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Thread: Dilemma: BFing or formula

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    East Tennessee
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    Default Dilemma: BFing or formula

    My DS is 3 months old today and for the last 5 days he has been eating every 1-1.5 hours when he used to go every 2-3 hours. He was waking 1-2 times a night and now it's at least 3 times to eat and one night it was 7 times. My breasts never feel full anymore. I know this could be a growth spurt but for this long? Is my supply going down? I enjoy nursing him but this is wearing me out.

    I'm on the mini-pill (have been since he was 6 wo), I took a pregnancy test just to rule that out and it was negative. I have had some very light bleeding the last 3 days. I was trying to make a freezer stash so DH and I can have dates but over the week I was able to get less and less each morning (from 3.5 oz to .75 oz).

    Tonight my DH brought up the topic of switching DS to formula since all it seems I do is BF and he's always hungry. I started crying and he doesn't understand why
    Wife to Adam 8/31/2008
    Mommy to William 9/30/2011
    Mommy to Tatum and Ellis 8/26/2013

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Default Re: Dilemma: BFing or formula

    He is probably going through a growth spurt!! That, and your milk supply may have regulated (once you get past a certain point, they make just the right amount of milk and don't really feel engorged ...usually).

    How is his diaper output? That's the best gauge of whether he's getting enough to eat.
    3/2011 {EBF to 6mos, now BF and BLS, CD, EC'ing since 5mos - in underwear at 11mos, and babywearing}
    Babywearing International has chapters - see if there's one near you... most have lending libraries!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Dilemma: BFing or formula

    Oh, and as many mamas on here will attest -- pumping output does not equal nursing output. Most babies are more efficient at draining the breast than any pump. So don't take that as a sign that you don't have enough milk, on its own, kwim?
    3/2011 {EBF to 6mos, now BF and BLS, CD, EC'ing since 5mos - in underwear at 11mos, and babywearing}
    Babywearing International has chapters - see if there's one near you... most have lending libraries!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Dilemma: BFing or formula

    He is wet every time I change him (7-8 cloth diapers) and sometimes has a BM 1 time a day or 5 times a day. In the last month he has gained 1.5 pounds.
    Wife to Adam 8/31/2008
    Mommy to William 9/30/2011
    Mommy to Tatum and Ellis 8/26/2013

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,269

    Default Re: Dilemma: BFing or formula

    Diaper output and weight gain will tell you whether or not your baby is getting enough to eat.

    Everything you describe is absolutely normal. Babies often increase their nursing frequency as they grow and wake up more. A newborn may sleep peacefully for hours between feeds, but an older baby is not going to do that! Nursing every 1-2 hours is very typical for a breastfed baby. Not feeling full is normal. As the PP said, once your milk supply regulates itself to match your baby's needs precisely, you will rarely if ever feel full or engorged. Frequent waking is normal, especially in babies who are beginning to master new motor milestones or who are beginning to teeth- and yes, teething does start this early!

    The only concern I have is about the mini-pill. Some moms find it negatively impacts supply. If you feel like it could be giving you problems, there are plenty of non-hormonal methods out there, and we'll be happy to help you pick one that's right for you!

    Oh, wait, I do have one other concern: was your DH dropped on the head when he was a baby? Switching to formula is not a suggestion anyone should make lightly to a nursing mom who is working her butt off to provide the best for her baby!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Dilemma: BFing or formula

    All of what you say is totally normal baby behavior, not due to low supply or anything related to breastfeeding. It's what being 3 months old is like.
    Susan
    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!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Dilemma: BFing or formula

    My son's growth spurts last about a week. Also, he could be starting to teethe, learning new things, etc. This is around the time I started co-sleeping and kept at it until about 7 months when it didn't work for us anymore. My son ate every 2 hours until about 6 months during the day. At night it would be anywhere from 1.5 to 4 hours btwn feedings. He is 8 months now and sleeping longer stretches, but there is always something to set them back. I think that is true of formula or breast fed babies.

    Just think about a) the money you are saving by not using formula, and b) getting up in the middle of the night with a screaming baby and trying to mix formula then heat it and put it in a bottle. BFing is just waaaay easier. You will hit your stride soon and it will all be totally manageable. I remember around 3 months feeling like "Why haven't I gotten the hang of this yet??" But at some point soon after that it really became second nature.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Dilemma: BFing or formula

    Do not switch to formula! Your baby is getting enough! Why would you feed your baby inferior food that will cost you money when you are making him perfect food for FREE?! Your child will go through growth spurts. It's the way your body can continually make enough milk to support a child that is gaining a pound and a half a month. Ride it out. 3 months in your body shouldn't be making more than you need so you should not be feeling full unless you are missing feeds. Your child is spurting and working your supply level out. Ride it out Mama. Your baby deserves your milk.

    Way too lazy for formula

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Dilemma: BFing or formula

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*djs.mom View Post
    Do not switch to formula! Your baby is getting enough! Why would you feed your baby inferior food that will cost you money when you are making him perfect food for FREE?! Your child will go through growth spurts. It's the way your body can continually make enough milk to support a child that is gaining a pound and a half a month. Ride it out. 3 months in your body shouldn't be making more than you need so you should not be feeling full unless you are missing feeds. Your child is spurting and working your supply level out. Ride it out Mama. Your baby deserves your milk.
    times a thousand


    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*bcav View Post
    I enjoy nursing him but this is wearing me out.
    You are going to be tired no matter what. Can you imagine hopping up and down all day and night to make bottles and then having to run to the store and spend tons of money on an inferior food? Or you could just roll over and lift up your shirt. I can tell you which one requires less effort in the long run.

    Christine
    Baby Girl Born 2/17/10 to her two mommies
    BF from day one. I looked up one day and realized I'm nursing a toddler!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Dilemma: BFing or formula

    Tonight my DH brought up the topic of switching DS to formula since all it seems I do is BF and he's always hungry. I started crying and he doesn't understand why
    Sorry for the sexist overgeneralizing but men like to fix things, even when they are not broken. He is trying to support you, but does not know how to best do that in this circumstance. You could explain to him that one reason you don't want to stop breastfeeding is because then he will have to get up several times a night to fix bottles!

    If you really have low supply, there are many ways to increase your supply. Number one would be to go off the minipill, jic. And next would be to look into galactagogues. I would say nurse more frequently but you are already doing that. You could also try breast compressions to see if that lets baby get more at a feeding so he does not need to nurse so frequently.

    But I totally agree with the pps that suggest that you should not assume this is a milk supply thing at all. It is most likely perfectly normal.
    Oh and this was probably mentioned but its normal to have a temporary supply dip around your period, to which baby responds by nuring more.

    Are you able to nurse sidelying? Have you considered (safe) bedsharing? These can help with the nighttimes alot.

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