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Thread: What's The Best Way To Feed Colostrum & Then Go Straight To Formula?

  1. #1

    Question What's The Best Way To Feed Colostrum & Then Go Straight To Formula?

    Sorry for the long title. Couldn't think how to word it best..

    We are expecting a surprise #3 baby this year and was wanting to feed the baby the colostrum, but then go to formula feeding.

    Or when choosing to formula feed is it just best to go straight to formula and not have any stimulation of the breasts?

    Is there medication to dry up milk or will the milk supply go away fairly quicklyl?

    Many thanks

  2. #2


    You will produce colostrum whether or not baby feeds at the breast - so I'd say give the colostrum for a few days. When you stop feeding, your breasts automatically stop making milk, so in a couple of weeks you shouldn't have a problem (although I do know some women who claim to still had some milk 10-15 years on, which "squirts" whenever they hear a baby... I chose to take that as a "horror story" because I was a leaking, spraying queen and don't have that problem, even with my own child).

    You'll notice when the milk comes in: baby will feed for a bit longer and not be hungry straight after a feed.

    I was told DS was starving on day 3 (my milk came in day 4) so gave formula (it was that or the midwife was going to do it herself... why did I believe that threat?). What I did was use a little egg-cup and DS lapped it up from that, a bit like a little kitten. After a week we introduced a bottle after feeds, with a really slow-flowing teat. I was told DS "should" take 300ml every feed when I was starving him, but anything over 200 was OK. So maybe that's what to aim for? When I was mixed feeding, the neonatal nurses didn't really mind how much DS took so long as he'd had a feed and had most of the expressed stuff.


  3. #3


    Thanks LZ

    I'm just really scared about the whole drying up of milk thing, because after my last failed attempt at breastfeeding, it was really painfull and took a good week for the milk to dry up. I was binding my boobs up with a cot sheet and was miserable and in a lot of discomfort.

    You didn't have much discomfort with yours?

  4. #4


    I did both breast and bottle, until DS started vomitting up all the formula at 3w (he was intolerant of cow milk, which we didn't know at the time), so went full-time breast and part-time expressing.

    I found that DS slowly weaning helped when we did stop feeding - so if you can do split feeding and cut down the amount of breastmilk over a month or something (start with only breastfeeding when YOU need to and try and space it out) that may help. Also, if you find breastfeeding easier this time and change your mind, you can do that. (I'm not going to push you down that line as I'm sure loads of other people around you will, but it's nice to keep options open if only for a couple of weeks.) One thing that did stop the leaking and helped me was a breast pad make called Lilypadz - they are stick-on pads and create light pressure on the breast so they don't leak. They're not painful and can create a lower supply, especially in the early days.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2009


    The more your breasts are stimulated the quicker usually your milk will come in and more of it however it is still usually around the day3 stage since birth but everyone differs a bit.
    You can take something to dry your milk up but unless absolutely neccessary then its unlikely you will find a Dr who will do this. I know where I work they wont prescribe it and I have only ever seen it used once. I know the one I am thinking of causes alot of side effects but then there is more then one drug out there to help. Some people I have heard taking a diuretic like lasix which is suppose to help.
    Lady Zaidie I am one of the horror stories I guess in 6yrs I didn't dry up before I had my next baby and could still express milk and leak and can still get mastitis even though I haven't BF for a year now. Bewtween my 2 DD's in the amount of time I didn't BF which was 5years I still produced milk. Only come across one other person like me.
    Usually the first few days once your milk comes in are the worst for discomfort and once it starts to go even when you still have alot of milk you will feel more comfortable.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Down by the ocean


    The hospital should have breast pumps that you can use if you don't want to put bub to the breast. You could then use the sippy spoon to feed as it won't be enough to warrant a bottle usually. I know it's encouraged to at least give the baby colostrum if you're not wanting to breastfeed so good on you for considering that. Stimulation of the breast does encourage the milk to come in but it's also hormonal, so even if you don't express the colostrum you may find yourself engorged.

    For me personally and a few others I have spoken too, the milk coming in for the first baby is often worse. I was quite surprised actually that I was no where near as engorged as the first time. I hope that you have an easier time with it this time around

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Australia


    I supported a client who had to have a c/s due to a low lying placenta bleed. It wasn't super urgent as the bleeding wasn't gushing or anything, so we had some time while surgery was being set up, so I asked the midwife for a syringe and sterile jar and the mother expressed the colostrum with her hand and I slowly sucked in the colostrum with the syringe. We did this in case the babe was separated from her mother longer than need be and instead of them feeding the bub something else, they could feed it colostrum. We got a fair bit out and the c/s went well, so she was able to put the bub to the breast not long after. The bub still got the colostrum we expressed though. Liquid gold.
    Kelly xx

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  8. #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2004


    I just put all mine to the breast asap after the birth and then continued to breastfeed while in hospital and for a few days after coming home. That way they got the colostrum in the most efficient way. I did have discomfort after stopping the breastfeeds, but I think that if you are wanting to make sure your bub gets colostrum, then the best way is to just put him or her to the breast - unless you are going to be separated from the baby. After all, the only way to get the colostrum out is to stimulate the breasts, whether by the baby sucking or by expressing. So there is no way of getting around it really. It just depends on whether you want to physically breastfeed, or would prefer to feed bub the colostrum in another way.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2006


    As has been mentioned, supply is mostly driven by hormones at first. So your milk will come in whether or not you feed your baby colostrum. The best way to avoid engorgement is actually to feed your baby regularly, so doing this at first will be fine.

    Drugs for drying up milk are very rarely used now as has been discussed because they have potentially serious side effects.

    I'm not sure if you have considered seeking help from a Lactation Consultant to see if you can do anything differently this time to enable you to bf without the problems you had last time? Otherwise, if you are certain that you want to go from colostrum to formula, I recommend you contact the ABA helpline - 1800 mum 2 mum and ask them about the booklet they have on lactation suppression. That will have all the information you need.

    Best of luck hun.

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