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Thread: Told to Supplement with Formula

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Manhattan, KS...for now.

    Unhappy Told to Supplement with Formula

    DS is 11 weeks. He started rolling over from his tummy to his back last week, he coos and aahs, smiles a lot, holds the "half push-up" position, is alert and attentive and is in 3 month outfits due to his long torso and legs. He's also started to come off the breast with a smile when he's done eating

    But that damn scale:
    4/13 Birth weight = 7 lb 13 oz (20 in)
    4/16 3 days old = 7 lb 3 oz
    4/18 weight check = 7 lb 8 oz
    4/26 13 days old = 8 lb 1 oz (22 in)
    6/13 Two months = 9 lb 2.9 oz (23 in)
    7/3 11 weeks = 9 lb 11 oz

    They were all on different scales, however he was naked in all of them.

    So today then the doctor told us: "We have to get him back on his growth curve" <---this I have no issue with BUT... "Formula has more calories and fat than breast milk so it's better" "Just an ounce in the evenings mixed in with the BM and some water" "Don't worry, LLL won't come after you" "We had to do this with our kids, too"

    I feed on cue. I let him nurse as long as he wants. He eats about 8 times minimum during the time I'm home (midnight-5:30 pm) and has a total of 6-12 oz of EBM in 2-3 feedings while I'm at work (5:30-midnight). We're still using the shield although in the past couples days he's been consistently taking my left breast without it at least once a day. With the shield I do feel "emptier" when he's done; he's peeing a LOT and his one-a-day poos are huge. I've been on and off pumping when he's done eating since I don't pump enough at work for his evenings (I only get 1 15ish min break for the 5 hours I'm there).

    I really really really don't want to use formula. Like, won't use it. But what else do I do?

    I sometimes wish no one had invented the scale.
    Daniel Keith + Rachel Joy = Leonel Dante [4/13/2012]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default Re: Told to Supplement with Formula

    Hi there mama. Sorry you got bad advice from the dr.

    If the baby has been weighed on different scales then it's not an accurate example of gain. A dr should know this. Not to mention that adding water to breastmilk is just stupid.

    And formula does not have more fat and calories than breastmilk.

    Is the dr using correct growth charts? And where is your baby right now growth wise(sorry in on my phone)

    I would recommend seeing an IBCLC to get some hands on help if you need that, you can have them weight the baby before and after a feed. Maybe there is an issue with the baby removing milk, maybe not.

    I'll be back later with a link about overall expected weight gain but try not to worry.

    If you need to supplement there is no reason it can't be with your own milk, that is much better than formula.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: Told to Supplement with Formula

    Average weight gain from 0-4 months is about 5-7 ounces per week. This is "average" which means some babies gain less and others gain more. It also fluctuates per week - some weeks baby gains more and others he/she gains less.

    Here's the breastfeeding growth chart from the WHO: http://www.cdc.gov/growthcharts/data..._24lw_9210.pdf

    It seems like your baby is a little low on the chart, but I wouldn't supplement with formula. Formula does not have more calories than breastmilk - instead I would nurse more, making sure baby gets the fatty hindmilk from one breast before offering the second (think of one as dinner and the other as dessert ). The foremilk is more of a thirst quencher and the hindmilk is the calorie loaded fatty milk

    All babies are different and all doctors are different. My doc wasn't concerned with weight gain, but more concerned that he was growing and meeting milestones. As long as he grew somewhere (weight or length or head circumference) he was happy. My little guy was/is quite little. Short and tiny - but healthy and growing.

    mother of 2 boys!

    Birth: 7lbs 12oz, 1 year: 22lbs 11oz
    until he self-weaned 4 days before his third birthday ... still on occasion ... and happily

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****************
    People need to understand that when they're deciding between breastmilk and formula, they're not deciding between Coke and Pepsi.... They're choosing between a live, pure substance and a dead substance made with the cheapest oils available. ~Chele Marmet

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Bryan, Texas

    Default Re: Told to Supplement with Formula

    Your baby sounds perfect. He may just be a slow gainer. I would just offer to nurse a little more often. Otherwise, I'd leave well enough alone. It sounds like you're doing just fine making enough for him!
    All over the world there exists in every society a small group of women who feel themselves strongly attracted to giving care to other women during pregnancy and childbirth. Failure to make use of this group of highly motivated people is regrettable and a sin against the principle of subsidiary. ~ Dr. Kloosterman, Chief of OB/GYN, Univ. of Amsterdam, Holland


    Mama to:
    Shiloh (5/6/06) Nursed for 13 months and Josephine (7/26/08) Nursed for 23.5 mos Currently nursing my new little firecracker, Finley Catherine, born on the 4th of July!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: Told to Supplement with Formula

    I agree with the ladies. My second is a thin little guy who is perfectly healthy. He meets milestones and has great output. I ended up switching pedis because mine was pushing formula when I knew that wasn't the issue. offer to nurse super often, watch output and signs of dehydration, milestones and maybe look for another doc. Oh yeah my DH is tall and slim, family should be taken into account I think too.
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

    Watch Your Language

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Default Re: Told to Supplement with Formula

    Argh those darned charts.

    If you're concerned, get a second opinion from a breastfeeding-friendly doc in your area. Clearly the one you have is not so much. And probably using the old formula-fed charts, which are totally useless for breastfed babies...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    New York

    Default Re: Told to Supplement with Formula

    It must feel so confusing to want to rely solely on your breastmilk, but then have a doctor advise you to supplement with formula.
    i see you are still using the nipple shield, and you and your lo do not have unrestricted access to each other.
    He is still only 11 weeks old, so very young. If on your days off from work you could just spend the day in bed with him, nursing him unrestricted and nursing him directly from your nipple your LO might surprise you and gain enough to satisfy your doctor.
    I hesitate to second guess your doctor because i don't really know the particulars of your individual situation.
    DD#1 July 1986 VB
    DD#2 April 1988 c/sec
    DS#3 April 1990 VBAC
    DS#4 June 1993 VB
    and suprise!
    DD#5 April 2001 c/sec
    BTDT scars and stretchmarks,: wrinkles and grey hair

  8. #8

    Default Re: Told to Supplement with Formula

    with esthervegan. Nurse more often, just offer as much as you can when with baby. Can't hurt, may help. And get a second opinion prior to supplementign if you do not want to supplement. And yes, different scales often = incorrect weigh ins, even if every weight check was done correctly on a accurate scale. And nurse without the sheild as much as possible, sheilds ahve been linked to poor milk transfer.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Manhattan, KS...for now.

    Default Re: Told to Supplement with Formula

    Well we have a family bed so he 'eats all night' and has a super-duper-soaked nappy in the morning to prove it! During the day I let him nurse whenever he wants, and let him 'use me as a pacifier' if he needs to. I don't go out anywhere hardly, maybe take the dog for a stroll around the block in the early morning but when I'm not wearing him for his naps or he's not having playtime I'm either camped out on the couch watching ridic daytime talk shows or in my glider reading while feasts away. I'm going to go back to recording his feedings, but I'm pretty sure he's eating no more than 3 hours between sessions (like every feed is 3 hours or less apart). Although this doctor visit stressed us both out and he fell asleep (nursing) at 3 and was still asleep when I left at 5:35...

    So should I go back to like a newborn and wake him every 2 hours?

    We'll definitely keep working on not using the shield.

    Believe it or not, DH knew how upset I was about this and called and asked for a second opinion. Couldn't get an appointment with the pedi we first had at his initial appointment (really stupid Army system won't let you book an appt with your non-primary care provider) who I really really liked and was more supportive of BF (he had told me his wife used a shield for their son for 4 months). But he was able to get the nurse to talk to him about doing a phone appointment, he'll look at his records and give us a second opinion. I hope. Otherwise I just have you and my LLLL! The LC at the hospital is less than helpful and we can't really afford to pay for anything professionally, if there's even anyone else in this town.

    Yeah, this guy is a Family Practitioner, which is cool and all but eh, I just didn't like the way he didn't try assessing what the root of the problem, if any, might be. Just automatically said, "Similac!"

    DH had even tried making a comment about how in order for himself to gain a pound he needs to eat 6000 cal a day. The dr laughed, but it's no joke. DH has not an ounce of fat on his body even though I try to fatten him up His whole family is petite and thin, they're those naturally skinny folk you wanna shove cake into their mouths! haha And I'm not large nor skinny but I am healthy and active, and during my whole pregnancy I do believe I wasn't even on the curve of normal weight gain for pregnant women (26 pounds total).

    It's not that I don't want to supplement, I know you can use EBM for it and I'm willing to do that if I need to, I just don't know how to go about doing it or when to offer? But if he's having 8+ wet diapers a day, is there really something to be concerned about? I just don't understand how he can not be getting enough when he's peeing and pooping so much? Will upping my intake of healthy fats make any difference? Or my protein?

    Thank you ladies!!!
    Daniel Keith + Rachel Joy = Leonel Dante [4/13/2012]

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default Re: Told to Supplement with Formula

    Honestly it doesn't sound like there is a problem overall.

    When you said he wasn't on the charts what do you mean specifically? And again, are they using the correct charts?

    If you and your dh are petite/slender individuals that would make me think even more that his growth is ok.

    If you are concerned or unable to seek a second opinion soon, contact a ibcl

    And we aren't there with you to see the exact situation but he seems to be doing well. No harm in putting him to the breast a but more often.

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