Mixing Breast Milk and Formula
Combination feeding baby
Combining Breast Milk and Formula
(Physically mixing breast milk and formula in one bottle is discussed lower on page)
A combo of breast milk and formula feeding will definitely be a better
option that stopping breastfeeding altogether, as any amount of breast
milk is better than none.
Read more about when supplementation is acceptable.
It is not recommended to give your baby an artificial nipple, before four weeks of age. If you are worried about nipple confusion, you can always get your spouse or daycare provider to feed your baby withalternative feeding methods discussed here.
When you start substituting
breast milk for formula, your breast milk supply might decrease, unless
you continue to empty your breasts by pumping.
Many moms feed their babies a mixed feeding of expressed breast milk and
formula when they return to work, this is perfectly okay, but it is
possible to continue to feed a baby exclusively on breast milk.
Read more about breastfeeding while working.
Many mothers decide to continue to physically breastfeed their babies only at night
or only in the mornings. This is wonderful, to continue, even if partially.
Preventing Nipple Confusion
Breastfeeding issues that might influence the introduction of combination feedings
- Not capable of pumping at work.
- Moms who feel that they don’t want to pump at work.
- Baby is self weaning.
- Mom has an insufficient milk supply and has to supplement her breast milk with formula. This can be done by using an SNS, which is used so that mom can increase her own supply while breast feeding formula.
Will my milk dry up completely with a breast feeding bottle feeding combination?
No, if milk is removed from your breast, your body will adapt and start to produce just the right amounts for those times that you do breastfeed.
Is it Safe to Physically Mix Breast Milk and Formula?
- It is not recommended to put formula and breast milk in the same container. Why? Formula spoils much quicker than breast milk. Formula bottles should be discarded after an hour, where as breast milk can be kept much longer without being spoilt. This is to prevent the wastage of precious breast milk.
- The best is to first feed your baby the breast milk and then feed him/her the formula; this way you know that none of your breast milk had gone wasted.
- Do not ever mix formula with breast milk instead of water! The concentration will be too strong for a baby’s kidneys and your breast milk's composition will be changed.
What if Baby is Refusing to Drink from a Bottle?
- Sometimes, it is best to get someone else to offer the bottle to your baby. This is so that he/she does not expect to be breastfed
- Try to give him/her the bottle at night, in the dark.
- Try different brands of teats, until Baby finds one that he/she prefers. Avent baby bottles
have been found by many moms, to be the best of the natural baby bottles and nipples.
Use alternative feeding methods instead of artificial nipples if possible.
Weaning from Breast to Formula
- Gradual weaning would be best.
- The breastfeeding recommendations are to breastfeed, if you can, for at least one year before weaning or mixing breast milk and formula.
- Breastfeeding benefits.
If you are decreasing your breastfeeding times and
want to start mixing breast milk and formula, it should be done
gradually, this will ensure that your body has the chance to adapt (and give your baby's tummy a chance to adapt.) Moms that add
mixed feeding abruptly may develop mastitis, and their babies may show some digestive issues.
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Site by BFeeding Mamma, Tracy Behr. Currently studying through Child birth International (CBC, CBD). Also an accomplished author and Mommy of two.