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Thread: Mixed feeding, baby only takes foremilk

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Default Mixed feeding, baby only takes foremilk

    Hello,

    I have been struggling with breastfeeding since my baby was born. I never really had a good supply. My baby was given formula at the hospital and I have been giving her formula top ups ever since due to static weight on breast alone.

    The top-ups started quite small at 20 mls after each feed and continued that way until she was five weeks old. Then she seemed to need a lot more milk. I struggled to keep up by keeping her feeding as long as possible but one difficult weekend of her constantly on the breast, yet constantly not satisfied, I gave her a lot more formula and since then we have been doing much bigger formula to-ups and I seem to be gradually switching over to full formula.

    I would like to keep some breastfeeds, but I now seem to have just a lot of watery foremilk, and she only takes that for those feeds. I am worried that this is upsetting her stomach and maybe it would be healthier for her to go over to full formula.

    Has anyone else experienced this? Is the watery milk a sign of milk drying up?

    Thanks for any advice

  2. #2
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Mixed feeding, baby only takes foremilk

    How old is baby now? How many ounces of formula is baby getting each day?

    Could you nurse your baby lots? I don't mean stop the formula, depending on how much you are doing, that may well be necessary at this point, although if you are interested in increasing your milk production and weaning off the formula we can give you ideas.

    but rather than keeping "a few breastfeeds" would it be possible to nurse a normal amount-8 or more times a day? If not, ok, but it is usually harder to maintain milk production only nursing a little.

    Your milk is ALWAYS the healthiest option. Always. too much "foremilk" MAY cause some gastrointestinal issues. But this is an OVERproduction issue, not a low production issue. And it is not a health issue, the milk is still good for you baby. Formula is much more likely to cause gastrointestinal discomfort than breastmilk.

  3. #3
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    May 2014
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    Default Re: Mixed feeding, baby only takes foremilk

    Thanks for your advice. My baby is nearly seven weeks old. She sometimes refuses to breastfeed and is better at night so I have been doing nightfeds without top ups but she wakes up hungry not very long after.

    I do try to offer her the breast before the bottle but she does not always want to take it and I do not persist if she gets agitated. I am pretty sure that I don't have an oversupply as she was not gaining much weight when she was feeding all the time and had small top ups and I could never express much.

    I am trying to make the mixed feeding work, but am not sure it is sustainable as the formula bottle seems so delicious as the breast less appealing and she is probably having around 20 oz of formula a day. I would like my baby and get some immune benefits from the milk but am a bit baffled by the leaking watery milk I seem to have started producing and yesterday I noticed a green poo which I have read is a consequence of too much foremilk.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Central FL
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    Default Re: Mixed feeding, baby only takes foremilk

    Have you ever heard of a Supplemental nursing system or lactation aid? I've been using the Medela supplemental nursing system with my baby since early on he had a somewhat weak suck and my milk was a bit late coming in so I had to supplement. The nursing system has a bottle you wear around your neck and tubes that go out to each nipple so the baby gets the supplement right at the breast along with the breast milk so you avoid the nipple/flow preference of the bottle and get the nipple stimulation as well as milk being removed from the breasts. I have to admit that the supplemental nursing system (SNS) is kinda a pain to deal with but it is better than having the baby decide they prefer the bottle because it is easier for them.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Mixed feeding, baby only takes foremilk

    I agree with previous post. I very much doubt that your baby prefers the taste of formula to the taste of breast milk. Breastmilk has developed over millions of years to be exactly what the baby wants. Formula makers attempt to mimic breastmilk in anyway it can including how it tastes however it does not really work, just as grape flavored drinks do not taste like grapes. In fact I would suggest to taste your own breastmilk, and taste formula to see what you think.

    What is far more likely is that your baby has gotten used to the fast flow from the bottle.
    It is also possible that your baby has always had difficulty extracting milk from the breast. That would explain slow weight gain while nursing. This May or may not be corrected now that baby is bigger and stronger.

    I want to assure you that green poop is not a health issue. Also, again, why assume that poop look is about your breast milk? A baby who is getting 20 ounces of breast milk each day is certainly getting mostly formula. Because normal intake is approximately 30 oz per day total, slightly less or more in some cases.
    I have to run. Hopefully someone will have some suggestions for encouraging baby to nurse and paced bottle feeding?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Mixed feeding, baby only takes foremilk

    Sorry millions is slight overstatement.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Mixed feeding, baby only takes foremilk

    I don't think millions is an overstatement - mammals evolved hundreds of millions of years ago.

    For OP, here are some links about paced bottle-feeding:
    http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf
    http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/f...ottle-feeding/

    The idea is to give the bottle is a breastfeeding supportive way. Also make sure you are using the slowest flow nipples you can find, usually a "0" or a "1" depending on the brand.

    Here are some ideas for encouraging nursing:
    http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

    And weaning baby from supplements (this is good information even if you decide you don't want to wean the formula completely off, but simply want to decrease the amount of formula in order that baby continues some nursing):
    http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/basi...rease-formula/

    That is wonderful that baby is nursing at night. If baby wakes up again soon after wanting more, that is actually great for building up your supply and maintaining your nursing relationship. Yes, it's tiring; but taking care of babies IS tiring! And, once you build your supply up a bit, baby may sleep a longer stretch after nursing. But it's entirely normal for a baby to wake frequently day and night wanting to nurse, even if there are no supply issues.

    Normal newborn nursing:
    http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/newborn-nursing/

    I agree with PPs about not worrying about the foremilk. All breastmilk is good for baby! I actually see the leaking as a very good sign that you are making milk.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Mixed feeding, baby only takes foremilk

    Thanks. I guess I was thinking mammals. I have to admit biology is not my strong suit.

    Amelie, I hope our suggestions are helping. I want to stress again that you are absolutely correct- ANY nursing and ANY amount of breastmilk is good for baby! If for whatever reason you can not or do not wish to make the switch to exclusive breastfeeding, combo feeding is possible and certainly worth it. It can be tricky as you have found, so the ideas we are suggesting are to help you navigate how this might work best for your and your baby.

    The "snowball" effect (supplementing leading to more and more supplementing) is very common. Not only might baby start seeming less interested in nursing and even refusing the breast, supplementing itself may cause a reduction in milk production, because milk production relies on milk being removed frequently from the breast. This can be offset to some extent (or even completely in some cases) by pumping. But it requires frequent pumping with a good pump and I am unclear if you have been doing that or want to do that.

    Obviously milk production and breastfeeding varies from situation to situation. But bottom line, the more often baby nurses, the longer you are likely to maintain a breastfeeding relationship. I also wonder if you are making much more milk than you think. Pump output is a poor measure of milk production. Also what milk looks like in a bottle is going to vary from mom to mom and, because of natural fat separation in non-homogenized milk, expressed breastmilk will often look quite watery in a bottle.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Default Re: Mixed feeding, baby only takes foremilk

    Thanks for the all the advice. I did experience the snowball effect last week when I went from mainly breast milk to mainly formula. I was very anxious that she was hungry all the time and that I was hampering her growth. When I was feeding her all the time there was little evidence that I was producing much milk, now that she is not feeding so much I can see it building up.

    I am starting to pump or hand express during the day when she is not feeding now. Although exclusive breastfeeding would be great I don't think I would go back to that as to be completely frank, I feel It might lead me to be very unhappy which would be bad for the baby too. I did go through a the cycle of feeding, expressing and pumping as often as possible but I think the lack of sleep also affected my supply. The lactation consultant told me I was feeding the baby 80 percent breast and 20 percent formula but I think baby went through a growth spurt and I was very anxious that my supply was not keeping up and u

    I will keep encouraging the feeding when we are both relaxed and see how long we can keep it up.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Mixed feeding, baby only takes foremilk

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*amelie24 View Post
    Thanks for the all the advice. I did experience the snowball effect last week when I went from mainly breast milk to mainly formula. I was very anxious that she was hungry all the time and that I was hampering her growth. When I was feeding her all the time there was little evidence that I was producing much milk, now that she is not feeding so much I can see it building up.

    I am starting to pump or hand express during the day when she is not feeding now. Although exclusive breastfeeding would be great I don't think I would go back to that as to be completely frank, I feel It might lead me to be very unhappy which would be bad for the baby too. I did go through a the cycle of feeding, expressing and pumping as often as possible but I think the lack of sleep also affected my supply. The lactation consultant told me I was feeding the baby 80 percent breast and 20 percent formula but I think baby went through a growth spurt and I was very anxious that my supply was not keeping up and u

    I will keep encouraging the feeding when we are both relaxed and see how long we can keep it up.
    Just to clarify, exclusive breastfeeding would not make me unhappy but the transition to would, I have tried for 6 weeks and the worry about her being hungry was consuming me.

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