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More Qs: What's so wrong with mixed feeding then?

(44 Posts)
WinkyWinkola Sun 11-Oct-09 20:06:29

Is the baby not getting all the benefits it needs from every other bm feed?

And, is individual bm ever tested by NHS for enzymes etc to make sure it's ok for the baby and isn't lacking in anything?

BertieBotts Sun 11-Oct-09 20:49:52

Nothing wrong with mixed feeding, it's just that it is likly to affect supply and therefore lead to full FF which is often not what the mother wants.

Second question a bit of a strange question IMO. Why would breastmilk be lacking in anything? It's the physiologically perfect food for human infants.

BertieBotts Sun 11-Oct-09 20:50:10

Sorry biologically, I think I meant.

AnyFuleKno Sun 11-Oct-09 21:02:55

It poses a risk to the continuation of breastfeeding by reducing supply. I have seen this happen to friends who thought they could mix feed with no consequences and it has been very sad when their supply dwindled and they had to stop prematurely thinking they'd failed as they didn't have enough milk.

ImSoNotTelling Sun 11-Oct-09 21:06:18

Interesting winky. Your second point is that maybe if the mother didn't have any of a certain vitamin or something then the BM wouldn't so it wouldn't be so brilliant after all? I see what you mean... Answer is I wouldn't have thought they test anyone's breast milk for nutritional value, although they must know on average what's in it so as to make the formula.

What about the other way - if you use drugs or whatever then your milk will have extras in it which presumably aren;t so good - but I have never seen or heard of any warnings about not BFing in conjunction with drugs etc. I wonder why not.

Don't think there's anything wrong with mixed feeding, personally.

Oblomov Sun 11-Oct-09 21:06:47

It is not a problem. But people are not informed. if they knew how easy it was to increase supply, then they would never give up bf'ing unless they actually wanted to.

thisisyesterday Sun 11-Oct-09 21:07:58

exclusive breastfeeding is recommended by the WHO because it gives optimal growth and health to a child.
giving anything other than breastmilk alters the gut lining and the unique set of bacteria in the gut, and is part of the reason for increased allergy rates etc in formula fed babies.

adding formula feeds undermines breastfeeding
and often interferes with supply and leads to the cessation of breastfeeding entirely.

breastmilk doens't need to be tested. it has worked for millenia and will continue to be THE best food for human babies for as long as women make it. it is the perfect food for babies

ImSoNotTelling Sun 11-Oct-09 21:11:09

What if the mother is a drug user though? Presumably in that case formula would be preferable? Yet I have never seen any warnings about stuff like that, which is a bit odd, especially when you think how much advice for women in pregnancy is provided by NHS. What to eat/not eat/alcohol/drugs et cetc

Seems odd.

thisisyesterday Sun 11-Oct-09 21:11:31

with regards to the vitamin point- your body will use its resources to provide for the baby first and foremost, and the mother second. so, if you are vegan etc it is wise to think about supplements, but for yourself, not for the baby.

even mothers in third world countries successfully breastfeed, so that just isn't an issue.

a mother would have to be severely malnourished before it had any effect on her breastmilk.

and in fact you are advised not to take drugs if breastfeeding, unless it is drugs which have been prescribed. these are usually ones that have been tested thoroughly to see how much is present in breastmilk and if their presence there will harm a baby. in most cases the minute amounts that get into milk pose no problem to breastfeeding infants

thisisyesterday Sun 11-Oct-09 21:12:42

and in fact, even if a mother does take drugs, the benefits of being breastfed nearly always outweigh the potential risks from the drugs.

that's how good breastmilk is.

AnyFuleKno Sun 11-Oct-09 21:13:23

Can you imagine if you had to have your breastmilk tested to see if you were allowed to continue breastfeeding?? (boggles)

I'm interested to know what position you're coming from Winky, are you mixed feeding? Or thinking about it?

ImSoNotTelling Sun 11-Oct-09 21:13:44

I don't remember anyone telling me not to take drugs (illegal ones) or getting any leaflets like you do about pregnancy.

Formula would be preferable for those people though? Or not? Or depends?

ImSoNotTelling Sun 11-Oct-09 21:14:49

thisisyesterday that would explain why there aren't any leaflets etc! I had no idea it was that good!

thisisyesterday Sun 11-Oct-09 21:15:38

i was asked at my booking appt if i took drugs.

thisisyesterday Sun 11-Oct-09 21:16:57

tis a good point though, they don't advertise the fact as much as they do with alcohol/smoking etc do they?

i wonder if the majority of women with bad drug habits are already known? obvious to spot?and thus would be informed during ante-natal visits? not sure really

ImSoNotTelling Sun 11-Oct-09 21:17:01

Yes but many people will surely lie grin

You get a big leaflet saying dos and donts for pregnancy, with all the guidelines re food etc. Nothing like that for BF. But then if it doesn't matter, then that's probably why.

QueenOfFrighteningEveryone Sun 11-Oct-09 21:17:04

Depends on the drugs - for example the cocaine metabolites that pass into breastmilk are highly toxic, but women who are on a methadone script are advised to BF their babies whilst reducing their dosage.

As for nutritional value of breastmilk - its pretty consistent woman to woman. Only in the case of extreme malnutrition may milk quality suffer.

AnyFuleKno Sun 11-Oct-09 21:18:20

Yes they do ask if you take drugs.

I'm sure noone thinks it's fine to take drugs if you're breastfeeding just because noone has mentioned it.

QueenOfFrighteningEveryone Sun 11-Oct-09 21:19:05

I should say, women on methadone should be advised to BF whilst reducing script. They often aren't though, and also babies born to addicted mothers often need special care and their mothers don't get the support they need to establish BF.

BertieBotts Sun 11-Oct-09 21:19:59

I always thought it depended on the drug. Some drugs are so dangerous that formula is preferable to their prescence. And most medications do say on their leaflets "Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should consult a doctor before taking this product" or similar.

Nobody really knows 100% what is in breastmilk, formula isn't made to be like breastmilk, it's just cow's milk modified so that it is easier for infants to digest. The added vitamins and probiotics etc are based on claims made about breastmilk but it's not like they looked at the chemical make up of breastmilk and tried to recreate it from scratch.

ImSoNotTelling Sun 11-Oct-09 21:20:02

I hate to suspect that they think the "sort" of women who BF are not the "sort" to use drugs etc. Which unfortunately is not really true.

Casual users ie most of them you won't be able to spot with the naked eye and there are loads around. Plus drinking/smoking risks. I suppose smoking risk covered as not supposed to smoke in house with new baby or hold it on smoky clothes etc which is well publicised. Drinking not so.

People don't always have much common sense, especially not if they are habitual users ie not all day every day addict types.

thisisyesterday Sun 11-Oct-09 21:21:26

is that because they will be addicted to heroin/methadone fromthe pregnancy, so the methadone they get in breastmilk will help the baby as well?

ImSoNotTelling Sun 11-Oct-09 21:21:41

It just seems strange that they are so bang hot on dos and donts with pregnancy and when BF - nothing.

QueenOfFrighteningEveryone Sun 11-Oct-09 21:29:43

TIY - yes, the idea is that a baby born addicted is best off being withdrawn gradually through breastfeeding whilst the mother is reducing her methadone dose. It needs careful monitoring though to make sure the baby is not getting sedated and also because quite a lot of methadone users are using other drugs as well which could be toxic.

LadyLaLa Sun 11-Oct-09 21:31:48

Out of interest, how can breastmilk be nutritionally sound if the mothers diet is crap though? (ie fast food/chips/cola/sweets/biscuits/very little in the way of fresh fruit & veg).

Surely the nutritional resources in a woman's body have a finite end with a constant diet of little nutritional value? and that little resource there was would have been largely chewed up by the pregnancy?

Other bodily functions can be adversely affected by a poor lifestyle (diabetes, liver, kidney, cholesterol etc etc) so how and why can breastmilk circumnavigate and still turn out to be fabulous no matter what?

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