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Supplementing with formula
by rwebb11
October 4, 2012 at 11:22 PM
I exclusively breastfed for 2.5 weeks, then exclusively formula fed for 2 weeks while pumping and dumping (I was on medicine) starting monday I have started breastfeeding again, but after eating until I'm empty he is still acting hungry. I've been supplementing 2 oz formula every feeding.

I am very limited on funds, but would love to exclusively breastfeed again. What is a good, cheap way to build my supply back up. Will it build up on his own as I continue to feed him on demand every 2-3 hours or do I need to do something else. Thanks in advance.


  • melindabelcher
    October 4, 2012 at 11:24 PM
    What medication were you on?
    Supplement only for low diaper count. 2oz is a full feeding
  • maggiemom2000
    October 4, 2012 at 11:27 PM
    First, I want you to know in case it happens agai, it is very likely that you did not need to pump and dump on that medication. Most docs are wrong when they say this.

    How much were you pumping each day by the end? Most exclusively breastfed babies only need 24-32 ounces per day (24hrs). If you were pumping at least that much, then you should have enough and don't need to supplement.

    If baby is having at least 6 wet diapers in 24 hrs then he is most likely getting enough milk.

    If you offer both breast at a feeding and he is still hungry, the offer both breasts again, and again, until he stops asking for more. I'm going to find an article for you with more info.

    Hang in there and don't worry! You can quickly get back a full supply, and you are probably closer than you think!
  • Autumn355
    October 4, 2012 at 11:34 PM
    Nurse on demand as often as possible. Stop supplementing. Take mothers milk tea, fenugreek, or blessed thistle if your really worried about supply. Skin to skin can help. ONLY GO OFF DIAPER COUNT to tell if hes getting enough to eat, AT LEAST 6 wet dipes a day.

    Consult this forum before taking any advice from doctors. Lol! J/K kinda:)
  • maggiemom2000
    October 4, 2012 at 11:34 PM

    Here is the article. I don't think you need to spend any money/invest in an at breast supplementer. Just us all of the other tips and I'll bet you'll be off the formula in a few days, a week at most!


    Before working to increase milk supply, make sure there is a true supply issue first! Take a look at these articles to first see if you have low milk production:

    The golden rule of milk production: The more frequently and completely the breasts are drained, the more milk will be produced: How Mother’s Milk  is Made

    Increasing milk production:

    • offer both breasts two times at every feeding
    • use breast compressions
    • nurse frequently (at least 12-14 times in 24 hours)
    • increase skin to skin contact
    • rest, and stay hydrated

    What this looks like:

    Offer baby the first breast and allow him to nurse as long as he likes. When he starts to slow down on his sucking/swallowing start doing some breast compressions. When you squeeze your breast you should see baby respond with an increased sucking/swallowing. When baby is finished with the first breast (breast compressions no longer get baby nursing more, baby falls asleep or lets go of the breast) offer the second breast. Repeat the above steps with breast two, then repeat again with both breasts. If baby is still hungry after taking both breasts two times, then you can continue the process until he is full and/or falls asleep.

    Mom resting with baby after nursing with a starter SNS

    Spending lots of time with baby skin to skin can boost your milk production and encourage baby to nurse more frequently. This also is a great time for mom to rest, with baby napping on her bare chest. When working to increase milk production, increase milk intake, or work to eliminate supplements, spending as much time as possible resting with baby skin to skin on your bare chest, encouraging frequent nursing, can make a big difference in a short amount of time. It can be a great time to have a movie marathon. If you have older children they can be movies to entertain them while you and baby rest and nurse.

    Weaning from supplements:

    Consider using an at breast supplementer instead of bottles for the supplemental milk. This will provide extra stimulation to your breasts and prevent a flow preference that can happen when baby is getting bottles.

    Lact-Aid at breast supplementer

    If you are using bottles make sure you are giving them in a way that supports breastfeeding and minimizes flow preference.

    If you are currently supplementing at every feeding, begin by encouraging comfort nursing between feedings, for at least a few days, before you begin to eliminate supplements. If baby is using a pacifier between feedings begin to replace the pacifier with your breast as much as possible.

    Nursing without supplementing

    If baby is gaining weight on target and is showing signs of getting enough milk then you can safely begin to wean off of supplemental milk.

    One way to do this is to start by eliminating the first supplemental feeding of the day. Follow the steps above to nurse multiple times on each breast and use breast compressions. If baby is still having enough wet diapers (5 per day, plus at least 3 poops if baby is under 4-6 weeks old) then after a few days you can eliminate the next supplement of the day. Eventually you will get to where you are only giving one supplement in the evening and that will be the last one to drop.

    Common Questions and Concerns:

    I’m afraid to cut back on supplements, I ‘m worried my baby will starve!
    Taking away one supplemental feeding will not cause your baby to starve or get dehydrated. You need for baby to be hungry enough to want to nurse more as that will increase your milk production. You can always go back to more supplemental milk if you realize you cut back too much too soon.

    I tried eliminating the first time I usually supplement, but baby was screaming and refusing to nurse any more before it was time for the next supplement.
    Go ahead and give the next supplement. You can simply delay the time of the first supplement instead of just eliminating it. If you were to delay that first supplement by one hour every day, by 24 days you would no longer be supplementing.

    My baby seems hungry 10 minutes after taking both breasts. Does that mean it is time to give a supplement?
    No. If baby is hungry again soon after nursing on both sides, offer both sides again. And again. Your breasts are never “empty”. As you continue to nurse, your body continues to produce milk.

    How can I nurse so frequently? My breasts don’t have time to “fill up”.
    Your breasts are never empty and don’t need time to “ill up”. “The emptier the breast is, the faster it tries to refill - similar to an automatic icemaker. Emptier breasts make milk faster than fuller ones (How Mother’s Milk is Made).”

    If I eat better and drink more water, will I make more milk?
    “Research shows that the mother's diet, her fluid intake, and other factors have little influence on milk production. If the "milk removal" piece of the puzzle is in place, mothers make plenty of good milk regardless of dietary practices. If the "milk removal" part isn't there, nothing else can make up the difference (How Mother’s Milk is Made).”
    The more milk is removed the more milk you will produce. Pumping will remove more milk and help to increase your milk production. However, if you are nursing at least 12-14 times in 24 hours it will be hard to fit in pumping. Some thnigs to ask yourself include: Is it worth the additional stress? Would it be better to spend that time resting with your baby skin-to-skin? If you do pump, you can use it to replace any other milk you have been using to supplement.


  • gdiamante
    October 5, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    The cheapest way involves your toilet.

    You flush the formula down it. And don't buy any more.

    Don't look for "full" or "happy" or "satisfied." Know the old saying about the squeaky wheel getting the grease?

    Baby is the wheel. Fussing is the squeak. Your milk is the grease. The more he fusses the more grease you get!

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