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Half and half?

(11 Posts)
Daffodil90 Wed 30-Dec-15 16:22:13

I always wanted to breastfeed and plan on giving DD as much as possible....I've started to express it though as I find breastfeeding to be the most painful thing ever. I'm disappointed but still want her to have it so will happily sit for the time it takes to express.

My worry is that she's eating more and more as we go along and she gets bigger that I don't think I'll be able to keep up with demand.

Does anyone have any experience doing half and half, breastmilk and formula? Has it worked for you? Any advice?

Thanks smile

DangerMouth Wed 30-Dec-15 20:57:55

I combi fed dd1 bf and ff from 8 weeks, was brilliant. Dd2 was combi fed from 2 weeks until 3 months but l expressed and had to top up with formula. I found expressing fine in the beginning but towards the end found it very restrictive (l had to pump every two hours during the day and 2/3 times overnight to keep up) so couldn't go too far from home and it was always at the back of mind that l needed to do it. It was lovely being able to give dd2 bm also but l was gutted that having her tongue tie cut effectively put an end to our bf.

How old is dd? Have you had latch checked? Cant remember how long it hurt with dd1, couple of weeks for sure. Dd2 didn't hurt at all and tongue tie was only discovered because she lost weigh.

ALongTimeComing Wed 30-Dec-15 21:08:58

I haven't tried formula but breastfeeding is bloody painful. It does get better though. How far in are you?

austengirl Thu 31-Dec-15 07:51:03

If you really want to stick with breastfeeding, I'd recommend some 1 to 1 support, either at a clinic or with a lactation counsellor. They made a massive difference and got me through the first incredibly painful weeks. DS is 6 weeks now and it's been a lot better since week 3 or 4. I do give him some formula at night as he's been gaining weight slowly and DH can help with feeding then.

It's great that your baby is still getting breast milk.

Daffodil90 Thu 31-Dec-15 18:01:56

Shes only 15 days old so it is early days yet but she lost a lot of weight within the first few days so we were on a feeding plan that meant I was breastfeeding and pumping and topping up with formula when I couldn't express enough.
As we we're doing that her weight has gone back up brilliantly and we're almost back at birth weight. I liked that with the expressing I knew exactly how much she was getting and that I'd actually filled her little tummy!
I had the latch checked by 4 different midwives (inc the specialist on the ward) so I know the latch is fine but I also think it took a few days for my milk to come in properly so that might be the cause of extra pain if she couldn't get it she was maybe sucking harder or something.
I think now that I've had a couple days off BF, I'll go back and try again now I'm not so sore and see what happens but I'm reassured you guys have had good experiences with combi feeding, it makes me feel better!


geekaMaxima Fri 01-Jan-16 13:15:09

It's tough going to bf, express, and make up formula - it's it hardest of all feeding options. Well done for juggling it all so far.

Have you tried a babymoon? Stay in bed with baby for a couple of days, with your top off and baby in just a nappy, maximising skin to skin. (If your bedroom is cold, wear a cardigan and snuggle up with baby on your chest under a blanket). Have drinks, snacks, books, Netflix, nappy bag, etc. on hand so you only have to get out of bed to go the loo. A partner to run around and cook you food is important.

If baby is awake, boob. If she falls asleep on the boob, leave her there so long as you're comfortable. No expressing at all. A couple of days of this does wonders for your supply, far better than expressing, particularly in the early weeks when your supply is still settling down. And it gives you a chance to rest, and baby a chance to practise bf (she's still learning too).

If she seems hungry even with the constant bf, ask your partner to run up a small (1-1.5 oz) bottle of formula. Then pop her back on the boob again. You can always give her another small bottle a little while later if she wants it, but give her every chance on the boob first and keep formula to small quantities each time. You wouldn't necessarily expect her to drink the same amount of formula supplement during a babymoon as during a typical day.

And after the babymoon, you could try to have her feed direct more often rather than expressing. Run the idea by a bf counsellor (NCT, LLL, etc.) and talk it over with your midwife / HV afterwards. I find that midwives are sometimes a little too keen on expressing as the solution to everything, when there are often alternatives available that may be better for you, and they're often happy to support them if you discuss it.

Try to let go of the idea of seeing how much she's drinking. I know it can seem reassuring, but it's not how bf works. If you establish bf, then your supply increases with her demand, even if she's getting formula supplements as well (so long as you don't ramp up formula quantities as well).

And congratulations! thanks

BuffyFan Fri 01-Jan-16 13:58:03

Not quite the same, but I'm combination feeding my 12 week old twins. It can work - we started off having to top up as they both lost weight. After a couple of weeks we transitioned to alternating feeds - breast then bottle - throughout the day.

It's working for us, but then that might be because there's two babies to feed, you might find you don't want to introduce quite as much formula so you don't threaten your supply.

BlurtonOnKites Sat 02-Jan-16 01:44:08

Hi Daff, lots of great advice here.

If you really want to breastfeed try and get a bit more help with the latch, is there any BF groups around you? It can take a lot of practice to get it right. There's lots of different methods you can try to get it better. Google 'laidback breastfeeding' this can help get a nice deep latch which should be less traumatic for your nips. Lots of people told me my latch was fine but it wasn't deep enough.

I've just finished a book called 'Making More Milk' which was full of brilliant advice, it only took me an evening to get through. I'm combo feeding at the moment and this has helped me loads. It's full of evidence backed advice, not loads of mad old wives tales. It's on Amazon or if you PM me your address I'll throw it in the post for you.

Caterina99 Sat 02-Jan-16 15:57:01

I combi fed due to low supply for 4.5 months before swapping totally to formula. It worked for us but it was a pain to have to do both expressing and all the formula prep! I kept the night breast feeds going for as long as I could as it is a total pain having to make up formula in the middle of the night

SerenityReynolds Sat 02-Jan-16 16:18:19

I would agree with pp's about trying to see a lactation specialist - they often run breastfeeding cafes in the community. They were the ones who diagnosed DD2 with a severe posterior tongue tie, despite 3 midwives looking at her feeding. In hindsight, I think DD1 had the same as we had similar issues with her. It wasn't picked up by any midwife despite spending 3 days in hospital trying to establish breastfeeding.

We mixed fed DD1 for a year - started with top ups and gradually reduced the bottles to 2 a day which suited us. I persevered with breastfeeding even though she spent ages on the boob and rarely seemed satisfied for long. With DD2, she mangled my nipples so badly, I was told not to breastfeed for 2 days to let them heal. I expressed in the meantime. Had the tongue tie snipped, but hasn't made much difference really. Then we had 2 days of breast refusal! confused Now (at 4 weeks) we have finally settled into a good pattern where I breastfeed first, but top up with a formula feed every 4-6 hours as I can't sit on the sofa all day feeding with a toddler to look after too! She is much more settled after a bottle which gives me a break to play with DD1.

I have been strict about trying to breastfeed at night as that's apparently the best time to boost supply. Will continue that until 6-8 weeks when she will have a bottle for night wakings. Mixed feeding worked great for us with DD1 and has so far been invaluable with DD2. Just really aim to get your supply up in the first 6-8 weeks, giving the odd bottle. Then you can decide where to give a formula feed regularly.

cazs143 Sat 09-Jan-16 21:45:54

Hi im new to the forum. 3rd baby EBF untill 3 days ago. Topped up with few oz formula before bed, even made a bottle today as we went out for day and he seems so much more settled with a full belly. He just doesnt seem content with my milk alone? Feeds for very long periods(cluster feeds through evenings)..struggles to latch on to me totally out the blue, and becomes angry and really fussy..but will then latch onto bottle no problem? Have any of you guys experienced this?

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