(Closed) Supplementing with Formula

posted 6 years ago in Babies
Post # 16
7430 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2013

You can also try fenugreek to boost supply. I took it everyday for the first 3-4 months, and I do think it helped.

Post # 18
4430 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

<br />Hippos:  Thank you for that link! Definitely bookmarking.  This makes way more sense to me now lol.

Post # 19
855 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

Hi, I just wanted to say I totally understand what you’re going through. I had to start supplementing with formula because my son wasn’t gaining enough. I just wasn’t producing enough milk and I was breastfeeding every hr and it still wasn’t enough. I tried everything, fenugreek,pumping after the breast, power pumping etc. nothing increased my supply. I started with giving my son formula after the breast as my dr recommended. I would also pump after. I now just formula feed him and pump after to get some breastmilk. I pump only 5 oz a day so that only one of his feelings but I feel like any breastmilk is better than none. I still feel sad I can’t provide him with more bm but he is now looking so much more healthy and happy since I’ve been supplementing with formula so I know it’s the right thing to do. sure commend similar advance osuffer supplementing formula! Goodluck, ure not Alone! 

Post # 20
5474 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

megz06:  Hey girl, sorry this is such a struggle 🙁  Here’s a link to a blog aimed at exclusive pumpers, but there is a lot of information there that might help you keep it going: Pumping Blog

AFM, when we started to supplement, I used Similac for Supplementation.  I did small bottles at first, to make sure she would drink it.  I think I did a 2oz bottle of just formula to test it out, then after that I did 1/2 and 1/2 BUT I only prepped bottles to get through the following day’s day care.  I thawed Bridesmaid or Best Man and mixed formula at home in the evenings just in case she didn’t have regularly scheduled bottle during the day.  I had to dump a bottle one day when she took an extraordinarily long nap and I cried as I watched 2oz of precious breast milk go down the drain.  

Anyway, once I blew through my freezer stash, I switched over to Similac (regular formula) and ultimately Target brand formula comparable to the Similac since she tolerated it well.  We weaned over to whole cow’s milk starting around 11 months- just an ounce of cow’s milk at first, then by her first birthday we were done with formula alltogether.

Hang in there mama, you’re doing everything you can and that’s the best you can do!

Post # 21
3696 posts
Sugar bee

I’ve had good results from adding brewer’s yeast to my diet to boost milk production. You can find it in capsules, or you can add the powder to yogurt, smoothies, oatmeal, soup, etc. I’ve heard it’s good sprinkled over popcorn, too, although I haven’t tried it that way yet.

It’s also an ingredient (along with oatmeal, flaxseed meal, wheat germ) in lactation cookies, which are great! Google for recipes – they really do help boost production!

Post # 23
1776 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

megz06:  I would start out by mixing breast milk and formula for the first few feedings to get baby used to the taste of formula (it has one taste vs breastmilk which always changes).  Try 50/50 then 25/75, then all formula.  It’s totally find to do every other.  I would definitely only do formula while you are not there as you don’t want to damage yoru supply (barring the middle of the night, if you want your hubby to do a bottle, go for it, but I’d still pump at least once to fight engorgement and keep up supply).  Unless your baby is sensitive, you should be able to use any formula.  It’s up to you if you prefer organic or not.  I have found that for my son when we used some around 9 months, that it made no difference if it was a brand name or a generic store brand, so we opted to use the store brand and save 50%.  (in tests actually Parent’s Choice Organic scored better than most name brand Organic formulas anyways).  Just do your best and let your instincts guide you. And whatever you do, DO NOT FEEL GUILTY!  You are doing great for your baby and any breastmilk is good breastmilk, so even if you find you can only nurse or pump a few times a day, that’s fantastic!

Post # 24
2124 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I have twins and I supplement with formula because Kiel you I just can’t keep up…I’m sure I could increase my supply by nursing around the clock but then is never sleep, and life would suck. 

I use use similaac advanced. It’s what they use in the hospital. I sometimes alternate breatfeeding and bottle feeding formula during the day when I’m home with the twins. At night I tend to give them half breastmilk in a bottle and half formula if they aren’t satisfied. 

The he amount right now for my 1 month olds….when I’m bottle feeding I usually aim for an oz and a half to two oz of breatmilk and then top them off with and oz or two of formula. of I breastfeed and they don’t seem satisfied even after a lengthy session, ill top off with an oz of formula. For a full feeding of just formula I usually start with two oz and go from there. 



Post # 25
2124 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

note; I do not mix breastmilk with formul. As my twins never had an issue accepting formula, although I like to think they prefer my milk over the stinky formula 🙂  I serve it seperatley. With a system for prepping bottles it’s not that much trouble. Hubby and I take turns washing and prepping.


Post # 26
1153 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

megz06:  I started out having to supplment for baby when she was 3 days old, it made me super sad that I didn’t have enough milk at the time, i totally know how you feel! Just remember that any amount breast milk you give your DS is a wonderful gift! A side note, I noticed that when i was giving baby bottles of expressed milk she was eating a lot. “They” say you can’t over feed a breast fed baby but you can over feed a baby who is getting a bottle of breast milk. Since the bottle flows faster than the boob sometimes babies eat more with a bottle since their tummies don’t have time to tell them they are full since they’re getting the milk faster (does that make sense). Does his care giver do paced bottle feedings to help regulate the flow? I’ve found that gatorade helps my milk supply too. If you ultimately supplment with formula its no big deal! 

BellaDee: Your milk is good on ice for quite a while. Check out that link Hippo’s sent you. You should be 100% okay with milk in a small cooler at your desk. I would sob if i dumped my milk, not gonna lie I’ve almost shed a tear or two when spilling it once.

  Hippos:  OMG could you imagine popping open a beer at o dark thirty while you pump? If Darling Husband walked out and saw me drinking first thing in the morning while pumping i bet he’d laugh at me. I do enjoy an evening beer every now and then but don’t know that i could replace my morning cup of coffee & pump for a beer 😉

Post # 27
8882 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

Don’t feel bad for supplementing, good for you for doing what’s best for your DS!

My Dear Daughter had to be supplemented right away since my milk didn’t come in while recovering from my C-Section.  It’s a long story but BF’ing never worked out for us, we tried hard (pumping included). When we first switched to formula 100% I bawled my eyes out. I felt like I had failed, even though I knew it was best for her. Since then we’ve learned she has a milk intolerance, explains a lot. She’s on soy formula, she loves it. (It’s even stinkier than regular formula LOL!)

Post # 28
979 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2008 - A tiny town just outside of Glacier National Park

We started supplementing with formula at 3 weeks after realizing that our girl had only gained 2 oz in 2 weeks. It was a combo of frenulum issues and low supply (due to retained placental tissue, bad latch not stimulating milk, or both/other). I felt SO bad buying it but by the time we gave it to her I just felt relieved she was getting more calories. Sometimes, you’ve just got to let go. We bought Gerber soothe because even tho it’s got corn as the first ingredient (ugh), we liked that it had probiotics. And at 11pm we kind of went “eh, good enough.” Now, we are using donor milk from friends with formula and just making sure baby is fed enough is a huge relief! 

To to get my supply going, I am taking fenugreek 1500+ 3x a day, drinking some oatmeal beers, eating some oats, pumping out after she eats to make sure my breasts are drained. I’m also taking domperidone but that’s probably more than you need. I had to have a D&C for retained placenta, so that alone may fix it as my prolactin level was only 54, but for the time being we are throwing everything we’ve got at the problem.

Are you using manual massage to express milk from your breasts while pumping? The pump alone isn’t as effective as baby at emptying the milk ducts, so if your breasts are staying at all filled with milk, this can affect production.

Post # 29
2091 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I had to supplement… I ran out of milk around 6 months in. I was upset because I wanted to do it for a year as well. It was not the end of the world. Also, my son was never truly satisfied with my milk alone. He was SOOO hungry and was a big baby (he is still big for his age and eats like a man at 6 years old). So, don’t feel too down. This happens with many moms. Your little one will do just fine. Even breastfeeding for a day is better than not at all. 

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