Supplementing Alternatives - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 09-06-2006, 11:41 PM - Thread Starter
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My baby is 6 1/2 months old and in two weeks we will be going to California. My mother -in-law will be watching the baby all day -7:30am-4:30pm. I will be able to nurse her my lunch break and the rest of the day I will need to depend on bottles. I don't know when I will be able to pump that much milk to supply her for the day. She isn't showing much interest in solids so that won't help. I am EXTREMELY against using formula and I am willing to cancel some very important plans in needed. Does anyone know if goat milk is safe to supplement or any other ideas. I don't see my PED until next week and wanted to generate some ideas before then. Thanks!

More info: I wish this was a vaction...Actually my husband admitted himself in the Betty Ford Center last week for numerous addictions. I will be attending the family program.
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#2 of 10 Old 09-06-2006, 11:58 PM
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if you use goat's milk, you should fortify it with some EFAs (like fish oil capsules and sunflower seed oil and flax seed oil) and if you will be supplementing for more than a few days, maybe some folic acid and iron. goat's milk contains more protein and less fat than human milk, which is what human babies need for significant brain growth.

if your family has a history of cow dairy allergy, there are many proteins that are similar that are in goat's milk so you may want to take that into consideration since your baby may not tolerate the goat's milk well.

is this a vacation/business trip or a permanent move? that is unclear from your post...

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#3 of 10 Old 09-07-2006, 12:18 AM - Thread Starter
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I wish this were a vacation...Actually, my husband admitted himself to the Betty Ford Center for numerous addictions and I am going out for the family program which is a five day intensive program...
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#4 of 10 Old 09-12-2006, 11:21 AM
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If you can afford it, I know there is such a thing as organic formula. Some of them might be made with goat or sheep milk. Do you have any whole food stores near you that you could check with?

I had my share of pumping supply issues with DD1 and I seem to be doing much better with DD2. I know you don't have a lot of time left but I've outlined below what I've tried. Maybe some of these tips will help you maximize your pumping output in the next 2 weeks.

If nothing else I would suggest you try Mother's Milk tea and definitely use the Marmet technique (you'll find a description on one of the Kellymom links I've included).

The links are at the very botton. I have titled all of them so you can more easily pick and choose the ones that interest you.

Regarding milk boosting substances (galactagogues), in addition to Fenugreek, there are some foods, herbal supplements, essential oils, etc., you can take to try and boost supply. Oatmeal (hot cereal, oat bran muffins, cookies, etc.) has a reputation for boosting supply. It works really well for some women. Also, some women seem to respond well to a nice piece of steak. Oddly enough, the steak would seem to work occasionally, but not always, for me.

One of the Kellymom articles discusses herbal galactagogues. In various combinations with mixed results I have used Fenugreek, Traditional Medicinals "Organic Mother's Milk Tea", Alfalfa, Blessed Thistle, Marshmallow, & Nettle; and some "essential oils" such as Evening Primrose Oil, Flax Seed Oil, Fish Oil, etc. You may want to avoid Alfalfa if there is a history of Lupus in your family. I would encourage you to do your own research on any of these; starting at where you can find dosage info.

I was pretty desperate when I finally started using galactagogues so I felt like I had to use the shotgun blast approach. I started with Fenugreek and Traditional Medicinals "Organic Mother's Milk Tea" with pretty good results. Note that Fenugreek creates a maple syrup type smell. It is not unpleasant but you should be aware of it in case your baby starts to smell like maple syrup since that smell would otherwise potentially be a sign or symptom of some disease I can't remember the name of. Supposedly you need to notice the smell on you before you have an effective dose in your system.

Make sure to read the Marmet (massage) technique to improve your pumping yield. To enhance this technique try moving the horns a little off center in between massaging, in a pattern, (e.g. slightly up, slightly down, slightly right, slightly left) so that the suction is reaching ducts it might not otherwise reach. Try to follow the same pattern each time so you're less likely to skip an area.

If your nipples are blanched (white) after pumping you may need bigger horns (aka funnels, shields, etc.). The Medela website has a picture of what it looks like if you are getting squished. Believe it or not this can make a difference in your pumping output. I wish I had known this with DD1.

Here are some additional pumping tips: ~pump at the same time each day helps (presumably it conditions your body to know when to pump more); ~ pump for at least 15 – 20 minutes or until 5 minutes after you are no longer getting any milk (emptying the breast as much as possible increases the demand which in turn increases supply); and pump as early in the morning as possible when prolactin levels are higher; try to pump approximately every 3 hours or as often as possible.

What is a galactagogue? Do I need one?...Herbal remedies for increasing milk supply
Increasing Low Milk Supply

Let-down Reflex: Too slow?
Marmet Technique

Pumping Tips

I know this is a lot of information, but I hope you find it useful. Keep us posted and good luck.
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#5 of 10 Old 09-12-2006, 12:00 PM
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You really must find a way to pump to keep up your supply. Even if it's just a small hand pump.

wishing you the best.

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#6 of 10 Old 09-12-2006, 12:44 PM
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Surely there are breaks of some kind in this intensive daily program? You said you can nurse her at lunch. So, if you nurse right before you leave at 7:30, then pump at 9:30, nurse at noon, and pump at 2:00 or 2:30, you would only need to pump twice per day. You have two weeks to pump to get into practice and build up a small frozen supply, so I would start now. As alegna said, you really need to pump to keep you supply up when you can't nurse her... otherwise, in a week of supplementing, you could supplement yourself right out of the picture. Milk supply can decrease very quickly if you don't pump to maintain it when you are away from your little one.
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#7 of 10 Old 09-12-2006, 05:31 PM
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I hate to push solids on a child that isn't ready, but she might change her interest level if she is hungry when you are gone. Banana and avacado are both less allergenic than cow or goat milk. You might try them a little bit more in the next couple of weeks too.

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#8 of 10 Old 09-12-2006, 06:26 PM
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I would start pumping asap and freeze up a supply.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#9 of 10 Old 09-13-2006, 10:57 PM
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What are your reasons for not wanting to supplement with formula? If it were me, in addition to starting now to increase supply and taking a hand pump with me (the Medela Harmony is great), if I had to supplement, I'd use an organic formula like Nature's One/Baby's Only that uses quality ingredients. In addition, Nature's One/Baby's Only complies with the WHO code on marketing, and IMO is an ethical formula company.

On the flip side, I don't think cow or goat milk is necessarily any healthier than formula, especially because of the issue of the proteins/fats/carbs/vitamins being inappropriate for babies.

You may also find that your baby sleeps a lot while you're gone and waits to nurse when she sees you (and nurses all night to make up for it!) Babies can be pretty adaptable. When I was working outside the home, my 5.5 month old ds reverse cycled, so I ended up not really needing a lot of the milk I pumped because he preferred to wait for it fresh from the tap. I still pumped to keep up my supply, but he nursed a ton in the morning, evening, and at night (we co-slept).

It sounds like this program is very important for you to do, and I think you'll be able to get through this with a little creativity and flexibility. Best of luck to you, mama.

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#10 of 10 Old 09-14-2006, 03:53 AM
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The WHO states that powdered cow's milk based formula is the suppliment to use when breastmilk is not available. Why on earth would you not use this but consider goat's milk? Formula is closer to human milk than goat's milk in both the protein/fat/lactose ratios, micronutrients, and omega-3's (as long as you get an ARA/ALA enhanced formula, which most are.)

If you are worried about allergies, you can get a formula where the cow milk protein is partially broken down (such as Carnation goodstart or I think one called "gentlease").

You can easily find organic formula at WALMART of all places- they now make their store brand, parent's choice, in an organic version in a committed, and nice, factory. Even the oils in the formula are organic. That's what we use to suppliment now since I have low supply. We hate walmart but for this one product we'll go there since we have no other alternative.

You will need to pump as well, as the other posters have said- make sure you're used to pumping and that it works BEFORE you go, since it's not always super easy. That way perhaps you can make up extra milk to store before you go!
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