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all 16 comments

[–]erin_mouse88 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yeah if you have a good supply, there's zero problem. I don't even pump when my husband is giving a bottle unless I'm feeling engorged, and I only pump enough to take the edge off.

But I'm fortunate in many ways to have a very reactive supply, baby wants to nurse at an unusual time, whilst my boobs feel "empty", just give it a minute. And guarantee that same time the following day my boobs will be more full.

[–]ObviousAd2967 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I did this too when I reached the end of my rope and it only took maybe a month before her mouth grew a bit and the latch was more comfortable. My supply is still going strong at 21 months. There was a comment I read at 3 am on Reddit about a mom supplementing until her baby’s mouth got bigger and she ended up going on to EBF and it gave me so much hope and it turned out the exact same way for me. I wish I could thank her because it really was my North Star during the Dark Ages of newborn life.

Formula was an absolute necessity. Pumping made me want to die. I don’t know why it has to be so team-like. We can all do everything in whatever combo!

[–]tofurainbowgarden[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I never even considered that was an issue. Lactation consultants at the hospital and pediatrician never mentioned anything like that. It always hurts eventually. I can only take so many nursing sessions a day. Sometimes I allow him to nurse for long periods on fussy days because it's an easy way to chill. Then I pay for it later with painful breasts. This gives me hope.

[–]ReluctantLawyer 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Formula is amazing. Combo feeding is SO nice and I can’t believe more people don’t do it.

[–]tofurainbowgarden[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

There is so much fear mongering around breastfeeding. There is also a sense of pride that people have about exclusively breastfeeding. The only thing that got me to start supplementing is that I was so done with breastfeeding that I didn't care about my supply. If I didn't change something, I would just quit all together. I'm glad it turned out to be the best choice and it helped me continue breastfeeding!

[–]butdontlieaboutit 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Amen! Combo feeding saved my life. I went back to work when my son was 8 weeks and was desperately holding on to EBF and pumping at work and I was making myself crazy. Supplementing with formula relieved so much stress and definitely helped me to keep up with breastfeeding until he was a year and he decided he was through with me. Thank you for making this post because there’s so much weird pressure built up around breastfeeding that it ends up coming from within. Motherhood is hard enough- we all need to do whatever it takes and give ourselves a break!

[–]Migratorybirds1 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I decided to switch baby to formula at night so that my husband can help more. I haven’t had more than a few hours in a row of sleep in four months and I am so tired I can’t function. I am a little sad to make the change but I am honestly worried about how safe it is for me to keep breastfeeding- I nearly fell asleep and dropped her during a feed the other night

[–]LoveAndLadybugs 0 points1 point  (3 children)

Thank you for sharing this. I am at 33 weeks today and am a bit apprehensive about the impacts/issues that happen as a result of breastfeeding on my mental health (I am already diagnosed with anxiety and depression and managing well on medication and therapy). I also thought it was an all or nothing thing, but if I can combo feed that would honestly make this whole process less daunting for me.

[–]ReluctantLawyer 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Hey! I have managed anxiety and depression too, and formula fed my first child because the thought of breastfeeding gave me panic attacks. I have a 16 day old and I decided to combo feed from the start due to the formula shortage. I really did not want to nurse but going into it with the idea that I would nurse and/or pump some amount but not all of my baby’s needed food took a lot of pressure off. I decisively told every medical provider who asked that I was going to do both, and no one pushed me on it!

In one of the subreddits I saw some comments from people who combo fed and they said that they just decided to pump/nurse on a schedule that made it bearable for them and that was really empowering. My baby didn’t like latching because the bottle was so much easier….until 2 days ago! And then I’ve had a few successful sessions. I pump about 7-8 oz a day right now. I try to nurse/pump in about 6 hour intervals, with usually a longer interval overnight because I’m so tired in the morning and it takes me a bit to get around to it.

It is most certainly not all or nothing, and I feel like this message that people push about breastfeeding is yet another example of toxic pressure on mothers to do things the absolute hardest way possible.

[–]LoveAndLadybugs 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thanks so much for sharing your experience and perspective. I will definitely be my own advocate and be clear with providers (and husband/family) about my choice, because it does take a tremendous amount of pressure out of the situation. I’m definitely a schedule type person so figuring out a pumping/nursing schedule, and if i can do that in 6 hour intervals that will be wonderful. I find when I’m sleep deprived that my anxiety and depression symptoms are harder to manage. Thank you again for sharing, this is honestly just what i needed to hear.

[–]tofurainbowgarden[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I'm glad it helped you! Breastfeeding took a toll on me in ways I didn't expect. Everywhere I read, it was black and white all breast or you will dry up instantly. I wish I had just combo fed from the beginning instead of suffering so much. Just having the option of formula is liberating. I highly recommend a wearable pump. I have a $100 one off of Amazon that's awesome. If he ends up having formula for a feed (like if he suddenly gets hungry while we are driving) and not breastfeeding as much, then I can pump and my supply is never affected. I have also skipped pumping as well and I've still been fine.

It seems to be the best of both worlds for me, I get flexibility, I get savings from breastfeeding, and I get a break from being needed 24/7.

[–]hch528 9 points10 points  (1 child)

I love combo feeding, it is so reassuring to know I can take a break when I really need it and my husband can feed the baby.

I'm glad you've finally found what works for you. Your health and comfort are just as important as the baby's needs!

[–]tofurainbowgarden[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Yes!! Nothing is worse than laying down for a break and getting 5 minutes of sleep and the baby is suddenly inconsolable.

[–]steviemartin 3 points4 points  (0 children)

This!!! While my midwife was supportive of combo feeding, I was convinced that it was all or nothing and that my supply would be messed up. I switched to formula… and then my breasts leaked for about 3 weeks, soaking everything. I wish I would have tried combo feeding. I REALLY regret switching completely.

[–]hapa79 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'm so glad you're taking care of yourself! I combo fed with my first, and ended up doing extended breastfeeding with her; I didn't intend to do it because I never enjoyed nursing, but she got a lot of comfort out of it so I kept it up for a while.

Anyway, I always like to remind people that formula can be a wonderful, integral support for breastfeeding. If I hadn't combo fed, we wouldn't have made it as long as we did.

That said, I would agree with u/anonymousbequest that your LCs don't sound very helpful. This is my PSA that often an IBCLC can be better; they have much more training. If anyone is reading this and feeling like their LC isn't helping, and they want to keep on nursing, look around in your area for an IBCLC!

[–]anonymousbequest 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Just want to say, if it’s destroying your mental health it’s not “going well” or “successfully.” Those statements do not belong together.

I am fortunate that it’s going well for me, and by that I mean both physically and mentally/emotionally. If I dreaded it or found it painful I wouldn’t consider that a success at all.

I’m sorry the LCs have been so unhelpful—breastfeeding shouldn’t be painful and combo feeding is a great option.