Hi all! I was thinking it might be nice to get some support and hear from other moms who are supplementing or have supplemented in addition to BFing. Anyone care to chime in?
LO's Age: 6 weeks on Fri
Reason for supplementing: low supply, likely due to insufficient glandular tissue
Are you pumping?: The dreaded question - I hate pumping! I get almost nothing out and I just don't have time. I will be WOH 1 day a week so I'll need to pump that day.
Work status?: WAH 4 days, WOH 1 day.
BFing how often?: LO feeds about 7-8 times a day. I always BF before giving him formula, then he often goes back to the breast for comfort. All of those extra little sessions don't seem to help my supply.
Taking any supplements?: I'm taking Lactation Boost from Honest Company and I recently started domperidone. I'm not sure if it's working yet.
How are you feeling?: I'm thrilled that LO seems to love BFing so much and that I can do it, but it makes me sad that I can't provide all he needs. He's taking 3-4 oz of formula at each feeding. I'm really hoping the domperidone helps.
grapefruit / 4923 posts
i supplemented with LO the first few months, and then again around the 5-6 month point. at the beginning, i had a low supply. i pumped like a mofo and after 6-8 weeks i stopped supplementing. then when i went back to work, and LO was becoming more active, his demand outgrew my supply and i supplemented again, adding a few ounces of formula to his daycare bottles.
pumping to get my supply up was hard. but i am glad that LO had bottles and formula from a young age (like, day 3), because i'd like to think that it contributed to his ability to take a bottle with no problem when it came time to put him in daycare.
nectarine / 2115 posts
I'll join in as a mama who ended up supplementing due to initial low supply and kept doing it because it worked for us!
LO's Age: 1 year
Reason for supplementing: Initially I had to supplement because she lost too much weight after birth and I had a low supply. We also had some latch issues that took a while to resolve. Nursing improved drastically from 3 months on, but we continue to supplement because it takes the pressure off and allows daddy to help with feeding.
Are you pumping?: I used to pump a lot, but it was never enough. Now I pump once in the evenings as well as on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. This gives enough breastmilk for DH to give LO a morning bottle on Tuesdays/Thursday and let me sleep a little later.
Work status?: stay at home mama
BFing how often?: I breastfeed on demand and always have. Currently she nurses about 3 times a day (with occasional "snacks" in between), and takes a bottle/cup of formula before bed.
Taking any supplements?: No. I have tried a few things, but once my supply was established I haven't had to worry about it.
How are you feeling?: Not gonna lie, I still feel guilty sometimes that we had to introduce formula, and guilty that we continue to give it to her. But mostly I have come to terms with it. It has allowed me some freedom I couldn't have had otherwise, and has given DH the opportunity to experience a little of that nursing/bottle-feeding bond.
GOLD / wonderful pomegranate / 28905 posts
I'm not currently supplementing my second but did so regularly with my first!
We basically started in the hospital because my milk didn't come in and colostrum was not enough for DD! We continued to supplement because I just could not get my supply up despite drinking tons of water, mothers milk tea, mmp pills, oatmeal, extra pump sessions etc. I WOH full time so I pumped twice daily on a regular basis. At daycare is where we supplement when necessary because of my poor pumping output. When together I nursed exclusively. We went on to nurse until she was ~25m when I was pregnant; so we weaned her.
Anyway just wanted to share my supplementing success story!
pomegranate / 3127 posts
I supplemented my son starting at 4 weeks, also due to low supply. We ended up with 50-50 milk and formula by six months because my supply could never catch up. I still nursed until 15 months. In hindsight, I feel like I had the best of both worlds because the kid always had some milk, but there was no need to stress about pumping enough at work, and low supply makes for very easy weaning.
Pumping was such a pain though... ugh!
wonderful kiwi / 23653 posts
Oo I didn't see this till now! I'm joining!
LO's Age: 7 mo this Sat
Reason for supplementing: Low supply/don't have time to pump as often due to busy season at work
Are you pumping?: Yes... I used to pump 3x at work, and when I was battling low supply I'd pump another 1-2x at home! Now I only pump 2x at work
Work status?: WOH
BFing how often?: She eats twice MOTN, I nurse her before work, and nurse her again after work, before bed
Taking any supplements?: No, just trying to eat oatmeal, drink water, etc
How are you feeling?: I was soo determined to EBF till 6 mo so I did whatever I had to do to pump more before then. After she turned 6 mo, with busy season at work, I felt more at peace supplementing with formula so I don't have to stress out pumping enough for her and it's been such a stress relief!
cantaloupe / 6669 posts
I'm not supplementing anymore but I'll join in because when this was me, I was always so interested to hear what other moms did and what worked for them.
LO's Age: We supplemented from 5 days to 12 months.
Reason for supplementing: Chronic, unexplained low supply from the start. The most LO ever transferred during a weigh-feed-weigh was 2.5 ounces (that was really great for me) and the most I could ever pump in a sitting was about the same.
Are you pumping?: For several weeks, I pumped after every nursing session. I also replaced one nursing session with pumping to "measure my output" on not-so-great advice from a LC. Eventually I gave up pumping for my sanity- if I had to be away from LO she would have formula. I only pumped if I was away from her for like 12 hours or more.
Work status?: I SAH until 7 months (I guess it was an extended maternity leave) and then I WAH part-time.
BFing how often?: LO is 20.5 months now so she is weaned but we made it to 19 months nursing
Taking any supplements?: I tried everything! EVERYTHING! What worked the best for me was adequate water, plenty of sleep and calories (hard to come by!), and lactation cookies or lactation cookie ingredients (brewer's yeast, flax seed, almond milk) in oatmeal. Supplements never really helped and I actually think fenugreek suppressed my supply.
How are you feeling?: I struggled so much emotionally with BFing but once we hit the 12 month mark and we could switch to WCM and nursing was about comfort rather than sustenance, it got so much better!
pear / 1696 posts
@macintosh: I had to suppliment with my LO too. If you think you have insufficient glandular tissue you should look into taking Goats Rue. I didn't find out about it until after we were done bfing but will def take it with my next baby.
nectarine / 2148 posts
I'm glad that this got bumped! LO is 4 weeks and I started supplementing once LO was a week old due to low supply. I exclusively pump. While pumping is not fun I like the freedoms it provides. LO gets 50/50 formula and milk.
Question: how do you supplement in the formula? I have been giving LO straight breastmilk bottles at night and formula during the day. I'm starting to think that the switching is upsetting his belly and wonder if it makes sense to just mix both at every bottle.
kiwi / 556 posts
I am just seeing this thread and bumping it after my recent thread.
LO's Age: 11 weeks. (supplementing since 2 weeks)
Reason for supplementing: transfer issues/disorganized suck (no lip tie/tongue tie)
Are you pumping?: No. I have not been able to pump more than an ounce or so even with a hospital grade pump I rented. She nurses so frequently still that trying to mess with the pump just isn't worth it.
Work status?: Taking time off until the new year.
BFing how often?: She feeds about 7-9 times a day. I always BF before giving formula, giving 2 oz of formula after every other day time feeding (don't ask me how I came up with this regime, her weight gain has been good so I've just stuck with it)
Taking any supplements?: I'm taking Motherlove's More Milk Plus but the LC and my midwife have not necessarily thought my supply was the issue, though I am sure her low transferring has thwarted my supply's potential. I eat oatmeal daily as well.
How are you feeling?: Less stressed and anxious about it than at first but I still wonder daily if she is getting enough. I feel sad still at times that feeding is such an ordeal and that BF didn't evolve into something easier for us.
kiwi / 556 posts
@Eko: Did you ever figure out what feeding style works best for your baby? When I could pump some, I added it to the formula bottles without issue.
nectarine / 2148 posts
@ldh112: Turns out that my LO has milk allergy and reflux issues. I ultimately quit bf'ing all together.
pear / 1930 posts
I'll join in.
LO's age: 1 month tomorrow
Reason for supplementing: Low supply. After only an ounce gain from 5 days old to 12 days old, did a weighed feed and found LO got one ounce after a half hour. Her latch and swallows were awesome, I just ran low.
Are you pumping? Yes! Feeding at the breast was so stressful that she only gets formula and EBM. I just started a power pump boot camp tonight in a last ditch effort to increase supply before I go back to work.
Work status?: On leave for two and a half more weeks.
BFing how often?: She gets two feedings worth of EBM per day. This is all I can muster from six pumping sessions.
Taking any supplements?: Fenugreek, Mother's Milk tea, oatmeal for breakfast every day
How are you feeling? So much less stressed now that we went to EBM. I like knowing exactly how much she's getting with every feed. I cried nearly daily about low supply before this. I'm at peace with supplementing so long as I can maintain one feeding per day. Healthy baby and sane mommy are my top priorities.
kiwi / 556 posts
@Ms. RV: I hear you on wanting to still do even just one feeding with breast milk a day. I worry that eventually my supply will tank or she will choose the bottle over breast. I'm getting better at taking it a day or week at a time, reassessing as needed I do feel like I can say I've tried everything and know that I gave it my best shot. My emotions still get the best of me at times - this has definitely been the hardest part of being a mom so far, for me anyway.
pear / 1930 posts
@ldh112: It's funny- I prepared myself for having to 100% formula feed if I had to go back on a medication I was on prior to TTC, but I never prepared myself emotionally for having to supplement for low supply. That took a while to accept.
kiwi / 706 posts
Can anyone help with advice for supplementing a newborn ? My first was fine with colostrum and waiting until milk came in. I had a c-sec yesterday am w/ LO2 and assumed everything would go the same as with big brother ....
Skin to skin and first latch was great. She "nursed" for 30 min per side. Then as the day went on she seemed to get more fussy and would root but then shake her head and scream at the breast. Nothing seemed to make her happy. I tried to hand express and hospital grade pump and not a drop came out...no milk and not even colostrum. The nurses told me NBD, she's only lost 2% of her weight and bili #s are great.
She cried pretty much all night off and on despite clean diapers, holding, nursing attempts, Etc. I just gave her an oz of formula and she burped, spit up a tiny bit, and passed out quietly and happily on my chest. Do I have my answer? I know the nurses mean well and I know her stomach is marble sized right now but do some newborns need supplementation from day 1/2??!
kiwi / 556 posts
That is so hard! I'm sorry- that happened to me with my newborn but I was told it was just her attempt at cluster feeding to get my milk to come in. I didn't have another baby to compare the experience to so I just took their word for it. Is there a lactation consultant you could talk to at the hospital? Those ladies were helpful to me in assessing whether I was producing colostrum. If I recall, my milk slowly began to come in on my last day in the hospital (day 3).
Did you bring formula with you or did they give it to you? I only ask because it wasn't offered to me. I started supplementing 2 weeks after birth due to various milk transferring issues.
pear / 1930 posts
@charlotte: No great information-- just my personal experience. LO and I spent three nights in the hospital (because she was born not too long after midnight, so the first one didn't count). She was absolutely inconsolable her last night in the hospital. She kept wanting to nurse, but it wasn't making her happy. I ended up sending her to the nursery because I was at my wit's end. They didn't supplement her, just kept her soothed. My supply was fine once my milk came in (for one wonderful week). Colostrum wasn't enough for her that one night, but she regained all but one ounce for her birth weight by five days old. You can supplement your LO that early, but there's a reason why they give you two weeks to regain birth weight. It really stinks when they can't be soothed at that age, but I would hold out a few days.
Oh-- did your LO latch when she was shaking her head? My LC says that's because they can't find the nipple. Mine could never find the nipple unless there was milk on it or a nipple shield.