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Thread: Told to Supplement with Formula

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,609

    Default Re: Told to Supplement with Formula

    Here's why I suggest nurse more often, or at least to offer to nurse more, almost every time there is any question that a baby may not be getting enough. Yes, even if you are cue feeding and baby nurses a ton already. Basically, why not? It cannot hurt, and it may help.

    Maybe there is no issue. Maybe baby is gaining just fine. Doctors suggest unnecessary supplementation all the time. On the other hand, I have not seen your baby (nor do I have the training to observe if baby is fine if I had) and your pediatrician HAS.

    Why in the world would it make sense to supplement with EBM if baby is capable and willing to nurse more often?. A baby who can transfer milk efficiently is ALWAYS better at extracting milk than a pump. So pumping would only mean way more work for you (the pumping, the cleaning of the pump) and the unnecessary introduction of bottles which may cause issues and again, make more work. If you are able to produce enough milk for baby, much easier and less problematic to forget pumping and simply nurse more.

    A baby this age may go 2-3 hours between feedings and be fine, but a baby this age would also normally still be cluster feeding and nursing more frequently than that at least part of the time. Same with sleep stretches-some babies at this age start having long sleep stretches. If weight gain is fine, no problem, but if weight gain is a concern, then yeah, why not wake up baby for an extra feeding or two? Can’t hurt, may help.

    So I am not saying you HAVE to nurse more, I am simply saying, if weight gain IS or even just may be an issue, and the goal is thus to get more into baby, why not do it by nursing more often-the simplest, healthiest, and most effective way to increase milk intake (and milk production, for that matter) -and the only way that does no harm?

    How many fewer moms would be sent down the road of pumping, supplementing, unnecessary bottle introduction etc, which so often cause breastfeeding issues, and even often paves the way for the early cessation of nursing, if doctors merely told mothers to nurse more often rather than supplementing at the first sign of trouble?

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Manhattan, KS...for now.
    Posts
    143

    Default Re: Told to Supplement with Formula

    lllmeg, I wasn't trying to argue! I completely understand and appreciate your suggestion, way more than being told to supplement I guess I'm still just struggling with how much I'm sitting around doing "nothing", although of course I *know* feeding my baby right now isn't "nothing" and I can't imagine having him on my breast more than I do already. But of course I can and I will give it a go.

    Thank you for your input, I didn't mean to come off as unaccepting of your words, I think I was just trying to explain how things are going and my confusion and frustration with this whole experience.
    Daniel Keith + Rachel Joy = Leonel Dante [4/13/2012]

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    418

    Default Re: Told to Supplement with Formula

    Couple of things:
    1)Your pediatrician is wrong that formula contains more calories/fat than breastmilk. It doesn't. It is made to replicate breastmilk.

    2)If you do need to supplement, no reason it can't be with expressed breastmilk, as long as you are able to pump

    3)It's wonderful that he's growing in length, meeting milestones, and is a happy baby, but your son's weight gain is not even on the charts. Normal weight gain for a newborn is 5-7 oz/week, so if he's 11 weeks old and took 2 weeks to regain birthweight, we would expect him to have gained at least 45 oz by now (5 oz/week x 9 weeks=45 oz). He's gained about 30 oz (birthweight =7 lbs 13 oz, now 9lbs 11 oz). That's a little over 3 oz/week. Even using the WHO charts for breastfed babies, he's below the 2nd percentile.

    4) The fact that you say he nurses vigorously, you can tell he is swallowing, and his output is great makes me wonder if there is a medical problem which is impeding his weight gain. Has he been evaluated for this? Alternatively, maybe the shield is causing milk-transfer problems?

    Sorry mama. I can only imagine how stressful it is for you to have to worry about your baby's weight gain. It's excellent that he seems to be thriving in all other respects, but I wouldn't ignore this issue (not that you are). I agree you don't need to give formula, but what about supplementing with an ounce of pumped breastmilk before or after every feeding and see if that helps him gain? You could give it using an SNS, syringe, cup, etc. to avoid bottle preference issues. The worst case is that it's unnecessary and maybe causes you a bit of extra work pumping. Best case is it helps him gain when he needed to do that. It sounds like you are nursing a ton already and if there's a milk transfer issue, nursing more will not help. If there's a medical issue, nursing more and supplementing may still not help him gain enough...you'll need to get to the bottom of whatever the issue is and get him treated appropriately. I am nowhere near as experienced as many of the LLLadies here, but I do think you're right to be concerned about the lack of enough weight gain and thinking about supplementing. (Just my opinion). No reason it needs to be with formula, though, when you can supplement with your own milk!

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1,710

    Default Re: Told to Supplement with Formula

    If you're willing, let us know what you find out if/when you get the second (phone) opinion. It would be really nice of that doc to do that - I know doctors are less and less willing to do things over the phone for a number of reasons.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,609

    Default Re: Told to Supplement with Formula

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*raejoy View Post
    lllmeg, I wasn't trying to argue! I completely understand and appreciate your suggestion, way more than being told to supplement I guess I'm still just struggling with how much I'm sitting around doing "nothing", although of course I *know* feeding my baby right now isn't "nothing" and I can't imagine having him on my breast more than I do already. But of course I can and I will give it a go.

    Thank you for your input, I didn't mean to come off as unaccepting of your words, I think I was just trying to explain how things are going and my confusion and frustration with this whole experience.
    Don't worry! I did not think you were arguing, I just wanted to clarify. Sometimes-often, actually, when I post I am talking to everyone who may be interested, including the many lurkers who are here trying to figure out thier own issues, and not just the op. There is LOTS of misunderstanding about normal newborn feeding frequency out there (even/especially among medical personel) and how to best "increase" weight etc etc and I take every opportunity to clarify things when I can. Sorry if it seemed I thought you were arguing, I did not, I understood exaclty what you were saying about these early months when it surely can feel like all mom does is nurse, so I wanted to clarify.

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