Whether you are returning to work fairly quickly, wish your family or friends to be more involved in feeding, or just prefer the convenience of your baby being able to breastfeed and take a bottle, mixed breast and bottle feeding may be the preferred choice for you.
If you want to mix breast and bottle, but do not want to use formula, you can express some of your own milk to be given to your baby by bottle. In this way you will still ensure that your baby is only receiving breast milk while giving yourself the flexibility of bottle feeding when needed.
For more information on pumping and bottle feeding, see Breast and bottle feeding with ebm
There are many reasons why a breastfeeding mother may choose to introduce formula - a working mom may not have the opportunities to pump her own milk or may find pumping unsuccessful. Mothers may have difficulty with their milk supply and formula supplements may be recommended by their doctor. Families may also simply feel that using formula occasionally is the right choice for them. Tracy Hogg was very keen to support mothers who choose combined feeding and we continue her legacy. We all have to do what is right for our families to make them healthy, happy, well-nourished babies. For various reasons, exclusive breastfeeding may not be the best choice for you and your family.
Breastfeeding does not have to be all or nothing - ANY amount of breastmilk is going to be beneficial to your baby. The antibodies actually become more concentrated as a mother's supply decreases, so every little bit of breastmilk your baby receives will help strengthen their immune system and prevent infections.
For more information on mixed feeding, see Mixed feeding (breastmilk and formula)
For more information on supplementing with formula due to slow weight gain or supply issues, see Formula Supplements
Many, many more moms all over the world are being told about the advice to exclusively breastfeed for 6mo, delaying introduction of any other source of nutrition (solids, formula, etc.) until that point. However, many of these same moms are not given the information behind that recommendation, which can leave people feeling confused. We want to ensure that we are giving as much information as possible so that families can make an informed choice regarding how they feed their babies, if it is a choice they are able to make.
If you are a mom who is currently successfully breastfeeding but is thinking of introducing formula, you may want to read this FAQ to get information on why exclusive breastfeeding is recommended when possible: For those who have the choice - why exclusive breastfeeding is recommended.
References:Mixing breastmilk and formula from The New Parents Guide website Pros and cons of mixed feeding from MumsnetInformation on mixed feeding and bottle refusal from the Ask Baby websiteWhy most women don't need to supplement with formula from breastfeeding.comInformation on breastfeeding and formula feeding from the Medicinenet websiteCombining breast and bottle feeding from the babycentre websiteBreastmilk needs calculator from the Kellymom websiteSUPPORT THREAD FOR MUMS WHO CHOSE TO BREASTFEED & FORMULA FEED