Post # 1
Just curious if anyone else has or have breastfed and supplemented with formula. My baby lost a whole lb the 1st few days and thus is eating every 1-2 hours. I’m having a hard time doing this with just breast milk.
If you have supllemented with formula what did you do? Did you do breast milk one feeding and formula the next or start with breast milk and finish with a bit of formula?
Post # 3
My SIL did this. She pumps two bottles for the day, but if he needs more, they make formula. If she is too exhausted to nurse, BIL gives him a bottle. Their babies are healthy and happy.
Edit: they are very laid back, but I believe she pumps what she can at work and then when that runs out they make formula. At night it is either nursing or formula, not both, unless her body runs out.
Post # 4
It’s not uncommon at all for the baby to lose weight the first few days after birth. I tried to breastfeed but for some reason was unable to so regularly so I have to use formula for my little love. It really depends on how long you are able to dedicate towards pumping. With regular breastfeeding it’s very difficult to tell how much they take in where as if you pump you can see how many oz they have and how much more you need to supplement with formula. The milk I COULD provide was very little to knowing exactly how much she took in helped oodles.
Post # 5
It can be done, I would talk to your baby’s dr for sure to see what they think but from my prof (who is a nurse midwife/lactation consultant) if you are having trouble with milk supply or just BF in general, try to do it first thing in the morning and in the evening and supplement between with the formula. The morning and evening milk are the best anyway and then you baby still gets the benefits of breastmilk but a little less stress on you.
Post # 6
I would talk to a lactation consultant before supplementing. There are things you can do to increase your milk production.
Breastmilk production is all about supply and demand. If you start supplementing with formula, you are going to cause more production problems because your body doesn’t realize it needs to make more and may even think it needs to make less.
Post # 7
The easiest (especially if you aren’t pumping) is to start baby at your breast and then finish with formula until he’s done/satisfied. It’s difficult to tell how much he’s getting from your breast, and so this makes sure that every feed is a full one. If you’re pumping you will have a better measure of the volume, but I would still suggest start on BM and finishing with formula if he needs more. This is generally how it’s done in the hospital when babies are admitted (for whatever reason) and need supplementing – it helps ensure that he’s getting the most BM possible and benefiting from all the good stuff your body puts in there 🙂
Post # 8
@abbyful: I would agree with this to a certain extent, but often moms want to make sure baby is getting enough calories and fluid in the meantime. It can take some time to get BF down. As long as she continues to pump or have baby feed at her breast, her supply will be maintained and will respond when to changes in demand.
@vintage2010: It is a good idea to talk to a lactation consultant (some hospitals in my area have free drop-in clinics), depending on if there are issues with supply they can suggest some things.
ETA: it’s totally normal for baby to lose up to 10% of their weight after birth (so about 1 lb for yours), as long as they regain it by 7-10 days old. The lactaction consultant can also help you determine what type of breastfeeder he is – some babies just enjoy being at your chest and don’t always suck efficiently.
Not the most official resource, but it’s the same information we were taught in school – http://www.parenting.com/article/your-babys-nursing-style
Post # 9
I don’t have a baby but I am a NICU nurse so I work with babies and mothers who need to supplement their feeds. As a PP said, breast milk production is completely supply and demand. If you nurse/pump less frequently, your body will think baby doesn’t want/need as much supply. Therefore, I would also recommend starting at the breast and following up with formula.
However, I do have to say that you have to take care of yourself as well if you want your milk supply to last. Make sure YOU are staying well hydrated, eating enough, and sleeping at least a little bit! Stress hormones directly counteract milk producing hormones. So if you need to to give just a full formula feed every once in awhile so you can take a nap, it’s not a big deal. =)
You can also do other things to make sure baby doesn’t burn uneccessary calories. Make sure they are warm but not overheated. Don’t let them cry for extended periods. Make sure they get good sleep between feeds because that is when they grow!
Post # 10
Thanks everyone. I think he is a linger type feeder so I started letting him stay until he quits latching on. I’ve done this twice now this evening and he seems to have done a bit better.
@bijou214: Thanks we’ve done the formula thing once a day to give us some sleep.
Post # 11
I would let DD drink the breastmilk and when she finished I would give an extra ounce or two of formula.
Post # 12
@vintage2010: Don’t know if this is helpful, but I attend a bf’ing support group and the babies are weighed before and after feedings so that we know what their intake is like. It might be worth finding a group like that or seeing if your pediatrician will let you weigh baby before and after a feeding, just to get a sense of how much he’s getting. Folks I know who supplement bf the baby first and then supplement with formula, but also pump at other times to try to increase supply. After Jan 1, a lot of insurance plans will cover lac consultant visits, so maybe look into that if you haven’t already? Good luck!