Need advice for sister whos beign forced to feed her baby formula.

Michelle - posted on 12/04/2009 ( 22 moms have responded )

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my sister is 23 and was breastfeeding her 2 week old. She has had several midwife visits since her son was born and each time the midwife has told her that she needs to feed her boy formula! I mean for one...midwifes are meant to promote breastfeeding arent they???
anyway aiden (my sisters lil boy) weighed 8lb 2oz at birth and by end of week one went down to 7lb 10oz then up to 7lb 12 now hes nearly 3 weeks old...the midwife has said to my sister that she needs to put him on formula because hes not putting on enough weight.
By my calculations...hes only lost 5% of his original body weight so therefore is not in any kind of danger??? Hes healthy and happy, and when he was breastfeeding he was feeding every hour.
I myself breastfed my daughter and I went through some trials and ended up with the doc putting my daughter on soya formula (when she could have just advised me to cut out all dairy etc...more to that story) but anyway....how do i give my sister the reassurance shes doing just fine and to not let some health professionals make her do anything...90% of new moms breastfeeding find it difficult at first...she never did it with her first baby...so any advice please is welcome.

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Maureen - posted on 12/10/2009

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my daughter weighed 6lbs 14oz at birth and lost 7oz and weighed 6lbs 8oz (gained 1oz) when we left the hospital. at her check up 2 days later she weighed 6lbs 10oz. and a week later she was 7lbs 5oz. she was breastfed the whole time we were in the hospital except when she had to stay a day by herself, she had to be in an incubater for jaundice. but she is strictly breastfed now and she still feds anywhere from every 20 mins to 3 hrs. so as long as the baby is gaining weight and she is feeding on demand she should be ok.

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Carly - posted on 12/10/2009

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MY daughter was 4lb 2oz when she was born and went down almost 8oz the first day. The doctor wanted her on formula but I insisted on breast feeding. He told me to pump for a few days to ensure I was making enough. It took 5 days for her to be 4lb (minimum required to leave the hospital we were at). Almost 3 weeks old and she is still wearing premie clothes but is gaining weight just fine. Tell her to pump if she needs to. It will help produce more if she is not making enough and help her see if she is.

Arleta - posted on 12/10/2009

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Its okay, don't over react. The same thing happened with my son, 17months now. My milk didn't come in for a week. And when it did come, I just wasn't producing enough milk for him. I gave him formula and breast milk. Formula is perfectly fine to use as a supplement to breast milk.
Within a few visits he was well into the 80% for weight!

Lauren - posted on 12/10/2009

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I think the hardest part is weaving your own wisdom out of the advice of others. Brenda's right that professionals can be wrong - or at least give advice that is wrong for your family. It sounds like your sister has loads of milk, and surely your nephew is hungry, so it's just a matter of them getting in synch. Formula could get them over the hump, but it could also slow down the mutual learning process.
My baby sucked like crazy but had trouble latching well, so she didn't stimulate my letdown and then she'd get impatient. And then when the milk did let down it was incredibly forceful - I could hear it hiss into her mouth! You know what worked for me? I bought good, cotton breast pads, and fed one side only per feed. That means that the poor child wasn't getting the "fire hose" effect the whole meal, so she was more likely to hang on for the higher-fat hindmilk. Less gas too, which made us both happy! She'll always be small - that's genetics, not nutrition - but she's healthy and insanely active, and we're still breastfeeding twice a day 11 months later.
I wish your sister and nephew as satisfying a BF relationship as ours. Good on you for not accepting an answer that was wrong for your situation; I hope that spirit runs in the family!

[deleted account]

I feel so blessed that I had a doctor that totally supported breastfeeding. My daughter didn't reach her birth weight and I was told that was just fine. In fact, babies that are back at their birth weight by a week are more likely to be obese as adults (that is what I was told anyway). My daughter was only 12 pounds at 4 months and there was no worries from the doctor. All she said was continue to feed her on both breasts at every feeding. She is perfectly happy and healthy now at 18 months (and is only 21 pounds!). On the other hand, my sis-in-laws doctor was worried about her kids not gaining weight when they weren't at their birth weight. She ended up formula feeding all three. Maybe she should go to someone else for a second opinion. I wish my sis-in-law had.

Lauren - posted on 12/09/2009

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My son went from 5lbs 15oz to 5lbs 5oz in his first few days. The nurses at the hospital knew that I wanted to exclusively breastfeed so they had me feed him and then pump afterward to get my supply up and to get what he didn't nurse for reserve. We would then cup feed him if he would take any more after nursing. His weight is fine now and he hasn't ever needed formula. This was a good solution for us to make sure that he got only breast milk.

Alicia - posted on 12/09/2009

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From what I've heard breastfed babies will lose a little bit of weight within the first few weeks but after the milk supply is established, he will be gaining weight at the appropriate pace. Breastfed babies won't gain as much or as fast as formula fed babies ( just another point that proves that breastfeeding can prevent obesity) so I think her baby sounds fine. Unless, she has some sickness that could harm the baby by breastfeeding, I would ignore the midwife....she sounds like she doesn't know what she's talking about. Breastfeeding is way better than formula. She should just do it.

Michelle - posted on 12/08/2009

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all of these posts are very encouraging! were slowly getting there...my sister has never had a forceful letdown before hahahaha....and she found out what this was the other day when I was round her house. Because she had been supplementing...her boobs were filling up pretty quickly and when her little man started crying her boobs just leaked and milk spirted everywhere...she had no idea what this was as it had never happened before..so i told her that it was because she has missed a feed and given him formula her boobs filled up too much...I think she got the idea that this may happen alot if she carries on supplementing...change of clothes at everyfeed cant be that nice lol.

Alicia..he gulps so hard he gets so much gas...



To most posters....were in the UK so we dont get 'peadiatricans' for our babies. We get a midwife visit for first 2 weeks..discharges baby and mom of she feels they are well enough..then we have to visit HV maybe every two weeks, but not made to, and we also sign up to a GP surgery.

Becky - posted on 12/08/2009

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My daughter has always been under the 40% mark and have never been forced to stop breastfeeding her. I had an issue with dairy as well in my diet. I just started drinking Soy milk. my baby can not handle dairy even now but anywho. Tell your sister that she can consider the MW's advice but she needs to do what SHE feels is right. If she feels her little man is not healthy, then she might want to consider mixing in an oz or 2 of formula to her Breastmilk. Her little boy sounds healthy so she should not worry. My daughter went through a phase of eating all the time. its just the babys way of getting her milk supply up.

Julia - posted on 12/07/2009

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My youngest was born at 9lbs 12oz and was down to 9lbs 4 oz by the time we left the hospital. At 5 days old he was 9lbs 5 oz, then at 2 weeks he was back to 9lbs 4oz. I was refered to a lactation consultant and at 3 weeks he was up to 9lbs 8oz! He was then finally over his birth weight at 4 weeks when he hit 10lbs 4oz and now at 6 months he is at 17lbs 13oz! I did need to give 1-2oz of breast milk after each feeding for about 2 months (and yes there were times I didn't have any breast milk so he did get a little formula) but it can be done!

Katie - posted on 12/07/2009

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alternate sides. my son was born 7lbs 14oz went down to 7lbs and at 2 weeks was 7lbs 10oz i think anyways the dr told me he should have been back at his birth weight so i needed to alternate sides 5 to 10 on each side for a higher calorie intake and a better weight gain supplimental formula feeding is sometimes nessicary but in my case it wasnt i did what he said and in one week my son gained over a pound. sounds like she needs a better midwife or go to a peditrician!

[deleted account]

They don't exactly put on the weight like a formula fed baby!


Well... depends on the baby.  My son lost 8 ounces in the first 3 days of his life and gained TWELVE ounces during his second 3 days.  :)

Alicia - posted on 12/07/2009

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He's fine! Mine is 11weeks old and was born 7lbs 2oz and now only weighs 11lbs.

They don't exactly put on the weight like a formula fed baby! Formula is filled with junk that fattens your baby. America is overweight because people think babies should be chubby. Now, while it doesn't hurt to have chubby cheeks, there's a difference between a chubby baby and a fat baby.

I would tell her, if he seems to always have wet diaper, and a couple poopy diapers (though they may slow down to once a day or once every couple of days), then he is doing well. She should also be hearing him swallow. I swear my daughter gulps the milk down lol. and sometimes I can feel it go down if I have my hand on her back. She shouldn't give the baby any formula, it will just hurt her supply since her son won't eat as much from her. The formula keeps them fuller for longer and she will eventually loose her breastmilk. Keep on trucking with the breastfeeding and nevermind what that midwife is saying, she's not your baby's Dr is she? You should have a pediatrician for the baby.

(Like Carla, my daughter ended up getting around 4oz of formula on day 4 because my milk still hadn't come in yet, but hasn't gotten any since, and we are 10weeks in. She was born at 7lbs 2oz and was 6lbs 10oz when we left the hospital and ddin't gain her birth weight back for two weeks)

Jessica - posted on 12/07/2009

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So where do I send the "You're awesome, thank you for the EBF support" Holiday Card? LOL

Michelle - posted on 12/06/2009

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thanks guys for all the support and info. Well since that 'nasty' midwife visited, the HV has been and weighed him again. My sister has been supplementing with formula once in the morning then BF all day...(she doesnt want to give up BF). since the HV came he weighed 8 lb 1 oz so hes put back on nearly all his weight that he started with. The HV has advised my sister to 'wean' him back off the formula and carry on BF..which thank God there are some decent health professionals out there.

Once again thanks people...Im gonna try encourage her to get him back to fully BF, and well see what happens from there.

Jessica - posted on 12/04/2009

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Report the midwife to a supervisor. Thats what I would do. Screw her and her bottlespiracy! BREAST IS BEST!

[deleted account]

My daughter lost 10%. I felt my milk come in the night of day 3 and when we went in for a weight check she had a lost a few oz more. The doctor started to say the "f" word and I told her no. I knew my milk had just come in and that we'd be ok. The next day we went back for a weight check and she'd gained 4 oz overnight. If he's gaining weight then there is definitely no need to supplement. She's the mommy and he's a healthy baby, they can't force her to supplement.

Brenda - posted on 12/04/2009

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And here is the growth chart you should use, not the ones the doctor's use.

http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/gro...

Just because someone is a doctor or medical professional does not make them right. I've been told some pretty stupid things by doctors that are totally wrong. Just look at what they used to tell moms: they used to say if you fed more than once every four hours your baby needed formula, and tons of other BS.

Brenda - posted on 12/04/2009

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It is so annoying when they do that. As long as the baby is gaining, there is no problem.

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/normal/newbor... Direct her here and this details a vast amoung of information.

Weight gain: Normal newborns may lose up to 7% of birth weight in the first few days. After mom's milk comes in, the average breastfed baby gains 6 oz/week (170 g/week). Take baby for a weight check at the end of the first week or beginning of the second week. Consult with baby's doctor and your lactation consultant if baby is not gaining as expected. (from above link).

If baby is not gaining well, you do not go to formula, you go to a lactation consultant first. Hope that helps her.

Amanda - posted on 12/04/2009

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Most babies will be at their birth weight or above it by the time they are 2 weeks old. The midwife would probably not suggest the use of formula if she didn't feel it necessary. If your sister nurses on demand the weight should come up, but using a little bit of formula for a day or so to bring his weight up may be what he needs. I had to do the same thing with my little one because he wasn't gaining enough weight. If she can express milk at all she can supplement with that instead of the formula, which is a much better choice. He may need a jump start at gaining weight, and the additional fat in formula may help him. However, only time will tell. We all know that breastmilk is always best!

[deleted account]

Tell her to nurse that baby as often as he wants, which it sounds like she is doing. I think most babies are back up to their birth weight (if not heavier) by 2 weeks, so maybe that is where the concern is coming from. I think as long as he is gaining instead of losing and he's having enough wet/poopy diapers during the day then she can tell that midwife to stuff it... Not literally, of course, but he definitely doesn't sound like he's in any danger at this point.

My twins were cup fed small amounts of formula in the hospital til my milk came in, but they were initially 5lb2oz and 4lb 11oz and got down to 4lb8oz and 4lb3oz. They needed to quit losing, but the formula feeds stopped as soon as they were maintaining their weight instead of losing it...

Carla - posted on 12/04/2009

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My son was 9lbs 4oz and went down to just under 8lbs 6oz. He lost 10.4% of his body weight and did need a formula top up for one day as my milk didnt come in until day 5. On day 4 he had a few mls of formula by cup after a few feeds, he was becoming dehydrated so I had no choice :( BUT 5% is perfectly normal, even formula fed babies lose weight after birth. Tell her she's doing great and to keep it up!

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