Breast or bottle overnight?

Discussion in 'The First Year' started by paperclippy, Jun 22, 2013.

  1. paperclippy

    paperclippy Well-Known Member

    I posted this question on the first year forum and it was suggested I post here as well. Our preemie girls are on 4-5 breastfeedings + 4 bottles of fortified breastmilk per day (depending if they eat 8 or 9 times). I'm trying to figure out whether it's better to do all the breastfeedings overnight and the bottles during the day, or a mixture. Anyone do this and have advice? Eventually I will be going back to work so even when we are allowed to stop fortifying the milk they'll still need to take bottles during the day. On the other hand it would be nice to let DH handle a night feed. On the other other hand, if I don't breastfeed at night I have to get up to pump anyway.
  2. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I say do whatever gets you the most sleep. ;) If you don't have a long term plan to wean them from bottles then I would say just mix it up for whatever works best for you. I don't think there's a "right" or better way to do it. :)
  3. daisies

    daisies Well-Known Member

    something you might consider in making your decision..
    milk production is suppose to be at its highest between the times of 1am and 4am. So if you have any concern about low supply that feeding/pumping session will be the biggest benefit. Emptying the breasts (feeding or pumping) in the middle of the night is also to signal your body to increase production.

    That said, I did bottles at night because it was less overwhelming for me at the time. I wish i had tried nursing at night again once we got more coordinated.

    There is no right or wrong. You will figure out what works best for you.
  4. cheezewhiz24

    cheezewhiz24 Well-Known Member TS Moderator


    For me, it didn't make sense to pump and be up/create dishes/take care of pumped milk THEN have someone actually feed the babies (me?! Are you kidding me?). For me, after 5 days nursing got quicker and more routine. By 2 weeks I was familiar with the routine and although tired, able to nurse every 2 -3 hours. After 2 weeks I did let them go 4 hours once between feedings if they were still asleep.

    All that said, mine were not preemies but near term (37w5d - Orion was 4 lbs 10 oz when we brought him home ebf).
  5. paperclippy

    paperclippy Well-Known Member

    Yeah, doing a bottle feed AND pumping is really a pain. One of the problems I'm having is that if I let my husband handle a night feeding by bottle while I sleep, then I wake up soaked in milk and with my boobs feeling like they're going to explode when it's time to feed again, and I have to pump before I feel like it's safe to feed the babies so I don't drown them with milk, then pump again after they eat to get to a comfortable level. I have an oversupply problem. I know it's a great problem to have, but it's still a problem! I'm hoping their consumption will catch up to my supply soon (before I run out of freezer space). Right now they get just over 2oz per feeding in their bottles -- not sure how much they get when breastfeeding but they usually nurse for about 10 minutes 4x/day. I'm pumping about 32oz per day, ~17 of which goes into their bottles. I'm afraid of trying to reduce my supply because I might not be able to build it back up again later if I need it.

    I use nipple shields to nurse them since their mouths are too small, but with the shields they latch on easily. They do tend to take a lot of breaks while eating and need to be burped in the middle though, which can be frustrating, but overall it's relatively coordinated to do a tandem feed in the middle of the night, especially if my husband helps get me the babies and burp them. I've managed it solo during the day a couple times thanks to my gigantic twin nursing pillow, but it's difficult to burp one of them while the other is still eating without dislodging her.
  6. daisies

    daisies Well-Known Member

    It sounds like you are doing great! while i am sure it is a pain to have an over supply it is better than the alternative. good job with the solo tandem nursing! It will get easier and easier as their latch gets better.

    Just a note.. if you find you don't have enough storage space, i hope you will consider donating your extra milk rather than tossing it. there are milk banks, usually connected with hospitals. but there are also private moms (either adoptive or who don't have a good supply because of medical reasons) who's kids would really benefit from your extra. Just something to keep in mind.

    If at some point you decide you are interested in doing this, i am happy to help you make a connection.
  7. cheezewhiz24

    cheezewhiz24 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Yes! I have a FB milk share group called Human Milk for Human Babies and you would not believe the number of families who would love your extra. Many will come and pick it up/give you storage bags to put it in for them.
    1 person likes this.
  8. paperclippy

    paperclippy Well-Known Member

    I looked into the Indiana Mothers Milk bank (local for me), but they have a minimum donation of 100oz and I'm not ready to give up that much yet in case I need it later. Plus, I need to have a blood test and all sorts of things to donate. I'm kind of hoping I have enough freezer space to last until I go back to work so I can see if my supply changes by then, or if I have problems once they're eating more.
  9. daisies

    daisies Well-Known Member

    Not pushing, just for informational purposes...
    All the milk banks do require minimal donations and testing. The private mom to mom donations do not.
    this is a link to a FB page for Indiana

    it is still early. maybe once you know how your supply will hold up after you are working you can check it out.
  10. Meximeli

    Meximeli Well-Known Member

    I found it so much easier to breastfeed only over night. But we co-slept and I would fall asleep nursing so I got way more sleep that way. I didn't pump, but my girls got 5 and later 3 bottles of formula in the course of the day. When they were on 5 (0-10 weeks) they got one at about 11pm and the next one around 5 or 6 am. By 14 weeks they were down to three bottles a day and stayed there until they weaned.
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