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Bottle and breastfeeding from birth- advice please!

(17 Posts)
Cullercoats88 Fri 02-Jan-15 14:09:16

Hello all, as a first time mom I have a few queries about feeding. My partner and I run our own little buisness from home and as a result we will be returning to work fairly quickly after birth, I'm talking 6-8 weeks after. Therefore we wanted to establish a workable feeding routine whereby baby isn't just stuck to me morning noon and night.

We figured breast and bottle feeding will be fine from birth, but we have had lots of horrified looks and judgments saying that we should do one or the other. When I ask why no one seems to have a reason why you should either breast or bottle feed. So is it just opinion or is there some kind of scientific/medical explanation?

If families have successfully bottle and breast fed, did you express or use formula? If you used formula, which one did you use? In my mind as long as baby is being fed and is putting on weight, does it matter how they are being fed?


Bunbaker Fri 02-Jan-15 14:20:47

You can mix feed successfully, but it isn't usually advised straight away due to nipple confusion. I sometimes mix fed DD, but not until she was about 5 weeks old. You need to consider how it will affect your milk supply as well.

I'm sure far more knowledgeable people will be on here soon to advise.

Cullercoats88 Fri 02-Jan-15 14:30:03

What do you mean by nipple confusion? Please excuse my ignorance!!!

It wouldn't mean the end of the world to me if I could only breast feed for a couple of months, providing she was putting on weight and determined to get it right for baby, but also for us.

EmbarrassedPossessed Fri 02-Jan-15 14:30:26

One possible reason that you might not want to introduce a bottle from birth is that it can interfere with breastmilk production. This works on a supply and demand basis, so every bottle feed represents a lack of demand and an associated reduction in supply. This doesn't always happen - some women have an abundant supply where it doesn't cause as much of an issue, or you can express every time you give a bottle feed to counteract this. However not all women find they can express much, as a breastpump doesn't generate the same effect as their baby directly nursing. Also, expressing every time a bottle is given means that you can't rest or take much of a break.

The baby can learn to prefer the (usually) faster flow/less work of taking milk from a bottle. This can lead to breastfeeding stopping sooner than you might have wanted it to. You can buy teats that mimic the action of breastfeeding to try and counteract this (e.g. the Medela Calma system, or similar).

Conversely, some breastfed babies can refuse quite firmly to take a bottle, so you might find that it is a constant battle to get the baby to feed from a bottle. Especially if you are the one trying to give the feed, as your baby may want to breastfeed instead as they may be able to smell your milk.

As regards formula, it doesn't much matter which brand you use. In the UK (and presumably the US) there are strict rules about what can go in formula so there is very little difference between them. No first infant formula can claim to be better than another.

IMHO, breastfeeding plus expressing is a very difficult challenge timewise. In your situation it might be better for running your business to use formula instead of expressed breastmilk, otherwise you aren't really freeing up much of your time. Unless you could express whilst you're working? Depends what kind of work you're doing.

Cullercoats88 Fri 02-Jan-15 14:39:32

Thanks embarressed we are actually childminders so it wouldn't be workable to express during the day once we are open again.

I did buy some Hipp Organic powder as I had read a few MNers reccomend it, and our local shop stocks it should we run out at an ungodly hour.

I'm not so worried about my milk supply dwindling as I do want my OH to do as much as I do, he joined the business so he could be with his daughter everyday so it seems counter-productive if I do all the feeding, plus when we have 7 other children in the house it's not fair to leave him to do all the work.

EmbarrassedPossessed Fri 02-Jan-15 14:45:35

The nipple confusion thing is the issue I described about the baby refusing to feed from the breast as they have become accustomed to the faster/easier flow of a bottle.

If you breastfed on demand exclusively for the first 6 to 8 weeks, your supply should be fairly well established by then, and you may well find that you can swap some feeds for a bottle feed, and your body will adjust to this.

WottaMess Fri 02-Jan-15 15:03:59

It's best (if you want to bf) to do that solely for the first few weeks to get your supply up and running. The feeding gives your body the cues to make more milk and gets you up to speed.

Nipple confusion is a debatable area. The concern is that babies have to latch in a special way to stimulate breast milk, whereas they just suck for a bottle teat. This is seen as easier and some don't then return easily to the breast.

However, not everyone has a choice about mixed feeding. grin Due to tongue tie my DS couldn't bf for 9 days and despite pumping my supply never recovered. So he had expressed milk and aptimil (by cup rather than bottle to prevent possible confusion just in case) and after his tongue tie was snipped and he learned to feed he had bf and aptimil. We introduced a bottle when he was about 6 weeks and never had any problems. I fed him til about 8.5m when my supply dropped too low (I'd returned to work ft so was only feeding first thing and last thing by that stage).

purplemurple1 Fri 02-Jan-15 15:43:32

I mixed fed (for a few reasons - slow weight gain, returning to work, sharing night feeds).

I just breast fed on demand for the first 9 days (milk came in after 5 days) and then we introduced a bottle and a 3 hourly schedule. I breast fed first at each feed and then gave as much formula as DS wanted.

Gradually over the next 5 weeks his formula intake increased and I stopped offering breast at each feed, initially stopping at the morning feed which OH did while I slept but then at other feeds as well.

At 6 weeks I stopped bf at this point his formula intake doubled immediatly, so I assume he had been bf something at least. I didn't express or try to maintain my supply, as I was fine with giving formula and didn't mind if or when the bf stopped.

I had no issues with my milk stopping after that, took a few days but I had no leaking or pain so didn't really notice.

I think all formula is roughly the same, some babies just seem to prefer one to another, mine didn't get on with SMA, fine with semp (not sure you get that in the UK).

Cullercoats88 Fri 02-Jan-15 16:45:58

Thank you all!!
Really useful info x

mrsannekins Mon 12-Jan-15 16:59:20

We mixed fed/combination fed/whatever you want to call it, from DD being 10 days old. We successfully managed to keep the breastfeeding part going to 17 weeks, formula only after that.

In fact, many people were envious, rather than judgemental, as DD would accept a bottle from anyone (nursery were amazed when she quite happily guzzled down a bottle on her first settling in visit), and took the pressure off me a lot. Don't let anyone make you question your decision, it is what works for you that matters!

tryingtocatchthewind Mon 12-Jan-15 17:06:06

I'm currently nursing my 14 week old now. We bf only for the few days then I bf with formula top ups until about 10 weeks. I'm now giving one or the other at every feed mainly doing the bf at night and first thing in the morning. I realise I'm very lucky my son will gladly take both and it's great. Other the sterilising and making bottles is a pain in the bum I really think the combined feeding has taken the stress away.

NickyEds Mon 12-Jan-15 21:27:04

We mix fed ds from 10/11 days old (due to poor weight gain) until he was just 6 months. DS just interchanged between boob, bottle,f (powder or cartons) and ebm. I think we were quite lucky though. I think introducing it early is really not advised if bf means a great deal to you, especially long term bf.
I've heard anecdotes about some babies preferring one f over another but they're heavily regulated so more or less the same. Your idea of going for the one that they sell in your local shop is a good one, although I nearly never see Hipp ready to use cartons so I went with sma as they're everywhere.
You nearly never see anyone (mw/hcp etc)recommending mix feeding when you're pregnant as it's shown to reduce the amount of time women bf for. There isn't a scientific reason as in "it's bad for babies to have both f and bm" it's just that it can inhibit effective bf so not good if long term bf means the world to you.

Sleepyhoglet Tue 13-Jan-15 17:21:30

It is possible that when your little one arrives 6 weeks leave seems impossibly short. Will your baby he around the Children in your care? I didn't bond really with he bump and was very relaxes about bottle feeding etc and in denial about baby coming. Now she's here she comes first and I love breast feeding. The thought of working and caring for my baby at the same time at 8 weeks is pretty horrific

PotteringAlong Tue 13-Jan-15 17:25:51

Just a thought about your "as long as they are gaining weight and sleeping" - you know the sleep thing is almost certain not to happen, don't you?

PotteringAlong Tue 13-Jan-15 17:30:47

Well, they'll sleep, but maybe not when you want or for how long you wAnt.

ChewyGiraffe Tue 13-Jan-15 17:49:07

Entirely your choice, obviously, but if you want to BF, I'd try to BF exclusively whilst you're still off work for those 6 to 8 weeks. It should give you a chance to get your supply well established. Then once you're working from home, you might find you'd like to express milk (and keep it in the fridge or freezer) for whoever to give baby at bottle feeds. Medela do great hospital grade electric pumps you can hire - makes expressing a bit easier.
As others have said the supply/demand thing tends to mean that once you introduce formula, your supply starts to decrease and you might soon find you're making less milk than you'd like, so you give more formula feeds than you'd like, and so on ...

Iona1651 Tue 13-Jan-15 22:50:01

I breastfed exclusively for the first two weeks. However, after this my baby was crying hungry. There was no problem with my milk supply but I was sore and very tired from feeding in the night. I introduced Cow & Gate formula bottle feed from 2 weeks and my baby has never bothered about breast or bottle, so long as she got food, she just didn't care where it came from! She's now 6 months old and I breast feed her in the morning when she first wakes and my milk supply is fine. Lots of mums at the baby group are surprised that she will take a bottle or be breastfed as they're now having problems getting their babies to take the bottle after exclusively being breastfed. My baby isn't huge, and as a first time mum I did all this by accident but am so glad I did. My husband could also help feed her so I could get some sleep - bliss!

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