Can You Breastfeed and Formula Feed at the Same Time?

When it comes to your baby’s health, it is always advisable to go for the best that is beneficial to them. If you are to choose between breastmilk and formula feed, experts would always suggest going for breast milk because it tends to provide more natural nutrition for your baby and breastfeeding is a way for you and your baby to have quality time. Not all mothers are given the opportunity to breastfeed their babies because of their bodily hormones or due to some activities that don’t permit them to always breastfeed. Can mothers breastfeed and use formula feed at the same time? In this article we’ll know more about the importance of breastfeeding and formula feeding and where are they applicable.

Are breastfeeding and formula feeding beneficial for your baby?

Breastfeeding and formula feeding are totally safe for your baby especially if the formula given is as prescribed by your pediatrician. There are a couple of reasons why it is advisable to feed your baby with these two types of feeding but one thing is for sure, it will definitely benefit your baby and it will assist in its growth and development by helping the baby get her day-to-day nutritional needs easier. Supplementing is the term used if you breastfeed and at the same time formula feed your baby.

Reasons for supplementing

  • You have low breastmilk supply

There are different factors why mother experiences low breastmilk supply, it can either be a recent breast surgery or due to some medical conditions. If you feel that your baby is not getting enough milk, your pediatrician may advise you to use formula feed so as to feed the baby properly to get its needed nutritional value on a daily basis.

  • Your Child Has Medical Issues

The baby may need more than just your breast milk if she was diagnosed with a medical condition. Most medical conditions that are prone to babies would affect their weight so the use of formula feed together with breast milk would support in helping the baby gain weight to have more energy and immunity to fight her illness. 

  • You have multiple babies

If you have baby twins, triplets or more, it can be exhausting to breastfeed them all, especially if they are hungry all at once. You may need to have many breast milk supply to attend to each of their nutritional needs. In times when you need to rest your breast, the use of formula feed can be a great help.

Read also: Why babies are making noises while breastfeeding
  • You’re Going Back to Work

It is quite a challenge to pump and stock it in the fridge so that your baby’s guardian has something to feed your baby. It can’t be avoided that the supply of your milk will decrease so the use of a formula feed will not shortchange your baby’s needs to drink milk. 

  • You guardian or partner wants to participate in taking good care of the baby

It is also good to share the responsibility in taking good care of your baby with your partner or with her guardian so that you could also do your thing. It could be a hassle if they will just wait for your arrival before the baby is fed. The use of formula feed will let your baby have a ready supply of milk whether or not you are at home.

  • It is your doctor’s recommendation

There are some cases wherein your doctor would advise you to go on for a supplementing if your newborn loses some significant number of weight during its first few days and if your baby seems hungry even though you have just breastfed her. 

Introducing formula feed to your baby

When you have breastfed your baby after giving birth, it is advisable not to introduce formula feed all at once. The ideal time for you to give your babies formula feed is at least 4 weeks gradually so as to build up the supply of breastmilk into your baby’s body. You may need to ask your doctor about the recommended formula feed for your baby, mostly, they’ll give you formulation that is iron-fortified especially during the first year of the baby’s life. It is important to introduce formula feed gradually so as to observe possible signs of diarrhea, vomiting, or allergies. If you observed these, notify your doctor immediately so that they could advise you with other formulas that you can use.

Tips in feeding the baby with supplement

  • It is advisable to feed the breastmilk and formula feed separately because mixing these two has high chances that it will spoil immediately so as to avoid any wastage.
  • You may want to breastfeed your baby first before feeding them with formula feed so that they will drink more breastmilk that is a natural way to acquire nutrients and so that you don’t need to buy formula feed more often while your breast milk has sufficient supply. Formula feed tends to make your baby fuller than breast milk because of breast milk digest easily so when you breastfeed them first, there is a tendency that they’ll drink an equal amount of breastmilk and formula feed.
  • Your breast milk’s supply will drop as soon as your body detects that there is also a decrease in demand so if you are slowly teaching your baby to formula feed alone, you may decrease the duration where your baby breastfeeds. Make sure to slowly decrease the amount of breastmilk that you would want to give your baby because if it is done in a fast and short period of time, you may be prone to some health conditions such as breast engorgement and blocked milk ducts that are extremely painful and sometimes would require surgery. 
  • As the baby’s body acknowledges that there is another form of food that is given to her, there might have some changes in the bowel movements such as a change in appearance, odor, and color. These are just normal manifestations that the formula feed is taking an effect on her body. 
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