Why is she not able to suckle properly and satisfy her hunger and will I have to continue her supplemental feed or will she soon be able to have only my feed and discontinue the top feed?
I dont feel comfortable giving her top feed and preferably would like her to only be on my feed. Have even sat with her for 1.5 hours but she still needs the top feed. Tanya, India
A. Although supplementing a breastfeeding baby is usually discouraged, it is sometimes necessary when a baby is losing a lot of weight and/or is getting dehydrated, especially when a mother doesn't have a good supply of breastmilk or the baby isn't latching on well. Once breastfeeding is going better, you can then try to wean your baby from supplements.
There are ways to supplement with formula without using a bottle though, such as by using a lactation aid. This can help to avoid nipple confusion. And if you have a good supply of milk and your baby simply isn't latching on well, you may be able to avoid formula by supplementing with expressed breastmilk.
If she is now latching on and sucking well, it may be that you need to boost your milk supply.
Even though she is breastfeeding for an hour, that doesn't mean that she is getting enough milk. And until you are sure that she is getting enough breastmilk, you likely need to continue supplementing for now.
When she is nursing for an hour or more, is it continuous, or just on and off? Do you hear her swallowing milk during the whole feeding? Do you think that she is latched on well the whole time?
How many times a day are you breastfeeding her? The more often you breastfeed, the more likely that you will be able to increase your milk supply. When supplementing with formula, it is usually best to let your breastfeed for some time, supplement with the formula, and then pump your breasts. The extra stimulation from pumping may help increase your supply even more. If you are just breastfeeding a few times a day and are replacing other feedings with just formula, then it will be harder to boost your supply of breastmilk.
Can you get an evaluation with a lactation consultant? That would be helpful to see how well your baby is latching on, sucking, and how much milk you are producing.
Your Pediatrician, if he or she is supportive of breastfeeding, may also be able to help safely wean your baby from the formula supplements.
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