Alternatives to baby formula - experiences?

(35 Posts)
RebeccaJames Thu 30-Jan-14 17:13:09

Hi all. My 7-week-old is currently both BF and formula-fed. My milk doesn't seem to quite be enough for him so I'm trying to do both at the same time for as long as possible so that he keeps getting the goodness of my milk.

Today I saw my chiropractor, who said 'don't give him formula - it's full of rubbish. Give him goat's milk'. Now I came home and Googled it and while I see his point about the rubbish in formula (shocked!), I don't feel comfortable giving him watered-down goat's milk at this stage.

I Googled 'alternatives to formula' and there are recipes out there, but they don't have regular ingredients and they are pretty labour-intensive (i.e. one of the ingredients is 'home-made whey', so you have to make stuff even before you make stuff, if you see what I mean). So I wondered if anyone here uses any alternatives. Now that I've seen what is in formula I would really like to find something. I could try upping my breast milk but I didn't have enough with DS1 either and my baby was perpetually hungry until we topped up.

Anyone with any views/ideas/experience on this?

no do not make home made formula and stay away from watered down goats milk too. And how is it your chiropractors business to get involved with how you feed your baby? Goats milk formula isnt approved for use in the UK either. The only viable alternative to breast milk is formula imho.

ps the only way to increase your supply would be to reduce the formula top ups and let him feed more at the breast.

puddock Thu 30-Jan-14 17:18:39

No suggestions about artifical alternatives to formula - that seems a rather irresponsible for your chiro to have made.
Upping your own supply might be the way to go; this might help [http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supply-worries/low-supply/ and so might getting some decent RL help from a breastfeeding counsellor or lactation consultant. You might also get more knowledgeable help over on the breastfeeding boards.

puddock Thu 30-Jan-14 17:20:23

aargh link!

RebeccaJames Thu 30-Jan-14 17:21:05

I should probably say the chiro is semi a family friend too, and has always been very sensible with his approach to things. It doesn't feel interfering or anything for him to have taken a view on it.

As to upping my milk, he was EBF'd until around four weeks, and there seemed to be quite a shortage in my milk. I also cannot ever express more than 1 fl oz. I think even if I 'up' my supply to its max, it won't be enough for him and I have no choice but to supplement. His weight gain was poor until I started topping up.

JewelFairies Thu 30-Jan-14 17:21:11

Please don't start experimenting. Someone will be along in a minute with proper scientific knowledge but quite frankly formula would not be on the market if it was full of rubbish. It's made to be as close as possible to breastmilk, so the logical conclusion of your bonkers chiropractor would be to stop feeding your baby?

although it looks like goats milk formula may soon be able to used in the UK as there is new legislation coming in soon

dobedobedo Thu 30-Jan-14 17:23:30

I wouldn't take anything from a quack like a chiropractor seriously. But I'm in the "if alternative medicine worked, it would be called medicine," camp.

JewelFairies Thu 30-Jan-14 17:23:47

And as a second time mother, trust your instinct and carry on topping up. I also did not have enough milk (no, really) and had to top up. I'd rather have that then starve my children.

RebeccaJames Thu 30-Jan-14 17:26:17

Just for info, it was mainly this site that made me raise my eyebrows about formula: https://deliciouslyorganic.net/baby-formula-bruce-bradley/. It seems very well researched and very well presented to me.

PeterParkerSays Thu 30-Jan-14 17:26:42

Expressing and what your baby can drink "from the source" as it were will vary hugely. Babies are much better at getting milk out that a breast pump. I would reduce the formula and keep going with increasing breast feeds.

RebeccaJames Thu 30-Jan-14 17:26:56

And yes, it's a US site, but I doubt the ingredients of their formula differ greatly from ours.

dobedobedo Thu 30-Jan-14 17:26:59

Sorry that seemed rude of me.
Go and see your doctor or read some real scientific stuff on what to feed your baby. Don't go experimenting.

gamerchick Thu 30-Jan-14 17:27:29

formula is ok for babies... most of them thrive on it.

Expressing is NEVER a good way to judge supply... baby gets much more milk from you.

It takes around 6 weeks to establish supply.. you baby will feed feed feed because he's doing his job in getting your supply up.. They're like giant nipple tassles for the first few months. It doesn't mean you're not producing enough. Plenty of wet/dirty nappies.. a baby who has periods of alertness every day and gaining weight after the initial birth loss is doing just fine. have faith in your boobs... they know what they're doing.

If you want to stop formula then stop... put baby to the breast and prepare for a few unsettled days until your supply catches up.

Home made formula looks like a pain in the arse to make... very labour intensive and probably more trouble than it's worth.

makesamesswhenstressed Thu 30-Jan-14 17:27:56

OK. It is very rare for boobs to fail to produce milk HOWEVER it is very common for expressing to fail to get even a tiny percentage out of boobs as a baby can!

The best thing you can do, providing obviously that you want to up your supply and continue with bf, is to take your top and bra off, strip your baby to his nappy and go to bed for a week! Well, maybe not continually, but skin to skin is the best thing to do. Allow baby to suckle whenever he wants, especially the cluster feeds in the evening and nighttime as this is when hormones to increase supply are naturally highest and finally - try to have faith in your body. Women have 're-lactated' from bone dry, women can produce milk for an adopted baby, even men can lactate - it is possible to do this if it's what you want.

Now let's hope TikTok turns up to mention all the things anything I forgot smile

RebeccaJames Thu 30-Jan-14 17:28:50

Hi, Gamerchick - my main reason for topping up was because of his poor weight gain rather than just an indication about how much I could express.

ExBrightonBell Thu 30-Jan-14 17:29:00

Your chiro may be a semi friend, but importantly he is not qualified to advise you on infant feeding.

Also, what you can express is not a good indicator of the milk your baby can extract when feeding directly. No one these days would suggest trying to judge supply in this way.

The more formula you give the lower your supply will be. Your bm is the perfect food for your baby. If you want to stop the formula "top ups" then have a look at the Kellymom site about feelings of low supply and see what you can do to feel like you don't need the formula.

makesamesswhenstressed Thu 30-Jan-14 17:30:35

X post with gamerchick

But since we agree that's OK - have faith in your wonderful boobs. You grew this baby in your tummy, now you can grow him with your fantastically clever breasts ;)

that is an American site though so cannot be translated through to ingredients used in formula here. E.g. I have never seen a formula here with rice syrup in it.

gamerchick Thu 30-Jan-14 17:31:55

how poor is poor? was he gaining at all and were they charting him on a breastfeeding chart rather than the formula fed one in the baby book?

Did he have plenty of nappies or were they bone dry and did he have any periods of alertness during the day.

weight is only one a few.. not the only. It's the reason I didn't do clinics or scales after being signed off by the midwife.

gamerchick Thu 30-Jan-14 17:32:51

*one of a few

WheresItTo Thu 30-Jan-14 17:39:47

How much milk you can express is no gauge of how much your baby actually gets when they feed. I couldn't get hardly anything when I expressed, and I was told that my milk was substandard as I am Veggie (by both MWs and HVs), but by 10 months DD was huge, still fed on mainly breast milk, so it wasn't that bad, was it!!

Please don't use 'alternatives' to formula. It could be detrimental to your baby's health. I have to ask how a Chiropractor can claim to know what is best for your baby, family friend or not?

RebeccaJames Thu 30-Jan-14 17:41:13

He did have wet nappies but he didn't have periods of alertness. He lost 14% of his birth weight and was gaining only very slowly.

UriGeller Thu 30-Jan-14 17:49:13

I would just offer the breast more, I don't truly think you can offer breastmilk too often. All my dcs fed every hour for the first few weeks, for ten minutes, two, fifteen, three. Whatever. We never timed, we never weighed.

If you are offering your baby breastmilk as often as possible, he will feed more, and consequently your supply will increase. formula milk won't help here, it will make him heavier but that's because its a more dense product.

Poloholo Thu 30-Jan-14 17:51:50

Oh dear Lord whatever you do please don't try and make formula at home for a 7 week old. yes I appreciate formula may appear very artificial but you know exactly what you are getting, it is as balanced as far as they can get it and is rigorously tested and provided you follow the preparation instructions, perfectly safe. You could do your baby serious harm by trying to concoct something youself.

There is loads of info out there on increasing supply if that is what you'd prefer or try and get some support from a lactation consultant.

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