Pregnancy & Birth Clubs <
12/06/2013 at 15:33
I'm still very open minded and undecided about feeding. To me, there are pros and cons to both. I do plan on starting out breastfeeding, but am fully prepared and won't be disappointed if it doesn't happen (my mum couldn't breastfeed me and didn't bother with my sister). I have to go away in early December when the baby will be just over 4 months old, so I'd like him/her to be on a bottle by then.
I like the idea of H being able to give the baby a bottle (whether that's expressed or formula) and, personally, I think I'd prefer to be able to give a bottle when out in public. My mum will also be desperate to babysit at any given opportunity and I'd like that she could feed the baby too.
This isn't intended to spark a debate about breast or bottle. I'm just aware that some people manage to do this but I'm finding it difficult to find real life experiences of how it works in practice and would be very grateful for any stories.
12/06/2013 at 15:42
I'm combination feeding my LO. He get's fed off me during the day and get's bottles at night so that H and I have our fair share of night feeds. That, and the fact i just can't keep up with my little man. he was a big baby to start with, so i've always struggled to feed him enough. I also had latching issues to begin with and ended up with a very sore nipple so until that heals, he's only being fed on one breast and i'm expressing the other until it heals properly. We're only a few days into this regime, and it seems to be working for us. I also totally get the bottle feeding in public. I have to say that i feel the same way. I get enough stares from people because i look like a teen mum :-S People are so judgemental!
I've mix fed both mine. No 1 was tube fed initially and had to take a bottle as he was in special care. He'd happily take either boob or bottle. Initially I expressed for the bottles but struggled to keep up so he had formula a couple of times a day.
Little S was huge at birth so needed a top up whilst my milk came in so had a bottle from day one. He now has one bottle a day last thing in evening so H can give him it. Again, he'll happily take either.
I do realise I'm lucky they both have taken either, but I did think you need to introduce a bottle quite early if you want them to mix feed and then give them one every day to keep it up.
For me mix feeding is perfect. Health benefits of breast milk, convenience of bf in terms of not having to make up bottles when they're desperately hungry, and the lower stress of ff as you can go out and not have to worry about leaving baby for more than an hour, H can so some feeds,
You get a rest too.
12/06/2013 at 16:03
Thanks both. I obviously am keen on the health benefits (and the benefits for my bank balance!) of BF, but there are certainly advantages to formula too.
I'm expecting a big baby, but I hadn't necessarily thought of needing to top up his/her feeds, so that's interesting to know.
How did you find it affected your supply?
12/06/2013 at 16:17
Heidi had formula top ups in hospital too as her blood sugars were a little low and she was quite shaky. I am now doing both.
I am self employed so working already. My Mum is going to help out with the girls in the holidays so she needs to be able to take a bottle. She is also Miss Greedy. She will bf for a good half hour on each side and still want more.
12/06/2013 at 16:20
WH - i wondered how you had got on feeding your LO with them being big. William takes both bottle and boob well. I'm concerned about my supply, but if i'm going to maintain feeding him in this manner then my supply should establish itself around the way he is fed. I had one MW tell me that bottle feeding would confuse my LO, but he doesn't seem to care. And as WH said. There are the health benefits and the convenience of BF when they are hungry, but you don't need to worry about feeding them if you are going to be away from them for a period of time.
12/06/2013 at 16:54
I mix fed my first 2 - breast during the day, bottle (formula) at night. I never had a problem with supply.
Thsi time we ended up in special care at 3 days due to jaundice and she needed topping up to clear it out. This was initially by tube and then bottle. Once my milk was in I was expressing for her. I have kept this up and she has a bottle of formula last thing at night and a bottle of EBM first thing usually which H feeds her. I BF the rest of the time and there are no supply issues whatsoever - it is literally pouring out of me!
12/06/2013 at 17:08
Can I ask did you get engorged initially in the night with them having formula then? Engorgement gave us a day of feeding nightmares as S couldn't latch so I'm keen to avoid it if poss though I guess it doesn't last long until my supply would adapt?
S is also a big boy - bit smaller than your two at 9lb 9oz at birth - I hadn't thought he may need 'topping up'. He does feed a lot, especially at night and though we are managing I Do wonder if a little mix feeding in the near future could be good for us both but can't make a decision!
12/06/2013 at 17:29
Lamby big baby's don't need 'topping up' they put their demand in for breast milk and you make it, the same way a small baby puts a small order in and their mum makes it if that makes sense
12/06/2013 at 19:15
I have successfully mixed fed both of my girls. Both G and P were still crying with hunger after feeding from each breast twice so i started to give s little formula top up if they wrte still unsettled. Both times i had issues with milk not coming in till day 6. Both times i beat myself up for giving formula but it works brilliantly for us. They sleep longer at night so we all feel a bit more human (its harder to function on virtually no sleep with a 4 year old!) and i can get out and leave P with my H as he can feed her. I also have issues with bfing in public. I am fine in parks etc but not restsurants. Great example today - we went out for lunch today for H's birthday and i ff P at the table. If i wanted to bf her i would have had to leave my meal and bf in the car.
For me it just gives me more options. If i knew P was due a feed and i was just bfing i would stay home, feed her, then go out - 1.5 hours later! Mixed feeding for me just means we get out and about more and our whole lives dont revolve around where we will be when P needs to feed.
12/06/2013 at 19:25
Little S had to be topped up in hospital as I'd had GD and couldn't let his sugars drop. With his brother it didn't matter how much he fed, he was constantly hungry. He's literally feed every hour or so.
My supply is more than enough now thankfully and because he just has that one bottle I don't get too engorged.
12/06/2013 at 19:30
I mix fed first baby ebm and formula.
2nd baby was breastfed, I expressed everyday and we took the ebm in bottle for tes where i though i'd feel uncomfortable feeding x
13/06/2013 at 11:17
Just to come back and say thanks for all the advice. Don't manage to come on here in the evenings!
13/06/2013 at 13:56
I mixed fed for about 10 months in total. You need to have an easy going baby who is willing to swap - some won't take milk from a bottle if you get breast feeding successfully established.
My supply settled down very quickly - I didn't get engorged. I simply swapped a couple of feeds for formula rather than topping up at the end of a feed which is what some people do. It does give you flexibility - you aren't completely tied to the baby, but you do have the feed right there if necessary. I never had to leave and go home if the baby suddenly decided she was hungry when out and about or panic about where the feed was coming from because I could BF. On the other hand my H was able to do the last feed in the evening so that I could get to bed and get some sleep before the baby woke up again needing the first feed of the night. This was a lifesaver for me in the early months.
I did all the middle of the night feeds as BF - I think this is important for your supply if you are BF. Something about the hormones makes those ones good ones.
My mum didn't BF me at all - she tried with my older brother and gave up - I didn't have much of an example to know what I was doing at the time. I was completely open minded and not too bothered about it. However, it is a bit of a mystery as to whether its working on not at first. There are good ways of getting encouragement for BF out there - breast feeding counsellers (spelling), clinics, etc. Make sure that you have this information to hand for the early days and weeks. Formula feeding is expensive - the tubs of formula cost something like £8 and you go through a lot if you are fully formula feeding. So being able to get breast feeding established can help keep costs down too.
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