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Moving from breast to bottle

(11 Posts)
MichelleM Wed 08-Oct-03 22:49:25

As I will be returning to work in 2 months time (when DS will be 6 mths), I was wondering what your advice/experience is for moving from breast to bottle feeding. I was thinking of gradually reducing the breastfeeding by dropping one feed each week for a month, starting when he is 5 months. Is this reasonable? Which feeds should I start dropping first?

Also is it still possible to continue to breastfeed him first thing in morning and in the evening and night, or does your milk dry up?


Jess234 Wed 08-Oct-03 23:09:27

Hi Michelle,

I am mix feeding my daughter, breast and bottle. When i was reducing the breast feeding I was advised to drop a feed every two days. Because i bottle feed in the day, I dropped those feeds first. I breast feed from around 7pm to 11am, as my baby is still young this is quite a few feeds. I have not had any trouble with my milk drying up. My breast fill up at her feed times at usual, but not during the day.

Hope that helps, Good Luck

Emjay Thu 09-Oct-03 08:59:01

My DS kept thriving when I moved from exclusive breastfeeds to mixed feeds as he was so demanding at 3 months - - we do it alternately: breast 5 am, bottle 9/10am, breast 1/2pm, bottle 5/6 pm, breast nightcap 7 pm - he's slept right thru since 11 weeks old and very content.
I dropped the midmorning breastfeed first, then midarvo one 2 weeks later, for the bottles. That way I'm feeding regularly every 6 hrs (apart from no night feeds) and I'm not sore.
Your milk doesn't dry up, it just takes 2/3 days to re-adjust, even the overnight break of 9, sometimes 10 hours didn't dry me up, but I make sure that I still breastfeed first in morning & last at night, unless I do, my breasts get uncomfortably full and sore and I don't sleep well. Plus for DS I think it's a comfort thing too (first thing he looks forward to in morning, last thing he enjoys at night)
Hope this helps. MJ.

elliott Thu 09-Oct-03 09:17:11

Your plan sounds fine, I don't think it matters which feed you drop first but it would be sensible to drop alternate feeds. I was in a similar position to you going back to work at 6 months - ds was exclusively bf and I started to drop feeds about 6 weeks before going back to work. I didn't have any problems with engorgement etc, but I did find that I wasn't able to sustain morning and night feeds as I had hoped, once I had dropped all the day time feeds. I'm not sure if it was milk supply diminishing (though it certainly felt as though that was a factor) or if he was just one of those babies who prefer the bottle once they've got used to it.

ANyway my experience certainly seems to be a minority one (not sure if I can remember any other mumsnetter who has admitted to not being able to successfully mixed feed!) so the chances are you will be able to continue as long as you want. And whatever happens you will have done six months which is fantastic!

crystalgazer Thu 09-Oct-03 14:08:30

MichelleM I had no trouble with mixed feeds - with DS2 I even continued with just one breast feed first thing in the morning for about 6 weeks - what I did have trouble with was getting DS2 to take a bottle. With DS1 I introduced a bottle at 16 weeks with no trouble - he just took it with formula and away we went. With DS2 it was a differnt story - I tried a bottle at 16 weeks - wouldn't take it - I tried every type of bottle and teat every type of formula and breast milk - still no joy - I tried everone who came to visit. Finally 2 months later my nanny convinced DS2 to take the bottle by putting him in the high chair and treating it like food.
My 'advice' would be to introduce a bottle as early as possible (with breast milk if you want to exclusively breast feed) so that bubs can get used to the bottle and it is not a big shock later. I know of others with this problem - I know one baby that didn't like a bottle but takes milk from a cup.
I haven't met anyone who has trouble with mixed feeds from a boob point of view - hope this helps

MichelleM Thu 09-Oct-03 20:31:57

Thank you all for your advice. I will start replacing daytime feeds with formula bottle next month, but its great to know that I should still be able to breastfeed outside of working hours. I love it so much, I would be so sad to lose the special closeness it gives us, as well as the goodness it gives DS. I am lucky that DS will happily take the bottle.

aloha Thu 09-Oct-03 21:01:10

If you feel you have less milk, breastfeed more that the weekend, that will boost your supply without leading to problems in the week.

mears Fri 10-Oct-03 17:56:11

Agree with Aloha about increased feeding at weekend. Will you be working the same hours EVERY day? If not, you can breast feed on your days off. Your milk supply will adjust to order. Depends what you are happiest doing.

MichelleM Fri 10-Oct-03 18:25:05

Thanks Pupuce & Mears. Will be going back to work 4 days a week. Hadnt realised that I could breastfeed on these days off without having knockon effect on days when working. This is great news - many thanks.

danishpastry Fri 10-Oct-03 19:42:29

Like MichelleM I am going back to work 4 days a week and would like to keep breastfeeding when I am with DS (he will get formula when I'm away). But will bf all day the 3 days I am off not build up milk supply for the days I am working?? Can't quite get my head round that one..

mears Fri 10-Oct-03 20:39:22

Yes, you may well feel full at work. You can ignore it or express it off, whatever you prefer. I had times where I was too busy to express at work (11 hours) and if I felt a 'let down' of milk I pressed the heel of my hand against the nipple. That stopped milk leakage. I certainly did hand express milk and keep it so that I could use it at home as I didn't want to introduce formula at all.

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