Those who have mixed fed- did you notice it affecting your supply?

(12 Posts)
Juniper4004 Mon 05-Oct-15 23:10:46

I'm pregnant with DC2 and am planning on mixed feeding. DD had 1 bottle of formula a day, occasionally 2. We'll probably do the same this time as then I'll get a few hours' sleep (ha, perhaps) whilst DP does the childcare.

Before DD was born, I did NCT classes and the leader warned us, all doom and gloom, that if I were to miss a feed regularly then my body would not be able to produce milk if I needed to at that point. From my own experience, this turned out to be absolute rubbish; I could feed DD as and when I needed to and never had a problem with supply.

I've heard this from other people again this pregnancy, and was wondering if this is how it works for other people? Was I just lucky in the fact that I could feed as and when?

If you mixed-fed, were you unable to breastfeed at the normal bottle times if you needed to? Is it just something that the evangelical breast-feeding promoters say to try and scare people off formula?

worriedmum100 Tue 06-Oct-15 08:03:11

Watching your thread with interest OP.

My DS2 is 2 weeks old and I've been mostly bf but for various reasons DP has been giving bottles at night (usually one of formula and one of expressed bm ) at roughly 10 pm and 2 am. I then feed at 6 ish.

This was working well until yesterday when I woke up quite engorged on one side and DS seemed to find it hard to latch on. I ended up having to pump the engorged side and feed from the other. Not ideal.

To try and avoid morning engorgement last night we decided to try replacing the 2am bottle with a breast feed but it was a bit of a disaster. DS just wouldn't latch on at all. It took nearly an hour and a half to get him to latch and even then he only had a very short feed. So I was still a little engorged this morning when I fed at 6 am. Not to mention exhausted. I'm not sure why DS had an issue with latching in the night as he normally latches well straight away.

We need to find a solution that works for the whole family. My DP is very supportive but has to go back to work soon and all the faffing in the night is no good for either of us in terms of exhaustion (I'm also still trying to recover from an EMCS).

Tonight we might revert to bottles and I can perhaps do a top up breastfeed after each bottle to try and keep engorgement down. I'm going to try and avoid pumping from now on. I'm hoping that my supply will eventually adjust to not feeding overnight!

SweepTheHalls Tue 06-Oct-15 08:08:48

With DS1 and 2 once my supply was established I did a bottle for the cream feed at 11 initially, to allow me a good chunk of sleep each night, with DS2, I did find that my supply was low in the evenings, but out it down to exhaustion after having the 2 boys all day, so we made the 6pm feed a bottle too. This worked really well for us...... But with all things, who knows if it was luck!
Planning to do the same for DC3 grin

govindjid Tue 06-Oct-15 08:19:52

Hi my DS is now 8 months. I did combi feeding until he was 7 months. Although I wouldn't say it's the ideal scenario. I did this because he had weight issues at the start as he used to fall asleep on my breast and also had reflux so I ended up using aptamil reflux powder. With formula it's very easy to overfeed them because of the sucking reflux they have so although they're full, they're not satisfied. So his appetite ended up increasing but my breasts were not meeting demand as we were also giving bottle. He almost ended up phasing my breasts out himself especially during growth spurts where he would cry at my breasts and demand a bottle. I was desperately clinging on, using pumps and what not. I found the whole thing quite stressful really. If I had a choice I would bf full time. If you really struggle then of course combi or bottle only is the way to go. Good luck x

govindjid Tue 06-Oct-15 08:22:07

Another point to note is combi may be better if bottle introduced at 3 months after supply established. My son had formula too soon hence all the problems.

NickyEds Tue 06-Oct-15 10:19:21

We mix fed ds because of bf problems (Tt, weight loss, bleeding nipples) and he definitely had too much f too early-we were topping up after every feed at 10 days and, although we reduced that considerably over time my supply never got fully established and his latch was never very efficient.

With dd I ebf for 3 weeks ish then introduced a little f at 10ish. It took us 2 weeks to get her to take it successfully and she's 11.5 weeks now so has had a bedtime bottle for 6 weeks now. I haven't noticed ant effect on feeding the rest of the day and I haven't tried to feed her at 10 since. My supply will almost certainly have dropped at that time but as I want this to be a permanent thing I don't mind. I went on a night out last week and felt a bit full at 11 when I got in so pumped and got 5oz in 5 minutes if that's anything to go by??

I know several mums who have mix fed like this, ie a bedtime bottle or just some f occasionally when they want to go out. I think statistically giving any f reduces the duration of bf but in my experience that hasn't been the case- the two mums who are still bf both mix fed. I think the difficulty is if you give too much f, too regularly, too early.

Fleurchamp Tue 06-Oct-15 14:00:09

I am currently mix feeding - giving a FF some nights. I BF my 12 week old during the day and his bedtime feed at 7pm. If he doesn't go down at his bedtime feed he will get a bottle of formula at around10pm.

This usually happens 3 or 4 times a week. The rest of the time he settles after a BF.

I find BF better during the night as no faffing with bottles but I like the fact I am "off duty" from about 8pm until around midnight- 2am when DS usually wakes up.

I don't believe it has affected supply as some nights he doesn't have any formula.

Also, for DS anyway, he can sleep for up to 7 hours in one stretch regardless of having breast or bottle so I do not buy the whole FF babies sleep longer.

For me, it has saved my sanity and probably meant that I have continued BFing for longer.

I really wish there was more support out there for mixed feeding rather than an either-or attitude.

Fleurchamp Tue 06-Oct-15 14:00:53

Ps I have been doing the above since a bout of mastitis at 6 weeks. Before that DS was EBF.

Owllady Tue 06-Oct-15 14:02:56

I used to give mine a bottle at witching hour (about 5-6pm) as I wouldn't have been able to cook tea. I know it's not advised but it worked for us

Kennington Tue 06-Oct-15 14:03:59

I mixed fed for over 2 years
I don't remember it affecting my supply and I went back to work full time- with a little extra holiday- when she was 11-12 months.
I did express once a day in the beginning though to maintain supply but once I stopped this I didn't notice a difference

Micah Tue 06-Oct-15 14:13:35

Mixed feeding didn't work for us. It did affect supply, and once DC got the hang of bottles they started refusing the breast. Which got us into a cycle which ultimately led to bottle feeding within about 2 weeks.

Many people can mixed feed. But a lot of people who start out bf, then slip into bottle feeding, perhaps don't even realise that mixed feeding is affecting bf.

NickyEds Tue 06-Oct-15 14:48:05

i think that there's three ways of looking at mix feeding; having to top up because of a problem which leads to reduction in supply, which lead to more top ups...more supply problems etc, replacing a feed with a bottle a day, then occasionally two bottles a day, then three....but that's really just finding ff more convenient and then just occasionally giving a ff- I think this rarely leads to long term problems.

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