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Breast milk / formula ... Combination

(29 Posts)
OnNaturesCourse Sat 29-Apr-17 23:10:37

Been looking up information around this as I'm keen to give my baby breast milk but the idea of breast feeding sort of creeps me out. I'm not a fan for myself but not against others doing it. So my question is can you formula feed and then add in breast milk once you can express? Secondly I've seen so many mixed opinions on when you can start expressing, some say from day 1 others say 6 weeks, anyone have any recommendations? I will need to speak to my midwife for the information eventually but would like a rough understanding. Bottle feeding either breast milk or formula will help as my DP can feed plus my mother is moving in for a week to help us with nights etc. Xx

FuzzyOwl Sat 29-Apr-17 23:12:36

Yes you can mix the milk and if you only intend on expressing, and not breastfeeding direct, doing so from day one is fine. The advice of six weeks is to allow you to build up a supply for as and when a baby wants to be breastfed and also to prevent any confusion by offering a bottle sooner.

OnNaturesCourse Sat 29-Apr-17 23:15:59

That makes sense. It will definitely be bottle from day one as, as silly as it sounds, I don't like the idea of anyone being on my nipples. Plus o want DP to help and have the 1St or 2nd feed.

AgentOprah Sat 29-Apr-17 23:26:23

It will be very hard work to build up your milk supply just expressing from the start.

GreenGoblin0 Sat 29-Apr-17 23:34:33

expressing is hard work and very time consuming. babies are far more efficient at getting milk from breasts than a breast pump so yes you'll have help from other people to give feeds but if you want to express for a significant period you will spent a lot of time hooked up to a pump; which if you don't like the idea of anyone (including your baby) on your nipples you might struggle with. (to me bfing is completely natural and pumping made md feel more like a cow being milked!

if you then want to feed the baby the milk you have expressed as well you will find you are spending more than double the amount of time in the feeding process than if you had just fed your baby directly from the best. obviously it's your body but perhaps you might feel differently when the baby is here.

NotTheBelleoftheBall Sat 29-Apr-17 23:43:08

TBH if part of the reason you want to express and combi feed is because you don't want to directly breast feed, then simply don't do it.

Of course 'breast is best' but, in my opinion, fed is good enough.

Breastfeeding isn't always easy, it's often a bit of a labour of love at the beginning, and if you're not fully committed to it, you might find yourself disappointed in the situation if it's tricky and you decide to go the FF route.

For full disclosure, I am very pro breastfeeding and didn't even question whether I'd FF, but when the time came and DD was born and I was tired and ragged and broken from an unpleasant EMCS (and DD was losing weight into her third week) that all went out of the window and DD has been formula fed since then. It may not be 'ideal' but she's happy and healthy and loved, and it's worked for us.

Don't force yourself to make a decision now, you never know you may have the over powering urge to breastfeed your DC, or you may not, or may not be able to... its all varying shades of fine.

NotTheBelleoftheBall Sat 29-Apr-17 23:43:36

Sorry, please apply an apostrophe to that final "it's"

TittyGolightly Sat 29-Apr-17 23:47:45

I exclusively expressed for almost a year. In the early days that meant every 2 hours around the clock, then every 3 after establishing the supply. In between there was bottle washing, sterilising, bagging and freezing milk. Baby was lucky to get a look in! Not an easy option but the best for me (various physical issues prevented straightforward breastfeeding but I did try between all of the above. It never happened though.)

Nipples exist solely to feed babies, so not sure why that should freak anyone out.

OnNaturesCourse Sat 29-Apr-17 23:49:29

Oh I'm definitely committed to it for baby's health and my own. I'd love to breast feed and I'll maybe try it but I honestly can't see it working. I don't keep well and birth recovery may be longer due to that... Plus my nipples are dry anyway which is why I don't want anyone near them.

I know expressing can be hard but I'd more be expressing to top up formula when I can rather than the other way around.

It's definitely something I'll need to think about but I definitely want to give baby some breast milk for at least the first few months.

TestingTestingWonTooFree Sat 29-Apr-17 23:54:34

Expressing can be a killer, even for people who are good breastfeeders. In some ways it's the worst of both worlds, you have the hassle of breast milk and of sterilising bottles etc. It'll be twice the work to feed. Hats off to those who do it.

Whilst you don't like the idea of breasts for feeding, there are some bits of you that are dual purpose for sex and babies - e.g. hands and vagina. Maybe see how you feel post birth? If you don't want to do it, then don't.

There's nothing particularly magic about the first or second feed imo. I had a baby less than a week ago and can't specifically remember any of them. When my first baby was born 3 years ago I was only semi conscious for the first feed so remember none of it, after that I was very ill so midwives did several of the next ones.

GreenGoblin0 Sun 30-Apr-17 00:01:33

I think you will struggle to establish a supply over a few months if you are aiming to top up formula rather than the other way around. neither your or your baby will get the full health benefits of breastfeeding if you are just expressing the odd bottle.

OnNaturesCourse Sun 30-Apr-17 00:05:53

I am fully aware of the breast natural function.

My reason for not breast feeding has nothing to do with sexualizing the nipple. Jee, my DP doesn't even specifically focus on the nipples. I have a mental problem with anyone being near them, they are sensitive and prone to dryness / chaffing (stand to attention a lot)

I'd love to be comfortable with baby latching on but mentally I'm scared of the effect and have built up a block of people being near them. I am hoping my outlook will change but I'm being realistic and doing my research.

To me the health benefit outweigh the not trying... Even if I only manage for a few weeks, at least I tried?

I just didn't know if it was possible to mix breast milk and formula from the start, and when I could start expressing. It's all new to me... Big learning curve.

Thank you all for your input 😁😊

Longji Sun 30-Apr-17 00:14:33

It's not easy but definitely doable, for the first few days you'll have colostrum so can hand express that into syringes (there isn't really enough to use a breast pump).

If you're intent on expressing long term then I'd recommend getting a double electric pump so you can pump both sides at the same time. To build supply you would need to express every time baby has a feed, expressing throughout the night is important in the early weeks. A friend of mine exclusively expressed for 18'months so it can definitely be done but it's not easy.

haveacupoftea Sun 30-Apr-17 00:40:32

Sounds like the worst of both worlds tbh

Neverknowing Sun 30-Apr-17 01:02:52

I would definitely recommend trying to breast feed if you can op. It makes so many things with your baby easier, in my experience my bf baby was so much happier because you just put them on the breast every time they cry and you can get a full night's sleep as they sleep as soon as they're on the breast. Maybe see a therapist before you give birth?

OnNaturesCourse Sun 30-Apr-17 01:15:54

A therapist? For breast feeding? Is that a thing?

Caterina99 Sun 30-Apr-17 01:18:24

I struggled with bf due to low supply and DS was mix fed from 3 days old. We never got back to 100% bf, which actually suited me just fine, and mix fed for about 4 months until we moved fully to formula. Expressing was the worst, it literally takes twice as long as you have to pump the milk and then feed it to the baby. DS never had any problems going between boob or bottle though

TittyGolightly Sun 30-Apr-17 04:37:26

I think the therapist suggestion was about your nipple issues.

fanfrickintastic Sun 30-Apr-17 06:14:36

I also hated the idea of breastfeeding. I hate my nipples being touched (by anyone for any reason) and they are extremely sensitive.

DS is breastfed. It's been brutal. No pain or anything but it's constant at the beginning. I also expressed which is just awful. The feeling of the pump is 1000% times worse than the baby! Plus to build supply just by pumping you HAVE to pump every 2 hours, even through the night.

Yet I'm still feeding DS 18months on and I donated more than 10L to the breast milk bank. I still hate breastfeeding and wish DS would stop. But he loves it and would not take a bottle at all, for anyone!

What I'm saying is, whether direct from breast, or expressed, if you are committed it can work. But if you don't want to breastfeed, then don't, and don't beat yourself up about it.

Rikalaily Sun 30-Apr-17 07:31:04

I know quite a few mums who weren't keen on the idea of bfing because the thought of a newborn on their nipples felt weird/alien etc to them. Most of them gave it a go (one didn't have a choice as baby just launched and latched, lol) and they were surprised to find that they actually felt fine with it.

I would advise that you give it a go and see how you feel when the time comes.

savagehk Sun 30-Apr-17 07:39:54

If they're dry and sensitive expressing might be just as off putting / unpleasant for you? At least baby's mouth is wet. You can get a cream (lansinoh) to put on your nipples if needed, it's quite expensive per tube but you only need a little. That said, i never needed any at all.

vfoster Sun 30-Apr-17 08:15:15

Morning OP, just wanted to reiterate what a PP has said, fed is best! Do whatever you need to do. I'll share my experience of breast feeding in case it can help!
I wanted to breastfeed but was a little freaked out by it too. I ended up with an emergency c section after a 4 day long failed induction and a 10lb 10 baby so everything I had planned went out the window and I was on survival mode. DD was big and needed lots of milk so I really struggled through the first few weeks exclusively breast feeding her. I had a breastfeeding specialist Heath visitor who visited me every few days and really helped with everything. A few weeks in I broke down and told her I couldn't do it. to be honest I get like a failure but she was so supportive. She told me to go out and get bottles, formula and a breast pump and do whatever I needed to do. She said the most important thing was that my baby was fed and that I didnt hate every second of it. She warned me that using bottles may make DD wean off the breast and I may struggle to breastfeed after.
I went out and bought the stuff the next afternoon and for the next 4 weeks we managed with whatever worked. We formula fed now and again (the pre-made ones) and I expressed and I breast fed. Just did whatever worked.
When she was about 6 weeks old I realised the whole expressing/sterilising thing was just a pain in the bum so I went back to exclusive breastfeeding and did that for 18 months.
Sorry about the waffle. Just do what works for you, there are no prizes for doing it either way. All that matters is your baby is fed and you can enjoy him or her and those first few amazing months.
I'm a secondary school teacher and I don't look at kids and know they are healthier/brighter because they were breast fed! (An odd thought but it actually got me through the 'failure' of struggling to breast feed)
Also, Lanisoh nipple cream is your friend. It makes them feel so much better and it's on offer for £8 a tube in Mothercare at the mo! I've just stocked up for baby number two.... who will be getting fed in whichever way works and I'll give myself a much easier time about it!
Good luck OP, you will do great!

OnNaturesCourse Sun 30-Apr-17 10:29:12

titty oh I see. I doubt my "issue" of, having dry, sensitive nipples is a therapy matter.😂

TittyGolightly Sun 30-Apr-17 10:29:53

It sounded more psychological until you explained.

OnNaturesCourse Sun 30-Apr-17 10:33:59

Thanks everyone.

Definitely something I need to discuss and look into further. Health benefits for me and baby seem to outweigh the cons of breast feeding so maybe I'll give it a go... Even for a few weeks then switch in some expressed and formula bottles.

Thanks everyone.

Thank goodness I'm only 10 weeks and have time to research.

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