Tips on supplementing with formula for a breastfed baby?

Corie - posted on 02/07/2011 ( 15 moms have responded )

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I am trying to supplement my 7 month old, breastfed daughter with formula. I am having a very difficult time producing enough milk now. Pumping and more frequent feedings are not increasing my supply. So I am needing to supplement with formula. I am running out of ideas on how to get her to drink it. I first tried giving it to her mixed with breastmilk and she wouldn't take it. I tried having family members give it to her. That didn't work. I tried a different brand. That didn't work. I tried it in her sippy cup. That didn't work. I tried it at different times in the day. I have had absolutely no success. She just gets irrate and instead of swallowing she gags herself until it comes back up. She has had bottles of breastmilk before and did not have any problems. Any tips?

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Jeannine - posted on 02/07/2011

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My first question is also, at 7 months, how her solid feedings are going? I breast fed both of my babies for 13 months while also working. But, at about eight months I pretty much just breast fed when I was with them and used formula in rice cereal more as a meal, which was fed to them while I was at work. I never really did bottles, except with pumped milk during the first six months. My first was fine with just the cereal & formula, my second was pickier and we had to mix in some pureed food for taste. I weened gradually, supplanting regular "meals" for breast feeding until at about 11 months I was pretty much just doing a morning and evening feeding. Then, once they were able to take whole milk at a year, I started giving them that in a sippy cup and the breast feeding just went away. It was a gradual process. I also introduced the sippy cup at six months so they were used to it. This worked better with my first than second, but it eventually worked out with my second too. It's a process!

Jennifer - posted on 02/07/2011

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first, can i ask why you feel you aren't making enough milk for her? are you working and not able to pump enough for her while you are away from her?

if she is having 6-8 wet diapers a day, she's drinking enough. have you tried any of the herbal remedies to increase your milk supply? fenugreek is a supplement that helps most women increase their milk supply. 3 capsules, 3 times daily and after about 3 days you should notice a large increase in your milk. i had great success with a supplement called "more milk plus" by the Motherlove company. also, breastfeeding mothers need more water than non-nursing women and not getting enough water will surely cause one to struggle with milk production.



if the problem is that you aren't able to pump enough to keep up with her demand while you are unable to nurse her for whatever reason, i always recommend moms hand express for a few minutes after the pumping session. pumps simply are not efficient as baby is so they don't extract all of the milk...which then tells the body to make less for next time. its a vicious cycle. the hand expressions will add extra stimulation, and help get more milk out. it is kind of an art but once you get the hang of it, you will be so surprised how effective it is...even when you feel empty!

Melissa - posted on 02/09/2011

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Ive just been through this. I have to wean because I am geting married and going on honeymoon for 7 nights. But Im only weaning her onto 1 bottle per day to get used to it, then resuming breast feeds when I return. It took about 2 months for her to get fully used to a bottle. Choose one feed a day to bottle feed and stick with it. Do not allow her to breast feed when its time for the bottle because it will make her refuse more the next day. Veyr few babies will starve themselves to the point of needing to go to hospital. At least give her 3 hours. My daugter would cry for around 3 hours to start refusing the bottle. we slowly got to 40 mills then 60 now she has130 mills with no fuss but will only take the bottle while laying on the floor I put the tv on as a distraction have you tried laying her on the floor to play and feeding to her? In australia we have bottles which are meant for combining breast and bottle feeding and they are what worked for me so maybe see if theyhave those where you are. Try using a cup but not a sippy once just tip it slowly in her mouth see if she will take it, or to get her used to the taste use a sysringe to put it into her mouth or you can add something to it like juice (these 2 recommendations came from my child health nurse). Good luck She wont starve herself :)

Sarah - posted on 02/09/2011

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Try putting a tiny amount of sugar in it, other wise you may just have to just decide that she is not having breastmilk after a certain time of day, and if she is hugry enough then she will drink. I had something similar with my son, but once he gave in and drank it then it was all good, he would just have bottles after 3pm.

[deleted account]

Corie,
I had the same problem with my youngest son... he was stubborn and would take the formula.... I was at wits end! One day out of frustration I mixed breast milk with a little bit of formula-- each day I would add more and more formula and less breast milk- until it was all formula. After that, there was no problem... but it did take patience. As far as the reduction in milk production... are you taking any medications--if you are talk to your doctor
Good Luck!

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Corie - posted on 02/10/2011

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So far she has taken the formula mixed with her cereal. I'm trying to introduce a little every day. Hopefully, I will see some progress over the next month.

Sarah - posted on 02/09/2011

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One other thing that I remebered was try giving it to her as her first bottle in the morning, as they are normally really hungry then, just to get her used to it.

Krista - posted on 02/08/2011

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I got mine at a supplement store -- I think it was called Nutrition House.

One word of warning with the fenugreek: don't be alarmed when you and the baby start to smell like pancakes. Fenugreek is used to make artificial maple flavouring, so the scent will excrete from your pores and the baby's pores. It's not dangerous -- just a bit startling at first when you wonder why you smell like an IHOP.

Tabitha - posted on 02/08/2011

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Fenugreek is awesome... they sell it usually at the grocery store in the vitamins section or at an organic store. Also, none of the pumps worked for me, so I had to hand-express my milk! That showed me that I was actually producing more than I thought. It takes some time to figure out but once you get used to it, it is pretty easy. Mixing the formula with the rice or oatmeal cereal is great also. I know how you feel because my son was the same way. She will grow out of it and learn to take more diversity in her diet. Good luck!

Krista - posted on 02/08/2011

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The fenugreek does definitely help. I nursed a bit (while supplementing) after a breast reduction, and did find that the fenugreek made a marked difference in my supply.

If you want her to be on formula while you're at work, it may be worth trying to mix them, but do it super-gradually -- maybe one ounce of formula mixed with 7 ounces of pumped breastmilk, and then slowly increase it from there.

Your production might be fine, though. If she fusses after eating and isn't sleeping well, it could be something completely unrelated. But I would try the fenugreek anyway -- it certainly won't hurt, and if it increases your supply to the point where you can pump more easily, then that's a bonus!

Corie - posted on 02/08/2011

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Her solid feeding are going well. She eat fruits/veggies twice a day. The primary reason I need to supplement is becasue I'm going back to work soon. I was hoping to formula feed while I am gone and give the breast when I am home. I did try this morning mixing the formula with her rice cereal and apples. It was a success! Why I am worried that I may not be producing enough is sometimes she fusses after she eats, and she hasn't been sleeping as well through the night. I'm going to try drinking more water and see if that is the issue. Since it has been cold out I forget to drink as much. Thanks ladies!

Vanessa - posted on 02/07/2011

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Hows her solid feeds going? do u have to supplement at all if shes eating solids well?

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