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Formula Feeding Fail

We’re one week into no frozen milk stash. Which has meant one week of Zach & Lucy receiving bottles with half {or more} formula. And it hasn’t gone well.

We did luck into finding their preemie formula on sale at our local grocery store BOGO last week. After coupons, I spent $73 for 12 cans. So we’re fairly committed to staying with Gerber Good Start Nourish.

I’d hoped they’d get around 4 oz of my milk & we’d top off the other 2 oz with formula. But my supply over the last week has meant we’re doing the opposite.

And Lucy & Zach are mad.

Last Wednesday, they spent most of the day refusing to take their bottles. Which left them cranky & very hungry. I was able to nurse Lucy to full & Zach finally drank close to 10 oz of half/half freshly made bottles from my husband over a four hour span.

So our current goal is to try to increase my supply. I’m taking fenugreek- 3 pills a time breakfast, lunch & dinner. I’m drinking mother’s milk tea throughout the day. I’m drinking more water. My mom’s making me lactation cookies.

I’m wondering if my Freestyle pump isn’t helping matters. I tweeted Medela today & if I don’t get a reply, I’ll call them tomorrow. {*update* they tweeted back for me to call customer service.} My Freestyle came out of the box with one of the tubes bent & cracked. It has still worked up into the last week or two. But as I’m using it more frequently {my borrowed at work PiS had to be given back}, I’m noticing it’s only as strong as it should be if I hold my fingers tightly over the crack. So much for hands free pumping then though. I’m feeling a bit more engorged in this afternoon & can’t get the pump to get it out. It’s very frustrating.

I’m mulling over re-renting the Symphony to see if that would rekick start my supply. And hoping that I’d be able to have my Freestyle fixed during that rental period.

My other thought stems from yalls’ comments in my last formula post about calling the pediatrician about going straight to cows milk for Lucy & maybe Zach. I’ll be honest that I haven’t called the office yet. Been trying to make this switch work for now.

But we’ve had evening wake ups with tummy pains. And Zach hunger pains. And not pooping issues {I bought pears Sunday & have upped their fruit intake overall & taken rice cereal out of their food}.

Babies are stressful in general. But this is very stressful.

Any other advice y’all have for increasing supply?

For getting babies to like formula? We’ve only done mixed bottles for fear that would completely push away the formula only bottles. Should we try that though?

*evening update* I called the pediatrician & talked to a nurse for a while. She said no cows milk etc until at least 12 months which is what I expected. She said to try formula instead of 50/50 more like 75/25 {why I’m trying to up supply}. She also found & put our name on four cans of the Enfamil preemie formula we used to use to see if they like it better. And said to make sure they’re getting bottles before solids so they aren’t full or pushing them aside to go for yogurt or yummy puffs instead.

I also talked to Ann from Triangle Lactation to reserve one of her Symphony pumps {all currently rented}. While we chatted, I mentioned my Freestyle & she disclosed that it was the LCs least favorite. She felt the small motor {which makes it attractive for working moms} also means it can’t be as strong.

So my awesome friend Brandy is letting me borrow her pump in style while I get my Freestyle repaired &/or rent the Symphony. I’m going to add back in a right-after-they-fall-asleep pumping session.

And while I was working {& blogging/tweeting/making phone calls}, Lucy & Zach finished all but one of their bottles today. I’m going to chat with their daytime teachers in the am, continue trying to build supply/pump more & hope & pray they’re starting to get used to the formula.


  1. Couple things to try:
    1) add a splash of apple juice to the formula. Formula isn’t as sweet as breast milk, so the apple helps make it a little more appealing. (App-ealing? Haha, I crack myself up)
    2) try drinking some dark beer. I know. But that was my mom’s suggestion for my low supply, and it really actually did help!

  2. Yuliana says:

    I struggled with low supply from the very beginning (I have IGT/hypoplasia). I had good success with Motherlove’s More Milk Plus Special Blend. It has similar ingredients to the nursing teas but in tincture form are much more effective than tea form. I was also on domperidone medication and that’s the only way I was able to get to a full supply but I know that choice is not for everybody. Good call on getting the pumped looked or fixed. That will probably help a lot too. My LO also struggles with drinking his formula and I’m pretty sure it’s the taste. The only thing I haven’t tried is switching to a different brand but I keep hearing that Good Start is the better tasting formula out there so not sure if another brand will make a difference. With my oldest I did start her on a mix of formula and cow’s milk at around 11 months (with her pedi’s approval) because she also started rejecting her formula. I think at that age they have developed their tastes enough to know what tastes yummy and what doesn’t! LOL. Good luck. I know it’s stressful. Hang in there!

  3. Sarah says:

    Don’t go too crazy on water – there is some research that shows that can actually be detrimental. Oatmeal is another galactalogue, and domperidone is good without the side effects of reglan – talk to a lactation consultant for how to get it.

    Have you tried power pumping sessions to simulate an increased demand?

    Good luck! I know how stressful breastfeeding issues can be. 🙁

  4. Laura Case says:

    You will hate my suggestion of trying a different formula but if they are waking up, I would try it! We had to try multiple formulas until we found one they liked. Just buy the tiny ones or ask around to see if anyone has samples. It’s such a short period of time!

    PS I’ve tasted formula and it is NASTY so I know why they hate it.

  5. lisa anne says:

    I agree with the breast milk being sweeter. We had to use Karo syrup in our cows milk to get jr to drink it and that also helped with the constipation. A stronger pump will surely help but you are so close to 12 months I wouldn’t get to stressed. They may be grumpy but they WILL eat when they are hungry. This is just another short road to travel.

  6. […] my last formula/ milk supply post, I tried {just about} everything to up my output. I went through a huge bottle of fenugreek pills. […]

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