Does anyone express and top up rather than breast feed?

(8 Posts)
Moonrocks6 Thu 13-Oct-16 12:57:55

I have posted before about the problems that we have had with breastfeeding and dds ongoing problems with tongue tie.
Since Monday I have been breastfeeding, then topping up with formula and then expressing. Each feed is taking about two hours and it is exhausting.

The midwife has just visited and has suggested that dd is finding feeding from me too stressful and that I would better expressing and topping up my supply with formula.
Does anyone else do this? How do you make it work? Can you give me some idea of timings, frequency, practicalities etc?
I got some really great support and advice on here before and would appreciate any experienced mums help again.
Thanks

puddock Thu 13-Oct-16 13:01:44

I haven't seen your previous posts, but can you get advice from a lactation consultant, local la leche league etc? I know some women in my local LLL group have experience with expressing-to-feed, either temporarily or as their usual mode of feeding.

Moonrocks6 Thu 13-Oct-16 19:26:50

I tried their helpline but just got lots of pressure to keep going with the feed, top up, express routine which is just not doable. Was quite upset by the time I came off the phone.

KnitFastDieWarm Thu 13-Oct-16 19:31:20

personally, i stopped bf and switched to formula. my reasoning was that my ds had his colostrum and the balance of benefit was now greater if i was calm and happy and formula feeding than if i was depressed and miserable and bf. It's a very personal decision but if it's not working out for you and your baby, that's not a problem. bf is great but there's so much pressure and your happiness and state of mind is more important to your baby's long term wellbeing than breastmilk. do what feels right for you flowers

MrsHathaway Thu 13-Oct-16 19:46:13

DS1 was unable to feed properly at first, so I expressed all bastard day long. It took a while for me to catch up to the required supply (30+ oz per day) during which time he had top up ff feeds from ready made bottles. I expressed at every feed so each time he got the last expressed bottle plus however much he wanted from the ready made (an ounce or so at a time). We needed less and less top up as my expressing got better.

After a few weeks he could get his mouth open wide enough to feed properly, so we ditched the expressing in favour of "normal" bf.

If I had my time again I would not express. It was just so hard. The cycle (baby wakes, takes bottle, rock to settle, put down, express again) was so long, two hours sounds right, that there was never more than an hour off and I was dangerously sleep deprived.

I know people who have exclusively expressed for a long time and I honestly don't know how they do it. It was severely injurious to my mental health.

For DC2 I determined that I would give bf a fair go but if it didn't come easily we'd go ff all the way. Bearing in mind I bf DC1 to 26m in the end I think that gives you an indication of how difficult I think expressing is long term.

Moonrocks6 Fri 14-Oct-16 08:21:09

I am really just so confused. Thank you for your replies they are really helping.
For those who stopped breastfeeding , did you just stop all at once or did you do it but by bit?

KnitFastDieWarm Fri 14-Oct-16 09:28:33

i stopped in on go but i'd only been bf for a week (with very very limited success!). my breasts were sore for a couple of days but a good fitting bra helped, and then they went back to normal. i already knew ds was quite happy taking a bottle though; if i'd been unsure about him accepting it i think i'd have done it a bit more gradually to help him transition.
if you decide to formula feed, or mixed feed, get a perfect prep machine - worth every single penny! grin

KnitFastDieWarm Fri 14-Oct-16 09:32:30

also - there are advantages and disadvantages to both types of feeding. if i were to have another baby i think i'd aim to mixed feed, even if bf worked perfectly, because to be honest it's lovely to have the odd proper night's sleep and let your dp take over. i don't regret not bf, it was the right decision for me and ds at the time and he's thriving. i remember how bloody stressful and guilt-inducing it is in the early weeks though flowers rest assured that at 11 months all the babies from my nct group are eating fluff off the floor and licking grubby toys and you can't tell which ones are fed which way smile

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