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Thread: Transition off of formula supplementing HELP PLEASE

  1. #1

    Default Transition off of formula supplementing HELP PLEASE

    Hi I am a new mom, my son was born 5 weeks early because I had H.E.L.L.P syndrome. We were both in the hospital for over a week, and for the first few days I was not able nurse at all because I was unable to get out of bed and he was in the NICU. My Milk finally came in, it has now been 6 weeks and I am still trying to transition him off of formula. I have been taking supplements to increase supply and it has been slowly increasing (it still is not very much though when I pump it is maybe 5 mL's), but I just can't figure out how to cut out formula. He is drinking about 3 oz every 3 hours. I have tried cutting back on the amount and by the end of the night he is crying non stop, and it is heart breaking and I end up giving him the original amount. It is just really frustrating because when we was only drinking 2 oz, I had cut back to 1 and had been feeding every 2 hours and was really thinking it was going to work but then I went and saw a lactation specialist at the hospital and she freaked me out. She made me feel like I was starving him and that he was going to end up being to weak to nurse at all if I kept it up. I am really upset that the doctors insisted that I go to see her at all.

    So the main question is does anyone have any pointers on how to transition off of formula and get more milk supply?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Transition off of formula supplementing HELP PLEASE

    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Transition off of formula supplementing HELP PLEASE

    Are you pumping or nursing?

    See a different IBCLC too. One away from the hospital
    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!

  4. #4
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    Jun 2012
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    Default Re: Transition off of formula supplementing HELP PLEASE

    We have had a similar journey. Is the baby latching well or is the amount the only issue?

    What supplements are you taking? If you're not taking it, try Fenugreek. Gets lots of sleep, water and limit your stress.

    You are not starving your baby. It is true that once a baby is stronger, early breastfeeding problems can be fixed easier as they are stronger. So give yourself and the baby some patience, set long term goals, and keep working at it! My baby is now 9 weeks and we are still trying to get him off bottled breastmilk to the breast. In time!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Default Re: Transition off of formula supplementing HELP PLEASE

    Here is a link on finding an IBCLC.
    I am Erin--happily married to the nerd of my dreams for 15 years
    High School Science Teacher
    Mother to: Thing 1 9/23/01, bf 15 mo, diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma 1/29/02, officially cancer free for ten years in August 2012
    Thing 2 6/6/05, bf 12 mo, obsessed with dynamite
    Glowworm 2/18/11, bf 15 months and counting

  6. #6

    Default Re: Transition off of formula supplementing HELP PLEASE

    very helpful link, thank you. only problem is i don't have a super accurate scale to keep track of his weight.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Transition off of formula supplementing HELP PLEASE

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*aprilsmagic View Post
    Are you pumping or nursing?

    See a different IBCLC too. One away from the hospital
    I am nursing, I haven't been pumping very much but I guess I need to start up again.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Transition off of formula supplementing HELP PLEASE

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*gunnersmom View Post
    We have had a similar journey. Is the baby latching well or is the amount the only issue?

    What supplements are you taking? If you're not taking it, try Fenugreek. Gets lots of sleep, water and limit your stress.

    You are not starving your baby. It is true that once a baby is stronger, early breastfeeding problems can be fixed easier as they are stronger. So give yourself and the baby some patience, set long term goals, and keep working at it! My baby is now 9 weeks and we are still trying to get him off bottled breastmilk to the breast. In time!
    He latches well, amount is the only problem. I am taking a "more milk plus" supplement by mother love, it has fenugreek, blessed thistle, nettle, and fennel seed. Also I am taking Goat's Rue. It is just frustrating because when I do pump it is such a little amount that it isn't enough to really supplement fully, plus trying to pump after I feed him while he is fussing because of his acid reflux is a little difficult. If I do this I will not be able to get anything done during the day or get any sleep during the night. I was just getting so depressed when all I was doing was feeding him...I am still working on it and will try to pump as much as possible. I really don't want to give up on being able to breastfeed exclusively.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,331

    Default Re: Transition off of formula supplementing HELP PLEASE

    Missa I am sorry you are having such a hard time. You have gotten some good tips here.

    I suggest:

    See another IBCLC. Call a few in your area and find one you feel is both knowledgable about milk supply issues and who will be supportive.
    Contact your local LLL or other breastfeeding support group if you have one. If you don’t have any local groups, call any LLL Leader.
    Get the book "Making More Milk" it delves much more deeply into how to increase milk supply.

    Check out these kellymom articles on increasing milk supply and using galactagogues. http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supp...es/low-supply/ and http://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastf..._galactagogue/

    If you baby can nurse well, the best way to increase milk supply is to nurse as frequently as you can, for as long as baby is willing. Pumping helps to, of course, but should not (imo) take the place of nursing if baby is nursing well. So any pumping should be added on to the feedings if that makes sense, but it need not be after every feeding! If adding pumping is too exhausting, then I would suggest not adding pumping or keeping it at a minimum but keep baby nursing lots. A well nursing baby extracts more milk & thus stimulates supply better than a pump.

    You mention not having a scale. You do not need a scale at home. A good day to day way to tell if a baby is getting milk is to watch output-poops-IF your baby is still pooping regularly (some do not at this age.) This plus regular weight checks at your pediatricians office or on your IBCLC's scale should tell you all you need to know. Weight gain should be measured by weight checks done on the SAME SCALE and with baby in nothing but a dry diaper.

    I have been taking supplements to increase supply and it has been slowly increasing (it still is not very much though when I pump it is maybe 5 mL's), but I just can't figure out how to cut out formula
    I am curious how you are figuring baby is not getting enough at the breast and how much you need to supplement with formula. What you are able to pump is NOT a good indicator of milk production.

    Herbal galactagogues certainly help some moms produce more, but which herb is going to work best for each mom will vary. Blends are great for some moms but others need a more pinpointed approach. Also my understanding is that often the recommended dosages of some galactagogues are often not enough. This is the kind of thing it would really help you to discuss with an IBCLC who is experienced with helping mothers increase their milk production.

    It is still very early days. All newborns require a ton of work and constant care. Precious few moms of 6 week old babies get much else done, or get much sleep, even when breastfeeding is going perfectly, or even if they are formula feeding. Plus in adjusted age your baby is even younger! If you have friends and family around at all, they should be helping you with every thing else so you can concentrate your energies on your baby. This intense early time does not last for ever, but while it is going on it is really, really hard.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Transition off of formula supplementing HELP PLEASE

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    Missa I am sorry you are having such a hard time. You have gotten some good tips here.


    I am curious how you are figuring baby is not getting enough at the breast and how much you need to supplement with formula. What you are able to pump is NOT a good indicator of milk production.
    I was figuring from my first experience with the lactation consultant who told me he was not getting enough after weighing him before and after breastfeeding. He is taking 2-3 oz's of formula. Once he is done breastfeeding he expects/wants a bottle, he will fuss until he gets one I am not sure how to get this behavior to stop.
    Last edited by @llli*missa113; June 12th, 2012 at 01:35 PM.

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