breast feed - or bottle


Old 07-23-06, 06:46 AM
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breast feed - or bottle

My grandson is three months old - his mother insists on breast feeding at all costs. at his dr. appt about a month ago he weighed 12 lbs 9 ounces. We have been telling his mother and father that the infant appears too skinny and looks like he may be losing weight. At our insistence they brought him back to the dr and he has lost almost a pound (no 11 pounds 12 oz). The dr told her he is not getting enough to eat and he needs to be bottle fed so that they know how much he is getting. She seems to be influenced by Mothering magazine which - from what I have seen this magazine promotes breast feeding and absolutely advises against bottle feeding - it seems to blame bvottle feeding for eberything from cancer to the war in the middle east. Where can I get good info?

They have gone to a combination of breast feeding and bottle feeding - hopefully that will help
Old 07-23-06, 06:57 AM
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This is my Opinion. Books deal with generalities and must be backed up with what the REAL situation is. If the baby is losing weight and the Doctor has advised bottle feeding along with breast feeding, this should be followed. The Mothers milk may not include all the nutrients that the baby needs also. Hopefully, since the Mother is now doing what the Doctor recommends, everything will work out. Good luck.
Old 07-23-06, 07:00 AM
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If the doc is telling her the child is not getting enough nutrition, that should be enough. Apparently this mom is totally ignorant of how much milk she produces for the child. (normal though. It's not like a gas pump that has a meter on it to tell you how much is being dispensed)

I know it is a pain but might I suggest she express the milk (so it can be measured) and then feeds the baby via bottle with the natural milk.

This may be the only way the mom may be able to physically see how much (or little) the baby is actually ingesting.

If the mother continues on her current path with no acceptance of the childs diminishing health, the doctor should be urged to insist a correction. The development of the child is critical at this stage and should be attended to without delay.

Additionally, there may be other problems that are not going to be considered until the quantity situation is proven (or not).
Old 07-23-06, 09:19 AM
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Breasfeeding is about supply and demand. If anyone supplements with formula, their milk supply will decrease, and eventually stop.

Sounds to me like she needs to breasfeed more often. Is she having 'letdowns' with each breast and letting him nurse as long as he wants?

Maybe add things like cheesecake to her diet.

If the baby is collicking any, or acts like his stomach hurts, she may need to eliminate things from her diet, like milk products. (which will make the cheesecake not possible)

Le Leche League ( provides a wealth of information and help.
I advise their resources before it is too late.
Old 07-23-06, 09:20 AM
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From what little I have read it seems that breast feeding is best, bottle feeding breast milk second and the different formulas last.

Since the baby isn't getting the proper noutishment from breast feeding, the mother should follow the Drs advice. Her milk may or may not be rich enough in nutrients to sustain the child. I'm sure - coupled with the physicians guidance - that good balance of breast feeding and bottle feeding could be found that would be best for the baby.
Old 07-23-06, 12:13 PM
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Usually, there is a nurse associated with the hospital where the child was born to provide assistance with feeding the child. This nurse can be a wealth of information on the process of breastfeeding the child successfully. Many times the mother fails at breastfeeding due to unwarranted pressures from others and their lack of support.

Children have flourished for millennia on breastmilk. Except for the rare case, there is no reason that a child would not grow and develop on breast milk. Bottle feeding is a modern activity born of convenience. La Leche League can help her with support and information, too. Your support will help as well.
Old 07-23-06, 06:13 PM
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Red face

Thanks, Chris! You said it well!

This support thing reminds me of something my mom said to me once. I had breastfed both my boys until they weaned themselves at 14 and 18 months. Never gave them formula, even though I worked fulltime.. back in the days when there were no mothers rooms or support.

When my boys got to be about 6 and 9, and were admittedly somewhat 'high need' boys, THey were tested for things like ADHD. When one of them was proved to be, and the other one had something else, my mom said 'See there, I guess all those years of breastfeeding didn't make any difference, did it?'
Old 07-23-06, 08:40 PM
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Breast feeding a baby is about the best thing you can do for their health and development.

Unfortunately, it's not easy.

There is a feedback loop between baby's saliva and mother's nipples that relates baby's needs to mother and actually controls the composition of the milk. Because of this, feeding directly from the breast is best. However, it is difficult to monitor consumption this way. Therefore, in this case, pumping and then feeding from a bottle instead of the breast directly is advised, so quantity consumed can be known.

Foreverkeeps is right on with this being about supply and demand. The more milk you demand from your body, the more it will produce. Thus, you should also be pumping and feeding directly more often than you have been. I believe that adequate production cannot be achieved unless you wake once during the night to feed or pump - sleep through the night and the negative effect on your production will be enormous.

Keep in mind, you must have all the necessary products in your body in sufficient quantity for this to occur. Chief among these is hydration, you must drink a lot of water and would be best for multiple reasons to avoid diuretics like caffeine and alcohol.

The referrence to the La Leche league is excellent, they are revered on this subject. Plenty more information is also available here, should you have further questions. Also, while we generally discourage not posting helpful information, feel free to send me a private message if you have questions you are not comfortable posting for all to see - this is about the welfare of a baby and that comes first.
Old 07-29-06, 01:48 AM
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Maybe you should seek for help by consulting your doctor
Old 07-29-06, 08:32 PM
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The first 1/3 of the milk (foremilk) out of the breast is watery and quenches the baby's thirst. The last 2/3 (hindmilk) contains fat and nutrition and is most important for weight gain. Baby should start on one breast and left there until finished feeding (10-20 minutes). The other breast is offered as dessert.

If baby is getting regular checkups as outlined by pediatrician, who monitors weight and development, the pediatrician will instruct the mother if formula feeding is necessary and if there are any underlying health issues affecting weight gain. As long as mother can provide infant with adequate supply of milk and nutrition, breastfeeding is preferred over bottlefeeding. One should not breastfeed for the sake of breastfeeding if child is not getting the proper nutrition. The goal is to have a healthy child.
Old 08-04-06, 08:14 PM
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Don't ignore your instincts.

We went against our instincts initially due to the hospital having a breast feeding only policy, only to see our son lose weight then have to go back for a bottle. We knew something wasn't right. We didn't make the same mistake on the second child. Don't get me wrong, both kids were breast fed, but if they need the bottle don't hesitate. In the end it's a personal decision.

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Old 08-07-06, 11:43 PM
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Breastfeeding is the best way to feed a baby. I would suggest she see a lactation consultant. There are many ways to boost her milk production which her pediatrician should have recommended before resorting to bottle feeding. She could try wearing her baby in a sling & increasing her skin to skin contact. For great breastfeeding resources she should look at . There is a ton of information that could be useful. Too often doctors are quick to encourage mothers to switch to formula or bottle feeding which has a negative impact on breastfeeding. Dr.'s & families should support mothers rather than suggesting "solutions" which will lead to the end of the breastfeeding relationship. I would suggest she discontinue the bottle immediately, buy or rent a good pump to use after each feeding, & start using an SNS (supplemental nursing system). This will allow her to give the baby extra pumped milk, but also keep it at the breast so that she will continue to increase her supply.

I don't want to be rude or offensive, but from the tone of your post it sounds like you could try offering her more positive support. It can be tough in the beginning for a new mother & it is even harder if the people around her question her decisions and undermine her parenting. JMO FWIW. Perhaps you could help by offering to freeze her meals or assist with laundry so that she can keep in constant contact with the baby.
Old 09-15-06, 07:53 PM
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First off congratulations! How is the baby doing?? What did they decide to do?

We brought my son in when he was 8 months old because people kept thinking he was so much younger....sure enough the charts showed he had hardly grown since about 5 months. He had had some lung problems and some ear infections around that time. Anyway, the pediatrician told me to quit nursing and get him on formula. That may sound like a simple thing to some, but when they are only "guessing" it can be a bad deal because if you do not nurse your milk supply stops. In other words there is no going back. I said that I didn't get it because it was his height we were more concerned about. So we went to another Ped and also talked to the Public Health nurse. They couldn't believe that advice, especially when our little guy needed all the immune help he could get. So I kept nursing and he is still short, but now after a few visits to a specialist we have found that he probably has constitutional growth delay or possibly a growth hormone issue. My point is, I think nursing is the best thing and the advice she received could eliminate it totally. Why jump to nursing as the problem first? Why not make sure it is not something else and possibly something more serious or maybe simpler. Yes, first and foremost the babies health must be considered. I do know for me that after reading all the stories about soy and the fact that my son seemed to get eczema when I drank milk I just couldn't imagine putting him on the unnatural things and risk major allergies, etc. I am so glad I got a second and third opinion and stuck with the nursing. This may not be the case for her, but if she does decide to do the formula hopefully she can keep pumping and keep her milk supply up if she wants to go back. Like others said though, it is a supply and demand cycle. I like the pump and feed idea, so they can see what he is getting. By the way, they are redoing growth charts to show the curves for breastfed babes now since they tend to grow differently, especially in late infancy....they tend to lose the baby fat sooner, I guess so they appear light weight on the other charts that were developed from mostly formula fed babes. Three months of course is too young for that though and if he is losing weight that would not fit in at all!
Old 09-17-06, 12:09 AM
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With very few exceptions, breast feeding is best. Many others have pointed out a variety of good information sources so I won't repeat them here. One thing I will mention, however, is that many babies lose weight initially - whether they are breast or bottle fed. All four of our children were breast fed, and only one of them did not lose weight in the first weeks they were home. Of course, only a qualified doctor can determine whether any weight loss is symptomatic of a health problem.

If this proves to be one of the rare cases where bottle feeding is necessary, please avoid any infant formulas that contain soy products. Soy contains isoflavones, phytates, oxalates, oligosaccharides, protease and trypsin inhibitors, goitrogens, and other allergetic and anti-nutritional qualities that make it especially dangerous for infants.

Best Wishes!

Old 03-09-08, 11:02 PM
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Breastmilk is more easily digested and is burned more efficiently by babies than the fats present in formula.

Her Dr should be making sure he is using the breastfeeding chart for weight gain, not the normal chart. Breastfed babies are OFTEN leaner than formula fed babies.

As long as her babies has plenty of dirty diapers and is meeting milestones, they are fine. Weight is not necessarily an indicator of a problem, particularly if one isn't looking at the differences between breastfed and formula fed infants.

Even in famine conditions it is rare that breastmilk doesn't provide adequate nutrition.

It is not necessary to measure how much breastmilk a child is getting. Babies don't like to stop eating when they are not done any more than adults do. Unless the child is complaining, fussing at the breast, they are getting enough.

There are ways to boost production (though I don't see anything that would indicate to me an issue with production) oatmeal, funugeek tea, mother's milk tea can all help.

You might mention to the mother that Mothering Magazine which she enjoys also has a bulletin board and there is a lot of discussion on breastfeeding assistance and advice, and Le Leche League are also good resources.

ETA...Oh sorry I didn't realize this was such an old thread. *bag on head*

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