Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 20

Thread: I think I've made a terrible breastfeeding mistake by supplementing!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    18

    Unhappy I think I've made a terrible breastfeeding mistake by supplementing!

    My son is almost 3-1/2 months old now and about 1/2 a month ago he was still very hungry at night after I had already emptied both breasts so I would use some of my back-up supply of milk in the freezer. When that supply was gone and felt I had no other choice but to supplement with formula. I did this for about 2 weeks and now I'm producing next to nothing. The only time I really have any milk is in the mornings after my son has slept for 11 hours. I've started pumping between feedings and letting my son feed even though there's not much there, but I feel like I'm not producing anymore milk. Have I just messed up terribly and the consequence is now to formula feed only or is there something I can do?
    Things I am now doing to help the problem:
    I am drinking at least a gallon of water a day
    I only drink one cup of caffeinated coffee in the mornings
    I'm pumping several times between feedings or letting my baby feed

    Is there still hope to go back to just breastfeeding or at this point will I have to feed him what I can and then supplement for the rest?
    Last edited by ixoyedd; January 5th, 2007 at 05:28 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    2,700

    Default Re: I think I've made a terrible breastfeeding mistake by supplementing!

    IMO it sounds like you are doing everything right. Just keep nursing, nursing, nursing. Your LO is far more effective than pumping, so if possible, get your LO on the breast as much as possible. For the past week, I've also noticed that I'm not as engorged as normal (my son is 12wo), and from what I understand, it's somewhat normal at this stage for your breasts to become more efficient and not become so engorged. I would lose the formula, and your supply should come back up. Are you getting enough wet/dirty diapers? At that stage it should be 4-6 wets, and bowel movements don't have to be so regular.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,368

    Default Re: I think I've made a terrible breastfeeding mistake by supplementing!

    Hi there! Don't worry, it is not too late for you!

    Your ds is still so young and it was only a short time that you supplemented, so you should not have too much trouble getting back to normal. Good for you for figuring things out and being proactive to correct them!

    The best way to increase supply is to remove milk. So lots and lots of nursing, no pacifiers, baby at breast all of the time, and pumping in between feeds will all be helpful.

    FYI: Limiting caffeine intake has not been shown to increase supply. Also, over-hydration is not necessary. Drinking to thirst is all that is necessary for making milk.

    Your ds may go through times where he seems to nurse more...this is normal and is often due to a growth spurt. (Just so you know for next time! )

    Hang in there and you will be successful!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    2,700

    Default Re: I think I've made a terrible breastfeeding mistake by supplementing!

    I just wanted to add, that even though it may seem like your breasts are empty and your LO is getting nothing, the breast never completely empties. Your LO will enjoy the richest milk of all, the hind milk.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: I think I've made a terrible breastfeeding mistake by supplementing!

    I'm getting plenty of wet/dirty diapers...I'll do my best to stop using the formula. Is was the hardest thing for me to even give it to him the first time and now I feel like I'm a slave to it because it's almost like we depend on it now. I'll keep working to increase my milk supply. I have another question...is it NECESSARY for continued breastfeeding to get up during the night to pump or feed even if my son is sleeping 11 or 12 hours every night? This is so hard for me, but I will get up during the night to feed or pump if it is absolutely necessary.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: I think I've made a terrible breastfeeding mistake by supplementing!

    That's very helpful..thanks!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,368

    Default Re: I think I've made a terrible breastfeeding mistake by supplementing!

    Quote Originally Posted by ixoyedd View Post
    I'm getting plenty of wet/dirty diapers...I'll do my best to stop using the formula. Is was the hardest thing for me to even give it to him the first time and now I feel like I'm a slave to it because it's almost like we depend on it now. I'll keep working to increase my milk supply. I have another question...is it NECESSARY for continued breastfeeding to get up during the night to pump or feed even if my son is sleeping 11 or 12 hours every night? This is so hard for me, but I will get up during the night to feed or pump if it is absolutely necessary.

    Many moms have babies who sleep for long stretches at night and still make plenty of milk for them. Their bodies just adjust to this pattern. So it is not necessary, under normal conditions to pump/nurse during that time. But, if you have supply concerns, it might be helpful to not go quite that long without removing milk. Again, this is something you can handle in a *let's see how it goes* way. But, if ds is going to sleep at 8pm, you might want to pump or put him to breast (if this won't wake him and he will nurse in his sleep) around 11pm. Then you can still enjoy and long stretch of sleep. You could wake to pump or feed in the early morning hours. It really just depends on how you feel about your supply right now. Also, just so you know...ds *might* start waking more and sleeping shorter stretches. (I just don't want you to get too comfy! )

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    627

    Default Re: I think I've made a terrible breastfeeding mistake by supplementing!

    How much formula were you supplementing with per day?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: I think I've made a terrible breastfeeding mistake by supplementing!

    I have been supplementing with about 16 oz. per day.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    627

    Default Re: I think I've made a terrible breastfeeding mistake by supplementing!

    If you want to get back to exclusively breastfeeding, it is possible. It does take some effort though. I wouldn't just stop giving the 16 oz of formula a day cold turkey. kellymom.com has a weaning from formula supplement protocol which I found really helpful. We started with DD getting about 18 oz of formula/day and I weaned her slowly down to 6. It took a couple of weeks because you have to give your body time to adjust to making more milk before you stop giving the supplement.

    Do you pump? This can help build supply as well.

    I wonder if he was hitting his 3 month growth spurt when you felt like he wasn't getting enough to eat. I mean, your breasts never really empty. But they do get emptier, so the milk is slower in coming out and that can frustrate some babies. I know my DD, at 3 months, ate almost constantly for a couple of days. Even now she loves to cluster feed in the evening. But then, thank heavens, she sleeps for about 8 hours. I figure she's just filling herself up for sleeping.

    Anyways, it can be done, so don't think you have to give up on breastfeeding. I know when I was trying, it helped to post here because everyone was so encouraging.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •