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EBM and combination feeding query

(3 Posts)
Wobblywheels Thu 18-Oct-12 21:43:08

Hi, hope someone out there can help with a bit of advice.

DS is 5 weeks and has been combination fed since day 1. I'm currently struggling with my milk supply although that's another saga.

Our 'routine' if you can have one at this stage is that I express so that I have enough milk to do the three night feeds, the rest of the day is formula. However I'm wondering if this is the wrong way round since breast milk is 'Lighter' I.e. less dense than formula, does it mean DS would settle quicker after a heavier formula feed rather than EBM in the night?

The reason I save the EBM for the night is so I don't have to fiddle with cooling formula etc.

Your thoughts will be appreciated as I am a newbie : )

sarahbanshee Thu 18-Oct-12 23:52:37

That sounds like a lot of hard work! I think you are probably going to struggle to keep up your supply if you are only expressing a few times during the day and not at all overnight. At this stage to establish your supply you need to be feeding or expressing at least every 3 hours, day and night, and I think if you are expressing only without feeding it would need to be even more often as a pump won't be as efficient as a baby at getting the milk out.

You must have your reasons for doing it this way and I do not mean to criticise - rather the opposite, I am sympathetic as expressing and also formula feeding must be hard work.

As for whether it is better to feed formula or breastmilk at night, formula is more difficult to digest and this can mean babies feel fuller for longer and so don't wake for a feed so soon. However it can also be the case that because it is harder to digest the baby gets more wind or is uncomfortable and so wakes for that reason.

If what you are currently doing is working for you then there is no reason to change it! But do be aware that your supply is quite likely to drop, so if you are keen to keep giving at least some breastmilk you will need to express more often if you can't feed directly.

Wobblywheels Fri 19-Oct-12 09:01:27

Thanks for your reply. I know it's a lot of work and yes as you say there is a reason for this, it's definitely not out of choice!

I attempt to pump before or after every feed throughout the day, of course this is quite difficult and time consuming. I have a problem if we go out as invariably it means I have to miss an opportunity to pump (hence the saga on milk supply). Currently I'm pumping 5-6 times per day, with some days only 4 times.

It seems from your reply that it doesn't really matter whether I feed EBM or formula for the night feeds as each will have their downsides. I think that while I'm continuing to try to combination feed I'll use the EBM at night - for the same reasons as before, I.e. it's easier, especially when having to pump after each feed as its at least means I can get some sleep between feeds!

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