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Mixed feeding - any positive stories please?

(14 Posts)
Jenbot Wed 03-Sep-08 18:10:00

I'm having to introduce formula unfortunately, and I'm feeling a little bit worried about it.

My premature baby isn't putting on enough weight apparently and the nurse from the hospital says it may affect her brain development, so I don't want to be precious about breastfeeding with that risk hanging over my head!

All I seem to be able to find to read about supplementing with formula is people saying "No don't do it! Your supply will disappear!"
Can anyone reassure me that they've done it and everything was fine?!?

Hopefully yours, J.

TheProvincialLady Wed 03-Sep-08 18:12:49

All I will say is that you would be wise to get an expert (BF) opinion before you introduce formula, as it might be that you need a better BF technique or something else before you try formula. If it is a case of getting more milk down her then you could try expressing and giving that? Just a thought.

There are people here who have mixed fed but I guess the success of it depends on your supply and on how early the supplementing starts and how frequent it is. Again, a proper BF counsellor will be able to advise you. Have you contacted one before?

Romy7 Wed 03-Sep-08 18:26:07

i did it after a couple of months with dd1, but did lots of expressing to stimulate supply (bottle fed both ebm and formula as well as breast fed). have a close friend who used the last feed of the day for partner to bottle feed formula and it worked really well for them - she got early nights and baby slept better as (allegedly) it takes longer to digest formula....
no opinion either way - do whatever works for you - i also have ds1 who was exclusively breast fed, and dd2 who was tube fed ebm and went onto formula at 6 weeks (i had two other teenies and she was a scbu baby who needed me more than i needed to express)
hope it works out whatever you choose to do xx

Pixiefish Wed 03-Sep-08 18:29:31

I mixed fed but that was because my milk supply was crap and I didn't have enough milk so my baby was losing weight. She's 10 months old now and still being breastfed and having 1 bottle a day.

SparklyGothkat's ds was prem and she was told she had to give formula. I'd try and contact her perhaps.

Deffo contact a breastfeeding expert though- links on my blog in the sidebar here

poppy34 Wed 03-Sep-08 20:39:19

I mixed fed from day 1 on m/w advice ...dd doing great (and would agree re sleeping better/going longer) - also seemed to help her grow as shot from 50 centile at birth to 91st at week 5...but agree get help as can knacker your supply (I introduced it gradually as was mainly b/f first).

Anifrangapani Wed 03-Sep-08 20:43:22

We mixed fed dd b/c I was back at work when she was 5 weeks. The thing that made it easiest was expresing at times she would normally be feeding at and for somoeone else to give her the bottle. It just confused her to have me bottle feed her. It worked really well... I got to to have me time and sleep ( dh did the last night feed and I did the first morning one) and dh formed a really good bond with dd.

FattipuffsandThinnifers Wed 03-Sep-08 20:55:16

I introduced a single formula feed (night feed so DP could do it) when DS was about 4 1/2 months. It made no difference to bf at all - my supply didn't deplete at all, I continued to bf 4 or 5 times a day till he was 7 months. I understand that your body will respond to the amount of breastfeeds your baby has, so will regulate itself.

Btw - I admit I have no knowledge of premies, so perhaps your baby being premature is relevant, but generally, I'm not sure about what the nurse said tbh hmm - never heard that about brain development. Obviously if your baby is really losing/not gaining weight it could be a cause for concern all round if it's severe, but I don't think you should be scared by the 'brain development' comment alone.

pudding25 Wed 03-Sep-08 21:35:39

We introduced one bottle of formula at 3 wks and it didnt affect my supply at all (maybe because she hardly took any bottle and I would end up giving her a top up anyway?). We also sometimes give her a bottle at dreamfeed (if husband is not at work to let me go to bed). My supply has always been really good.

quaranta Wed 03-Sep-08 21:43:08

I had no choice but to give my DS1 formula ( hospitalised at 4 weeks 'starving' according to very nice paediatrician er pity the HVs didn't notice when he didn't gain weight for 2 weeks or so, I did keep asking whether I should be worried or not...) I was devastated and felt real failure but determined to mix feed and I did til he was 9 months old, although by then just morning and evening. Exhausted me - lots of work and time but so worth it.

Don't know about rights or wrongs of what nurse is telling you - guess it depends how you feel about what she is saying to you and whether you want to seek further advice. Good luck to you and your little one.

theinsider Wed 03-Sep-08 21:43:47

Your supply does adjust, so if you start (for example) formula at night then your body will stop producing milk at nighttime. It would still produce as much milk as you needed during the day (or whichever period your baby was requesting it).

You can always up the supply again if you want to by stimulating by feeding frequently.

If your baby is feeding all he/she wants then breastmilk is better than formula, so beware of the "brain development" comment.

poppy34 Wed 03-Sep-08 21:43:55

jsut read that comment from nurse re brain development - I don't want to disparage nurses but I would want to cross check that with your paeditrician.

theinsider Wed 03-Sep-08 21:53:23

Sorry - you asked for positive stories:

DS1 - EBF for 4 weeks then introduced formula, upped the formula/breast ratio and stopped BF at 4/12.

DD - Mainly BF but FF at night from birth (in special care for a couple of nights where they gave her formula (with my permission)) and I continued that afterwards. Again stopped BF completely at 4/12

DS2 - Same as DD, as it had been so succesful with her. In fact his very first feed was formula given by DH in delivery room as he seemed hungry when he came out and I was being stitched busy. Had no effect on establishing BF afterwards.

Basically I mix-fed with all my DC and it was always fine. I always felt I had enough milk and even that I could have increased supply again if I had wanted to.

Mixed feeding is fine. I hope you and your premature baby thrive. smile

poppy34 Wed 03-Sep-08 21:59:17

would agree with theinsider..no issue with supply etc - my m/w always suggested that you gave breast first so bubs got best of it and formula after /at night

Tryharder Wed 03-Sep-08 22:17:28

I mix feed both my DC. DS1 was mostly ff with about 2 - 3 bf per day whereas DS2 is mostly bf with about 3 - 8 oz of either formula or formula/ebm per day. Ultimately I would prefer to ebf but it has not worked out that way and in the end, there are some advantages to being able to give a bottle now and then i.e you can leave the baby with someone else from time to time!

I bf DS2 exclusively for about 5 - 6 weeks but introduced the odd bottle in order to give myself a break and in order to be able to do something else with my day other than bf! Leaving the house for the smallest thing like buying milk and dropping DS1 at nursery was a problem as DS2 wanted to feed constantly. At the time, I was becoming very depressed, was in pain as DS2's latch was poor and tbh, mixed feeding saved my sanity.

My GP remarked that some women seem to gush milk whereas in others (like me) the milk sort of trickles out. I think she's got a point. In the end, you have to do what suits you and if introducing a few bottles means you dont give up bf totally, then surely that's for the best?

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