Oh dear readers, at long last, BBB is here.
He is healthy and beautiful and simply the most wonderful baby ever. And more details are coming soon. I promise.
But right now I need some immediate input. It's 2:30 am. BBB's appetite is voracious. its taken him less than 72 hours to chow down the milk supply it took me six weeks to produce. We are down to the last 7-8 oz of my expressed breast milk and no formula in the apartment other than the sample containers you get at the hospital that M would rather not use unless necessary (because this is what happens when you go on the Internet and start reading.)
For those of you who have had experience using formula, which did you use and why? Have any of you mixed breast milk and formula and if so, with what result? Please tell me anything you can.
Except that "breast is best." Yes. I know. I got it. I agree. But we can only do what we can, right? I am, and will continue to do so, but it will take more than me to satiate this little guy. This is becoming painfully obvious.
Doc appointment is at 10 am tomorrow, and well seek advice here too. But please, tell me. Is there any formula brand that is not the devil? Feel free to email me privately of you'd rather not name names here.
We used Similac Sensitive. He had some gas issues, which this formula cleared up quickly.
So happy BBB is here! Congratulations!
I am a retired L&D nurse who also nursed 4 children of my own so I will tell you that I would nurse first and then top the baby off with the formula of your choice.
I would start with a milk based formulation as opposed to soy and you can mix breast with formula. But with expressed milk being so precious, until you know how much the baby will eat at a time, you may want to avoid mixing them as you may end up wasting some.
Be sure and include extra burping time once you add the formula. Good luck!
Ladies, thank you so much for your replies. And I'm hoping they are from time zones different than mine.
We had a little success with nursing tonight, which is a lot more than we've had so far (zero) even though we tried to put him to breast almost immediately after delivery and several times after. Dude just didn't want a thing in the first 24 hours. So he is making up for it now. I am still stunned at how quickly my stockpile has diminished.
BBB is wide awake right now. I'm hoping the next slumber will be a little longer. We are so happy, but a little pooped after our long drive home.
I mixed formula with breast milk the first few weeks with B., because I can only breastfeed from one breast. For me, it took weeks for my one boob to make enough milk to the capacity that the baby needed, plus she was having trouble with her latch. (and she had jaundice and needed to eat to flush it out) I used formula to calm the baby down enough to breastfeed, because she was so hungry she wouldn't take the time to latch. (She just would get hysterical not being able to eat.) I personally used the formula they gave me at the hospital, Similac, because it was milk based (and apparently I am lazy), like Melissia said. I stopped using formula at two or three weeks. I was at my wits end with breastfeeding, and ready to just go to formula, but then I hired a lactation consultant, and had her come to my home, position me, teach me what I was doing wrong, and help me breastfeed. (The best damn $150 bucks I have ever spent.)I think lactation consultants are really worth their weight in gold.
Sending lots of love and excitement and gentle calm for both you and M. (Also going to send you an email with my phone numbers if you ever have questions or want to vent or just need a sympathetic ear.) Love you, darling woman.
Formula is not the devil and all the milk BBB has already gotten from his ever-lovin' mama has already set him up well for life. If you were done nursing tomorrow, you'd already have given him a huge antibody trust fund. So good on you!
That said, the only point I have is a technical one- by government regulation, all infant formula has to contain basically the exact same stuff. So what it comes down to in terms of what's best is things like whether BBB is lactose intolerant or refluxy, whether you have personal beliefs about soy, and so forth. Vitamin and nutrient wise, there's no difference.
If you ever get 30 seconds, will you send me your address so I can send BBB a welcome to the world gift?
I agree with the advice to put baby to breast first, then back up with formula.
My youngest is 7 years old now, but we used Goodstart for all four of our kids. With our oldests, we'd tried two or three formulas and Goodstart seemed to cause the last gastric distress for them. I breastfed and backed up with formula.
I used to nurse my son and then offer a Similac bottle. Eventually (2 months maybe?) my body produced enough milk that I could stop the Similac. My son was in the NICU for the first month.
We used enfamil mixed with breast milk until my supply really came in. No harm, no foul. I am so incredibly happy for your family! :o) Many blessings continue to be upon you.
We are using Enfamil A+ - our babe is getting stronger and bigger every day!
Please, please, do not feel guilty about combined feeding! We did, through necessity, and it was absolutely fine. My brother-in-law, a consultant in public health, told me that the "breast is best/breast milk only" campaign does not include mixed feeding so as not to confuse the public about the message that ANY breastmilk is good - not because it is bad for the baby in any way. Our wee one had Aptamil, a UK brand which isn't available in the States but you could check out if there's an equivalent. From what I've heard from friends, the main difference between our major brands and those in the States is that some US brands contain corn syrup which would probably be viewed as a big no-no here. I'd agree with the nurse first, formula after advice too. And a top tip from my Health Visitor (who was a midwife, then a special care baby nurse then a health visitor, so she knows a bit) was not to skip the early morning (3am-ish) breastfeeds in favour of formula. Apparently, that is when your prolactin levels are at their highest and breastfeeding then can stimulate your supply - definitely helped in my case.
J was combined fed from five months. But, I hasten to add, she was teeny weeny at birth and I barely managed to stay ahead of her when she was four and a half pounds! You have already given BBB loads of important stuff. Expressing is . . . well, let's just say I nearly burnt my pump in the backgarden doing a wild dance around it once I'd finished using it. And I was also stunned at how quickly my hard won frozen stock pile diminished :(
She was fed Nutriprem 2 which is a Cow & Gate product and then, like Silver, I used Aptamil after she had fought her way back onto the growth chart. She was a good feeder but she was so small still that the act of feeding used up quite a high proportion of calories. I'm sure BBB won't have those problems!
I would agree with Angie, maybe look into a lactation consultant if you want to breastfeed. I had a lot of help with J as I was stuck in hospital with her for months and the help I got there was invaluable trying with her and I believe that I would never have successfully breastfed R if I hadn't had that help and support.
I expect you've had all the latching and milk production tips. I always liked the stroking their jaw, which seems to help them latch?
That said, I don'y regret combine feeding or, eventually, formula feeding J. It was what was right for us.
Supplement. I had a big eater baby too. I ultimately breast fed for 13 months but in the beginning he wanted more. I only gave him a little and then waited a few minutes and if he still wanted more he got a little. He seemed to only have two modes: chowing down or sleep...
I LOVE the image of you with your babe at 2 am... Heaven on earth.
I had to supplement with formula with both girls, both at first when I was building up supply and later when I returned to work and couldn't keep up. I used similac with the first and generic with the second.
I read once that teachers can not guess which of their students were breast fed and which were formula fed. But they can tell with amazing accuracy which kids were loved, hugged often and read to.
BTW, even with supplementing my girls are geniuses who never get sick. And anectotal evidence and all things read on the Internet should be taken with a grain of salt. :)
Love to you.
I breastfed for a month for our 1st, but it was excruciating agony due to vasospasms. I would alternate breastmilk that was expressed and formula (Good Start), then went to formula. #2 was exclusively fed formula, due to the creepy meds I was on. Remember the goal is feeding! Give whatever that liquid gold that you can and know you have done your best. Then don;t feel guilty about topping off with formula.
No advice - but I wanted to say how thrilled I am for you! Good luck with everything - you're doing an amazing job. xo
What a voracious appetite your little man has! Go BBB!
We supplemented with Earth's Best Organic formula. I hope you find something that works for your little man.
Love you guys. Feeling reassured and less panicked iris morning. But sleepy. Oh so sleepy. Pumping and dozing now as BBB naps. Doc appt was good. He said what Danielle said. Six of one= half dozen of the other. So, using what we have mixed with my milk. Considering a la leche consult. And reading all of your emails and great advice. Thank you so so much.
Gerber Good Start "Soothe"... not as hard on the tummy....
I have no experience with formula to offer -- just wanted to say congratulations!! :)
If you want to avoid formula, goat's milk is the closest *natural* option to human breast milk. I'm SO happy for you! SOOOO proud of you! LOVE is the best formula of all. He has no lack for that.
You can do it!!! No advice to add, just cheer leading here!
first, go you producing all that milk! so awesome.
wish I had seen this earlier, behind in my reading.
we REALLY liked the earth's best organic one mentioned above. it's a big red can we bought in bulk from a.zon (ad would prob pop-up, didn't want to link here) with "subscribe and save" discount. went through a lot of it when supplementing.
goat milk is good too, it's more like human milk, apparently, but I think you need to add vitamins to it. formula has all that.
be sure to get one with DHA for brain development (earth's best has it). I swear it makes a difference.
someone suggested that I save some milk for when the baby gets a cold or something. (oh that first cold is just awful, I'm telling you now.)
Wow! Many, many congratulations! Welcome, BBB!
My three were all exclusively formula-fed. With pretty much whatever brand of formula happened to be on sale at the time. And they all seem to have done just fine.
Girl...earths best. Walmart organic. Anything organic! Formula is best I always say bahaaaa.so L.
I didn't read the other comments and heaven knows I haven't REALLY got a clue. But my very dear friend just finally had a baby and had exactly the same problem. So she supplemented with a bit of formula, baby slept, everyone was happy. Now baby is getting enough just from the breast, I don't know I guess her body caught up. Nothing wrong with that formula inbetweener! And honestly I don't think that in the US they would be selling any formula that's dangerous ;-)
I had all those crazy supplement at the breast things forever. Did it help, I guess?
My girl bfed, my son just didn't - he had an issue attatching because of his tongue formation. We didn't fix it because of the rare chance of anything happening, and he had such a hard welcoming into this world the idea of cutting a tongue of such a small little person and putting him in risk just didn't fly with us.
SO I did the silly tube thing for 6 weeks then switched to bottle and breast (well breast than top up with bottle). Daughter could easily switch back and forth and had no "confusion".
As for the formula we used, we finally settled on Good Start with the probiotics, we tried lots of other ones and had issues.
It's bloody hard (and all those NUTTERS SCREAMING ABOUT BOOBS ARE THE ONLY THING don't help - I wouldn't recommend LaLeche - my experience is that they are less than understanding and would bang the drum about getting supplemental breast milk from someone else etc).
Ye know where I am if you need support. HAng in there it does get easier.
Hooray for BBB! Am in training to answer these type of questions more formally, but the general guideline of LLL is to discourage mixing breastmilk and formula in the same bottle. Mostly as mentioned above, you want to use up all of the breastmilk you have, then supplement with formula. Since they have very different fat contents/bioaccesibility the baby needs a much smaller quantity of breastmilk than formula, and it's hard to judge exactly how much you need when they are mixed (i.e. newborn could easily be happy with 2 oz of breastmilk but need 4 oz of formula to get the same calories, although that may not be as much true with induced lactation).
I agree that the formulas are pretty interchangeable. Some people avoid corn syrup (although it's sugar, and all formulas have a ton of sugar, as does breastmilk), some people splurge on organic. If I were you I would splurge on the pre-mixed formula for the first month (i.e. not powder but liquid. It seems trivial but is a lovely time saver when you are also pumping).
My only question about the very hungry newborn is if you are reading his hunger cues correctly? I nursed my first non-stop for about 12 hours until our pediatrician showed up and laughed and told me that she would get as much colostrum as there was in about 15 minutes and no need to nurse for longer at that age, that it was just non-nutritive sucking and fine to give her my finger to latch on to (and newborns are really, really made to survive for days without much milk since most women's milk does not come in for 3-4 days. It is a tad distressing to see how many women were supplementing the first few days in the comments when baby would have been fine without it, and I say that as someone whose newborn lost well over the prescribed 10% of her body weight). It is very hard for a newborn to slow themselves down with a bottle so BBB may be eating a tad more than he needs at each feeding either because the bottle is flowing so quickly that he finishes it before he realizes he is full, or because you are feeding him when he is giving some other type of cue. A lactation consultant or a regular LLL meeting would be great for more information on hunger cues.
Happy to answer any questions over e-mail or give you my cell: longdistanceinfertility (at) gmail
Congratulationsssssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!! so very happy for you.
Congrats on BBB! We used Enfamil w/ D.
Hey! Glad to see BBB is home and doing so well. We went through lots of formulas with my daughter because of her stomach problems, but eventually we landed on Good Start Gentle and that worked well. I also wanted to mention that kangaroo care helped a lot with my supply. It's not just for preemies! You can just recline a bit with BBB directly on your bare chest, skin-to-skin, and put a receiving blanket over his back and your chest. (He should wear a diaper.) it's awesome for bonding, and for a lot of women it is really helpful with increasing the breast milk supply. Good luck - and don't listen to the breast feeding nazis. You are doing your best and anything you can give him is helpful.
Here's an update of where we are: BBB is finally resting. So I'm pumping and one handed typing which I'm guessing will be the norm fir a while? Similac gave him some awful gas so can two from the hospital was enfamil so we went to that. But I think based on your comments and those of our doc, well go with good start gentle and see how that goes.
After some steady days pumping I'm getting at least as much as I did before traveling threw us off course, so that's a relief. We had an awesome morning skin to skin with daddy resting next to us. Even if it doesn't stim my milk supply, is there a better feeling than this?
Thanks so much for the tip on not mixing breast milk in the same bottle, because we had been. We'll keep them separate from now on. And have a lot more finger time instead of reaching straight for a bottle. Tat seemed to help a lot today when someone was a little worked up.
All in all, we are living a dream. A sleepy, but a dream nonetheless.
A million thank yous for sharing your own experiences here.
OUR BBB was very hungry..we did breast milke and sometimes raw goat milk mixed with water.
"We had an awesome morning skin to skin with daddy resting next to us. Even if it doesn't stim my milk supply, is there a better feeling than this?"
Unbelievably, yes! It does! Those squishy baby, skin to skin moments are truly bliss. But just wait! When your BBB says, "Mommy I love you so much!", you will melt in ways you never imagined. So very happy for you.
I used gentlease and mixed with pumped breast milk. I have twins and never did catch up to all they drank.
We use Enfamil A+ and our little girl is thriving! She gained 2 lbs since birth and is doing really well on this formula!
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