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Thread: Having to supplement- ADVICE PLEASE

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Having to supplement- ADVICE PLEASE

    My DD will be 2 weeks on Monday (9-5-11). This is my first time breastfeeding and I thought it was going well. She wasnt always taking every 2 hours, we were probably closer to ever 3-3.5hrs. Recently, she seemed very cranky at night and I felt like I was having to nurse her every hour but she never seemed satisfied. We took her to the Dr for a previously scheduled weight check and she had lost weight. She is now less than her discharge weight and so they have me supplementing with formula (1-2oz. after breastfeeding). I really dont want to give up on BF. I have now been nursing every 2 hours whether she seems to want it or not but she falls asleep after a few minutes and then eventualy takes herself off yet within mins she's fussing and takes the bottle like a champ but she hasnt emptied me. Its almost like nursing is too hard for her. What can I do to not dry up yet get her to gain the weight? Im determined to breastfeed but almost feel selfish because the bottle seems to satisfy her better. I havent tried pumping because I wasnt really planning on giving her a bottle until we established my milk supply. SHould i be?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Having to supplement- ADVICE PLEASE

    I can't answer all of your questions but yes, you need to pump to protect your supply. My DD seemed to be feeding well (wetting diapers, gaining weight) but we had a bad latch and she might not have been eating long enough and my supply tanked at two weeks. I'm in utter hell trying to get it back up. Ideally you will want to pump at least as much as she's taking in supplements.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Default Re: Having to supplement- ADVICE PLEASE

    I'm so sorry to hear. With my first one, I thought I was doing so well, until a friend who is a pediatrician indicated that the child was not looking so well. So i took her to the doctor who ordered me to supplement, but she also had me come into her office for a week to receive breast feeding coaching. I just wasnt' so successful withthe first child. But the second child - whew! it went so well, that she is four and still fixated with my breasts.
    I would say pump, but also don't be hard on yourself. The important thing is that she is being fed and nourished. Offer the breasts still either directly or via expression.

    Best wishes momma....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default Re: Having to supplement- ADVICE PLEASE

    Hi mama. I think the best thing for you to do is get in touch with an IBCLC . it will help in so many ways.

    how many diapers is the baby having? do you co sleep?

    it is most likely that the baby is unable to transfer the milk well for some reason. maybe poor latch, jaw issues, tongue tie, etc. the LC will help you identify what is going on. Also, she will be able to get you a scale to measure how much milk the baby is getting in a feeding.

    i normally would not recommend pumping to a new mom, but if you the baby is not removing the milk well your body will not produce as much milk (supply and demand). also if you need to supplement you can supplement with your own breastmilk, it is much better than formula. i would use formula only if the baby cant nurse well and you cannot express enough through pumping.

    pumping may be hard in the beginning but do not worry. it takes many of us awhile to get used to the pump. an LC will hopefully provide you with a plan for pumping and supplementing with your milk if that is still necessary after she sees you.

    i would pump after you nurse. you may also want to pump in the middle of the night, i occasionally pump around 3 am if i need extra oz for daycare because our milk production is highest then.

    so again, get some hands on help and identify what is going on. then we can work from there together
    Last edited by @llli*mtmama; September 3rd, 2011 at 06:55 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Having to supplement- ADVICE PLEASE

    The bottle seems to satisfy them because it's EASY. They get more milk faster. And it's easy for them. Breastfeeding is work, work work. And they fall asleep at the breast as a result.

    Instead of supplementing...I would probably switch baby every time she fell asleep to the other breast. That wakes them up. I'd do breast compressions to make the milk come out faster and harder so baby had to stay awake to cope with it. I'd go to bed with baby and dream feed. I'd nurse more often than every 2 hours if I had to.

    Please DO NOT get sucked into pumping and feeding. That is a slippery slope to ending up exclusively pumping, and it is far, far more work in the long run than breastfeeding ever is!

    It's not selfish to want to breastfeed. There is more and more evidence that breastmilk, fed from the breast (NOT from a bottle) is far, far better than expressed milk, and it's far, far, far better than formula.

    The PP asked some really good questions that can help us help you.
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!

    Default Re: Having to supplement- ADVICE PLEASE

    Also don't mistake what's happening with bottle for "satisfied". Formula is harder on their system and takes longer to digest. That is why they go longer between feedings. Breastmilk is very quickly absorbed. And the going longer between feedings due to supplements is very detrimental to your supply. Your child SHOULD be eating every 1-3 hours. All the time. She needs the practice and she is still working to regulate your supply. You want to work to get away from the supplements. Go to Kellymom.com they have good instructions on how. But you do want to move away from them as quickly as possible to protect your supply and your nursing relationship.

    Way too lazy for formula

  7. #7

    Default Re: Having to supplement- ADVICE PLEASE

    Fussy at night, nursing every hour, and not seeming satisfied -- that actually sounds pretty normal! But I would expect a baby under two weeks to nurse more often than every 3 or 3.5 hours. Was she sleepy to start out with?

    Given the weight loss, it's pretty clear that one way or another she hasn't been taking in enough milk, but pinpointing why isn't always easy. Is it just that she wasn't nursing often enough and needs to nurse more often? Is there something going on with her latch or suck that's making it hard for her to transfer milk even when she nurses frequently? I second mtmama's suggestion to see a board certified lactation consultant (check the ILCA website to locate one) to help you find the root of the problem.

    In the meantime, some things you could try:

    - Keep nursing as often as you can - every 2 hours (or even more often) is great!
    - Try switch nursing like aprilsmagic suggested -- when she falls asleep nursing, take her off and switch her to the other breast, repeating as often as needed
    - Try breast compressions to keep her interested
    - Pump after nursing as much as you can
    - Consider renting a hospital grade pump
    - If you can pump enough, consider giving her your expressed milk instead of formula for the supplement
    - If you don't get much from pumping, don't panic! It takes some getting used to and a lot of moms don't respond well to the pump at first, regardless of the size of their milk supply.

    The first priority is, of course, to feed the baby. Whatever you need to do to make sure she's getting enough to eat. Bottles may be easier for her right now, but it doesn't mean she's not going to be able to breastfeed. She'll get better at it! And an IBCLC could really help you get through this stage and get her back to breastfeeding exclusively while making sure she's still getting all the nutrition she needs.

    Keep us posted.

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