Questions for those who are supplementing — The Bump
Breastfeeding

Questions for those who are supplementing

My daughter is 16 days old and still 6oz below birth weight. I'm not letting her go longer than 2hrs between feeding but she wants to eat about every 40mins to an hour. At this point the pediatrician is having me supplement till she gains. I will also be seeing a LC. I'm supplementing with formula now as I'm still waiting for my breast pump to arrive from my insurance company. I'm still feeding every 2 hours. I start at the breast and about 15 to 20 mins later when she starts to slow down I've been offering her a 2oz bottle of formula. She seems to be breastfeeding most of that time and then when the bottle comes out she downs the 2oz like she's never eaten. I'm assuming my supply is low? But when she pulls off the breast her mouth usually dribbles breast milk. I'm just a little upset and confused as to what's the real issue. Any advice would be appreciated. thank you
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Re: Questions for those who are supplementing

  • IMO, put away the formula and NURSE NURSE NURSE. If milk is dribbling when she pulls off, you obviously don't have a supply issue. Seeing an LC is your best bet for sure, your LO might have a latch issue or be tongue tied and that is causing her issues. Hope everything works out for you.
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  • image ssmb_clarinet:
    IMO, put away the formula and NURSE NURSE NURSE.

    This, I don't think you need to be supplementing. You will make what your baby needs. At 16 days everything is still normalizing. Maybe pick up and hand pump whole you wait for your pump to pump a little milk out inbetween feedings.

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  • I worried I wasn't feeding my son enough the first few weeks until my LC showed me a picture with how big babies stomaches really are. It was a real eye opener. I would feed every two hours like you have been and if you baby seems really fussy or overly tired then try the supplimenting. Some pediatricians feed into new moms fears by telling them their supply is wrong and then the babies are overfed with formula. Fixes the need to ever go back and bring it up with them again.

    Also, your milk may not be fully in yet, especially if this is your first baby. Mine took about two weeks. I know its hard to not panic about it, especially when you really want to breastfeed but stressing does affect your supply. Try to relax and sleep as much as you can, make sure your eating enough calories to support nursing, and drink at least 64 ounces of water a day.

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  • I started supplementing early and I still due but that being said as young as your baby is I wouldn't supplement right now especially because you're waiting on a pump.  I would just switch back and forth during breastfeeding for as long as it takes.  I was still nursing every 2-3 hours until my lil guy was about 6 months.  
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  • This is her weight gain/loss
    Birth: 7lbs
    2days: 6lbs 12oz
    4 days notice milk coming in
    1 week: 6lbs 7oz
    11 days: 6lbs 10oz
    16 days: 6lbs 10oz, grew an inch since birth

    She is consistantly nursing every 2hrs or less for around 1520mins each time. The doctor, who i know may not know everything about BF, said that her schedule seems excellent and she should be gaining. I guess she thinks its an issue with my supply. Like I said she'll fall asleep after 15/20mins and milk will dribble so I know she's getting plus she has more than enough dirty diapers. I've been feeding her each time on one side only for her to get the fattier hind milk. Is there something I am doing, eating or not eating that can cause my milk to be less "fatty" or less caloric?
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  • Also I went to kellymom just now and tried hand expressing after DD fed for awhile on each side and seemed satisfied. It's hard to tell bc I dumbly did it directly into the bag but it seems like there's at least .5oz1oz in there. I'm obvously new to this but is say that's not terrible for hand expressing after a long feeding with a not yet diagnosed "low supply"
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  • This was similar to us, but we supplemented using a pipette inserted into LOs mouth while she was latched to help avoid reducing my supply. LO is now gaining weight like crazy and we recently stopped supplementing. I have been nursing on demand a lot!, eating lactation cookies, and taking Gaia lactation support tablets. Who knows if the cookies or tablets help, but they make me feel like doing something!
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  • I had a similar situation, but have a pump, so we've been bottle feeding. My LO had a "disorganized tongue" or something, but eating from the bottle has helped her get organized and has helped her gain weight so she has more stamina. I've been reintroducing the breast and she seems to be doing better, just needed time to learn and strength.

    The speech therapist told us breast feeding is hard work for babies and they burn a lot of calories doing it. Since my LO wasn't an efficient eater, she was probably burning more than she was gaining from breast feeding. Now that she is getting better, things should be straightening out. I'm looking forward to ebing instead of eping. 

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  • I would nurse on demand that's how its supposed to work anyway and that's how you build your supply.
  • We are supplementing also with expressed milk or formula due to weight issues. In my opinion, you are giving waay too much formula!  If she already ate, she doesn't need two ounces extra.  2 oz is about the max for a full feeding.  I did a few weighted feeds (weigh, feed, weigh) and we decided LO takes about an ounce from bfing.  So I offer another ounce of supplement after feeding.  I do frequent breaks and burps in that ounce to see if he really wants it or not.  If he's not fussing for it, I don't keep feeding him.  My pedi said when he quits taking it, that's when we can quit supplementing.  Right now, I just finished feeding and he sucked and swallowed the whole time on both breasts, it's early morning so I know I had more milk, and he spit up a good deal, so I won't even offer a supplement. 

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  • image bripratt2:
    I would nurse on demand that's how its supposed to work anyway and that's how you build your supply.

    This. And sometimes they do want to eat more often and they do what called cluster feed. I think a visit to an LC is a good idea just in case there are any latch issues. It's better to fix them now. Good luck!

    Chase Alexander 12-11-01
    Sierra Nicole 6-15-05
    Avery Lyn 8-2-12
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