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Thread: First Time Mom Help???

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    3

    Question First Time Mom Help???

    I have read a lot of the other threads, and none of them are exactly my situation so I thought I would go ahead and post...

    I need advice and any suggestions you may have. I have been exclusively breastfeeding my 4 month old son Connor. I breastfeed him for his first feeding of the day, and then he eats expressed breastmilk throughout the rest of the day while I am at work. I also feed him from the bottle at night and I pump--a lot of this has to do with his reflux issues. In the last week or so, he has begun to want more than I am able to produce--he has fewer feedings but wants more at each feeding. You would think this would even out, but it doesn't. Now this week, I am pumping less and less breast milk each day--to the point that tonight, I will have to delve into the freezer just to have enough for tomorrow while I am at work.
    My questions are
    At what point do you call it quits and switch to formula?
    Can you feed both breastmilk and formula--like give him as much breastmilk as possible and supplement with a bottle or two of formula if needed?
    And, is there anything that I can do to increase my breastmilk?
    I am already pumping 4-6 times a day and getting about 4-5 oz per session, but now, I have gotten as little as 3 oz at some sessions. Connor was taking 4 oz per bottle, but now is at 4.5 to 5 oz and seems to want more.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I really want to breastfeed as long as possible.

    Thanks!

    Sara

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    1,198

    Default Re: First Time Mom Help???

    Sara, I must log off and run to a meeting, but wanted to bump this thread up in the list of new postings since it was getting lost in all the threads today. I'll check back later but hope someone will response shortly!
    -linda

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    8,018

    Default Re: First Time Mom Help???

    Some initial thoughts:
    How long are you pumping each time? It might help if you keep pumping for 5-10 minutes after the flow has stopped. This could give your breasts the extra stimulation they need to produce more milk.
    Can you possibly work in a little more breast time for your LO instead of giving him bottles at night? You mention reflux issues, so I'm not sure, but the stimulation you'll get from him is better than what the pump can provide.

    "Is there anything I can do to increase my milk?"
    Some people eat oatmeal, drink Mother's Milk tea, or take fenugreek supplements to increase supply. There is actually a whole board on this forum on "increasing your supply" if you want to check that out.
    I always found that *trying* to get enough rest and drink enough fluids made a difference.

    "Can you feed both BM and formula...?"
    Yes, BUT supplementing with formula can lead to a supply drop, which will lead to more supplementing, and so on...so this is an absolute last resort IMHO.

    "At what point do you call it quits and switch to formula?"
    For me, I never got to that point, even when I was on the verge of running out of EBM to leave with the nanny. Many times I had to pump before bed and again before leaving for work (after feeding my DD at night) just to get enough for the day. Sometimes I felt like my breasts were just empty, but I kept it up and now my supply is actually really consistent at 12 1/2 months.
    I kept it up because I knew from weaning my DS at 6 months that it was not something I wanted to do with my DD. My DS became much more sickly after he was weaned, so I wanted to keep the immunological benefits going to DD as long as possible!
    Have you heard about the kellymom.com site? It has so much great information and there is a whole section called "Got Milk?" about supply issues. I highly recommend it!
    I hope that helps! Keep it up, mama!

    Molly

    Loving mama to JP (DS, 1/03 ~ nursed 6 mos), EL (DD1, 9/05 ~ nursed 4 yrs), EJ (DD2, 3/08 ~ nursed 3 yrs 9 mos), and
    JM (DD3, 6/12 ~ currently nursing), all born naturally
    Devoted wife to SAHD P, my hero
    A few of my favorite things that I've discovered on the forum: co-sleeping, baby-wearing, tandem nursing, baby-led solids, cloth diapering, APing, selective vaccination...the list goes on

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    222

    Default Re: First Time Mom Help???

    Good advice from the PP. I am going to check out the kelly site tommarrow. You said he has less feedings, but wants more ounces at each feeding. Can you bag your milk in less bags per day but with the upped ounces?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,437

    Default Re: First Time Mom Help???

    Hi Sara,

    It sounds like you've already given some great ideas by some other mamas. I just want to echo what mollyb said about nighttime feedings. Babies are so much better at removing milk from the breast than pumps are...even the best pumps. Anything you can do to get baby to nurse more while you are together will both increase your milk production and decrease your baby's dependence on EBM.
    Here's a link to a LLL article on reflux. It has some good strategies you could try to keep baby at the breast at night rather than using your precious freezer stash of ebm or resorting to formula.

    http://www.lalecheleague.org/NB/NBNovDec98p175.html

    HTH

    Take Care,

    Tiana

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    3

    Default Re: First Time Mom Help???

    Thank you so much for all the advice--am going to check out the health food stores for the herbs and as my cholesterol just came back at 243, I guess I'll be heading for the oatmeal anyway. Can't take meds since I'm breastfeeding so I'll have to do it the old fashioned way

    I really appreciate all the support!

    Have a great day!

    Sara

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    90

    Default Re: First Time Mom Help???

    another thing you could try would be to use a sns with ebm in it at the feedings. this way dc will be getting the his full feding but still stimulating the breast (even after its empty) i do agree with pp about the more he can be at the breast the better. sorry im not much help, but i cant even get my so to the breast. needless to say i have virtually NO supply to be working with but i am deff trying to get back into it. as for your question about when to give up... it varies for evrey woman. i got a bladder infection a few days after having him. i went to the er because of how bad it hurt and (despite the fact i told him i was breastfeeding) he put me on meds that made me not eat. well then i got so weak that i could barely hold chase... let alone bf. we had formula from some foster kids we had in the past so i had my mother give him that while i slept and tried to get better. eventually i went to my ob and she switched the meds but by then my supply was all dried up. if i were you i would try to stick it out as long as you can because even a few drops of bm is better than none. hth huggs and keep up the good work

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: First Time Mom Help???

    Chases Mommy--what is sns with the expressed breast milk? Sorry to ask a dumb question Just not up on all the acronyms yet!

    Thanks!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: First Time Mom Help???

    hey not a problem. i know they can be wierd some times. an sns is a supplimental nursing system. you can put either formula or expressed breast milk in it. it has tubes that come out of the top of a bottle. you tape the tubes on your breast and the baby gets milk from that while stimulating the breast to produce more milk. hth.

    oh and here is a sight that will help you learn more if you want.

    http://www.medela.com/NewFiles/specialtyfdg.html#sns

    hth

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