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Please help - Am I killing my milk supply?

(13 Posts)
3mummy Sun 10-Apr-05 23:00:43

I really need your advice on this one ladies. My DD is now just over 3wks old and is gaining weight really well. Last week I told my HV I was worried my milk supply was slowing because DD was feeding every 1-2 hrs and sometimes for up to 2hrs at a time, especially in the night so I didn't know if she was really ever satisfied. HV suggested I gave her a top up formula bottle late evening to give myself a break and let my milk supply recover. I have done this for the past 3 nights and all seemed well, but this evening, well since this afternoon really DD has been feeding on and off constantly and doesn't seem satisfied at all. I don't know if I have harmed my milk supply in some way with this supplimentary bottle or if DD is just colicky?

I am really enjoying breastfeeding, I am over the sore nipples and DD is a natural - latched on perfectly as soon as she was delivered . I really don't want to mess this up!! Please tell me if I have made a big mistake by introducing this bottle and if there is anything I can do to improve things?

All advice gratefully received !!

Clayhead Sun 10-Apr-05 23:04:02

I'm not sure (other know more) but I think you are in time to ditch the bottle if that's what you decide to do.

My dd had similar feeding patterns at 3 weeks, it eased off over time. It doesn't sound unusual to me and I'm a bit surprised the HV didn't try and give you a bit more support! (the first few weeks are crap IME but, if you ride it out, it gets better).

Hope someone more knowledgeable comes along soon.

Good luck

Clayhead Sun 10-Apr-05 23:07:09

PS Eeek, just remembered (end of long day, sorry) my HV suggested the top up bottle when dd was 6 weeks old, I tried it a few times and then ditched the idea, it make no difference whatsoever to how often she fed from me. So, thinking anout it, maybe I am more use than I thought!!

With ds I never bothered, just did the 1-2 hour feeds. He's only 19 months but it seems so long ago now...it passes, honest!!

emkana Sun 10-Apr-05 23:07:31

The HV was just talking out of her a*!
This kind of thing makes me so angry...

How can your milk supply "recover" when the chain of supply and demand is disturbed by a supplementary bottle at such an early stage?
Your little one was probably going through a growth spurt and was feeding frequently to boost milk supply. My advice would be to ditch the bottle and completely feed on demand until things are "in tune" again. It will happen, really! Then in a few weeks time you can think about giving a bottle here and there if you want to.

Good luck!!

Socci Sun 10-Apr-05 23:08:23

Message withdrawn

Fran1 Sun 10-Apr-05 23:10:09

If she was happy and putting on weight well, i personally wouldn't have introduced the bottle for a "topping up purpose".

Having said that, i did introduce bottle to my dd at 4 weeks, as i was going back to work, but this was ebm so my milk supply was kept up to same speed if you know what i mean.

My dd often fed as often as one or two hours after last feed. I know it seems hard going now, but you'll be surprised how quickly the feeds will get further apart.

D'you try and stop her when she goes on as long as two hours? Cos they do tend to just comfort suck rather than take any milk.

I am no expert, but if i were you i would not give formula, as you say yourself, it is not helping your own supply.

Sounds like crap actually just re read what your hv said about letting your supply recover!!!!! and i think you know that already don't you .

Stop the formula, let dd feed as often as she wants and i'm sure your supply will build up again.

That fact that you didn't know if she was ever really satisfied, means she probably was! You only hear about it from a baby when they are unsatisfied.

Sorry if i've waffled, good luck.

milward Sun 10-Apr-05 23:17:03

Rubbish advice from your health visitor imho. Giving a bottle will actually reduce your supply as your baby gets it's formula rather than breatsmilk from you. With bf demand = supply, so as your dd is bf well she'll be getting what she needs. Sounds like things are going well for you & dd . If it was me I'd ditch the bottle & go back to just bf. Have you tried bf in bed unicef have loads of good info on safety in doing this - (don't have www ref) - this worked for me & I could sleep & bf little one at the same time. Absolutely saved me from tiredness.

Clayhead Sun 10-Apr-05 23:19:52

ditto milward, I fed in bed and it saved my sanity!

milward Sun 10-Apr-05 23:26:09

Got the unicef ref - http://www.babyfriendly.org.uk/parents/sharingbed.asp

Eaney Sun 10-Apr-05 23:39:03

My baby was in Special Baby unit when she was born for about 7 days. She was on 50/50 formula and breast. She was severely jaundiced and the docs needed to be sure she got the fluids she needed to flush out her system. I had to express and any shortfall was made up in formula. When I got home I continued mixing feeds and had loads of advise on how to increase my production mainly to do with expressing after feeding. Like you my baby's feeds seemed to be one constant feed and there was never an opportunity to express. I would express and just as I was finished she would start crying for a feed I would then have to give her the bottle of expressed milk as I had just emptied my breasts.

As it happens my supply gradually went up and the formula gradually went down. She now has about 120 mls of formula a day which I intend to keep up as I clearly remember how hard it was to wean my older ds on to bottles when I had to return to work. Being exhausted can affect your supply as well which is probably why the hv suggested the formula so that you get a break. I don't think the odd bottle of formula will affect your supply and. I found La Leche good for advise.

Dozeynoo Sun 10-Apr-05 23:47:12

I breast fed my DD for 6 months and loved it, but he did always have one bottle a day.

I introduced the bottle as he would feed every two hours from 12noon all afternoon and evening going a max of 40 minutes between feeds - he did have an impressive growth chart! So dad got presented with a baby and bottle as he walked through the door at 6pm whilst I went for a sanity break to cook the tea. Once his feeding slowed down a bit I switched the bottle to 10.30pm.

I never had a problem with this affecting my milk supply. You do however need to ensure that you stick to the 'newborn' teats on the bottle - such that DD has to work just as hard at breast of teat, and that you keep the time for the bottle pretty much fixed or you will mess with your milk suply.

Tissy Mon 11-Apr-05 08:47:51

the others are right that feeding your baby formula at this early stage will affect your milk supply. By sucking your baby is telling your body how much she needs. I was told to let my baby feed as often as she liked, but if she was still sucking after half an hour to take her off for a while, as they often just suck because it's nice and warm and smells nice in there!

3mummy Mon 11-Apr-05 17:54:31

Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou all so much for your advice. This MN really is a great community! I really felt quite alone and thought my only port of call was my HV, as I lost my mum 9yrs ago, but you lot have been brilliant, you have given me my confidence in myself and my maternal instincts back! DD has gained 9.5oz this week and HV reckons it is all down to me because I've only been giving a miniscule amount of formula in her top up bottle (cos I was so worried about it!) . So feeling pretty pleased with myself!

Thanks again !

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