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Practical advice for switching over to formula

(7 Posts)
FenLondon Sun 02-Nov-08 10:24:48

Well, I've done three months of BF, but now it's time to prepare for heading back to work so will need to start replacing BF with FF. Any advice on how to ensure it doesn't stuff up supply for the remaining feeds? Currently feeding around 7:30am, 11am, 2pm, short feed at 5pm, longer at 6 with a top up of expressed, an expressed feed at 11pm and then one feed in the middle of the night (though there have been several tantalising nights where this hasn't been needed!). I suspect keeping the breasts ready for a middle of the night feed is a good plan, darn site quicker than formula at 4 in the morning wink

carpetwiggle Sun 02-Nov-08 10:37:19

How long before you actually go back to work?

Basically the longer you leave it the more solid your supply will be - e.g. at nine months or so you might only need to express once for comfort during the day (or not at all) and your supply will adjust around weekday daytime formula feeds but you could carry on doing daytime breastfeeds at weekends. Are you asking this three months in advance or six months or are you going back to work in a fortnight? I think the answers might depend on how long - and also are you going back full time or part time?

FenLondon Sun 02-Nov-08 10:38:44

Sorry, should've said that! I'll be going back in late January, but in December we'll be spending three weeks in New Zealand so I'm anxious not to leave it till december to start making changes.

carpetwiggle Sun 02-Nov-08 11:38:20

Hmmm if it was me I'd bf through new zealand for simplicity - you have done the bottle bit so that's straightforward - only leaves getting used to a particular formula - again later might be better in terms of ease of digestion i would havethought (stomach more mature). If you want a solid supply for after mixed feedng starts, keeping feeding as much as possible for as long as possible good - if you want to reduce supply so you won't need to express during the day, then that means more formula sooner. What's your aim?

FenLondon Sun 02-Nov-08 11:57:06

Part of the attraction of the NZ trip is handing dd off to the rellies, which means having a bottle to hand. I'm only just expressing enough at the moment to do the topup and the night feed, and that's using an industrial strength pump, which I can't really take with me, so agreed, in some ways BF would be easier but the formula's going to have to feature in there somewhere.
I guess where we're aiming to be in December is being able to do the bulk of feeds with formula, and in January cut back so it's only one or two.
Realistically I don't expect to be able to express during the day at work - I know it's the employer's responsibility to allow me to, but the nature of my job doesn't really suit it, and to be honest, I'd rather be able to negotiate leaving the office at a reasonable time to get home and feed my little girl's brain, and let formula take over the body feeding!
As you see am probably still a big vague and unplanned on this, hence looking to hear what other people have done.

carpetwiggle Sun 02-Nov-08 12:44:04

I'm still not totally sure what you mean, but if at four months you switch to mostly formula feeds while you're away, I would have thought that would be very unlikely to be reversible (but is that what you mean by 'in January cut back so it's only one or two' - do you mean only one or two formula feeds?) and certainly you would need to express a lot while you're apart to keep your supply. The other reason you might need to express then would be to pump and dump for comfort - that's something that could also apply at work even if you're not expressing to send milk into nursery or wherever.

If you're basically planning a 100% switch starting in December then it's just going to be a case of gradually switching feeds and allowing your supply to reduce gradually. But if you can't hand express it might still be an idea to stick a nonindustrial hand pump in your luggage while you're away just in case you do get a bit engorged and need to express to avoid mastitis. A temporary switch to almost completely formula will be hard to do for a baby who's only four months old though - but I'm not sure I've understood you right or if you want to do that.

FenLondon Sun 02-Nov-08 13:18:12

Permanent switch intended for better or worse, but I'm making the assumption that one doesn't go cold turkey on these things to avoid severe engorgement, hence cutting over gradually. Good call about the hand pump.

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