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Mixed feeding - supply really in danger?

(9 Posts)
oysterpots Tue 02-Oct-07 16:42:41

I'm doing 2 or 3 bf a day with the rest as ff, and so far my supply doesn't seem to be too badly affected (started this when DS was 5 weeks, he's now 10 weeks).

Question is this: am I just lucky so far but my supply will soon dry up? Is there anything I can do to keep it going as long as possible (other than try to go back to exclusively bf)?

I know other posts have said you really need to be doing 7 or 8 bf per day to maintain supply, but I don't understand that in the context of supply and demand - surely as long as the demand for 2 or 3 feeds a day is there my body will supply enough?

Also, it's always the first thing in the morning feed I do as a bf (between 7-8am-ish), plus one at some point during the day, plus one at some point in the evening, although this is increasingly me expressing rather than feeding direct as he's normally in bed. Does it matter that it's quite sporadic like this, or is that better for my supply than consistently feeding at the same time each day?

tiktok Tue 02-Oct-07 16:57:13

oyster, the min 8 times a day is indeed needed to establish and maintain a supply. This is because the supply production line is set up in the first weeks (if not, months) and when there is too little stimulation, as there is with just 2-3 feeds in the first weeks, the production line shuts down.

Some people get away with 2-3 feeds for ages and ages, even if they have started this early on, in the first weeks. It sounds like you are in this category

I don't know how long you'll keep it up for, but you might well manage several more weeks before you see a dwindling....what you are doing now, with 3 feeds over about 12 hours, is ok. Doesn't sound 'sporadic' to me - not sure what you are asking.

oysterpots Tue 02-Oct-07 18:48:21

I suppose, in a roundabout way, I'm asking whether it is better for my supply to always feed at the same time every day, or doesn't it really matter as long as I'm doing the same number of feeds every day?

Trinaj Tue 02-Oct-07 21:58:36

How do you fit 8 (or more) feeds in, in a day when they feed 3-4 hourly and sleep up to 6 hours overnight?

oysterpots Wed 03-Oct-07 08:04:27

Can't answer that!

I just want to carry on giving my DS some breastmilk for as long as possible, so whatever strategy will make that happen is the one I want to know about. Tiktok? Any suggestions? Thanks

lemonaid Wed 03-Oct-07 08:10:10

Trinaj -- in the early weeks DS was feeding more like every 1-2 hours than every 3-4 and was not sleeping 6 hours at night, so "fitting in" 8 feeds was not a problem grin. I think it's unusual to have a newborn (as opposed to slightly older) baby who only wants to feed every 3-4 hours.

bealcain Wed 03-Oct-07 08:12:45

hello oysterpots.

you're supply wont be affected in terms of what he wants at each feed. the only time you'll notice a difference is during growth spurts, if he wants more from you and you cant give him enouh. the other problem you have is that nutrients needed by children mean that say baby has 5oz formula, he'd only need 3oz of breastmilk. this means that he then needs more bm next time as his stomach has grown.

what are your reasons for wanting to mix feed.

Trinaj....this 8 feeds is actually 8-12 and its meant to be that much to establish your milk supply. once it has been established, around the 3-6 week mark it really is just a case of demad feeding.

oysterpots Wed 03-Oct-07 10:14:53

Hi Bealcain

Long story but in a nutshell I had terrible trouble to begin with in terms of bf - awful blisters on nipples, very uncomfortable - which was followed by misdiagnosed thrush. Was given antibiotics for mastitis by stupid doctor, which compounded the problem. By the time it was correctly diagnosed and topical treatment was prescribed, the pain was too awful to bear (way worse than childbirth!) and I made the decision to change to ff. It was as much psychological reasons as physical - I was dreading each feed and resenting DS... Really felt that it was damaging my relationship with him and I wasn't bonding.

My instincts were right - once we were on ff, everything was a lot rosier and we were both happier. Still had the thrush though so went back to gp who then prescribed flucanozole (after a fight though) and thrush cleared up, allowing me to maintain a few feeds a day. I do understand the benefits of breastmilk are great and want to be able to give ds at least some bm every day.

So I want to carry on with this arrangement, which is working so well for us now, for as long as possible. Hence the question wink

bealcain Wed 03-Oct-07 20:41:15

have you considered going back to exclusively bf? unfortunately i see a few problems when the time comes for weaning. as babe will be taking more and more food, a mothers supply would dwindle....the supply and demand. i believe that your supply would then diminish as it's hard to guage when to feed during weaning. i just started my 7month and give him food followed by mummy milk but he;s not at breast very long, my supply is kept up from night feeds and in between feeds.

i'm sure we could think of ways to make it work if that's what you want to do, expressing for instance to mix with food and then bf if necessary.

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