Formula and breastfeeding – Help!

Please help our anonymous guest poster with your compassion and suggestions!

Nursing mom picture via flickr christyscherrer

I can only talk about this if I’m wearing two breast pads on each side. My three-week old baby has nursed for more than a cumulative seventy-five hours so far and still has NOT regained his way back to his birth weight. WTF?! He is still about nine ounces down. C’mon kid.

My pediatrician recommended that we introduce two bottles of formula per day to help him beef up a bit. She suggested that I take a break while this bottle is going down (you know, sleeping, jet-skiing, shopping, whatever we worried moms like to do). I greatly appreciate her advice, but I want to know how to maintain and increase my breastmilk supply if I’m already dropping feedings. Help!

I have quite a bit of breastfeeding experience under my belt nursing bra already: I have nursed other floppy newborns; eleven-month olds who can also eat and drink other stuff; six-month olds with no attention span. I have done dream feeds with formula and breast milk combinations as well as pumped in dingy supply closets and on airplanes.

Even with all this experience, I’m feeling lost. Perhaps it’s the post-partum hormones or the sleep-deprivation, but I cannot figure out the rhythm of inserting these bottle feeds without experiencing massive engorgement. And if I spend the bottle feeding session, currently conducted by my superdad husband, with the pump, how do I achieve that “break” I’m supposed to be taking?

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