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Please help...desperate now(12 Posts)
I'd really appreciate any experiences and advice from BFing mums who were previously supplementing with formula...I'm getting so much conflicting advice I just don't know what to do anymore.
DD is now 2 weeks old, she was born with a tongue tie which was affecting BFing. We had to supplement her with formula until she had the tongue tie division, after which I felt a great difference in her latch and the reduction of pain in my nipples...hurrah. Now that she could BF properly, I stopped the formula as I felt it was making her quite gassy anyway.
Earlier this week she had a couple of days of cluster feeding, which I assumed was down to a growth spurt...but after being weighed and having lost a little weight, I was told by the midwife that my milk supply was inadequate and that she had basically been starving those few days :'( I was advised to supplement her with formula in order that she can gain some weight...so I did. I asked to see a lactation consultant who today told me that there is no need for formula and the best way to catch up my milk supply is just to commit to EBFing DD for the next few days, even if it's every hour or 90 mins.
I'm happy to do what it takes but DD is barely sleeping between feeds and her gas pain really distresses her too...so husband is quite concerned and wonders if DD is 'starving' again. When I asked MW re gas (after infacol didn't help), she said it's due to the sudden diet change and i should give DD formula again and gradually wean her off.
I just don't know what to do anymore. I am trying my very best but I just cannot win and I feel like a crap mum and I feel like those around me are thinking I'm selfish for putting DD through all this just to EBF.
I would REALLY appreciate if anyone with a similar experience can tell me how they got through it.
At two months old, she's had the most vital nutrition. I would honestly supplement with formula...the stress of this isn't good for you, you're going to be constantly worrying how much she's getting.
Honestly just move to formula. She will be fine, you can relax and your DH can help with feeds too. Bfing is hard but isn't for everyone.
I went through a similar experience with my son. I struggled with milk supply to the point of exhaustion. Bfeeding is not for everyone. Switch to formula and cherish these early days. I did. My son is now a healthy, happy uni student. Wishing you and your little one well. 🙏
It is very rare for women to actually have inadequate supply. I found that every midwife told me something different about breastfeeding - I don't actually think they're as well informed as you'd hope. My breastfed baby's weight was all over the place for the first three months, between the 25th and 75th percentiles, but as this was in lockdown with no HV I persevered and she's now steadily on the 75th at six months old and has been for a while. Breastfed babies do fluctuate a lot weight wise, it's normal. If you want to carry on breastfeeding it isnt a lost cause. Have you looked into cow's milk protein allergy? Kellymom is a brilliant resource.
Youve seen a lactation consultant, I'd ignore the midwife and trust the lactation consultant.
Sorry I forgot to add, cluster feeding is totally normal and doesn't mean your baby has been starving. My daughter had marathon 10 hour feeding sessions at three weeks old. I didn't know what had happened. Totally normal as they build your supply up but so exhausting for mum.
We had to supplement with formula due to baby having a low birthweight and being too sleepy to breastfeed most of the time. I decided to pump a bit to keep my supply up - this was physically draining but worked really well to increase my supply and meant we eventually could supplement with extra breast milk in bottles instead of formula. Slowly we moved from almost all formula to breastfeeding all the time. I didn’t always believe it would work but we got there in the end - and for us offering forumla and bottles earlier on didn’t harm breastfeeding in the end.
We also received a lot of conflicting advice and we were told completely different things by every midwife! For us we needed baby to gain weight so we had to top up but it worked really well to to carry on breastfeeding as well and to try to maintain supply. Hope this helps and be kind to yourself
If you want to continue breastfeeding I would trust the lactation consultant. My midwives were shocking with breastfeeding support and missed my DS tongue tie for weeks until one of my neighbours, a breastfeeding specialist, offered to help me.
It is likely you will have a supply issue if you were topping up with formula as your body gets used to producing the amount that baby takes, so if they haven't been feeding properly your supply won't be used to the full amount. Unless there are immediate health concerns I would continue to breastfeed on demand until your supple catches up, or you could top up with formula and pump between feeds to increase supply. This probably isn't the best option as pumping isn't as efficient as baby.
But if you are going with the full breastfeeding option I would get the lactation consultant back to check babies latch, make sure they are feeding properly. There are a lot of very subtle things they will show you to ensure your baby is feeding well. Such as a certain rhythm when feeding with a little pause. My baby's latch looked fine externally but he would just suck and suck but wasn't getting anything. When we finally got him feeding properly and she showed me what to look for it was so obvious. She also told me that a full baby won't have their fists clenched so that after a good feed when they are relaxed their hands loosen up. Just some small points that stayed with me.
My baby didn't gain weight from bf and paediatrician said the most important thing was weight gain. Not whether it was breast or formula.
Hi LuchaGarcia - it sounds like you’ve had a bit of a rollercoaster two weeks with your little one! It can feel so confusing and disheartening when you’re trying to do what’s right but hearing different advice from different professionals, and both you and baby are still getting into your rhythm.
I don’t know whether the midwife or lactation consultant gave you any information you can refer back to when you’re worrying in the early morning hours? but this is a helpful summary from La Leche League of how you can tell if your baby is getting enough breast milk and things to try if not: www.laleche.org.uk/is-my-baby-getting-enough-milk/
For every breastfeeding problem there is nearly always a breastfeeding solution. In these early days and weeks, continuing to feed your baby every time they ask (and whenever you feel like trying on top of that) is a great way to boost your supply if there are any worries - more milk removed from your breasts will stimulate more milk to be produced.
If you need more reassurance and support about how to best use formula top ups if you feel you need to, the LLL helpline has trained advisors who will be happy to talk it through with you and support you whatever you want to do - tel:03451202918
Congratulations on your new baby, and hang in there!
Gradually decrease the amounts of formula top ups you’re doing checking that your baby is continuing put on weight. If they’re not gaining, don’t remove top ups.
In the meantime, pump to boost supply as and when you can. Take fenugreek tablets, eat oats and drink lots of water.
Don’t let baby feed for too long before topping up as they will tire themselves out and burn calories (I was told cut them off after 40 minutes, then top up for 20, then pump).
It’s tough, I did it, in hindsight not sure it was best for me or baby but I understand how important it feels in the early days. It will get easier.
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