Originally Posted by bunnykae
I read your whole post! :-) I doubt that your antihistamine use affected your current supply, unless you were using the meds while BF'ing. So your ped also was not BF-friendly. Sounds like a common phenomenon, which I don't understand, as the benefits of BF'ing should be pushed by peds. It sounds like you have done remarkably well, having decreased supplements to 4 oz or less per day.
Can you share your protocol? I'd sure appreciate it. Did you BF exclusively at some feedings? Did you SNS? How did you gradually get to the 4 oz? I would love to know the specific details. I'm having a hard time decreasing right now. Thanks. :-) Bunny
Sure...where do I begin? I've tried so much
When I first started supplementing we were doing 1 oz at every feeding after I nursed. Like I said, ds was a sleepy newborn, and we had to wake him every 2 hrs to nurse/eat, so he was getting 12 oz of formula a day. I'd pumped after every feeding, but only got like 1/4 oz total, but I did that faithfully (even during the night) until I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown. I lasted about 2 weeks I think, and it just got to be too much; I was only getting like 45 min-1 hr of sleep at a time, and the lack of sleep wasn't helping things, so I started pumping just once or twice a night.
I started taking fenugreek and blessed thistle. I don't remember how much blessed thistle I was taking, but I took 4 fenugreek capsules 4 times a day. I also started eating a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast everyday, and I tried the mother's milk tea, but I was allergic to something in it, so I stopped that pretty quickly. Anyway, I started noticing some improvement, so what I started doing was letting ds nurse, then pumping and then giving him whatever I was able to pump, THEN giving the formula until he didn't want anymore. This meant that he got whatever he got when he nursed, plus about a half an oz from me pumping, and then he'd take about 1/2 oz of formula, so right away I dropped down to about 6 oz of formula a day. When I got my dom. I started taking 90 mg, I then I could pump about 4 oz total (before a feeding obviously). Ds started having green stools, though, and I stopped taking it. Anyway, ds went through a growth spurt around 2 months, and I started back on it, but bumped down to 60 mg, and the green stools came back. I don't think it means anything since he seemed perfectly fine and green stools can be normal, but I stopped just to be safe. I'm still taking the fenugreek and I pump after every day time feeding, plus anytime ds has been sleeping for a while, etc. (so I basically get emptied out at least every 2 hours). Now I offer ds formula only if he's nursed, I've pumped and given him that, and he's still hungry. Some days are better than others, but generally it ends up being about an extra 2-4 oz. We've had a couple of days where he didn't need any, and I'm hoping for more of those. I've also noticed that I'm one of those people whose milk production is VERY sensitive to my water intake. I have to drink about 64 oz of actual water (not juice or any old liquid) every day.
I don't know if that really helps or not. Thankfully, I don't really have a big eater. He's never wanted more than 3 oz at a time, so that helps. I still have hope that one day he could be off formula completely, but if I think about that too much I tend to get discouraged on days when he needs extra formula.
I can totally relate to that feeling of wanting to quit. It takes sooo much extra effort (I have a love/hate relationship with my pump
), but I just try to remember how beneficial any bm is to him. I have really bad allergies, eczema, and asthma (in spite of the fact that I was ebf for a year) so I want to do everything I can to minimize his susceptibility to those problems. My biggest challenge has been that I tend to let bf define what it means to be a mother, and I try to remind myself that I provide my ds with more than just milk, kwim? It's so hard, but don't quit! You doing a wonderful thing for your dc, and if nothing else you'll be able to look back proudly and know you did everything in your power to give your dc the absolute best.
ETA: I forgot to address your questions about the SNS. We just use bottles when we supplement. I didn't know about SNS until we'd already started supplementing. Ds did get a bottle preference though, so had I known about them I might have tried it. He actually still gets bottle preference when we have days where he's getting a lot of pumped milk/formula, and the next day or two, I have to undo it. We've had our fair share of mini nursing strikes, and it takes a total standoff with him until he gets sleepy and then he'll usually nurse laying down.