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Trying to breast feeding exclusively after starting baby on formula

(12 Posts)
saripops Fri 22-Jul-11 15:06:46

hello, any advice on this would be very gratefully received. My baby was sent back to hospital on day 5 as he had lost a great deal of weight - i had been breastfeeding and thought things had been going ok but my milk didn't come through until the night of day 4 so he hadn't been getting enough. To bulk him up the hospital started him on huge volumes of formula. I was told to bf before every formula feed which I've been doing for the last 4 weeks but the baby always crys for a bottle after each breast feed and drinks the whole thing. I feel like I'm losing the battle but desperately want to exclusively breastfeed or at least not have to complete two feeds every time (breast and bottle). Anyone had a similar situation and managed to reduce the formula? I can't bear to leave him to cry after a bf so end up always making a bottle. i don;t think i;ve got enough milk to fully bf him - he' a big hungry baby, but wanted to wean him off the formula and allow my milk to increas

thanks!!

RitaMorgan Fri 22-Jul-11 16:26:13

If he still wants more milk after the second side, have you tried putting him back on the first side again? You can keep swapping back and forth until he refuses anymore.

Do you co-sleep with him? Maybe spend a weekend both of you just skin to skin in bed, feeding as much as possible.

organiccarrotcake Fri 22-Jul-11 16:33:17

Can you talk us through what you are doing each day?

- How often you're BFing
- What happens after the BF
- How much formula you're giving each day
- How well baby takes to the breast when you offer

Do you know why baby was losing weight to start with? Milk coming in day 4 isn't really enough of a problem to hospitalise..

When and how do you decide the breastfeed is finished?

japhrimel Fri 22-Jul-11 20:59:16

What I did with DD was first transition the top-ups to expressed milk, then worked on reducing the top-ups. She'd lost 15% of her birth weight and had been in SCBU so I wasn't happy to reduce the top-ups before increasing my supply.

Do also remember that babies like suckling and that a big bottle of formula in a tiny baby is like a huge Christmas dinner in us. Just because it makes you sleepy, doesn't mean you needed the calories.

shuckleberryfinn Fri 22-Jul-11 21:07:17

What Japh said. What happened to you is quite common and happened to me. Thanks to some fantastic knowledgeable support I was prescribed domperidone, boobed her, topped up with first formula then increasing amounts of EBM then slowly dropped the top ups one by one till at 6 weeks she was exclusively breastfed and still is at 18 weeks.

I have no advice, I'm not qualified to give it but just wanted to show you weren't alone.

saripops Sat 23-Jul-11 10:35:15

Thanks for your replies. He'd also lost 15% and I'm really scared about reducing the top ups as he guzzles then down and i don;t want him to get dehydrated again. He had started to drink less of the top ups and i thought it was a breakthrough but then he started to get drowsy and was showing signs of dehydration so i got panicky and fed him up on formula again.but i guess like you say, it's easier to drink from the bottle than the breast though but i'm not convinced i've got enough milk to fully supply him and he's now in the habit of crying for a bottle after a breastfeed and i can't bear to leave him to cry and suck his hands from being hungry so end up preparing a bottle. i think i've resigned myself to things staying how they are - i breast feed and then top him up after each feed with a bottle which isn't exactly a great routine but am reassured that others have had the same experience.

RitaMorgan Sat 23-Jul-11 10:59:34

Will he not go back on the breast again if he's still crying after a breastfeed?

saripops Sat 23-Jul-11 15:01:40

I think usually he drains each breast so not sure there's any milk left for him if I put him back again.

RitaMorgan Sat 23-Jul-11 15:08:33

Don't worry, he can't drain the breast - milk is always being made as it's being taken. The flow might be slower but it doesn't stop. "Switch nursing" is where you keep swapping back and forth between sides until the baby refuses and can help boost your supply.

LilyBolero Sat 23-Jul-11 15:15:42

I had similar with ds1. If I were you, I would not worry too much about whether or not you can get him back to exclusive b/feeding, and not worry too much about giving formula top-ups, but try and give him as much breast milk as possible - put him to the breast really frequently (every 2 hours is not too frequent). Do you have times of day when you feel your supply is better? I always found it tailed off as the day went on, so I would give as much milk as possible first thing in the morning, then express some if I could. Then lunchtime would be breast, EBM, then afternoon breast, EBM if I had any, formula topup. I managed to get ds1 to have only 2-3 formula top-ups, which I based round meal times - ie lunch, tea, supper, then all 'snack's were breast only.

The other 3 were all exclusively b/fed, but none of them gained weight fast, and tbh they could probably all have done with a bit extra, but I was a bit more dogged!

LilyBolero Sat 23-Jul-11 15:17:08

(just to clarify, when I say 'don't worry about whether he is exc b/fed', it's more because if you are stressing about it, you will find it harder! Just feed as much as possible, but don't worry if he needs a topup, and the more you feed him, the more milk you will have - just try and get onto an upward spiral rather than a downward one iyswim).

saripops Sat 23-Jul-11 18:26:25

LilyBolero thanks so much for your reply. I have been giving myself a hard time because i had really wanted to exclusively breastfeed but i guess anything he gets from me is good for him and i think i need to stop stressing about trying to cut out the formula. it would be great if we could cut back but i think we'll see how it goes. I find the same with my milk - better in the morning and tails of into the evening. i'm going to try and put him to the breast as often as possible and see how things go.

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