First tin of formula

Francine - posted on 05/19/2010 ( 42 moms have responded )

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I had to buy my first tin of formula last night. I felt like an idiot, standing in the baby aisle of the supermarket crying as I tried to pick the one that seemed like the best option for us.

My daughter is 8 1/2 months old, and I just couldn't fill her bottle today for day care. I was only 50ml short, but now have to top that up with formula. I am less than impressed to say the least... In fact, I am absolutely gutted. I am going to keep doing my best, and hope that this is only a stage and the production will pick back up again.

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Dawna - posted on 05/23/2010

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I know this going to sound silly but make sure you are drinking plenty of water. I, personally, have found that if I dont drink at least two liters of water a day I run low on milk

Jennifer - posted on 05/19/2010

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Francine,
I'm a La Leche League Leader in Canada. I'm assuming you are pumping with an electic pump? What pump are you using? have you tried replacing the valves? after a while they can wear out and it will affect your yield.

Can you try to add an extra pumping or nursing session for a few days. Your lactation is established, so you should be able to bring it back up with a little extra stimulation and milk removal.

Fenugreek can be a very effective galactogogue, but only if it is combined with increased stimulation (ie. pumping or nursing). You can also add blessed thistle with it, another herbal galactogogue. the standard dosing for increasing milk supply is 3 capsules of each, 3 times per day.

I don't think there is a lot of La Leche League in Australia (I could be wrong...) but I know there is the Australian Breastfeeding Association. Perhaps they could be of help to you?

[deleted account]

When I had an issue with supply, my OB suggested Fenugreek. It is an herb found in the organic section of the store. It has been used for thousands of years and is completely safe for the baby. Keep increasing the dose until your supply returns. You don't have to stay on it for a short time (maybe two weeks). The only side effect is that you will smell like maple syrup.



Good luck!

Jennifer - posted on 05/23/2010

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I don't know if anyone has suggested this yet, but drinking enough water may help. I've heard that when you're nursing, you should drink your body weight in oz. So if you weigh, 110 lbs for example, drink 110oz. Hope it works out.

[deleted account]

it's quite simple-to increase milk production, your breasts have to get the message that you need more. pump every hour for a day and watch the milk flow.

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My son is 12months old now and I finished breastfeeding at 9months, he was growing so much I couldnt keep up anymore, I had the same experience then with formula, and honestly my son has never really been on it, our doc suggested we supplimented with homomilk,fatty3% and he has been awesome with it, he's 25lbs of muscle, hhaha! whatever you need to do will be right for your baby and for you:) good luck and dont feel bad really, it gets better.

Jennifer - posted on 05/25/2010

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I would just increase her solids at this point if you're having trouble getting enough from pumping. Also, can you drop by at lunch to feed her in person? That might help.

Maren - posted on 05/25/2010

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The biggest thing is to stay hydrated. My sure you have to use the bathroom really bad at least every 2 hours. Also, the fenugreek is great. Mother Love has a More Milk Plus you can use if you don't know how to cook with fenugreek although it is pricey. The combination that worked for me was fenugreek, corriander, and cumin. All of these are found in abundance in Indian cuisine so you could go to lunch at an Indian place.

Additionally, try dried apricots. I pop 3 or so of those when I'm worried that I don't have enough for my 13 month old.

Good Luck. It will get better! Drink lots and lots!!

Cypora - posted on 05/25/2010

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Just to say, I feel your pain and I admire your commitment to breast-feeding. I hope it all gets better :)

Madilyn - posted on 05/25/2010

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I have been using goats milk for when I don't pump enough. I have been doing this since my son was 11 mo old (hes 12 mo now) I don't know whats the earliest you can introduce it but it is easier on their tummies than formula. I also have next to nothing when I don't drink enough fluids.
I use a Medela Pump In Style and it is really awesome

Jennifer - posted on 05/23/2010

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Glad to hear your supply is ok after all. hope you feel better soon. stress can have a huge impact on our ability to let down, especially when pumping, fortunately it's effect is usually short lived.

[deleted account]

If she's on solids you could just supplement with solids and water if you have another supply dip (keep pumping though).

Francine - posted on 05/23/2010

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Thank you to everyone. I meant to get on here the other day, but have been a bit ill. I love the woman who cares for my daughter. She is wonderful. :-)

It turned out that my daughter simply wasn't hungry that day and so she didn't actually need any more than was in the bottle, so she didn't have to drink the formula anyway. On top of that, I seem to have gone back to the larger amounts I was pumping before. I haven't had to even try the fenugreek I bought.

I think it was just stress. I have managed to get that under control and so my supply has increased.

Thank you again to everyone.

Cavell - posted on 05/23/2010

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Fenugreek is also used to lower blood sugar. I'm hypoglycemic so I can't take it at all for supply because my normal blood sugar is too low anyways.

Lori - posted on 05/22/2010

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only take Fenugreek if you are asthma free. 3 pills 3 times a day. with lots of water.

Lori - posted on 05/22/2010

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blessed thistle and Fenugreek works well check it out on the internet. many moms get a decrease in supply at your baby's age. Nurse your baby a ton while you are at home. It will get better. you are a good Mommy.

Dena - posted on 05/22/2010

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Oh, and try changing the settings on your pump. Your breasts are used to releasing milk to the way your baby latches and sucks so it could just be that the pump is too slow/fast or too hard/soft. I don't know what kind of pump you have, but I recommend Medela double electric breast pumps (hospital grade).

Dena - posted on 05/22/2010

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Pump longer and more often ... even if you aren't producing anything during the extra pumping, it will stimulate your production. Drink lots and lots of water, and nurse as often as you can, but I am sure you know all of that. Good luck and I wish the best for you ... it really brings us down when we can't make enough milk (or when we spill a freshly pumped bottle!).

Aicha - posted on 05/22/2010

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Try increasing your water intake and also try drinking mother's milk tea or eating sugar coated fennel seeds

Alicia - posted on 05/22/2010

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Don't be to hard on yourself, when your body go through changes sometimes this happens. As long as you keep nursing this will stimulate the production of milk.

Good luck.

Angie - posted on 05/22/2010

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Aww, I know it's hard to give formula! I cried too when I weaned my second child and my third is 5 months and I am already sad about the end of our bf days. It will get easier. You might try some mother's milk tea or some fenugreek to up your milk.

Michal - posted on 05/22/2010

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The Australian Breastfeeding Association provides a national Toll Free 24 Hour Breastfeeding Helpline 1800 mum 2 mum (1800 686 2 686) - leave off the last digit if using an internet phone.

Heidi - posted on 05/22/2010

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I had a problem with production when my son was 5 months old, and tried fenugreek as well as the prescription Domperidon to bring it back up in combination with pumping, but had to supplement with formula, and even with the prescription, I ended up giving up nursing him. I felt guilty at first, and sad as well, as I really enjoyed the bond that only my son and I had, but he wasn't gaining weight, and I had to do what was best for him. Don't feel guilty and don't feel bad about it. You have to do what you have to do to keep your daughter healthy. We used the Enfamil A+ formula, that is said to be the closest formula to breastmilk, and has all the Omegas and whatnot that are recommended. Lots of babies are formula fed and turn out great. My son is 14 months now and thriving, and happy and healthy :) Keep your chin up!!

Bernadette - posted on 05/22/2010

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the fact that you're not producing as much now could simply mean that your baby isn't needing as much now that she is getting some of her nutritional needs met through other foods. I still breastfeed my baby, who is nearly 14 months and I have no idea how much she actually gets as I don't express very often. The few times I have done it though, there hasn't been all that much but I figure that's ok - your body naturally decreases production as your baby needs it less

Melissa - posted on 05/21/2010

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You should really try to pump about every 2 hours when you are not with your baby for like 15 minutes. Less stimulation will cause a drop in supply.

April - posted on 05/21/2010

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Abbie and Lisa are right...you can just breastfeed when you're with her. she'll make up for it. wate and solids until she can be with you again. you never have to buy another tin of formula again, i promise!!

Minnie - posted on 05/21/2010

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At eight months old your daughter would be fine going to daycare with water and solids and you nursing frequently at home. Would that possibly work for you? You could totally forego the pumping if that made things easier and you would still enjoy the benefits of nursing, without supplementation with formula. Solids are sufficient at this point for her to take when you are not with her.



It's pretty common for mothers to have difficulty pumping much milk as their babies get older. This is due to the way the body lays down prolactin receptors in those first few weeks of breastfeeding and how hormone levels change over time.

Ricki - posted on 05/21/2010

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There is a wonderful herbal supplement called More Milk. It's from the MotherLove company (motherlove.com). Very effective.

Meagan - posted on 05/21/2010

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Don't stop breastfeeding when you are home! When I went back to work with my first, I would pump and pump and hardly anything would come out. Luckily my husband only had to feed him 1 bottle of formula a day since I only worked a few hours at night. Just because you are not pumping a lot does not mean that you are not producing milk. My son was off the charts in weight and continued to gain weight...and I know it wasn't from 1 bottle of formula 3 evenings a week. It was because he was getting plenty of milk straight from my breast! Don't give up! You are doing awesome!

Abbie - posted on 05/20/2010

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At 8 1/2 mos of age, she doesn't really NEED that much milk while she's away from you. I'd be willing to bet that she's making up for it plenty when you're together.
Can't you just give her a few more whole food snacks while she's away instead?

Jennifer - posted on 05/19/2010

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hmm... maybe you could work out a more comfortable arrangement at work? Is it a privacy issue? or is it the physical setup of the chair etc? I think keeping this expressing session is important. 8 hours is a long time, esp if you are not nursing at night. Your breasts will think she is starting to wean faster than she actually is, reducing production.



Frequency is important for increasing & maintaining supply. The less often milk is removed, the less we produce. Even if it is just for 5 or 10 minutes and you don't get much, it is worth it to maintain supply.



Pumping tricks:



- have a routine, same time, same place, same chair, etc. your body learns to associate these things with pumping.

- production is greater earlier in the day. so try to schedule more of you pumping earlier in the day if possible. We also respond better to the pump then too. we are less tired, less stressed.



- once you set up your pump, take a minute to really realax. stress inhibits letdown. without the letdown, you will get minimal milk only.



-bring along some props to help you: clothing or blanket that has your daughter's scent on it, picture of her face, sound recording of her, anything else that makes you think of her.



-research has shown that yeilds increase significantly (up to double) when moms do a combination of pump and manual expression. if you are using a single pump, switch back and forth from breast to breast once the milk stops flowing. massage the breasts before and during expressing. and alternate between the pump and manual expression. Do you know how to express by hand? If not let me know, I will explain.

Francine - posted on 05/19/2010

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I can't really feed at that time, I pump the first time between 5:30 and 6:00 am every morning, but I need my sleep as well because I work full time. Basically, I pump at 5:30, feed at 7:15, pump at 4:00pm feed at 6:00pm and then pump at 9-9:30pm. On weekends I feed at 12:30 (lunch) as well.



I was pumping at lunch but found I was not getting much so gave up on it. I was getting only 20-50 mls a day at lunch time and was not really able to relax. Not because work don't support me (because they do) but because I was not able to get properly comfortable in the office I was using.

Jennifer - posted on 05/19/2010

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even if it is just the valve, don't expect an overnight change. when problems happen due to valves it is because over time, suction has decreased, decreasing your supply. once you replace the valve, it will take a bit of time for your breasts to respond to the increased suction and make more milk. (maybe a few days to a week.)



feel free to send me an email at jnw123jnw@yahoo.ca if you have any more questions or would like any more info.

Jennifer - posted on 05/19/2010

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Can you manage a pumping or nursing at night between midnight and 5 am? Prolactin levels are highest then and it helps a lot to increase supply.

Francine - posted on 05/19/2010

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I am pumping, using an Avent pump. I will try replacing the valve, I would love it if it was solved that easily!!! I may try adding a pump before I go to bed again,bringing it back up to 5 x a day - 2 feeds and 3 pumps (3 feeds on weekends). I will also be contacting the ABA before I go shopping tonight, there isn't a LLL presence in Australia, but the ABA is very good. I want to hear what they suggest.

Francine - posted on 05/19/2010

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Thank you all for your help!! I will be looking in health food stores tonight. I am in Australia and "More Milk Plus" is an American product, but I am going to look for fenugreek. Also there is a Nursing Tea which I have been told you can get here, so I am going to try one of them.

Jennifer - posted on 05/19/2010

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i agree with the other moms, fenugreek should do the trick. 2 capsules 3 times a day and by the third day you should notice a big increase in your milk production, and the maple syrup smell. you don't have to keep taking it once it kicks in, as long as you are completely emptying your breasts regularly.
another product that worked wonders for me, and didn't make me smell like maple syrup is a supplement called "more milk plus." i found it at a health store in my area but you can also find it on the internet.

good luck, i know how frustrating, and depressing this can be!

Katherine - posted on 05/19/2010

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I agree with Cindy, Fenugreek is a good, natural way to up your supply. With Fenugreek, you'll probably want to start off taking it 3 times a day, three capsules at a time. If you don't smell like maple syrup, add another capsule to that, rinse and repeat until stinky. Fennel can also be taken to help with letdown. Take one capsule 3 times a day. Oatmeal is another good way to add a small supply boost. A bowl of the good stuff (not the instant stuff) will kick up your supply a little.

Other options are to go see your OB/Gyn, and see if they would be willing to give you a prescription for either Reglan or Domperidone. I accidentally took some Domperidone while travelling (it's what the herbalist prescribed to us, and said it was BF safe...was it ever! LOL!), and noticed an immediate increase in supply. You can also order the Dom through internet Canadian pharmacies, if that's easier.

You may also want to call your local LLL leader, or an IBCLC for other tips on how to up your supply. Good luck to you!

Emily - posted on 05/19/2010

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I know the feeling. My daughter is also 8 months, and I recently had to start adding some formula due to not being able to pump enough at work. I am taking fenugreek and adding extra pumping sessions where I can, but it's just not enough. Makes me resent work so much! Your baby will be fine though. :) I had to do the same with my first child.. and he's now 3 and still nursing.. so having to add a little formula is not necessarily going to kill your supply! As long as you are continuing to nurse as much as possible at home and pumping at work.

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