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Experiences with occasional ebm bottle feeding?

(7 Posts)
mootie Wed 15-Jul-09 15:27:27

My ds is 9 weeks old. I would like to be able to give him a bottle of ebm occasionally, maybe once a week at most, so I could leave the house for some exercise or an outing with dd and not worry about him going hungry. I never managed to get dd to take a bottle, and bf for two years, so don't feel it's the end of the world if it doesn't work, but feel I would like to try.
However, I dread the idea of having to express and bottle feed every day when I don't need to be away from him often. It seems like such a faff.
Also, when you express if you are demand feeding, don't you get really uncomfortable breasts later? Having boosted supply, or missed a feed because he was having bottle feed?
Did you just do it irregularly? How did you do it? Would rather not give him formula.

dan39 Wed 15-Jul-09 21:10:15

I (well dh to be clear) gave ebm occasionally in a bottle from 4 weeks as like you I needed to leave her sometimes. It was fine - I expressed in the mornings for a while and froze the milk in 1 0z amounts as she only tended to take 1 or 2 oz. I know expressing isn't for everyone though so it might or might not work for you.

mootie Thu 16-Jul-09 14:28:21

How often did your dd have a bottle? did you build up a supply of milk in a short period of time, or did you do it regularly over a longer period? I am just dreading expressing and then feeling engorged the next day if I don't pump. Am I worrying for nothing?

alarkaspree Thu 16-Jul-09 14:35:50

I did crazy expressing with dd and did end up with an over-supply, especially in the morning. I think I started too early and then was expressing because I felt I had to because no way could dd drink all that milk! But if you just express small amounts once a day you will soon build up an emergency supply in the freezer and shouldn't get a problem with over-supply.

Dd was happy to have the occasional bottle, she likes her food and doesn't care where it comes from. Ds took a bottle as a very young baby but refused them as he got older.

LadyBee Thu 16-Jul-09 15:44:51

Mootie, I did this - gave DS his first bottle fairly early and then gave him one maybe every two-three weeks? DS used to wake to feed at about 4/5AM but never fed on both sides at that feed, he'd just drop back to sleep, so I'd express the other boob. I only ever expressed for 15mins max, just took what I got in that amount of time and froze it in a bag, would be only 1oz to start off but eventually as DS took more in a feed I'd get more in an expressing session too, compared to the few times I tried expressing later in the day.
I know expressing at 4 in the morning sounds loopy, but actually it was fine, I was awake anyway, it was quiet, calm, it was only a short time and I'd go back to sleep easily afterwards.
I found knowing there was a stash of milk available for DS to use so I could go out for a decent stretch by myself on a Saturday morning a lifesaver. It also meant DP from fairly early on got used to looking after DS by himself for a good stretch. When I did miss a feed, I would express that feed as well.
I used the breastflow bottles, and was lucky that DS never minded a bit.

moosemama Thu 16-Jul-09 16:05:20

All 3 of mine had/have occasional bottles of ebm.

I spent a few weeks expressing after the first morning feed (end of side fed off then all of the other side). I used to feed, then express before getting out of bed and it just became part of the routine. I also expressed off the opposite side to the last feed before bedtime. When I wanted to reduce the amount of expressing I gradually expressed less and less each time down to about 2oz then stopped, never had any problems with engorgement or being uncomfortable.

I had a fantastic stock until DH accidentally left the freezer door open overnight and I had to throw a whole freezer compartment worth of milk away. shock angry He was not popular.

So, I am now back to expressing in the mornings again for dd (6 months).

If she does have a bottle for any reason, I either express off that feed and freeze it as soon as I get back, or feed her from the side that she missed the feed off. I don't find missing one feed causes any discomfort, any more than one and I start to feel fuzzy headed and uncomfortable though.

I use born free glass bottles, which have suited dd fine.

I did give both my dss and dd a bottle before 6 weeks, as I had heard they are more likely to accept a bottle that way, but 9 weeks is not that far off so you should be fine.

The only thing I would say is that some HVs tend to recommend you don't start expressing until after 12 weeks so that breastfeeding is fully established. I started expressing at 6 weeks with all mine though and its been fine with all 3.

I particularly wanted to make sure I had a good freezer supply for dd, as with both dss I was admitted to hospital suddenly and had to give up breastfeeding overnight. Having a good stock of ebm in the freezer meant they could be switched to formula gradually and made the whole process less stressful.

dan39 Fri 17-Jul-09 09:39:28

I used bottles from 4 weeks about onnce or twice a week purely to ensure she would talke it - there was never any nipple confusion that we could see and as said above it was a lifesaver to me to know I could leave dh to it if I needed to go to bed for the evening. I expressed off the other side after the morning feed for about 40 mins and got initially 3 or 4 ounces but it gradually reduced - poss cos I didn't do it as regularly - then at just over 4 months I gave up and decided that as its only the very occasional bottle I would use cartons of formula. With all the associated guilt that that brings but hey thats a whole other thread!!

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