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Women's Health: Postpartum Community
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Avatar universal

Switching from Breast Milk to Formula

I have an almost 7 week old baby girl.  I've been breast feeding her since she was born.
She has always swallowed air and has always clicked when feeding (yes, tried lactation consultants), and this is the way she just eats... we tried to correct it, but can't.  I know she's been eatting, because she has been slowly gaining weight.

Anyway...

I'm thinking about stopping breast feeding and going to formula. Mainly because she swallows so much air, in turn, it makes her tummy hurt, and she get's all colicy.  I considered pumping, and will try it, but with my other two children, pumping didn't exactly go the way it should have - couldn't pump much.

So, there are several different formulas out there.  I have similac and enfamily, and was thinking about trying the similar advance colic formula one.  She doesn't have an alergic reaction to dairy or anything, but figured since it's probably the most gentle on her tummy, it would be good for her... but then there are the soy formulas, and the regular ones with Iron.  Any suggestions?  Also, is it hard on them stomachs or bad for them to switch between two different brands and types?

Thanks.

13 Responses
134578 tn?1546634665
I hope you can stick with exclusively breastfeeding, but if not, I suggest trying the pumping first, for sure.  If it doesn't work for you, then maybe you could keep nursing for part of her food and also add Nestle's Good Start to her feeding regimen.  It doesn't sound like you have a colicky baby unless she swallows a lot of air, and maybe she won't do that with a bottle vs. the breast?  And the Good Start has an easy-to-digest kind of protein in it; I went to it after Enfamil made my son wail and arch his back in pain.  I'd try a milk-based formula before a soy-based formula...there are some questions about whether the estrogenic effect of soy is harmful for babies.
Avatar universal
Sorry, another question, what are your inputs about supplementing with water, or if you should with a 7 week old.  

We are in the sun a lot, at the pool, and I don't want her to become dehydrated since its soooo hot.
Avatar universal
Sorry, another question, what are your inputs about supplementing with water, or if you should with a 7 week old.  

We are in the sun a lot, at the pool, and I don't want her to become dehydrated since its soooo hot.
134578 tn?1546634665
Also, I asked my doc about the water thing, because sometimes my son just wants to suck and really doesn't need more milk.  She said an ounce or two every now and then would be OK, the main thing is not to give so much water that it overwhelms their little system and leaches electrolytes out of their cells (or something like that.  It's like when adults drink a gallon or more of water and get "water intoxication;" it can kill people.)  But she wasn't concerned with one or two ounces, and said if the baby is getting hot in the hot weather, it was fine to give water in small amounts interspersed with regular feedings.
Avatar universal
Yes, she swallows, A LOT of air.  She is very colicy, we even have a prescription for it, which helps to a degree, but because it is the air she swallows, it hurts her, really bad.  Bad gas pains in her belly.  Poor thing.  She fusses all day, and then at night, because she's so tired, she goes down at 9:00 pm, wakes up around 3 am to eat, then goes back to sleep until day time.  

I'm also concerned she might not be getting enough milk, but still enough to help her gain weight... does that make sense.  She always seems hungry, and when we offer her a pacifier, she takes it for a while, then realizes, it is not what she wants.

How much should they be eatting oz wise, and how often at 7 weeks?
Avatar universal
Hi.  It has been a while since I had a little one -- but getting ready for my new beaner come the end of December.

I bf both my kids for about 6-8 weeks.  I remember calling my pediatrician in tears b/c I had such a hard time -- my milk didn't come in for about 10 days and my little one was soooo hungry I thought I was starving her.

He said -- calm down, there is nothing wrong with feeding and/or supplementing with formula.  I had tremendous guilt, but as it turns out, my kids have never had an ear infection and are generally very healthy kids -- and they are between the 25-50 percentile in weight AND 75-95 percentile in height!  So not overweight -- especially compared to the significant rise in childhood obesity we see these days -- which is often attributed to feeding formula (I say bunk).

I will again try bfing with my new little one, but sans any guilt if I have to use formula -- they are so good these days and have all the nutrients your little one needs.

One note, I would NOT give one with extra iron (unless needed and advised by doc) as it can cause constipation and then you will have another cause for tummy discomfort.

I hope you can continue bfing and/or pumping, but please don't feel bad if you can't -- there's always something else to feel guilty about when you're a mother! : )

Good luck!!
134578 tn?1546634665
It's not the how often, it's the amount.  I think it's 16-24 ounces a day at this point, but please check on this -- that is strictly from memory (and boy is my memory not what it was!  LOL )  I recommend "Your Baby's First Year Week by Week" by Curtis and Schuler for a lot of good information.  They say at 7 weeks the average weight is 9 3/4 pounds.  They also suggest that the baby get breast milk or formula only until she is eating solid foods, for that sodium/electrolyte dropping reason.
Avatar universal
My doc said to find a formula that works and then stick with it, not to switch back and forth, but I don't know the reasons. I bf for about 6 weeks with my ds, but when I ended up with an infection and needed meds, I had to switch him to formula. I found the Good Start the easiest on his tummy, and he did really well on it. Good luck.
Avatar universal
Well, I'll start by tring to pump/breast feed.  If the pumping doesn't work out, I'll continue to breast feed and supplement with formula as needed.  That way I can have others help me out with the feedings and hopefully the bottle will help reduce the amount of air she gets so she'll be happier.  

Hed ped. is out of the office until tomorrow, so I'll check with him on the formula to supplement with.  I'm thinking though I will try the Similac Alimentum first (I have 7 cans of this one), then probably go to the Similac or Enfamil with Iron.  Is it bad to switch from Simliac to Enfamil once the Similac brand I have is gone.  I have tons of Similac Soy but will not use now that I've heard it can cause problems. (I got tons of formula for free, so I wanted to start with what I have)
142722 tn?1281537216
My son also cries day and night and he is on formula.  I'm not so sure that the crying will stop if you bottle feed him.  I do breastfeed some, but do to the fact my milk never really came in, I have very little and am lucky to pump a 1/2 an ounce.  But every baby is different, so you little girl may be ok.  I am having to deal with the colic issue too and it is killing me because I don't know what to do for my son and that the dr thinks colic has nothing to do with gas.  Anyway, good luck with the formula search because I have changed three times and I think I got one that works.  I have tried everything.  Breastfeed babies get colic too.  Good luck!!

Also, pumping sucks and doesn't work for me either.  I am lucky to get anything.  How much do you get when you pump?  Ryan is on Alimentum and that seems to be the best one so far - it has only been two days but the gas is so much less then it was days ago on the others.  I would try that one.  I breastfeed and give the bottle too so it will all work out!!

Good luck on the weight loss too.  Like you I gained over the 25-35 they say to gain.  So far I have lost 26 of the 50.  What can you do.  My belly looks like a water bed and shakes like it too!!
215105 tn?1189759426
I just thought I'd make a suggestion before you give up on nursing. It's not usually recommeded to use a nipple shield because of the risk of nipple confusion, but if you're thinking of switching to bottles anyway, it's worth a try before you give up. And if it helps your little one to latch on better you can use it for as long as necessary. My best friend had inverted nipples and this was the only way her babies were able to latch on at all. She ended up using a regular evenflow bottle nipple over her own for the duration of nursing her first two children (both nursed past 6 months) and with her last she was able to stop using it after the first month, and is still happily nursing her 15 month old. I'm putting a website with some info on them.

http://www.medela.com/NewFiles/nipshield.html
Avatar universal
Don't supplement woth water at this age.  They are so small and the blood volume, electrolyte thing is tricky.  Just give cool bottles and keep her hydrated.  I will tell ya that bf helped with my colicky baby, formula made him worse.  My second one had issues with bf and we are on formula, he had issues with milk based and soy based, and is on Nutramigen, but it gets spendy and now he goes through about 3 cans a week, so over $75 a week and that's with my employee discount.  I would talk with your Dr. and see what they recommend.  I also had good luck with the disposable liners, they collapse, less air.
93532 tn?1349374050
Unfortunately if your little one is having issues with gulping air nursing, you may find that desireable to the effects formula may have on her. Just browse the last 6 months of informaiton on here regarding the issues with bottle feeding, finding the right formula, colicky and cranky babies and you will see that formula is rarely the end-all fix-all answer people are hoping for.

I have had three boys that have been nursed exclusively for over a year and each has had issues with swallowing air. The idea for nipple shields was a good one, also changing your nursing position may help.

No one is saying formula isn't an option, but I will make a bet that you will be back on here with even more complaints in a short amount of time. Gulping air is an even bigger problem with bottles.
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