Just another Minnesota Mom blog.

I would supplement (with formula) earlier.

Posted: November 3rd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Breastfeeding | Tags: Breastfeeding, Secrets, Supplementing | 13 Comments »

There. I said it.

If I could do something differently, I would get over myself and tune out the critics and just give the baby the bottle of formula already.

Months of stress and a screaming baby that isn’t gaining weight, for what? NOTHING!

Because when we started to supplement once a day it was like magic. Weight was gained. He was happy. I was happy. He was taking naps and sleeping for a few hours at a time (as opposed to not sleeping at all because he was starving).

My stress levels went down because I wasn’t constantly pumping after every nursing session with no return on my investment. I wasn’t cringing at work when my husband called because there was no breast milk left and the baby had been screaming for 3 hours and could I please come home early.

And seriously- I wish I had a before and after picture. He was a different kid within two days of starting formula once a day. Totally. Different. Kid.

Here he is around 3 months old: before supplements.
Judah before he was Judah the Tank

I guess you are going to have to take my word on the transformation because all of his pics are on the other computer and I’m way too lazy to go find one (and judging by the number of pics posted of my kids between October and February- I’m lazy with the pics in general).

He still nursed around the clock- he continued to do that until around 6 months (and then weaned himself just after a year). But now I was able to break the latch after 45-60 minutes, pop in a bottle and fill up his tummy so he could get full and move on with his day. I never had a baby who napped until that moment. I’ve heard it’s quite normal for newborns and infants to sleep. Like a lot.

So there it is. I’m a supplementer.  I believe in GPLC and can’t wait to get be done feeding the baby so that I can get back on it. I also have a bona fide low supply, so you gotta do what you gotta do. I mean, the baby’s gotta eat!

This post is for the weekly Breastfeeding Blog Hop hosted by Life with Levi, Diary of a Devil Dog Wife and myself. The topic of the week is: What would you do differently? The linky is open Thursday and Friday- Link up! If you are new, stop by and say Hi. Welcome to the hop!

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13 Comments on “I would supplement (with formula) earlier.”

  1. 1 leah said at 8:25 am on November 3rd, 2011:

    I absolutely agree with this.

  2. 2 erinclot said at 5:14 pm on November 4th, 2011:

    It seems like such a simple solution. Mom guilt gets in the way 🙁

  3. 3 motherwifeteacher said at 8:52 am on November 3rd, 2011:

    Me. Too.

    I will be adding some herbs this time around immediately post-partum to see if I can get some more supply to begin with, but if I have another 'round-the-clock nurser with not a drop extra when I pump, I will supplement to save my sanity. Grant gained well, but he had to nurse CONSTANTLY without breaks to get there. I was hormonal and afraid I'd ruin the breastfeeding relationship if I supplemented, so he didn't get formula until I had to go back to work and hadn't been able to put a single ounce of milk in the freezer for him. Once he started getting formula supplements, things got much easier for us.

    I'm hoping the herbs will let me either eliminate formula or reduce how much I need to use, but if they don't I know it's not the end of the world. Formula is SO expensive, so the more breastmilk this little girl gets, the happier I'll be, but I'm not going to beat myself up over something I can't control.

  4. 4 erinclot said at 5:09 pm on November 4th, 2011:

    I got my prescription for Reglan at 6 weeks and I was talking Fenugreek while I was in the hospital. It's a good thing I don't mind the smell of maple syrup!

    The constant nursing wouldn't have drained me nearly as much if he was happy and gaining weight but he was miserable and there was nothing more *I* could do for him.

    Hopefully Elise gets everything she needs and you don't have to worry, but having a good grip on when to say when is a good tool to have in your Mom Kit.

  5. 5 Jeniffer @ SNC said at 9:58 am on November 3rd, 2011:

    Yes!! There is so much pressure to breastfeed exclusively in order to avoid the "evils" of formula. While I agree that it's important to get the information out there, if breastfeeding stresses you out or leaves you drained and things aren't getting better, then go ahead and supplement!! (Oh, and don't read my post for the blog hop…)

  6. 6 erinclot said at 12:52 pm on November 3rd, 2011:

    There is. Way too much. When my ped was suggesting I supplement to help the jaundice run it's course I was a puddle of hormones on the floor. We went months not trusting anyones suggestions to supplement because I was sure they were out to sabotage me. Judah is my 3rd child- you'd think I had a finely tuned intuition by now!

  7. 7 pinkoddy said at 6:01 pm on November 3rd, 2011:

    I agree. It's about having informed choices to decide what is best for you and your baby.
    My recent post Things I would have done differently

  8. 8 erinclot said at 5:03 pm on November 4th, 2011:

    I think in this day and age (did I just say that?) where information is at our fingertips, it's probably the rare person who can't make an informed choice. I think a lot of the times choices get labeled as uninformed because they are not the choices *we* make. I wonder what it was like to be a mom before the internet.

  9. 9 pinkoddy said at 2:19 pm on November 7th, 2011:

    I don't think we do though tbh. I had a health visitor telling me my baby needed to poo and to give it orange juice! This (I've learnt through a breast feeding counsellor and literature) is absolute rubbish – breastfed babies do not produce as much waste. As I was giving oj my own supply started to dwindle. I was then made to feel like rubbish and told my milk was not good enough. When I had misinformed "professionals" telling me the same with my fourth son I was informed and so ignored them. Turned out he wasn't losing weight because my milk was rubbish but because he had a nasty infection. I haven't actually formed any opinions from the internet about my feeding choices. I've made both types of choice (ds 1 I only bf for a week before deciding formula was best for me) so I don't think so.
    My recent post Music Monday

  10. 10 lilburghers said at 10:24 pm on November 3rd, 2011:

    I agree! I was way too hard on myself, too and had a lil guy. Now he feeds twice but is a chunker compared to where he was. 🙂

  11. 11 erinclot said at 5:00 pm on November 4th, 2011:

    I totally learned my lesson- next time I will be much easier on myself and maybe I'll get to enjoy that newborn stage for once!

  12. 12 Gaby @ Tmuffin said at 4:43 pm on November 4th, 2011:

    This is such an honest post! I think a lot of moms will be grateful to you for your honesty. A lot of people see breastfeeding vs. formula as all or nothing, but there are a million in betweens. My blog hop post is also about doing what works for your family, and that's truly the way you can be the best parent you can be.
    My recent post Breastfeeding Choices the Second Time Around

  13. 13 erinclot said at 4:59 pm on November 4th, 2011:

    Thank you! I hope it's helpful to moms who are struggling. So much of what I read in those early months was about how I couldn't trust anyone who suggested formula, how the formula companies were out to sabotage- no one said anything about there being a happy medium. Not one person (Other than my ped, who I was led to believe was out to ruin my breastfeeding experience.) suggested I use formula to get past the hump of jaundice. Everything i read about low-supply led me to believe it was so rare it had to be in my head. I had all of the support and help in the world at my fingertips and I didn't have anyone telling me to do the one thing that would make a real difference.


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