Breastfeeding

anyone else mixing?

After 3 1/2 weeks of agony with my little barracuda girl, we decided to transition to formula a few weeks ago.  Heartbreaking! but I was miserable and my little one wasn't gaining weight (by 3 1/2 weeks she hadn't regained her birth weight), so we didn't have much choice.  My midwife and pediatrician both advised a gradual transition.

 Of course, as soon as she started getting a full tummy once in a while and wasn't starving all the time, my daughter's latch improved.  Nursing still isn't easy, but my nipples have finally healed and it isn't the sheer agony that it was before.  So we're nursing 4-6 times a day, then finishing feeds with formula if she needs it.  (Mornings not usually, evenings for sure, daytimes vary.)  We'll do this until I go back to work in 2 weeks, then...?

 My question is: I've read that it's possible to cut down to one or two breastfeeds a day, and stop weaning at that point.  I would love to continue to have milk for my little one - even if it means finding a way to pump once or twice during the day, just to make sure I don't dry up.  She's thriving on formula, but I'd like both of us to have the health benefits of breastmilk for as long as we can, and my doctor says we get that as long as we're still nursing even "part-time."  Has anyone else done this?  My daughter is 6 weeks old, and although I didn't have much milk to begin with, I'm still making some!  Any tips on how to pump during the day?  The first feeding I dropped was the middle of the night feed - I nurse at midnight and again when my baby wakes up in the morning, but my hubby gives a formula bottle at night.  (I simply won't be able to function at work unless I get some uninterrupted sleep at night - otherwise I get debilitating migraines, and can't take the meds for them while nursing.)  I'm thinking I could pump at each of baby's feeding times while I'm at work, and nurse at home... TIA!

Re: anyone else mixing?

  • We had the slow weight gain part, but we finally reached our goal weight at 2 months! Seems your plan is a good one for u and LO. Gl
  • Sounds like we're in similar situations.  I've had to start supplementing due to issues with supply and/or poor sucking by DS.  Either way, he is gaining, but not enough.

    Per my lactation consultant, and with the blessing of DS's pediatrician, this is the schedule that we currently follow: BF 15 mins on each side, then supplement with 2 ozs of breastmilk and/or fomula (depending on my available stash of milk) if DS still appears hungry.  Like you, I find he doesn't always need the supplement in the morning, it varies during the day, and he usually does at night.  I also started taking fenugreek to help boost my supply. 

    I EBF for the first five weeks.  I started pumping at the beginning of the fifth week, because I had surgery yesterday, and I needed a supply to give him while we were separated and while I'm on meds.  I didn't know what to expect with pumping, and I was very discouraged by the .5-1.5 ozs that I would get at a time.  It didn't seem like enough.  However, it is normal to start out that way.  

    My goal is to rebuild my supply, which was likely diminished due to the stress of my pending surgery and not knowing what was going on with DS's lack of weight gain, and return to EBFing if possible. If I can't EBF, I will pump and nurse and supplement with breast milk the same way we supplement with formula.  I want to give him as much of my milk as possible for as long as possible.  I found that I get the most milk during a 2 am and 5 am pumping session, and this helps build my supplement stash.  I don't have much of a stash while I'm BFing too, though, so don't get discouraged if you find you aren't getting a lot of milk pumping.  Just keep at it!!

    I was heartbroken when we had to start supplementing so much, but I found comfort in knowing that I was doing the best thing for my son.  I also found a lot of relief in getting information and support from my lacation consultant and educating myself.  

    I wish you a lot of luck!!  

    DS1 born 3/30/09
    natural mc @ 10w4d 3/7/10
    DS2 born 9/13/12

    BabyFruit Ticker
  • It does sound like you have a good plan going!  My ds didn't reach birth weight until 3.5 weeks either...I was pumping like crazy and bottle feeding b/c he also wouldn't eat well at the breast-and I realized he was much happier after he had a tummy full of pumped milk.  He also was able to suck better.  Again, it sounds like you've got something that works for you-good luck!
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