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Infant feeding

Mix feeding help needed

20 replies

Sunisshining12 · 31/03/2017 14:55

I've have a negative experience with eBF my 5 week old. (No milk for 8 days, 2 x TT snips, thrush & now extremely painful mastitis). I'm absolutely exhausted with BF.

My LO still doesn't latch well despite loads of support - she just hasn't learned how to bring her tongue down following her second TT snip therefore she crunches on my nipples & is on/off literally all day & night. I can't leave the house it's so consuming.

I know breast milk is best and I feel extreme guilt but I've decided to try mix feeding, if this is even possible? If so, where on earth do I begin?!

If ideally like to FF during day & BF during night if this is possible? I can't express much & tbh just don't have the energy for expressing anymore I feel that run down so formula it is.

My questions are:

  1. Is mixed feeding possible?

2. Is it possible to FF day & BF night?
3. How do I go about it (I have mastitis and just started antibiotics)
4. What is the absolute BEST formula I can get (I know they're all shite compared to breast)
5. What are the best bottles/teats for this scenario, nipple like, for a LO who has trouble sucking.

Please don't judge me this has been a really hard decision but I'm so down over how hard & painful it is.
OP posts:
tiktok · 31/03/2017 15:40

Sun, formula is not 'shite compared to breast' ...this is catastrophising to the nth degree :)

It's fine to be sad and disappointed about your breastfeeding experiences, but to express this in terms which would make other mothers feel angry and dismissed is not on....hope you agree.

And why would anyone whose opinion is worth anything at all judge you???

Having said that....there is no formula which is the 'absolute best'. You can see an objective analysis of UK formulas by reading this report:

Yes, it is possible to bf in the night and ff in the day, but not a complete switch to this while you have mastitis. You would need to gradually introduce (more) formula feeds, so you do not go too long between breastfeeds too quickly, as this will increase your chances of mastitis.

Best bet is to speak to a breastfeeding specialist or a breastfeeding counsellor and work out a plan that will fit you and your needs.

They will also discuss with you what you want, check your equipment is not a problem (with the expressing) and most of all accept that you are in the best position to decide what is best for you.

Hope it works out!

tiktok · 31/03/2017 16:15

Just to add - you have had a horrible first few weeks, and I don't think anyone should blame you for feeling disillusioned :( Really sad this happened.

2tiredtothinkofausername · 31/03/2017 16:28

Hay, I started mix feeding at 5 weeks, a bottle or two a day and then cut down to one a day before bed, my personal experience is that I got more sleep that way. I also had a really painful experience, tongue tie, mastitis etc etc.

Can't say whether formula during the day and breast at night works as I didn't try it. I would recommend nipple shields if you haven't tried already. I use Aptimal, which my baby likes.

Please please please don't feel guilty. I beat myself up unnecessarily about it but I'm glad I mix fed now as it has given me more freedom in the long run. Also it hurt so much it was either do that or give up.

Also, he's about to turn 1 and I'm still breastfeeding him once a day. Now I love it, it's my reward for the early hard days.

Up to you what you do but FF is NOT the end of the world Smile

Sunisshining12 · 31/03/2017 16:41

Apologies tiktok, didn't mean to offend anyone at all. I just meant in the question context 'what formula is best' in that obviously it can't compare to breast milk in terms of antibodies etc. Just ranting as I really wanted to eBF but have come to the end of the road with the pain & tears! Sorry if I've offended anyone, genuinely not aimed at ff babies.

I was going to wait for the mastitis to clear up before I started this process so like you said I don't get more blocked up (although dr thinks this mastitis was caused by thush getting into damaged nipples (caused by poor latch/TT) & into ducts).

I've contacted my hv who encouraged me to eBF, when I suggested mix she said well you may as well do all or nothing!! I feel like the hv & midwife have judged me for not BF, and some of my family members have made me feel a bit worse telling me how easy it is & how I should do this & that etc.

If I dropped a feed every 2 days would this be too rushed? Say the first feed of the day, then 2 days later drop the next feed, or is it not that simple?

Will have a look at the formula comparison chart thanks & interested in other mum's recommendations please as well as decent teats for mixed feeding :-)

OP posts:
tiktok · 31/03/2017 16:46

It's ok, Sun - mumsnet sometimes gets slagged off for criticising formula and formula feeding, and I was heading that particular criticism off at the pass :) :)

2 days per dropped feed is probably ok, but honestly, if you can, discuss it in real life with someone who knows what they are talking about. Probably not your HV, from what you say, but maybe she can refer you?

Sunisshining12 · 31/03/2017 16:46

Thanks 2tired, over how long did you carry out the process as I'm worried about losing supply, even just to bf once at night like you would be great & think would relief some of the guilt

OP posts:
FATEdestiny · 31/03/2017 16:46

Nothing at all wrong with using formula milk.

Given how regulated the formula milk market is, I would say the differences between brands for first milk are so marginal they are completely insignificant. So pick any you like. It being more/less expensive means nothing.

An idea to consider:

Instead of splitting your day/night for Brest and formula, you could take the view that you breastfeed "for fun/cuddles" and give formula for calories.

That gives you all of the best bits of breastfeeding with none of the pressure. Just give regular, full formula feeds I bet 24 hours. Then whenever you feel like it - if baby is upset, needs a cuddle, to comfort suck to sleep, if you want a cuddle, or just because you like the snuggles - just breastfeed for fun, for the loveliness of it.

Sunisshining12 · 31/03/2017 19:08

Thanks Fate, is this physically possible given that my LO is only 5 weeks so I haven't been BF months & months, will the supply dry up?

Sounds a lovely idea though 😃

Is there a particular brand that gets mumsnet votes? I know nothing about formulas but someone sugggested cows & gate?

OP posts:
bigmamapeach · 31/03/2017 19:57

Hi sunshining, other have kids of good advice on the practicalities of mixing bf and Ff so I can't add any thing useful there but just to say it's definitely not all or nothing with bf. At all. All the studies show partial bf babies still get the benefits, not quite as much as exclusive, but defo protection on the infections that little babies are prone to. Might it help to think of glass half full (or 3/4 full) not half empty? Partial bf can also carry on a long time and often get easier as you go, and this can be a source of pleasure and add confidence etc. Maybe at the moment it's about finding the solution that works for you. Mums who manage bf over the long term often use a whole mix of strategies and there's no one size fits all or one perfect solution to it. What you think is going to fit well into your life.

bigmamapeach · 31/03/2017 19:58

Sorry, LOTS of good advice

Laquila · 31/03/2017 20:05

Your HV sounds like a knobhead! Any bf is better than none at all, and I'm amazed she didn't see that if she failed to help provide you with competent advice and information about mix feeding, you'd be more likely to give up bf full stop 🙄

My best advice would be to take it (dropping feeds) as slowly as you can - in the long run that will probably be better for your boobs, for your supply and therefore better for the bf routine/plan you want to establish.

Have you tried contacting La Leche League or your local bf support network? There's no substitute for a qualified lactation counsellor sitting face-to-face with you and actually assessing things. Good luck and chin up - sounds like you've done brilliantly so far, even if it doesn't feel like it! FWIW i was determined to ebf my first son, and it was a long hard slog of blood, sweat and tears. I couldn't have given him formula if you'd given me a million pounds. My second son had a few ml in hospital when he wouldn't latch on, and that was all that was needed to wake him up a bit and get him going on the boob for good. (He still had the occasional bottle of formula.) Sometimes mix feeding is the best way forward all round, and that's absolutely fine.

Sunisshining12 · 31/03/2017 20:57

Thanks, that makes me feel much better. The problem is I get so much conflicting advice from the midwife, hv & 2 BF support groups I just don't know what is best! I paid to see a lactation consultant & it all comes down to the way LO uses (well doesn't) her tongue. Although her TT has been released she's still not figured out how to suck properly. Her tongue doesn't come down over her gums so she chomps on me & doesn't get a deep latch. We carry out daily excercises & have an osteopathy appt.

Sorry, going off track!

Tiktok, I've been sieving through the report & can see that he formulas are all very similar ingredients wise!

What makes HIPP 'organic'??

What about teats - any recommendations for 'nipple like'?

After a quick Google, NUK, medela & dr browns seem quite popular?

My LO has never even had a dummy so I'm worried about what teat to use.


OP posts:
beargrass · 31/03/2017 21:03

I'd pick a formula that you can also buy from your local shop and don't have to make a special journey to go and get...I wish I'd thought of this!

Laquila · 31/03/2017 22:34

I've read a LOT of threads on this kind of thing, and spoken to a lot of people IRL about it, and there doesn't seem to be a consensus on what bottle babies, or bf babies, prefer. I've heard of people who spend a fortune buying every bottle and teat out there, only to find that their baby just wants the standard Tommee Tippee that you see everywhere. My best friend's daughter would only drink from a weird yellow rubber Playtex teat that they had to get via Amazon.

Sunisshining12 · 01/04/2017 07:45

Thanks bear, good point!

Laquila, the problem with my daughter is that she doesn't know how to suck properly due to 2 pretty bad tongue ties. I'm hopping over & with excercises she will learn.

So I'm really looking for a teat that is not only nipple like but may also be easier for her to suck

OP posts:
Sunisshining12 · 01/04/2017 15:32

Another do you know how much formula to give!

OP posts:
tiktok · 01/04/2017 16:15

Rule of thumb is that babies on formula need about 150 ml per kilo of body weight e.g. A 4 kg baby has 600 MLS per day so if having eight feeds 75 MLS per feed. The imperial rule is 2.5 oz per lb, so a 10 lb baby has 25 oz and about 3 oz per feed Smile

tiktok · 01/04/2017 16:15

But obv watch your baby and adjust accordingly.

Sunisshining12 · 01/04/2017 16:33

Thank you Tiktok 😃

OP posts:
babyblabber · 01/04/2017 16:54

I'm planning on doing similar with my nearly 8 week old DC4.

With DC1 I breastfed for 7 weeks then moved over to bottles (fairly quickly, over a week) but kept breastfeeding at night til 3 months. He only woke once a night and then slept through the night for a week so I thought that meant my supply would be gone. I probs my could have tried again but didn't.

With DC4 she's on one bottle already and I gave her two today and will keep increasing them. She only takes tiny amounts from the bottle and always has a breastfeed after but hoping the more bottles she's on she'll get used to them.

In terms of formula I use aptamil coz it's readily available in places like Portugal where we go on holidays.

In terms of teats my DC2 was a bottle refuser and after trying everything I eventually got her to take NUK bottles with a latex teat in size S (the bottles come with size M teats so had to buy them separately) so I think that might be a good one to try.

I'm hoping to keep night feeds going for as long as possible but I know from DC2 that it mightn't work out. She would take hardly any formula all day and then breastfeed all night long and I was back at work so had to just switch over to formula completely. Be prepared in case that happens.

Best of luck!

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