Breastfeeding/Formula supplementing question

Sara - posted on 03/05/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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My daughter Emma was born on 10-22 and I have exclusively breastfeed since then. I have also been pumping to have a "freezer stock" in case my husband and I ever want to go to dinner alone, etc. It seems that recently my milk supply is dwindling. I know Emma is getting enough to eat, as she continues to gain weight, but once she is done nursing, I have nothing left to pump! I was usually able to get on average 4-6 onces pumped at a time (I normally would only pump once, maybe twice a day if I had time). Now if I try to pump, no matter if it's been 3 hours since she's nursed, or right after she's nursed, I can MAYBE get an ounce. It's hard because she started cereal last week and I really want to be able to mix the cereal with breastmilk, but I have literally used up all of my 1 and 2 ounce freezer bags of milk and like I said before, I can barely get anything out when I try to pump enough to mix in her cereal.



I also want to add that I work (I'm a Social Worker) on an "as needed" basis... which is rare. Since she's been born, I've only worked 4 days. But I do have two days coming up and I'm nervous that I won't have enough breastmilk for my mom to be able to give her while I'm working. The previous 4 days that I worked last month used up quite a bit of my frozen supply.



Sorry this is so long... but my question is this: If I am going to have to supplement with formula, should I go with a milk based or a soy? I know we're going with organic, but I was just wondering which would be the easiest transition from breastmilk? I was planning on asking my pediatrician this past Monday at Emma's 4 month well check, but due to the massive amount of snow we just had, it is postponed for a while. I'm honestly hoping that somehow my milk will start "flowing" like it used to, but just in case, I want to be prepared!



Thanks in advance!



Sara

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Sara - posted on 03/11/2009

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Thanks everyone for your replies!  I think that at the time when I first posted, Emma was going through a growth spurt...  that just happened to last a while :)  My supply seems to have increased a bit, so I have not had to supplement with formula at all.  I am still planning to work for 2 days this month and I think I have enough milk frozen.



And thank you to Kassie for mentioning the lactaion cookies... I've googled them and I will definitely be making them soon! :)

Sarah - posted on 03/08/2009

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When I first tried pumping I found it very difficult because I would pump for almost an hour and get maybe 2 oz out of it, so I quickly gave up. But when circumstances forced me to try again, I pumped every day at the same time and by the third day it was so easy! To the point where I would squeeze the pump once and it would spray out on it's own for minutes at a time. Since I was too lazy to get up in the night to pump, I found pumping just after the morning feed worked best for me. It also really helps to have your baby next to you while pumping.

Kassie - posted on 03/08/2009

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Well this sounds very similar to what I went through, I would try to pump in between to store and freeze, and at one point my milk supply started to fail in between. I didn't know at the time that it was because of a birth control I had just started (which was suppose to be safe to breastfeed) actually was drying me up. I didn't know and I kept trying to just pump more until I over did it and somehow (only when my son nursed) he was getting blood.I didn't know until he would spit up a little.(It caused a very dramatic er visit)I am not trying to scare you I just don't want you to over pump to that point if you are struggling.I didn't know that was even possible.

I found my son would take any formula for supplementing and then eventually permanent.However he did not like soy. Enfamil and Similac did the best without constipating.

Also, something you might want to try for your milk supply is a lactation cookie.I am sure you can get the recipe by googleing or I can give it to you if you want it,but it would double my milk supply and they tasted so great my husband would actually make them for me so that he could eat some to!=)

-I hope this helps!

Glenda - posted on 03/07/2009

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My daughter was born on Oct.9 and i have started supplementing a bottle of formula at noon, i am using the premixed Similac Advance, that is what they use in the hospitals here so i figured i would try that one. She likes it and gives my son and husband a chance to feed her, I am pumping then too keep a bit of supply in the freezer. Also she is sleeping longer at night, which i have been told by other formula feeding Moms that the formula takes longer to digest so your baby is satisfied longer. Sometimes i get up to pump at night if she is sleeping and i am uncomfortably full.



Seems by this stage your body is so in tune to your baby's needs that it produces just enough.You can try to stimulate your production by pumping more often, drinking lots of water and i have also been told to eat oatmeal.....not sure why but worth a try!



Good Luck

Katie - posted on 03/06/2009

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I've been having a similar issue, but I think that maybe as my baby gets older he's sucking a lot more efficiently then a pump and my boobs have compensated for him, so the pump is hardly working anymore.

Instead of pumping right after feeding, try pumping when she's sleeping. If she goes to bed at 7 and doesn't wake up until midnight, then try pumping at 8:30. If she naps for an hour, try pumping 30-45 minutes after you put her down. That way your milk will fill up again before she needs some and you will get some out when you pump.

You could also start hand expressing and then go to the pump, or using a heating pad and then pumping to get it going.

I'm sure that you probably won't need to supplement, even if you need to use formula while you are at work. Make sure you pump while working, though. If she's not hungry then she's getting plenty.

She could also be going through a growth spurt and trying to increase your supply on her own. If that's the case then you will probably get milk from pumping in a week or two after her new appetite levels out.

Sara - posted on 03/06/2009

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I had to supplement and you definitely want to go with milk based unless she has a milk protein allergy, which if she's breastfeeding she probably doesn't. I went with the Enfamil Lipil. Good luck!

Karina - posted on 03/06/2009

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My doctor advice me that while i breastfeed one side, i can pump the other side at the same time. have you try to pump in this method? And also the peak hour for breastmilk production is from 1am to 5 am, so you could try pump during his period of time. I use Japanese formula "Meiji" it tastes great! and was designed for lactose allergy babies, so maybe a lactose free formula will be safe for your bf baby.

Erin - posted on 03/05/2009

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It really depends on if you've been eating dairy yourself. My daughter is sensitive to dairy and so I could not have any dairy while I was breastfeeding. Now she is on formula and we give her soy. If there have been no issues such as fussiness and gas and you have been eating dairy than a milk based formula is probably fine.

Erin - posted on 03/05/2009

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It really depends on if you've been eating dairy yourself. My daughter is sensitive to dairy and so I could not have any dairy while I was breastfeeding. Now she is on formula and we give her soy. If there have been no issues such as fussiness and gas and you have been eating dairy than a milk based formula is probably fine.

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