23 August 2014

Combined Feeding... Is It Possible?

I hear mums asking time and time again, if it is possible to both breast and bottle feed successfully... I'm here to tell you my experience!

For the first 6 weeks, I had been exclusively breastfeeding Aria. You can read about my breastfeeding experience here

However, Tom and I were keen to start getting her into a nighttime routine. We weren't sure how 'bath, bottle, bed' would work with me breastfeeding, as she was still waking every 3 hours to be fed. So after much persuasion, I agreed to try a formula bottle for her first night feed. 

Don't ask me why I was so reluctant, as she took to it no problem at all! Although she only took around 2.5oz, that was her down for about 4/5 hours - result! After a few nights of one bottle, we decided to add another in when she woke around 2/3am. This meant that Tom could also help with the night feeds, and we were so surprised that she would take it without a fuss (as long as it was warm, of course!) and would go back down much better after her feed. No more up and down with the dummy for 15 min, woohoo! 

Thankfully, Aria was still happy to be breastfed through the day, and started to show signs of realising the bottle meant bedtime! 

Two weeks later, Aria now associates the bottle with bedtime, and goes down without a problem. However, she seemed to start struggling with not getting enough milk from breastfeeding through the day as she wants to feed every 2/3 hours now. I think this is due to me going 12 hours without feeding through the night, so my body is producing less milk. 

Our Health Visitor advised us to alternate between breast and bottle for each feed, and also to up my calorie intake to make sure I am producing better milk.

So right now, we are trailing the alternating feeds and hopefully my milk will increase in a few days. If not, it may be that I need to give up breastfeeding to make sure Aria is getting enough milk. 

For those of you wanting to try combined feeding, just make sure you do alternate the feeds, so your body continues to produce milk - I wish I had thought about this more so we didn't have this slight setback. 

Hopefully in my next update I will be able to tell you this is all sorted, but at the end of the day if Aria needs to be purely bottle fed to make sure she is getting enough milk, I am happy to give breastfeeding up. Whatever is best for my baby girl!

Have you tried combined feeding, or is it something you are thinking of doing with your little one? I'd love to hear how you are doing! 

Thanks for reading

Nicola x

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