Mixed feeding - your stories needed to reassure me!(13 Posts)
My breast fed DD will be 6 weeks old tomorrow. I am thinking of introducing a bottle of formula, maybe not even as often as once a week, as my husband would like to spend time with her without her crying or having to change nappies as she is only settled for half an hour max while awake before wanting a feed at the minute, and when she cries, the boob is the only thing to settle her which I know is normal at this age and I'm happy to oblige!
I want to be able to ensure she can be left with relatives for a couple of hours and I know she can be fed as well so me and DH can spend some alone time together or I can catch up on my sleep.
I have tried expressing and can't get any more than one ounce at a time and that's with sitting there for over half an hour different times of day etc etc so it looks like formula will be best for us.
I don't want to properly mix feed as I don't want to affect my supply and I love breast feeding and don't want to give it up.
Will giving a bottle maybe one time a week be ok and not affect my supply too much?
I'd think by 6 weeks the odd bottle would be fine, though you may be a bit uncomfortable or leaky (my experience with ds).
Getting baby to drink the stuff may be trickier, but if you aren't around then it's likely to be accepted eventually. With dd MrNC had to dip his finger in it and into her, until he could sneak the teat in.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I have a 6mo DD who I've been mix feeding from 3mo for precisely these reasons. She was fed on demand and never really settled into a routine - 3mo of never being away from the baby for more than an hour was plenty, thanks! She had bottles of EBM and formula here and there. And...... it was fine! no confusion, no supply probs (especially not if it's as little as you're saying). As for health.... it's formula, not arsenic. Offer her a bottle and see if she takes it. Then go and have a nice 3 hour break!
A one off once or twice a week won't affect your supply but you will probably feel uncomfortable. It may be worth trying to pump when you'd normally feed to see if you can get some milk for the next time you want to leave her, if that doesn't spoil your me time of course. It may be that you've got a pump that doesn't suit you - what are you using?
With DD1 I was really strict that it was breast milk only. With DD2 I was more relaxed and mixed fed her if I didn't have a stock of BM in the freezer, it worked really well and I Bfed her until 13 months (when she started to refuse it).
Offering a bottle feed once a week probably won't affect your long-term supply at all. You might just find that you are uncomfortable for a few hours on the days when a bottle is offered.
However - you may well have a problem getting your DD to actually take a bottle if offered that infrequently. Many breastfed babies will only accept a bottle happily if it is a regular part of their daily routine. I appreciate that you don't actually want to do mix-feeding on a regular basis but your DH may find it quite stressful if DD cries and refuses the bottle anyway on the days he attempts to feed her!
You may be lucky and find she is very flexible and takes the occasional bottle no problem. However, if she's not, you may have to think about whether you just want to EBF and forget about bottles completely, or whether offering a more regular bottle would be acceptable for you. What works well for us is offering either a top-up formula feed, or a full formula feed, in the early evening. I have found that my supply has adapted well to this one bottle feed per day and I do all other feeds as breastfeeds with no problems at all. Like MarathonMama I used to offer top ups of expressed milk only for DS1. I am now on DS3, however, and don't have time to express (and am far more pragmatic about the whole breast v formula thing) so it was formula for him from the start!
By the way, regardless of what you decide to do with the bottle, please reassure your DH that six weeks is classic growth spurt time and hopefully she will start calming down soon in terms of constantly seeking boob comfort and be happier during baths/nappy changes etc. Which should mean he gets some nice smiley quality time with her anyway.
Wrt expressing; the best way I found was to do it first thing in the morning while the baby was actually feeding from the other boob. Comes out brilliantly (and believe me I was terrible at expressing before I discovered this trick eg 45 mins to get less than an ounce!)
Wouldbeharriet - i was wondering if i could just give the occasional bottle when i wanted/needed to do something and also read about it after reading the exact same piece of information. Cant remember the exact technical terms but something about babies gut building a protective layer up until the age of six months to protect against allergies, digestive disorders etc, and even the occasional bottle of formula jeopodising this. I didnt feel my occasional time off was worth "undoing" months of what had sometimes been hard work breastfeeding. Definately not trying to start a bf v ff debate here by the way as this is just my personal feelings based on the research that i have come across and how ive interpreted it! Just to say though, maybe do your own research to decide if youd be happy with (if any) health/supply implications before deciding.
Also though, i was feeling exactly the same as you and had the same problems expressing much (was getting 0.5 ounce in 45 mins and felt i was never going to get enough to buy some time out!). But as my ds started to space out his feeds to 3.5 or 4 hours, i was able to express more between feeds (can now get 2 ounces in about 15 mins) and gradually build up a little freezer store for any big events that i had coming up or to allow me a night out or a night off. Also the spaced out feeds allowed me enough time to return to the gym, pop out on my own, have a bath, whatever...leaving dp to do bathtime or playtime or whatever. My ds is only 3mo as well which shows how quickly it gets to that stage!
Not trying to persuade you not to use formula, just that as other posters have said, it could be more hassle than its worth when soon youll be able to achieve what you want to carrying on as you are
Thank you for all your opinions. We tried her on formula on Sunday and she took it no problems...I on the other hand was a crying mess. Silly I know!
I think I am going to stick to the once a week thing just so I know it's possible for others to feed her. We're at a child free wedding in June and I may have to have surgery in the next month for an ovarian cyst so I'm happy that she will take formula with no probs, I just felt jealous and left out!
Aw I'm glad, just think of it as a handy back up. She will always love you and your nippy diner the best!
My health visitor said if I wanted to give one bottle a day (which I did) then the evening feed sort of 7ish was a better one to do than the middle of the night feed because it is that late feed that most stimulates milk production for the next day.
It worked for us.
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