Per doctor- supplementing my daughter

Kayla - posted on 04/11/2011 ( 11 moms have responded )




My doctor wants me to supplement my daughter with formula because shes not gaining any weight, I'm strictly breastfeeding and i like it that way! but i don't want my daughter to be unhealthy. She also told me maybe my milk doesn't have enough calories for my daughter....anyone else going through this as well? anything i can do to help my milk supply??


Tine - posted on 04/14/2011




Your doctor is ill - informed (many are about breastfeeding, unfortunately) and has given you very poor advice!

Adding formula would simply compromise her immune and digestive system, and not add health at all. If she is doing at leat 5 or 6 dirty nappies a day and is clearly healthy (alert, good skin tone, normal development etc) then she may just be naturally small (like my daughter!!). Most doctors still compare the weight of breastfed babies to formula fed ones, which is certainly not valid.

You can boost your supply if you feel it is lowish by feeding more frequently (feed on demand, never on a schedule, small babies need feeds at least every two hours or so to bump up your supply), and don't add formula as that will fill her up and stop her feeding from you to increase supply. Also try more skin to skin time, and time to relax with your baby, as these encourage supply too.

I also found fenugreek (in capsules) very helpful for increasing supply, but you need at least 1000 mg a day for about 3 days (you are taking enough if you develop a sweet smell!!).

Your doctor's ignorance is shown in the suggesting that your milk has not enough calories - this is just not possible! Do make sure that she feeds long enough each time to get both the watery looking foremilk and the creamy hindmilk that comes down after she's been feeding for a while. Easy to tell, just squirt a bit onto your finger, they look very different!

Best wishes, and please if you need breasfeeding advice go to the Australian Breastfeeding Association, La Leche League or a lactation consultant - NOT to your doctor, who should not be giving advice if it is incorrect.

Esther - posted on 04/11/2011




make sure she is eating for a good 15 min or more on each side!!!! make sure your getting the right nutrients too!!

[deleted account]

Also remember that when there's poo there's usually pee, it's just harder to tell with all that mess in there. One thing you can do to get more calories in her is to make sure she thoroughly empties the first breast before switching sides. If she pulls off and you can still easily squeeze milk out then put her back on the same side. You can also try breast compressions while nursing. These things will help get more fatty hindmilk out which will help her put on weight.


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Angela - posted on 04/18/2011




I would definitely listen to the above suggestions! I really think some herbs known for increasing milk supply would help. My personal fav is Breastea from Just drink it daily and breastfeed as often as possible.

Sarah - posted on 04/13/2011




If you're being asked to suppliment, why not with breastmilk? Pump after every session at the breast, then give it to her. Sara D's suggestion is good too.

Mandy - posted on 04/13/2011




does she sometimes have green poo? instead of yellow? my midwife told me that that means not enough fat in my milk, try whole milk-breads-high carbs, and be sure to take the prenatal for the vitamins too

Meghan - posted on 04/13/2011




If you want to supplement, which a lot of Moms I know do when there supply goes down--due to stress, dehydration or discomfort, you pump every time when you should be feeding to make sure to keep your supply going. It's supply and demand... if you feel your supply is low, you should probably be nursing more, drinking and eating more food, we need more calories in our daily intake than normal b/c we are needing the extra for nursing. I was super stressed out for 2 weeks while nursing my son at around 4m. He didn't want to eat off of me b/c I was so tense and it was hard for the milk let down, but when I calmed down and put on some soothing music or did something relaxing to me, it was fine. Get a good flow/routine going and hopefully it will get better. If you want to breastfeed exclusively just take every measure you can to make your supply increase by listening to other breastfeeding Moms. I was scared to supplement too when he was first born his first week, b/c I felt he would love it more than me... but that just isn't so! They will always choose us :) Breast is best! Good luck to you.

Alli - posted on 04/12/2011





Well I had a LOT of trouble with my supply and I wrote about it in my homemade baby food blog in these articles:

If you've already tried all of these things and your supply still hasn't gotten better, I'd suggest you talk to your lactation specialist or OB about using Reglan to build your supply. HOWEVER, if you have a history of depression or anxiety then I'd suggest domperidone. It is literally, 100% the ONLY thing I've used that has increased my supply. I went from just a dribble of milk to a full 2 oz. at each pump in just a few days! It keeps getting better too! You can find it at by typing in "domperidone." It's the cheapest way to get it because they don't have it in pill-form in the U.S. This was recommended to me by my midwife and I have had absolutely no ill-effects from it, even with a history of anxiety. It's a miracle, seriously. I've spent at least $400 on other so-called "breastfeeding miracles" from supplements, pills, herbs, teas, you name it.

P.s. Once you're ready for solids, take a look at the rest of the blog at :D It's been endorsed by my midwives and pediatrician!

[deleted account]

It sounds like she could do with some more breast feeds. How manoften do you offer the breast? There is often an appetite increase at this age, when babies will want to feed more often to boost your supply. So follow her lead and feed her whenever she wants. Supplementing with formula will almost inevitably decrease your supply, as your baby will then not demand the breast enough to maintain a healthy supply.

Kayla - posted on 04/11/2011




She's two months old, lots a dirty diapers but not many wet. I'm going to count today to see. But lately she has been having a lot of dirty ones. She weights 10lbs and has for the last month.

[deleted account]

Kayla, how old is your daughter? What weight is she?
Your milk always has plenty of calories. If she is being exclusively breastfed, you can tell if she's getting enough by counting nappies - if she's having 6 -8 wet nappies per day, she's getting enough!
All the best.

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