Every new mom’s worst nightmare is the sight of her baby crying. Although there are many reasons why a baby can cry, hunger is the most common. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for newborns from birth up to 6 months of age.
However, what happens if the mom is incapable of breastfeeding the baby exclusively? What if the breast milk isn’t enough to satisfy the baby? What if the mom has a medical condition or isn’t just present?
Well, as a new mom, do not worry. You can always supplement your breast milk with formula. The secret is to purchase a safe formula that is certified by the FDA. Always read the manufacturer’s manual and follow all the stipulated requirements.
In the process of supplementing breast milk with formula, some moms get stuck with questions. Is it safe to mix the two? In what ratios can I combine them? Am I over-feeding my baby? Am I a bad mother because I can’t satisfy my baby?
Questions will always be there. Whatever you feel, just know you’re the perfect mom for your baby. What others say shouldn’t bother you.
Now, let’s tackle the most common queries around mixing breast milk and formula for newborns. Let’s do this!
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Should You Mix Breast Milk With Formula?
No one ever receives a million pieces of advice than a new mom. In most cases, the information given isn’t even scientifically correct. Most experienced moms will always give their opinions based on what they experienced.
Nonetheless, always listen to your doctor. Also, confirm the source of information before believing it. Some evil people may intentionally misguide you, and that’s why you should be very careful. You can always ask your doctor or pediatrician for clarification.
Back to breast milk and formula. Should you mix breast milk and formula? Yes and no. The fact is that combining the two is absolutely safe. However, you need to consider the safety precautions so that you don’t overwork your baby’s digestive system.
Why You Should Mix Breast Milk and formula
New moms will always choose a feeding type depending on their various reasons. Mixing breast milk and formula, aka mixed feeding, has its advantages and disadvantages. Here is why you should mix.
1. The baby gets satisfied
The quality of breast milk is always excellent. However, quantity also matters. Sometimes, your milk alone may not be enough for the baby. Some women will definitely produce less milk than others due to differences in body hormones, body types, and genetics.
Mixed feeding is a perfect way of supplementing breast milk to make sure your bay gets enough during every feed.
2. Someone else can feed the baby
New moms are always exhausted from sleepless nights to endless feeds. Babies’ stomachs get full fast but also get empty fast. When you have the formula, you can prepare it and let another person, like the other parent, do the feeding.
This will give you a fantastic time to rest.
3. It is suitable for working moms
Supplementing breast milk with formula is what working moms rely on. Now that you aren’t around, your baby can still feed on your pumped milk together with formula for satisfaction.
Expressing milk is sometimes tedious, and you may not get enough for your baby. However, you can always supplement with formula, at least to keep your baby full.
During your free time at work, you can also pump some to cater to your baby’s feeding later in the day.
Why You Shouldn’t Mix Breast Milk and Formula
On the other hand, mixing breast milk and formula can be bad news. Medical practitioners will always discourage this. They advise mothers to breastfeed their babies exclusively unless there’s a good reason not to. Here are some disadvantages of mixing.
1. Leads to wastage
Sometimes, you may think your baby is starving and end up mixing a full bottle of breast milk and formula. To your disappointment, the baby only takes a few suckles and boom, she looks at you as if there’s nothing wrong.
Note that this mixture can only stay for one hour, after which you need to discard. This can cause a lot of wastage.
2. You may overfeed the baby
Babies always communicate. However, sometimes they can’t defend themselves from you. When you keep feeding your baby, it’s not all times that they will tell you, “It’s enough, mom.”
Formula is packed with lots of nutrients and calories. So is breast milk. If you mix concentrated formula and breast milk, you’ll end up making the mixture excessively nutritious. Too much calories may make it hard for your newborn’s digestive system to break down.
Also, the kidney may be unable to get rid of the excess nutrients as it is still developing. Therefore, always dilute your formula in water before mixing it with breast milk.
Alternatively, you can mix the milk with ready-to-use formula. That way, your baby will be safe from too much calories.
Breast Milk Wins All the Time
There are fantastic reasons why pediatrics will always recommend exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months. Breast milk is highly rich in antibodies that help fight off diseases. Babies that have been breastfed exclusively are healthier and less prone to infections.
Exclusive breastfeeding also lowers your baby’s chances of contracting allergies and asthma. Even bacterial infections, ear infections, viruses, and other kinds of diseases will stay at bay. Thanks to the precious liquid gold.
Breast milk is also packed with nutrients that are essential for growth and development. Little but strong bones are what your baby gets. Hence, if you can, please breastfeed your baby thoroughly.
Mixing formula and breast milk isn’t a bad idea. It is scientifically proven to be totally safe for your baby. Whatever reason that’s pushing you to mix the two should not make you feel guilty.
There’s a reason formula was invented, to supplement breastfeeding. Hence, as much you shouldn’t use it if you can avoid it, it is perfectly safe. What matters is a healthy baby with a full stomach.