Supplementing breastfeeding with baby formula is called supplementing. Supplementing is common practice and completely safe.
Various families use this type of combination feeding method for a variety of reasons (such as low breast milk supply), convenience, or personal preference.
Reasons to combine breast and bottle
Breastfeeding and bottle feeding may be a good combination if you:
• Are breastfeeding, but want to use a bottle to offer expressed breast milk to your baby
• You plan to breastfeed for some feeds, but would rather give bottles of baby formula for one or more feeds
• You are currently bottle-feeding your child and want to start breastfeeding
• If you must leave your baby and wish to make sure he or she has milk while you are away
Introducing a baby formula can affect your production of breast milk. In addition, there is some evidence that babies who are exposed to a bottle don’t breastfeed as well as those who are breastfed because they learn to use a different kind of sucking action.
The experts recommend that a breastfeeding mother wait at least a month before giving her child formula if they aren’t supplementing for medical reasons. It gives you time to build up a healthy supply of breast milk and ensure that your baby is breastfeeding well. Once this is accomplished, you can slowly add formula to your baby’s diet.
When you prepare the formula before adding breast milk to a bottle, you may mix the two, but you may waste breast milk if your baby doesn’t finish the bottle. It is best to feed breast milk first and then formula.
Consult your paediatrician before choosing a baby formula for your child.
Getting back to breastfeeding
It’s a good idea to talk to your midwife, health visitor, or breastfeeding support person if you want to start breastfeeding more and give your baby fewer bottles.
Here are a few tips that may be helpful:
• Your baby should be held and cuddled as much as possible, ideal skin-to-skin. Doing so will encourage your body to produce milk and your baby to feed.
• Make sure you express your breast milk regularly. You release the hormone prolactin when you express milk. For starters, you may find it easier to express by hand – your midwife, health visitor, or breastfeeding supporter can demonstrate how to do so.
• Keep your baby close to you while bottle-feeding.
• Try feeding your baby a little and often if your baby latches on to your breast. It is normal for your baby not to feed for long initially.
• Do not force your baby at the breast, but rather find times when he or she is relaxed, alert, and not that hungry.
• Once your milk supply increases, decrease the number of bottles you give gradually.
A healthy, happy baby who is growing and thriving is the ultimate goal of every parent. If you can exclusively breastfeed your baby, that’s great, but it’s not always possible or desirable for all parents.
It doesn’t have to be all or nothing when it comes to breastfeeding. Depending on your particular situation and baby, you may need to use a combination of formula and breastfeeding.
Qrius does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions or other information that may be mentioned on this website. Reliance on any information appearing on this website is solely at your own risk.
This article does not endorse or express the views of Qrius and/or any of its staff.
Qrius and/or any of its staff is not liable for the advice provided in this article and consumer discretion is advised.
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