Comp feeding Successs Stories Please

Breastfeeding does not always work out, this is a place to discuss your situation and feelings
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Comp feeding Successs Stories Please

Post by rockettbaby » Fri Jul 05, 2013 3:55 am

My 8 week old daughter has barely gained weight since birth. After LC advice and a Paed I'm making the tough emotional decision to comp feed. I've only given two bottles in two days but I've already noticed my supply dropping - how has anyone done this with success? Help. Please share

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Post by fellare » Fri Jul 05, 2013 4:37 am

can you call the helpline? they can give more detailed advise. 1800 686 268

A few things you can look into are your own expressed milk, or donor milk

and for feeding, you could try the supply nursing system or cup feeding.

Have they found a reason for the low weight gain? Is she attaching properly? are there other health issues possible? tongue tie? there are many questions and best to speak through them with a counsellor.

I topped up a few times with EBM, but we didn't have serious weight gain issues, just start up issues. We later had to bottle feed because of work and had no issues as I used EBM as well.
Boobymonster weaned at 3.5yrs.
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Post by JMc » Fri Jul 05, 2013 4:37 am

I'm sure someone with experience will come along soon, I just wanted to offer hugs and support.
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Post by Bailey's Mum » Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:40 am

Hi. I'm a comp feeder. My DS2 was comp fed from 3 days old until he weaned from the breast at 2y2m. DS3 was comp fed from birth (without my consent in hospital) until 9 months old and continued to breastfeed until he weaned at 2y2m due to another pregnancy. DS4 was comp fed (donor breast milk) from 4 days old until 8 months, and continued to feed until he weaned last week, just short of his 4th birthday.

So I have over 3 years of comp feeding experience. I used a SNS to comp feed at the breast, for extra breast tissue stimulation because I just could not express - no time, and no letdown to the pump.

Please call the helpline, or email, and a counsellor can go through your experience from the beginning and help you develop a plan to protect and build your milk supply. The first place to start, as fellare has said, is to investigate reasons why your baby is not getting enough milk. Then to make a plan to address that.

There are a number of possibilities, and it really depends on your personal circumstances as to the best way to approach comp feeding, if it continues to be necessary.

It was important to me to avoid bottles as much as possible because I could see from very early on that DS2 was taking more from the bottle than he actually needed, because of the flow of the teat and the reduced effort that was required as compared to milking the breast. I did a lot of reading on the internet - there are some great sites about low milk supply - I think one is called or something like that. There are one or two recognised world experts in lactation who have very good material - one is a dr, and I'm not sure if I can mention his name under ABA Code of Ethics, but PM me if you'd like to know more. Breast compressions are a useful tool.

I also got very helpful information about reducing comps from one website in particular. Although I never was able to do it with DS2, by following a very careful plan, I was able to reduce comps for the others from a few months of age, and once they were well established on solids, cease comps entirely and continue to breast feed.

This journey is different for every woman who goes through it, but a trained counsellor from ABA will be able to go through the basics with you, and check with a resource counsellor in low supply if necessary.

I'm happy to share my story by PM or here in posts, too. Or, if you've got time on your hands, you are welcome to search my posts from 2007 or 2009-2010 - "reducing comps" might even help as a search term.
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Post by AussieBritLu » Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:05 pm

I ditto contacting the helpline!

Bailey's Mum has given you plenty to read....

Huge hugs! You can only do what you can do.
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Post by rockettbaby » Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:35 pm

Thank you all lovely ladies. Especially Bailey's mum. I've in the mids of a reno and had to move out of the house today. I really appreciate your support :D

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Post by rockettbaby » Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:37 pm

BTW - I did email a councillor who offered some advice but said as her expertise was breastfeeding she couldn't help with comping advice.

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Post by Penguin » Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:03 pm

rockettbaby wrote:BTW - I did email a councillor who offered some advice but said as her expertise was breastfeeding she couldn't help with comping advice.
Was it an ABA counsellor? Did you submit your email thought the ABA website?
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Post by pfongk » Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:17 pm

Have you managed to get along to your local group meeting at all? If you're on the big social media site as well, the ABA has a page on there if you just search for Australian Breastfeeding Association it comes up, it's the non government organisation one with the logo.

I also comp fed due to supply issues, breast trauma and food allergies. We always offered breast first, then did something called paced feeding if we used a bottle and shortly after I finished with the comp I expressed (unless my breasts were bleeding). I also fed with a shot glass and off a spoon at times depending on where we were. I comp fed from about 6 weeks to 4 months and then only used formula at daycare from 6 months as I had trouble expressing if I couldn't see my child in real life.

He has now weaned (I think) at 3yrs 3months

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Post by keeko » Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:39 pm

I comp fed DS for about 8 weeks while establishing bf due to various reasons but not for weight gains. 2 or3 bottles a day. I slowly weaned off the bottle as the breast feeding got better and easier and fed him till 2.5yrs
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Post by rockettbaby » Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:11 pm

Penguin - Yes it was but its ok. The info Bailey's Mum gave is extremely useful. I'm back on the path - at least til the next hurdle - thank you all for your support it really has helped :) xx

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Post by Lilypad » Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:19 pm

I am comp feeding my second baby right at this second with a SNS, I've been comping her since two weeks old, she's now 5 and bit months.

My first I fed for 14 months, comping with bottles.

Basically I did what Bailey's Mum suggested.

Good luck.
IGT sufferer, former long term SNS user.
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Post by Feather » Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:50 pm

Hi rocketbaby, welcome to the forum :D

I have also comp fed...two babies. As has been said, it is really important to investigate why baby isn't transferring enough milk. Whether it's an issue with baby or mum needs to be determined.

If you are already noticing a drop in supply, supplementing at the breast with a SNS (Supplemental Nursing System) may be a good option for you. It can take some getting used to for both of you but is a great way to encourage supply while baby still gets what he/she needs.

Come back here if you need to, we'd all be happy to work through it with you and just listen if need be. Even if it's just about moving house and all that entails with a baby in tow.

My first was comp fed with formula partially at the breast and partially via bottle. She preferred bottles by 6mo. My second was comp fed with donor breast milk at the breast via SNS from a few days old until she was 18mo, then continued breastfeeding until just over 2yo.

All the best. xx
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Post by Gwen's Mum » Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:17 pm

Hi! Welcome to the forum. :)

I'm a comp feeder, too - we had a similar journey to Feather's, in that I used an SNS to provide most of my DD's comp feeds (although we also used the occasional bottle, mainly when out and about). We ended up comp feeding with the SNS until around 5 months, then for another couple of months with bottles, until we weaned off the comp feeds altogether just after 7 months. DD is now 2.5 years old and still breastfeeding, so it definitely didn't signal the end for us.

I'd second (/third / fourth :wink: ) enlisting the support of an LC and/or an ABA counsellor (perhaps via your local group, as mentioned) to gain some ongoing, consistent information and suggestions for approaching this. We had great LC support in the early days, and have also had wonderful ABA support throughout our journey (so much so I ended up becoming a bfing counsellor myself :lol:). For us it was important to understand exactly what the underlying issue was that was causing the milk intake problems, so that we could formulate a plan that addressed things as best as we could.

Keep us posted, and feel free to ask any questions. We're happy to help. :)
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Re: Comp feeding Successs Stories Please

Post by Twocam » Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:05 pm

I know this is an old thread but such a relief for a newbie like me to see it.

My son is 12 weeks old and from Weeks 4-9 dropped from 25th percentile off the bottom of the weight charts. We were admitted to feeding-school for 5-days where I fed frequently/pumped and had our latch and feeding checked. Son has had a tongue tie snipped, I take Motillium, fenugreek and eat boobie-bickies as well as express to try to increase supply. I am still comping with a SNS and haven't been able to increase my supply enough to reduce the size or frequency of comp feeds.

I had been feeling quite guilty at my inability to provide for my son, but am trying to move past that & focus on the great growth figures he's now achieving. I am so glad to read all these success stories. Thank you to those that have shared :smt007

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