feeding troubles

  • my baby will be 4 weeks old this week.  She has not done well on breastmilk due to a presumed low supply.  She also has lost wt twice.  I've tried pumping & only get 3oz total from both breasts regardless of how often I nurse or pump.  She is on formula now & doing well.  Has anyone else had this problem?  I am wondering if I should just switch to formula full time or not. 

  • My baby is 5 weeks old and I had the same problem @ 2 weeks old.  He did very well while we were in the hospital but once we got home he got real fussy and was nursing all the time (1 -2 hours between feedings).  I started formula for every other feeding and he was still acting like he was starving once I breastfeed.  I was pumping in between feedings and I was only getting anywhere from 1oz - 2oz at a time and nothing I did changed that.  We finally figured out that the baby was starving and he is up to 5 oz of formula as of time and we are probably going to have to increase that this week.  (He was a 7lb when he was born but he only weighs about 8lb now at 5 weeks).  If you do decided to go straight to formula don't feel like you have let her down.  There is nothing wrong with formula feeding and the baby grow up to be just fine.  My Ob/GYN told me that usually first time moms will end up formula feeding and there is nothing wrong with that.  I was upset for a couple of days but I see now that my baby was starving and he is doing so much better on the formula.  Good luck and I hyope this helps.

  • I had feeding problems too and was supplementing with formula early (in hospital).  What kind of a pump do you have?  I had a manual pump which is really not the best thing for frequent pumping, it can actually decrease your supply ‘cos it doesn’t get as much of the milk out, so your body thinks the baby needs less milk, so it makes less.  By the time I figured that out via the pediatrician’s nurse, the baby was 1 month old.  I then rented a hospital grade pump for 1 month (from lactation supply store – your pedi’s nurse should be able to recommend where to go for rentals), and this was much better for getting my supply up (although I still had to supplement with formula because we were so far behind).  I still wound up having problems breastfeeding him on one side, so in the end I decided to pump and feed until the month's rental was up, gradually weaning him off.  Therefore at 2 months old my baby son went on formula full-time.  I was feeling bad at first but just like Kellymwebster, my OBGYN also said not to worry and that the majority of first-time moms have feeding problems.   In my case, I really liked the hospital grade pump and I’m glad I did that so I could give him a bit longer on breastmilk than I otherwise would have (although, it is not cheap - about $70 per month for top of the line, less for simpler hospital-grade models – but then you definitely save on formula costs so it’s not all that bad either, plus it’s much faster & easier than pumping with a manual, and the convenience/time factor is truly a help with a young baby).  If you have been pumping on a manual and are not ready to go to full-time formula, then maybe renting a hospital-grade pump (either short or longer-term) could be a good option for you.  But like Kellymwebster said, switching to full-time formula now is also OK.  It’s whatever you think is best for your situation. 


  • Well, in order to build up a supply, you must nurse on demand in the early weeks.  Oh, and 1-2 hours between breastmilk feedings is completely normal, especially for a newborn.  You have to remind yourself that their bellies are TINY and don't hold much and breastmilk digests quickly since it is made especially for human babies, they use it all.    Oh, and pumping is not an indicator of how much milk you are making, a pump does not get milk out as efficiently as a baby does, the sucking motions are quite different.   3 oz total from both with a pump is actually pretty impressive with a 4 week baby.

    You need to choose what is right for you and your baby.  if you really want to breastfeed and feel it is the best choice for y'all, you can do it, you just need to drink lots of water and nurse as often as possible; it takes about 2-3 days for your breasts to adjust to demand.  If you are feeling formula is the best option for y'all, then by all means, go that way.  There is no guilt.  Breastfeeding doesn't always work out as sweetly and serenely as we've pictured it.  My first child was formula fed and my last two were exclusively breast fed.

    Much love Mama, no stress, no worries.

  • yeah my supply is lower than at the beginning. i pump as well, but my doctor informed that the baby has to nurse the nipple in order to get more milk supply. dont ask me how but he said that the babies suck is different from the pump and to at least put the baby on the breast every two hours and that lets the breast know it needs to produce more milk. my daughter is on both breast and formula milk and she's growing extremely fast. you just got to be patient cause its a process. and your baby losing weight at the beginning of life is definately normal, so i wouldn't worry you will do fine Yes

  • I have had the same issue and never got more than 2 oz when pumping. I started supplementing with formula and got to 100% formula a few days ago. I am sad about not breastfeeding, but could not endure the insecurity of wondering if my baby was getting enough to eat , nor the time of pumping to get so little for my effort.

  • I had my son on 5-28-09, and at first, thought my milk was NEVER going to come in! My son was 8 lbs. 14 oz. at birth, and up to 9 pounds now. Since he is such a big boy, he expects alot of food at one time and is often not satisfied with just the breast. He will nurse often and then cry like he's still hungry.  I have been supplementing with formula and it seems to be going well for us that way. I will actually let him nurse and if afterwards he still seems hungry, then I will formula feed him. The most I have gotten at one time with a pump is 2 1/2 oz, and it does seem like a very minute amount compared to what he is actually eating. I will, however, try to continue pumping and see what happens!

  • I had a big boy as well! He was 10 lbs 4 oz, born on Easter. The maternity ward didn't have diapers big enough, they sent a nurse to the pediatrics office on the other side of the hospital to get a bigger size! Haha! He's not 15 lbs at only 8 weeks of age. He's growing so fast! He never got the chance to wear so many of the cute outfits I got at my baby shower. However, I know exactly what you mean about not seeming like your baby is getting enough. He will get more out of your breasts than you think he is and the only way to produce more is to let him try. I know it's hard when they're crying. You might want to try getting a nursing supplementer. It will help continue to give your nipples stimulation while he's being supplemented. My biggest problem was that I had been primarily pumping in order to store up milk to send to the babysitter when I go back to work and now I've put myself in somewhat of a rut. I SHOULD have nursed first and then pumped out whatever he didn't get afterwards. He's gone on what is called a nursing strike where he refuses to nurse and will only feed from a bottle which isn't helping the situation. Luckily it usually only lasts for a few days.
  • My wife had a low supply with our second daughter, and we supplemented with formula which left her very discouraged. As a father, I felt terrible for my wife because she felt like she was letting everyone down. While I heavily support breastfeeding, I wanted to let her know that the most iomportant thing is the health of the baby and that it wasn't her fault if baby wasn't getting all she needed from the breast. The other problem we had is that baby began to use my wife as a pacifier. She wouldn't really be eating but would sleep while feeding and would wake up the moment she was taken off. This led to exhaustion for my wife, so we were forced at that point to supplement. I guess what I am saying is that your circumstances can change on a daily basis, so do what you feel you have to for your baby and move forward with a clear conscience knowing that you are trying your best! That's all parents can do.

  • I had the same problem with my baby. I also was giving her formula and breast milk, since the hospital. Now she is almost 9 months, I breast feed her till 4 moths and she is a very healthy baby.

    Normally in the bigining you will not have a lots of milk, but according to the stimulation you will start to produce more and more. The best thing to do is to try feed your baby as much as you can (on her regular shedule). Pumping after feeding also helps to stimulate the production. Drink a lots of watter. Even if you are giving formula, do not stop breastfeeding. :-) Just remember, less you give less you will be producing. Good luck.

  • I had the same problem......my supply never really came in no matter what I did!!!  But as it turned out my daughter has a protein sensitivity and actually can't take my breast milk!!  We had a horrible night where she cried and had horrible colic for almost 10 hours..and she couldn't take the regular formula either!!! 

    I wouldn't feel bad about going to formula.....my daughter has done wonderful once we found the right formula for her and she was 2 months old yesterday!!!

  • As long as you give her what you can don't feel bad about suppementing. In todays world you would have to stay home for 3 months to keep up with the demands of the baby.

    I feed my baby as much breast milk as I can but, I don't feel bad when I give her formula. If she is hungry and I haven't had 2 hours between the feeding time, my daughter is hungry cuase they digest the breast milk so fast.

    What I do is I feed her the night feedings around 3:00AM breast milk then she is up about 5:00-5:30 and I feed her breast milk again. she sleep for about 2 more hours but the by that time I am exhusted and my husband gives her 2 to 3 oz of formula.

    I eat breakfast and I feed her again when she is hungry. Then about 3 in the afternoon she gets 2-3oz of formula.

    I did this with both my other kids too. You don't it to become where you can't bottle feed the baby if you have to or, if there is an emergecery they won't eat formula at all.

    My sister's milk dried up and she did everything the doctors told her. Everyones body is different.

    Just listen to the cues that your baby gives you and go from there.

    (My baby is 12days old today and she is my 3rd)

    Good Luck and don't feel bad as long as your baby is getting nutrion the baby will be fine.

    As a side note my mother had 5 of us and she bottle feed us all. (she actally says to me and my sisters why are you breatfeeding?)

    The best thing to do is whatever works best for you and the baby!!

    Best Wishes.