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How to get back to only breastfeeding?

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September 12th, 2009, 01:59 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 1,212
Hi ladies,

I'm in need of some advice...

My little guy is almost 3 weeks old. During the first pediatrician's appointment we found out he lost more than 11% of his body weight. That coupled with some other symptoms had the doctor worried so he put him on formula supplement along with breastfeeding. Breastfeeding was limited to only a few minutes at a time in order to get his weight back up.

Good news is that as of last week his weight was back in a safe range and I was cleared to go back to only breastfeeding without supplementing. However it seems that he will breastfeed for a long period (at least an hour between the two breasts) but is never fully satisfied. I believe he's latched on correctly and though he does fall asleep at times, I do wake him up by moving him around a bit to get him sucking harder. He just doesn't seem to be extremely vigorous about eating so we're still having to supplement just to keep him satisfied. I'm getting him to the breast as often as possible and I've also started pumping to keep up the milk supply.

I guess I have a few questions... How can I get him to be more aggressive at the breast? Is there a way to safely remove formula without him going into a tailspin with his weight again?

Any ideas are greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Thank you ~*I:Makerinces*~ for my beautiful siggy!

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September 15th, 2009, 11:49 AM
Misty_X's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 25,063
Welcome to the board!

First of all, I think it's awesome that you want to persevere to get back to fully breastfeeding. It can be done, but might be a slow process depending on how long it takes for your baby and your milk supply to adjust.

First of all, make sure that you are using the very softest flow teats on your bottles so that your baby doesn't find it too easy to get the milk out. If he has to work harder with the bottle then he will learn to suck harder when he is breastfeeding and not think of bottles as the easy option.

There are also things you can do to increase your milk supply so that he will be more satisfied. There's a sticky on the board with suggestions for food and supplements that can increase your supply. You're doing the right thing by letting him nurse as often as possible and pumping between times - Breastfeeding is supply and demand

Try to phase out the formula slowly rather than all at once - drop a little more formula and increase the amount of nursing each day ad hopefully he will be back fully on the breast before long

Please let us know how you are getting on! x

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September 23rd, 2009, 11:32 AM
myfavoriteshoes's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 5,516
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Drop formula by ˝oz every 4days.
Samuel Francisco (11/24/08, 8lbs2oz, 21in)
Elijah Spencer (10/28/12, 8lbs11oz, 20.5in)
Micah Gabriel due December 16, 2015

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September 24th, 2009, 09:55 AM
beck12's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 12,330
I also wanted to tell you to make sure you understand that he is at a time of a growth spurt & that even EBF babies tend to act dissatisfied during those times. It is VERY normal at 3 weeks to hit a fussy/not happy time with nursing & you need to be especially diligent to nurse as much as you can during that time to make sure your supply doesn't fall too far behind. I would also check out the BF board & the sticky on the three day nursing sabbatical. Many ladies have been very successful at getting rid of supplementing. For us it was an issue of me working & needing to fill the gap between what he needed in a bottle & what I could pump. At first I thought that meant I had to supplement on my days off too - but I managed to boost supply enough to stop that & only ever had to supplement while away.

FWIW My lil guy lost almost 15% of his body weight (almost a lb) & never once did anyone suggest I supplement & he doubled his body weight by 2 mos. I think they are far too quick to freak out & force supplementing for these things....mine was also jaundiced too. What matters most from everything I have ever read is the number of dirty & wet diapers they have. And again - my lil guy was 6lbs6oz at birth...so it's not that he was so big he could stand to loose a bit. I just had a good Dr that said there is no reason to worry about my supply if he has enough output (pee & pooh)....it just takes some babies a few days or so to come around to fattening up.

GL & keep the faith!
B - Crazy momma to my two boys
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Last edited by beck12; September 24th, 2009 at 10:00 AM.
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