Babies: 0 - 3 Months

Low Supply/Supplement Ladies

LO is 10 weeks old. I had to start supplementing early since LO was having trouble gaining in the first few weeks. I have had decent milk supply but have always had to supplement a little. My supply has increased with LO's demand but is never quite enough for her. She probably gets 25% formula, 50% on a bad day.  I have gone back and forth so many times if I should keep going. I am constantly worrying if something I am doing is going to affect my supply for the day. Am I eating enough, drinking enough water? Pumping/feeding often enough, sleeping too long? I am so jealous of the girls stocking their freezer! It's so much harder than I ever imagined but at the end of the day I do feel like the amount I make is still beneficial to her not to mention cheaper and easier at 3am. Sorry for the rambling, I guess I am just wondering,

How long are you going to keep BFing? When do you think it's not worth it anymore and why? How do you supplement? Do you mix BM with formula or just give a bottle if your LO wants more?

TIA!

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Re: Low Supply/Supplement Ladies

  • I know just how you feel - I constantly think and worry about my supply and my ability to maintain it (even at the current low amount of milk I have).  I had to start supplementing at birth as my milk had not come in and my daughter was being fed through a tube in the NICU.  She had feeding issues for some time after that and it only continued to hinder my supply no matter how much I pumped.

    My routine now is: breastfeed, formula feed, and pump an hour later.  I mix the pumped breast milk with formula.  I'll continue to do this in hopes that every little bit helps.  My daughters pedi and my DH have been so supportive so I think that helps as well.  

    You need to do what is comfortable and best for you and LO!

  • I supplemented with DS as well as now DD.I plan on going until she self weans like I did with DS (13 months). I feel any breastmilk she gets is worth the trouble. I put her to breast then give her a bottle if she's not satisfied. I also pump any time I have to give her formula or a bottle so I normally end up having half a feed of breastmilk in the fridge, but I don't mix. She gets a bottle of breastmilk then a bottle of formula if it comes to that.
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  • I am just getting burned out and needing some motivation. It's nice to hear that other ppl are sticking with it even though it's not all BM. I just wonder what will happen the more she needs...

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  • Ugh, I know how you feel. But, I figure some breast milk is better than none, so I'm sticking to it until he's at least 6 months old (unless he completely rejects me before then... but in that case, I think I'd try pumping before giving up completely). My supply is usually great at night and in the morning. It's in the afternoon and evening that I seem to dry up really quickly, or I just don't make enough. I can't even pump during the day. I just give him whatever I've got and then supplement with a couple ounces of formula if he seems really hungry still. Even with supplementing, he is still having some trouble gaining weight. Grrr. I suspect we'll have to give him more formula as time goes on, but as long as at least half of his intake is breast milk, I'll be happy! 

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  • I am in the same boat.  I have been EPing since DD was 2 1/2 weeks old.  She gets 4 or 5 bottles of breast milk a day and the rest formula.  Some people think I'm crazy for working so hard for so little milk.  And honestly, some days I agree with them.  This article inspired me to stick with it a little longer...

    http://workandpump.com/nothing.htm

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  • My daughter is almost 7.5 months old and she's been supplemented with formula since she was less than two weeks old. A lot of my family members are not particularly supportive and think I'm sort of insane for keeping this up for so long. I estimate that between pumping 2x/day at work and feeding in the morning and in the evening, I'm producing around 6-10 ounces a day and the rest that she gets is formula (I used to BF and pump a lot more but I'm slowly weaning). I don't really give a rat's ass what anyone else thinks, but be prepared for some people to not be supportive. "Combo" feeding is hard because you have the inconveniences of BFing and the inconveniences of FFing but none of the conveniences of either - you have to both lug around bottles and worrying about pumping/your supply/etc. However, I think it's worth it. Good luck with whatever you decide and don't let anyone make you feel bad about your decision!
  • I'm glad to see this post. I am at a point where I don't think my LO is getting enough to eat or eating as much as she was. She seemed heavier a month ago and now only eats for 10 min at a time. I am EBing and can't seem to pump. I think I stared to late in the game around 2 months. I can't seem to pump out anything unless the LO is BFing at the same time. Even then, I'm only able to pump half an ounce if that. Now I'm at a crossroad where I want to see my LO stay satisfied longer. I feel like she never seems full enough after BFing. The question is, do I introduce cereal which was okayed by the pedi or do I start to ff a bottle a night to make sure the LO is full. I've tried to stay away from formula as long as I could but I think my little one might need something more. She isnt ever unhappy though so maybe I don't need to do anything. I have tried to up my milk supply with, water,beer, fenugreek, oatmeal... nothing seems to work.

    What do you suggest?  

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