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Thread: Long Term Supplementing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    23

    Default Long Term Supplementing

    Has anyone here supplemented with formula for the long term? Despite doing everything I seems I'm not producing more than 50% of the breastmilk my 10 week old needs. I have this terrible fear that the little milk I have will dry up. I want to keep going (my short term goal is 3 months, but really I'm hoping that when she starts solids we can give up the formula). Any advice from those that have done this before?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Landof2toddlers, Oregon
    Posts
    3,113

    Default Re: Long Term Supplementing

    I did it. My son got formula and nursed from 3 weeks to 11 months (and he only stopped then because I was pregnant.

    I had to refine "success". For me it became keeping him nursing. My goals were in 3 month increments. I always nursed-bottle fed (bottle nursed really)-nursed which (in my mind at least) meant he associated the breast with both initial quenching of hunger and comfort. I also had all formula be cold and only warm milk come from me (it also smells better cold). I worked pretty much full time, but if I was not working he was with me. And I did all the other AP/crunchy stuff. We did BLS, co-slept (he only nursed at night until my milk dried up - he nursed for another month, but I did do night time bottles once it was all gone), baby wore, etc etc

    ETA: I am sure you have said this elsewhere but, how do you know you have low supply?
    proud but exhausted working mammy to two high needs babies

    • my surprise baby: the one and only D-Man born 3 weeks late (5/5/08) at 9 lbs 14 oz and 21.5 inches, and
    • the shock H-Girl born about a week late (10/7/09) at 8lbs 15oz and 20.75 inches.


    If I am here I am covered in baby (probably two) and fighting for control of the keyboard.

    Family beds are awesome

    Wondering if you have PPD? Take the screening and see your doctor. You deserve to feel better.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Long Term Supplementing

    I've just started the pattern of nurse-bottle-nurse and it seems to be going well. If she's startving I'll give her the bottle first (like during nighttime cluster feeding), but at least at night its all pumped milk.

    Sadly, I've had low supply from the beginning due to a huge blood loss (I lost almost my entire blood volume). We've done pre and post feed weighs which show less than 2 ounces transfer ever (I rented a scale for a week as well to measure throughout a week). I wish I was wrong about my low supply and I still hope that it gets better. I'm still doing everything possible to increase it:
    -pumping
    -mothers milk tea
    -fenugreek and blessed thistle
    -domperidone
    -accupuncture
    -herbs from accupuncturist

    How much did you supplement? Did you do extra pumping throughout the day as well? Were you able to cut down on the supplementing once you started solids?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    70

    Default Re: Long Term Supplementing

    Hello there!
    For a number of reasons, I am supplementing since day one. My baby is now 3 and a half months, and she's having both formula (some 200 ml a day, it varies from one day to another) and breast milk.
    I began with bottles but when I noticed my baby was becoming too fond of them and rejecting the breast, I switched to the SNS. It's a hassle but it works.
    I've also been pumping a lot, but I stopped recently. With the SNS, the baby is often at the breast so I think I can do without the pumping (yes! :-).
    If you need to supplement long term, I recommend this SNS. It has some disadvantages, but it allows you to keep on breastfeeding!
    All the best to you, I hope you find your way!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Long Term Supplementing

    I have a mama I worked with who has to supplement long term. She starts with the breast, gives a bottle, and then puts baby back to thebreast. So far, it's working, and she has been able to breastfeed longer this time than any of her other babies, and she also had to redefine her success and come to terms with not being able to 100% breastfeed, but to get her baby 50% breastmilk for 6 months, for example. And it's OK. Every bit of mama milk helps.
    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!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Long Term Supplementing

    I happened across your post and know exactly what you are going through. I have been on the same path since my son was 3 weeks old. Next week he will be 8 months. He has been on solids for about a month and a half. So far we have not reduced the formula any yet, but hope to as we continue along. Kellymom has some resources on weaning from formula supplementation. I stopped bottlefeeding him when I was with him and started using a lact-aid around Christmas - this has helped keep him at the breast and has helped my overall morale even though it is a major pain sometimes. Good luck! You can do it! Keep updating us to know how you are doing.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Long Term Supplementing

    My son is almost 3 months and we have always done both. For the first while my mood really dictated when I gave him which but that ended with him getting a ton of formula one day and almost none the next. Now he only gets formula during the afternoon or until I get home from work. He is really great and seems to enjoy both breast and bottle nipples, has never tried to reject the breast in favor of his formula.
    Although about 2 ounces is plenty per breast at one feeding. In fact I only give my son bottles filled to 2 ounces because much more and he gets too full, and when I pump at his bottle feeds that's about how much I come up with. So it sounds to me like you may be worrying a little too much about production. Of course if you've emptied both breasts and your little one is still hungry I don't blame you for supplementing.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Long Term Supplementing

    Well, there are times she has transferred one ounce and is almost always hungry after breast feeding. Two ounces is my personal best which has only happened a handful of times. When I pump in the middle of the night I get 1.5+ ounces; other than that I get about one ounce.

    I was only giving her 2 ounce bottles but recently she has been screaming hungry after 2 ounces so I just end up making another 2 ounce bottle. I'm starting to think about making 4 ounce bottles rather than 2 ounce bottles twice. But then I worry about her eating so much formula. Of course, then she just might eat less often... Sigh, I second guess everything I do with formula.

    Its so nice to know other people are in this same situation. I have shed so many tears over having to supplement, and am finally coming to terms with it. I have wanted to quit breastfeeding so many times and my husband has kept me going. I'd really like to get to 6 months for her health, but right now I'm just focusing on three months and then planning to reassess.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Landof2toddlers, Oregon
    Posts
    3,113

    Default Re: Long Term Supplementing

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*supersarrr View Post
    I've just started the pattern of nurse-bottle-nurse and it seems to be going well. If she's startving I'll give her the bottle first (like during nighttime cluster feeding), but at least at night its all pumped milk.

    Sadly, I've had low supply from the beginning due to a huge blood loss (I lost almost my entire blood volume). We've done pre and post feed weighs which show less than 2 ounces transfer ever (I rented a scale for a week as well to measure throughout a week). I wish I was wrong about my low supply and I still hope that it gets better. I'm still doing everything possible to increase it:
    -pumping
    -mothers milk tea
    -fenugreek and blessed thistle
    -domperidone
    -accupuncture
    -herbs from accupuncturist

    How much did you supplement? Did you do extra pumping throughout the day as well? Were you able to cut down on the supplementing once you started solids?
    Congratulations on getting so far and be proud of yourself for what you have done so far.

    Breast fed babies need 1 - 1.5 oz an hour (as averaged out over the day) That does not change as they get bigger/older. So your weigh feed weighs were showing at least 1 oz/2 hours? I would work the amount you are supplementing around that. 4oz is about as much as a baby tummy is supposed to be able to eat and baby is getting about 50% bm (ish) so I would not offer more than 2oz bottles. NOTE, I am not a medical profesional and I am saying what *I* would do only.

    I am interested to see that you are getting pumped milk though, if you can pump and get milk after your baby nurses you might be dealing with a transfer issue as opposed to a "supply" issue (the low supply would be caused by the suck problem). It did not matter how much I pumped it did nothing for my supply. My body responds very badly to a pump and even when I was working 11 hrs days I never managed to pump more than 2 oz (total of 3-4 sessions).

    My son wasn't much of an eater until he was in the middle of his second year so introducing solids made no difference.

    I also want to point out here that I have no idea why we could not EBF, we had a fairly traumatic delivery, he (come to find out) has sensory issues, I have had some hormone issues in my life, it was an exceptionally stressful (even for a newborn) period, and I had PPD - all of which, or none of which can have an effect. BUT my daughter was not just EBF but still nurses now 2.5 yrs later. Every baby/momma dyad is different.
    proud but exhausted working mammy to two high needs babies

    • my surprise baby: the one and only D-Man born 3 weeks late (5/5/08) at 9 lbs 14 oz and 21.5 inches, and
    • the shock H-Girl born about a week late (10/7/09) at 8lbs 15oz and 20.75 inches.


    If I am here I am covered in baby (probably two) and fighting for control of the keyboard.

    Family beds are awesome

    Wondering if you have PPD? Take the screening and see your doctor. You deserve to feel better.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Long Term Supplementing

    PP has some good points? Has your baby been evaluated for transfer problems?
    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!

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