If you are nursing exclusively, you may be wondering if it is ok to supplement your breast milk with infant formula. Mixing formula with breast milk can provide your baby with additional liquid nourishment, and there are many reasons why moms may consider this option.
Supplement breast milk with formula
Supplementing is a combination feeding method that involves alternating breastfeeding with formula feeding. Some common reasons you may want to supplement breast milk with formula include:
- You are going back to work
- You have a low milk supply
- Your partner would like to participate in feeding
- Your doctor recommends it
To start supplementing, experts suggest feeding your baby pumped breast milk first and then following up with a bottle of formula if he or she is still hungry.
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Can you mix formula with breast milk in the same bottle?
According to the medical experts at Verywellfamily, it’s possible to mix breast milk and formula together in one bottle, but there are a couple of issues to keep in mind:
Correct measuring is essential for safety – Infant formula is made to provide your baby with a set amount of nutrients and calories for a specific amount of water. Adding liquid formula or powdered formula before mixing with water to breast milk alters the balance of nutrients and water. This imbalance can lead to an over-concentration of nutrients, which can put stress on your baby’s immature kidneys. Avoid this situation by preparing the formula according to directions first, and then adding the breast milk.
If you mix breast milk with formula, you could be wasting some of your “liquid gold”. - If your baby doesn’t finish the bottle, your liquid gold could be wasted. The Enfamil website states that partially consumed prepared formula should be discarded within one hour.
Whether you are breastfeeding, formula feeding, or supplementing, take solace in the fact that you are providing your baby the nutrition he or she needs to grow and thrive. Feeding time offers special and intimate moments to bond and cuddle with your little one.