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A member asked:

how do i know if i should supplement with formula?

5 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Bert Mandelbaum
Pediatrics 24 years experience
Poor Weight Gain: Breastfeeding is the ideal nutrition for most infants. As long as your infant is gaining weight well and having wet and soiled diapers, you probably do not need to supplement your infant with formula. Occasionally, an infant might not gain weight or might become slightly dehydrated and formula supplementation might be helpful. Always speak with your pediatrician first if you are concerned.
Dr. Pamela Lindor
Pediatrics 32 years experience
No: Breast fed babies do not "need" formula, even in the first few days. Once breastfeeding is established, you may be able to pump some "extra" milk to save for those times when you are separated and can't nurse. After nursing is well established, talk to your pediatrician about how and when to introduce other foods (including formula, if needed) to your baby's diet.
Dr. Marcus Degraw
Pediatrics 22 years experience
No: Moms who breastfeed rarely need to supplement with formula. Breastfeeeding was created to work without help. If your supply comes in within a few days and the baby's weight is within a normal range (losing less than 10% the first week, and then gaining 1 ounce per day affter that period) then the amount of breastmilk is normal for that baby. Supplements are rarely need for full term babies.
Dr. Sky Pittson
Specializes in Pediatrics
Depends: This is a big question, and one best made in collaboration with your pediatrician and lactation consultant, if possible. There are some cases in which exclusively breastfeeding your baby is just not possible due to medical considerations, some due to practical issues associated with job/family/social dynamics, and others with desire or motivations. But help is available. One great source is http://lllnorcal.Org/groups/peninsulaca.Html.
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 33 years experience
If not enough milk: If a baby is very hungry after breastfeeding and cannot wait until the next breastfeeding, or if a baby is not gaining weight properly, a mom can supplement by feeding the baby some formula after the breastfeeding. The mom can pump her breasts after each feeding, to increase her supply of breastmilk, so that the baby might stop needing formula.

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A 41-year-old member asked:

What are barley supplements? Why not just eat barley?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. William Cromwell
Clinical Lipidology 34 years experience
Good Question: These supplements are concentrated barley extract. The fiber in barley might lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Barley may also reduce blood sugar and Insulin levels. Barley seems to slow stomach emptying. This could help keep blood sugar stable and create a sensation of being full, which might help to control appetite. The gluten in barley can make celiac disease or gluten sensitivity worse.
A 41-year-old member asked:

What are guar gum supplements used for?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Thomas Davis
Dentistry 36 years experience
Guar gum: Must be used with caution.. Used for a laxative, treating diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, obesity, diabetes, cholesterol reduction and hardening of the arteries(atherosclerosis) must drink lots of water with them.
A 35-year-old member asked:

What are the vanadium supplements?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Su Fairchild
Integrative Medicine 24 years experience
Trace: Vanadium is a trace element. Some people use it in very small amounts for osteoporosis in addition to other main supplements.
A 36-year-old member asked:

What are thyme supplements vs dried thyme?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 42 years experience
Thyme: Dried thyme can be used as a spice, to flavor foods. Used in larger quantities for medicinal purposes, it can be a supplement -- you would not be able to tolerate this amount in your spaghetti sauce! it can also be given as thyme oil, tea, or extract. The supplements may have some use for cough & uri, and used as a mouthwash. Don't use if you're sensitive to mint family -- thyme is a member.
A 36-year-old member asked:

What can I do to treat the nausea caused by supplements?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Michael Sparacino
Family Medicine 37 years experience
Slow down: Most people take way too many supplements. Consider whether or not you really need to take them. Try splitting the dose and make sure to take plenty of water.

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Last updated Sep 28, 2016

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