Wednesday, June 3, 2009


I guess you could say I'm a breastfeeding advocate. Having breastfed my first child until he decided to stop at 16 months, I was very proud of the fact that he had only ever had 7 oz of formula in his life. I thought I would be as lucky to have such a lengthy experience with Mr. not the case.

Mr. B was born at just under 7 lbs, a pretty average weight, but more than a pound lighter than his older brother. Breastfeeding is always difficult at first, as I learned with the first one, and thought I had a good handle over it for the second kid.

Mr. B has gone in for his 2-month and 4-month shots and each time he only hit the 25th-percentile in weight gain. Today, we went in for his 6-month shots and he dropped in weight to the zero-percentile. What does that mean? Of one hundred babies, 99 babies would weigh heavier than him.

I don't think that's a great stat to brag about.

So, now, I have to wrap my head around the fact that I simply can no longer support him on my milk alone. I'm quite disappointed. Disappointed in that my desire to provide the best possible nutrition does not supercede my ability to do so. I'm saddened that I may no longer be able to foster the closeness and warmth between me and Mr. B. But nor do I wish him to spiral into sub-zero-percentile at his next weigh-in three months from now.

Now my thoughts are preoccupied with how many bottles I need to buy, what type of formula to consider (ready-to-feed vs concentrated vs powder), feeding schedules, how much to give, how to be mobile with a "baby and bottle", how many bottles to make, when to make them...the list goes on, none of which I had concerns with when I was exclusively breastfeeding.

Today, I picked up a book The Breastfeeding Mother's Guide to Making More Milk, by Diana West. Still distraught at the thought of switching straight to formula only, I thought the book could impart some wisdom and insight into my situation. I was hoping I would read this 300-page book cover to cover tonight, in my attempt to provide calm and peace to my otherwise ravaged mind, but, as a mother, just couldn't find the time to spare. I skipped to the chapter on Supplementing without Decreasing your Supply, then flipped to the beginning when random page-reading left my head a-turning.

As a haven't read much yet, here is a brief review if you're interested. Recommended by the La Leche League, this book may provide the solace I so desperately need. The authors also have a website,

So I will be attempting to supplement at each feed but continue to breastfeed first, if he'll take it. Even if ultimately I end up exclusively formula-feeding Mr. B, this excerpt taken from my new purchase helps alleviate my pain:

Realize that you are a successful breastfeeding mother. This is not about how much milk you were able to produce or how long you were able to breastfeed. It is about the commitment you made to give your baby the best start in life and the tremendous effort your put into pursuing that goal. Even if breastfeeding didn't work out quite the way you may have hoped, you undoubtedly shared some special moments that you would not have had otherwise.....Most of all, remember that success lies not in ounces but with love. What a lucky baby you have whose mother is making the effort to give him the best of herself!


  1. Sorry to hear about this. I breast fed my DD for only 2 months and it was from a breast pump. She really did not want to breast feed plus I had very low milk supply. I did everything to try and increase it from drinking soups/lots of fluids to taking malunggay supplements, etc...still nothing, no milk. I so envied all other mothers who had overflowing milk and got so much thinner in return (due to breast feeding).

  2. very sorry to read that. i've been going through kinda the same thing for a few months now. out of curiosity, what does your baby weigh? mine (7 -month-old)has been gaining only 200 grams each month for the last 3 months...and on our last visit her pedia said her growth rate is just not improving :(

    i'm still bummed about weaning but since we're kinda desperate we tried mixed feeding but my baby wouldn't drink formula. so i continued nursing and we're giving solids twice a day. we have another checkup this month and if there's still no improvement i think i'm gonna have to exclusively formula-feed.

    i really liked reading your thoughts on this, and that last paragraph. sigh. sorry my comment got so long :)

  3. I stopped BFing about a month ago at his 9 month mark. It was bittersweet but I LOVE the freedom I have now. I loved BFing and the closeness I felt to the baby, but since conception and after the birth I longed for my body back. I felt like it wasn't mine anymore and the little guy was very receptive to the bottles at daycare so we made the switch. We primarily mixed my milk with his formula and he liked it very much. I still have a few ounces of milk in the freezer but it all about trying different formulas. Is you little one taking in solids yet? My guy is EXTREMELY active and has not been over the 50 percentile in his weight since birth. Now at his 9 mo. check up he dropeed down to the 30th percentile but the Dr. said not to worry because hes a mover.

    Don't feel defeated. Your little one will thrive even if you mix 3 parts of your milk and 1 part of formula. Who knows? He might get his weight up then you can eliminate the formula all together later on.

    Good luck and keep us posted! I need to start a mommy blog! LOL.

  4. @nikkiz: I have a friend who has been feeding her 15-month for almost a year already via just pumped milk. It would be even nice to do this, but pumping isn't as effective for me as direct feeding. Funny you mention the bf'ing and losing weight relationship: I was never one of those moms who lost weight, which is why I've been stuck at the same weight for the past 4+ months. I can only imagine when I stop bf'ing what my body will be like...gotta keep moving!

    @Ida: He is 13 lbs 9 oz. I read online (at that website link above) that a 113g weight gain is seen from month 4 to 6 (much less after 6 months -- 200g is good, no?) He should have been 14 lbs a month or two ago, and should probably be over 16-17 pounds by now. He wore an outfit on Sunday that my oldest son wore at 2 months. Thanks for sharing your's comforting to know that I'm not alone.

    @KillaCam: Thanks, Cam, for the encouragement. You're right: I have to think positively -- maybe this is a temporary situation. Yes, he's on solids already, but he's just starting out. My doctor says I can pick up the pace and start offering vegetables and fruits. I'm longing for my body back too, and that's helping me deal with this situation: I guess I should seize the opportunity. :)

  5. oh cherly I so wanted to do this same post on my situation on bf. I had the similar situation and now I have to supplement as well and instead of having her feed off of me I have to pump and feed her through a bottle. But this was great info that you provided hopefully I can put this to use myself.

  6. @IsaLeiese: I'd love to see your it anyways. I'd like to hear your thoughts on your situation. Maybe you can check out that's helpful info, but I think catered to those like yourself, with such a young one. I'm trying to find more relevant info. I wish I found this book early on.