Breast and formula feeding ??

Hi ladies,

Hope all is well with lil ones and bumps :) so I'm 35+1 and I'm going to try and breast feed my lil man but I'm really nervous about it. I went shopping last night to get stuff for my hospital bag which was very exciting and bought a tub of SMA formula combined feed just in case he doesn't latch on at hospital but I don't know what to do when I get home ?? I no breast is best and I want him to have the best start so definitely gonna try but do any of you recommend combine feeding ?? Breast and bottle and if so do you have a routine ?? Maybe breast in the day and formula at night ??? I'm just really scared about the night feeds and people always say it will just come naturally but what if it doesn't?? I'm just scared about failing him, it's my first and don't have much experience with babies really everyone seems to know so much and I feel like I haven't got a clue :( sorry for rambling just wondered what your thoughts are xxx thanks x

21 Replies

  • Hi hun with the right support and encouragement breast feeding your baby can be successful :-) the midwives will help you to get latched on correctly and comfortably. I wouldn't introduce a bottle in straight away as can be very confusing for baby. At your next antenatal maybe ask about breastfeeding workshop in your area :-) there's no reason after breastfeeding is well established that you can't introduce a formula feed xxx

  • Thanks :) I'm just so worried about all aspects of motherhood really you know when you get home with lil one and its just you hubby and baby and it's down to us then and people just expect you to no what to do :) I'm not gonna introduce formula until I've given it a good go !! Cxx

  • Aww I know its a whole new chapter of your life but probably the best thing you will ever do. Have you been to any antenatal classes? They might boost your confidence a little?? Im breast feeding my third baby atm and we have a lovely bond and it does come naturally I guess you will know what I mean more when your little man arrives :-) have you chosen any names xx

  • I haven't been to any classes maybe I will discuss this with my md at my next app next Wednesday, i am personally a confident person but just not with this lol, yeah we are calling him Cole xxx

  • Hi CharDavies

    If its any consulation to you i've also considered combining breast feeding & formula too

    Im now approaching 31wks of pregnancy with my 2nd child but my concern is the thought of the baby losing a considerable amount of weight due to "possibly" not getting the enough or the right amount of breast milk.

    Ive personally gone for & bought the Cow & gate stage 1 formula as it seemed to go down quite well with my son when he was born in 2008.

    I also breast fed my son when he was born but due to some post-natal stress + lack of sleep due to him wanting to feed ( at least every hour & a half) i then decided the formula will be introduced at about 7wks of life / age.

    A part of me does also believe the urge to breast feed will & does come naturally but its also very important not to feel pressured or guility about any of the choices you may make as its your baby & its ultimately you who will know him / her the best.


  • I think it's the unknown lol I think you will surprise yourself hun when little cole arrives :-D xx

  • Thanks ladies, and abenaa I agree you just can't tell what there getting and that freaks me out, I will chat to my md about my worries it is the unknown and another scary but great chapter to look forward too xxx

  • If they are peeing and gaining weight (first couple of weeks aside), they're grand! In fact, it won 't be you that's the problem - you will feel and hear them swallow... It'll be your partner that stresses! Mine thought we should switch to bottle feeding to see how much he gets!

    I can express around 150ml in 20 mins - babies are MUCH more competent than a breast pump! Therefore, my little one is almost certainly getting more than he would if I were bottle feeding him and working out what he needed based on his weight (which would be 6 feeds of 150ml).

    If you have a choice, and providing there are no problems with BF (i.e good latch etc), try a stick to breast... That way your baby chooses how much they want to feed, rather than you - meaning you can never under or over feed a BF bubba... Honestly!

  • The thing i'd say is try not to over-think it too much.

    My mum always used to say that as long as a newborn baby can get at least 2 & a half hrs of sleep they're happy enough.


  • Strictly speaking, we combine feed. My LO has formula (aptamil no 1 with one drop of Colief) for his last feed of the day...

    It's amazing how many people admit to the same once you disclose! In fact, out of my peer group, I do not know one person who is BFing who doesn't give formula as the last feed ( it's more difficult for them to digest, so they sleep longer than with BF or EBM, plus in the evening the human milk supply is at it's lowest - the only time I've succeeded in feeding Samuel to sleep once and it took over 2 solid hours zzzzz/ouch!)

    I think you have to do whatever works for you and your LO and did everyone else ;-p


  • Thanks Drfluffy :) il see how I get on I also want my hubby to feed lil man as well so thought bottle at some point of the day/ night will give me a break :) I don't want to confuse baby with breast and bottle so thought one or two bottles in the night when he's likely to be sleepy (hopefully lol) he won't notice as much I'm just new to all this, so glad we have this forum to chat on really does help xxxx

  • Official advice is usually to avoid bottles for the first month, until your milk to really established. Basically, your body will match the previous days output so, if you use bottles over night, the theory is that you will have low milk supplies at these points. There's also claims of nipple confusion...

    That said, I had to introduce formula on day 2 as LO had sever jaundice, technically requiring exchange transfusion, but we got away with double phototherapy for four days. He has never had problems with nipple confusion - I use Tommee Tippee bottles and Sam latches on to these in the same way he does the breast! Difficult to make comment re: milk as he was top up fed, so would get 30ml of formula a feed, but only having been on the breast...

    I almost gave up BF at 4 weeks as I was frazzled, chaffed and desperate for a break - but perceivered - glad I did, but still have a day every week or so when I give serious thought to bottle feeding, but these are easily matched by those days where you can happily nurse for hours and it brings you so close to your LO!

  • Iv just had twins born at 36+1 and it's so nice to hear others talking about mix feeding, I'm going to try bottles at night and BF in the day. It's such a worry, when all you want to be sure of is that their little tummys are full, especially whilst your milk is coming in. I hope in a few days i will find the BF experience easier as I had a right melt down tonight!

  • Congratulations on your twins! I can only imagine your nights xx

  • Hat of to you !! Twins I can only imagine the perseverance you would need for that demand hopefully you will get the routine you want :) let me know if bf in the day and bottle at night works out xxx

  • Hi Charlotte

    Just a few minutes before I read your post I posted my own BF experience.

    I did BF for 3 days and during this time really felt happy about what we were/did achieve regardless of the decisions we made after that point.

    My only advice would be to keep and open mind...try BF for yourself and see how you and your baby get on - only you two can make a decision. There is lots of support and advice out there.

    Good luck!!!!!

  • Hi Charlotte,

    Because your breastmilk supply will depend on how often and how much your baby feeds (i.e. the more they feed the more your body will produce to keep up) it's not advisable to introduce formula as well - missing out a breast feed every day will have a knock on effect on your supply. Also although any breastmilk is of course beneficial for your baby, it's the exclusivity of breastfeeding which provides the most health benefits.

    Don't forget that many women say the night feeds can be easier if you're breastfeeding because you don't have to get up and boil the kettle and wait for it to cool to make a bottle of formula in the middle of the night! If you're worried about your partner feeling left out you can always express breastmilk so he can feed your baby too.

    And don't worry - your midwive and health visitor are there to offer you lots of support about breastfeeding!

    Hope that helps x

  • Hi there, why not see if there is a BF support group in your area before you have the baby? Your midwife may know of one. There you'll be able to talk to other mums about the ups and downs of BF. BF does take some practice but is worth every effort. What you need to remember is that you and baby are learning together and its so important to give yourself time and you'll overcome the difficulties you encounter.

    Getting the latching on right comes with practice, making sure baby's bottom lip is nicely curled back with a good mouthful of nipple/boob, and when they start to slow down sucking simply stroking the cheek can keep baby motivated so they don't just suck the nipple for comfort and make you sore. For sore nipples my own breast milk smeared around the nipple and allowed to air dry was the best remedy. Avoid stressing yourself and plenty of good food, drink and rest are a must. Sometimes (just the odd day) I felt I was feeding forever but these were the days that LO was going through a growth spurt and was stimulating my milk supply. These are things I've learnt through perseverance and after a while it gets easier and then even easier still. I'm proud to say that I fed both my sons, the second until he was 13 months with a mouthful of teeth!

    Don't worry about the OH feeding the nipper, he can do that when you start weaning til his hearts content (and you can hose them down together when they get in a mess).

    Don't worry about the night feeding, you'll soon find your own rhythm and its a really special time when all is quiet ( I used to read Harry Potter and get quite engrossed) and its also when the milk order goes in for the next day so you can keep making enough. Night feeds soon pass when baby starts to sleep through the night so in real time terms its a few weeks and not that long.

    Don't worry too much about baby getting enough, you'll both have frequent checks on both your health along the way and always talk about whatever troubles you to your HV/MW.

    Above all trust in your body, you've grown your baby for best part of nine months and you are more than able to sustain your baby, the human body is phenomenal in its capabilities. I wish you every success in giving your baby the best start. I hope this helps :)

  • Thanks mamacool :) that was a lovely post !! I'm just gonna give it my best I haven't really discussed it with anyone I know it's just nice to get other ladies views without feeling pressured from close family ( my mum lol ) thanks again xx

  • Nct offer brilliant breastfeeding advice. Most areas will have a breastfeeding counsellor. In my area we have a Breast Friends cafe every week run at the children's centre by peer supporters trained by NCT. There is a telephone support line too.

    Do what is best for you and baby, a happy mum has a happy baby. I had a really hard start to breastfeeding as no-one picked up my baby was tongue tied, it was cut at 6 weeks and I combination fed her (having had to work really hard to get my milk back up) until she was 10 months old. I loved the closeness of breastfeeding and look forward to breastfeeding my next baby. I found as many professionals and friends as I could to help and support me - so do keep asking for help.

  • having recently had a problem with Breast feeding and my little one loosing 20% of birth weight, despite no clinical signs of dehydration (she had dirty and wet nappies the text book way all throughout!).

    I would say be PREPARED and BE OPEN !

    I was breastfeeding - my little one was latching properly (not 100% points, but would say 90%). But my body was not producing enough milk (loss of blood and too many painkillers I guess).

    And with breast you never know.

    We are week 6 now, I can only get 80 mls of milk in 30 minutes pumping and would get only 40 mls if the baby had just had a feed (I talked to a lot of women around on this and they also said that there amount of EBM would also be around same, so considering this as an average).

    I mix feed - and the choice of milk is led by the baby - Isabella, knows when she wants formula and when she wants mumma (babies have their ways of telling if you allow them to). My LO would never take the bottle in any circumstance if she decides that she wants mumma milky (so I have so far fed her in public parks, mall, highway, and she has cried and slept when out alone with Dad).

    I do not think she has an kind of teet confusion (she just knows that the milk comes from both). SO I think that claim is complete absurdity (also given the fact that mums had mix fed the babies since our parents generation atleast)

    I use cow and gate now, having switched from Aptamil and SMA (I did not like the taste of either, and SMA is not only heavy on baby stomach, but is the most ridiculously tasting milk I ever had - yuck seriously !, I made only two feeds from my box when I decided she wont get that at least). I also found cow and gate smell and taste much closer to my own milk (I also use herbal remedies for baby-gas, so sometimes I mix cardamom to her bottle and than its exactly tasting and smelling like my own, so she is much happier).

    Having said that, once you would start breast feeding your baby, and I hope you dont have any problems its one of the best thing to do, not only because its healthy, but also because it allows you to see that BIG SMILE AND SPARKLE in your babies eyes when they see mumma is feeding them (with bottle they would normally have a dull sleepy face) - at least mine behaves like that!

    Good luck !

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