Breast milk supplies low and having to "top up" with formula(14 Posts)
Had a traumatic last few days with shiny new DD. On day 5 the midwife weighed her and discovered she had lost 14.9% of her body fat. A max of 10% is acceptable so we rushed into hospital where they basically gave me the choice of 1. Try to breast fed her although I wasn't producing enough milk 2. Expressing bm and topping up or 3. Formula. We ended up expressing and topping up but it's more formula than breast milk at the moment. She is now a healthy weight and guzzling the breast milk and formula from the bottle. I've not given up on breast feeding and I'm seeing a specialist on Friday to hopefully get us back on track but until then I'm expressing and making formula. I've read plenty about the best things for producing more milk - good food, rest, expressing and feeding etc but I wondered if mums out there had been in similar situations. I had a third degree tear so have been on antibiotics and laxatives which I'm sure has affected my nutritional levels and therefor my milk production, I hope we can get away from formula by the end of this week but some advice and experiences would be great.
Hi, have you looked to see if you have a local Breastfeeding Support Group? They will be able to help you.
See if there is a Breastfeeding counsellor locally - ring the NCT helpline or one of the other ones (LLL or ABM). You might be bale to see them sooner than Friday.
How old is your baby? The key to upping the milk production is feed, feed, feed, feed and then feed more - it's a supply and demand arrangement, so the more you feed the baby, the more milk you will produce for her. You should be able to drop the formula, which can often be counter-productive to milk supply, but the best way to do it is get comfy in bed with baby, lots of skin to skin, and feed her every time she squeaks. Good luck and congratulations!
Feed, feed, feed is good advice. Eat well and rest well. Lots of skin to skin, carry baby in a sling close to you where possible. You will have enough milk and your baby will tell your body what to make so offer breast before bottle each time. Also try compressions and switch nursing.
Well done on getting this far and sticking with it! I had 3rd Deg with DS1 so know where you are at right now!
I now have 3 DCs and BF was hard to establish every time. Week 1 - hell, week 2 - bad, week 3-4 uncomfortable, month 2, bearable, after that, a breeze! In particular, day 5 is when your milk starts coming in and you will have a hormonal tsunami around now, it is unbelievable unless you have experienced it! Don't forget to massage your boobs if they feel uncomfortable, hard or lumpy, wierd but it works.
Remember just becase baby is now on the outside, your absolute no. 1 job is still feeding her. Focus on this to the exclusion of everything else.
You need to rest, eat loads yourself, and when you are feeding baby remember to make sure you are really comfy, RELAX your shoulders, and I know it sounds a bit fuzzy but the best way I can describe it is to 'feel the love' this helps with the let down. Honestly you ARE producing enough milk, and as prev posts have said, feed, feed, feed, it is all supply and demand.
Don't do any housework or cooking, get lots of help and focus on yourself and nourishment for you and baby!
Good luck and tell us how you get on!
(sorry just realised you are past day 5 now - whoops! remaining advice still stands tho!)
Hello. I have been through this with my first. She had a feeding problem. It was picked up a bit too late to really get things going with my supply I feel. I went on domperidone in the end at around 7 weeks but to be fair we she seemed to struggle to suck well until she got to about 3 months. I tried everything, feeding loads, punping in between, pumping in the night, herbs, but sadly i never went back to ebf. I topped up every feed with formula until she was on solids and carried on bf until she was about 18 months. I have successfully ebf my second child he fed well from the get go and it was a completely different experience. Well done for keeping going in difficult circumstances.
I can't tell how many weeks pp you are but if its early days still and you can up the pumping without getting exhausted (when she is asleep) that is worth doing. Also you could try and get neals yard to make you up a breast feeding tea. Also see if you can get domperidone on script. Also if you feed one side can you pump the other at the same time. Then put baby on that breast anyway and use the top up also. If you are early weeks and your milk has not been established I would say (going by my experience) there is every hope. Do all you can without getting worn out. All the best
Feed, feed, feed and feed some more - the more you feed the more you will boost your supply. Put her to the breast for every feed and top up afterwards if necessary.
You could try fenugreek. You can get it from holland and barratt. You will find plenty of info on line about how to use it and its benefits.. I used it with ds with great success.
I had this problem with both of my DC. This is what was recommended to me.
Hire an electric pump (from chemist) which does both sides at once.
Take domperidone and fenugreek.
For every feed put DD on each breast for at least 10 mins a side.
Then once you are finished pump for 10 mins.
Collect the expressed milk and put in the fridge.
Use expressed milk to top up after next feed (add formula if not enough).
Don't rely on expressing only, you must put her on your breast first for every feed (every 2-3 hours), and then express after.
Feed, feed, feed. Even if you are giving her formula, pump at the same (well, y know) time. Match her feed for feed. I used to set alarms during the night to wake up and pump.
Has she been thoroughly checked for tongue ties or other things that may affect latch adversely?
Ds's was missed twice even though it was quite severe . And I said I thought it was tongue tie.
His latch & suck were poor so my supply suffered, he was sucking for ages but doing very little. It seemed he was doing well as he fed keenly but he quickly started losing weight. Feeding from a bottle is much easier for them.
Otherwise can't add to excellent advice you have had & hopefully will get on Friday.
How often were you feeding? It could be not enough feeding (at least every 2-3 hours) or baby not feeding properly (problems with latch or tongue tie) rather than not enough milk.
Just to add if you want to try fenugreek then the best form (I found) was a tincture. Neals yard do it. Its a few drops in water so easy to take. It doesn't work well (dry herbs) in a tea and the tablets can be pricey. Also a double pump is great. But I also would rate the avent hand pump. If you can pump and feed at the same time that can really help with yield in my experience that is. Everyone's bf experience is different.
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