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how do I stop supplementing with formula or increase my breastmilk?

(8 Posts)
fairi Mon 14-Mar-05 20:21:41

My second son was born with tongue-tie, which doesnt allow the tongue to move in the correct breast draining action. We learned from his brothers experience that we needed to correct this early in his first month – so it was done at 8 days old.
He had lost over 12% of his birth weight by then, so we had to supplement – which we did with a tube over the breast to avoid nipple confusion. He then gained well and is thriving now at 2.5months.
My problem is that in the time that has passed, Ive done my best to express to build up the supply – but my time is so limited between looking after baby and his 18 month old brother that I havent been able to do it enough.
I have used tried many herbal remedies and acupuncture. Acupuncture and Agnus Castus have been the most helpful – but the effects of acupuncture, while effective, are short lived and the progress I make doesn’t last.
I am on the brink of accepting that Ill never get him off the formula completely – is there any chance I might, do you think? (besides preferring bm for his diet, the formula is SO expensive)

hermykne Mon 14-Mar-05 20:32:47

i have attended many la lech league meeetings and one thing they always say is you will never go short, its a myth put out there because a breast fed baby can be smaller than a formula feed baby after the growth spurts.
if your baby is now feeding regularly and cntently i would not be the slightest bit worried, how old is he now and do oyu know his weight?
my ds has been completely breast fed, is now 7mths and quite lean on it - by that i mean he looks well, lost all his chubby baby weight but healthy and happy.

do you have a la.l.league group nearby? or a number just to chat tothem for advice

Tissy Mon 14-Mar-05 21:11:04

if you want to increase your breast milk supply, you need to feed more often. It is only sucking that will do it- expressing is far less efficient.

Can you get someone to look after the toddler for a weekend while you concentrate on feeding the little one? Spend lots of time relaxing in bed, with plenty of skin to skin contact, letting baby feed as often as he wants to- your supply will quickly follow. As hermkyne said below- you never run out of milk- you just need to stimulate your body to produce it.

Good luck

pixiefish Mon 14-Mar-05 21:29:01

Black eyed Beans. A remedy given me by a very wise Greek lady. To increase supply. Don't know if it works as the day i bought them my supply increased before I got the chance to cook them.

Agree with Tissy about having a hand with the toddler and have a babymoon. Go to bed for the weekend and do nothing but eat and sleep (both of you)

cheekychops03 Mon 14-Mar-05 22:14:16

Hi Fairi
First of all, big pat on the back for being so determined to make this work. You should be really proud of yourself for what you have achieved so far.
I have a few suggestins and hope some may be of some help.
1. Breastfeed your baby as much as you can over the next few days. If you can get someone to look after older brother, great but I know that can be so much easier said than done. The more you breastfeed, the more milk you will make. You may feel like you are not producing enough but milk supply usually catches up with demand in about 24 hours.
2. Get in touch with the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers ( or 0870 401 7711 - 24 hrs)as I know they did an article about a Mum who had successfully breastfed a baby with toungue tie and think they have a quite a lot of info on it.
3. Are there any breastfeeding groups near where you live?
Finally, what is it that is making you think that you are not producing enough milk at the moment. Don't compare amounts of expressed bm with made up formula because they are very different.
I really truly think you have done so well so far and I wish you the very best of luck. If you don't have any luck with the ABM, CAT me and I'll dig the magazine out for you.

p.s. Breastfeeding helpline nos:
NCT 0870 444 8708
La Leche 0845 120 2918
Breastfeeding Network 0870 900 8787
ABM as above

pixiefish Mon 14-Mar-05 22:15:57

BTW- don't think that what you express is what you produce cos it aint. You produce a lot more than the amount that you can express

HUNKERMUNKER Mon 14-Mar-05 22:20:36

Can you try nursing him at the time you'd usually give formula and seeing whether he settles afterwards? Well done for overcoming the initial difficulties so brilliantly though - you're fantastic!

anorak Mon 14-Mar-05 22:37:45

No advice fairi, just hi from your friend in England and welcome to mn

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