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Need to increase breast milk - help !

(7 Posts)
beaufies Thu 18-Dec-08 17:32:05

Hello Ladies

I'm geting desperate and so thought I would turn to trusty mumsnet who always comes up trumps !

My DS is 9 weeks tomorrow and I have been breast and formula feeding since he lost 13% of his body weight in the first week through my milk not coming in. Since then I have been breast feeding, expressing and formula feeding but I simply can't seem to meet his needs myself. He is a very big boy, not fat (very long) being 14lbs already and I am giving him about 400-500mls of formula a day split into four feeds with breast feeding at every opportunity and expressing 50-80mls a day in two sessions.

I am also taking fennel tincture and fenugreek capsules.

I have been to the breastfeeding clinic and whilst they have been fantastic up until now, their advice is now to go 'cold turkey' for 48hours but DS just ends up screaming inconsolably (?) after one missed bottle. I desperately want to get him off of formula but it just seems that whatever I do I just can't get the volume he needs.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what else I can try ?

Thanks everso

Gorionine Thu 18-Dec-08 17:36:42

Just reading the thread title I was going to suggest fennel but it seems you are already onto it. I drink loads of fennel tea (I call it tea because it is in a tea bag but it is just fennel). I do not know if fennel tincture is the same thing ( do not know what tincture means).

tiktok Thu 18-Dec-08 17:49:36

beauflies, it's good you are getting real life help. It must have been scary in that first week, and it's not surprising you are wary of dropping the formula.

However....he is having a lot of formula and unless you can work on this, you are not giving your body a chance to make enough breastmilk.

My very rough calculation indicates he is getting half his intake as formula and that is too much to get rid of in one go (could the bf clinic not have suggested a less than 'all r nothing' approach??). You can reduce it gradually, and increase the amount of expressing you do. If he will not tolerate a missed bottle, then instead of 125 mls on offer, try 100 mls then 80 mls then 70 mls, and then drop a whole bottle - that's just an idea of how you might do it.

All the fenugreek in the world will not make any difference without working on reducing the formula - hope you make it

friendlyedjit Thu 18-Dec-08 18:01:35

have faith in yourself- and cut back on formula and increase expressing just as Tiktok suggestd- very worth a try and very possible will work.
Good luck.

thexmasstockingmonsterofdoom Thu 18-Dec-08 18:05:15

i reestablished breastfeeding after total stopping, I reduced each bottle by one ounce every day, took about a week or so was hard work but well worth it, i couldnt face the cold turkey method either. good luck

JaneLumley Thu 18-Dec-08 18:11:29

Try milk thistle/blessed thistle and the fenugreek really helps. Put him to the breast EVERY time he cries; wear a sling and cosleep to make that easier on yourself. Give him lots of skin to skin contact. While doing that reduce formula by 1-2 oz a day as others have suggested.

rowingboat Thu 18-Dec-08 18:21:48

It is very scary to reduce formula, but it is the only way I can think to increase your breast milk. YOu can boost the breast milk with other herbs, but speak to a herbalist first.
My ds had major difficulty latching on, and grew quite slowly when he finally did bf (supplemented by AF) we finally stopped all AF at around 6 weeks, and he was then fully breastfed. He went on to bf until he was over three.
For my own peace of mind I took vervain tincture and goat's rue, from Napiers. They worked amazingly well and I ended up with blocked ducts all the time, so probably didn't need them at all.
For a short time I was prescribed Motilium/Domperidome by my GP to help increase the supply after the poor start. Again this did work pretty well, but I preferred the herbal approach, tasted yucky, but seemed a bit healthier.
Look at Kellymom for advice on getting the most out of breastfeeding and how it all works.

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