Post # 1
Hi mama bees, I could really use some advice! Breastfeeding with my three month old is not going great. She has had a seemingly perpetual cold since she was three weeks, and recently, starting falling in the percentiles on weight possibly because of throat congestion and/or an oversupply I’m dealing with. At least, I think it’s an oversupply based on my crazy flow of milk, constant and extreme leaking, her pulling away from the boob and struggling, and the fact that she has light green poops accompanied by diaper rash.
She also feeds every 1.5 to 3 hours, even at night. I haven’t had a good night’s sleep since…forever! This can’t continue, as I will be getting back to work on Monday. The plan for now is to do a formula feed, maybe at 11pm each night, so I can sleep a bit. If she does better on formula, I may just switch to formula entirely. But I’m wracked with guilt. I exclusively breastfed my first daughter for six months, and then only did the occasional formula feed from 6 to 13 months while her main milk source was just me. I know that rationally, supplementing is the best decision for us. The doc agrees that it may be our best move. But I can’t help feeling like I’m shortchanging her somehow. 🙁
Post # 2
I’m not a mum but have you tried pumping at the times she was meant to feed then give to her via a bottle? I’ve been told they have slower flow. It may be worth trying before going formula (not that I have anything against formula, do whatever you need to do!) if she takes the breastmilk via bottle, your husband can also take turn to feed her?
Post # 3
Just a thought but have you had baby checked for lip / tongue tie or seen an IBCLC to get her latch checked? It seems unusual that you’re experiencing oversupply while you’re baby isn’t gaining well,and combined with the green stools and congestion my other thought is that there could be some sort of dairy or other food allergy going on (in which case, a dairy based formula possibly won’t help).
I’d highly recommend meeting with an IBCLC because they might have some very simple suggestions that could make life easier for you!
Post # 4
techmom : it sounds to me like you have an oversupply and your baby is getting too much foremilk and not enough of the fatty hind milk. That would explain the green poops and the weight loss. Try block feeding to get your supply back into balance – feed only from one side for a few hours/feeds and then swap. If you off-side gets too full just hand express a little for comfort.
Post # 5
I totally get you on the mom guilt. Neither of my first two were great breast feeders and it was a total disaster for us. I started incorporating formula around 3 mos (I was also going back to work and it became a real hassle to be schlepping my pump all over the country) and my kids are totally fine. They’ve grown like weeds and while I felt like somehow I was shortchanging them, we’ve all come out the other side ok. We’re having our third in July, and we’ll try the old breastfeeding game one more time, but as my pediatrician husband reminds me, “the goal is to feed the baby- however that happens is fine.”
Also- we found that Triple Paste is a diaper rash boss- it’s worked wonders for our kids (albeit a little pricey), but clears it up in no time! Good luck!
Post # 6
I think seeing a lactation consultant is a good idea if you really want to keep trying to EBF, but also, you should not feel at all guilty if you decide to supplement with formula! Your baby will be fine and your own mental health may improve a lot, which will make you a better parent!
You could also have your husband give the baby a bottle of pumped milk during the night while you sleep, so you can catch a longer stretch of sleep. I started doing this at 2 weeks postpartum and it didn’t impact my supply at all to miss that one feed every night cause it was with milk I’d pumped earlier in the day.
Post # 7
A wonderful, science based, video on this topic. I hope it helps allay your feelings of guilt. You’re doing the best you can – and I bet it’s pretty darned good!
Post # 8
I exclusively formula fed from day one. My daughter is healthy and happy and in turn I am much happier.
Breastfeeding is great for the people it works out for but its not the answer for every mother/every baby. There is no one size fits all so you just have to do what’s best for your family and screw what anyone else thinks.
Post # 9
cclarkrun1 : Triple Paste is the best!! Tried a lot of diaper rash creams, and this one is by far the most effective.
Post # 10
missyjz : I’ve tried pumping but whenever I pump, my supply increases massively and my baby struggles. Sadly, I think that strategy may be doomed, but I at least hope to be able to pump comfortably when I’m exclusively pumping during the 10 or so hours I’m at work.
Kemma : Yeah, from what I can tell an oversupply usually causes weight gain. In my case it just seems to make the baby struggle. Her latch is pretty good so I don’t think we have an issue there! A dairy allergy also seemed likely so I went off dairy for a week, with no results. Maybe I should try longer.. but I’m honestly not sure the payoff, if any, will be worth it. She was fine on weight at her two month check. ETA: a doc’s visit last week, at nearly 3 mo, had her measuring low on weight. Which could’ve been just the congestion and the spit ups she’s had as a result.
LilliV : So, as of today I think my oversupply seems to be resolved. I did have to block feed for a couple of days to get here. In fact she’s now feeding far more often and latching much longer than she normally does so I may have even overshot. In any case, the increased frequency of feeds is still a problem for me. I’ve got the same awful throat she does, and the lack of sleep isn’t helping my recovery. I feel like I’m just trading one set of problems for another at this point. 🙁
cclarkrun1 : I feel you! Pumping is hard! And the mom guilt is real, no matter what! Damn hormones! I’m glad (and not at all surprised) to hear your kids are doing fine. I’ll try triple paste, thanks!
Post # 11
tiffanybruiser : If only the occasional pumping session didn’t mess with my supply so much. 🙁 I’ve tried it a few times to get a meal out, but disastrous results each time. I really hope that exclusive pumping over a 10 hour period will not wreak such havoc.
Mrs.Bill : I love that video, thanks for sharing! It squares with everything I’ve read, especially the Emily Oster series of articles on the subject. Breastfeeding confers a marginal benefit, and it’s just not clear in most cases that it’s a causative rather than correlative effect. The stupid thing is, I know my guilt isn’t rational at all, but I can’t shake it off. This video helps though.
slomotion : You’re absolutely right! Fed is best, and we’ve all just gotta do what works best for our families and our own unique circumstances.
Post # 12
Dont feel guilty about using formula or don’t let anyone else make you feel guilty. A fed baby is the number one priority
Post # 13
missviolet92 : True. Anyway, at this point I think for my own sanity, we will be supplementing! Even my mom, who is this super crunchy granola type who has always hated the thought of formula, sees how we are both struggling and is now encouraging supplementing.
Well, the decision is more or less made so that’s a relief I guess. 🙂
Post # 14
Don’t waste a second on guilt. Science milk is wonderful. I had a very low supply and had to supplement from the beginning. I spent months trying to increase my supply and almost went off the deep end doing it. My son was eventually all formula by 5 months. He’s off the charts in height, meets all of his milestones with no problem and has only missed a couple days of daycare due to illness. And we all sleep at night. Thank you, formula!!
Post # 15
techmom : is it possible for you to pump and feed? Maybe you have a fast let down which is making her pull off? I’m currently ebf so I know the time it takes and there hasn’t been any research to prove babies sleep longer on formula BUT fed is best and your mental health is a priority. If she’s doing better on formula then don’t guilt yourself for choosing to feed her that instead of breastmilk.
Also, have you considered that reflux could be causing the congestion? Or maybe something in your diet that is affecting her.