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mix feeding a 3 week old baby

(12 Posts)
anothertiredmum Mon 12-Nov-12 20:53:41

BF is not really working for me but I don't want to give it up completely. Has anyone else tried to mix feed early on and how did you do it?

milkybrew Mon 12-Nov-12 21:09:54

Hi, my DD had a condition which meant I had to mix feed from 10 days old. I still BF at every feed, to keep my supply up but had to also feed her special formula from a bottle. I never had a problem with this. I used tommee tippee bottles which she took to without a problem. I would say that you still need to bf at each feed if you really want to continue-I didn't with my DS and it lead to my milk drying up as it BF wasn't well established. Are you having particular problems with BF, as I received some very helpful advice from ladies on here?

anothertiredmum Mon 12-Nov-12 21:39:12

Hi Milky... So you BF at every feed and then you top up with formula? I was advised not to BF and Bottle Feed at the same time as the baby will realise she does does not have to work too hard and she will get a top up.
BF is hard, it hurts all the time, I am not sure my baby is getting enough and one of my breast is not really working. I have had lots of advice about BF but I don't seem to really get anywhere.... I don't want to stop it 100% but I am not sure it is working for me.

VisualiseAHorse Mon 12-Nov-12 21:46:02

I mixed fed LO (and still do) from a young age.

Offer your boob all the time. If baby cries, whines, wants a cuddle etc, just stick a boob in. Don't top up unless baby is really crying/fighting you, or you're tired/stressed/angry - these feelings will rub off on baby and she'll probably cry more. You should be aiming for a BF about once every 2-3 hours in order to keep your supply up. Best time to BF is just as she is waking from a nap. Take baths with your baby too, I always found that when LO was really tiny, he would latch best in the bath.

I had to top-up LO from 3 days due to weight loss.

Don't worry if BF doesn't work for you. It doesn't work for a lot of women. I found the best advice was to set yourself a 'goal'. I would say, I will give it 7 more days, and if I'm still not enjoying it, then we'll switch. Before I knew it, it was 6 months later!!

Have you tried expressing?

amazingmumof6 Mon 12-Nov-12 22:06:17

if there are problems with bf, including slow weight gain, painful nipples, baby feeds really frequently but falls asleep at breast and you are literally feeding every 15 mins day/night (not normal!!!), incorrect latch, dummying but not suckling - they may have TOUNGE-TIE!!! 5 out of our 6 had problems with bf - 3 were diagnosed and I suspect 2 possibly had it.

get baby checked for tounge-tie and if diagnosed she/he can have a little op to sort it.
btw tounge tie can effect bottle fed babies too - my DD struggled with bf as described above, but bottle feeding was even worse until this was sorted!

DS4 was ELSC and had jaundice at 5 days, had to give him formula in the hospital as he was too sleepy bf.
carried on with bf plus small amounts formula 1 or 2 x a day till he got better, then went back to bf only.

at 2.5 weeks and again at 6 weeks I had mastitis, so I went back to mixed feeding to help recovery and to keep my sanity!
I ended up stopping bf him completely at 3 months as I was still recovering from C/S, had 3 other kids under 6 and 3 school runs/day - 1 in infant school, 2 in nursery and it was all a bit much!

btw you can feed through mastitis, best to have some painkillers and use Avent nipple shields!

Willdoitinaminute Mon 12-Nov-12 22:11:50

Breast milk is a two stage feed the first milk is thin and watery and quenches the thirst after this comes a much thicker creamier milk that is high in fat and therefore more filling.
Early on while breast feeding and your baby can't take much quantity,if you keep swapping sides each feed baby only gets foremilk and doesn't satisfy them. I found that if I fed from same side for 4hours,after initial feed baby got creamier more filling stuff for subsequent feeds. Also early on if he kept falling asleep just kept waking him up until he had fed for 40mins total.
At 3 weeks feeding is exhausting for them and they continually fall asleep before they have had time to get the good stuff.
Every few days they want to feed all day this is natures way of increasing your output. If you supplement at 3 weeks you will very quickly loose your milk. The first 4-6 weeks are painful and time consuming but after that it gets much easier.
I fed my DS until he was 2. I returned to work 3 days a week when he was 6months. Your body adapts to demand very easily at this stage.
There are a lot of tricks to BF. My DS would never accept a bottle from me but if I wasn't around he would have one from someone else. They can smell you! The tommee tippe closer to nature are great if you are looking for a compatible bottle. When I weened DS we tried various bottles for his evening milk and he chose these because he said it was like "booby".
I hope this is of some use I really enjoyed BF and kept putting off giving up because it was a great way to rebond with toddler after a long day at work.

Willdoitinaminute Mon 12-Nov-12 22:16:25

When I said DS chose bottle that was when he was finally weened off BF at 2 yrs old. Just to clarify.

amazingmumof6 Mon 12-Nov-12 22:21:21

VisualiseAHorse "It doesn't work for a lot of women", you are right and they may discover sooner or later that it's because baby had tongue-tie and was unable to latch on properly!

which is why it's just terrible that women don't get informed about this problem ( I never even heard of it until my DD3 was 8 months old - too late to correct his for the purposes of bf!)

weight loss/ slow weight gain despite almost constant feeding is the massive give away plus sore/bleeding/cracked/infected nipples!

my DD took 6 weeks to get back to her birth weight of 8lb 3oz and dropped to 0.4 centile at some point.
she also had a problematic soft palate so apart from the tounge-tie release she had 2 cranial osteopathy sessions as well and improved dramatically after these!

aamia Mon 12-Nov-12 23:47:20

I was mix feeding at that point. Was doing every other feed so breast then two hours later bottle then two hours later breast and so on. Worked well for us.

anothertiredmum Mon 12-Nov-12 23:53:58

Aamia... that's good to hear. You did that from week 3 and did could still BF? That sounds what I need to do to keep sane. How long did you BF for?... ideally I would like to do 3 to 6 months.

amazingmumof6 Tue 13-Nov-12 03:03:20

I forgot to mention that I mixed fed all my 6 children (starting and finishing at various stages)
you can carry bf for as long as you like, my "record" was 9 months, by them baby also had solids as well as formula and breast milk.
my SIL stopped bf only at 15 months but some carry on for longer Willdoitinaminute posted she stopped bf when her DS was 2 years old.

so you can definitely breast feed until 3-6 months

good luck

tiktok Tue 13-Nov-12 08:31:46

anothertiredmum, sorry about your may well have looked into what I am going to list here, and you may well know about some of it, but the bits you haven't....maybe talk them over with someone in RL who is knowledgable and also someone you trust?

* some babies have a tongue tie and this really needs to be ruled in/out as a priority
* mixed feeding from 3 weeks is risky...breastfeeding is not 'safe' if you do this
* read this link for an explanation of the way breastmilk is not quite the same as willdoit says, and why switching sides does not do what she says it does (except in particular situations, like serious oversupply)
* whoever has told you not to bf and ff at the same feed does not understand babies or feeding...babies cannot make this cognitive leap to 'figuring out' what they have to work for in order to get a top up, and then deliberately stop working at the breast. Ridiculous!
* breastfeeding is maintained by frequent effective removal of milk from the breasts - if you need to use formula you need to keep it to the minimum and maintain as far as possible the frequent bfs....the longer you go between bf, the less milk you make and at this stage, the less milk you make the more quickly you make none at all sad

I really hope you get the chance to really sort things out.

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