Changing from formula to breastfeeding & Hand pumping to prepare

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BokkieNYC's picture
Joined: 08/15/11
Posts: 1106
Changing from formula to breastfeeding & Hand pumping to prepare

Has anyone ever changed from formula feeding to breastfeeding? What was your experience like? What were your challenges? Were you successful?

To prepare over the last week and a half I have been trying to hand pump my breasts but I find it difficult to make time because DD is very fussy and hates to be put down in her crib. I manage once or twice a day for about 15 min on each breast but I still seem to only be getting drops out. DD is drinking 2+ oz of formula per feed, sometimes 4oz. How do i know if I'm doing it correctly? Will I be able to produce enough for her? When will the real milk come in?

My DD is 18 days old and has been formula fed since birth. We chose to formula feed because I was taking lamictal (lamotrigine) for my bipolar disorder. I have been on the medication since 2011 And was taking it throughout the pregnancy. I counteracted the potential birth defects by taking an extra high dose of folic acid.

I tried to wean off the medication throughout the pregnancy so that is could breastfeed but around 34 weeks I had an episode and had to increase the dose slightly. That was when we decided to formula feed.

Since DD has been born we've been rethinking that decision. Particularly since I ended up having a c-section and she already seems to have sinus issues. We really want to give her the best start possible.

tink9702's picture
Joined: 09/28/08
Posts: 2977

Has anyone ever changed from formula feeding to breastfeeding? What was your experience like? What were your challenges? Were you successful?

I have not. I would guess the challenges would include normal breastfeeding challenges like baby latching.

How do i know if I'm doing it correctly? Will I be able to produce enough for her? When will the real milk come in?
If you really want to do this you could get an electric pump or just go ahead and breastfeed her directly. The only way your milk will come in is to stimulate your breasts often and well. hand pumping won't do that enough. There are many women who do not pump well no matter what. But baby will get a ton more than when pumping. If I were you I'd pick a couple feeding times and try BFing first. Make sure you start a bit early so she's not frustrated/too hungry. The only good way to know if she's getting enough is to weigh her before and after a feeding. So put her on a scale right before, then right after you BF her. That way you'll know how many ounces she's getting. It has to be a scale that measures in ounces though! At first she may not get much, but if you keep having her BF you're milk production will increase. That's how it works. The more you BF, the more they produce. Here's a great reference: http://kellymom.com/

GOOD LUCK!!! You can do this if you really want to! Smile