Re: Ending Supplements — Help!
Wow, first of all I have to raise an eyebrow at the advice from the pediatrician. Unless your baby was born with severe jaundice, which seems unlikely, formula supplements to flush out the bilirubin were probably completely unnecessary. Most babies clear their bilirubin just fine on colostrum and breastmilk alone. So I'm sorry you got thrown into that particular "booby trap."
I can totally understand why you don't want to budge from the every-3-hours feeding schedule. It's probably really convenient to know exactly when your baby will need to eat. But that schedule is sabotaging your ability to breastfeed. Breastmilk is produced on a supply = demand basis. When you restrict demand in order to space feedings out to some artificial interval, you will also restrict your supply. Your body will read the long intervals between feedings- and 3 hours is a LONG interval for a breastfed baby- as a cue to reduce supply. Also, every time your baby gets topped off with a bottle after her nurses, he's getting the message that he does not need to work particularly hard at nursing. If he feeds really poorly, really lazily, he's still going to get his needs met. So babies who get formula supplements often become poor nursers, which really complicates the job of getting the baby off supplements.
Draining your breasts 12 times a day will increase your supply, whether you do it using the baby or using the pump. But I strongly suggest using the baby. Babies typically drain the breast more effectively than the pump, and the more opportunities you give your baby to nurse, the better he's going to get at it. Best of all would be to use both the baby AND the pump- nurse the baby as much as possible, even if that means you're nursing every hour or so, and pump after feedings. More demand = more supply.
You're using a fairly large amount of formula right now. Maybe about half your baby's intake is formula- breastfed babies usually take about 19-30 oz of milk per day. So you're going to have to follow the advice on kellymom and drop the supplements a little at a time. If you're offering about 1.5 oz supplements, knock that back to 1 oz at a time and if the baby seems fussy after finishing the bottle, put him back on the breast to finish the feeding. If he works hard, he'll be able to take that .5 oz from you, and that will immediately give you a supply boost.
Please don't get discouraged- you CAN do this! I'm thinking you can do it in a few weeks, provided you ditch the schedule. I know it seems like a lot of hard work ahead, but people start with less and achieve the same goal you want to achieve. My mom is a good example- she was forced to wean my little sis at 3 months of age, due to some bad medical advice. 3 months later, when she was finally given the to-ahead to nurse again, she had no milk left. Zero. But by putting my sis to the breast as often as possible, she was able to regain a full supply and she went on to nurse until 18 months, which was longer than she went with either of her other kids.
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!"