Must supplement :( Cereal early or formula

Janice - posted on 02/09/2010 ( 32 moms have responded )

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Although when my daughter BF she seems to get enough to eat, my body no longer gives very much milk when I pump. Im in school 3 hours a day 4 days a week so I must have something for her when Im not available. She is 14 weeks old which I know is early for cereal but she is beginning to shows signs of readiness and part of me feels that learning to eat cereal (off a spoon) early wouldn't be as bad as getting formula. Opinions please.

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Angela - posted on 02/10/2010

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you might be pumping incorrectly. there's an amazing video on a lactation consultant website that i found, completely changed the way I pump. I went from pumping 2 oz per side to 5. its leron-line.com, go to clinical studies, and breast pumping (all the way at the bottom). I bet it will help you, I've been bfing for 4 months, pumping for 2, and i had no idea about this stuff. Hope this helps!

Sylvie - posted on 02/12/2010

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I would go with formula for the time you're not there. Cereal is harder to digest and can cause more discomfort than formula. I could never pump either, and I've had an oversupply. Although, she should be fine for 3 hrs without a feed and could possibly wait for you to get home. Just top her up before you leave and have formula for back up. You could even mix whatever you have pumped with mixed or ready made formula just before a feed, or maybe just a few ounces of your milk or formula would be enough to hold her off until you're home.

Esmaralda - posted on 02/13/2010

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14 weeks is too early for cereal or goats milk, the stomach is unable to handle these and it can cause intestinal issues as well as allergies. The world health organization as well as both the Canadian and American pediactric assoc. recommend that solids not be introduced until months. They should only be having breast milk or formula until then. As others have mentioned pumping can be an ineffective way to see what you are making and if you must top up, use formula. Hope all goes well for you and your baby

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Susanne - posted on 02/15/2010

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I teach, and I am away from my little one from 6:45 until about 1:30. She is 15 weeks, so I'm with you on the hesitation to start things early. Before I started back to work, Chloe decided that she's not going to ever drink from anything but me. I was worried about leaving her for so long without eating, but i figured that if I feed her before I leave and right when I get her, it's like her sleeping through the night. For you, since you're away for about 4 hours, maybe your little one will be ok if you feed right before you leave and again when you return. Three hours may be what she's up to between feedings and if it's a little more, she'll not be happy, but she'll be fine. Thankfully, Chloe started to drink from a cup, so she's eating while I'm away, but she really only eats well every three hours. If they try and feed her more frequently, she doesn't take much. Maybe your little "snack" will be just thing to keep your little one content until you come back. To check to see if you really need to supplement, see how many wet diapers (they say 5, right?) and if she's gaining still. Wait a while before doing anything else.

My mother's a big one on offering cereal early, as she did it for me. My sister was totally formula fed. Interstingly, they say doing those things causes "problems" in babies, that nothing's as good as 100% breast. I know that in my case, I had crazy allergies all throughout my childhood and still suffer some today. My sister has had stomach issues since birth and is still suffering terribly today. Could be genes, or it could be what they say about the introduction of foods too early.

Hope I helped! I hope to hear how things are going for you.

Rebecca - posted on 02/14/2010

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You should never give an infant anything but breastmilk or formula for the first six months of life. They do not need anythin else & it can cause allergies, gastroentestinal problems, obesety etc. A pump can only remove so much however your baby is removing 4x as much as the pump is. I believe all pumps should come with this warning because far too many women judge thier supply by what they can pump out. If supply is truely a factor (ie baby is not gaining weight or providing adequate output) then you should see your doctor for a prescription for a galactagogue like Reglan or Domperidone or try mothers milk tea, fenugreek, oatmeal. The more often you remove milk from your breasts the more you will produce. I would say using formula while away from your baby if you can not leave breastmilk behind would be your best bet. You can nurse your baby while you are together to continue that bond & production going/growing. Please don't feed your baby solids before 6 months of age...

Lauri - posted on 02/14/2010

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Not getting much when pumping does not mean that baby is not getting enough. Babies can pull more BM when nursing thena breast pump can. If you nurse right before you leave for school and then nurse as soon as u get back, baby should be able to go three to four hours. If you want to try cereal, rice is best and u can mix w/expressed BM or water. Two tablespoons dry is a serving.

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I have had 2 babies and have BF both. Both times, i have seen a decrease in milk production around 8 or 9 months. I never seemed to have enough to satisfy them. i asked my pediatrician about it, and she suggested feeding more often...yeah right, try getting a hungry baby to nurse from an empty boob!! so, i asked my OB to prescribe me a medicine called Reglan. it is typically for people who have digestive issues, but the great side effect is increased breast milk! since i have taken it, i have plenty of milk at every feeding, and even enough to pump some too! I do not leak all the time like i did when the baby was a newborn. your body will take care of that, and if it doesn't, try using the Avent brand disposable bra shields. they are great and very absorbent! good luck, and keep trying to pump as often as you can!

Rea - posted on 02/14/2010

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feeding children too early can result in major allergies when they get older. also pumping doesnt make your body produce milk like breast feeding does. pumping only suck sout the foremilk. so itslike drinking skim milk for babies. you need to have your little one nursing so that your body produces milk. your body produces milk as babie nurses so you may not feel full but thats ok. you want baby to get the hinde milk and thats from nursing thats the full fat milk.
a great way to produce more milk is to eat brewers yeast. it tastes like cheese and you can just eat it on popcorn its actuallly quite good. but you need to nurse lots to get your milk going. as for cerel i wouldnt do it but why dont you just give baby a bottle of formula if she needs it while you are at school. but sometimes babies can go three hours without eating so she might not need anything. i hop ethis helps. i am a lactation consultant if you have any other concerns

Tuia - posted on 02/13/2010

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my son started having cereal and etc, at 12weeks old and he loves it. he took to it so well. he only has one cereal feed a day, and the rest of his feeds are breastfed. i think you should choose what you are more comfortable with doing though.

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no formula and no solids yet babe, her gut flora will suffer as a result, raw goats milk, unpasteurised, is closest to breastmilk and has a mild taste, my middle boy had it from 7mths on when i lost my milk and my 11mth old has it with a snack in a sippy cup even though i am still bfeeding her 4 feeds a day!... and if you google "the hopewood children" you can find some info on the health of these orphan children and their radiant health on goats milk and later, a vego diet (and no immunisations). good luck, spirals of good health to you and your baby.

Nancy - posted on 02/12/2010

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I have two children my eldest is 5 years old and my youngest is 5 months. I started both on thin cerial off a spoon at three months old and because of it I was able to prolong my breast feeding. However, do not replace the meal completely so after breast feeding drink your normal glass of water feed your baby cerial then pump in between the next feeding and add that into your routine like you have probably heard its the whole supply on demand thing it worked with both to give me sanity there is nothing worse then feeling like you cant provide for your baby. keep in mind that when your baby is sick you might need to eat and drink twice as much when then get sick the tend to use you for comfort also which means more milk and less intrust in solid food. You know what is best for your baby and the recomindations change all the time on when to start babys on solids. With my youngest the doctor told me he was too young to eat solids then went to print me up the guidelines for me to use as a reference and they said some babies show signs of rediness as early as 3 months. Even she was suprised so like most things when it comes to parenting its baby by baby thing there is no such thing as one size fits all parenting!

Jodi - posted on 02/12/2010

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I definately would vote formula, giving a child that young cereal is only going to cause more problems than benefits! Formula has all the nutrition she'll need whereas cereal is nearly devoid of any real nutrition, not to mention, even if it did have nutrition her digestive tract isn't ready for it (unless she can sit up on her own with minimal support) and won't absorbe any nutrients. Cereal may seem easier in the long run, but formula I think would be healthier for your baby, plus supplementing that with what you do pump out! (every ounce counts!)

Angela - posted on 02/12/2010

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my son eats every 2 hours so having enough to pump is impossible. I use formula when im gone. similac is closest to flavor. most times he will drink an ounce and wait for me to return. he knows that i don't leave for more than 4 hours (because i'm in pain) so he waits for me. he is now 18 1/2 pounds at 5 months so he is definately not hurting for food.

Nicole - posted on 02/12/2010

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if you are only in school for 3 hours a day plus drive time I think that if you pump as often as you can when you are home you should be able to get enough each day. also are you using a hand pump or electric? I had a hard time with my electric pump it was not as strong as my sons sucking,and i hear that hand pumps are really hard to use. but i found if i pumped often enough i could save up enough for when i was gone. but i am a stay at home mom and if i knew i was leaving for the day sometimes it would take a few days of trying to pump so i would have enough. but if you must supplement i agree that you should use formula. they have some that are closer to breastmilk . good luck i hope you find what works for you and your family!

Kimberley - posted on 02/12/2010

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whats the point of giving cereal early? You don't say. My baby's appetite didn't decrease or increase when solids started. The sleeping didn't change. Just his diapers... pee you! Not sure why you'd risk starting so early if she isn't developed enough to process such a heavy load in her belly. Why risk it?

April - posted on 02/12/2010

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If you need to supplement, I'd recommend formula, not cereal. Babies aren't ready for solid foods until 4-6 months of age. If you want to try to improve your breastmilk supply, make sure you're drinking plenty of water and try Mother's Milk Tea. I was skeptical about the tea, but it truly helped! Also, try using a breast pump when you can't feed her (maybe before you leave for class). I usually pump right after I feed my son in the morning and before I go to bed now that he's sleeping through the night, and I have a freezer full of breastmilk!

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i like rachel's response. pumping does not show a true supply. i think 14 weeks is a little early, but to each their own. when you are home pump extra, even if your daughter isn't having a snack at the same time. and freezw it for later use. warm showers and warm face cloths help with let down. good luck. or pump at school if you can. :)

Lynne - posted on 02/11/2010

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Your milk supply may be decreased due to extra hormones in your system depending upon what type of birth control you're using. If you switch to condoms that may increase your milk supply. Also, for some reason pumping also decreases your milk supply. I would suggest putting your baby to your breast more often to get it going again. You should not start cereal until at least 4 months so that your baby doesn't get allergies. If you do use formula, I suggest Enfamil (gentle) with DHA.

Sarah - posted on 02/11/2010

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way too soon for cereal. starting cereal this early can cause allergies, open gut, and weight loss. while the cereal may fill up a little tummy, there's practically no calories in it when compared to breastmilk.

if you must supplement, which i don't think sounds necessary if you heed some of the advice given here (i was always a big fan of pumping on one side while baby nursed on the other), then supplement with formula.

Lynnette - posted on 02/11/2010

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Give formula, not cereal, at this stage if you wind up supplementing. Rice cereal is mostly just a starch. Formula isn't as great as breast milk, obviously, but still contains many of the essential nutrients and fats that your little one needs to grow and develop. She's not ready to give up all that nutrition yet! And I agree with the notes about better pumping and taking Fenugreek. I didn't find that the Mom's Milk tea helped THAT much, but anything that can increase production is good. I find that eating a bowl of oatmeal helps mine - my sister said her lactation consultant mentioned oatmeal encourages milk production.

Patricia - posted on 02/10/2010

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That was a great resource Angela! I bookmarked the page it will come in handy again I'm sure.

Barb - posted on 02/10/2010

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Honestly, I would wait on the cereal as her tummy isn't ready for it yet. Giving cereal early could cause belly troubles. So, I would just go with the formula. I didn't do cereal with my kids until at least 6 months old.

Daphne - posted on 02/10/2010

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I had a lot of trouble pumping too, even though my son was getting enough when he nursed. I started taking Fenugreek and Milk Thistle when he was about four months old and it did not make me start leaking again, but it did increase my supply and make it *much* easier to pump!

Martha - posted on 02/09/2010

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Don't do cereal. Just because you aren't pumping that much does not mean you aren't giving your baby enough when you actually nurse her. Some moms do not respond to pumps at all. Also, remember that your baby only needs about 1-1.5 oz per hour you aren't there. So if you're apart a total of 5 hours, and you nurse RIGHT before you walk out the door, she might only need one bottle, so even if you only pump 3 or 4 oz thats more than enough for the time you are apart. As others have said, there are ways to up your supply so you can pump more just so you feel better. And pump and nurse as frequently as you can, thats the best supply booster :)
Good luck!

Marie - posted on 02/09/2010

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i recommend domperidone, my doctor suggested it when i wasn't producing enough milk for my twin boys...it worked GREAT! next to no side effects, and even if you were to experience any the worst would be a headache, which you can cure with handy ibuprofen! lol, there aren't any serious side effects and it starts working almost right away...that way you don't have to start formula or cereal!!

Jacquelyn - posted on 02/09/2010

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Try pumping while you nurse on the other side, it can help with letdown :)

Emily - posted on 02/09/2010

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Your supply is probably just regulated so that it makes just enough for her to eat, and not much more. Pumps are just a poor replica of what a baby will do at the breast. Is there any way you can add more pumping sessions into the day? Sometimes I have to pump double in order to make enough milk for when I'm at work.

Rachel - posted on 02/09/2010

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A lot of times your body just gets so used to a baby's suckle that it doesn't respond to the pump as well. That has happened to me with both kids. As long as baby is on the breast, milk is going to her. Wet and poopy diapers are a good sign that she is getting enough! I had my daughter on JUST breastmilk for 9 months - she did great! You're doing fine mama - don't stress because of the pump!

Janice - posted on 02/09/2010

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I know Im making enough to feed my daughter because she has many wet and dirty diapers regularly too. About 3 weeks ago I just stopped getting more than an ounce or two from pumping. I usually pump on one side while Im feeding her on the other. Im afraid if I use a something to increase my supply Ill start leaking constantly like I did till 2 weeks ago which I HATED. Thankyou for the advise though. :)

Nicole - posted on 02/09/2010

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Have you tried taking mother's milk or herbs to increase your supply? Are you pumping while she nurses on the other breast? I heard goats milk is most like human milk. Good luck!

Rachel - posted on 02/09/2010

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Keep in mind that a pump does not at all show you how much milk you are making. If you really want to continue breastfeeding you can increase your supply. Try taking fenugreek (3 capsules a day, 3 times a day) and that will give you a big boost. Also eat oatmeal - that does a number on your supply.

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