Should I get formula in as a back up?(11 Posts)
I gave birth 8 days ago to DS2 and as the days went by he was feeding less and less. I took him to a breast feeding clinic and they have diagnosed tongue-tie. They have done a referral and it should be sorted out soon (around 2 weeks) and in the meantime I have been pumping and bottle feeding (he had lost over 15% at 1st way in but gained 150g in 2 days once I started pumping and bottle feeding) . I have done everything I can think of to increase my milk supply but I can barely keep up and wondered if I should keep a back up of formula in the house. I have heard that having a back up can make it to tempting to give up the pumping (it is a little exhausting) but I worry about running out of expressed breast milk. He still suckles a little at the breast with the aid of nipple shields but if he is really hungry he just screams for the bottle.
Your story makes me so cross. It's unforgivable how long it takes to get tongue tied babies treated. It's such a quick procedure, I really don't understand why they can't deal with it at the point of diagnosis.
You can try topping up with breastmilk. Most mums struggling with supply issues through no fault of their own are advised to try feeding from the breast and then offering top ups of formula or expressed milk if baby isn't satisfied. However, many babies prefer the ease of a bottle and hold out for that.
What can really help is to offer the first part of the feed from a bottle to satisfy the initial hunger, then switch to the breast. Even if baby is comfort sucking, this will help to stimulate your supply, and they are more likely to stay latched as they aren't starving and cross.
Oops! I didn't actually answer your question.
Only get a stash of emergency formula if you wouldn't be bothered if your little one switched to formula feeding entirely. Pumping is exhausting, but hopefully not forever. When you start introducing formula, you run the risk of your supply decreasing - frequent feeding or pumping is what establishes supply in the early weeks.
Have you heard of a Supplemental Nursing System? It may help.
I found it saved me time as I didn't have to bf and bottle feed.
Can you afford to go private for his tongue tie snip?
When it was questioned wether my DS had a tongue tie I rang up a woman (the same day) who does the assessment and snips and she said it would cost £120 but she would see me that afternoon
I'd got that desperate about his feeding that I just paid it. It is wrong that it came to that and had to pay - I definitely think the NHS should act faster.
I appreciate not everyone can go private but I just wanted to suggest it.
Well done with persevering!!
I did give baby the odd feed of formula (maybe twice a week) in the early weeks but he hasn't had any for ages (in fact am now struggling to persuade him to take a bottle of anything...) so for me it wasn't the start of a slippery slope but gave me a break when I was really frazzled and kept me calm enough to continue breastfeeding. After a rocky start to breastfeeding, slow weight gain etc, he's now 3months, can finish a feed in 20 mins or so (used to be easily 90mins) and put on 1lb 9oz in the last two weeks!! So I hope it gets better for you too. If you do get some formula I would get the small readymade cartons if it's just in case you need it - then you don't have to worry about measuring powder/temperature of water etc. Also you won't have a large open packet and feel you have to use it up.
Depends how close you live to a 24 hour shop. If there's one at the end of the road, I wouldn't bother. If it'll be a 45 minute drive, might be a good idea.
If it makes you feel better, but you know you'd rather not - then fine. I've just had one if my emergency back-up cartons go out of date, but I felt a bit more relaxed knowing it was there (in case what? My boobs fell off or something?)
I supplemented with formula in the first fortnight for different reasons to you (baby in nicu for first week), and it was an intensive struggle to get breastfeeding to work after that (about two weeks of grit and determination). However, we did it - you can work up your supply, especially during those early growth spurts. It would be ideal if your baby's tongue tie could be sorted much sooner, but if this is what you're working with, feed as much as you can with your own milk, and supplement in cases where there's just nothing else you can do.
Thank you all so much for taking the time to reply - made me feel much better and all really helpful. By some amazing stroke of luck he managed to get done yesterday (they phoned me up yesterday morning and he was done by 4pm) but unfortunately in the short time between being Friday and yesterday he has decided he much prefers the bottle. Have decided not to get any formula (a 24 our shop is about 20 minute round trip) and to keep with the pumping and offering him boob and just seeing how it goes.
Great that the TT has been snipped, but sorry that you're struggling to lose the bottles - babies often express a preference early on.
Try going back to basics - lots of skin to skin, either in bed or in the bath. Find local drop ins and keep asking for help - you will be welcome to go as often as you need.
If baby is hungry and frustrated, try offering the first part of the feed in a bottle before switching back to breast.
You might like to look into supplemental nursing systems too - a tube connected to a bottle is taped to the breast so that baby breast feeds whilst getting the instant hit he's used to from a bottle.
Agree to keep going with as much skin to skin and boob as possible. When I was trying to wean my son off the bottle he'd started on in nicu I fed him as often as possible - if he woke up, I fed him. Is there a bf cafe nearby you can go and hang out at for some support?
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