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Thread: Pumping & Formula...Suggestions Welcome!

  1. #1

    Default Pumping & Formula...Suggestions Welcome!

    Hi all! Here is my (long) story. I would appreciate suggestions and help!

    My baby girl is 5 weeks. She was 5lbs 11oz at birth, 4lbs 12oz at 3 day check, 4lbs 15oz at 1 week check & at 3 weeks was 5lbs 3oz. All different scales. The obvious concern for us and care providers is obviously very low weight gain.

    I had a waterbirth at home.

    I BF her exclusively until about 3 1/2 weeks, using a nipple shield because of inverted nipples. She was on my breast almost 24/7. She had green explosive poops all that time. She would suck for maybe a few minutes and then fall asleep. All of the tricks to wake a sleepy baby did nothing. Obviously she was not getting enough milk into her tummy.

    When we got worried about weight, her pediatrician put her on a 1-2oz every two hours feeding schedule. To measure what we were giving her/how much she was eating, I started pumping and bottle feeding my BM. My output was low-I struggled to pump an oz sometimes. So, we also started supplementing with Enfamil ProSobee.

    Right now my pumping output is 1-1 1/2oz for both breasts, every 2-3 hours and approximately 15 minutes each side. (I know this is normal but everyone seems to think it's too low.) So baby gets that first and then formula until she seems satisfied, usually another 1-2 oz. She's now constipated and needs Babylac. I think it's too much formula? We try to nurse still, mostly for comfort at night (we co-sleep) without a shield.

    I'm going to try fenugreek to increase my pumping output.

    I want my baby to gain weight! But could this situation be made better? Are we doing the right thing? It was very difficult for me to chose to start formula. I think it's very unhealthy and leads to other unhealthy things. I would love to simply breastfeed my child and to have her grow without all of these other interventions. I miss breastfeeding exclusively but feel that my trust in my body has been hijacked by feeling like I wasn't producing enough. This is an emotionally difficult time for me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Pumping & Formula...Suggestions Welcome!

    Welcome to the forum. You have had quite a struggle. May I assume weight gain is on track now?

    OK. You are headed down the road of all formula and no breastfeeding. Almost surely unnecessarily.

    Have you seen an IBCLC for help in getting baby to latch and transfer milk better? That seems to me to be clearly the root of the issue. Whether you had low production in the beginning or not, and I have my doubts, you may now, due to baby having difficulty transferring and the supplementing.

    Are you pumping with a double sided electric pump? Hospital grade or personal grade? Is there any reason you stop at 15 minutes per side? It is not good to pump too long but if you are not getting much with 15, 5 or 10 minutes longer may help. You can also try hand expression and breast compressions to increase pump output.

    But again, I see no reason to think the root of the issue is your milk production. The problem with what is happening here (and it happens all the time) is that the symptom (baby is not gaining as well as expected) is being treated with supplements, pumping and bottles, rather than treating the underlying issue (figuring out why baby cannot get enough milk at the breast and fixing that problem.)

    The (very) good news is, baby is still nursing at the breast and you are pumping, which is vital when also supplementing. I do not like to go by pump output but it generally, but it sounds as if you are able to pump about 10 or 15 ounces a day(?) plus baby is nursing at night and we don't know how much baby is getting then. (Milk transfers during comfort nursing too.) Since average intake from the breast at this age is about 25-30 ounces per day, you are not too far off.

    I have more suggestions but I want to know what plan you are on from your doctor or IBCLC or breastfeeding counselor etc. if you have one first.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    Default Re: Pumping & Formula...Suggestions Welcome!

    I agree with pp green explosive poops is a sign of too much milk and infant could have just not been getting enough hindmilk. Now you switched to the other side of low milk production. It would be great for you get a plan with an IBCLC. a website that has lots of info on increasing milk supply is www.lowmilksupply.org it even lists lactation consultants by state.
    Did this for 9months with Kailey and Hailey
    who are now 8.

    weaned Dane somewhere around 3.5 no longer he likes to sleep with his sisters He's now 5

    Now I am , , My baby Cruz who is almost 6 months and my last baby

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