Wednesday 20 May 2015

BABY: Our combined feeding journey so far...

Back when Isabella was 3 weeks old she went through her first growth spurt, cue days of constant feeding. Literally. When the Health Visitor came on the Friday of that week I was completely exhausted and Isabella just didn't seem satisfied. I had been expressing milk too, so I knew I had enough milk coming through to feed her, there just weren't enough hours in the day to fill her up. The Health Visitor recommending giving her a bottle of formula milk at night, with the aim of filling her up. As I've discussed on my blog before, we were always planning on combined feeding (when you bottle and breastfeed) but not quite that early. Initially I was really nervous giving her a bottle so early on into breastfeeding, I didn't want her to reject breastfeeding after she'd had the bottle. My worries weren't needed as after she had had her first bottle of formula milk she went straight back to breastfeeding without a problem. Luckily Isabella has been able to swap between bottle and breast with ease, partially due to the bottles we've been using.

Before Isabella was born I had bought Aptamil that was already mixed up in a bottle with a teat, so she first had those. But each bottle was only 60ml, so quickly that wasn't enough to fill her up. At this point we bought Aptamil powder and started using bottles. So far we've used the NUK First Choice+ 150ml bottle with Size 1silicone teat and the Lansinoh m0mma Bottle with NaturalWave Nipple. I've already written about the NUK bottles on my blog, which you can read here
The Lansinoh brand was one I associated more with their HPA Lanolin Nipple Cream (a must have item for anyone breastfeeding!) than their bottle range. However I've been seriously impressed with not only the design but the ease of use and suitability for anyone who is combined feeding. If, like me, you're not familiar with the Lansinoh m0mma Bottle with NaturalWave Nipple* (£5.99 from amazon) here's a bit more information...

'The Lansinoh® mOmma® Bottle with NaturalWave® Nipple is clinically proven to reduce nipple confusion in established, breastfed babies.  Backed by more than 50 years of research, the silicone NaturalWave® Nipple enables baby to engage in the natural, wavelike sucking actions learned at the breast, making it easier for baby to go from breast to bottle and back to breast.
The Lansinoh® mOmma® Bottle is BPA and BPS free and can be  used to safely store breastmilk in refrigerator or freezer. The ergonomic design is compatible with both the Lansinoh®Signature Pro™ and Lansinoh® Manual Breast Pump.'

Isabella has found this Lansinoh bottle really easy to drink from, the flow isn't too fast and the design allows her to suck like she would when she's breastfeeding. At around six weeks she started having about 130ml of formula milk at night, in fact my husband gives it to her at around 12am so that I can get a bigger block of solid sleep. Bliss.  
I've also been expressing every so often and freezing it, ready to use when we need it. Personally, I've found expressing much easier than I expected (I've been using the NUK Luna Electric Breast Pump). Since introducing the formula feed at night I've been extremely full by the morning, so have needed to express to stay comfortable. Once I've expressed I've been either pouring the milk into the Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags (£4.39 for pack of 25 from amazon) or Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bottles* (£8.l2 from amazon). The storage bags are really good if you don't have much space in your freezer, they don't take up much space and are pre-sterilised so can be used straight from the box. There's also a space to write the date and time you've expressed the milk, which is important as you can only keep breastmilk for a certain amount of time after expressing. The storage bottles are perfect for taking/using the expressed milk straight away, rather than decant the milk from the storage bag into another bottle. Once the milk is defrosted you can attach a NaturalWave teat to the storage bottle and you've got a bottle ready to use! The bottles are compatible with the Lansinoh breast pump, as well as a lot of other standard sized breast pumps. This saves on washing up/sterilising even further, as you can express straight into the storage bottle, put the lid on to freeze, then defrost and attach the NaturalWave teat to use. Easy peasy. 
Did you do combined feeding? When did you introduce the bottle?

Feel free to leave me a comment below :)

Helen x



  1. Ooh good to know! My partner is keen to help out with night feeds as early as possible so as soon as breast feeding is 'established' we're going to try a bottle or two a day. I thought it would be about six weeks in but it's reassuring to know that it could be sooner.

  2. Not that breastfeeding worked out for me, but the midwives in the neonatal unit all assured me that most of the babies they deal with are combination fed from birth and they have never once seen one get confused by it - it's a shame we all seem to find ourselves worrying so much about getting feeding right/wrong!

    1. Couldn't agree more Sarah! We need to put less pressure on ourselves regarding feeding, the most important thing is that they're putting on weight.

      Helen x


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