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Thread: how much supplement is too much

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Default how much supplement is too much

    I have an almost 3 week old baby boy and really want to BF as long as I can. I can nurse him until he lets go and then switch and feed from the other breast, then not long after, he will drink 2 oz of formula. Does that mean that he is not getting enough from me? Of course everyone says just give up, but they dont get it! I think I can hear him swallowing now, hard to tell if thats what the noise is, and he poops and pees enough, I suppose I should get him weighed, but I dont know if it will be accurate, because I have been supplementing, although only once or twice a day. I dont really know what I am asking, but I guess I need to know if I supplement AFTER I BF, is that bad for milk production?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: how much supplement is too much

    Hello there! First of all congratulations on your new little one!

    To answer your question, any time that you supplement with formula it does affect your supply. The quickest and best way to make your supply meet your baby's demand is to nurse, nurse, nurse! At just three weeks post partum, your body is still regulating your milk supply, this is probably why baby still seems hungry just shortly after nursing. For about the first six weeks, DD nursed every 45 minutes to an hour for about 30 minutes each time. Since then, she eats about every two hours during the day and then sleeps 6-9 hours at night (she's 4 months old).

    Personally, I would try to get away from the supplementation if you intend to exclusively breastfeed. By putting the baby to the breast as soon as he signals he is hungry, it will trigger your body to make more milk and you'll be able to stop the supplementing all together. Even if you've just finished feeding the baby not long ago, your breasts still have milk there for him, they're pretty much an endless supply!

    Best of luck and keep us updated!!!
    Amber
    Mommy to Bridget (12/20/05) and Brady (9/6/07)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    683

    Default Re: how much supplement is too much

    As the previous poster mentioned, any time that you supplement with formula in a bottle you are effectively telling your body to make less milk. Milk supply is all about supply and demand -- your body supply's the exact amount of milk that baby demands. Babies go through frequent growth spurts so during a growth spurt, baby may appear to be fussy at the breast and wanting to nurse non-stop. This is precisely why we should allow them free access to the breast -- because they're telling our bodies to make more milk for them! Our bodies typically respond to an increased demand within 24 hours.

    Can I ask why you are supplementing? Why not just nurse him? Your body and baby will work in perfect harmony together to ensure that baby gets everything he needs. Nursing is a natural extension of conception, pregnancy and childbirth. There's no reason to question your body's ability to do what nature has intended it to do

    That said, babies have a suck-swallow reflex. This means that once they take a suck, it triggers a suck which triggers another swallow which triggers another suck and so on and so forth. So a baby who's just been at the breast for 2 hours will probably guzzle down a 2 oz. bottle of formula (or expressed breast milk). This does not mean that mom's supply is low!

    The only way to know whether baby isn't getting enough is to look at baby's weight gain. A good indication that baby is gaining weight is to count wet and poopy diapers. For the first 6 weeks of life, breastfed babies should be having 5-6 sopping wet diapers plus 3-4 quarter sized stools in a 24 hour period. If your baby is meeting or exceeding this expectation then there's absolutely no reason to supplement.

    This may help too -- Is Baby Getting Enough Milk? and Is your milk supply really low? (not LLL sources)

    HTH!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    7

    Default Re: how much supplement is too much

    Well, I have a lot of excuses for wanting to supplement, but the main one is that its hard for me to believe that he is getting enough when he will still take so much formula when i offer it. Of course, its hard to nurse cuz I am back to work already, and have a 3 yo.

    This weekend I am going to bf only and keep track of diapers really closely. Next week I'll go get him weighed and if I can get a babysitter, I am going to a LLL meeting tuesday. Hopefully that will ease my mind.

    Its just hard to believe he is getting enough when I cant actually see what he's getting. I need to see it to believe it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    683

    Default Re: how much supplement is too much

    Needing to quantify the amount of breastmilk our babies ingest is a challenge that many new mother's face. I do urge you though to try to look to your baby for signs that he's receiving enough instead of a number. Breastfeeding is not like bottlefeeding and therefore cannot be treated in the same manner. Something to keep in mind is that at this very moment, thousands upon thousands of women are breastfeeding their babies by simply putting them to their breasts when baby needs it and those babies are thriving. You can't improve upon perfection and your body is *perfectly* suited for this job.

    Also, many breastfeeding women have older children and it's very normal to feel extremely challenged in meeting the needs of both the nursling and older children. But it can be done, so don't fret. Sometimes all we really need is just some support and ideas from other mom's on how they got through the rough spots. Also, if you think about it -- bottlefeeding is a lot harder and more time consuming that breastfeeding. So if it's more time you need with another child, breastfeeding is going to give it to you

    Try to trust your body! It will make all the difference

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    108

    Default Re: how much supplement is too much

    Just nurse mama, if you supplement you are not telling your body to make more milk. Also remember that when the baby hits 3 wks it is growth spurt time so the baby will need to nurse more often. It will get better i promise. I have 4 kids and my youngest is 5 mos. I went through all that doubt and uncertainty. Also remember, babies will suck on anything you put in their mouths, so if you breastfeed and then give baby a bottle, he/she will suck it down due to their natural sucking instinct..doesn't mean baby is still hungry..it's just a reflex..don't bother with supplementing and just nurse away..let us know how you're doing

  7. #7
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    Apr 2006
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    Default Re: how much supplement is too much

    I finally went to DR and he gained 9 oz in 17 days, so she said he's fine! yay!

  8. #8
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    Mar 2006
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    Default Re: how much supplement is too much

    I just read an article in some baby magazine at a dr. office and it said that the number one reason why moms who started out nursing and stop is because they are worried that baby is getting enough when baby is doing just fine. My sil had the same experience as you and actually ended up hurting her supply so much that she had to give it up altogether. She had a preemie (31 weeks) and he received bm by feeding tube for the first 3 weeks and then by breast and supplementer in the hospital for a week and then by breast/nipple shield. He was gaining just fine, but was of course small. My brother, being the macho man that he is, kept telling my sil that he needed to get bigger and she started doubting her supply and supplementing. She ditched the shield but kept supplementing, whether he needed it or not and finally she couldn't nurse exclusively anymore. So...the moral of the story is if you can, ditch the supplement and just breastfeed--pump while you are work if you can. You will produce enough if you give you body the right signals...nurse nurse nurse.

    Erin
    Wife to a grizzly
    Mama to my little deer (12/05) my loving bear cub (9/07--), and our little tiger (3/22/10)
    Born by one c-section and 2 amazing VBACs


    Miles in 2012: 350.5/900 (Actual Miles Ran: 189)
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    January Miles: 37.5/75
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    338 miles on my old shoes

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