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Thread: Supply Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    16

    Default Supply Question

    Hello!

    Thank you to everyone when I posted awhile back about an abcess I had in my breast for all the encouragement and information. It wasn't a problem at all to keep nursing my son after I had it drained, even though the surgeon told me not to nurse him for a couple of days. I was able to nurse him about an hour after the surgery with no problems or pain. So, if anyone ever has to have that done, you can totally keep nursing...no problem even if they tell you not to!

    I was just wondering about something with my supply. I think I've messed up here. My son (5 months) was refusing any bottles, so about 2 months ago when my husband got home from deployment, we started trying them and he began to take them. We were giving him about 2 or 3 a day, with mostly expressed breastmilk and little formula. Eventually, he would take either breast or bottle and seem satisfied. As my body seemed to adust (even though I was pumping whenever he had a bottle) and I made less milk at those times, we gave him mostly or all formula in those bottles. He now will take either breast or bottle, but sometimes he is very fussy until my milk lets down and I give up and give him a bottle.

    Will my body stay adjusted to more spaced out feedings, or should I worry about my supply dwindling even more? He pretty much wants to eat/nurse around every 3-4 hours during the day which works very well for us both. He's not a very fussy baby at all. He gets VERY impatient for let-down lately and I'm starting to feel concerned that it will lead to an all out rejection of nursing (except his before-bed nursing time...he really seems to like that for comfort). Although I don't mind him having a little formula, I really want to keep nursing. I'm afraid he's not going to want to nurse but I'm also afraid he'll be hungry if I make him nurse and don't supplement with some formula. Just wondering if I should accept being a part-time nurser or should I try to get him back the breast completely and how do I do that? My husband is deployed again and he is very supportive and encouraging so I get all worried about everything while he's away

    Thanks in advance!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
    Posts
    17,438

    Default Re: Supply Question

    HI!
    I remember you! I'm so glad that things went well w/ the abscess! Well, you know some breast milk is better than no BM but what you are describing sounds like a dwindling supply based on increased formula use. And the impatience at the breast could also be an indication that your child IS beginning to prefer the bottle because it's easier and there is less work involved.

    So I would supplement less and put him back at the breast more. Because it sounds like when you began it was mostly EBM and a little formula and now your up to 2-3 bottles of formula a day? Is that right? So you probably ARE making less milk. Keep in mind for every bottle of formula you supplement you are running the risk of missing at least two signals a day to make more milk! So two to 3 bottles a day means instead of sending your body the signal to make milk 8-12x a day, you may only be getting it as little as 4- 6. It's completely supply and demand. in order to make more milk you need to get the baby back to the breast. You talked about the baby only wanting to eat every 3-4 hours ....usually that's the time line of a formula fed baby more so than a BF child. A BF child who is BF around the clock will eat more frequently. Are you wanting the spacing? Is that the reason for the supplementation?
    If you don't want to be a part time nurser, I would start to eliminate the formula bottles right away! And really if he's taking the breast as well, you could reasonably get rid of them one at time and if your OK w/ him eating more frequently than you could probably get rid of all of them w/in a week!
    If you do want some spacing but you are concerned about your supply , I wouldn't supplement more than one or two bottles in a 24 hours period and honestly I would try to keep it to one so you KNOW you won't stop producing enough but you still will have the flexiblity to allow your DH or another caretaker to feed your baby and you can schedule one longer stretch of time w/out feeding during the day. Also if it's only one bottle a day the risk of nipple preference will go way down! HTH!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,064

    Default Re: Supply Question

    I agree with DJ's Mom. What you do depends on what your wishes are for the nursing relationship. Many moms do successfully combine breast and formula feeding. However, the more bottles the baby gets the more likely to develop nipple preference for the bottle possibly leading to a much earlier weaning. Also, the more formula the baby gets, the less milk you make. So, if you really want to continue nursing for a longer period of time, then the best thing to do would be to cut back on the bottles. Since it does seem that he's getting a decent amount of formula right now, you'd want to do that gradually, but your body should be able to adjust pretty quickly as long as you nurse more frequently.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Supply Question

    Thanks for the tips and for the encouragment that my body will adjust back (I think my biggest worry is that it won't). I have a meeting this afternoon with a nurse here. She is supposedly the only person around for breastfeeding help..don't know if she's an actual lactation consultant though. It's all I've got being overseas right now. I think I'm just going to gradually ease him off the bottles, except maybe one per day. I think it is more about my dwindling supply than him not wanting to nurse...as long as there is milk, he's happy to nurse. So, hopefully my supply will pick back up. Anyways, thanks for the encouragement!

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