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Thread: The best way to supplement

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Default The best way to supplement

    Hi,
    After a rocky 6 weeks baby will latch and suck and drink however I know I do not have the milk supply to come close to what he needs. I had breast reduction surgery and can only pump about 6 ounces a day with him also taking some from the breast each feed. I am just wondering the best way to supplement him now that he can latch and suck. SHould I continue BF each feed and supplement each feed? Or should I try only BF maybe one feed a day with no bottle. It seems like if I dont pump as often my milk supply stores up and I can give more. For example if I pump every 2 hours I get only 15 ml but if I pump every 4 hours i get 30ml. Maybe I should not pump all day and then give him one feed at night and I could get one feed where I didnt have to give a bottle after? I have tried SNS and was very frustrated with it but may go back and try again now that he has a better latch. MY goal is to get him to get just one feed a day where I do not need to give a bottle after...
    Any suggestions on how and when to supplement?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Default Re: The best way to supplement

    No. 1st of all it's all supply and demand. So if you only breastfeed once a day you will lose your supply completely. 2nd. a breast fed baby NEVER EVER is taking 6oz from your breast. Most babies average1-3 oz per feeding. Just because you have SEEN your baby eat more than that doesn't mean he NEEDS that much in a sitting. It means he is trained to eat till the bottle is empty. So I would 3rd how often are you pumping? And is it in conjunction with when you feed or other times? Because that will also effect what you are seeing. I would ALWAYS start at the breast. And make sure you are doing it at least 10 times in a 24hour period. So for some sessions I would not assume that your baby needs a supplement. Like most women are very very full in the morning. So it's possible that at your 1st feed of the day and after naptime your baby doesn't even need a supplement. And SOME feeds can be supplemented with your own milk! Bearing in mind that most babies are only getting 1-3 oz at the breast you could be using the supplement you are already making either for 6 or 3 feeds. So don't assume that just because you aren't making much now that you won't if you don't feed more. I am not saying you will be able to feed your baby exclusively, but I think that as long as you are continually bringing to your breast and pumping with diligence you can probably make half or more of his food. So please please do NOT drop to only pumping or nursing once a day.

    Way too lazy for formula

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    middle of IA
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    Default Re: The best way to supplement

    totally agree with PP. right now, maybe for a couple days, if you pump every 4 hours you'll get more than if you pump every 2 hours. but milk is a demand-supply system, and when you pump less, your body will adjust to make less, and so pretty soon you'll be getting LESS milk every 4 hours than you got every 2. i would try pretty hard, in your shoes, to get the SNS to work, because that gives you the maximum stimulation and minimizes your pumping. i'd take the SNS over pumping any day, personally.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,600

    Default Re: The best way to supplement

    You definitely do not want to reduce your number of nursing sessions, nor do you want to space out your pumping sessions. Milk supply is all about frequency and intensity of milk removal from the breast. Remove milk more often, and drain the breast more thoroughly, and you will make more milk. Let the milk "build up" and your body will take that as a signal to reduce production.

    Just to be clear, you are getting 6 oz from all your pumping sessions combined, not 6 oz after feedings, correct?

    Have you ever had someone evaluate how much milk your baby gets from the breast when he nurses?
    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!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    18

    Default Re: The best way to supplement

    Hi,
    Thanks for the responses.

    I am pumping 5-7 times a day and yes getting about 6 oz combined for the whole day. I am also nursing 5-7 times a day as well but baby always falls asleep at the breast. I think because the milk doesnt come out that quickly. He still continues sucking but in a sleepy drowsy state. I keep him on the breast about 10 minutes and switch sides and do another 10 minutes. After that he completley devours a bottles so its not as if he is tired. The breast just puts him to sleep - I could have him on there suckling for an hour even if he is famished. Then after getting him settled I try to pump after each feed.

    But yes overfeeding with the bottle is a constant worry. I read on the internet what some people give a 7 week old per feeding and its astonishing and then I think I am under feeding. I try to cap him off between 3-4 oz of bottle after the breast feeding.

    I have done a test weigh last week and he got about 30 cc but I cheated and skipped the pump before that so I knew he would test weigh for somthing.. I needed the mental boost

    So Im not quite sure what the plan of action should be....

    Keep as is? Start reducing the amount per bottle? Try to skip a bottle (I fear this will lead to a very cranky baby)? Combination of somthing? I will try the SNS again but reluctantly - would I try without it first and then put it on?

    Thanks!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: The best way to supplement

    Decrease the amount of after supplement. You can't assume he is getting NOTHING from your breast as you get 6oz a day from pumping. And the MOST the baby would EVER get from YOU is 1-3oz. And again I baby Gulping down a bottle doesn't mean he needs it. It means he knows he's supposed to drink it. I would not supplement with more than 2 oz at a time. And with your own milk 1st that will be 6 feeds a day that are entirely breastmilk. Perhaps doing that would allow your baby to signal you more often than 5-7 times a day. Which isn't really enough times. And anytime you can actually KEEP the baby at your breast (yes for an hour if you've got it. What's wrong with letting the baby suckle the entire time you are watching a TV show or movie?") do it. Let your baby dream feed or sleep eat or whatever whenever possible.

    Way too lazy for formula

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Victoria, BC, Canada
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    940

    Default Re: The best way to supplement

    Having you read the book Making More Milk? Lots of good information in there for your situation. There is information on the internet as well.

    http://www.makingmoremilk.com/

    http://www.lowmilksupply.org/

    One suggestion is to use the 'finish at the breast' method.

    http://www.lowmilksupply.org/finishatthebreast.shtml

    I couldn't quite understand what your goal was? To breastfeeding just once/day (with no bottle after) and bottlefeed formula and pumped milk the rest of the day?

    Milk supply tends to be lowest in the evening so if you wanted to do this it might work for the morning feed when your breasts are naturally more full.

    If you are breastfeeding just once/day (no pumping), your milk will totally dry up. Anytime you leave milk in your breasts, your body gets the idea that it's making too much and decreases production. So if you wait 4 hours between pumpings, at first you may get 30ml, but after time, your production will drop.

    Frequent, thorough milk removal is the key to maximizing your milk supply. From my personal experience, milk supply can be maximized if you thoroughly drain both breasts every 2 hours during the day and every 3 hours at night.

    Medication and herbs can help too. Domperidone is a very commonly used and effective medication.
    Last edited by @llli*monika.h; October 23rd, 2012 at 12:29 AM.
    Canadian mom and breastmilk fan.
    We have 2 beautiful children: Luana who's 9 y/o, had breastmilk for 2 years and is smart as a whip. Lucas who came out kickin', is 4 y/o and continues to enjoy his milkies.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    18

    Default Re: The best way to supplement

    I would love to exclusively breast feed all his feeds but I konw that is not realistic. I will breast feed partial at all his feeds now but it would be nice if I could at least get one feed a day that I didnt have to supplement. That is my goal for now anyways.

    I didnt know that babies only take 1-3 oz at the breast I thought they take what they would take from the bottle so great information for me.

    At the 4 am feed today I gave him the breast and then he took 75 cc formula (far better than the 150 he was taking yesterday) he was fussy after but fell asleep eventually with a pacifier... Will keep trying today and not give him too much forumla.

    Here is hoping! Fingers crossed!!

    Thanks

  9. #9
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    Default Re: The best way to supplement

    I am telling you that with the 6oz a day you are already producing, you should have at least THREE feedings a day that are ALL your milk. Yes some if it will be bottle fed, but it's still ALL YOU and if you continue to work on your production, I am fairly sure that you should be able to get SEVERAL feeds a day that you don't have to supplement at all.

    Way too lazy for formula

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    18

    Default Re: The best way to supplement

    So far today is going good! After the 4 am feed he took 2.5 oz like I said and then slept till 9 I was shocked. At 9 he breast fed again and took another 2.5 oz. At 1200 he took 3 oz after the breast and was super fussy so I put him back on the breast instead of getting more forumla and we fell aslepp for over an hour with him breastfeeding (we switched sides in between) then he just took a bottle for 3 oz and is napping. So far this is far less formula than a typical day so fingers crossed. A bit worried about tonight and him being up all night but will try to offer the breast as much as possible to soothe him. The only thing is my pumped milk is down about half as normal because I had him so much on the breast today but I guessing thats ok.
    Will update! Thanks everyone!!!

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