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Why don't many people mix both ff and bf?

(39 Posts)
Nancery Tue 26-Aug-14 22:37:31

I had to do both from birth for medical reasons (am Type 1 diabetic and bf affects blood sugar, plus we needed to get DS's levels up.) I continued mix feeding till, due to endless issues, I finally went to ff full time.
Nobody I know has mixed fed and I never thought to ask anyone 'official' (eg midwife) at the time so wonder if there's a reason for this?

Taystee Tue 26-Aug-14 22:41:32

Most of the people I know mix fed so i think it's actually quite common, at least where I am!

TheHoundsBitch Tue 26-Aug-14 22:44:13

I mix fed from 2 weeks to 8 months, I would have preferred to ebf but DS never seemed to get enough milk from me sad
If I ever have another I would probably mix feed but not from so early on.

RubbishRobotFromTheDawnOfTime Tue 26-Aug-14 22:45:01

Mixed feeding can affect your milk supply - it can be that as the bm is not being demanded by the baby as much as it "should" be, the supply will dwindle. Anyone I know who has mix fed has gone fully to ff after not very long.

Vicky5910 Tue 26-Aug-14 22:46:10

Adding a bottle or dummy can reduce your milk supply when breast feeding, causing your supply to slowly dry up until you are fully dependent upon formula.
This is because breasts work on a demand basis. Every feed puts in the 'order' for the next feed. If you miss a feed, because you use a bottle, the demand isn't there so the supply drops.

Interestingly the most important feed is the 3am one. The hormones controlling milk supply are highest around this time so more milk will be produced for the next day.

Sorry for geek post :D

catgirl1976 Tue 26-Aug-14 22:49:34

I mix fed DS and continued breast feeding until he was 10 months old.

It worked really well for me. It meant I got a break and I was back at work when he was 5 weeks old so it meant I wasn't tied to expressing all the time and under no pressure if I couldn't express enough to leave for him.

Nancery Tue 26-Aug-14 22:52:35

Mix feeding sounds more appealing to me too as you could, potentially, have more flexibility. Is the supply affected mainly at the start if you ff too, or any time?
(Sorry if dumb questions!)

seaofloom Tue 26-Aug-14 22:54:34

I guess if you crack breastfeeding it's actually easier, so you might as well do it all the time. This is assuming you don't need to leave your baby for lengths of time on a regular basis.

FieldRose Tue 26-Aug-14 22:55:30

I really wanted to do mixed.

DS would never take anything from the bottle (expressed or formula) or a cup. Whatever we tried, he was having none of it. BF only (and only via a boob) until he was weaned.

Even when he started nursery and I wasn't there, he wouldn't take it. He just had to manage on normal foods until I picked him up. I did manage to breastfeed til a yr but it would have been so much easier if we could have thrown in a bottle here and there.

I half wonder if we left too late, prob started trying at 5 weeks or so.

feeona123 Tue 26-Aug-14 23:09:13

5 months and mix feeding!

Was 2 bottles a day, down to one now, since I have increased my supply x

nailslikeknives Tue 26-Aug-14 23:09:55

With ds2, I bf mainly but ff once at night from about a week old, once bf was established. I wanted to make sure he would take a bottle and formula plus preventing waking and just wanting comfort rather than food!

This worked pretty well, I was able to pop out for the evening much earlier than with ds1 and he slept through 1 month earlier. He stopped drinking formula when he slept through. I kept bf until he weaned himself off at 10 months.

weelittlething Tue 26-Aug-14 23:40:02

I EBFed until three months, when DD fell ill and refused to nurse, so I supplemented from a bottle.

She then realised bottles were much easier and never went back on the breast full-time again, and now I'm FFing.

She might be a one-off case but I don't think I'll mix-feed my next at all (if I have one) for that reason. sad

LineRunner Tue 26-Aug-14 23:42:43

Same as Catgirl. Going back to work meant mixed feeding.

hollie84 Tue 26-Aug-14 23:46:02

I think pretty much everyone I know mix fed to some extent. Most did a bottle at bedtime/11pm.

Some did some bottles in the day too.

I'm doing 50:50 with my almost 6 month old.

ShadowStar Wed 27-Aug-14 00:00:41

I was told that giving a bottle of formula can affect milk supply. Also that giving bottles before breastfeeding is established can reduce the chances of successful breastfeeding.

And then, once I had got breastfeeding established, I found it easier to just do breastfeeding all the time instead of starting to take time out to prepare / wash bottles.

Although, worth noting that I'd have been doing all night feeds anyway (DH sleeps too heavily for that), and I've been able to take a long maternity leave, so less of a need to worry about introducing formula.

NickyEds Wed 27-Aug-14 11:22:23

Most of the women I know who started out ebf started to mix feed after a few months, an 11.00 bottle or a carton when out and about. I introduced f top ups because of tongue tie/weight loss/shredded nipples/supply problems and gradually reduced them until he was having maybe a bottle a day but split into 2-3 top ups.

It depends on how you define "successful breast feeding" doesn't it? 50:50? 90:10? 4 months? 6 months? 2 years? I've had real upset about this. If asked if bf DS I always say "sort of" because I didn't ebf him. When my OH is asked he always says "yes" because I didconfused

Mitchell2 Wed 27-Aug-14 11:44:57

I'm bottle feeding with a mixture of formula and expressed milk. Have been for about 2 months as I did two weeks of bf and hated it. I'm going back to work in a month so the plan always was to mix feed, it just happened a little sooner.

I express to schedule, evening, middle of night and morning and get 2/3 feeds at the moment. I give her two and freeze one - the rest is formula.

I've had no problems with supply and have managed to increase it a bit. Will continue to do this as long as I can - hope to get to 6 months at least.

Seeline Wed 27-Aug-14 12:15:00

DS was in SCUBU for the first week, and tube fed for the first few days. Due to a difficult birth, my milk didn't come in for a while anyway, despite trying to express regularly. However after a blood transfusion, things picked up and I was able to start BF, but never really produced enough for DS so mixed fed until 6 months when I switched to FF. It worked really well for both of us and I planned to do the same with DD. BUT she never took to a bottle or a cup, or formula, or even cows milk when she was older so I had to EBF until she was 15 months. I found BFing her easier than Ds, but it would have been nice to have had a break at some point!!!

Castlemilk Wed 27-Aug-14 12:20:31

It affects milk supply, so not a good idea at first.

Later on, it would be fine... but would think that most people who are still bf later, when milk supply established, would have little real reason to mix feed.

...because, contrary to popular opinion and seemingly every other thread this week smile - once established, breastfeeding is cheaper, easier, and more flexible than ff. As well as being better for your baby.

MrsAtticus Wed 27-Aug-14 12:22:04

I think people get told that if they give a bottle the baby might not want the breast, which puts people off. I know lots of people who have done it though and this has not happened.

Ilovenicesoap Wed 27-Aug-14 12:24:33

Agree Castle
I couldn't be bothered with faffing about with bottles .

Bakersbum Wed 27-Aug-14 12:25:00

I mixed fed (well one bottle a day) from the start and it worked really well for us, when he was very little I used to go to bed at 9pm, DP would stay up with DS and give him a bottle at 11pm and then bring him up to his crib, it meant I got a nice big chunk of sleep before the 3am feed and he got a bit of bonding time too.

thatsn0tmyname Wed 27-Aug-14 12:29:27

I mixed fed my son as it took a while to establish breastfeeding. I also wasn't comfortable bf in public. However, it was chaotic bf, ff and expressing milk and eventually my milk dried up at 41\2 months. I bf my daughter for nearly 8months and avoided the pump and ff and felt much more confident the second time round

hollie84 Wed 27-Aug-14 12:47:05

If 35% of babies are breastfed for 6 months, but only 2% are exclusively breastfed, that would suggest a fair amount of mixed feeding going on.

tiktok Wed 27-Aug-14 14:38:33

The vast majority of babies are not exclusively breastfed - almost all babies have formula at some point. You can call it 'partial breastfeeding' rather than 'mixed feeding' - that's the phrase used in research when assessing who does it and what the outcomes are.

Yes, it can work out for some women, but the majority of mothers who use formula with the hope of continuing breastfeeding alongside it for more than just a short time find it does not work out that way.

The reasons for partial breastfeeding are to do with convenience, flexibility and plugging a nutritional gap when breastfeeding is not sufficient, for whatever reason.

The reasons against partial breastfeeding are these:

* Partial breastfeeding has poorer health outcomes than exclusive breastfeeding (for some good evidence of this, check out the Millennium Cohort study paper on diarrhoeal disease and infection which was done on UK babies

* some mothers prefer to feel they and they alone (and their milk smile ) have 'grown' their baby

* introduction of formula milk affects the volume of breastmilk made, and this can be crucial in some situations, seriously reducing it, especially in the early days and weeks, so the switch to formula has to happen if the supply is not 'rescued' in time

* the convenience turns out to be spurious in some cases

* a few babies cannot tolerate formula

* formula use can affect confidence in breastfeeding, in some mothers

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