Has anyone successfully done this? Like 50/50? Based on my previous pp experienced (one pumping a little while and the other trying to dry up but taking awhile to do so) I don't foresee having a super fragile supply but not sure.
Any advice for starting out? I think I would even be ok pumping rather than nursing if it were only 50/50 anyway, but it is less convenient.
Just trying to decide if this can be done without too much stress or if I should just commit to one or the other.
cantaloupe / 6885 posts
I did - For dd2, I pumped and formula fed pretty much 50/50.
I started pumping Day 1 and pumped 6x a day for a week or two to get my milk in. After that I pumped only when I had the time (I EPed DD1 but couldn't commit to that with dd2). She had formula from day 1 also. I didn't really keep track as to when she had BM or formula or keeping a 50/50 split, she just got whatever I had ready to go in the fridge.
I was a bit worried because my LC had drilled in my head that if I didn't pump 8x a day for 8 weeks I would never establish a milk supply but that wasn't the case for me. My body got used to pumping 3-4x a day fairly early on and I had to consciously make an effort to dry up when I was ready.
Congratulations again !! So exciting
honeydew / 7463 posts
@2littlepumpkins: very interested in this!
In my ideal world I would BF once in the morning and once in the evening and FF everything else. NO pumping besides the first few days to get a supply going.
I don't know anyone who has actually done this so I don't know if it's even possible.
I also had no problems with supply for my first, it wasn't an oversupply but it was abundant. I never had a good BF relationship but a big part was my PPD (he could latch, drain, etc). And pumping was awful for my mental health as well. When he was 4-5 weeks I also had to make a huge effort to dry up.
I'm leaning towards just FF from the getgo unless someone can tell me my ideal dream above is possible. I might contact my LC from last time to ask her, since she's well aware of my situation (she urged me to stop BF and pumping last time because she saw what it did to my mental state).
cantaloupe / 6131 posts
@2littlepumpkins: After my experience with DS1 (it was bad), with DS2 I went in planning to supplement aggressively at the beginning at the first sign of jaundice (DS1 had to be in NICU for several days), BF on demand the first two weeks, but plan on one scheduled formula bottle per day and any other time I was just too tired. DH handled the one formula feeding. I did work to get in 6 good full feedings or pumpings every day for 6 weeks because that's how long it takes for my milk to establish at it's full potential. So if the baby ended up snacking on me I went and pumped a few minutes afterwards, etc.
After two weeks of feeding on demand, I put DS2 on a 3 hour feeding schedule (aside from growth spurts and any other time he decided he was hungry). This allowed me to pick the feedings I wanted to BF, pump for, or FF since I knew when they would happen. A growth spurt week meant more formula. MOTN feedings usually required one bottle feeding of pumped milk because they would zonk out at the breast within 2 minutes and not take enough to be full. Mornings I could
BF and pump a little extra. I usually pumped at 930 or 10 before I went to bed and froze it as stash while DH gave DS2 the formula Dreamfeed. If we were out and about, formula. Grandma wants to give a feeding, no problem. The 3 hour interval trained my body to have enough milk at the right time and once that was done I could schedule a feeding to drop gradually.
I loved it. I had better supply the second time and could have EBFed if I wanted to. But it was so convenient - the baby was a great nurser, had no issues with bottles, and didn't mind breastmilk or formula or a mix of both. I went back to work with a full freezer of stash. I pump weaned at 9 months, we stopped nursing shortly thereafter except for bedtime, and he still had frozen breastmilk at least once or twice a day until he was 13 months.
nectarine / 2951 posts
I combo fed both my boys. Neither could latch well due to their posterior tongue-ties and even after having a frenulectomy. I pumped for 6 months with DS1 and for only 3 for DS2. When I started to feel like I was spending too much time pumping is when I quit. I valued cuddling my babies or spending more quality time with than giving them BM.
cherry / 246 posts
I found this helpful
persimmon / 1367 posts
@2littlepumpkins: Yes, I pretty much did this!
@SweetiePie: This can be done, I did it!
I work full time in a setting where I did not feel comfortable pumping (Correctional facilities - they would have accommodated me but I didn't want to) but wanted to try breastfeeding. I worked with an LC starting the day after LO was born and breast fed full time for the first four weeks to establish a supply. Starting around week 5, I substituted one breastfeeding session for a bottle of formula in the daytime. Each week, I substituted another breastfeeding session for a bottle of formula, until by week 12 (when I went back to work) LO was on formula during the day and breastfed morning/night/overnight. We kept this routine up until 13 mos when LO self-weaned!
A few key things for me were making sure that I kept the same schedule on the weekends as the weekdays and making sure that I did consistently breastfeed (or pump the few times I went away) every morning and night. I also think that establishing a supply by breastfeeding full time for the first month helped out quite a bit!
I did do one pumping session daily for the first six months or so - after waiting years my best friend ended up adopting a baby a few days younger than LO and the pumped milk was for her. Other than that, I never pumped.
According to my LC, this won't work biologically for everyone, but we had a fantastic experience with it. I definitely think it is worth trying.
honeydew / 7463 posts
@Rocker2014: This is so good to know, thanks!
grapefruit / 4455 posts
@Charm54: I remember you saying you were going to pump for your 2nd! Glad to hear it worked out the way you wanted, that situation sounds pretty good to me!! And thanks!
@SweetiePie: @Rocker2014: i also had no idea this was truly possible. I thought it only worked if you basically ebf for a long time first.
@gingerbebe: that's somewhat along the lines of how I thought it would start out, thanks for sharing!! My second would have been relatively easy to bf, if I had been my normal self, too. Hoping I'll get lucky again.
@SteelerGirl: thanks I'll check it out!!
@Alba4: Agreed. I feel like pumping is probably quicker if it's just half half so I may go that route. I am much more concerned with how my older two adjust and maintaining my sanity than I am with the baby getting breast milk.
persimmon / 1023 posts
We did this without intention as DS was born premature at 35 weeks. They had us nurse first, then supplement with formula and DW would pump to establish supply....I forget exactly how long we did this but it seemed like a month or two. Literally the night he was born he nursed then I fed him a bottle in the nursery. We continued to split feedings with bottle and nursing and my wife breastfed him until a year old.
Now we absolutely plan to do this with any subsequent children as it gave way more flexibility in feeding and allowed me and grandparents, etc to help to take some pressure off my wife. They had a great nursing relationship and he never developed a specific preference to either. Not sure if we just got lucky but we will try doing this again for sure.
pomegranate / 3127 posts
I combo feed my oldest after one month. I'd just offer a bottle if he wasn't full right after a feeding. In theory it's not a good idea to do this right from the start because it keeps you from developing a good supply, but there were so many things wrong with my supply at that point, that doing more frequent feedings instead would not have helped. It wasn't that hard logistically, and we got the best of both worlds. He still had milk but I never had to worry about bad pumping output, or about someone else feeding him while I'm away. I did hate that doing both meant more bottles to wash...