How much formula am I giving?

I am frequently asked by inquisitive friends how much formula I am giving, or how much of my breast milk my baby is actually getting. I honestly have no idea! It was difficult for me in the beginning to not pay attention, to not chart his intake and to not calculate my milk production based in his formula consumption or by weighing him before and after a boob-only-feed. I could not have been more exact and calculating last time, following all the 'rules', timing and keeping track of everything. But I've learnt to switch that off now. I give formula through the SNS when he needs it, which is at every feed except three for the last five weeks. Sometimes he takes 120ml, sometimes 30ml.

When feeding my first boy, I tracked everything.
Time on each breast, time pumping, amount pumped, amount of formula, poos and wees.
But today I really want to know. It seems that some days he needs so much more than others, and yesterday he didnt seem to need that much. This makes me feel excited at the prospect of my increased milk production, but I am also aware that today will now probably be a huge formula day. So throughout today I'll take note of feeding times and how much extra formula he takes from the SNS. Where one feed starts and another stops is sometimes difficult to determine, but I'll try.

6am - 0
7.15- 0
8.05 -  70ml
10.30 - 0
11.30 - 110ml
1.50pm - 60ml
3.20 - 30ml
5.45 - 60
8.10 - 110ml
10.30 - 0
11.45 - 0
4.40am - 0

Total supplemental formula - 440ml. That's actually better than what I thought! The back of our formula box indicates that a baby around his weight would be taking about 900-1000ml a day, so it's pretty good if 50% is from me.

A contented little boy
Meanwhile, today has been a really hard day emotionally. I'm feeling pretty isolated on this big journey of mine. I don't know where to go from here, or even if I should be looking for somewhere to go from here, or if that is detrimental in itself. Always second guessing, always analysing the pros and cons, the potential damage, what could be better...

Very much enjoying my beautiful little boy though.

4 comments

  1. Hi Johanna, good for you! I have read your three posts here and about your previous experience and I'm full of admiration. I had lots of trouble bfing my first boy too and I'm hoping things will go smoother with no 2 when he arrives in January. Looking forward to meeting in person someday to share war stories :) x Claire

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    Replies
    1. Hi Claire, thanks so much for reading! Sorry to hear that you had a hard time too. It is really only since I began talking about it all that so many others have come out of the woodwork with shared experiences. So many of us struggle, it seems. Wishing you lakefuls of milk and cuddles with your new little one in January! So exciting!

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  2. Hi Johanna, I am currently having similar problems with milk supply breastfeeding my 5 week old twins. Many of the things you said really resonated with me. I had never heard of the meddle SNS system before. Do you feel it has helped increase your milk production?

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    1. Hi Jenna! Wowsers, I can't imagine attempting this all with twins! what an amazing mama you must be! I definitely think that if you are doing a combi-feeding approach, the SNS is the way to go. There is also apparently something called a Lactaid that perhaps you could look into, but the SNS is working for me so I'm sticking with it. It means that my bubba had to still suckle to get milk, hence my boobs are still being stimulated and yes, I reckon my milk is gradually increasing. I was having to give 120ml at almost every feed about a week and a half ago, and now he rarely has the full lot, and there are times when I don't need it at all. I'm sure that without it, this wouldnt be the case. I am vehemently against pumping this time around after such horrible experiences with it last time, so I am happy to have him on sucking away all day long rather than a pump. Hope that made sense?! Huge amounts of luck to you on this rollercoaster!

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