October 2012 Moms

BF Moms who supplement

I would like to start putting in more hours at work (I miss it and need it for my mental sanity!), but my pumping output SUCKS (I can pump 2 oz every 4 hours if I'm lucky). LO eats every hour or 2 (STILL) when we are together and my supply has always been pretty low. The 24/7 nursing is really wearing on my nerves. His weight gain hasn't been great, but his Dr isn't overly concerned. She has left it up to me. 

 In order for me to leave LO for 4-5 hours a day a couple times a week, I am considering supplementing with formula. I have huge guilt issues about this, and it's causing me a lot of stress and anxiety. Would love some input from other moms who supplement!

 Why do you supplement? (ie pumping output, convenience, weight gain)

What formula do you use?

When do you do it?

Has LO had any issues switching back and forth? Any tummy issues when you started?

 Thanks!  

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Re: BF Moms who supplement

  • I do not supplement, but what if you mixed bm and formula? That should make you feel better that LO is getting bm each time and you won't have to have as much milk ready.
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  • image Vegasbb:

     

     Why do you supplement? (ie pumping output, convenience, weight gain)

     I have supplemented almost from the beginning - maybe week 2? Little guy just needed more than what I had to give. I did the same with his older sister, but she never gained the weight he did. She's still on the quite small side.

    sometimes, too, my body just needs the break to produce more. Especially in the mornings. I usually end up giving little guy 2 or 3 bottles total, because of my supply issues. I lost my supply with DD at about month 3, but with DS, I'm still going strong (well, strong for me), and he's almost four months. 

    What formula do you use?

     We use one of the mixes by the Target Up&Up brand.

    When do you do it?

     Oh, already kind of answered this. 

    Has LO had any issues switching back and forth? Any tummy issues when you started?

    no,  not at all. Sometimes if I realize I don't have enough during the middle of a BF session, I'll top him off with some formula. He usually gives me the stink-eye for changing it up on him, but then he's fine.

    Good luck! Do what's comfortable for you. I know how intimidating it can be to see all of the EBF badges on here sometimes, and while I would love to be able to EBF, I just can't. You have to do what's right for you.

     Good luck!

     

     Thanks!  

  • I had to supplement starting week 1 because my milk didn't come in until day 6 or 7 and she had dropped too much weight. We started on Similac  Advance, then switched to Sensitive after maybe 2 weeks due to gas/tummy issues. That still wasn't working for us, so we are now on Enfamil Nutramigin and me being (mostly) dairy free. Once we figured out the dairy intolerance stuff, she has no tummy issues taking both formula and breast milk each day.

    I nurse exclusively on the weekends. Weekdays, I nurse 1x in the morning before work, 3x in the afternoon/evening and 1-2x overnight. I pump 3x at work for ~12 oz. She eats four 4 oz. bottles, so 3 of BM and 1 bottle of formula, each day at daycare. Occasionally we will do a bottle of formula overnight so DH can help out with MOTN feedings.

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  • I EP and have been supplementing with formula since LO was about 3 weeks old due to weight gain problems. Due to breastfeeding problems in the beginning I was never able to get my supply up to meet her demand, so I've been supplementing with 4-6 ounces of formula every day in addition to all the breastmilk I can pump.

    She is a little more gassy than usual on days where she gets more formula than usual, but in general it doesn't seem to affect her. Because she still gets a majority of breastmilk she only poops every 2-3 days, even with the formula supplements. We tend to give her the formula in the evening since my supply is highest in the morning and I run out of breastmilk in the evenings, and my pedi said if you're going to supplement it's best to do it at night since formula is a bit denser and might help them sleep longer. 

    We've tried Enfamil, Similac, and the sensitive versions of both. Right now we use Similac sensitive, but honestly any formula can give baby a bit of digestive issues at first if they're used to only breastmilk. Similac smells better to me but can get really foamy if you shake it up, so you have to swirl for a long time if you don't want to deal with all the bubbles.

    I had major guilt issues when we first started to supplement as well, but honestly DD is handling it just fine. The way I see it, I'm giving her all the milk I can possibly give her, and that's all I can do. I was a formula baby and I turned out fine, so even though there's tons of hype about how breastmilk is best, if you're giving your baby any amount of breastmilk then you deserve cookies and rainbows. There's this feeling that formula is "bad" for baby in comparison to how "good" breastmilk is, but that's just scare tactics and not truth. Formula won't hurt your baby, especially if it allows you to stress less.

    Good luck! 

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  • Don't feel guilty!  You made it 4 months ebfing and there is nothing wrong with formula!  Happy momma means a happy baby!
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  • I have had to supplement since week one due to poor weight gain and supply issues. Unfortunatly my supply never fully built up to where it needed to be, so we have been supplementing ever since. I SAH and BF LO on demand. I offer 2oz of formula after a feeding if he still seems hungry. He gets about 6-8oz a day of enfamil gentlease. My pedi said it was very compatable with breastmilk, whatever that means, LOL. He has done fine on it, and has no problems switching from bottle to breast. I have a good supply overnight and in the morning, so he mostly gets supplements in the afternoon. If I was in a daycare situation I would start by offering one bottle of formula a day. I wouldn't mix it with BM unless he has issues taking it. I hope this helps, and try not to stress out about it. I was very upset about supplementing at first, but it has gotten easir with time. Remember he'll still be getting mostly BM, and the formula certainly wont hurt, GL!
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  • Please do NOT feel guilty. Any amount of breast milk he's getting is great.

    Why do you supplement? (ie pumping output, convenience, weight gain)

    I initially wanted to EBF (and pump when I got back to work) but DD was admitted to the hospital the day after we came home and they said she was dehydrated (my milk hadn't come in by that point) and it freaked me out so we started supplementing both of them. Once my supply came in, I started nursing more and was more comfortable with it but I still supplement with 2 formula bottles (each) every day. 

    What formula do you use? We started out with Enfamil but then switched to Similac (I forget why...they're pretty comparable). DS gets Similac Soy because he has a milk protein intolerance and DD gets the Similac Sensitive because she has reflux. We don't do the reflux formulas b/c you have to alter the nipples to get it to flow through and I didn't notice any difference...it just made her spit up thicker!

    When do you do it? I played around with when to supplement but here's our schedule now. This works for us now that I'm back at work.

    7/7:30am - Tandem nurse

    10am - Breast milk bottle

    1pm - Formula bottle

    4pm - Breast milk bottle

    7pm - Formula bottle

    10/10:30pm - (dream feed) Tandem nurse

    DS usually wakes once b/t 2am and 5am so I tandem nurse both of them

    I pump 4x/day around the times they get their bottles. 

    Has LO had any issues switching back and forth? Any tummy issues when you started? No issues at all now. They both used to cry a bit during and after feedings when they were itty bitty (NB to 5-6 weeks or so) but they outgrew that. I think it was just their gastro-colic reflex which happens with BF babies just as it does with FF babies. 

     

    TTC 12/2009
    Me: 32 - Stage II Endo / DH: 36 - Low count and morphology (1%)
    IUIs 1-3 BFN, lap Dec. 2010, IUIs 4-6 BFN
    IVF w/ICSI #1 - ER 2/8: 24R 19M 9F ET 2/13 2-5 day blasts (no frosties) = BFP - b/g twins!
    E & C Born 10/19/2012
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  • Thanks for all the helpful feedback so far . This has been so stressful for me and all the advice and encouragement means a lot !
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  • image Newbostonmomma:
    Don't feel guilty!  You made it 4 months ebfing and there is nothing wrong with formula!  Happy momma means a happy baby!

     

    Ditto this! Do not feel guilty! The important part is just making sure your baby is fed and that you aren't stressing because stress is not going to help your supply at all. Do what is best for you and your child and don't listen to other people's opinions.

     

    We supplement because my supply is just not enough for him. I had the same issue with  my daughter too. I also had my thyroid removed while pregnant due to thyroid cancer and that is also why my supply sucks. So he gets a little breast milk and some formula and he is happy and healthy and growing. It works for us and I don't sit around stressing when I pump at work that I didn't get enough for him. We use Similac right now, but might try Target to save a few bucks.  

     

    ETA: Oh and DS  mostly gets formula when at daycare or if I am not home. Otherwise I try to feed him with just me if I am with him.  

    DD - 7/15/09 DS - 10/21/12
  • I supplemented with DS starting at 7 months but haven't with DD yet do ill answer for him.

    I could pump enough for DS but it meant pumping 4 times for 2 bottled and I lost the energy so he started with one bottle if formula per day. We used Good Start, the orange one.

    At first he switched back and forth fine but by 9 months he would refuse bm bottles so I quit pumping eventually and nursed mornings and nights to 16 months. It was do much better for my mental health.

    I hope to make it to 8 months pumping this time because then I'm off for summer and just nursing would be easier but will not pump when return to work at 10.5 months. If I have freezer stash I'll use that. If not, she'll get formula. I have better supply this time around fwiw.
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    From our WDW vacation- June 3, 2014

    DS- Wesley- March 14, 2010
    DD- Norah- September 27, 2012


  • I could have written this myself! We have has a stressful few weeks since I have been back at work and started supplementing this weekend.

    I was EP and occasionally nursing since week 1 I supplemented first few days till milk came in. Since I went back to work we have had colds, then I had a stomach virus not bragplaning but list 12lbs while trying to keep up with his eating and not eating myself and then a 3 day stay at our children's hospital for a respiratory infection. My supply has tanked and my stash is almost gone. Sooo I hit my goal of 4 months and for the past few days we have been mixing Enfamil Infant in with BM... Usually 2oz formula 4oz BM for 3 or 4 of his bottles a day. He has spit up a bit which he never really did before, so I will talk to dr this week about whether that's a good formula/brand for him or of we should switch.

    I think some BM is better than none and I need to stop stressing in the motn that I need to wake myself up and pump!
    Do what feels right and is good for your fam!
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  • My pumping output is practically non-existent too.  IF and only if I skip a feeding, then I can pump out maybe 2oz total.  Stella eats every 2 hours, so if I try to pump in between then when she goes to feed next she gets super pissed and then will eventually work herself into a frenzy and then won't nurse at all.  So I don't pump unless she's not around.

    This means she gets 2-3 bottles of formula a day (Nutramigen, 6oz).  She nurses quite happily in the morning, evenings, and MOTN.  On Saturdays she doesn't want to nurse around noon and I think it's because she's come to expect a bottle then. 

    Other than that she switches back and forth without much trouble.  I just have to offer the breast before she gets too worked up or she'll flat out refuse.  The angrier she is, the faster she wants her milk.

    Please don't feel guilty.  I did, and I'd cry every time she refused the breast (we had issues in beginning but we're okay now), but it's not personal.  You're doing the best thing for your child - feeding him when he's hungry.  Formula may not be *as* good as breast milk, but it is not poison! 

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