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Experiences of introducing mixed feeding?

(16 Posts)
barmybunting Sat 12-Jul-14 07:36:52

I am pregnant with DC1 and wondering about the idea of mixed feeding- everything I read seems to imply this is a bad idea to think of so I am struggling to find out any info about it really! Can anyone share any experiences of establishing mixed feeding please?

I realise it comes down to how things go after the birth, but I would like to be prepared for options I guess!

Do you need need to EBF for a couple of weeks before introducing FF?
I guess another option is expressing and bottle feeding that way.

Probably a stupid question, but I can't work it out- am I going to have to express anyway is I am BF? I would rather avoid expressing if I can.

I am rather confused I guess- could anyone point me in the direction of a book/ something to read which may help me not to ask five million questions on here!

barmybunting Sat 12-Jul-14 07:37:32

And what should have been the end of my post- thank you for your help!

purplemurple1 Sat 12-Jul-14 07:48:55

Hi I ebf for 10 days but due to the baby losing 15% of his body weight I started mix feeding. This can of course affect your supply - the less you feed the less you makew and drinking from a bottle is easier than bf so my baby preferred that. I'm not sure how much that was affected by his previous weight loss and obvious hunger though. I think you will find on here that is more often the reason rather than deciding beforehand to do it. I'm trying to decide what to do with number 2 atm.

You don't need to express if you bf provided you will always be available when baby wants to eat.

From talking to people in rl who have bf long-term (1yr+) it seems introducing an evening bottle @f formula given by dad so mum can sleep earlier seems to work and not ruin supply to much. Dont be fooled into thinking it will make baby sleep better or longer though it really is the fact that someone else feeding that makes the difference to your sleep rather than the baby's ifyswim. Although most have waited a month or so before starting that another supply was established first.

tiktok Sat 12-Jul-14 07:50:48

barmy there are experiences on here of ppl mixed feeding for months and it can be done. The key is establishing breastfeeding first, and keeping formula to a minimum, at least at first. It is very rare to be able to do 50/50 from early on, if that's your aim.

Breastfeeding and breastmilk production need frequent milk removal to get production sorted. So yes, breastfeed exclusively or with only minimal formula for the first weeks. If you don't want to express then you don't have to. Plenty of women bf without ever expressing.

Introduce formula gradually and in small amounts.

Have you any major reason for wanting to feed this way? When bf is going well, most ppl would say it is a lot easier and more convenient than ff.

If it's to do with someone else sharing the feeding from time to time then a bottle of expressed, or formula if you prefer, on those occasions might be worth considering, rather than full-on mixed.

Hope you get some more replies to help you work out your options.

barmybunting Sat 12-Jul-14 08:07:06

Thanks tiktok and purple, your replies have honestly given me more useful info in a few mins than I have managed to find in weeks of looking at this. Thank you, both of you!

I don't want to go for 50/50 feeds this way really, I think it is more that I want the option of bottle feeding occasionally and feel out of depth trying to think about how to do it without being able to find much info on it of that makes sense.

DH and I naively went along to an event about various baby stuff recently (antenatal classes start in a few weeks) and the info I was given on feeding scared the wits out of me so that got me thinking really!

ClearlyMoo Sat 12-Jul-14 08:37:03

Hi. I have an 8 week old baby. We've been combination feeding for 6 weeks since we had lots of issues BF. Having finally regained her birthweight we are now reducing the formula.

For us formula started off as feed top ups -30ml after every breast feed. However that's an awful lot of sterilising bottles so now she has 3-4 60-100ml feeds of formula a day.

I'd prefer she didn't, formula is expensive and sterilising is a pain. Bf much easier. However the fact that she'll take a bottle is ace! I also express when I can and so we are actually "triple feeding"! Long term aim is to drop all formula and express for bedtime feed with DH.

There's very little advice on mixed feeding as you have the staunch breast feeders then the bottle feeding advice with nothing about volumes if you are mixed feeding.

You may find NHS bottle feeding guide helpful

tiktok Sat 12-Jul-14 08:39:32

There is really nothing to be scared of. Blimey, what sort of event on feeding leaves mothers feeling frightened? sad

Sounds like best option for you is to get bf going, and then offer the odd bottle (ebm or formula) when it suits you. This should present no impact on your breastmilk production or supply and in fact it's what most bf mothers do anyway. Excl bf mothers prefer it to be expressed but that's up to you smile

fledermaus Sat 12-Jul-14 14:47:33

I have mix fed both mine. Both EBF for 6-8 weeks, then introduced a bottle of formula at the 11pm feed. Also occasional bottles of formula if I ever went out. I don't like expressing and found it really, really difficult so just used formula.

DC1 had an occasional bottle (1 or 2 a week) from 6-16 weeks and then a 11pm bottle every day from 4-8 months plus occasional bottles if I was out. I breastfed him til over a year.

DC2 had an 11pm bottle most nights from 8 weeks, though if we were away or on holiday I went back to ebf as it was less hassle. I am going back to work at 6 months so will be introducing 2 bottles a day and other 4 will be breastfeeds. Hopefully will continue bf for at least 12 months again.

fledermaus Sat 12-Jul-14 14:49:35

And as for volumes we've always done 3-5oz bottles of formula rather than giving huge bottles.

barmybunting Sat 12-Jul-14 19:09:14

Thanks clearly, tiktok and fleder. That is useful. You have all reassured me about different options, so thank you!

BabyHaribo Sat 12-Jul-14 19:26:30

I mixed fed DS but didn't specifically choose to. He lost lots of weight and wasn't latching well so we were advised to 'top up' with formula.

I think the latching issue was due to how sleepy he was (jaundice) and once he got over that he latched on fine but would also still take a bottle which I found really useful. So in reality we mixed fed almost from birth and I still had plenty of milk although this may not be the case for everyone.

Can't remember exactly when we got into this routine but I used to give a bottle of formula early evening and then express at about 930pm. I would then go to bed and DH would do the next feed with the expressed milk. This worked really well I breastfed for all other feeds and continued til DS was about 7months.

Good luck with whatever you decide. I am due next week with DC2 and would like to introduce a bottle early to give me a break although will hopefully exclusively breast feed for the first few weeks to get feeding established.

NickyEds Sat 12-Jul-14 19:32:57

I mix fed DS since he was 2 weeks old due to bf problems,Tongue tie and weight gain problems. I didn't choose to mix feed but I would do it again-just in a different way. I had to top DS up with f after every breastfeed at first then gradually reduce the formula. If at all possible it would be better the other way round!!I would start by establishing bf then introducing a bottle of ebm or f later.This is what a lot of my friends who still bf at nearly 7 months do.
I think that statistically mix feeding reduces the overall duration of bf(though this is by no means guaranteed) so that might be something to consider if you think you might want to extend bf.
You don't have to express but I found that, in the early days if I gave DS a bottle of f whilst we were out and about my boobs would be a bit uncomfortable when I got home so if he wasn't starving I'd express for comfort.
I found it really hard to find information on the practicalities of mix feeding too. It was always just sort of just phrased as "some women do this"smile.
What frightened you?

barmybunting Sat 12-Jul-14 21:39:00

Nicky, you have it in one there with "some women do this" and not much other info out there!

The woman talking about feeding was on about how hard it could be to establish bf, how you have to be set up to ff and express from day 1 just in case, proceeded to tell us that expressing took forever, was really painful, ff was a hassle. Basically she just made every option sound like a painful, slow, awful experience. We thankfully weren't there to actually listen to her, but instead to pick up car seats etc and happened to listen to her. I realise that having no children yet, I have no experience to tell me how easy or difficult it will be, but I was just really put off by the whole thing. My thoughts are very much that I would like to know what options I can use alongside bf, and I will take things as they come, seek help as I need and hope things go well. I am trying to take a relaxed approach to it (in that I have decided to bf, but realise I may need to seek help and it may not be easy) rather than feeling like it would be awful whatever I do; I left there having got the impression it would all be horrendous whatever I do! She was a very silly woman I have decided!

Thank you, you have all been far more help than anything else I have found and reassured me that it will actually be ok, and that options are there to support bf should I want them!

Secondsop Sun 13-Jul-14 01:14:14

Hi, I mix-fed my first for 3 months and then went to full formula (the bf had been gradually reducing) and am currently mix-feeding my 7-week-old. For both the introduction of formula was because of weight gain / feeding difficulties (DS2 had a tongue tie, cut at 4 weeks, and I strongly suspect DS1 has an undiagnosed one). So I'm an accidental mix feeder. My big tip is to try to get bf established as well as you can at the start, whether or not you are giving bottles at the same time, as with DS1 my supply never really got going very well and we got to a point where the mix balance wasn't right and he kept losing weight until we pretty much went to 100% formula.

You're right that there's next to no specific advice out there. When we were first advised to top up for DS2 I was told 30 a feed. But not only is that incredibly faffy with constant sterilising, but it pretty much assumed he fed 8 times a day whereas he fed many more times like that including some clusters. So I was then told 240ml a day which I distributed through the day as I wished, eg sometimes just a small top up after a big feed but sometimes a bigger top up.

missbluebird Sun 13-Jul-14 02:29:35

Introduce the bottle as soon as BF is established. We waited too long and can't get DS to take any form of bottle. Is a nightmare!

NickyEds Sun 13-Jul-14 11:10:43

You'll be fine. When you hear about bf you often hear the horror stories and the "it was ALL wonderful" stories-mainly because "yeah we fed our baby- it was fine" doesn't make much of a story!! You sound much better informed than I was and that is part of the battle. I thought that once I 'd decided to bf and watched the dvd that was that, so was completely ill prepared for the problems I had. I won't lie, most people find the early days with a new baby very hard but it really does pass quickly.

The woman was very sillysmile

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