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Help! Mixed feeding / topping up

(8 Posts)
brizzagirl Wed 24-Aug-11 21:42:26

Hi, any advice welcome....
DS is 9 weeks old and I have been BF successfully since birth with a 4oz FF given by DH at night since 5 weeks (when BF well established) so I could get some sleep late evening (started after a difficult few days when I was ill / exhausted). This has worked fine and hasn't till now affected my supply. I have continued BF through growth spurts and been ok.
However, last couple of days DS seems to be extra hungry and even constant BF throughout the day hasn't been enough and he is fussing and pulling at the breast as if he cannot get enough.
I do not really want to top up with extra formula as I'm sure it will affect my supply, but it literally feels as if I don't have enough milk at certain times of the day to satisfy him.

Anyone had a similar problem / got any advice? I know the daily FF might now be catching up with my supply but it has been ok for 4 weeks. I don't really know what to do when I just can't settle DS as he is so hungry and I haven't got enough milk on either side to feed him. So topped up with an extra FF today but really don't want to do it again and hoping this isn't the beginning of the end of BF.

WWYD?

Pesephone Thu 25-Aug-11 12:27:25

Hi, the hormones involved in making breast milk peak at night, so giving FF in the night instead of bfing can be detrimental to supply. Also babies are programmed to cluster feed during the evenings and this is part of keeping your supply plentiful. This involves prolonged periods of feeding sometimes all evening and if baby has had a bottle and is asleap your ody misses out on this stimulation.
It could of course be another growth spurt, they do after all have many and as we know no baby is text book and some have more than others and don't comply to the "typical" pattern.
I would drop the bottles and concentrate on feeding from the breast, you could do some switch feeding etc to boost supply back up www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/low-supply.html
This site is fantastic and has tons of good acurate info on bf. This link is to a page all about supply. hope it helps.

brizzagirl Thu 25-Aug-11 20:25:39

Hi, thanks very much for the advice and the very useful link. I have not given any formula since the top up yesterday and am trying to keep bf and try some switch feeding. He still seems hungry but I will go with the cluster feeding tonight and see what happens.
Hope I can manage to keep going and maybe use FF occasionally, but am pretty knackered with this one and a very active toddler. Don't know how everyone manages! cheers.

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 26-Aug-11 22:27:52

brizzagirl "am pretty knackered with this one and a very active toddler. Don't know how everyone manages! cheers." Lots of cbeebies in the house whilst LO feeds and using a sling the rest of the time smile.

Just wondered if you've seen this thread on reducing formula top ups?. If your OH is around this weekend it might be the perfect time to do this.

Don't forget too that cluster feeding is normal for a lot of babies and doesn't mean that you have low supply.

Also, are you able to express at all? Just wondering if you have tried expressing in the morning and offering this a top up at night? And are you going to any Bfing Support Groups? These can help even if its only to have a bit of adult conversation and pick up the odd tip.

EssexVic Fri 26-Aug-11 22:51:19

Its very common for ALL babys to appear extra hungry in times of a "growth spurt" but the human body is very clever in supplying everything ur abby needs, although ANY formula feeds you give your LO is likely to effect ur supply, especially at night as tehat is when teh hormones to help production fo milk is most active. I see lots of mums who breast feed concerened they are nt giving their LO's enough milk as they dont knwo how much their LO's are consuming, but beleiev me if they wernt takign on enough milk yrou boobs woudl tell u!!!!!! My LO was a terrible cluster feeder, especially at night, and first thing which was great as she dropped her night feeds very early on as a result !!!!

If it were me I wouldnt bother with formula at all, it only confuses your body, as long as ur LO's growing well there is nothing to worry about.

Good luck x

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 27-Aug-11 09:00:36

Agree with Essex, none of what you have said indicates low supply. If your baby is gaining weight, has plenty of wet and dirty nappies and is bright and alert at times there should be no worries.

How are you getting on now? Have you decided whether you are ditching or moving over to formula? If you are ditching the top ups it might be a good idea to speak to a BFC about weaning from them and also the problem you have with DS fussing and pulling at the breast. Don't know if this is true for everyone but my DD would do that if she was overtired.

It might be worth asking the BFC to check your latch. Have you seen the Dr Jack Newman videos on youtube showing how to get a good latch?

Also for DC1 have you thought of a bfing treasure box for when you feed? Have a look at this thread. Have you got a sling too? As I mentioned before, mine just made my life so much easier.

Thought you might like this article too. Does it sound like your LO?

Keep posting, would be lovely to hear how you are doing.

brizzagirl Wed 31-Aug-11 22:26:41

Hi again everyone. Sorry haven't posted in the last few days but had an overnight away and a weekend offline ;-)
Well things are much better. I have kept going with the BF and dropped all extra top ups but DH is still doing a night bottle of FF. DS is much more settled, going longer between feeds and is not fussing. It was great to have all your encouragement and advice, it really helped me keep going through a difficult time.
Last 3 nights he has slept through (at 10 weeks now). It is lovely to have some sleep but I am a bit concerned again about supply as I don't feed between 9pm and 7am. However, as I haven't had any problems so far I am going to carry on as we are for the moment. After problems with BF DS1 I will be delighted to get to 12 weeks mostly BF!! And hiopefully carry on for a few more weeks - have never had the ambition to carry on BF past weaning stage but am really pleased to have done what I have.
Thanks again.

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 01-Sep-11 08:05:03

So glad that he is more settled and you are feeling more confident smile

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