Starting/finishing a breastfeed with a formula top up?

(10 Posts)
mommalow Thu 25-Feb-16 18:45:57

Hi all,

New to mumsnet and new to mummyhood and looking for some advice (not judgement!) please! My DS is 4 weeks old and is exclusively BF. He started out great, breastfeeding every 3-4 hours and having lovely long feeds, but for the past two weeks this has changed drastically. In most cases I'm lucky to get 1.5 hours between feeds and at night getting sleep is simply out of the question as he has micro-feeds constantly, never actually filling him self up so never actually falling into a deep sleep.

Im wondering if starting or finishing a feed with a bit of formula from a bottle may help to fill him up a bit more, and space some time out between feeds so he can actually settle and so we can both get some sleep. As he is taking such short feeds he is also often only getting the fore milk, so his poos have been green a lot and probably explains why he can't settle. My HV said "oh simply breastfeed him longer", like it was me deciding to only give him 5 minutes on the breast and then stop! No matter how many times I try to get him to re-latch he just isn't interested. He does have a bottle of expressed milk from DH every night and is very good on the bottle - normally drinking the whole 130-150mls that is offered to him (this seems to offer at least 2 hours of sleep as he actually takes a lot of milk). This seems to be the only feed where he takes a proper amount in one go.

So - has anyone done this and if so can you share your thoughts or experiences - whether positive or negative! I know often people discourage introducing formula as it may decrease milk supply, but this isn't to replace a feeding - simply to add to it a bit. All advice welcome!

CultureSucksDownWords Thu 25-Feb-16 19:22:54

I have no experience of this sorry, in fact the opposite where I phased out formula top ups at around this age having had to give them when DS was in hospital.

If you want to do it then you can give it a try and see what happens, being aware that it could impact your supply. You can then decide what you would do if it does have an impact, whether that's move to formula completely or go through the process of dropping the top ups.

I would also say that frequent feeding doesn't mean that your baby is only getting foremilk as it is a bit more complicated than that. Kellymom has a good explanation:

http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/basics/foremilk-hindmilk/

The tap (or faucet as she calls it) analogy is particularly helpful.

AnnaBegins Thu 25-Feb-16 19:31:56

Does he arch his back a lot? Could it be reflux? Could explain it if he's comfier having a less full stomach so less to come back up. DS's poos were very green before we treated for reflux.

nickidalby Thu 25-Feb-16 21:05:47

Hi mummy's. ..my baby boy is 7wks on Saturday... I'm just wondering if any one has any tips on increasing milk supply. ... I'm taking fenugreek which is helping a little but not much. Does anybody know of any other herbs that will work... or any tips xx

nickidalby Thu 25-Feb-16 21:07:13

I don't really come on here much so if you could please email me at nickidalby83@gmail.com thank you mummy's xxx

poocatcherchampion Thu 25-Feb-16 21:09:42

I don't think it is a good idea if you intend to bf for a longer. It is likely to mess with your supply

I would suggest you look at other causes such as reflux, although most likely it is just a thing and will pass in due course.

I would suggest 2h is normal for such a small baby and 4h is not often enough.

I still feed my 4mo every 2 hours, give or take, during the day. Nights much less than that and that will come for you as your baby grows.

poocatcherchampion Thu 25-Feb-16 21:11:40

I don't think it is a good idea if you intend to bf for a longer. It is likely to mess with your supply

I would suggest you look at other causes such as reflux, although most likely it is just a thing and will pass in due course.

I would suggest 2h is normal for such a small baby and 4h is not often enough.

I still feed my 4mo every 2 hours, give or take, during the day. Nights much less than that and that will come for you as your baby grows.

fruitpastille Thu 25-Feb-16 21:12:11

I would try a dummy in the first instance as it may be comfort sucking that he wants? Some babies find them so soothing and it can give you some respite.

HeteronormativeHaybales Thu 25-Feb-16 21:20:50

It's unusual, if not impossible, to establish bf well on 3-4-hourly feeds. Your baby is trying to up your supply by upping demand. Go with it. If you did start to introduce formula you would find that it did end up 'replacing' feeds. What you are experiencing is normal. It's not (usually - of course there are exceptions) very physiological for newborns to 'settle' to long sleep. Frequent waking is actually very healthy for small babies - easy arousal is probably protective from SIDS, for example.

The fore- hindmilk thing is a bit debated, but what might help is offering the same breast at two consecutive feeds perhaps?

Tbh, I wouldn't be giving the bottle of expressed milk IIWY. Your baby is still establishing bf and of course is going to drink more from a bottle as it is less hard work. This might even be helping cause the briefer feedings.

Rolypolybabies Thu 25-Feb-16 22:40:40

Don't offer the same breast for more than one feed. This is block nursing and is a method of decreasing supply or slowing a fast let down, not a good plan this early on in breastfeeding x

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