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BF & formula top up...

(15 Posts)
ohmamma Sat 19-Jul-08 23:08:30


my little son (now roughly 3.1kg, 3.265 at birth) is 7 days old, first baby. I bfeed him as much as possible, but it seems that my supply is not near enough to sadify his demand... each feed takes a while, even up to 1hr or 1hr 30 mins (as he fell asleep, then get distracted... then a cuddle...) so I am also expressing and topping up with aptamil. Is this normal?? shall I give up bfeed as in the long run it will never work? or shall I persist until supply meets demand?

ExterminAitch Sat 19-Jul-08 23:13:09

hello there, ohmamma, congratulations on your new wee boy! grin

have you seen someone, a breastfeeding counsellor, about your latch? i wonder if that would help? have a look at for all the relevant numbers.

the topping-up thing is trickier... if bfing is all about supply and demand then by reducing demand (by offering milk from another source) you are i think in effect reducing supply. who advised topping-up?

anyway, it's not my area of expertise, but congrats and i hope you get good advice soon.

ohmamma Sat 19-Jul-08 23:30:55

many thx!!

the midwife adviced us to top up as was concerned that the baby wasnt getting enough food and also had hard time to settle and to resolve the issue of demand/supply she suggested to keep expressing.

At this point I dont get more then 20ml per each breast for 15mins when I express, is this normal or too little after a week of giving birth?

ExterminAitch Sat 19-Jul-08 23:35:12

okay... your midwife may have been talking shite... or maybe not, hard to say. was the baby pooing and peeing etc? i'm off to find reinforcements for you. smile

ZacharyQuack Sat 19-Jul-08 23:40:38

Hi. Congratulations on your baby!

The amount you express can't really be used as an indication of how much milk the baby is getting. Babies are much more efficient milk extracters than breast pumps.

In the early days, you can spend most of your time breastfeeding a tiny baby. It should improve as your supply establishes and your baby gets faster at feeding and less likely to doze off mid-feed. If at all possible, can you just accept that this is your job for the next wee while? Have you got support to ensure you are adequately fed and looked after? I agree that supplementing with formula will probably not help to improve your milk supply.

Hang in there, the first few weeks can be pretty surreal as you adjust from being a person to being a mother, but it does get easier I promise.

ExterminAitch Sat 19-Jul-08 23:43:26

yep, agree with zachary, there's no way that expressing is as efficient as a baby. it really isn't an indicator of supply either, i had a pal who never was able to express a drop, and boy did she try... didn't stop her bfing two dds until the age of one. grin

ComeOverAllFunny Sat 19-Jul-08 23:43:37

Hi Ohmamma, I'm no expert but can tell you that my dd was exactly like this for the first weeks. Have you had a chance to look at other threads on here or found - I wish I had come across them earlier, as it would have stopped all my needless worrying that there was something wrong. It's really unlikely that you're not producing enough milk, please do speak to a breastfeeding counsellor and/or look at kellymom (it's got really helpful information about feeding patterns in newborns) - I for one found them really helpful in the early days.

tiktok Sat 19-Jul-08 23:44:27

ohmamma - hope you can talk this through with someone, as it's hard to be sure what's going on, even putting your thread here together with your other one.

If supply is not enough, then supply (or access to it) needs fixing. The length of time your baby takes to feed before settling is normal at this stage, his behaviour (dropping off to sleep, waking up, dropping off again, needing a cuddle) is normal at this stage, and while it's hard to judge which direction his weight is going in, it is probably upwards - the gap between his birthweight and his birthweight now is normal, put it that way.

Is he pooing lots and weeing plenty?

There is no reason at all why you should stop bf - nothing you say makes me think it 'isn't working', but everything you say makes me think you need to talk it through (Aitch's link is well worth looking at).

Expressing, breastfeeding and topping is the most complicated way to feed - there are situations where this is the only option, but they are rare.

Hope you get good help soon.

hunkermunker Sat 19-Jul-08 23:48:10

Expressing isn't as effective at removing milk from your breasts as your baby is, so don't worry about the amount you can get. Are you giving your baby the milk you've been expressing, as well as formula?

Has your baby been weighed naked, on digitally calibrated scales? Or on a spring balance scale (in a hammocky thing), or with a nappy/bodysuit on?

Your supply won't match his demand if you keep giving him formula, because for every time you give him formula, he takes less breastmilk.

How much formula is he currently having?

I've just put something on my site that might help you, at least until you can speak to a breastfeeding counsellor in the morning. Have a look here.

There are photos of latch, suggestions for positioning (including lying down, so that you can rest).

It sounds as though your midwife, though probably very well-meaning, has confused things for you.

tiktok Sat 19-Jul-08 23:49:44

Can I just tweak a bit of info?

Expressing is sometimes more efficient than the baby - but it is true it is never an efficient guide to what the baby can or does take each time.

Some babies are poor feeders for whatever reason (eg smallness, pre-term, tongue tie) and in these cases, expressing may be better than the baby at removing the milk.

Nothing you have said here, ohmamma, suggests you have to express at this stage - but maybe your midwife has seen something that suggests you should. It's deffo worth questioning, though.

ExterminAitch Sat 19-Jul-08 23:50:50

(ah now tiktok, that IS my area of expertise... expressing, bfing and topping up. did it for four and a half months... freaking nightmare.)

it's the worst of all worlds, ohmamma sweetheart, and i got caught up in it because of getting bad advice from midwives in the initial stages... be very careful who you listen to. the women here, women like tiktok... i swear, know what they're on about. please, if you can spare the energy (i bet you're jiggered right now) do try to talk this through with someone from the NCT or La Leche League. the numbers are on the website i gave you. get your partner to phone for you if he's around, give him something to do wink and then he can hand the phone over when he gets through to someone.

hunkermunker Sat 19-Jul-08 23:52:16

Bollocks - thought I'd put "Expressing isn't usually as effective at removing milk..." - I over-edited!

Sorry, Ohmamma - and thanks, Tiktok blush

(As an aside, Ohmamma, did the midwife recommend Aptamil by name?)

ilovemydog Sat 19-Jul-08 23:52:17

Hi -did someone tell you that your supply is not near enough to satisfy his demand?

Are you basing this solely on the amount of time your son is feeding?

Am no expert, but feeding a week old baby, an hour and a half doesn't sound unusual. My DS would feed for hours at that age.

ExterminAitch Sat 19-Jul-08 23:52:51

oh yes, that must be true, tiktok, about some babies. which reminds me, i must post something else in this topic for my sister... come look for it. wink

Hannah81 Sun 20-Jul-08 00:01:52

if you keep putting your baby to the breast supply will meet demand unless you are one of the very small percentage of people that cannot breastfeed, which i don''t think you are, its prob just that you are topping up that is causng your supply to slow. Try not to focus on how long your LO is feeding for and relax about it. Put your baby to the breast as often as you can. I am a peer supporter, but forgive me if this post is a little jumbled, its late and i have a 3yr old and a 10wk old and i'm tired!
hope things go well for you

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