Mixing breast milk & formula

Posted by Barbara F. Meltz  June 1, 2009 06:00 AM

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Hi Barbara -- my wife and I were recently blessed with our first child, a daughter. We have found that feeding her with breastmilk during the day, and formula at night before bed, has worked really well, and she ends up sleeping through a good portion of the night.
From: Newdad, Dorchester

Hi Newdad and congratulations!
Actually, congratulations on three counts: (1) the birth of your baby, (2) that your wife is breastfeeding; and (3) that you are supporting her.

Any amount of breastfeeding, for any period of time, is a benefit to the baby

That said, has your wife considered expressing breast milk and freezing it so that it can be put in a bottle for someone else (you?!) to feed the baby?

I know of no reason why you can't supplement breast milk with formula, although I do suspect there will be some folks who would disagree. The smartest thing you could do would be to check with your pediatrician.

Let me put in a plug here for pediatricians. It's my experience that new parents fall into one of two categories: They either call the ped for every little burp, or they are too intimidated to call even when they should.

Far better to fall into the first camp than the second. A good pediatric practice knows that's the nature of new parents and does not make you think you are a stupid, panicked or inept new parent. So pick up the phone and ask this question of your pediatrician. And let me know if he says the same thing I did!

I answer a question from a reader every weekday. If you want help with
some aspect of child-rearing, just write to me here.

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1 comments so far...
  1. When my son was breastfeeding, if my supply was low I would mix breast milk with formula. I would first mix the formula separately, and then add breast milk to get the amount of ounces desired. I know other moms who did this as well, and all was fine :)

    Posted by Toddler Mom June 1, 09 12:17 PM
 
1 comments so far...
  1. When my son was breastfeeding, if my supply was low I would mix breast milk with formula. I would first mix the formula separately, and then add breast milk to get the amount of ounces desired. I know other moms who did this as well, and all was fine :)

    Posted by Toddler Mom June 1, 09 12:17 PM
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About the author

Barbara F. Meltz is a freelance writer, parenting consultant, and author of "Put Yourself in Their Shoes: Understanding How Your Children See the World." She won several awards for her weekly "Child Caring" column in the Globe, including the 2008 American Psychological Association Print Excellence award. Barbara is available as a speaker for parent groups.

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