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I have been supplementing my 4 1/2 month old ds since he was nine days old. I have practically tried everything, all the herbs, renting a hospital grade pump, nursing vacation, sns, etc. And I am still struggling, and only able to produce 1/2 of ds needs. I just want to give up because despite the fact that I sometimes use the sns, it just isn't very practical. And it seems every time I give ds a bottle, he cries after the milk or formula is all gone. I am afraid he is not getting enough to eat. How do you other low supply mothers do it? Do your babies cry after their bottle is gone? Right now he is getting 4 or 5 ounce bottles 4 times a day. I am thinking about upping the amount, but of course it is a never ending cycle because the more formula he gets, the less he breastfeeds, and I am bringing the pump back this weekend. DH is tired of all this, and I am alot of the time too. I feel like breastfeeding, producing milk has become my life. It just doesn't seem worth it to continue so unhappy all the time, I try to be optimistic, but it is so hard. Financially, I can't afford to buy a nice electric pump, so I saw one on ebay for cheap and told DH about it, he acted all annoyed, saying that "I talk about quiting bfing, so why would I want to get a pump. We've spent money we really didn't have on renting a hospital pump, so I feel guilty about that, and all I have is an avent manual to fall back on after I bring the symphony back. DH said I could buy the pump on ebay, but I feel guilty because of our financial situation and the fact taht I know I can't produce enough milk. Advice please!
 

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I'm sorry that you are going through this hard situation. Don't give up. Your baby needs more than what you are giving him. Babies at that age need about 30 oz. of formula. If you are feeding 4-5 oz. four times a day, that is not enough. For right now, I would feed the baby only using the SNS. Try to nurse first without the tube so the baby gets used to feeding without the SNS. Then feed the baby using the double tube SNS until satisfied. Don't try to put the baby on any kind of schedule or pre-set amount of formula. Make sure you make the formula in a blender with about 1/2 c. distilled water per 24 oz. of formula. This will help the tubes to not clog. Be sure to fill the container with water and drain tubes to clean after each feed to prevent clogging. Pump after each feed and in between if you can. Try and get at least 8 pumps in a 24 hr. period with at least one pumping in the middle of the night for at least 10-15 min. Keep doing this. As time goes on, your supply should go up. Start with the medium SNS tube and go to the smallest tube if you can. This will help baby to get more of you. When you feed, alternate breast so each gets stimulated. I would buy only a hospital grade pump from e-bay. No Pump in Style. Only Madela Classic or Lactina. There is some Hollister hospital grade pumps as well. The others are a waste of money. They only maintain a supply but do not build up a supply. Keep at it. Even if you have to nurse with just a SNS, baby is getting some of your bm. Just one tsp. has 3 million germ fighting cells! (kellymom.com). There is also a forum there where there are many who will help you. With winter coming up, bm will help your baby fight off colds, flu, etc... Hang in there. I know it is tough. I wish you well. Let us know how you are doing.
 

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Quote:
Your baby needs more than what you are giving him. Babies at that age need about 30 oz. of formula. If you are feeding 4-5 oz. four times a day, that is not enough.
Believe this is what she is supplementing, not the total amount.

I agree on trying the Domperidone (sp?).

Also for your DH, you will earn the pump back by giving breastmilk. A $26.49 can Enfamil can makes 188 oz (from Drugstore.com). So suppose you increase your supply up to 12 oz a day by pumping (and you are probably already close to that now), that means you earn a $100 pump back in ~2 months. Also you need more bottles when you are giving 100% formula instead of supplementing.

Carma
 

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Gosh, I remember my first five weeks postpardum with dd...it was so depressing and so exhausting. I was diagnosed with hypoplasia/insufficient glandular tissue. It was a shock to me. Have you met with an LC? I was just wondering if you knew whether hypoplasia, poor latch or something was at the core of your low supply?

I don't know you're exact situation, so it's hard to give advice. Yes, breastfeeding is the best-feeding, but some women will never be able to produce what their baby needs. I am thankful that I had a great breastfeeding relationship with my daughter, although I never even produced 1/4 of her needs. I was able to comfort nurse her. She never took a paci, she always wanted to nurse.

My midwife is quite ardent about bf, but after trying EVERYTHING (using an SNS exclusively, taking every herb I knew of at that time, pumping between feedings, etc...) even she said that I needed to be able to enjoy my baby. I hadn't been able to do that, really, because I was so obsessed about the bf and milk production...

It's a delicate balance. Yes, there are things you can still try to do (domperidone, goat's rue?), but you also need to enjoy your baby. Be kind to yourself, whatever you decide.


Heidi
 

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If you can supply 1/2 of his needs, that is great. With ds, I could make about 1/3 of his supply (and I tried just about everything). With dd, I made slightly more than that. Lact-Aids have saved me. I still get to have that breastfeeding relationship and my child gets as much breastmilk as I can make.

It is hard. I think it is just something we all have to work through in our own way.
 

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I've been supping with formula and feeling conflicted too, but my baby wasn't growing so I had to. I feel the same as you, everytime he needs more formula I freak out about him getting too much formula and not enough of my milk. Right now he gets 8-10oz a day. He used to only take 4oz a day. I just feel like he's getting more and more formula and my body isn't doing what it needs to for him. I tried the hosp pump and it didn't seem to help. Although he cried everytime I tried to put him down to use it so that didn't help at all. I finally gave up and took it back. I'm doing herbs nd stuff too.

As for the crying after bottle is done my ds does that too. A terrible you are starving me cry. I make him burp and about 80% of the time he'll be happy after that. 10% of the time I give him a bink/my finger to suck on and he is happy so I know he's not hungry. 5% after I try the bink/finger he still is hungry so I try to nurse him again and he'll be happy with that. The last 5% after I try bink and nursing he still is hungry so I give him 1 more oz of formula and that is usually just what he needed, sometimes he won't even finish the whole oz.

Sorry you are going through this. Don't give up. Just find a way to do it so that you are at peace and that you are enjoying your baby. That is different for each of us.
 

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I use an SNS with my daugther. For afew days when we first discovered she wasn't growing, we fed her exclusively with bottles and her "goal" was ~23 ounces/day. We've since graduated to using an SNS and her intake of supplement has gone down to 12-15oz per day. During the day, I feed her at the breast exclusively. At night I don't use the SNS, but offer her the breast, both sides, until she seems to have gotten as much as she can out. My DH then feeds her a bottle- typically 1-3oz once or twice a night- and I pump for 15 minutes.

It makes me feel okay about the entire situation to know that she's getting as much of my milk as possible. I cried hysterically each time my daughter took a bottle those first few days.

Have you tried a Lact Aid? Talked to a LC about the SNS? What is the issue with it? I've found a few tricks and shortcuts to make using the SNS better for all of us- maybe something will be handy for you if you are willing? LMK!
 

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Keep up the good work! We have a have low supply issues too. Something that has really helped me continue to work to keep my supply up is something I heard at a LLL conference. They said that if you bf just once per day, you provide the same amount of antibodies to your baby as an exclusive breastfeeder.
Side note, I was told that a manual pump is not a good enough pump for moms with supply issues. I bit the bullet and got a PIS, and it was worth it.
 

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ANY amount of breastmilk your child gets is a huge benefit to them. We ended up supplementing DD1 with about 8 oz of formula a day. I tried several times during the first 6 months of her life to drop the supplement, but her weight always dropped despite pumping, herbs, nursing on demand 24/7, co-sleeping, etc.

I found it helped me a lot to focus on how much DD *was* getting instead of *wasn't* getting.

Blessings,
Holly
 
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