(Physically mixing breast milk and formula in one bottle 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 on when supplementation is acceptable.
It is not recommended giving 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 baby with alternative feeding methods discussed here.
Moms need to keep in mind that when they start substituting breast milk for formula their breast milk supply might decrease unless they continue to empty their breasts by pumping at least once a day.
Many moms decide to feed baby a mix feeding of expressed breast milk and formula when they go back to work, this is perfectly normal…but it is possible feeding baby only breast milk during this time… read more on the breastfeeding while working page
Many moms decide to continue to breastfeed baby only at night or only in the mornings, this is great because baby will still be getting the benefits and love and connection from you.
Breastfeeding issues that might influence the introduction of combination feedings “partial weaning”
- Moms who work and are not capable of pumping at work
- Moms who feel that they don’t want to pump at work
- Moms who have a baby that is busy self weaning
- Dad feels left out and would like to feed baby as well
- 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 when you do breastfeed. Breast refusal might become a problem though… read more on breast refusal here
Is it safe to physically mix breast milk and formula?
- It is not recommended to put formula and breast milk in the same container as formula “goes off” 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 means that if you do need to throw the mixture away you will be wasting your precious breast milk.
- The best is to first feed baby your breast milk and then feed him the formula, this way you know that none of your breast milk had gone wasted
- Don’t ever mix your formula with breast milk instead of water! The concentration will be too strong for baby’s kidneys and your breast milk's composition will be changed.
What if baby is refusing to drink from a bottle?
- Sometimes it's best to get someone else to offer the bottle to baby so that he doesn’t assume he is going to be breastfed
- Try giving him the bottle at night in the dark
- You can try different brands of teats until he finds one that he likes. Avent baby bottles have been found by many moms to be the best of the natural baby bottles and nipples.
Weaning from breast to formula
- The breastfeeding recommendations are to breastfeed if you can for at least a year before weaning or mixing breast milk and formula
Always remember that 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 start producing just the right amount of milk needed. Moms that add mixed feeding abruptly have a good chance of getting mastitis.
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