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Thread: Supply, Flu, Formula

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Unhappy Supply, Flu, Formula

    Hello! Sorry this might be long, just so frustrated!

    My daughter is 6.5 months old and has been exclusively on breastmilk to this point. My supply has been really erratic--I am now on my 3rd menstrual cycle (first started after taking fenugreek which did not help supply but may have jump-started my period) and have now had both a sinus infection/head cold and just got over the stomach flu so things have obviously been interfering with my supply lately.

    To top it off I have to travel for work and had a really nice back-store of frozen for my trips and have (even with new stringent TSA guidelines) been able to bring back everything I pumped while travelling) but I am almost out of stuff from having to use frozen on a 'normal day' when I drop her off at daycare. Anyway, I pump 3x a day at work (at least, sometimes sneak a quick pump in extra), pump once in morning and once in evening after she goes to bed--she has been eating solids for 1.5 months or so and I have been trying to pump when she used to eat in hopes that supply would stay up, but it hasn't worked. I am lucky to get 8 oz out of all this and she usually eats 20 oz at daycare plus cereal or food--she is a piggy (still nurse 1-2x in morning and 1-2x at night and she sleeps through night).

    Anyway, with everything going wrong, I think we will probably need to supplement formula, which is not my first choice but fenugreek didn't help and my dr won't do a prescription since fenugreek didn't work. Hopefully once I get over all teh colds and flu stuff it will get a little better, but another problem I am having is that when we tried the formula (have tried 2x) she absolutely refused to eat it. So I guess I am just stressed and venting because I am not sure I can do much about milk supply except try to get healthy, but how do you get them to eat formula when they really just outright refuse it? I guess if she gets hungry enough she'll eat but I hate for it to get to that point. To add to everything I am gone 3 full days next week...any advice appreciated, thanks!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Supply, Flu, Formula

    What kind of pump are you using? Perhaps switching to a better pump for a while would help your supply. Breast compressions while pumping will also help. To take advantage of letdowns, try pumping one side while your baby nurses on the other.

    20oz is a lot for a baby to take during a normal work schedule - most infants drink 9-15oz or so. If baby's not on slow-flow bottle nipples anymore, put her back on them. It's quite possible she's being overfed at daycare, which means she isn't nursing much at home, which hurts your supply.

    There are things you can do to increase your supply - eat oatmeal (not instant), take fenugreek 3x/day, 3 pills each time, same thing with blessed thistle, there are prescription medications for other things that have a side effect of sometimes increasing a mother's supply, pump more often, get a better pump (rental!), drink water (especially since you've been sick lately), nurse as often as baby will take it, pump in the middle of the night (mothers supply is often higher then).
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: Supply, Flu, Formula

    Thanks Shannon,

    I use Ameda Purely Yours but may start taking advantage of a lactation room near my work--I work in a hospital complex and there is a room I can use a few buildings over and re-inserting a night pump. My daughter has actually never gotten off size 1 nipples so no luck there and the fenugreek didn't work last time except for making me start menstruating--may try again and see if doctor will prescribe this time when they wouldn't last time I asked.

    Still looking for any ideas on how to get her to eat the formula without waiting until she's starving. I may also try increasing the amount of food they give her at daycare as a swap for a bottle...

    Just hasn't been ideal this month with being so sick AND travelling!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Supply, Flu, Formula

    I would really look at the daycare eating schedule and see if you can tweak things a bit. . . would the providers be willing to stop scheduling feedings and feed smaller bottles more frequently on demand? Even decreasing each bottle by one ounce will start to make a difference. Every little bit means less formula. . .

    My daugher is a month older than your daughter and is the only baby that is getting breastmilk and they think I'm starving her because her bottles are so small by comparison to the giant formula bottles. This could also be the case with your little one which is why she "needs" so much milk.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Re: Supply, Flu, Formula

    I also have had to supplement while I build my supply back up. I was giving LO formula bottles at room temperature, but found that he took them better when they were warmer...more like breastmilk. I also use the Soothie bottles which match the pacifier he was given in PICU. Good luck....you're not alone!

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