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Thread: On the verge of supplementing - need advice

  1. #11
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    Default Re: On the verge of supplementing - need advice

    I tend to agree with djs mom about the milk removal 4 times a day being not enough in most cases to maintain normal milk production. Howewver, there is no doubt it is better than no milk removal, or less than 4 times a day.

    I guess I think at this point, you really have many choices. There is more than one compromise that might make sense. You can follow the compromise you have come up with, which has the benefit that you will continue to nurse your baby at least part time for the time being but the draw back that this will lead to faster than normal weaning/loss milk production.

    You can supplement your baby if you think it is really needed, but with an amount that makes sense for what is happening, while continuing to work on whatever is causing the slow gain (assuming it is not just normal gain for your baby) and encouraging baby to nurse with normal frequency (more than 8 times a day) with the idea to eventually wean off or reduce supplements.

    Of course there are many varieties/adjustment to those.

    Also, when back at work, even if your baby gets formula, whatever your pump can also go to your baby, correct? If someone is convinced that, ounce per ounce, formula is BETTER than breastmilk for weight gain, they need to be educated. Not even formula manufactures make this totally disproven claim. If a baby is not gaining normally, it is due to not enough milk (or some health issue unrelated to feeding.)

    I know it is incredibly hard to try to nurse your baby and do what you think it right without support from your family and your doctors. But as mommal points out, this is by no means unique to where you are living right now. The exact same thing happens every day to mothers in the US. When LLL started in the early 1960s, breastfeeding rates in the US were very low, something like 10%, and they are now more like 50%. (Obviously it is different in different areas and the percentage moves around depending on age studies, so these are general amounts) The point is, breastfeeding has increased a very large amount. This did not happen because moms magically started making more or "better" milk or babies of the new millennium are better at breastfeeding. And it sure did not happen because doctors started helping mothers better with breastfeeding, that has yet to happen, really. It happened because mothers advocated for themselves and their babies and said NO to medical advice that destroyed breastfeeding including unnecessary formula supplementation/over supplementation.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; July 30th, 2015 at 12:19 PM.

  2. #12
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    Default Re: On the verge of supplementing - need advice

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*maddieb View Post
    I tend to agree with djs mom about the milk removal 4 times a day being not enough in most cases to maintain normal milk production. Howewver, there is no doubt it is better than no milk removal, or less than 4 times a day.
    I mean I guess it's better in the fact that for that week or month before the inevitable happens the baby will still have SOME breastmilk. Yeah. But in terms of saying this? And acting like it's a reasonable plan for successful combo-feeding? No. It's not. I don't want anyone else to read this thread and think that feeding a baby this young 4 times a day while together and NOT pumping while away is in anyway a viable long term solution. It's not. It's you deciding that you are done. If you the op or anyone else reading does this, it almost certainly means that your child will be getting NO breastmilk at all LONG before the year point. It's certainly your choice to make, but that's what it is.
    No one who goes back to work with a 3 or 4 month old who is already experiencing supply issues is going to be able to maintain supply while only feeding that often. That's not how supply and demand feeding work. Women are able to cut out pumping and feed only when together after supply has been established. That doesn't happen this early. Ever. Even with women who aren't having supply issues would be putting their breastfeeding relationships at risk doing this this soon.

    Way too lazy for formula

  3. #13
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    Default Re: On the verge of supplementing - need advice

    If anyone else actually reads the entire thread, or anything else I have ever written on this subject on this forum, I would have thought it obvious I am not suggesting that nursing a child/pumping with anything less than the normal frequency with which a baby actually requires to eat (8-12 times a day) is a good idea for normal milk production/breastfeeding duration. I was pretty clear about that, I thought. I get not wanting to suggest "such and such has no consequences" in general when in general, of course it will. I am very glad you are clarifying this in your posts. My last post was specifically aimed at OP, who is clearly struggling with a very difficult situation that is unique to her and looking for options/support for her specific situation. I simply meant, that this 4 times a day plan, while not so good in terms of breastfeeding duration, is "better" in terms of promoting some normal breastfeeding for some amount of time than switching over to 100% formula in bottles (or something very close to that) right away. How long 4 times a day nursing/milk removal might maintain some milk production and nursing duration is not knowable, as it will depend on the physiology of the individual mother and also how long baby is willing/able to continue to nurse with normal efficiency (or at all) when baby is getting so many bottles and so little time at the breast. But I agree, there is little chance such a situation will lead to anything except weaning from the breast long before a year.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; July 30th, 2015 at 06:53 PM.

  4. #14
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    Default Re: On the verge of supplementing - need advice

    Hello everyone, wow lots of passionate answers here. Here's an update on the situation. Baby was weighed again during doctors 4-month visit. Her current weight is 6.2kg. He disregarded the weighing at the other health care provider and based on the weighing taken only with his scale she gained 300g in 9 days, so about 1oz per day. This weight gain was not linear, but it doesn't matter. She's back on track. Also, I believe baby had a growth spurt, she was nursing every 2 hours for about a day, and this has resulted in what I feel like is an increase in supply. At least my breasts feel full faster, and baby is less cranky at the breast. Seeing these improvements has made me feel so much better and relieved. Just to clarify, the 4 nursing per day was a minimum - the plan was to nurse on demand while I am with baby, but making sure it's not less than 4 times per day, and I plan to pump at lunch time and give this to baby the next day. What I am planning is perhaps not the ideal back to work plan, but I found pumping to be stressful and overwhelming, i only want to do it once a day. I know that pumping only this much and giving formula will result in weaning before 12 months, but this is a personal choice. My midwife told me that Being a mom doesn't only mean giving milk, it also means giving love. I felt that the time I was spending pumping and being stressed about pumping was taking away time I could spend playing with my baby and giving her love. I may not be as good of a mom, I haven't been able to give my baby an exclusive breast milk diet, but I do love her and need to spend quality time, breastfeeding being a part of it, but I also need other kinds of interaction. So this is my choice, and I will try to make it work as best I can. Again I appreciate the advice, the support, but please don't criticise... I'm a sensitive person and this situation has caused me a lot of grieve. I'm now coming to terms with the decision and don't want to spiral back down into how I was feeling last week..... Again thank you and all the best to you all

  5. #15
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    Default Re: On the verge of supplementing - need advice

    So glad to see that wieight gain is back on track! Well done, mama!!!

    FTR, don't expect linear growth with your child. Not now, not ever! My kids are 5 and 9 and I've observed that they tend to grow in spurts- one day I'm looking at them and thinking "Hmm, getting a little chubby there," and a few weeks later they are slender because they have shot up an inch and need all new shoes and pants. And this has been the case since infancy.

    Just to clarify, the 4 nursing per day was a minimum - the plan was to nurse on demand while I am with baby, but making sure it's not less than 4 times per day, and I plan to pump at lunch time and give this to baby the next day. What I am planning is perhaps not the ideal back to work plan, but I found pumping to be stressful and overwhelming, i only want to do it once a day.
    This sounds like a very reasonable plan. I just want to suggest that you don't wed yourself to it too completely. What seems overwhelming and stressful right now, when you are probably pretty overwhelmed and stressed, might end up being very doable once you are back at the office. One awesome thing about pumping is that it can be relaxing! Not only do you take some time out of the daily grind, but you also give yourself a nice oxytocin boost. No pressure, just a thought!

    I know that pumping only this much and giving formula will result in weaning before 12 months,
    Might result in weaning prior to 12 months. Might.

    It does mean an increased risk for early weaning, but hey, you never know!!!!

    My midwife told me that Being a mom doesn't only mean giving milk, it also means giving love. I felt that the time I was spending pumping and being stressed about pumping was taking away time I could spend playing with my baby and giving her love. I may not be as good of a mom, I haven't been able to give my baby an exclusive breast milk diet, but I do love her and need to spend quality time, breastfeeding being a part of it, but I also need other kinds of interaction. So this is my choice, and I will try to make it work as best I can. Again I appreciate the advice, the support, but please don't criticise... I'm a sensitive person and this situation has caused me a lot of grieve. I'm now coming to terms with the decision and don't want to spiral back down into how I was feeling last week.....
    Being a mom means facing constant judgment about how you are doing your job. People are going to have opinions on every aspect of your parenting. On how you feed your baby. On how you dress her. On whether you work or stay home. On what kind of diapers you use, on where you send her to school, on whether or not you allow her to have a phone, on minutiae that are too ridiculous to even mention. Even when people are striving to be informational rather than judgmental- and trust me, I know the moms on this thread and they are not judgmental!- you are going to feel judged. So this is my mom-to-mom tip for the day: if there is one thing you can do for yourself, it's to build a hard shell around your sensitivities. Accept that everyone you meet his some sort of opinion about how to parent, and most likely it will not completely match your own. All you can do is to proceed with confidence in your decision-making, and also with humility, because there will be times when you look back and realize that you got things wrong.

    Please don't feel bad about "not being as good of a mom". We all know that being a mom is about love, not food. If you had never nursed, you'd still be a great mom!

    Oh- and one more thing: playing with a baby is overrated. I love my kids, but they didn't really don't have much personality until around 4-5 months. With my first, I felt anxious about how I wasn't "playing" enough with her- wasn't she missing out on brain-building enrichment? But with my second, I realized that the concept of "playing" with a young baby was something that the parenting advice establishment had come up with in order to make busy moms feel even more guilty about everything they were doing wrong. Just being with your baby, carrying her in a sling, nursing her and looking into her little face- for a baby, that all counts as play and it's just as important as any other activity you can do.

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