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Thread: Please help me conquer the formula!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Question Please help me conquer the formula!!

    Hello all...
    My baby is 8 weeks today, and we are still struggling with breastfeeding...I can't really pinpoint why we are having the issues we are, but I'm thinking low milk supply. I had started taking fenugreek a couple of weeks ago, but I was already nervous about taking it (worried it may affect her somehow) and she was acting kind of hyper and jittery after 3 days of taking it. Now this was just a couple of nights that she was this way...hard to get to sleep...but I'm a first time mom, and I worry. Anyway...I hadn't really noticed anything with my supply yet, so I'm not sure if it was working or not. I was taking 2 pills 3 times a day, and smelled like maple syrup, so I think that's where I needed to be.

    I'm not gonna go into the story of why I introduced formula right now......will save that for later. I just wanted some feedback on the fenugreek from those who have used it. I am thinking of trying it again, because I desperately want her off the formula while she is still willing (and often eager) to bf. Has anyone ever had a bad experience with the fenugreek?? Are there other ways to increase production naturally...besides the obvious putting her to the breast as often as possible? My girl is growing fast...and increasing her formula intake rapidly...she's taking 4-5 oz every 2-3 hours now...I'm a little worried I'll never catch up.

    Any help is greatly appreciated!!

    Mistelle

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    315

    Default Re: Please help me conquer the formula!!

    You can do this! Why do you think that your LO isn't getting enough? How is her output (wet diapers)? Is she growing along her curve?
    Some people say that eating oatmeal helps with milk supply. Also make sure that you are drinking plenty of water. This is a good resource for weaning off formula supplementation. Also here is a good resource for milk supply concerns.
    Mom to a beautiful little girl-born June 27th, 2006



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    251

    Default Re: Please help me conquer the formula!!

    i agree with pp just try to put her to the breast first before supplementing . have you thought of supplementing at the breast with a sns? ive heard someone say put the baby to the breast when shes hungry, tired and even happy when in doubt whip it out. now about the fenugreek i take 5 pills 3x a day and no side effects for me or my lo(3m) but if you suspect something i would talk to the dr first before you continue with it you never know maybe baby is just really sensitive to it


    sucessfully breastfeeding my little princess for 10 months we are absolutely in love I know Im giving her the best and I know she'll grow healthy and strong!!
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Please help me conquer the formula!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mistelle View Post
    Hello all...
    Are there other ways to increase production naturally...besides the obvious putting her to the breast as often as possible? My girl is growing fast...and increasing her formula intake rapidly...she's taking 4-5 oz every 2-3 hours now...I'm a little worried I'll never catch up.

    Any help is greatly appreciated!!

    Mistelle
    How much breastmilk is she taking? It sounds like she may be getting overfed. Formula usually takes about 4hours to be digested by their little systems. Generally a baby this age is drinking about 24-32 oz a day . Based on what you have written here she is getting 32-50+oz...is my math right on that? before we even talk about how much breast milk she is getting? This sound like too much without enough time for the formula to digest between feedings.

    Getting her to the breast more often is the only way you will ever catch up. Even if you are able to get a boost in your supply due to herbal supplements or oatmeal, it won't matter if your baby is not sending your body the the number of signals needed to produce milk. Milk making is completely a supply and demand thing. How much you produce is based strictly on how many signals a day your body gets by baby stimulating production and the length of these stimulations. If your baby needs 28-32oz a day and she is being fed 32-50+ oz of formula a day, it doesn't leave a whole lot of room for your body to get the signals it needs.
    The good news is it's not too late and it sounds like your daughter still wants to nurse. Honestly, since it seems like there may just be too much food in the mix, why not try cutting the formula altogether out of half the feedings? In that it takes at least 4hours for formula to digest so you should be limiting any formula feedings to every 4hours. So if you feed her formula and she is acting hungry again in under four hours, feed her only breastmilk. And if you are still feeding every 2-3 hours cut back the amount of formula you give her. Don't give her more than 3oz to start and then pull it back to two. The way to "catch up" is not to allow the amount of formula increase. You need to pull it back and get her to your breast more often. Even if she was getting only two oz of formula every feeding and that was happening every 2-3 hours hours that's still 16-24oz a formula a day. That's a lot. You will need to lose the supplements altogether to really get back on track. But If you begin to at least pull them back, your body will begin to get the message that milk production is needed and you need it to increase. Good luck. Keep us posted on your progress!

    Way too lazy for formula

  5. #5
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    Mar 2006
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    19

    Default Re: Please help me conquer the formula!!

    There are other things you can take to increase milk supply as well. If you are not comfortable with fenugreek you could try them. Blessed thistle is one and domperidone is another.

    Go to this site:http://www.drjacknewman.com/index.ph...d=22&Itemid=52
    Download "not enough milk" then check out:
    -cabbage leaves, herbs, lecithin
    -Domperidone 1
    -Domperidone 2

    Good job on wanting to "Conquer the formula!" Keep it up!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    52

    Default Re: Please help me conquer the formula!!

    i took fenugreek for a month, i never had problems but i sweat so much! honestly i've had the best luck with lots of liquids, soups, oatmeal and mother's milk tea from time to time. Try decreasing the formula intake a little bit and offer the breast anytime the baby even looks at you funny. My LO was formula fed in the NICU (i had no supply at first, devastating!!) and i got her off of it quickly this way. it wasn't easy and i worried a ton, but totally worth it! Also, i recommend the Breastflow bottles- prevents nipple confusion!
    new mom to yael justine, born 12/20/07 4lbs 7oz

    cloth diapers all the way!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Please help me conquer the formula!!

    You can do this !!! I can't add anything to the already given links and advice

    Quote Originally Posted by nina29 View Post
    i agree with pp just try to put her to the breast first before supplementing . have you thought of supplementing at the breast with a sns? ive heard someone say put the baby to the breast when shes hungry, tired and even happy
    when in doubt whip it out
    . now about the fenugreek i take 5 pills 3x a day and no side effects for me or my lo(3m) but if you suspect something i would talk to the dr first before you continue with it you never know maybe baby is just really sensitive to it
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Please help me conquer the formula!!

    for you for wanting to get your LO off formula and to the breast more often!

    Whenever I notice my supply seems to be "low" I increase my water intake to at least 60 oz/24 hour period & eat oatmeal.

    Good luck to you...The first few months can be so trying, but keep at it. It gets easier!!
    Sarah- Mommy to Ally (4/16/06) , Katlyn (11/13/07) & Rebekah (10/21/09)
    All three, all natural!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    4

    Default Re: Please help me conquer the formula!!

    Okay.. here's something random and completely unscientific. Every once in a while, I pick up one of those warm, ready-to-eat rotisserie chickens (or turkey breasts) at the grocery store and eat half of it for dinner with no sides or just a bit of bread/butter. For some reason, this ends up boosting my supply, and I'll be extra full the next day. Not sure why.

  10. #10
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    Mar 2008
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    Default Re: Please help me conquer the formula!!

    Maybe I said that wrong...she doesn't take that much formula every time...she's averaging about an oz an hour. I let the doctors get me all freaked out in the beginning...we went for her check up a couple days after we were released from the hospital, and she had lost 1-1/2 lbs...but she was 9 lbs 12 oz when she was born. Anyway...the doctor wanted us to go back in on Sunday, and that freaked me out....they wanted to make sure she wasn't getting dehydrated. He told me to supplement with formula, as much as she wanted, after every feeding. Well, then my milk came in and I was insanely engorged...did everything I had read to get through that...but couldn't pump anything and she couldn't latch on. So this lasted 2 days, and she had stinky formula the whole time. The first time we gave her the formula, I felt terrible, because she looked like she had been starving the way she was sucking it down.

    Finally was able to pump some and got past the engorgement. She wasn't latching well when we tried again, and was tearing me up. So I kept pumping. I would give her whatever I got from the pump, and keep any left over for her next feeding. I was getting 2-3 oz from one side, and 1 from the other...after like 30-45 mins of pumping...and this was first thing in the morning...it would of course dwindle over the day, so we'd give her formula.

    I drink a ton of water...probably a gallon a day, but I hadn't been able to eat very well (still haven't really) with all this being so new to me, and I was so tired (she did a number on me in labor, and I didn't sleep for 5 days in the hospital). So when I could, I slept. She gained good weight at her next check up 2 weeks later, of course, it was the formula.

    I was killing myself pumping around the clock and mixing formula...so I finally called a LC. She thought I had thrush, and told me to use lotrimin or monistat...so that added more stress to the situation, having to wash my nipples before every feeding. It turns out it wasn't thrush, but the pump was tearing me up worse than she was...they don't make a shield small enough for my nipples. So I'm finished with the pump. The LC told me to start cutting her back 1/2 oz at a time from the formula every 2-3 days. So I started doing that. She started sleeping like 4-5 hour stretches at night, and wasn't having a wet diaper in that time...and she was really hard to wake up a couple of nights...that got me all freaked out and so I backed off the plan and gave her more formula.

    She nursed well just a couple hours ago, but was still hungry and hitting and tugging my boob because I guess she wasn't getting anything else...so she had 3 oz of formula afterwards. At this point, I haven't been nursing her every single time she is ready to eat...and I know that has a lot to do with it, since she tells my body what to make. She is so hard to read sometimes...she apparenlty needs to suck a lot...so I let her comfort nurse whenever she wants, and she takes a paci sometimes. One minute, I'll hear big gulps and she'll be fighting and tugging at my boob, so I think that the let down is too strong...then another time it will be like above and seem like she's getting nothing.

    I usually eat a lot of oatmeal, but I ran out a week ago...will get some and start that tonight...I will also put her to the breast EVERY TIME before I give her formula and watch her diaper count. I'm just so afraid I'm going to starve or deprive her...she's almost 14 lbs now, so she certainly doesn't look starved, but the formula gets most of the credit.

    After 8 weeks of stress and struggling, I'm still determined to do what's best for baby and me...I just worry that it just will not happen for us. I've never faced such a challenge in my life...drug free labor was a breeze compared to this!!! One more thing...what do I do if she's still hungry after I nurse her and give her the cut back amount of formula!??

    Thank you all for your words of encouragement and advice...I'll keep you updated!!

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