Can I Give My Baby Breast Milk and Formula?
You can certainly combine breastfeeding and formula. However, try avoiding this until your baby is at least 8 weeks old. By giving your baby both breastmilk and formula too early, your milk supply may dwindle.
As a parent of a new baby, you likely have questions and things you worry about at night. Some of the most common things parents worry about include car seats, sleeping habits, etc. But one of the most important worries is your baby’s nutritional needs.
You hear so much controversy over whether it is better to breastfeed or formula feed your baby. Most experts lean toward breast milk, but for some moms, breastfeeding is just not possible.
Benefits of Breastfeeding
Nutritional Benefits of Breastfeeding
The benefits of breastfeeding are very obvious. It is a natural source of nutrition created specifically by the mother for that particular baby.
Breast milk is full of antibodies, vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates and fats that are essential for the baby’s diet. Breastmilk is the perfect concoction of these key nutrients that are building blocks for the baby’s immune system and overall health.
So allowing your baby to drink breastmilk when they are at their youngest stage is a very good idea and is definitely the healthiest option overall. However, if your life doesn’t allow for an all breastfed baby, giving your baby breastmilk and formula is the next best thing.
Emotional Benefits of Breastfeeding
Not only is breastfeeding physically healthy for your child, but emotionally it is one of the best things you can do for your baby.
That first interaction with mother is so important to the babies feeling of attachment and love towards her. Your baby will also feel as though feeding time is also bonding time. For this reason, babies get so attached to breastfeeding and are typically closer to their mother than a baby that is not breastfed.
Mental Benefits of Breastfeeding
If you’re currently only considering formula and are wondering if giving your baby breastmilk and formula is an option, I would strongly advise it for your baby’s mental health as well.
Mentally, breastmilk has been proven to exponentially add to brain growth and development. Moreover, the emotional closeness that breastfed babies feel with their mothers carries with them through life making them more confident and mentally sharp.
Breastfeeding for Disease Prevention
Another reason giving your baby breastmilk is beneficial to the baby’s health is that the antibodies and vitamins present in breastmilk aid in disease prevention.
Research has shown that breastfed babies are 72% less likely to be hospitalized for respiratory infections than a baby that is not. Breastfed babies have a 50% less chance of dying from SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) than a baby that is strictly bottle-fed.
This is because breastmilk has all the nutrients your baby needs, specifically immunoglobulins A and other antibodies that are a direct match to your child’s DNA. This helps your baby become more armored and protected against disease-causing cells.
So now that you are up to speed on why breastfeeding is so heavily promoted and strongly suggested as your form of nutrition for your baby, let’s talk about why giving baby breastmilk and formula is also a great choice.
If you’re a busy mother that just simply cannot keep up with the demands of constantly breastfeeding your baby, giving your baby breastmilk and formula is the next best option. Formula has its perks too!
Benefits of Formula
Convenience of the Bottle
Although we know the many, many benefits of breastfeeding and how breastmilk is so healthy for the baby, we sometimes forget the work that goes into breastfeeding for mothers.
For some, breastfeeding may be simple and their bodies are naturally good at producing and expelling the milk. But for many women, this is not the case. They may have production issues where their bodies just don’t produce enough milk to satisfy the baby. This can make feeding time a stressful and long process.
Perhaps they work full time and have to try finding time to pump is hard. Storing and labeling breastmilk on a daily basis can become tiresome to a working mother.
Daddy Can Feed Too
Another commonly overlooked benefit of forumula is that it allows Dad to participate in feeding time. A formula-fed baby depends on both mom and dad to provide it with meals.
This makes your baby more likely to bond with daddy just as they’ve bonded with mommy during breastfeeding.
It is nice for the father to feel like he has a role in the baby’s care. Feeding a baby is a rewarding experience you wouldn’t want to ever deny a father.
This allows mom to take a break while daddy takes over for a while which brings us to our next pro of formula feeding.
Gives Mom a Break
Let’s face it. The most common reason why giving baby breastmilk and formula is a great idea is because mom is tired and sometimes needs a break. Breastmilk can only come from the mother. Therefore, it adds a huge task that cannot be alleviated by anyone else. After carrying the baby for nine months, giving birth to the child and being the primary caretaker of him/her, Mom might need a break!
It’s healthy to catch a break and sleep through the night a few times a week. With bottle feeding, Mom can do just that.
Only you can make the right decision for your baby. However, never allow others to shame you for giving your baby breastmilk and formula. Sometimes supplementing with formula is the best thing for you to do.