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Help with mixed feeding, prefers bottle to boob

(26 Posts)
Girly Fri 20-May-05 13:57:38

dd is nearly 12 weeks and is mixed fed, i have noticed over the last week that she takes less time at the boob and sometimes just refuses it and gets upset and will only drink from a bottle.

I think my supply is diminishing quite badly and Ineed to increase it, i do not have time to express as have 2 other kids to see to so have been giving formula about 3-4 times a day and about 3-5 b/f feeds a day but this has got down to just 3 b/f feed a day and I do not want to give up yet as I enjoy doing both.

The other thing is that one breast has completely given up the ghost and I have not fed her from that one for about 3-4 weeks now, this was after a bout of thrush, which has now cleared up, but she never fed well from that one and i have an old scar (from ds) which keeps on re-opening cause her latch on this side is pants.

Is there anything safe to take to increase my supply bearing in mind that it is hard to get her to feed from the boob at all, i always offer the boob 1st then bottle.

Help me please, I really do not want to give up but am totally limited time wise.

Is it possible to turn it around before she abandons the breast altogether?

motherinferior Fri 20-May-05 13:59:36

Honey, I think that various things including a medication called Domperidone are recommended for increasing supply. Huge sympathies from me - and congratulations on getting through those first 12 weeks, not just with b/feeding but with general, you know, babyness!

PrettyCandles Fri 20-May-05 14:05:43

I took fenugreek with great success. You can get it in capsules from healthfood shops. Ignore the dosage on the bottle - it's far to little to affect breastmilk. I worked up over 6 days to 6 capsules a day, and kept that going until I was satisfied with my milk supply, then gradually reduced my dosage over about a month without noticing any change. Later, when I felt the need to increase again I did the same thing. I noticed no difference between taking 2capsules 3x daily or taking all 6 with my breakfast. It's completely harmless, except potentially slightly laxative as it bulks up like soluble fibre, unless you're diabetic, because it can affect sugar control.

PrettyCandles Fri 20-May-05 14:08:25

TBH though, the only way to increase is to reduce the number of bottles. Sorry . My ds mixed-fed without any problems of preference, whereas dd (who was almost exclusively breastfed) quickly learned to prefer the bottle whenever she had it regularly.

Do you give both b&b at each feed? Or can you be consistent and always give one at certain feeds and the other at other feeds?

Girly Fri 20-May-05 14:23:56

Thanks for the tips ladies, will look into it and see what I can do.

The other thing, is can stress reduce supply, I ask because dh and I have had a huge row with my mother and step father whilst on holiday with them which has upset me enormously. its too long to go into but I am still very upset and am wondering if ths is why its all of a sudden gone wrong?

NotQuiteCockney Fri 20-May-05 14:42:46

I think stress can slow let-down, but not reduce supply.

Any chance of you getting a day, or even just a few hours, lying about with the baby, feeding a lot?

SenoraPostrophe Fri 20-May-05 14:49:58

I had this problem with dd and successfully increased supply by feeding her for hours on end in a quiet room (it then all went down the pan a few months later when we moved house and she had one too many bottles, but that's another thing). It takes a couple of days or so - can you either stop the formula for a couple of days or cut it right down and put her back on the breast afterwards?

tiktok Fri 20-May-05 15:13:00

Girly, medication and other stuff will help but nothing helps as much (anythnig like as much) as simply feeding more often. 3 bfs a day at 12 weeks is really nothing like as often as you need to do build up and then maintain a supply it really needs to be no less than 8 times.

Stress is not going to have an effect on overall quanity or quality.

Good luck

natts Fri 20-May-05 15:35:47

night time feeds help to increase supply and also try giving her a bottle where she has to work a little harder,it is sounding like the other feeds are filling her up and are easier to do. try the mediacation but ultimatly you need to increase the bf and decrease the af. keep going with the other boob, and try to get a bit of help with latch on that side. it was probably poor latching that caused you to get the thrush in the first place. it will take days for supply to increase but i'm sure it will. good luck

Girly Fri 20-May-05 15:43:10

can I re-activate the other boob? I have not fed from it for at least 3 or 4 weeks, will there be any milk in it?

I have a haberman feeder, perhaps i should use this for the formula as they do have to work at it..

will go and get them to steralise now..

thanks everyone, will persevere and offer the boob more often, i suppose even a 5 minute feed is better than nothing!!

natts Fri 20-May-05 15:44:59

ooh just remembered somthing that i learned in a breatfeeding study day i attended. it takes a minimium of 7 feeds in a 24 period to sustain a baby if bf. 7 being the lowest number of feeds not the reccommended amount, i know you are not only bf but thought this may help you to balance the amount of feeds you need increase to if thats what you decide to do.
I know you are a busy mum but it doesn't take long to express milk with a hand pump. it may also be an idea even if not much comes out just to extra stimulate the breasts. although not instead of baby. expressing isn't as effective in milk stimulation as a baby is.

natts Fri 20-May-05 15:47:02

yes you can reactivate boob. will take a lot of stimulation but this will give you an extra supply. and you won't be lop sided only joking

Girly Fri 20-May-05 16:28:29

thanks natts, that is what i will aim to do, try and get in 7 b/f's a day and only offer formula as a last resort. It was working so well with b/f during the day and formula at 6-7pm and 10-11pm and then the odd bottle during the day, but somehow it has become more than the odd bottle!

will also get hold of some domperidone to cover all the bases!

Girly Fri 20-May-05 16:29:01

I am a bit lopsided! esp 1st thinjg in the morning

natts Fri 20-May-05 16:36:41

7 is the minimum amount of feeds.
you not feeding during the night? the homones levels that trigger milk supply are better at night.

natts Fri 20-May-05 16:39:32

also baby will feel hungrier at first because you will be cutting down on the formular. so initally may want to be demand fed. blimey this bf thing can be hard can't it.

Girly Fri 20-May-05 17:09:52

we are not feeding at night because she sleeps till 5am ish, sometime till 6-7am, this has been since we introduced formula in the evenings.

I need my sleep in order to manage the 3 kids during the day without losing the plot!

So if she does wake up early then she gets a bottle or if its later say 6-7am she gets the boob.

We have no structure, its very hit and miss which is why it has gone all haywire.

We have just had some sucess, she fed from the unused boob for 5 or so mins and there was some milk, i could see it when i had to burp her!!!!!

will feed her on demand this evening as much as i can to see what happens.

And yes, b/f can be such hard work, but worth it in the end.

natts Fri 20-May-05 19:39:44

you go girly
great about the other boob[happy]
i'll keep checking to see how you doing.
it's easy to give advice so don't worry about if you don't manage. you should see the things i do for an easy life

Girly Fri 20-May-05 19:50:49

she must have had a fair bit from the unused boob cause she only drank 3oz of formula and then refused any further feeds and has now settled to sleep for the evening.

I used the haberman feeder, they have to suck to get milk and it took an hour to get 3oz out, so either she was not that hungry or does not have a strong suck, she normally takes 6oz easily.

I shall keep trying the boob 1st and then the bottle and see how it goes. Thanks for your support!

Magscat Fri 20-May-05 20:00:26

Sounds like you're getting there. Just wanted to say 'good on you' for persevering and to share the following advice I got from NCT & La Leche League when my dd went through a 'finnicky feeding' phase:

Encourage baby to breast feed by:

- Taking your top off when feeding and having lots of skin to skin contact. Even just cuddling skin to skin.
- Use bottles less (as everyone has said already)
- If it's a concentration problem then feed in dark quiet room if poss (this really helped me- DD won't feed at all while her big brother is around - too distracting.) I also find that patting her gently while feeding seems to help her calm down & focus.
- Let her feed whenever she wants, as much as poss

I'm sure there were other ideas too but sounds like you're on your way. Fingers crossed for you

Girly Fri 20-May-05 21:11:08

ooops spoke too soon, she woke again, which is most unusual and i b/f again, am feeling quite happy actually, I know i would feel unhappy with giving up without a fight.

I did with ds and always regretted it, so i shall keep trying, its so reassuring getting your support so thanks again!

popsycal Fri 20-May-05 22:15:15

No advice to add - you have had so much good advice already.

But perhaps DH cold take your two older kiddies out for the day/afternoon and you and baby could spend the time doing nothing except skin to skin contact and lots of feeding??

HAng on in there....I gave up earlier than I really wanted to (for a variety of reasons) so I know exactly where you are coming from.
Catch me on msn if/when you get the chance!

misdee Fri 20-May-05 22:18:01

popsycal, have u given up feeding your ds2?

natts Fri 20-May-05 23:13:09

how great you're doing really well, don't be surprised if she want to feed from you more often for a bit, she may even wake tonight as she won't feel as full as she did on formula. well done

Girly Sat 21-May-05 08:40:41

misdee, popsy means her ds1

last night she had a bottle at 10.30pm and then promptrly threw the whole lot up all over dh, then refused anymore (I was sleeping) then had about 3oz at 3.30am then nothing till 7.45 this morning when she b/f for about 10 mins, will keep giving b/f as much as poss today.

My usual boob was very full this morning and was dripping all over the place until she latched on properly!!!

Popsy, will try and catch you on msn later or maybe tomorrow, our saturdays are always a bit mad

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