Can you give a newborn breastmilk and formula?

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Merry - posted on 07/14/2011

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Ella, any amount of breastmilk is beneficial. If baby must have formula it is best to still give it breastmilk as much as possible.
Simple fact that breastmilk is a living liquid with immunities in it to protect the baby, and formula is not. So yes formula is not evil, yes babies thrive on it. But no it isn't better to do just formula then to do half and half.
ANY amount of breastmilk is better then none.

User - posted on 07/08/2011

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But your milk would have come in quicker if you had only nursed to begin with. It can take up to a week for milk to come in, and then up to 6 weeks for breastfeeding to become established.

Elfrieda - posted on 09/01/2011

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Laura, that's fine advice in some situations, but we need to be careful with it. I left my baby to starve for over a month before I was convinced to start supplementing, exactly because of that line of reasoning. He had gained only a few ounces from his 3rd month to his 4th. He was very skinny and ugly and crying all the time when I realized it. (since the change was gradual I didn't really notice) I felt terrible and still do, even though he's almost 2 now and quite a porker. :(

Merry - posted on 09/06/2011

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That's sad! All the old people I see while I'm nursing smile at me or even give a thumbs up!

Sherri - posted on 09/02/2011

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No way Laura. I don't have the same views on breastfeeding as you do. Honestly the only reason I will even attempt to make it to 6mo's is cost savings because honestly I think bottles are a million times easier, especially running the way our schedule demands of us during the school year with the 3 other kids. There are some days we are stuck in the car for several hours at a time.

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[deleted account]

Ya it is good, not really good, but good in this world! :D
2% Is such a shame, Irish people are so against it, I think its the drinking culture here. Such a pity. But people are starting to accept it a bit more I think, in England especially. I still get some funny looks and tuts from elderly people but hey? It makes it more interesting... :P x

Merry - posted on 09/06/2011

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America
Lol I think 17% is awful, but I guess it's better then 3% :/

Jay - posted on 09/06/2011

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@ Laura
WOW where are you that the rate is 17% at 1 year? ?
That is incredible!!!!
I am in Ireland and it is 2% to 6 MONTHS!!
And in England it is 3% to 6 months!
That is actually good considering..... :D
I am really interested to know where you are from? xx

Jay - posted on 09/06/2011

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Yes but I would try to hold off on the formula for 3-6 weeks to avoid nipple confusion and to bring in a good supply for you so that you can breastfeed in the future. But if you need to do it right away for some reason then you can, just try to breast feed as much as possible in the early weeks
good luck xx

Merry - posted on 09/02/2011

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Well IMO 6 months is an admirable goal in this country. I obviously advocate for two years or more but in a country where some women still think boobs are purely for sex I am thrilled to hear of even a 6 month goal.
But honestly Sherri you seem to me to be such a smart loving dedicated mom and I would have thought that you would aim at the full year.....

Sherri - posted on 09/01/2011

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Okay so probably not the best wording. I guess I call a 6-7mo old a baby and not an infant any longer. Although technically I guess they are. I was never saying that in first place though just not the greatest of wording.

Kate CP - posted on 09/01/2011

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Yes, I read what you said. And from what you said you wouldn't nurse past infancy. You also said you wouldn't nurse past 6 months. Ergo, you believe a 7 month old is no longer an infant.

Sherri - posted on 09/01/2011

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Ummmm I do and all I said is that I wouldn't breastfeed past infancy. To me 6mo's is my limit and is the normal limit for most moms in my area. There are some parents that opt to go longer than that but it isn't very prevalent.

Sherri - posted on 09/01/2011

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Well it is still an option by the mom Laura and if most moms opt not too breastfeed at all or have to return to work as I did when my babies were infants it isn't so much it is over used but a necessity since I could no longer breastfeed since I would be away from them for 8hrs a day (at least for the first two)

I am pregnant with #4 and although my intent is too breastfeed even if all goes perfectly I have no intention of going longer then 5-6mo's then they will be solely switched to formula at that point and that is being home full time. It isn't always that it is overused as much as most mom's such as myself are not comfortable breastfeeding past that point. Which is also told by the statistics it is a valid alternative.

I commend you for extended breastfeeding although I couldn't even fathom it past infancy in my own life.

Merry - posted on 09/01/2011

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Well since the stats are suggesting that 99% of moms can breastfeed and that 99% of babies are best off drinking breastmilk it does seem supplementation is way way way overused since barely 17% of babies are still breastfed at a year.

Sherri - posted on 09/01/2011

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I can't agree that supplementation is over used either. I actually disagree with that.

Elfrieda - posted on 09/01/2011

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Well, I think it might have been a combination of things, maybe a bit of stress combined with genetics combined with a baby who slept through the night.



I was a bit stressed out because my husband's job situation was very iffy and he was not Mr Happy Sunshine at home, we were in the middle of moving, my son had colic (which is why I didn't notice the change in constant crying from "woe is me life sucks" to "mommy why am I hungry?"), and he slept 5-7 hours at a stretch at night from 10 weeks old. So I don't really know. My mom had trouble making enough for me and my sister, too. I tried a lot of the remedies that people talk about on here, and even some prescription meds, but nothing worked. I still nursed along with bottles until he was 8 months old, when I let him stop nursing for fear he'd develop a complex. (he screamed every time I lifted up my shirt because I had a very slow let-down, and he preferred bottles. Terrible as it is to say, I wish I had stopped sooner.



I don't know if supplementation is over-used. All the women I know with babies around my son's age had/have no problems with supply, and a few of their babies refuse to have anything to do with bottles at all. One switched to formula in the hope that he'd sleep through the night. (it didn't work)



I still have hopes to do better next time.

Merry - posted on 09/01/2011

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Did you ever figure out why that happened? I don't mean to discredit true supply issues,but in most women their supply is really simply increased.
Bt I'm sure you would agree that in general, supplementation is over used.
Sorry if I picked a wound there :(

Merry - posted on 09/01/2011

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Raquel the only way to get your supply up is to let the baby suck on you when you have little milk in there, so essentially baby needs to drink all the milk, and still be hungry, so he keeps sucking trying to get more and your body realizes it didn't make enough! So next time it makes even more. But if you are letting him eat til it's empty, then giving a bottle, your body has no idea it's not making enough! So it makes the same every time, or worse, less :(
So if you need more milk you have to let your son suck on the empty breasts enough to send them a message to make more, yes he might be angry, and frustrated that there's no milk, but let him suck, try to not give the bottle if possible, he has to signal your breasts to make more or they won't make more. It does sort of suck to watch your baby fighting at an empty breast but in the end that's how we are designed to make enough milk, our babies signal the breast to make more and our body responds!

Raquel - posted on 08/31/2011

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yes you can. i do it cause my son eats like a horse! lol =) And i'll keep doing it until i get my supply up more

Ashley - posted on 08/26/2011

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The thing is I have an awesome milk supply,due to the fact tthat I pumped like crazy after there birth and every 2 hrs.Just had my younger twin weighed and he is losing weight,he is just over 6 pounds.My oldest is almost at 10 pounds.So we have decided that he will be drinking pumped hindmilk in addition to Enfamil premature a few times a day.I dont like formula,but really its not the enemy and when you are out of options you work with what you have,after all its about keeping our kids fed thats important here.

[deleted account]

Well you can... but it MIGHT irritate their tummy.

It's probably not a good idea though since you want to get your supply established. The more formula you give, the less milk you will make... also it'll take longer for your milk to really come in.

Jessica - posted on 08/19/2011

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that lactation consultant think she pays your bills?

I heard that one before. they did that to a friend of mine... a single mom from the get go. HOW did they expect her to just stay home without an income? That one was rich. we laughed and fumed together for DAYS.

I agree with Laura. I wish they did that here.

Merry - posted on 08/19/2011

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That sucks :( I wish we had a year off like so many other countries have. I had to go back to work after my first, but only part time so I was able to avoid formula. Nw with my second I'm staying home fo now but my husband has two jobs and college so I'm trying to get a part time job where I can stay home and work.

Ashley - posted on 08/19/2011

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They are not taking full feedings from just breastmilk yet,they are just not transferring enough milk for some reason,plus I am going back to work and will not have time to pump all the time.I have seen a lactation consultant and she thinks i should give it more time and stay home with the boys,but I have to work.

Merry - posted on 08/19/2011

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If you just got them to latch on why are you going onto just formula soon?

Ashley - posted on 08/19/2011

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Breastmilk is best...thats what the nicu docs say and its awesome that they are able to take it,but its not enough.They take a specialized formula enfamil premature and they only get a few bottles of it a day,but it has helped with there growth tremendously.Ipumped for the past few months and now just recently been able to physically nurse.

Merry - posted on 08/19/2011

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Average is 22, but the range is commonly between 13-35 depending on what time of the feed you calculate, the foremilk is thinner waterier and less calories, the hind milk is the thick fatty milk with tons of calories.
But no study has shown that the calories make a difference in babies growth, instead it's the volume of milk eaten that affects growth.
It's good you're not guilty! I don't want anyone to be guilty. :) just trying to weed out common myths about human milk :)
I always thought drs said that the more premature babies are the more vital breastmilk is, that's why milk banks won't give to healthy term babies, only to premature or sickly babies. Because human milk is so much more important to the small or sick babes.

Ashley - posted on 08/19/2011

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My sons are on 24 calorie formula and bm is only 20 calories i believe per ounce.....My sons were born 2 months early so I feel that supplementation is neccessary and dont feel guilty at all.

Jessica - posted on 08/19/2011

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I think you are all doing a good job.^.^ Thats the bottom line. As long as we do what is our best, then we are all doing a good job.^.^ I have just recently stopped feeling guilty over the supplementation and the need to use formula, as I have come to peace with my very healthy boys(an: Rowan has been sick ONCE his entire life while I was still breastfeeding, and that was because I had the stomach flu so...). I did my best with both of them and they are very healthy.

My mother did her best and I was NOT healthy(though a doc did say that the little breastmilk my mother had managed was the reason why they could work with me to build an immune system since I had a trace immune system from it. This doc also said that was not a proven fact(this was almost 20 years ago so I am not sure what they would say now).

Anyway, My mom was a good mom, and I am told I am a good mom, because we love our kids and want what is best.

Sometimes it ends up being both, sometimes it ends up being breast, and sometimes(though I know some will disagree) it ends up being formula. For my kids, after months of trying I formula was best for them.

Someones else s situation may differ but... I think that your all doing great. ^.^ Keep it up!

Ashley - posted on 08/19/2011

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I have to give my twins breast and formula(they need the extra calories)Im planning on going on all formula soon.I would go with what your pedi says.If your baby is thriving on your milk then I would say dont do formula,however of course if she needs extra calories than formula may need to be considered.

Tanya - posted on 07/20/2011

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Ella, that's exactly why we need milk banks! So that if a baby really DOES need some supplementation, they don't have to have formula.


I'm sorry you had such a rough time, sounds like you did a super job!

Ella - posted on 07/19/2011

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I was uneducated like you tanya when I began breast feeding and my baby had formula from the day she was born because I couldnt latch her by 2 weeks old she she fully breast fed and didnt have a dorp of formula since (shes 1 now) but it isnt really good enough, it does not give your baby the full benefits of breast feeding , she still got sick and everyhing because I gave her formula. I don't think I couldhave manged any other way though I wasnt going to starve her and I couldn't actually take the pain anymore but still if I could go back I might have been able to not use formula on the day she was born and not start that pattern of bottles and hence me not having enough milk for her, I ended up having to expressed between and after feeds all night and day

Tanya - posted on 07/19/2011

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You can, but I wouldn't, personally. My first had less than an ounce of formula in his first couple of days, because he just seemed so hungry. We used a syringe and a SNS (supplemental nursing system), so he never had a bottle. But, I later learned that ANY formula, when introduced to a newborn's gut, changes their gut flora, and can actually influence them getting allergies or GI disorders later on. Breast milk is designed to transition babies from the womb to the outside world perfectly. I would never again want to do anything to mess with that perfection.


Baby #2 weighed 9 lbs. 15 oz., and has never had a drop of formula. He is now 14.5 months, and 29 lbs., and still nurses often.

Eboni - posted on 07/14/2011

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Yep! I've done both when my baby was a newborn, but now I exclusively give him formula...

Angela - posted on 07/14/2011

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I breastfed for the first year of my daughter's life. It was the best thing ever. We bonded in a special way, the natural process shrinks the uterus back to it's normal size faster, I lost all my baby weight plus a few pounds, and it's better for the baby than formula. But the decision is ultimately up to you.

Minnie - posted on 07/14/2011

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Yes. Breastfeeding exclusively is ideal, but plenty of mothers do a combination. Your baby isn't going to maintain the ideal gut pH and flora it would on breastmilk alone and the bovine proteins in formula are more difficult to digest, but clearly babies typically do fine on formula.

Holding off on bottles as long as possible or using a dropper, finger feeding system (or supplemental nursing system) or a cup are the best ways to prevent flow preference.

[deleted account]

To the OP, yes- you can use a combination of breastmilk and formula. While extreme pro-nursing moms frown upon it, using formula to feed your baby is not the end of the world! I started to supplement my son at 3 weeks old with formula because he was simply starving, and nursing nursing nursing-well my body was just not producing enough to fill him. When my son was still only hovering around 5 1/2 pounds at 3 weeks, yeah, he needed to eat. He thrived more on formula than on breastmilk, although I continued to nurse to the best of my ability for 9 months. I would rather a mother use formula at the same time seek the help and assitance she needs to improve breastfeeding so that baby and mother are both happy and healthy.

Ella - posted on 07/13/2011

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Laura it confuses them its not good, its best to do one or the other. All the child health nurses will tell you that

Merry - posted on 07/13/2011

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Ella, feeding both won't upset their stomach, formula can upset their stomach, but breastmilk is the gentlest thing they can eat so it's no like simply doing both will upset them, it's usually the formula or maybe the dairy in moms diet that upsets babys stomachs.

OP, yes you can, although unless necessary it's healthiest for your baby to not drink formula.

Jessica - posted on 07/11/2011

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yes. I supplemented. seemed to be easier on them when i mixed them in the same bottle though... which the doctor had no problem with...

[deleted account]

I don't know why I didn't post about this the first time I responded. Cup feeding (though messy) is a great way to supplement small amounts of formula w/out risking nipple confusion.

That's what they did w/ my girls (twins) in the hospital until they quit losing weight. They were born small and lost a good chunk of that and couldn't afford to lose anymore. As soon as they stopped losing weight though.... I made them quit the cup feedings which they were perfectly willing to do as long as the girls didn't start losing again... which they didn't. :)

Linda A - posted on 07/09/2011

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yes you can give your baby both especially when you are trying to wing your baby off breast milk...

Ella - posted on 07/09/2011

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you can but it is best to do one or the other. Bottles and breast confuse a baby and can also upset thier tummy having both. Its best to make a choice. I found my baby fussed alot on the breast because the bottle was alot easier, and that formula didnt help my supply

Jodi - posted on 07/08/2011

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Well, my daughter HAD to be supplemented because my milk didn't come in until Day 5, and she was low blood sugar and tube fed in the SCN. Until my milk supply built up, I had to supplement. She was then able to go onto full breastfeeding. So it really depends on the reasons for supplementing. Sometimes it is necessary, and doesn't mean you won't be able to 100% breastfeed in the future.

Elizabeth - posted on 07/08/2011

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I have a friend who was pumping her milk to save for when she went back to work in a few weeks and she used formula for the times she had to be away from the baby saving her pumped milk for work. Her daughter did not have any difficulty.

Cordelia - posted on 07/08/2011

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I think that one must weigh experts opinions with one's own intuitive experience. I was told by experts that I should not supplement but was my son supposed to just be hungry for 2 weeks until my milk came in? That did not work for me. Both my sons were both hungry and colostrum was not enough. My first son I listened to more experts and breastfeeding did not work, my second son I was more tuned with my intuition and was very careful about who I took advice from. And it's working great!

Laura - posted on 07/08/2011

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I gave my daughter formula on occasion. As far as nipple confusion, I wasn't too worried because she had an incredible latch as soon as she was born! I didn't introduce a bottle to her until after a month of nursing. She was pretty interchangeable between bottle and nipple after that.

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