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Thread: Thinking about supplementing....

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
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    28

    Default Thinking about supplementing....

    Hi ladies. I'm starting to think maybe I need to supplement, but I'm not sure.

    DD is 12 weeks old. My last day at my temp job was Friday. I worked 10 hour days for two weeks straight, and pumped every two hours while at work. My mom watched DD. At first, mom was feeding her 2 oz of my milk and 2 oz of formula (4oz total) every two hours. After my last day at work, I found over 20 oz of unused breastmilk in her fridge. Apparently she decided to start feeding her 4 oz of formula and 2 oz of breastmilk (6 oz total) because "It helps her sleep longer and I've got stuff to do. Your milk goes straight through her". Mom says she slept well and really didn't fuss much.

    Now on the other hand, when my husband and MIL kept her, they paced her bottles and the most she took was like 3 oz, every 1 1/2 - 2 hours. They said she was really fussy and only slept 30 minutes at a time, if that.

    Now that I'm back to being a SAHM, I'm nursing full time again. I feel like I feed her constantly. Sometimes she gets really fussy and the only way to calm her down is to nurse her, even if I know she's probably not hungry. The longest I can get her to sleep without holding her or putting her in her sling is 20 minutes. At night she can go 6 hours without feeding, but she has to be cuddling with my boob. So I'm starting to wonder if she's really getting satisfied. Mom made it sound like she was the easiest baby ever when she was on the formula..... I really don't want to supplement, but I don't want to starve my baby either. Help???

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    10,754

    Default Re: Thinking about supplementing....

    How has weight gain been? Unless a baby is not gaining well, there is no reason to supplement with anything. And the first choice for supplementing would always be mom's own milk assuming it is available. This is accepted science. There is lots more I could say about how your mother treated your child but I am restraining myself.

    If you would like to learn more about the biology of human sleep and why there are very good reasons that breastfed (normal fed) babies tend to sleep shorter stretches than formula fed babies, and for much more information you may find helpful, I suggest the book Sweet Sleep.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
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    211

    Default Re: Thinking about supplementing....

    One of the more experienced ladies will probably address this better, but I just wanted to assure you that what you're describing sounds very normal for baby's age - babies nurse for both comfort and food, so it's natural for them to want to just nurse a while for comfort even if they've just eaten. It's also natural for baby to sleep best when close to you, even if it makes you feel like you're getting nothing done. At almost 6 months, my baby still takes a nap or two in my arms, at my breast - she can nap up to 3 hours that way! It sounds like baby was getting over fed with the additional formula and that's likely why she was so "easy" - her tummy was so full, she was very sleepy! The max of 3 oz every 1.5-2 hours from your husband/MIL sounds more normal - I believe, if I remember correctly, you're supposed to pump 1-1.5 oz for each hour you'll be away from baby, so that sounds about right.

    I don't think it's likely you need to worry about starving her - is she gaining well? Having adequate wet/poopy diapers?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    24,794

    Default Re: Thinking about supplementing....

    I'm going to be a lot less tactful than the PPs. What your mom did was outrageous.

    First, she disobeyed your feeding instructions. That's completely disrespectful to YOU and I would fire a caregiver who did that.

    Second, she overfed your baby- 6 oz bottles? Really?!! That's not healthy, and of course your baby slept well afterwards- she was probably too full to move.

    Third, if your mom has "stuff to do" that is more important than taking good care of her grandchild, then she is not the right caregiver for your child. I would far rather see a baby fed breastmilk in appropriate amounts and be normally fussy- likely because she misses her mom- than to see her overfed formula just so that she'll go into a convenient "food coma".

    Fourth and finally, what your mom said planted a bunch of nasty seeds of self-doubt in you. Now you're worried that your milk isn't enough, that you should be using formula because your milk "goes right through" the baby... All because your mom talked down breastfeeding and talked up the benefits of overfeeding a baby formula.

    If this were me, I would not let my mom take care of my child again until she agreed to follow my feeding instructions to the letter, and demonstrated that the child's welfare was more important to her than anything else.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    NOVA
    Posts
    317

    Default Re: Thinking about supplementing....

    I'm so sorry you are doubting yourself! It sounds like you are doing well with your baby and she's just fussy because . . . Well, she's a baby.

    I have an eleven week old and panicked myself when she fussed a lot and didn't sleep as much a few weeks after she got home. The ladies on here as well as a few books helped me realize this is what babies do. They sleep in maddeningly short bursts, they fuss, they sleep in your arms and wake up when they are put down, they feed what seems like CONSTANTLY. And they are all normal if they are gaining weight and have enough wet and poopy diapers.

    My doctor had advised supplementing my child, but she's gaining slower than dr would like. And I'm finding it to be more trouble than just breastfeeding more, even though I think breastfeeding is harder. She won't take the formula in a bottle from me and only from my husband when she's really hungry, and it's a pain to follow all the dos and don'ts of formula mixing, stirring, and feeding in addition to breastfeeding. But that's my situation, not yours. You aren't saying your daughter is gaining too slow or losing weight; unless she is, I wouldn't worry about formula.

    If there is an issue with breastfeeding, see a good LC. It doesn't sound like you are having issues though. If you think she needs formula, YOU, NOT your mom, check with the dr about it.

    You may not be a reader, but if you are, as already suggested, Sweet Sleep is a good book, as is the Happiest Baby on the Block, and the No Cry Sleep Solution. Sweet Sleep helps give you pointers on how you can get sleep (very helpful!) And all of them help explain baby's sleep and wake patterns. It's reassuring. :-)
    Last edited by @llli*dormir41; March 31st, 2015 at 06:03 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Thinking about supplementing....

    Thanks yall. You have no idea how much that helped. I'm looking up those books now

    At her last checkup, her pediatrician said that she's happy with DDs weight gain as long as she stays in the 5%. If it drops, then we would talk about a supplement. In the meantime shes having us do weight checks every two weeks. DD has reflux, and sometimes has a hard time keeping breastmilk down. The formula we were using was one with added rice, and she kept it down beautifully. She also gained about a pound and a half. I wish there was some way to thicken my breastmilk for her, the rice formula helped so much with the reflux it's unreal.

    My mom breastfed all her kids, but we also got a lot of formula when she was at work. She claims that even on breastmilk alone, we had all spaced our feedings out to about 3 hours apart by this age. I kind of believe her, I get so tired of hearing "Didn't you JUST feed that baby??"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: Thinking about supplementing....

    "Didn't you JUST feed that baby??"
    Just to add something to consider. You know how sometimes you want a glass of water, sometimes you want a snack, sometimes you want Thanksgiving dinner, sometimes you want dessert and sometimes you just want the kind of sugar that comes in a hug. I think it can be the same for a baby. Your milk is all the above!
    D 1995
    C 1996
    A 1998
    B 2012

  8. #8

    Default Re: Thinking about supplementing....

    I am totally in agreement with Mommal here. You showed much more constraint than I could have - I would have knocked my mother into yester-year for that.

    As many have said, supplementing with formula is a MEDICAL INTERVENTION, not something that should be done for convenience's sake. If your doctor was concerned about weight to that degree, I assure you they would have strongly voiced their orders to supplement.

    Abcdmom - beautiful sentiment. Maybe the baby just needs more "hugs" than some. There's a reason it's called nursing...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,794

    Default Re: Thinking about supplementing....

    Memory fades with time. It's been, what, 20-30 years since your mom nursed her kids? She may remember you nursing only every 3 hours, forgetting that it was sometimes 3 hours and sometimes every hour, or twice in a single hour... Also, if she was using "a lot" of formula when she was at work, it may be that her kids got most of their calorie needs met during the workday and therefore didn't care to nurse much when she was home. I would simply ask her to stop saying "Didn't you JUST feed that baby?" Tell her that hearing that makes you feel undermined and insecure, and ask that she find a way to trust that you know when your child is hungry, which you do!

    You actually CAN thicken bottled breastmilk. It's usually not recommended because cereal stirred into milk can form clumps which can be a choking hazard, but my guess is that you could do it safely if you were very careful about mixing and informed about the proper amount of cereal to add. I would talk to the pediatrician about it.

    If your baby has reflux, are you using a reflux med?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,754

    Default Re: Thinking about supplementing....

    The formula we were using was one with added rice, and she kept it down beautifully. ... I wish there was some way to thicken my breastmilk for her, the rice formula helped so much with the reflux it's unreal.
    You are right. It is unreal. As in, totally false.
    "Reflux" is spit up. Babies spit up. It is entirely normal. Painful reflux that requires intervention is a painful condition where partially regurgitated food and stomach acids irritate and eventually injures the esophagus. that is NOT solved with thickened feeds. Sometimes medication is needed. And a great helper for reflux is FREQUENT, SMALL FEEDINGS- just as a baby normally gets when they are nursed as much as they wish. Baby not spitting up does not mean painful reflux is not happening. Lots of people suffer from serious, painful reflux without ever vomiting.
    She also gained about a pound and a half.
    In how much time?
    we had all spaced our feedings out to about 3 hours apart by this age. I kind of believe her,
    Why shouldn't you believe her? It may be true. So what? This has nothing to do with you and your baby. There are many reasons some babies nurse less often than others.

    Here is the thing. What is our overarching, overall goal, when it comes to the health and happiness of our children? I think that most parents would say something like the goal is the best overall lifetime health outcomes possible- and we know breastfeeding promotes this-or, more to the point, we know that formula does NOT. Another goal is a child who is set up to have a happy and successful life. (A recent study showed that the latter is promoted if the child is cared for with lots of attention and respect for their feelings in early life so that they are capable of forming healthy attachments.)
    So, I would say the goal is not a baby who "goes" a certain length of time between nursing sessions, sleeps a certain length of time, does not spit up, gains at a rate that is faster than the right rate for THAT baby, or weighs more than is the right weight for that baby, or is a so-called "easy" baby who will allow themselves and their very reals needs for love, affection, being held, and fed as often as THEY need, to be ignored.

    Babies are human beings. They are here on earth to be who they are and to become who they are going to become, not to be easy for their caregivers to care for. Parents and the caregivers parents entrust with the care of their children have a moral responsibility to care for that child to the best of our ability. Babies are utterly innocent and utterly helpless. They need physical comforting in the arms of their caregiver most of the time because they have no other way to feel calm and relaxed. They need to nurse frequently for both food and comfort. And they rely on their caregivers for everything, for life itself. So caregivers should be ones that are capable of providing what a baby needs, rather than worrying about the baby not being a bother to them.

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