Combination or mixed feeding is when you feed your baby breastmilk and formula milk in a combination of breast and bottle feeds.
This is a choice that many parents make once their baby is breastfeeding well, but there are some things to consider when making this decision. Watch the video below which will help if you are thinking about combination feeding.
Choosing Combination Feeding
Lots of parents choose to combination feed their baby. You may make the choice for the following reasons.
If you choose to introduce infant formula to complement your breastfeeds. Even when combining breast feeding with formula, your baby will still see the benefits of breastmilk. For example they will still gain some of the antibodies that will protect them against infection.
Make sure your breastfeeding is established and going well before introducing formula milk or expressed breastmilk in a bottle. This usually takes about 6 weeks after the baby is born.
It's best to go slowly and gradually. This gives your body time to reduce the amount of milk it makes and lowers your chances of getting uncomfortable, swollen breasts, or an infection such as mastitis.
Will This Effect My Milk Supply?
Breastmilk supply is created by feeding often and responsively. This means feeding your baby when they start to show hunger cues.
Giving your baby formula can affect your milk supply, especially when you first start breastfeeding. It means your baby breastfeeds less often so your body produces less milk. Expressing milk between breastfeeds will help with this.
The NHS suggest that it can take up to six weeks to successfully establish breastfeeding. It is recommended to wait until feeding is well established before introducing a bottle.
If you are considering combination feeding because you think your baby is not getting enough milk, please call Just One Number on 0300 300 0123to speak to one of our skilled team members.
Responsive Bottle Feeding
When introducing a bottle to a baby, it's best to:
This all helps to build a close loving relationship whilst avoiding overfeeding.
If your baby is less than 28 days old you can contact your local midwifery team or you can contact the Healthy Child Programme at any time following your baby's birth by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631590.
Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.
Norfolk Healthy Child Programme has a team of infant feeding champions who can contact you by video call/telephone initially to discuss your questions and refer you to further help if required. All of our staff are trained to Unicef standards to provide you with the best possible breastfeeding support and advice.
Norfolk’s Early Childhood and Family Service (ECFS) offers support for all parents and carers with children aged 0 to 5 years.
To speak to other Norfolk parents and carers, you can join our online community forum below.
Also in this section...