SUPPLEMENTING FORMULA WHILE BREASTFEEDING
The question of rather to supplement your breastfed baby with formula or not is a personal choice. Do not feel like you are a bad mother if you need to supplement with formula. However, you should also keep in mind that your milk supply is supported by the demands of your baby. If your baby is not nursing as frequently, you will not produce as much milk as you once were. For this reason, it is recommended that you wait until your baby is atleast one month old before supplementing with formula.
Some nursing mothers will supplement their baby with formula if there is a suspicion that the baby is not getting enough breastmilk at a feeding. If possible, it is preferable to supplement a feeding session with pumped breastmilk rather than formula. The extra milk should make your baby full and the stimulation from the pumping will encourage your body to produce more milk to meet the demands of your baby. If your baby does not seem to be gaining weight properly, supplementing may be necessary. However, if your baby is gaining weight properly and your child's doctor has not expressed a concern there is no reason to supplement with formula.
Other times, the mother simply wishes to provide formula as part of the baby's nutrition. Supplementing with a bottle can give other family members a chance to feed the baby as well. Some mothers need to go back to work and pumping has not been successful. At that point, formula would become a source of nutrition for the baby when mother and baby are separated.
If you need to supplement with formula, choose a formula that your baby likes and digests well. Not all formula is created equal. Some brands will be easier for them digest and some will cause your baby to have increased gas and fussiness. You may also find that your breastfed baby does not like the taste of formula. Formula and breastmilk have completely different tastes. There is nothing wrong with mixing breastmilk and formula together to make the transition smoother. Just remember to follow the guidelines for mixing and storing formula.
Some breastfed babies will not take to a bottle very easily because they have become accustomed to the breast. Try different bottles and nipples until you find one that your baby accepts. If your baby will not accept the bottle from you, allow a family member or friend to feed the baby. Sometimes the mother's scent or presence will interfere with a breastfed baby learning to accept a bottle. If your baby is so hungry that he is crying, it is best not to try the bottle because he will be so frustrated and upset that the attempt will likely fail.
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