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Thread: Weaning/supplementing 8 month old

  1. #1

    Unhappy Weaning/supplementing 8 month old

    I am devastated to have to say that I have to supplement with (or possibly fully wean to) formula. My body simply will not produce enough milk. I've been working so hard for several months now to try to increase my milk to no avail. Yes, I have tried everything. I mean everything. I've spoken to LLL leaders, a nutritionist, 2 lactation consultants, and two different doctors now. I just don't make enough for my baby anymore thanks to my cycle.

    So I need help. I need to get my daughter to take formula. I thought it'd be as simple as starting with just one bottle a day and mixing 75% breastmilk with 25% formula (one bottle because that's all I can pump in a day). But she won't even take a bottle of 100% breastmilk anymore! She used to but now she acts like it's revolting, even when it's freshly expressed! I tried switching to a faster flow in the same bottles she was used to. Nope. I tried Tommee Tippee and Dr Browns bottles. Nope. I got a transitional sippy cup that has the bottle nipple then the soft spout. Tried both and tried with no lid. Same result. Tried a hard spout sippy. Nothing. She just chews on straw sippy cups. All these were just with 100% breastmilk. I already feel like **** that I can't give her enough and that I don't know how long it's been going on.

    I also can't have my husband try because he's gone all day and she's in bed most nights before he's home (minus weekends but she needs extra food every day, can't just do it 2x a week). So...anyone....anything. I'm desperate at this point.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,794

    Default Re: Weaning/supplementing 8 month old

    Welcome to the forum!

    Can you give us the rundown on what you are experiencing? It would help to know the following:
    - Why you and your caregivers think you have low supply- I am guessing that there is some sort of issue with weight gain?
    - The baby's complete weight history, including birth weight, lowest weight, and weight at each checkup
    - Where you and your husband are on the human size spectrum- are you smaller/more slender than average, about average, or larger than average?
    - Whether you are only nursing, combining nursing and pumping, or just pumping
    - If you are nursing, how often you are nursing in a 24 hour period, including overnight
    - If you are pumping, how often you are pumping and what sort of pump you are using
    - If you are using pacifiers or swaddling your baby at night
    - Whether or not you are using hormonal contraception (and if so, what kind)
    - Whether or not you are pregnant
    - If you have had any recent health issues or tests for health issues, particularly including tests for thyroid function
    - Whether or not your baby will eat significant amounts of solid food

    I'm sure you are tired of going over this stuff, but the answers will help us help you better!

    Getting a baby to take formula is not necessarily easy. Some babies like it, some don't mind it, some hate it. Getting your baby to take it is usually a matter of trying again, and again, and again, and using a variety of ways to feed it to the baby (open cup, sippy cup, lactation aid, bowl and spoon, etc.).

  3. #3

    Default Re: Weaning/supplementing 8 month old

    I'll answer everything as best I can.

    -We did several weighed feeds. At the most recent one, the 12th, she took 2 oz in the beginning of the morning, when my supply would have been at its highest.
    -She was born at 8 lbs 3 oz. Her weight at discharge after birth was 7 lbs 12 oz. At 2 weeks she was up to 8 lbs even. At 2.5 months she was 9.81 pounds (which is 9 pounds 12.96 ounces). I can't recall her other appointments but at her 6 month checkup she was 12.8 pounds. Then a week later 13 lbs and .09 oz. And on the 12th she was a grand total of 13 pounds and 10.6 ounces.
    -My husband and I are slender but not more slender than average. As babies neither of us was on the charts but we did gain better than she is.
    -I was originally nursing exclusively because I was never able to pump anything and pumping did nothing for me so I didn't bother. I've been attempting to use the pump to boost my supply and it seems to have absolutely no effect on it despite power pumping, pumping every time I wake to feed her at night, all the supplements and lactation cookies in the world, etc.
    -I nurse every 2 hours during the day, at least 8 times. Then a minimum of 2 times and as many as 6 times overnight. Usually somewhere around 2-4 though. So at least 10 times in a 24 hour period.
    -I use a Medela pump in style advanced. I tried a hospital grade pump and it may as well have been an overpriced paperweight for all the good it did for me.
    -We swaddled in the beginning but haven't swaddled in some time. We do use a pacifier but ONLY for going to sleep and nothing else.
    -I don't use any form of birth control other than condoms.
    -I'm very much not pregnant but did get my cycle back at 8 weeks postpartum. The last couple months it seems like every time my period hits my supply tanks and returns half an ounce or more lower than it was before despite increased nursing, power pumping, and every supplement I can take without it making me sick.
    -The only health issue I have had has been my gallbladder, which HAS to be taken out soon. I'm talking I have a pending referral to general surgery right now that I'm waiting for a call back on. So she HAS to take a bottle because if I don't get this surgery I'll eventually have an attack that leads to emergency surgery with no one to care for my daughter.

    I've tried 4 different bottles (one that she used to take ALL THE TIME). She suddenly wants NOTHING to do with the bottle. Complete strike when previously she'd take one from anyone, including me. I tried using a spoon. I tried an open cup (big mess there), hard spout and soft spout sippy, straw, and a medicine dropper. All with pumped milk. She refused each of these and screamed like I was hurting her even if I just held it up to her mouth to let her try to take charge. And the straw she just chewed. Even if I have to switch to just pumping and getting donor milk, she needs to take a bottle one way or another. She won't eat enough solids to compensate (not for lack of trying on my part). I truly can't just keep trying to get my supply up. I've been trying for a month and a half. Trying to preserve the breastfeeding is, at this point, doing more harm than good to BOTH of us.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,754

    Default Re: Weaning/supplementing 8 month old

    So baby will nurse, but not take liquids any other way?
    Does she eat solids? Has she been tested for any issues that might affect appetite, or cause poor gain, or for any oral aversion issues?
    Did you ever try a lactation aid- an at the breast supplementer. for giving formula?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Weaning/supplementing 8 month old

    She nurses fine, she will eat solids but not enough to compensate for not getting enough from nursing. I, plain and simple, make too little for her to thrive on. She used to take bottles of breastmilk just fine when we would have her with a babysitter. She took a bottle just 3 weeks ago just fine, no sobs, no screams, and she took it straight from me. So the sudden "bottle aversion" is totally out of the blue. There's nothing to affect her appetite except, maybe, that she's finally getting her first teeth in. Believe me, the instant she is hungry she's tugging at my shirt trying to get my boobs out.

    A lactation aid like a supplemental nursing system is fine for getting her to take the formula to gain weight but as I mentioned in my response to the previous poster, I have to have gallbladder surgery. Another attack could cause it to burst and then I'm going to have surgery anyway. Better to schedule it which means someone else is going to have to feed her and help while I am in surgery and maybe even the first few days of recovery. She has to take a sippy or bottle and it takes 2 or 3 pumping sessions to make enough for ONE bottle so just pumping and having someone give that isn't going to work either. She is going to HAVE to take formula.

    So far, leaving the house when it was time for her to eat and letting my husband try isn't working. I had one last 3 ounce bag of stored milk and I mixed in some formula and she could tell the stuff was in it. I don't know how but she could. I just don't know how else to get her to eat.

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