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Combination feeding

(9 Posts)
TartanKitty Sat 03-Sep-11 00:16:39

My wee boy is three months (14 weeks) old and has until now been exclusively breast fed. Health visitor raised concerns at 8 weeks that he wasn't gaining enough weight and suggested formula 'top up' but was happy to let me continue bf and monitor things. At 12 weeks he had a day of projectile vomiting and we spent a night in hospital; they couldn't find a cause and he seemed back to normal so he was discharged. Latest weight check this week showed he'd lost 4oz in the last fortnight.

So I've started him on 4oz formula at night on top of breastfeeding. But now he seems frustrated at the breast and it's a real struggle to get him to settle for a feed and he seems hungry all the time. On the couple of occasions I've given him expressed milk in a bottle it has taken him a couple of days to stop fussing and feed normally on the breast. It's as if he is lazy/frustrated at having to suck after getting it so easy/quickly from bottle. My concern is that if I'm giving him a bottle every day he'll not settle at boob and will continue to lose weight so I'll have to switch to fully formula fed, which I had hoped not to do until 6 or 7 months.

Any experience/advice?

tiktok Sat 03-Sep-11 07:13:48

Hi Tartan Kitty. Hope your little boy is better now. It's reasonable for his weight loss to be taken as a concern, but giving formula risks curtailing your breastfeeding by reducing your supply and of course means he is not getting the exclusive bf you planned.

If he needs to have more calories to help him get back on track, he can
* breastfeed more often
* breastfeed using more 'sides' each time, so he has the opportunity to increase his intake

(these two suggestions above are easy and may well be sufficient to address the issue)

In addition, he could also have top ups of expressed breastmilk, and you could also use breast compression but on what you say here, the simple 'bf more often and using more breasts' is prob enough.

Temp weight loss after illness is not usually a major prob in a basically healthy baby. You could discuss all this with a health visitor or other HCP who knows about breastfeeding - maybe not the one who immediately suggested a top up of formula at 8 weeks sad

Hope this helps.

NoGoodAtHousework Sat 03-Sep-11 08:24:46

Do you have a local bf support group (at sure start centres or LLL) - definitely worth a try.

TartanKitty Sat 03-Sep-11 13:11:50

He won't latch at all today. I am heartbroken. Feel like such a failure. Eventually gave up as he was screaming so much it was making him choke and he guzzled down 4oz formula from bottle then it was big smiles as I broke down in tears.

I will keep expressing and give him a bottle of breast milk a day to keep my supply going and see what the other ladies at the breastfeeding group I go to say on Thursday.

Is it common for them to reject breast after trying formula?

I just want what is best for my baby. I'm not ready at all to give up breastfeeding but it seems he might be and if formula will give him the calories he needs I suppose I can't be selfish, just have to give him a bottle sad

aliceliddell Sat 03-Sep-11 13:17:17

Tartan Don't feel like a failure, you are doing everything right for your baby and yourself. I did combination, gradually giving more formula then stopped bf. The most important bit of bf is the first few days AFAIK, and you have done that. Don't get guilt tripped, it will all be OK.

TartanKitty Sat 03-Sep-11 13:37:48


Realised I hadn't answered any of the questions put previously. I have tried offering him same breast if he wants fed again within an hour to make sure he gets hind milk. Tried offering both at each feed. It always seems to flow (though I never feel full or leak or feel let down or anything really) but I've never managed to express more than 2oz max at a time.

Might be moot point anyway if he flat refuses to feed from me. Feel really rejected and like I'm failing him for not giving breast milk for recommended 6 months sad

tiktok Sat 03-Sep-11 15:03:10

Tartan - I think it will help you to speak to a breastfeeding counsellor...don;t wait until Thursday sad

You need to understand better about hindmilk/foremilk....there is no reason to worry about getting the hindmilk, and no reason to put the baby on the same side if he needs to feed again shortly....honestly. This is the least likely way to increase the baby's calorie intake and your milk production. Big myth that mothers should do this sad

Please speak to someone soon, and this can be fixed but only if you understand how it is not working as well as it could do now.

SmugisaDrug Sat 03-Sep-11 20:31:41

Just to say my DD is 21 weeks, and at around 11 weeks she had a major nursing strike that lasted for 3 weeks. She wouldn't bf from me at all but would guzzle bottles from anyone else no problem. It was very stressful and upsetting, but I looked up advice on mumsnet and kellymom about how to combat a nursing strike and it really helped. Things like loads of skin to skin contact, sharing baths etc, also trying to seduce your baby by kissing and smiling all the time. It might be worth having a read of that advice to see if it can help you keep breastfeeding going.

Best of luck!

TartanKitty Sat 03-Sep-11 23:41:54

Have heard a few people mention kellymom so will definitely check that out. It's been two days and I'm getting sore now. He hasn't fed from me for more than 10 mins and only three or four times today. Really worried about him losing more weight. Did you give your little one all formula then or were you able to breastfeed at all?

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