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not sure what to do

(17 Posts)
hairband Tue 11-Aug-09 08:33:02

With the milk I expressed yesterday, including the 50mls that accidentally had a drop of tapwater in it, husband said he would do the 10pm dream feed.
However baby scoffed this, all 90mls, at 9pm and was demanding more at 11pm. Rather than wake me hubby made up some formula which baby scoffed down.. (I think 90mls as well) and he then had a very good night, waking at 2.30 4ish and 6ish for just a small suckle and going straight back to sleep.
I guess the formula feed filled him up!
It's the first time we have used formula and I just wondered if this was normal.

He has not really taken his morning feed ; I expressed afterwards and managed to get 4oz out as boobs were left with milk in them.

I guess I'm after some reassurance that I should just feed him when he next wakes as usual and if this is too soon for there to be any milk left that I should bottle feed some of the EBM to him.
I'm also really cross with my husband who went to sleep in the spare room but then, as baby is in our room, woke him up getting ready for work this morning as he'd not taken his clothes out of wardrobe last night. Am I wrong to expect him to pussyfoot round baby - or is it unfair of us to be really noisy in the baby's room when he is still trying to sleep?

ANyhow at least I got more than 1 hour's sleep for once

Any moral support welcome

PrincessToadstool Tue 11-Aug-09 08:37:08

Hi hairband. How old is your baby? Your milk never 'runs out' so if you feed him whenever he wakes there will always be milk for him. Replacing feeds with formula might put this at risk as it is the suckling that stimulates your supply (I am sure one of the experts will explain this better)

hairband Tue 11-Aug-09 08:50:50

He is 5 and a half weeks (but was premature so "should" only be 1 week).

tiktok Tue 11-Aug-09 09:01:38

Hi, hairband - Princess is right. You never have to wait for your body to make more milk, and in fact doing so (especially if you give formula in the 'waiting' time) can be really undermining to your milk supply.

Your dh wanted to help but giving formula instead of the baby have a breastfeed at 11 pm tells your body not to make milk. Formula does have a tendency to stay in the tum for longer (as it takes longer to digest) and this extends the gap between bf even more.

Gaps are not good for breastfeeding

Short gaps = quick milk production.

Long gaps = slow milk production.

To ensure you maintain the supply your baby needs, then yes, feed when he next 'asks'. Don't give the ebm. Keep that for when you are out and the baby is with someone else - it will freeze just fine.

Hope this helps!

tiktok Tue 11-Aug-09 09:02:48

BTW, it is not the sucking that stimulates supply. It is the removal of the milk - that's why expressing stims supply as well.

hairband Tue 11-Aug-09 09:17:38

Thanks that is really helpful. I was a bit annoyed with DH for "going against" what we had decided.. as you say he was only trying to help but he sometimes just goes off on one a bit without asking, thinking that he is doing the right thing but in fact making things worse!
That's why I expressed what was left off to stimulate boobs.. and I will keep this for later.
Is there any way of rectifying things.. I'll BF whenever he asks today and express before tonight's dream feed so that a feed is not missed.. but should I be expressing any extra for stimulation purposes and if so, how should I time it? Straight after a feed - and will breasts be "empty" or just before a feed - or will breasts be "empty" when baby suckles - or will it all just serve as extra stimulation?

daisychainXX Tue 11-Aug-09 09:18:07

I agree with 'princesstoadstool' your milk wont run out, the more your baby feeds the more your body makes so as long as your feeding or expressing your milk will be there when the your baby wants it. I used to find that I could feed and then express then half hour later my son would be up again and still be able to get milk agian.

Keep it up with the BM feeds and having the odd night off with EBM (to keep you sane and not a walking zombie) you sound like your doing a great job. Well done far and Good luck

daisychainXX Tue 11-Aug-09 09:33:55

Suckling and exspressing both will stimulate more milk, but I would just carry on as if it were any other day, same feeds as normal and if feel you can and need to exspress to store the milk then do, if its just because you think you should then dont worry so much, please.
I didnt keep any formaula milk in the house that way if you dont have it the baby cant have it.
If I was sleep and my partner had our son he would only give him (pre frozen) EBM and if that ran out he would try old per boiled water, if he still had no joy he would have to wake me up.
Hope this advice will help, dont worry to much it takes days of not feeding to slow your milk.

hairband Tue 11-Aug-09 10:51:29

Thanks everyone - it is a total godsend to be able to come on here for advice, really appreciate it!
Well he woke up and asked for food at about 9.45 ish - there was milk there (I could tell as it came out when I squeezed and was also all over his face!) and he has settled nicely too. Maybe there was not as much as usual but it was still definitely there - so thanks for all the reassurance, you were right!
I guess it is just that it all feels so new I can't help wonder if I am doing it right - and it is good to get advice otherwise I would do things like giving that bottle of EBM I got at 8am instead of his next feed..
I'm sure I'll be back on here soon with another question before the day is out, in the meantime, thank you once again!

tiktok Tue 11-Aug-09 12:53:52

hairband - one formula bottle will make no significant or lasting diff. to supply at all, fear not Just feeding as normal 'fixes' it - it's the regular bottles and top ups that does for bf.

hairband Tue 11-Aug-09 21:32:00

If I give a regular dream feed bottle of formula but express at this time, will supply be ok?
Someone has suggested this to give me a good night's sleep and cos baby is hungry in the evening presumably due to low supply as tired in evening?

tiktok Tue 11-Aug-09 23:34:27

hairband - it's ok to express at the same time as your baby would otherwise be feeding, and your supply is prob unaffected by this.

But one could say, 'why bother?'

Your supply is no likely to be lower in the evening than at any other time Your tiredness has nothing to do with quantity of milk available to the baby - nothing at all. The baby may well want to feed more often at that time - it's a very common time for the baby to do this, so maybe he's tired and wants lots of snuggly comfort.

A baby your son's age is designed to feed often and in the night, too - getting a good night's sleep is a challenge with a new baby but there are several ways to make it easier for you other than giving formula while you sit up expressing....what do you think?

hairband Wed 12-Aug-09 09:31:11

Just very confused with the whole thing! The person who made the suggestion thinks that the formula feed means he will "last" longer than if he had breast milk.. because it is a "guaranteed" amount and because it is harder to digest.
I just want to do what is best - and it just gets confusing as there does not seem to be one set way (though why should there be as everyone and every baby is different!)
He was up every 90mins to 2.5hours last night and I am shattered!
What are the other ways to make it easier? Open to any hints, tips and suggestions!

tiktok Wed 12-Aug-09 09:41:42

hairband - maybe the formula will make him 'last longer' but it's far from guarenteed. I've posted this study before:

Breast-feeding Increases Sleep Duration of New Parents.

Feature Article
Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing. 21(3):200-206, July/September 2007.
Doan, Therese RN, IBCLC; Gardiner, Annelise; Gay, Caryl L.; Lee, Kathryn A. PhD, RN, FAAN

Objectives: This study describes sleep patterns for mothers and fathers after the birth of their first child and compares exclusive breast-feeding families with parents who used supplementation during the evening or night at 3 months postpartum.

Methods: As part of a randomized clinical trial, the study utilized infant feeding and sleep data at 3 months postpartum from 133 new mothers and fathers. Infant feeding type (breast milk or formula) was determined from parent diaries. Sleep was measured objectively using wrist actigraphy and subjectively using diaries. Lee's General Sleep Disturbance Scale was used to estimate perceived sleep disturbance.

Results: Parents of infants who were breastfed in the evening and/or at night slept an average of 40-45 minutes more than parents of infants given formula. Parents of infants given formula at night also self-reported more sleep disturbance than parents of infants who were exclusively breast-fed at night.

Conclusions: Parents who supplement their infant feeding with formula under the impression that they will get more sleep should be encouraged to continue breast-feeding because sleep loss of more than 30 minutes each night can begin to affect daytime functioning, particularly in those parents who return to work.

Using formula does not mean more sleep for you, according to this.

You are right - there is no one 'set way' Some parents will try the formula route to see what happens; others will avoid it because they are less bothered by the waking, or believe that formula will not help anyway; others work out ways of tending their baby at night which are less disturbing, or try to catch up with rest/sleep in the day. Some might co-sleep with their baby (checking the safe ways to do this).

hairband Wed 12-Aug-09 20:35:42

Thanks - had a chance to read around on it - and yes it seems people's experiences are really variable - for some FF last thing does get them more sleep but for others it makes no difference at all as the formula is so close to breast milk.
I think I will keep it as an option up my sleeve.. either of giving formula/EBM if there is any in the fridge at times I want to try to get an earlier night or in daytimes if I need to get out and about. Making sure that I express round about the time that I would have been feeding.
(To keep up supply - I know it might seem pointless to have to express instead of feeding - might as well just feed... but I don't mind expressing so much as got used to this when baby was on SCBU, and it takes less time than a feed).
Turns out baby's weight is ok, so I feel reassured that he is getting what he needs, so will just try and muddle along a bit more.
Thanks for all advice especially to tiktok x

snowgum Wed 12-Aug-09 21:08:59

hairband, there is an excellent website about breastfeeding:

hairband Thu 13-Aug-09 22:21:06

Thanks, that site is excellent.

Got some sleep today - things always seem much better after rest!

The pattern changes daily with this baby.. which makes me wonder what I am doing wrong...but reassurance from here that it is normal for the pattern to change constantly is helpful.

I think the crux of the matter is that if there were more sources of help so that I had more time resting things would not seem half as bad.. and though I have lots of people who care about me, few are close enough geographically to be help out regularly.. I'm sure there are lots of us in that position and it seems that the general consensus is that it's possible to somehow muddle through - stuff the housework and hello to takeaways!

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