Mixed Feeding

Am feeling a bit low at the moment. I think I'm going to have to start giving my ds some formula. I'm gutted as I wanted to just breast feed for a lot longer than this. He is only 5wks old.

I had him weighed today and he has only put on 1/2 oz this week. And he has been feeding loads! I'm worried that I'm not making enough milk for him. I express 3oz for his evening feed and 5oz for his night feed. Yesterday I only managed 7 1/2 oz and today I'm really stuggling - I think I've only got 5 1/2 oz so far today and I'm worried I now won't have enough "on tap" for his next feed.

So DH is going t pick me up some formula on his way home.

I'm gutted.



  • right before you reach for the formula you can try a few things if you want to continue breastfeeding.

    My LO is now 17 weeks old and i really thought i was going to have to stop at about 5-6 weeks but i am still breastfeeding.

    Firstly re: the weight gain. I had a period of 3 weeks where LO only gained an oz a week. Then on the 4th week he gained 10 oz!!! The HV was quite happy as he was still gaining weight albeit v small amounts (she would have been worried if he was losing it) Also my LO was quite contented, wasn't crying for feed all the time etc.

    OK now to the breastmilk issue. I found that although i thought i was eating properly, drinking enough and getting enough rest actually i wasn't. My HV suggested i set aside 2 days to feed myself up and to also feed bub as often as he wanted. Within the 2 days my breasts started to feel full again and i was able to express more.

    At 17 weeks i still have days when i feel empty but i just have to look at LO and see how happy he is to realise he must be getting enough. I have now not had him weighed for 4 weeks (going on tues tho!) as it was stressing me out yet he was still growing out of clothes despite not putting on much weight!!!

    For the last few weeks i now offer formula at the dreamfeed. I find this takes the pressure off. I am still expressing at 10pm but i now freeze that into ice cube trays ready for using when weaning. This way i find i still have milk in the evening for when he's restless...sometimes he refuses the bottle if he's unwell.

    I hope this helps. At the end of the day you need to do what is right for you both but please dont focus too much on the weight if your LO is contented and feeding well xxx
  • Please don't be too hard on yourself. The fact that you have breastfed for 5 weeks has given your LO the best start and every drop he gets is a bonus.
    If a bit of formula will give you a break then go for it.
    I mix fed my girls for 3 months - I know there's no way I could've exclusively breastfed/fed them for that long and we were all more relaxed because I had formula to help out.
    If I were you, I'd pick one or two feeds (or as many as you like) that will be formula feeds. That way, you'll be able to relax or express at those feeds and recharge your batteries a little bit. I always used formula at nights and if I was out.

    Also, have you tried fenugreek to boost your supply? I think Holland and Barrett sell it.

    I know how disappointing it is, I felt the same way, but ultimately, a happy mummy and baby are the most important things. Keep your chin up, you've done a great job so far and your LO is never going to turn round to you in 20 years time and say "Mum, why didn't you breastfeed me for longer?!" xxx
  • hi, firstly well done! breastfeeding is no easy feat, and u've managed it exclusively for 5weeks! and as i remember thos 5 weeks are the worst! full of growth spurts, colic, getting to know cry meanings etc.

    i started mix feeding at 3 weeks, i introduced one feed a day, i made this the 'bedtime' feed, also to try to help get some form of bedtime routine going. so at about 9pm OH wld give ds a bottle of formula. gave me 20 minutes to just be, and then i knew that he wld have a good 2hours unitl i needed to feed him again. i continued like this until he was 14 weeks when i then added a bottle at his lunchtime feed, as this was when we were most likely to be out and i still (even now) hadn't mastered the discreet breastfeeding and there was nowhere to go to do it either. at 7 months i stopped breastfeeding altogether, we went down to one breastfeed (the moriining one, much easier than getting up to make bottles lol) and then 2 weeks later he weaned himself off that, so he now has 3 ff a day. if i hadn't mix fed there is no way i wld have continued to bfeeed him for as long, probably wld've been another 2/3 weeks at most.. i wldn't worry about how much u express, btw 5oz is loads!! ur baby is much more efficient than any breastpump as they are only trying to mimick ur babies reflexes. i actualy stopped expressing at around 17 weeks as i was stressing to,o much about how much i got, so was getting even less and i had mix fed in order to free up some time but expressing was taking up that time and more for me, and at the end of the day i just wanted to start enjoying him.

    good luck and take care, ur doing a fantastic job

  • I could have written the original post!

    my LO is 4 weeks and by the evening i have so little milk that he pulls away from me and cries, I have to give him milk i've expressed throughout the day or he gets really hungry and won't settle.

    yesterday i only managed to express 2oz all day and that wasn't enough so he ended up screaming for food. i had to get my oh to get the pre-made formula we brought for emergencies and give it to him. he settled straight away and slept for longer in the night than he ever has!

    i'm going to try and continue to express and give him that in the evening but if for some reason i haven't managed to express enough i'm going to give him formula.
  • anna83, it sounds to me like maybe ur not eating enough to have enough milk in the evening? u need an extra 200 calories a day when breastfeeding and llots and lots of fluids, i got told off when ds was only a few weeks old by my hv for the same thing, basically i was just having the usual 3 meals a day (usually cold....) but she said really u need to have bfast, 11s, lunch, midafternoon snack, dinner and possibly supper too. so it cld be ur not eating enough in the afternoon for ur evening milk. try increasing ur intake with cereal bars, dried fruits, fruit, carbs (pasta, rice etc) to give ur milk supply a boost xx
  • Before you give up can I try and give you a bit of hope? My baby girl is now nearly 9 weeks old.

    At 2 weeks she had only just regained her birth weight and at 3 weeks had only put on 2 more oz. Like you I was really worried but health visitor said as long as she doesnt lose weight its fine and some breast fed babies just start slowly. I was really worried that she wasnt latching on properly and that had reduced my milk supply so HV came to see me at home.

    She had a look at me feeding and gave me some tips to get her to latch on. She also said eat a high fat high cal snack between every meal and drink loads of water. I was quite happy to be ordered to eat cake! The next week she had put on 4oz, then 6.5, then 15 then 12!

    I used to get so upset and apologise to my baby for not being able to feed her properly but a few weeks later she is doing so well and Im so glad I didnt give up!
  • oh and can I also add that I have never been able to express more than a couple of oz and have plenty of milk. Ive been told how much you can express is not a good indicator of your milk supply
  • I'm in the same boat in some ways. My lo is 7 weeks and is a very hungry baby. I think I do have a decent milk supply due to him feeding so much in the early days, but it's not enough for him now!! He would happily bf all day if I let him and I find myself feeding all morning and all evening at the moment. I am having to supplement with formula at lunchtime and evening and will probably add a third (morning) bottle next week. His weight gain is fine but he's just very demanding. I have broken down in tears about this at the docs this morning because I really wanted to bf exclusively for 6 months like my mum did but it's just not going to happen and my baby's health and happiness is more important than my ideals. I am going to continue bf until my milk dries up and try to remember that I've given him the best start I can. Let's try not to feel guilty!
  • Thanks for all your replies girls ! I'm feeling MUCH better today. We gave ds a bottle for formula last night (and he took 5.5oz!) so he obviously got on well with it. He also slept from 8:15pm to 6am! We have decided that rather than expressing throughout the day for my evening and night feed, we are going to give ds formula for those two feeds and I'll breast feed during the day. This means that if DS wants to feed from both sides he can, and I won't be worrying about holding back some milk for expressing. DS has been much more chilled out today as have I so its def the best move. Also, I've got round the fact that was feeling guilty for giving him forumla because he is still getting breast milk during the day so he is still getting all the goodness etc !!!
  • that is great news!!! Hopefully you will now enjoy the breastfeeding during the day.

    I would suggest that maybe you still express once in the evening as my HV said it was important not to go more than 12 hrs without feeding/expressing in those important early weeks whilst your supply is get established. Dont worry about how much you express its more about the stimulation than the actual volume.

    Only do it if its not going to stress you out too much though otherwise it will have the opposite effect.

    Enjoy your new chilled out and contented baby!!! Well done!!! xx
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