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Combi feeds how long and which way to go?

(4 Posts)
amroc18 Thu 14-Jul-16 18:32:26

DD is 5 weeks and I'm wondering how long to persevere BF/FF combo and which one to drop...

Original I wanted to exclusively BF but DD lost 13% of her body weight so we ended up back in hospital where we were persuaded to give formula topups til she got back to birthweight. Which she has only just done so is on around 10 breastfeeds, 100ml expressed and 400ml formula a day.

I'm exhausted BF, expressing and FF. Plus I know it's bad but I don't enjoy the experience of BF. I was only doing it as thought it was the right thing to do and best for DD.

I know I could wean her off the top ups and BF exclusively by following advice on KellyMom but seems like so much work. I go through phases of trying to reduce top ups by small amounts but then she cries wanting more and getting angry at the breast so cave in. Then I feel guilty esp as midwife has been so supportive and encouraging top up reductions.

Has anyone done this successfully? Did it get easier? I just don't know what to do or whether to just cave in and go to FF...

Sorry so long!

Coconut0il Thu 14-Jul-16 23:20:54

Don't feel guilty OP. Your DD is fed and that's what matters. I think the mix of bf/expressing/ff is really difficult and I'm not surprised you are exhausted.

What would you like to do? Would you like to carry on bf or would you like to move to formula? Nothing wrong with either choice, I think either would be easier than what you are doing now.

Whatever you decide don't feel guilty, you have given your DD a fab start. It does get easier. I mix fed DS1 and I'm currently Bf DS2, at 5 weeks I didn't have a clue what I was doing with either, just took it day by day. We found our way.

sycamore54321 Thu 14-Jul-16 23:39:20

Wow, you are working really hard doing all three. My opinion is that expressing is the hardest of all and combines the challenges of both. Why are you choosing to express as well as breast and formula feed? As a first stage, I'd suggest you drop the pumping and do as much or as little BF as you wish and everything else is just formula.

You were very wise to take the advice to top up when such a large weight loss became evident, please don't feel bad about it. I had to supplement from day 2 due to severe early onset jaundice. I kept up breast and combo feeding to six months and to be honest if I were to do it again, I would be happy to do the same. I am not convinced at all by the emphasis on exclusive BF at all costs. For me, I do not think my body was fit to make adequate quantities of breast milk for my rapidly growing baby so combo was the perfect option for me for some months. But I think adding pumping on to that would have been hugely difficult.

I would also say that I genuinely believe both breast milk and formula milk, exclusively or in combinations of any proportion, are excellent sources of nutrition. When I was in the fog of BF, I did feel the pressure to drop the formula and take all kinds of demanding steps (and frankly, seemingly unlikely to succeed) to move back to exclusive BF.

I would suggest for you that you drop the expressing and reassess the situation in a short while. The pumping element is the easiest to reinstate if you feel in a few days or weeks that you chose the wrong option. In my experience, trying to move to exclusive BF is extremely difficult without any evident real reward and not guaranteed to succeed. If you move to exclusive FF, that is not at all a problem but in your situation where you feel a bit overwhelmed right now by the enormous workload, you might possibly regret dropping both the breast and pump at once and it is harder to return to BF.

Hope this helps. Please never feel guilty about any of your choices as long as your baby is being fed, whether that is breast milk, pumped milk or the excellent safe formula that we are so privileged to have. You need no excuse to stop BF other than "I don't want to" or "I no longer enjoy it".

amroc18 Fri 15-Jul-16 19:11:53

Thanks both-sorry only just got chance to reply, been a tiring 24 hours!

It is reassuring to read responses that it will all be ok whatever. I know really that it will but it helped me feel a bit less guilty! And good to hear combo feeding has worked for others as I think is the prospect of trying to move fully into BF that is so daunting.

Sycamore-I started expressing as midwife recommended it would help increase supply-although not sure I need to still!

Thanks again both much appreciated

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