Re: Please help!! New mom trying to breast feed
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby!
First of all, some questions for you:
1. Can you tell us why you first got into supplementing with formula?
2. How much formula are you using in a 24 hour period?
3. How many times are you nursing your baby in a 24 hour period?
4. What sort of pump do you have?
5. How does it feel when your baby nurses? Is it comfortable for you?
Here's how milk production happens. During pregnancy, hormonal changes prepare your breasts for breastfeeding. Around the 2nd trimester, they start producing colostrum, the first milk that your baby will drink. Colostrum is produced in small quantities, but that is all a baby requires in the first 3-5 days after birth. Once the baby is born and the placenta has been expelled, the production of mature milk can begin. The baby's suckling stimulates the production of the hormone prolactin, which in turns creates milk. The more suckling the baby does, the more prolactin is produced and the more milk is made- this is why most newborns nurse at least 10-12 times per day. More nursing = more milk.
Supplementing causes problems because a baby who fills up on formula doesn't nurse as much as she otherwise would, prolactin levels remain relatively low, and milk is not produced in sufficient quantities. My guess is that what has derailed your milk production is the formula supplements.
The best way to produce more milk is to give your breasts more stimulation. More stimulation -> more prolactin -> more milk. If you're currently nursing the baby "on and off", switch to nursing as much as possible. Aim for 10-12 nursing sessions per day, switching her back and forth several times before considering offering her a supplemental bottle. Keep the supplements small- 1-2 oz at most. And conclude every bottle feeding with more time at the breast- the more your baby gets the idea that the breast is where she feels full and happy, the more likely she will be to want to nurse. Finally, if you have time, get the pump out and pump in between feedings. This is particularly important if your baby is not nursing much or not nursing particularly well. Pumping not as good at stimulating milk production as a nursing baby who is nursing well, but it is better than doing nothing!
This is a useful link on weaning from formula supplements: http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/basi...rease-formula/
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