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Thread: Rice Cereal & Milk Supply

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    17

    Default Rice Cereal & Milk Supply

    I have milk supply issues so I have always both breastfed and bottle fed. My son is almost 4 months old and I was thinking of putting rice cereal in his bottle in the evenings. I hardly make enough milk so he gets formula anyway. Is it a good idea to start so early? Will this help him sleep his nights? Will this just replace the formula amount or do I risk making less milk?
    Thanks!
    Renee

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    2,178

    Default Re: Rice Cereal & Milk Supply

    NEVER EVER PUT CEREAL IN BABY'S BOTTLE!!!! There is a very big risk that baby will choke no matter how well mixed you think the cereal is. This is well documented, and is a very dangerous thing to do.

    If you haven't had any luck increasing your supply and have exhausted all of the resources from LLL and seen an IBLC (Board Certified Lactation Consultant) and still can't increase your milk supply, then I would discuss adding more formula to your baby's diet with your pediatrition. Rice Cereal isn't very good nutritionally, and your baby would be far healthier if you added more formula if breastmilk isn't an option. While formula isn't ideal, it is designed to be much closer to the nutrition in breastmilk than rice cereal is.

    It's also untrue that rice cereal will make your baby sleep longer at night. It will be harder to digest, and in that sense might take longer for baby's stomach to empty, but baby will be getting less nutrition, and in fact, most people don't notice any difference in night waking once baby starts solids. It's just an old wives tale.

    Another thing to consider, is the research done regarding starting solids. Alot of doctors now believe that solids shouldn't be started until 6 months do to the fact that baby's intestines aren't developed enough to handle solids until something like 5-7 mos. Introducing them too early can actually lead to alot of problems including food allergies. You can check out the AAP's website regarding this too. www.askdrsears.com has alot of good resourses regarding solid readiness, and it would be very very rare for a 4 mo. old to have the signs that they were actually developmentally ready for them. One of the signs is that baby can sit up with little or no assistance, which most babies at 4 mos. can't do. There is also a list of readiness signs here on LLL's main website.

    Finally, regarding your last question...whenever you supplement with anything like formula or the rice cereal that takes longer to digest, you do run the risk of lowering your milk supply, as baby would go longer between feeding at the breast. If you truly aren't making enough BM to keep baby going, then formula is a good option to make up the difference, but adding cereal to breastmilk or formula may just complicate things and make it all worse.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Not around here as much :(
    Posts
    12,132

    Default Re: Rice Cereal & Milk Supply

    *Correlation does not equal causation*

    not that the above poster didn't do a fab job with her reply - but I just wanted to add something. Generally speaking, people used to start their babies on something (rice cereal and the like) at around the same time... about this time frame some babies would sleep longer periods of time, thus a growing belief that the food caused the longer sleep periods; when in fact the child would have progressed to the change in sleep pattern regardless. Hence my first line of this post.

    I say nurse more and get that supply up - because anything you give to baby that isn't breasmilk will take the place of a feeding.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Rice Cereal & Milk Supply

    I too am having low milk production problems. I have had tremendous luck using a Supplemental Nursing System from Medela. My LO wasnt gaining weight at all, and I saw a IBCLC and have been using the formula to supplement in the SNS. She is now gaining great and is slowly weaning herself off the formula becoming completely breastfed. As far as giving rice cereal, your LO system isnt ready yet. Talk to your Pediatrician. If you want to boost your supply, consider trying the SNS. It is truly awesome!

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