You can't fix low milk supply or combo-feed?!?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2008
You can't fix low milk supply or combo-feed?!?
44
Thu, 01-06-2011 - 12:56pm

Something interesting I have run across a number of time lately on other websites is mothers with real or imagined low milk supply who just assumed they couldn't do anything to fix it so they switch formula. On a related note is mothers with real or imagine low supply who don't realize that even if they can't produce 100% of the BM they baby needs, they can combine BM and formula and as such they switch completely to formula. What I don't understand is where are these people getting the idea that they can't generally fix low supply or safely combine BM and formula if they can't exclusively BF. Now in some cases some mothers are probably just not bothering to try and fix their low supply (if it's even true low supply) because they were really never that committed to BF'ing in the first place. The same may also hold true with combo-feeding. I also suspect that in some cases they may consider combo/mixed--feeding to be too much work and just switching completely to formula would be easier. Also, I suspect that some doctors are misleading these mothers into believing there is nothing they can do to increase their supply.

So why do you think people are mislead into believing they can't increase a low milk supply?

Also, why do you think some moms with real or imagined low supply don't at least consider combo-feeding as a backup plan if their attempts to increase their low supply does not work or if they just don't know how to fox low supply? Do they think it might harm their child in some way?

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Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-16-2010

At one point, I was nursing (to the extent DD would nurse) plus supplementing with a bottle after each feeding (per the LC's recommendation), and, although it wasn't nearly as bad as trying to nurse and pump, it was

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004

The lactation specialist was only available for the first month or so when I had mine.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008

It sounds like there were a lot of things that made BF difficult, and well done for persevering as long as you did.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-2005

So why do you think people are mislead into believing they can't increase a low milk supply?

It could be more than the belief that they cant increase low supply.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2010

Also, why do you think some moms with real or imagined low supply don't at least consider combo-feeding as a backup plan if their attempts to increase their low supply does not work....

1. Some women don't know it's a possibility (they think it's all or nothing.)

2. Some women know and don't want to do it.

3. Some women don't want to know.

4. Some women know and don't get the proper support in order to make it work.

5. Some women try it and it doesn't work.

6. Some women try it and hate it.

JMO, and just guessing.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2008

What confuses me is when a mother says "I had a low milk supply so had to switch to formula.". Now unless she is leaving out a lot of details about how she tried to increase her supply and couldn't even make enough to make combo feeding worth and that is why she decided to completely switch to formula then it's most of the possibilities you suggested.

<<1. Some women don't know it's a possibility (they think it's all or nothing.)>>

That is what I think is usually the explanation in "I had a low milk supply so had to switch to formula." cases.

<<2. Some women know and don't want to do it.>>

Some may be blaming low supply as the reason for switching when in reality they simply had no desire to do the extra work of trying to increase their supply or combo-feeding.

<<3. Some women don't want to know.>>

So your saying some women don't want to know they can increase their supply to combo-feed? Are you suggesting that some women don't really want to BF in the first place and thus prefer to to known how to fix low supply so they can have the excuse of low supply to justify quitting? If, I do know their are mothers who have admitted to using low supply as a false excuse to no longer BF when in reality they simply no longer wanted to BF (or never wanted to BF) but don't want to admit that.

<<4. Some women know and don't get the proper support in order to make it work.>>

That's likely true and maybe these mothers are simply leaving that detail out when they "I had a low milk supply so had to switch to formula.".

<<5. Some women try it and it doesn't work.>>

Again, it''s probably a case of missing details they didn't bother to share.

<<6. Some women try it and hate it.>>

Probably an example of mothers not wanting to admit they hated BF'ing and gave up because of that so they rely the ignorance of many people regarding fixing low supply and combo-feeding and claim that they had to switch to formula completely due to low supply. It would be nice if mothers who know you can often fix a ow supply or combo-feed as an alternative to quitting altogether would not make statement like "I had a low milk supply so had to switch to formula." which reinforce myths about whether a mom can correct a low supply or combo-feed as another option. I would much prefer them to be honest if they simply didn't want to BF anymore (or ever) or found combo-feeding or trying to increase their supply to be too much work to be worth it to them. This sort dishonesty only reinforces certain myths about low supply which harms others mothers who are trying to BF.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2008
You know, I often ask myself this question, more specifically toward the "can't be fixed" side of the question. Just a few days ago, I had a question on the BF support board with someone who was very frustrated with nursing and on the verge of quitting. She had a garden-variety case of oversupply which as most of you know, is pretty easily fixable. The mom's first statement was "I'm sure there's nothing I can do about this." I was actually kind of ticked about that statement. If there is no solution for even the simplest of breastfeeding problems, then why am I even there? Why do lactation consultants, LLL and all the other breastfeeding support resources even exist? Just for jollies??

Also, I was at LLL the other day and a mom pregnant with #2 was there. She had nursed her first child until 6 months at which point she lost her supply and switched to formula. This lady went on and on about how she tried EVERYTHING and did EVERYTHING she could and still had no supply. She bought this herb and that herb and drank a ton of teas and that's about it. Did she ever contact an LC? Nope. Ever contact LLL or another bf support resource? Nope. But in her mind, her issue was just unfixable because she did EVERYTHING that could be done. I was trying to be supportive but I just couldn't believe that it never occurred to her in what was a very frustrating and upsetting situation for her that with one phone or post to a message board, she could have gotten the resources to turn her situation around and continue nursing.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-16-2010

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2008

I saw that same post to the BF support board which is one of the things that prompted me to post this question.

I often wonder when I hear someone say they did everything did could to increase their supply with no luck did they have good support person who really did cover all the bases in terms of solution or did they just do all the solutions or might they have missed some key solutions due to seeking help from the wrong person. A mother who is not herself an IBCLC is not going to generally know all the solutions available to her and she is relying her support person or people to inform her of her options and if they are not a well trained IBCLC then she may not be given all the options but think she has. There are a lot of people who call themselves LC's or lactation nurses but lack the training of an IBCLC and thus don't all the solutions for dealing with low milk supply and IBCLC knows. Also, if the mother relies solely on others mothers on parenting board who only know a few common solutions she might assume if they don't have a solution then none exists. Be careful though about questioning her becuase if you suggest she didn't try x solution she get upset even if it true. I imagine she would rather believe she tried everything then face the reality that maybe with better help she really could have BF'd.

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