combining breast and formula

Breastfeeding does not always work out, this is a place to discuss your situation and feelings
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Otty
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combining breast and formula

Post by Otty » Sun Oct 30, 2011 4:29 pm

My 7 month old baby has had low weight gains since 3 months old and is now off the charts :( I have tried everything to increase my supply with no luck. I would love to keep breastfeeding but think it's time to supplement with formula as I am unable to express enough to supplement. Are there any Mums out there with older babies who have introduced formula/bottle feeding and managed to keep breastfeeding? I'm having trouble getting my LO to take a bottle.

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Lilypad
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Post by Lilypad » Sun Oct 30, 2011 5:03 pm

Hi,
I introduced formula early at about 7 or 8 weeks due to low weight gain. LO took the bottle straight away without any problems though.

I was really worry about rejection as I had been told babies end up prefering the bottle as its easier. But in my case this has not happened, we are still happily comp feeding at 4 months and 1 week. I found as she gained weight and strength to suck better my supply increased. I always offer the breast first, give her plenty of time to make sure she's completely drained them, then offer a small formula comp feed- 50ml's. I only offer a small one so she won't go too long between feeds. This may be too little for an older bub though.

Have you thought about a supply line, I think there are some ladies on here who do this, they may have some advice for you.
Good luck :-)

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Otty
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Post by Otty » Sun Oct 30, 2011 5:33 pm

Hi Lilypad, thanks for the encouragement. No I haven't considered a supply line but would love to hear from some mums who have used one with success.

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Nedsmum
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Post by Nedsmum » Sun Oct 30, 2011 5:39 pm

What was bubs birth weight and weight at 1 week ?

Have they been sick ?

Were they born early/late/induced ?

What sort of weight gains are they having ?

It's normal for weight gains to slow down from 4 month onwards...

How often are you feeding ? Do you use dummies, bottles, leaving bubs to cry, spacing feeds ?

Have you introduced solids ?

All these things will give some influence to your baby's weight. Sometimes rapid, or too early introduction of solids can cause slower weight gains because the bubs is not ready to digest the solids - the solids may go in and come back out looking 'exactly the same' - this is a good sign to me that you should reduce the solids and up the breastfeeding...

It's possible to increase your feeding and also I found with my third bubs a technique called 'breast compression' which I believe helped my bubs to be a fatter one - it helps to get the fattier milk out towards the end of the feed...

Anyway, lots of things to think about...
Breastmilk - the ultimate 'brain food'!!!

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Nedsmum
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Post by Nedsmum » Sun Oct 30, 2011 5:44 pm

I also checked the WHO charts for both boys and girls and the lowest 'on the chart' baby is about 5.8kg. These charts are made from babies from all different cultural backgrounds, all breastfed, and considered to be healthy.
Breastmilk - the ultimate 'brain food'!!!

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Grace
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Post by Grace » Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:20 pm

Is your LO having solids yet? In conjunction to your existing breastfeeds (plus offering extra breastfeeds as a snack too) I would be more inclined to offer rich, healthy fattening foods such as a little avocado, cheese and full cream milk to cereal or cooking, in mashed potato etc, rather than add formula.
I totally agree with Nedsmum that too much solid food too quickly can decrease your supply and that breastmilk is the most important part of the diet under 12 months.
With regard to weight gain - my DD gained zero grams between 6 months and 12 months. This did worry me at the time, but all the other vital signs were good; wet nappies, happy, alert, meeting milestones, so the no weight gain was not such a huge problem when viewed with these other signs of good health.
Me, DH & 3 beautiful kids! :)

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Otty
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Post by Otty » Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:43 pm

Thanks for the tips Grace, LO is on solids and he's not that keen yet, but he's doing pretty well. I'm reluctant to give him cows milk products because he has eczema I've been giving him full fat sheeps yogurt and fruit which he likes, I've tried him with avocado and he doesn't like it much but I'll definitely keep trying. It's hard not to worry about his slow gains, but he is very active, bright and developing very well.

Nedsmum, you know a bit about my baby I met you in the introducing solids forum. It's hard not to worry about his slow gains, but he is very active, bright and developing very well. No I don't use dummies or bottles, nor do I leave him to cry or space feeds.

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Esther
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Post by Esther » Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:50 pm

caradene wrote:Hi Lilypad, thanks for the encouragement. No I haven't considered a supply line but would love to hear from some mums who have used one with success.
I'm sure I can say this :-D

I know that Feather and Bailey's Mum have both used a supply line. They're both lovely ladies and would be only too happy to answer any questions you have if you'd like to send them a pm.
Esther
DD1 05, DS 08, BB 11, DD2 12
Storked by nat*4
Storked Ellie's Mum, foggylog, jessiemay, Ducks & nat*4

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mooki
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Post by mooki » Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:57 pm

Hi :D



The other girls have given you some great advice. How many wet nappies is bub having? Dont forget what goes in, must come out so if hes having plenty of wet nappies and *regular poos, its usually an indication that they are getting enough

*(regular can vary from numerous times a day to weekly or longer in some babies)

When you say he is slow to gain, what do you mean by slow? How often are you weighing him? Is he slow to gain in your eyes or have other people been telling you this?

If you do decide to supplement, be aware that ABM might not help at all and that could be his pattern of growth. If you think there could be something else going on, I would see your Dr or health professional to discuss it. :D

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Feather
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Post by Feather » Sun Oct 30, 2011 10:31 pm

I use a supply line...but I am knackered tonight :? I will post this now and come back tomorrow :D
Breastfeeding with IGT, that's me!
DD1 - Nov08
DD2 - Oct10
DS - Oct13

Gwen's Mum
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Post by Gwen's Mum » Tue Nov 01, 2011 3:14 pm

We have comp fed DD since she was 2.5 weeks old, using both a supply line and also bottles (the latter usually when out and about). We're still going strong at 7.5 months, and DD is thriving and is a total booby baby! :-)

We found the supply line was great in the first few months for maximising the time bubs spent at the breast - so basically whenever she was feeding, she was breastfeeding. As the months have worn on, though, I've become less worried about nipple confusion and flow preference, and know that DD spends more than adequate time at the breast to maintain the supply that I have slowly built up. So, lately, we've gradually moved onto using bottles for comp feeds - just small amounts (about 30-40mls) at a time, and I always start and end with DD at the breast.

So it's more than possible to maintain a wonderful bfing relationship, while also comp feeding. If you haven't already, though, I'd definitely have a chat to a helpline counsellor and/or even an LC, if you can - I talked to both in the first few weeks, and they helped me to ascertain that DD *really* wasn't getting enough (not always the case!); and the LCs were able to explain the use of the supply line to me (it takes a bit to get the hang of it!).

Hope that makes sense and helps a bit. And congratulations on your journey so far! :)
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Otty
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Post by Otty » Tue Nov 01, 2011 3:33 pm

Thanks everyone for your encouragement. It means a lot, I'm feeling more confident to continue breastfeeding now.

Split76
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Breast refusal, now bottle refusal

Post by Split76 » Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:40 pm

My daughter was only 2.2 kg at birth, healthy but LBW so I supplemented in hospital with formula. She never really latched for long in hospital as she was so small. Then when I got home, she still had trouble so I decided to express and bottle feed full time. I tried to go back to exclusive breast at about 6 weeks without success. At nearly 13 weeks she is refusing the bottle! She hasn't really mastered breast feeding and is feeding every hour or so nd not filling up. I'm finding it hard again. Ive been chained to the pump for this long and now she's refusing it. Some times she refuses both and I know she's hungry... I'm ready to just formula feed her so we can both relax and enjoy it

foggylog
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Post by foggylog » Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:07 pm

Hugs Split76

That sounds tough. And it's hard work expressing for a baby. Have you contacted a counsellor? or an IBCLC?

my main concern just from your post is about bub not taking bottles, and sometimes neither EBM or ABM. So for this reason alone I would contact a HP or above to discuss what to do should bub not feed. like cup feed? Also if you were still considering BFing, then an IBCLC could help you with stratergies to help you get bub to the breast.

Some things which are good, even if you don't end up BFing, are having a warm bath with bub and you laid back skin-skin on your chest. or even half lying-sitting in bed with bub skin-skin, you can leave a nappy on. bub may bob around and look for breast and self attach, but if not at least it's some good bonding time. just try to do it when bub isn't really needing a feed but might soon, so bub isn't to upset and there is no pressure to feed.

and the most important thing here is that bub is fed. good luck whatever decision you make. know you have support here, and there are places in the community for support too.
I was storked by the lovely ESTHER :)
E = DD may 09 BF til 15.5mths
O = DS Dec 10, BFing

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JC
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Post by JC » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:06 pm

I did! Something went wrong with breastfeeding for me and DS from the start: http://www.lrc.asn.au/forum/viewtopic.p ... 4840dc82ff

We combined breast and bottle for a year, then no more bottles. DS went on to breastfeed for five years! Of course that may seem like too much of a good thing, but I hope it reassures you. :)
DS born July 2006; continued until 5
DD born November 2009; until 4

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