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will one formula feed a day affect my supply??

(18 Posts)
chandellina Mon 08-Sep-08 12:01:20

We have started to give our six-week old DS a 6:00 am formula feed (3-4oz). Would that be enough to hit my supply? baby feeds at three hour intervals between roughly 11 pm and 10 am.
The FF means he could go for 6-7 hours without a BF.
During the day he is feeding every 1-2 hours, apart from one three-hour nap.
The rationale for the FF is to give me a little break and some sleep (it helps him settle too), and potentially to help boost his weight gain because he has been a bit of a slow gainer. (now on track but went from 50th centile to 9th centile after failing to regain his birth weight for first three weeks.)
advice welcomed ...

MatNanPlus Mon 08-Sep-08 12:10:00

Do you mean 6:00 PM?

MatNanPlus Mon 08-Sep-08 12:14:04

With FF in the day then i feed every 3-4 hours if in the early evening i still do a dream feed 10/11pm and in the night i let baby wake me, with the BF mum;s i have worked for mum BF then we would do a FF at 10/11pm, so mum would feed in the evening then go to bed often by 9-10pm.

RedHead81 Mon 08-Sep-08 12:19:07

could you express your own milk to give him? givin a formula feed will reduce your supply but only for the amount that he is taking for formula. it shouldn't be a problem if you always want to give formula at this feed, but if you ever want to go back to exclusively bf, then you will have to work at increasing your supply again

chandellina Mon 08-Sep-08 19:00:54

the formula feed is at around 6 in the morning, as this is when DH gets up to go to work and i feel the most exhausted to do another feed.
i will give expressing another shot - the first time i tried it made my nipples bleed but that was in week one.
is there an optimal time to express??
thanks ...

RedHead81 Mon 08-Sep-08 19:08:07

optimal time to express varies - for some its in the morning when you are at your fullest - but other people may be fuller in the evening - it depends on when your baby has a bigger sleep - if he sleeps for longer at night then you will be fuller in the mornings, and its easier to express as your baby is feeding from the other breast. The first week is diffcult to express because your milk supply doesn't really know what its doing, so now would probably be easier.

If you are so exhausted can you perhaps try to feed lying down and get DH to try to latch him on for you without you having to do any moving at all? Feeding lying down takes some practice but when you get the hang of it, you really are grateful that you can do it!

TettyLouBar Tue 09-Sep-08 12:23:42

DH feeds our DD a formula feed at 8pm and she goes down from 8pm til about 3am (12wks old.) whilst he's feeding her I have my shower/bath and then express off 4 oz (2 from each breast) and freeze it for future use. She has BF during night and then goes back down til 8am.
We've been doing this for 5 weeks now, and my supply has reduced slightly only so I don't feel so full now before feeds. But she's also gone from feeding 3 hourly to nearly 4 hourly during day which has also slowed my milk production down so its difficult to say how much my supply has been affected by Formula feeds.

Its a slightly unorthodox regime, no dreams feeds etc but it works for us. If she continues to sleep through, we're going to move the formula feed to 10pm and I'll BF her before bedtime, but she seems to like this regime and it feels right.
She's piling on the weight too so we're happy.grin

TheProvincialLady Tue 09-Sep-08 12:28:12

TettyLouBar the reason you are feeling less full at 12 weeks is probably not to do with the formula feed and the less frequent feeding, but because it is normal for your breasts to settle down to more of an an-demand system where you don't store as much in advance.

TettyLouBar Tue 09-Sep-08 14:09:15

Yeah I thought it was around 12 weeks that things settle a bit more. I do feel a bit paranoid that she may not be feeling full enough because I'm making less milk and she's only prompting me that she's hungry every four hours.
Is it normal for babies to go that long without?

TettyLouBar Tue 09-Sep-08 14:13:59

Chand: I've just read over the previous posts, I echo what redhead81 says, feeding lying down, once you get the hang of it is a life saver. It was uncomfortable initially as DD felt liked she latched on slightly differently but now it works like a dream and the one night feed that she has now is a lot easier.

TheProvincialLady Tue 09-Sep-08 16:03:54

Tetty if she is piling the weight on, as you say she is, and is telling you that she wants to wait 4 hours between feeds then it is absolutely fine. If she was not putting weight on and you were stretching her out (not literally!) between feeds then you might want to think again, but everything sounds greatsmile If you get any concerns re supply you can always just start feeding her more often if she'll take it.

TettyLouBar Tue 09-Sep-08 16:32:55

Thanks Provlady, it just concerned me at first because I went from being really really full and always a little sore before feeds to being relatively soft.
I'm waiting to see what her weight gain is tomorrow because the last week especially, she's been stretching to 4 hourly.

TheProvincialLady Tue 09-Sep-08 17:46:02

I expressed all the milk for my DS as he wouldn't latch on, and I was worried when my breasts started to feel less full too - but then I started to write down exactly how much milk I was getting per day and it was exactly the same! Breasts are obviously very clever thingsgrin Hope all goes well tomorrow.

TettyLouBar Tue 09-Sep-08 20:08:47

No way! I can't believe that! I'm going to tell my DH I have intelligent boobs! Wow you must have been very patient to express all feeds for your DS. grin

pudding25 Tue 09-Sep-08 21:39:35

We went to one formula feed at around 4 wks, also in the morning but mid -morning (DH goes to work in the afternoon/evening). Same reason, I wanted a break. It did not affect my supply in the slightest. However, DD is rubbish at taking a bottle (still not great at 4mths) so I was often feeding her an hr or so after the bottle to top her up.

We sometimes now give 2 bottles (another one at dreamfeed if DH is home so that I can get some sleep) and that has not affected my supply either. Maybe again because I often feed her at that time anyway.

TinkerBellesMum Tue 09-Sep-08 22:20:29

Your body produces more prolactin at night which tells your body to keep producing milk. Prolactin makes the milk nice, baby knows all this and so wants to feed all night.

Yes it can have an effect on your supply, especially night feeds. Learning to cosleep and feed in the night are really useful tools to getting a good nights sleep.

Ultimately you have to do what fits in with your family and you have to decide for yourself how important being able to continue is.

chandellina Wed 10-Sep-08 14:23:44

thanks for all your thoughts and advice. TinkerBellesMum - i have been told this about night feeds but what determines "night"? Is 6 in the morning still night?! is it based on my own sleep pattern? confusing.
he is getting feeds at around 11:00 pm and 3:00 am. That 11 pm feed is when he goes down for the night, and we get up together around 9:30 (or earlier if he wants to feed again.)
i have tried feeding lying down but it is not really working for us. DS' latch is another issue - it is not great but we've worked at it and it has improved. But if i move into a position where i have less control it really backtracks and he feeds on the nipple.

TinkerBellesMum Wed 10-Sep-08 15:29:47

There is a time frame when prolactin is at it's highest and do you think I can remember it? lol

No one knows why it is higher at night (apart from the practical implications, it helps prevent SIDS because baby doesn't go into deep sleep, baby feeds often at night which ups your supply etc) but there is something about night time that has an effect on the female body. Sleeping with the light on can increase your risk of getting breast cancer, so I'm assuming there is some link there - ie the light has some effect on your hormone levels.

He is still very young, keep trying to feed lying down and he will get the idea, I know it took Tink a long time to pick it up and her size didn't help. You will wake up during the night when baby tries to latch, but you won't be thrust into the world like you would be if he was somewhere else and had to scream to wake you and he won't have to wake up as much either. You'll wake enough to sort the baby out and go back off.

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