Is it ok to use formula with a bf baby on an ad hoc basis?

(15 Posts)
octanegirl Mon 04-Mar-13 18:19:45

On the infrequent occasions I go out without my DS, now 6 week-old, is it ok to leave him with formula? Rather than having to express?
He always takes both boobs at each feed so finding a gap in the day in which to express both boobs (ie enough for a feed) is nigh on impossible.
So, would it be ok on those occasions to leave the person looking after him with formula?
He takes a bottle fine, as early on I expressed for the middle of the night feeds.
We are talking once every few weeks....apart from when I go skiing when it would be once a day for 5 days?

Will it muck his insides up? Confuse him?

Thanks!

CointreauVersial Mon 04-Mar-13 18:22:21

I did combi feeding, as I never managed to express successfully.

I wne back to work when DS was 4mo, so he had formula during the day, and I bf morning and evening.

chocolatecheesecake Mon 04-Mar-13 18:24:04

My DS has a daily bottle of formula and the occasional (well one so far) extra one if I need to leave him during the day. He's 21 weeks and doing fine and my milk supply is too. I think it's also good to get him used to different tastes.

MajaBiene Mon 04-Mar-13 18:24:26

It's a very personal decision. The best health outcomes are for babies who are exclusively breastfed, but it's not clear how much of a difference it makes. Obviously lots of babies are perfectly healthy when mixed fed or totally formula fed.

Formula will change the baby's gut compared to exclusive breastfeeding, but any difference is repaired fairly quickly once you go back to exclusive breastfeeding. It's worth remembering that the risks are fairly minimal though, especially if you observe good hygiene practices and make up the bottles correctly/use ready made formula.

GrandPoohBah Mon 04-Mar-13 21:21:32

We do one bottle of formula a day, dd cluster feeds in the evening and never seems to get quite full enough to sleep - the extra couple of oz of formula helps her drift off.

She brings more formula than bm back up, but some of that may be the amount of air she takes in when bottle feeding. Other than that, there doesn't appear to be any difference - except she goes to sleep easier, DH can give her a feed and I get half an hour of 'me' time while he's putting her down. I feel like it's a winning situation all around.

I also leave her with formula if I want to go out; expressing wasn't working well for me. There seems to be no effect other than boob leakage!

GingerDoodle Fri 08-Mar-13 21:11:52

I mix fed till 3 months with formula as expressing sadly didn't work for me (nor did exclusively bf). Very happy with my decision tho - happy baby - happy mummy!!

LittleMilla Fri 08-Mar-13 21:23:44

I mix fed by ds who is now 22 months and continued feeding until 8 mo.

Using language like "gut repairing" really pisses me off as it implies formula is poison. It's not. And it can also make those that are unable to bf feel utterly shite.

OP - once bf is established then it's completely fine to have bottles too. Take it slowly and carefully at the start to make sure your supply is ok. And in my experience, it makes the transition to stopping bf in the future easier as your baby is happy to take a bottle. I have many friends who reached 6 mo, decided they wanted to cut down or stop bf and were surprised when their dc had other ideas!

narmada Fri 08-Mar-13 21:46:52

OP, tis totally up to you. I doubt your baby would be confused in any way at all by having the occasional bottle of formula. Will it muck his insides up? well, again, difficult to answer. If he is one of the not insignificant % of babies who is allergic or intolerant to cow's milk then it mightn't do him much good. Other than that, it depends whether you subscribe to the virgin gut theory.

FWIW LittleMilla, I do not understand the sensitivity about the gut repairing thing - it's fairly well-established that the gut is changed by feeding formula early on, isn't it? And that going back to EBF can reverse the changes? It pees me off no end when people disparage evidence-based statements (.e.g, BM is the best food for a baby in most cases) because it might make people feel inadequate. And I say that as someone who FF both of my babies at various points - in my DS's case, almost exclusively from around 5 weeks.

LittleMilla Fri 08-Mar-13 21:58:31

It's the implication the formula will damage a child that I find irritating. I'm not disputing that bf is the best. And as I said, was lucky enough to successfully do so for as long as it worked for both of us.

However, some of the language used can imply that a mother that chooses to mix feed of ff is going to do their child damage. They may have intolerances, I knew of bf children who were also unwell because of their mother's diet.

Yes, people need access to information to make informed decisions. I just don't like it when new mothers are made to feel as though they are going to HARM their child by bandying around terms that imply that formula is the devil.

Milla, Maje used the word 'change'. She did not write 'harm','damage' or anything emotive.

OP, I would say the only thing to be aware of is that if you go for longer than normal between feeds you may be uncomfortable / get blocked ducts / mastitis (worst case scenario).

ReallyTired Fri 08-Mar-13 22:05:51

"Will it muck his insides up?"
no, lots of babies thrive on formula. Shock! Horror! many babies have been 100% formula fed from birth and still lived to a ripe old age.

" Confuse him?"
A lot depends on how often you give him a bottle. If he doesn't have a bottle very couple of days or so, he may refuse to take a bottle later on. To make matters more complicated, if your baby has a bottle too often then he may refuse the breast as its less work to drink milk from the bottle.

If you are doing mixed feeding regularly then it will affect your milk supply. It is far easier to decrease a milk supply than increase it.

narmada Fri 08-Mar-13 22:09:09

Well, formula can damage children. Not the vast, vast majority, but for some it can. It can also save the lives of children whose mothers cannot, for whatever reason, breastfeed. Them's the facts.

The OP wanted facts, or at least that's what I took from her post.

PoppyWearer Fri 08-Mar-13 22:12:40

I have happily mix-fed my DC2 from early on. Go for it!

LittleMilla Fri 08-Mar-13 22:14:32

"Any difference will be repaired fairly quickly once you go back to exclusive breast feeding".

Repairing implies, IMO, that something is damaged. And the EBF you'll make it all ok again.

I am just being over protective for the OP and others that may construe this in the way I did. If I'm the only one that read it this way then grand. As you all were wink

Jenny70 Fri 08-Mar-13 22:18:52

Feeding a baby formula has been shown to change the internal flora in their digestive system. But what effect this has on baby's short or long term health is unknown. Most likely this is going to be a small, or nil, effect as so many babies have formula at some stage and obviously suffer no obvious ill effect. But it does "change their insides" - so perhaps the option to express might be best, hard as it is to find the right time to express.

I think if baby takes a bottle and breast, then confusion over the feeding method isn't important. If baby is struggling to attach etc, then bottle feeding might interrupt their feeding from the breast... but if they will do both, then great!

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