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Mixed feeding success stories(6 Posts)
To cut a long story short, my baby had a tongue tie and, although it was eventually fixed, we’ve had to top up with formula almost from the beginning.
We’ve made it to 4 months, mixed feeding - giving 4-5 top ups a day.
I’d love to breastfeed for a good few more months yet and would love to hear success stories from those who have been in a similar situation and have managed to keep up a partial feeding regime over the medium or longer term.
It’s hard to keep my confidence going and often hard to judge whether my baby is getting quite enough, and I wonder how others deal/have dealt with that.
I mix fed - DD had been given formula as well as my colostrum in special care so DH would give her a bottle after I went to bed to give me a longer stretch of sleep. We dropped the bottle around 7 months as she wasn't feeding so much then and I didnt need the break and is still BFing at 13 months. Bit of a different situation to yours though as we never really topped up in the way that you are. It might be worth talking to an IBCLC if you haven't already, they could help with dropping some of the top ups? There's a great Facebook page called Breastfeeding Younger Babies and Beyond which should be able to give advice and lots of other people's stories if that helps?
Could you consolidate the top ups into one full bottle feed once a day? That's what we did with DS2 who needed top ups at first due to us being separated for 24 hours and resultant supply issues. We kept the bottle even past the point I felt he needed it, because DH liked giving it last thing at night and it helped form a bedtime routine.
Remember you will be able to start solids soon which really helps too as they are less reliant on milk.
Hi sheer determination - our experience was very similar to yours - tongue tie meant poor latch and poor weight gain. I tried pumping but my boobs wouldn't respond even to the hospital grade pump, so we ended up being sent to A&E when she was 9 days old. We were advised to top up with formula which I found emotionally so hard to cope with. I felt damned if I did and damned if I didn't. If I didn't, I was so scared I wasn't giving her what she needed, if I did I was scared my milk would dry up and I wouldn't be able to breastfeed. I'd clearly set myself this really stupid benchmark of what a 'good' mother does and it was all absolute rubbish!
Once she'd regained her birth weight. I set about reducing the 4 daily top ups we'd been recommended by the paediatrician. First I cut each one from 70ml to 60ml just as that was an easy two scoops per top up. Then I began to cut down the total amount over 24 hours by 30ml every few days. I got some advice from a lactation consultant but basically it followed the plan on the kellymum website. I make it sound easy but I was so scared and stressed, terrified to weigh her and terrified not to.
By the time of her 8 week check, which actually she had at 9 weeks she was down to 2 60ml top ups in the evening and I hadn't weighed her in 3 weeks. I was hugely disappointed that although she'd gained weight, she hadn't stuck to her centile. I honestly was completely irrational about it and convinced despite all the evidence that I was starving her. A week later I confessed how I was feeling to my GP and was on the edge of switching to ff entirely because I couldn't cope with my irrational thoughts. My GP was so supportive, started me on a low dose of an antidepressant and told me not to face the weighing clinics, I could get her weighed at the GP anytime i got overwhelmed but that she was sure I could safely continue to breastfeed. My DH and I decided it just wasn't worth it to carry on trying to reduce the formula further - I'd reached for us a good place where I didn't have the faff of having to sort bottles to take out in the day and we could just give her a little bit on top of boob in the evening. Later on we combined the two tops ups into one bottle of 120ml at bedtime hoping it would help her sleep (it didn't!)
It wasn't easy and I kept on worrying about her not being big enough until, well, now... but at six months when I started weaning she stopped being willing to take the bottle so we took her lead and she hasn't had formula since. She's 14 months now and I still breastfeed her morning and before bed (and more if she gets her way!)
Honestly there's no right, no wrong and your LO will be grand whatever you choose to do. It just needs to be the right choice for you xx
I Mixed fed both until about 19 months
Thanks very much for all your responses. It’s really helpful to hear your experiences.
TradedAtlanta, you did so well to hold your nerve and how great that you’re still breastfeeding now. I can totally relate to the anxiety you describe.
OverTheRainbow, 19 months! That’s very encouraging. And impressive.
BertieBotts, consolidation wouldn’t work right now as I think it would leave my baby hungry after some feeds. But I’ll keep the idea in mind. And the solids thought is a heartening one.
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