby formula that you do not need to worry. The only difference (besides price!) is the taste and extra "nutrition" that certain name brands claim to have - but compare the cans side by side, they list the nutritional values and you can see how similar they are.



answers from Des Moines on

I partially breastfed all my kids, but for formula, I used GoodStart with my 1st two kids. With my third, I started with GoodStart, and have since switched to Parent's Choice GENTLE to save money. I actually think he has been less gassy and stinky with the PC! I wish I would have known that with the 1st two! My Ped also said it is ridiculous the money those other companies charge when PC is just as good! Good luck...hopefully she won't have any issues switching back and forth, mine didn't. If so, could be the bottle style too?

I never went far enough to use this, but I have heard a lot of people talk about something called (I think) Fenu-greek or Fenugeek to help increase milk supply if you are not wanting to supplement. I say, you have made it this far and that is AWESOME!!! What an accomplishment! If it is time to start cutting back, then so be it. Feel proud mama!!! GOOD LUCK!

Oh yeah, and my sis and good friend both used Parent's Choice and there kids are just fine!!!



answers from Eau Claire on

Are you working at all? If not, just go ahead and latch her on, all day if need be. Your body will respond to the demand and start producing more. Trust me!

If you are working, hence the pumping, then it is natural to start producing less. Bodies respond to a baby suckling, and pumps just don't quite have what it takes to send your body the signal to keep producing milk. So, when choosing a formula, here are some tips: you want affordable, obviously. So if a cheaper brand works for your child, go for it. The trick is that some babies have sensitive tummies to certain brands. My son was on Similac for about a week, and was spitting up and having horrible gas the entire time. We switched to another brand (forget what it was) and his problems grew worse. The only thing that he could drink without discomfort was the Nestlé formula: Good Start. It was one of the more expensive ones out there (the large can was between $25-$28), but it was the best. A lot of mom's I know have had the same experience; trouble with most brands, happy with Good Start.

In the end, let your daughter's tummy/digestion be the guide!

I hope this helps!

God bless!



answers from Rochester on

I didn't personally deal with this, but I have a friend that when she decided to go to formula, she compared the labels of the name brand and generic. She found that the up & up brand at Target has the same ingredients listed on the label as Enfamil. If you prefer to shop at Wal-Mart, I would just compare the labels and determine if the ingredients are the same.



answers from Wausau on

I ran into the same problem when i nursed my daughter, and used Enfamil. Do you qualify for WIC (women infants and children)? It is a government funded program for families with children under the age of five. Other wise i would stick to the name brand with formula. good luck!



answers from Minneapolis on

They are all so nutritionally similar that it really doesn't matter.
Enfamil does NOT make a generic brand (it says so on their cans) and you can see that the nutritional values are slightly different, but I use Costco, Target, and Walmart brands and my formula-fed 3rd baby is just as healthy as the 2nd one who only got breast-milk.

On a side note, my oldest- who got very little breast milk- is far healthier than his younger brothers who almost exclusively breast milk fed for a whole year (my second son) and 5 months (my third son). The younger ones have eczema and asthma while the oldest has neither. I just thought that was interesting.



answers from Grand Junction on

Hello J.,
From experience no formula can come close to breastmilk, breastmilk has living antibodies that help fight against infection and other things, not that a breastfeed baby will never get sick, but will fight off a cold better than a formula feed baby. Formula is man made; only a mom can make breastmilk it's not something that can be made in a factory. The more you pump the more your body makes milk. I will be jealous of you if your daughter takes the formula mine didn't and I am still pumping and nursing when not at work. If your first child used the Enfamil most likely your daughter will do fine also. Personally name brand don't matter to me whatever works for the mom is what's important i see all the adds and how some formula companies make agreements with WIC programs. Two of my sisters supplemented with the Parent's choice and one with Enfamil no difference in them they healthy a growing! Do what works for you! What ever you feel comfortable giving!



answers from Rochester on

I asked my pediatrician the same thing- even brought a can of formula (Members Mark from Sams Club) with me to make sure! He said that they are all nutritionally sufficient, and essentially the same thing. It's very strictly regulated. There's no reason to buy the expensive ones (unless you end up with allergy issues). We bought huge cans of Members Mark from Sams Club for $18- about half the price of the Similac and Enfamil (if I remember correctly).



answers from La Crosse on

I work for a company that supplies some of the major retailers with whey protein concentrate for their private brand formulas. I can tell you right now that the company that produces for Wal-mart, Target, and private label brand has the most discriminating and exacting standards of any of our customers worldwide. Their company is state-of-the-art, and has more security measures than a military complex. Their lab specs and reviews are extremely discriminating and exacting...only the best of the best goes to them - no ifs, and, or buts. They are listed in Fortune 500's Best Companies of 2009.

I used the Walmart brand with my second child, even before I worked for this company...and I would definately recommend the product! The measures they take to make a quality product go way beyond what is required...I liked them even before I worked in "the industry." After working here...I wouldn't use anything else!



answers from Appleton on

I've heard that Parent's Choice and Enfamil are made by the same company and they just have the different brands. But, I don't have anything to back that up. We switched our DS to Parent's Choice (whatever was in the yellow can) at 8-9 months, and he did just fine with the switch. That's all I can offer! Good luck!


answers from Minneapolis on

I used the Target Brand (now called Up) for all three of my kids. never had a problem and they are healthy as could be. :)

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