Formula Supplement? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 05-22-2007, 01:34 AM - Thread Starter
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I need help ASAP. Last week I started back to work, 3 days a week. I am pumping every 2 hours at work and at home so that the daycare has enough breast milk for my 4 month old twin boys. Each day I am JUST barely sqeaking by with enough to last them through the next day. I am a wreck, totally stressed about not producing enough. I've tried everything...tea, fenugreek, hot packs, water, supply just will not get any bigger. To make matters worse, two days ago the boys started going through a growth spurt. I can't keep up with how much they want to eat. If I was bfeeding them all day, maybe I could, but I just can't with the pump. They have started to eat more than 6-8oz more a day EACH than they were before. I don't know how much longer this increase is going to last, but if it does, I am going to have to start introducing a formula to supplement. I know NOTHING about formula and don't even know where to begin to figure out which one is the best to start them with. How do I do it? Mix it in a little bit at a time with the breast milk in a bottle? Is there a certain time of day that is better to give it to them? What brand is best? Soy or cow?
Agghh, I hate doing this, but it looks like I don't have a choice.
Any help with this would be appreciated. Thanks.
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#2 of 9 Old 05-22-2007, 01:59 AM
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Have you definatly made the decision to go to formula mama? If yes, Im not much help to ya other than maybe a bump to the first page...I know nothing about formula If you are looking to brainstorm other ideas though, let me know. Ive struggled with pumping and low supply too.
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#3 of 9 Old 05-22-2007, 02:20 AM
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If you have to supplement with formula, avoid soy. It is high in manganese which is bad for brain development. Here is an article about the dangers of soy formula

Other than that. I wouldn't mix the formula with breast milk. I would have the day care give the babies the breast milk first and then give formula only if they absolutely have to.

Talk to the day care provider about when they are giving the expressed milk and how much they are giving at a time. See if maybe they can give a little less milk and give it more frequently to try to stretch it out longer.

I had to supplement with formula and it is a slippery slope. My 9mo didn't gain weight and started to lose wt so I had to do it. But now he gets 6oz at a time, when he was little he got 2oz a day. But he's a healthy growing boy now, so it's a big compromise.
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#4 of 9 Old 05-22-2007, 02:51 AM
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I'm having supply problems at 15 months. Supply dropped from 40 ounces a day to 32 back at 6 months when my cycle came back, but now DS wants to eat 40 ounces a day again. So I'm trying Fenugreek, Blessed Thistle, a mixed herbal product, beer, and pumping 8 times a day. If this doesn't work in 2 weeks, I'm doing to try domperidone.

Until we can get past this supply issue, I am topping off the bottles by 1/4 with Enfamil Lipil and DS doesn't notice. I have faving "the F word" in the house, but I'm doing all I can to evict it!
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#5 of 9 Old 05-22-2007, 07:57 AM
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I would not mix the formula w/ bm unless you are absolutely sure they will finish the bottle at that sitting else 1hr after that formula is mixed and put to the babies mouth it must be tossed. Also I would give the bottle of formula at the beginning of daycare since formula digest slower than bm. If you do it the otherway arround by using all the bm first and then offering formula at the end of the day they still may be full on formula when you come to pick them up and nurse them. Which might mean that they wont nurse as long or as vigorously in turn reducing your supply even further. If you end up with extra BM at the end of the day since you gave to much formula that day then the next day just adjust the amount of formula you leave for the daycare (some days you may have enough to just be on bm for that day)

I hope this passes for you! Hugs

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Nursed fly-by-nursing1.gifmy homebirth.jpg babe, dd2 (2008) until self weaned at 3yrsbouncy.gif. We survived a major nursing strike.

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#6 of 9 Old 05-22-2007, 08:11 AM
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: Pumping for twins is hard, many of us have supply problems.

It sounds like you have tried a lot. Have you read on kellymom about low suppy in general, and their pumping tips:


Low Supply

Have you tried more milk plus from It's a concentrated form of fenugreek that is more effective than pills.

I'm gonna bump my FAQ on domperidone, it's a prescription med to help with supply. Here's some more info too:


And lastly, you might look at breastmilk donation from another mama to help tide you over the rough spots. Some people post a request here in BF challenges, others in the geographical tribal area, some go through milk share:

for your hard work!

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#7 of 9 Old 05-22-2007, 08:26 AM
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This "spurt" probably will continue as long as they are on "regular" bottles (I am assuming that they are)... You need a super slow-flow nipple. There is a lot of good info on kellymom about how, if you find yourself pumping less than the baby is drinking, he/she is most likely drinking TOO MUCH.

Most common culprit is the fast flow of the bottle, but also DCP's bottle-feeding methods may need some adjustment. There is an easy to print handout of guidelines for bottle-feeding a breastfed baby - take breaks, switch sides, hold upright, etc.

But, most importantly, PLEASE look into getting a lower-flow nipple. You WILL see a difference. What worked for us is the Breastflow bottle by the First Years, sold exclusively at BRU. (I don't mean to sound like a commercial.) I have also heard good things about the "Breastbottle" but have never tried it, so I can't vouch for the flow.

What is unique about the Breastflow is that it has two nipples - an internal and external. The baby has to suck and compress (no other bottles need compression, as far as I know - milk comes out whether they are ready for it or not) to get the milk to come out of the internal nipple, into the external. That simulates the delay of the letdown reflex. Please try that before supplementing. Good luck!!

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#8 of 9 Old 05-23-2007, 03:11 PM
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Oh Mama...I am soooooo sorry you are feeling all of this stress and pressure right now. I had only one baby, but I was having the exact same problems that you are when he was 4 months old. I was working and I could barely pump enough milk for while I was gone and it was really hard.

I tried everything I knew to improve my supply.

Have you seen an LC? I never did and I really wish I would have. We didn't have any BF issues the first couple months, but I heard that as they get bigger and the positioning changes that can affect the latch, sometimes results in a lowered milk supply.
Also, I don't know what type of pump you are using but I now that makes all the difference in the world for some women. Is there any possibility of upgrading your pump?

If you do decide to switch to formula, I have an excellent recipe for formula that was given to us by our son's Ped. It is made from fresh Goat's milk, Flax Seed Oil, Multi-vitamins and brown rice syrup. My DS thrived on it and it was much less expensive than buying formula in a can. Goats milk is the closest to human breast milk. It has been used for babies for hundreds of years. It is a MUCH better choice than soy or cows milk.

If you PM me I will send you the recipe and links to research on Goat milk infant formula. You can also buy goats milk formula in the can, but it is much more expensive.

Good Luck, I am really thinking about you. You are working so hard for your babies right now and you are being a great Mama!!!!
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#9 of 9 Old 05-23-2007, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by BakerALM View Post
I would not mix the formula w/ bm unless you are absolutely sure they will finish the bottle at that sitting else 1hr after that formula is mixed and put to the babies mouth it must be tossed.
I didn't think of that!
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