Combination feeding - b/f and formula

(16 Posts)
LoupyLouLou Sun 20-Dec-09 15:23:58

Hello Mums,
I'd be very interested to hear others experience of combo feeding. No one seems to talk about it and not much is written as so many people are anti formula, it's so disappointing when there is so much pressure to b/f regardless of the problems that new mums face (so painful despite correct latching etc., not enough milk initially if delayed milk coming in, traumatic birth - can't hold baby etc...)

My baby is two wks old now and after a difficult emerg. c-section I had a delayed start to b/f and consequently milk coming in (came in on day 6) and only just now is the milk starting to increase and changing from a yellowy to white colour. On day 4 in hospital we gave him formula as he was dehydrated as my milk had not come in. For the last ten days I've b/f on average 3 times a day, expressed a couple of other times and bottle fed him the expressed milk and then the remainder of the feeds - formula. He's healthy and thriving however I'd like to increase the b/f despite it still being vry painful at times. Any advice on how to get my milk supply up? Am making sure I express when he has formula to make sure I match his on demand feeding.

Lou

Picante Sun 20-Dec-09 15:36:03

Hi there, breastfeeding 3 times a day and expressing twice is not going to be enough to establish a good supply let alone increase it. My advice would just be to feed as often as possible and express for short amounts of time (10 min or so) as often as you can. I think once you hit about 6 weeks you can start to feed less as your supply is more established.

bubble2bubble Sun 20-Dec-09 15:42:04

Agree you need to feed as often as possible. I struggled with DD1's growth spurt at 4 weeks and resorted to a few bottles a day but fairly quickly reduced this down to one. You need a few days to concentrate on feeding and not much else - lots of rest and if necessary staying in bed. Sorry - prob not much help but just to say it can be done!

humptynumpty Sun 20-Dec-09 15:44:58

will repeat what others have said. the best way to increase your supply is to feed, feed, feed and I think it takes up to 3 days for your supply to catch up.
There is nothing wrong with mixed feeding, but it won't solve your problems if you want to continue to bf.

tiktok Sun 20-Dec-09 16:37:34

Loupy, sorry to hear about your probs.

Lack of info is nothing to do with being 'anti-formula' - it's just that mixed feeding is so rarely a solution to breastfeeding difficulties. In fact, it can make these difficulties worse.

3 direct bf a day plus 2 expressions is not enough to build up and maintain a breastmilk supply, for the majority of women, esp not in these v. early days...it's better you know this now than drift on and then find your choice to mixed feed becomes whisked away from you because your milk has gone.

Can you find someone expert and informed in real life to spend time with you and work out how to fix your bf issues so you bf happily and comfortably?

Hope you get the help you need.

TubbyDuffs Sun 20-Dec-09 16:43:51

I would advise you to see a lactation consultant to help with the latch.

I recently saw one who helped me out when I had mastitis and was struggling with feeding on that side anyway. She was brilliant.

She suggested that I express after each feed and then feed the expressed milk to the baby after her next feed as a top up in order to increase my milk production.

Unfortunately for a few reasons (baby being failure to thrive and two other children needing looking after), I have made a move to formula whilst still trying to feed her when I can. However, my milk supply is dwindling due to the formula being given instead.

Two weeks isn't a very long time to establish your milk supply, so yep my advise would be feed feed feed whenever baby wants it (and yes you do begin to feel like you are never doing anything else!).

Good luck.

MajorMajor Sun 20-Dec-09 16:58:45

Hi, just wanted to say I was in a similar situation where my baby was started on formula due to initial bf problems. However I was very determined to give bf my best shot so I did what the others here have recommended - fed him as often as possible (even though it hurt like hell!) and after a couple of weeks he was down to one bottle of formula a day. I carried on like this for 6 months. Whilst I would have preferred him to be exclusively bf, I felt that 1 formula a day and the rest bf was pretty good given the situation at the start.

squashimodo Sun 20-Dec-09 17:12:16

Hi, I am not mixed feeding, but am feeding my baby by expressing breast milk. I started with a low supply problem. To increase my supply I had to pump every 2 hours, and at least once at night,for a minimum of 20 minutes each time(if using a double electric pump, double if using a single pump), and then five minutes after getting last drop of breast milk. It is exhausting, and not the most efficient way of increasing supply, but it is possible. You have to make sure you express at 8 - 12 times in 24 hours. If you are breastfeeding 3 times, you would have to express 5 - 9 times. If your baby is latching on fine, then I think the best method for you would be to just feed continuously.
What are you doing to help your nips heal, lansinoh is excellent.
If it is still too painful for you to breastfeed your baby more often, then continue expressing, but you need to increase the amount of pumps you are doing.
HTH

squashimodo Sun 20-Dec-09 17:14:18

It can take alot longer than 6 weeks to truly establish supply, you need to continue a 2 hourly schedule until dc is 12 weeks old, approx.

LoupyLouLou Tue 22-Dec-09 15:11:24

Dear majormajor, I think that will be my aim, 1 formula a day. I've been expressing or b/f every two/three hrs since I posted and my supply has already increased a bit, will keep going with that, then try to reduce the expressing and do more on breast.

littone Tue 22-Dec-09 15:58:02

My milk didn't come in until Day 5. I put him to the breast every feed to stimulate milk production (even if I thought there wasn't any milk there) and topped him up with formula afterwards if he needed it.

herbaceous Tue 22-Dec-09 16:23:26

Loupy Lou - I had exactly the same problems as you: emergency c-sec, late milk, hugely painful latch, and by the time I left hospital five days after birth, DS was on formula to get his weight up.

However, he's how five months old, and has been 90% BF for all that time. I give him a bottle at night, and a little to-up in the day, but the rest of the time it's all BF. It's perfectly possible. And he's thriving: 75th percentile.

But yes: you do need to BF a lot. I went to a few bf cafes and counsellors to sort out my latch. Without that, I would have given up after a few weeks...

Good luck!

TheOneWoman Sun 27-May-12 15:06:24

I'm really confused about what to do.
I had a straight forward birth but he wouldn't latch for 3 days so i fed him my colostrum with a syringe after hand expressing into a pot. My son has been exclusively bf for 6 weeks now and he weighs over 11 pounds so everything is fine with him but my right breast is so painful that I cry when I feed him (my midwife said he is latching correctly) and sometimes he feeds every half an hour, being a single mum this is a nightmare for me and I'm so exhausted.
Iv'e started to feed him a 6oz bottle of formula at night and 2 during the day to give my painful breasts and me a break but I feel so guilty and I don't know if i'm doing the right thing but it just got too much for me. Any advice?

tiktok Sun 27-May-12 15:48:20

TheOneWoman, sorry about your dififculties.

This is a very old thread, though.

It would be better to start a new thread of your own - click on 'start' link.

allthegoodnamesweretaken Sun 27-May-12 15:49:16

does it hurt all the way through the feed onewoman? Or just at the start?

SquaraandSophia Tue 29-Jan-13 12:02:04

Hi all, I'm new to this and hoping I'm posting into the right area.
I have a 3 week old girl, we found out she was tongue tied after 8 days and had it cut, breast feeding was so painful. 4 days after cutting the tie we found out we had thrush and are taking oral gel for it. The pain is the worst thing ever and I feel like I need to give my boobs a break. Would combination feeding be a solution? She has had a bottle before bed for the last few nights so there is no problem with her switching between the two. Any help and advice would be really welcomed. I dont want to give up on feeding myself but the pain is awful.

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