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19/05/2013 at 19:04
A is almost 8 weeks and i've so far exclusively breastfed her. I'm starting to think that I should introduce some formula, as I get the feeling she's not fully satisfied after each feed. She feeds every 2.5 hours, but even that is a struggle as she gets mardy in the last half hour, and her weight gain could be better (will more than likely be referred after her weigh in this week as she's dropped almost 2 centile lines).
I feel really proud that I've fed her myself for this long, and now that we've overcome the issues we had in the beginning (TT and associated soreness) i feel like there isn't a valid reason to introduce formula if I can physically feed her myself. It's the old guilt thing I suppose.
I'm torn between doing what's best for her (fully BF), and doing what's best for her (a bit of formula a day might make her more satisfied/settled)! I just can't decide which is best of the two options given they could both benefit her, but they both have downsides (either her not being satisfied just from me, or introducing some formula to her BF little body)
I'm torn and don't know what to do... does anyone have any advice, or can share their experiences of introducing formula? I intend on expressing at the time H feeds her a formula bottle so it hopefully wont affect my supply, but worry that introducing a bit of formula is a slippery slope to giving up BF altogether which I don't want to do.
Sorry that's all a bit of a ramble...
19/05/2013 at 19:29
I have mixed fed both of mine. G was bf (with formula top ups) to 5 months and i want to try and do the same with P. Why dont you discuss it when you get her weighed this week? If your milk supply isnt keeping up with her as such by now, will it ever or will you always be chasing your tail?
I gave P and G formula because they both lost too much weight and for me that was the deciding factor.
Everyone has different views but personally i dont think formula is "bad" if it helps your baby gain weight and it doesnt mean you will give up on bfing. I didnt.
19/05/2013 at 19:42
If you WANT to give her some formula, then do, but I reckon that she is still getting your supply up to "her" speed. Maybe speaking to a breastfeeding counsellor would help just to chat through the logic of things and check that your making a decision that you are happy with? I'm not sure that formula is the only answer to weight gain
I know E was a reeeeaaaally slow feeder (actually still is) and that's just how she is, nothing to do with my supply. They're all different as are our boobs! x
O started fighting with the boob at about 9 weeks and we ended up giving him formula. He was still having nighttime feeds from me until 16 weeks (which is easier as you're not having to get out of bed and the night time feeds stimulate milk production). O was also plateauing with his weight gain up to the 9 week mark so when he started his formula feeds, he started gaining weight. It's not the end of the world introducing formula and you can do mix feeding easily enough. You've got to do what's right for you as well as A. Happy mummy = happy baby, and vice versa. X
19/05/2013 at 20:21
I mix fed my eldest from about 6 weeks. She had one bottle as her dream feed. My H used to give it to her and I used to pump at the same time. I honestly think that introducing a bottle made me breast feed for longer than I would have done if I had kept trying to exclusively breastfeed. She had plummeted through centiles in her first six weeks of life and the guilt I felt for introducing a bottle was immense (now i just feel guilty looking at the photos of her when she was tiny as she so obviously wasn't thriving :-(). Looking back now I can can hand on heart say it was a liberating decision to introduce a bottle. Guilt is such a wasteful emotion - as long as she is fed and content then you are doing a great job!
19/05/2013 at 20:29
First of all well done for getting to 8 weeks with the difficulties you've had. Many people mix feed and it works well for them. If YOU want to introduce formula for the good of you both, then do so without feeling any guilt. I was forced to introduce formula at 4 wks due to poor weight gain, against my wishes, and it caused a lot of problems, but that was because my baby was milk intolerant and that was why she wasn't putting on weight. Just be aware that there is some evidence that giving formula can 'undo' some of the good that you get from exclusively breastfeeding as it can unsettle the virgin gut. It can also reduce your milk supply if you end up giving formula when you would normally feed. Some mums who begin to add formula do end up exclusively formula feeding. (I'm one of them as being tongue tied, once S had bottle she would then refuse to BF so I had to give up.)
If your baby is now feeding well, I'd be surprised that she is unsatisfied as if you're feeding regularly your milk should increase to meet her needs. The advice I had from the BF consultants at the hospital (who said I should never have been told to give her formula in the 1st place) was to express after each feed to make sure the breast has been fully drained and in the evening give the baby a top up of this high calorie milk in the evening. Would this be something you'd want consider trying first?
You need to do what's best for you and your baby and I believe a lot in going with what your instinct tells you. x
19/05/2013 at 20:45
She's been at 2.5 hour feeds for a couple of weeks now, so surely my supply would have caught up by now? I suppose I'll talk to HV and see what she says, but I do just have this niggling feeling she's not satisfied, even though I don't think my supply is an issue (there's always some left when I give my boob a squeeze after she's fed lol)
19/05/2013 at 21:18
Ah, it could be that maybe she's not getting enough of the fatty hind milk if you've still got some milk left and you feel she's not satisfied. It could be that she's feeding regularly, but not emptying the breast each time. Therefore she's quenching her thirst, but not her appetite. (This was what S was doing and she was feeding constantly too.) Do you make sure she's fully finished on one breast before offering the other? Honestly, I'd try the expressing after advice if that's the case and seek advice from a BF counsellor as well as your HV.
19/05/2013 at 23:48
I'd second the expressing to make sure she has emptied the breast after a feed, you could then give her this in a bottle or a cup?
When you say she feeds every 2.5 hrs but unsettled for the last half hour - have you tried feeding her when she starts to become unsettled? Is she maybe looking for a feed every 2 hours?
20/05/2013 at 03:02
wLRs. I bfed both of mine and J fed every 2 hrs ans B at 15 weeks still feeds between every 1-4 hrs. I feed when she becomes unsettled each time
20/05/2013 at 03:35
8 weeks is fab! Nobody can tell you what to do, it's your decision and sadly, anything we say won't lessen the guilt. My 2 fed on demand and it could be anything from 1 hour to 2 so going 2.5 hours is actually really good for a BF baby. I always fed the moment they started to get unsettled and never left them waiting for certain periods through the day. That way you ensure your supply keeps up. It's exhausting though and with E we struggled after I introduced bottles of EBM at 5 weeks when we left her with MIL and then she started fussing at my breast. I started to give her EBM for a few months after that before we moved on to formula. With M, I made the decision to mix feed after 3 months as I found BFing on demand incredibly hard with a demanding toddler. After a few weeks, it just got easier to FF and M stopped waking for his night feeds at 12 weeks. All 3 of us were much happier after this.
I'm a big believer of happy mummy = happy baby and if mix feeding is going to help you, then go for it. You've given your baby a fantastic start xx
20/05/2013 at 06:02
I find it really difficult to express during the day as she's such a velcro baby that I can't put her down for long enough to express even a small amount
The trouble is that she feeds for an hour or so, so going any more often than 2.5 hours is so tough. I'll give it a go feeding her the second she gets unsettled, but to be honest that'll mean I get about 20 minutes between each feed, as most of the time she isn't an especially happy baby.
It's so difficult to know what to do or to know what's best for her. I just want her to be happier but don't know how to make that happen :(
20/05/2013 at 06:59
BFing is often like that Nenas I'm afraid. At the start it was hard to even have a cup of tea before my baby was wanting the next feed! You need to make a decision lovely. I found BFing was such a big commitment, you feel like a nothing more than a feeding machine for a very long time
20/05/2013 at 07:05
G was just like this in the early days too. She cried all the time (do did i!!). She woukd bf for over an hour each side and only go 2.5 hours. Couple that with the fact i couldnt bring myself to bf in public, i was a recluse for weeks before i started to mixed feed andvwe were all happier for it. But like WS said no matter what everyone else says it wont take that awful guilty feeling away. I swore i wouldnt beat myself up this time if i decided to mixed feed and i still did x
20/05/2013 at 07:25
What the others said re feeding her as soon as she starts to ask for it. At 8 weeks she may be going through a growth spurt too, this will help your supply. I remember A feeding quite often too, and taking forever and then around 12 weeks the length of time he fed for went from 45minutes to 15-20. It does get easier.
It may be worth trying to express after each feed too if you get a chance, especially in the evenings/night when your H may be able to help pacify her and it's the better/fattier milk.
A used to feed every 1 - 2.5 hours and I remember the HV telling me how he should be going 3 hours, after some advice on here I followed my instincts and went with what my baby demanded. Fwiw he had the opposite issue to your A, he was jumping up the centiles until he was well over the 99.6th, so I don't think her frequent feeding is necessarily related to her dropping a few centiles.
20/05/2013 at 07:31
I dont have anything to add to the great advice you have been given but I can say I mix feed and it works perfectly for us. I love breastfeeding but didn't produce enough for my tinker. A is 16 weeks now and I have no plans to stop feeding her this way x
20/05/2013 at 09:28
I think it doesn't help that I've told my HV exactly how/when she's been feeding and been told to carry on and not change anything...
I'm going to introduce formula in some way, as my gut is telling me she needs it, and will do my best with the BF at the same time and see how we get on. Thanks for the advice people :)
20/05/2013 at 09:51
As i say it worked for me for 5 months with G and i am now doing the same with P. As someone else said, if anything its made me stick to bfing for longer as the baby is happier and so am i!! X
20/05/2013 at 11:02
I don't think I can add much advice, but I wanted to say well done. I remember E being a baby who fed for an hour or more every two hours and it was so difficult to do anything else. Hopefully she will start to feed more efficiciently soon xx
20/05/2013 at 13:42
Obviously, I may be completely wrong, but It sounds to me like you've actually made your decision and almost looking for someone to give you almost 'permission' to do so. (I had this problem both times and needed someone else to say, "You've done a bloody good job, neither of you are benefitting from this any longer, so go ahead and do what you think is best.") 1st time it was my H who told me enough was enough and 2nd time an very understanding HV (not my usual one).
You obviously don't think that you'd be able to express after a feed or feed more regularly, so if it makes things easier for you both then maybe mix feeding is the way to go and don't feel bad about it. Believe me, I've been there, but it does get better when you see your baby thriving and you start to feel better yourself when you start getting more sleep. x
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