Combining Breast and Bottle

Marisa - posted on 12/27/2010 ( 6 moms have responded )




My daughter is now three months old and has only ever been breast fed.

I would now like to start introducing the occasional bottle and would like to hear other Moms experience, stories and advice.

How do you begin to express and how much should I be pumping and when? Will pumping effect the amount of milk my daughter gets at a feed or will it make me produce too much milk?

I have heard that some babies refuse the bottle after being on the breast, or refuse the breast after having a bottle and am looking for advice to make the transition simple and easy


Hayley - posted on 12/28/2010




I never had a problem introducing a bottle with mine. I just decided one day that's what I'm going to do and that was it.
If you express as often as you fed your baby then as I understand it, your milk production should stay about the
same. Although mine didn't because I made the mistake of dropping one or two sessions here and there so after a couple of months they were moved onto formula.
Oh, I don't know if this really helped the transition.....but I used these Tommee Tippee bottles which resemble the shape of the breast quite well. See what you think :)

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Donna - posted on 01/01/2011




I marisa I started to breastfeed my baby but when he was born he was taken to scbu and was fed througha tube, but when i was not there they were given hima top up of formula i tryed to stop but it neva worked and ended up having jut to give bottle.

If you express it will make you produce a little more milk or feel engorged quicker, it won't affect the amunt of milk your daughter gets, pump for about 20 ./30 mins that is for both breast,

be prepared that your daughter could refuse the breast eventually combineing breast and bottle as my little boy did and my breast feeding support group advised me on this that it could happen, but if you think ur child needs a little formula there is no harm in it

Lise - posted on 12/31/2010




If you just want the occasional bottle, then I'd suggest just pumping once in the morning (your supply is strongest overnight, so you'll get the best output then). If you pump more frequently, you might send your body into oversupply - and that is NO fun!

Keep in mind that typical pumping output for a breastfeeding mom is 0.5-2 oz with both breasts COMBINED.

Pumping (if you just pump once in the morning) will not affect what your daughter gets at ALL. If she's hungry, she'll just nurse more (which won't hurt your supply at all).

Some babies DO refuse bottle after breast or vice versa, but a lot of babies can go back and forth. I think the biggest thing for bottle/nursing strikes is to be aware of it immediately and work on it. If you do, it should resolve pretty quickly.

Kellymom (the breastfeeding website that is AMAZING) recommends no more than 4 oz bottles for a breastfed baby (since their tummies are so tiny and you don't want them accustomed to big amounts your breasts can't keep up with), so I'd recommend freezing in small quantities if you freeze your milk. I always did 2.5-3 oz quantities. My daughter never drank more than 3 oz (from a bottle - who knows what she gets from my breasts).

It's best if you don't give her the bottle. 1) babies usually respond to that best, and 2) it's good for the baby to associate you as the breastfeeding person. I did give my daughter bottles at first (before I was educated on breastfeeding), and she DID get a bottle preference. We tackled it right away and it was gone in 2-3 days, but was a pain.

Good luck! Definitely reference the kellymom site ( if you have questions; it's amazing.

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i had to start giving bub a bottle when he was 6 weeks old he took to it straight away and i think it's so good i was unable to breastfeed so he really didn't get much of a choice

Liz - posted on 12/28/2010




We are in this transition at the moment (slightly different as we are weaning him onto formula bottles as I have had some serious BF issues) and we are doing ok. I would advise, as hayley did, using the Tommee Tippee teats or the ones I use, the Avent system - both these teats mimick the breast latch on quite well so baby doesnt have such a difference to take in. If you are continuing to breastfeed, I would advise making sure that someone other than you gives the baby the bottle for the first little while - I was advised to do this by my Dr until I cut the BF out completely because they associate you with the breast. After the first couple of tries, my husband got him onto the bottle and once he'd done it once he seemed to have no trouble going from bottle to breast. Good luck!

Momof1 - posted on 12/27/2010




I thought I was going back to work 6 weeks postpartum, so I pumped 3 weeks postpartum and had my husband give our son the bottle, at 3 weeks. We tried 3 days in a row, 1 feeding. Day 1 it went fine, day 2 he didn't want it, day 3 he did fine. After that we didn't really do anything with the bottle. I ended up not going back to work until 12 weeks and the first day I was back, he took the bottle fine, but it took a couple months for my husband and him to have it down pat. But that is probably because he only ever had the bottle on weekends, not often enough to get used to them. Some babies will refuse and I've read (on here) that the moms went to work and the whole time the baby wouldn't eat, but when they got home, the baby would nurse and they were fine.

At first, when I was trying to build up my milk storage supply, I would pump after, pretty much, every feeding. But that got redundant, the cleaning up the parts/bottles and once Bryce wasn't sleeping all the time, it took time away from him. So at that point, I just pumped after the first two/three feedings of the day. I've read that you should freeze milk in 2 or 4 oz, but I've always frozen at least 4 oz, when he was younger then 6 months and 6 oz when he was older then that. It all depends on how many times you plan to feed her from a bottle. Frozen breast milk can last up to 3 months, so if you want, you can just stock up. Pumping won't affect the milk your baby gets at during a feed, because even the best pumps aren't as efficient as a baby eating and sucking.

You can either try pumping before a feeding or pumping right after. But, in the beginning, I always pumped an hour after my son last ate. I'm so glad he is 13 months now, because I have stopped pumping. He nurses during the week and gets whole milk when I'm working.

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