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Combination Feeding?

Discussion in 'Pregnancy' started by Harriet75, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. I don't want to open the breast v bottle debate again but am looking for practical advice please.
    I am combination feeding after lo had severe weightloss and we were readmitted to hospital. I have no complaints with the support I received in hospital and it was my decision to try combination feeding. Returning to exclusive breastfeeding is not an option.
    We've been doing this for 5 weeks now and lo is doing well but in practical terms it is becoming increasingly difficult to offer breast then bottle every feed because of the time it takes (I also have another lo).
    So my question is, is it possible to drop one or two feeds without it affecting milk supply. Google seems to suggest it is if I decide which feeds to drop and do this regularly but I'd like to hear from others who have successfully combination fed for a sustained period of time. Any suggestions?
  2. I breast fed until my children were older but I am sure that it works just the same as weaning. As they started to wean I dropped a feed - it didn't cause any problems with my milk supply at all. I just decided that when I was offering food and water I wouldn't offer breast. I had lots of friends who combination fed and it works the same way. PIck a feed and for that feed offer bottle instead of breast. Night times feeds are a good one to pick ... as Dad can pick up occasionally....very jealous of my friends did this. They looked like they had actually had some sleep..
  3. Coolgiraffe

    Coolgiraffe Occasional commenter

    Hi Harriet!
    Sorry no advice but I am having to try the same right now. Baby is 11 days old and breastfeeding was too painful for me so I am mixing formula, breast and expressing. Not sure how long I will persevere with the breast milk but it sems to be working for LO putting on a bit of weight.
    Coolgiraffe xxx
  4. chocolateheaven

    chocolateheaven New commenter

    Harriet, I have been combination feeding for 6 months now after it became apparent that I simply don't produce sufficient milk. As my daughter has grown older, she has become fussier, and we have reduced the amount of breast feeding, through her choice, not mine. I have to agree that breast then bottle is incredibly time consuming and certainly couldn't have done all that I did this time with a toddler running around! Short answer - yes, if you drop some feeds your milk supply will adapt. You should drop the same feeds and stick to it, for example, only feed morning and evening. Your milk will adapt to that situation. If you do differently each day, your body will find it harder to adapt and your supply is more likely to be interrupted. I am incredibly proud of the fact that we are still feeding at 6 months despite really severe problems, and I intend to continue to combination feed for as long as she will go to the breast. It broke my heart to not be able to ebf, but despite my sadness, I am proud to say that she has had breast milk for every day of her life. Good luck to you - I realy hope you can make it work xxx
  5. Paradoxicalgirly

    Paradoxicalgirly New commenter

    I've combi-fed for 9 months as baby was put on formula in hospital for health reasons. Once she was OK, I reduced the formula feeds and increased the breast feeds without any problems.
    I kept the bottle for her bedtime feed, but sometimes she doesn't want bottle, and wants boob, or maybe a bit of both. Despite not regularly breastfeeding her at bedtime, this hasn't had any adverse effect on my supply at that time. I've not breastfed her at bedtime for a while, but she wanted it tonight and that was fine.
  6. chocolateheaven

    chocolateheaven New commenter

    I'm guessing you don't have supply problems though? Those of us who do have to be more careful. Well done for 9months, that's great!
  7. Thank you all for your replies, I appreciate your advice. [​IMG]
    Paradoxicalgirly and Mustbecrazy, thanks for the info. I'm going to drop off the 2am feed and possibly the 2pm one as I'm not very good at feeding in public and also would like some sleep so those feeds make the most sense to me.
    Chocolateheaven, your experience sounds very similar to mine. I just didnt seem to be producing enough milk. The hospital were very supportive and I was feeding, expressing and topping up with donor milk but lo just wasnt gaining weight quickly enough and there was a possibility of tube feeding being neccesary. I had to choose between staying in hospital, continuing with expressing and using donor milk or possibly tube feeding until lo started gaining weight more consistently or trying combination feeding and being discharged to the care of midwives at home. With a lo at home struggling without Mummy, there wasnt much of a choice.Your story has inspired me to keep going though. You're right, I will be proud of every day that I continue to give my child breast milk.
    hhhh - combination feeding is still 'frowned upon' in my health care trust. There is a breastfeeding policy in place that means health professionals are not supposed to suggest it - I had good support though and the professionals I met gave me balanced advice just always backed it up with "this is my opinion not that of the healthcare trust!"

    Coolgiraffe - how's it going for you? Hope you're feeling less sore and getting some sleep?

    Thanks again to all for your help.
  8. Coolgiraffe

    Coolgiraffe Occasional commenter

    hi Harriet! I replied to you on the spring babies thread xxx
  9. I'm combination feeding too and did feel bad about it and beat myself up a bit but I take heart with whoever said: at least I can feel good in knowing that I gave lo my milk every day. I'll keep this in mind :)
    In my nhs trust combination feeding is frowned upon too to the point where inside the (bf) info pack for new mums to take home there was a very condescending leaflet titled "just one bottle?" I actually felt offended by it to the point where (if I hasn't been so sore and desperate to get home) I was going to complain. At all the ante natal classes the message was breast us best but it its your indv choice but once baby is born and you do decide to bf, woe betide you if you even consider the bottle. Did any one else get a leaflet like this?
  10. chocolateheaven

    chocolateheaven New commenter

    I didn't get a leaflet that was that blatant, but did get that message. Think the problem is that introducing bottles can affect your milk supply and therefore lead to problems with continuing to bf. Combination feeding can be a struggle, especially if you have supply issues like me. The problem is that the health professionals refuse to acknowledge that low supply exists. The Unicef training into bfing states that every woman can exclusively bf, no exceptions. Whilst those of us who do have genuine issues are disbelieved and judged, support for combination feeding isn't there, and therefore most end up with just the bottle. If they acknowledged that this can actually occur and actually support mothers in what is for some a choice, for others something that is forced onto them, then maybe more people would be able to combination feed, and not feel like such failures.
    It was me who said that I gave my lo one milk every day and I take heart from that. It's true. I've foud my failed lactation incredibly hard to deal with, but I am SO proud to be where we are today. 27 weeks today, and still breastfeeding, despite everything. I cling to that fact in my darkest hours, and feel pride in what I've done. Combination feeding was my only option, and it is the best that I can possibly give my baby.

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