what’s in the bottle

One big thing that happened in Tennessee:


We bought formula and started giving some of it to Leo.  Leo had started waking up earlier and earlier – 4am early – and we couldn’t figure out why our 11 to 12 hour sleeper was now only going 8 or 9 hours.  We started to suspect that he might not be getting enough milk during the day.  My supply has always been pretty low – making just enough for Leo with only a bit extra to pump and freeze – so I was pretty confident that it was probably a supply issue on my end.  I’m still nursing, but we give Leo a formula “chaser” after every feeding.  Generally he takes anywhere from 2 to 4 ounces in addition to nursing (sometimes more… occasionally less), which solidifies that he needed the extra milk.

Still, adding formula in was an emotionally tough one for me.  While I wanted what was best for Leo, I was frustrated that I wasn’t able to provide it for him.  I have nothing against formula, but since I  want to breastfeed and I’m fortunate enough to have the availability to do it (working from home), it was hard to not be able to meet his need.

That being said, adding in formula has also been really freeing.  Worrying about my supply and trying to keep it up was getting really draining for me.  I was trying to get up at 5am every day to pump to have milk to freeze.  If I missed a morning, I would be worried that I was either 1) going to mess up my supply or 2) not have enough milk in the freezer.  I would feel really guilty about missing a session.  I’ve also been taking supplements to try to increase my supply (with mixed results).  And every feeding I would try to gauge if Leo was getting enough.  It’s been really nice to be able to not worry as much, not be so anal about getting pumping sessions in, and be confident that one way or another, Leo is getting enough milk.

We went with Parent’s Choice (Walmart’s brand).  Dave did some research and found that it measured up comparably to other formula brands.  I’m not sure we’re married to this one (I have a coupon for Similac), but we’ll probably stay with it if it’s the cheapest.  And luckily, Leo doesn’t seem bothered by the addition.  He takes the formula just about as easily as another bottle!

What kind of milk do you drink?  I’m a skim milk girl all the way (everything else tastes too “thick”) but Dave is more 2%.  Growing up we drank powdered milk, so I think that’s why I only like skim.


9 thoughts on “what’s in the bottle

  1. I have had to supplement with formula from the beginning. At first I was really upset by it and mad at my body for not providing enough for Lucas but it is really freeing. We can go places and have a bottle of formula ready. I’ve also been doing breastfeeding with a formula chaser and pumping. L takes 4 ounces every three hours but if I pump, I’m only getting 2 ounces during the same time. We use Similac and it works fine for him, no tummy issues.

  2. I remember how hard it was to start supplementing and then go full-force with formula. And I remember how freeing it was, too. While I’ll never regret BFing and I know I’ll try it again if I ever have another baby, it’s nice to not worry about going to the store for more than an hour or spilling what I pumped trying to put things away (tears were had that day – many, many tears).

    We went with Similac Sensitive forever until we started comparing labels and realized there’s little difference between a store brand and the name brand. We use the Target up & up formula (sensitive whatever) and have had no problems.

    Hugs and know you have done an amazing job with low supply. All you have to do is look at that gorgeous kid of yours!

  3. I had to supplement too but as long as Leo’s getting all the antibodies and good fats from you a little formula won’t hurt. It is freeing except for all the extra bottles to wash and sanitize. And its not readily available. Drawbacks to all forms of feeding.
    I usually use coconut or almond milk but my son drinks a little 2% so I use that too. It’s like cream to me since I don’t normally drink much cows milk.

  4. I am so happy it made YOU feel more at ease! Has it helped with him sleeping longer at all?

    Soy milk for me! We drank skim growing up 🙂

  5. You are a champ 🙂 There are so many battles to face that are emotional with parenting – you’ve got to ease up on yourself and let yourself down easly with them because he’ll just continue to change and grow and new challenges will arise!
    Remind me of this in the near future…

    We grew up on 2% and I would get my own skim – now we’re all skim in the Draper house but Joel loves 2% best and he will TOTALLY mix our skim with Mylin’s Vitamin D sometimes 🙂

  6. Thats my biggest struggle with nursing. I don’t always feel “free” I dread the day when we are out in public and Isaac is hungry. I am not looking forward to trying to nurse in public. Trying to find a private place or using a nursing cover… it just doesn’t sound like fun.

    I grew up on 1% but now I drink 2%. Dan would like Isaac to drink whole milk when it comes time for him to drink cow milk. So I am working my way up to that. If Isaac is going to drink whole milk then I should too. I gotta lead by example. 🙂

  7. Girl…you are awesome….my sister in law had to to the same thing…she also knew that it is best to first provide for your baby whatever that means, breastmilk or formula! I am glad you found the fix to early wake ups!!!!

  8. You have done amazing and continue to do amazing! No one tells you how emotional breastfeeding is nor how hard it can be to meet your baby’s needs. Leo is thriving and its because of you.

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