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May need to supplement with formula -- commercial or homemade?

574 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  MovingMomma
My supply may have begun to drop recently, and I'm worried I might need to supplement with a bottle or two of formula per day once I return to work in a week (and will be pumping). It's the last thing I want, but I can't afford to quit my job, and I can't have him going hungry. Right now I'm trying hard with herbs and frequent nursing/pumping to increase my supply, but if that doesn't work . . . should I use commercial formula or homemade? We're only talking one bottle a day, two max, so ds (5.5 months) will not be relying on the formula for the bulk of his nutrition.

I was thinking of using Baby's Only Organic lactose-free formula (maybe boosted with some probiotics, and lactose-free because I am lactose intolerant and wanted to keep dairy away from ds until he is at least a year old.)

But recently I've been considering making my own formula -- basically pasteurized goat milk with some added vitamins, probiotics, and a little coconut oil.

Again, it's only for one or two bottles a day. Otherwise he would have nothing else but breast milk.

What do you think? What would you do?

(Again, I'm hoping to keep EBFing, but I just want to have a back-up plan in case I can't pump enough at work.)

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Hugs to you - I know how heartbreaking and frustrating it is to deal with supply issues.

Can I ask why you feel your supply is dropping? Maybe we can help you problem solve ways to boost your supply instead on needing to give formula. If you are able to access Domperidone, that could be a good option. It has worked miracles for us, and it is a very safe drug. I've had no side-effects at all.

No advice on the formula question - hopefully someone else will chime in on that one.
I know a lot of mamas really swear by the home-made formulas. And i really don't like factory food, who knows what is in those weird packages, right? And then formulas are sometimes contaminated, and the formula my cousins were raised on in the 80s was taken off the market as an unfit infant food. Scary.
BUT- for a baby as young as 5-6 months, even 1-2 bottles a day could make a big difference, I think. I would honestly go with a commercial formula that is "proven" safe and adequate.
But I agree- first try to boost your supply. I have found the best way to increase supply is to try to nurse almost constantly as long as you can tolerate it. Nap with baby and let him suckle the whole time if you can stand it. Try to nurse and doze all night, switching sides for your own comfort. Hold or wear baby right against your breast, and stuff the nip in his mouth every time he'll take it. And one thing I do, that fills me right up, is I try not to remove the nipple from baby's mouth even after she's fallen asleep. If she is still latched, she is stimulating milk production, even with just a dream-suck here and there. Also she is getting the good rich fatty hind-milk.
Good luck mama and best wishes!
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Why do you think your supply dropped? If you aren't getting as much at the pump remember thats not a reliable indicator. Then, try switching out the membranes - that works miracles for me every time I think my supply is dropping!!

Then, stay super hydrated - this too always helps me. I also try to drink water as I'm pumping, somehow this helps too. Also, I get a lot more when I'm pumping if I haven't nursed in a while - like when I pump at school and Lincoln is taking bottles at home. When I'm nursing him all day I might get an ounce or 2, but no more than that b/c theres just not much more to pump.
I did the herbs, Domperidone, ect and my twins just ate more than I could pump. I chose a commercially made formula for the 1-2 bottles per day that they needed.
Domperidone (Motilium) has helped me a lot. You can get it online at In House Pharmacy - here's the link. See Dr. Jack Newman's website for details on how to use it. He recommends starting with three pills three times a day (so 9 pills total) but says you can increase it to as much as four pills four times a day. I really have noticed a big difference between my supply at 9 pills versus 12 to 16.
Check out this link about supply issues, esp. this article. Consider overfeeding as a possible issue. Your local LLL Leader can help you suss out exactly what is happening in your particular situation.

Also see this link for a discussion of lactose intolerance in babies. Your baby is already getting lactose in your breastmilk.

If I had to supplement and couldn't access donor milk, I would use a commercial formula.
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