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Combining Breastfeeding and System Feeding

Giving your child method along with breastfeeding known as supplementing. It is fully high quality and completely protected to do.

Many households select such a mixture feeding technique, whether or not out of necessity (e.g. low breast milk provide), comfort, or just private selection. In some instances, breastfeeding and offering method could also be advisable by a health care provider for medical causes.

Verywell / Brianna Gilmartin

Causes for Supplementing With System

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the World Well being Group (WHO) suggest breastfeeding solely for the primary 4 to 6 months after which persevering with to breastfeed up till one 12 months or longer, together with the introduction of stable meals.

For this and different causes, together with feelings and value, making the choice to complement with method will not be a straightforward one.

Whereas many dad and mom breastfeed their infants and provides them method as a result of they wish to, others accomplish that as a result of they should. No matter whether or not all or none of those causes for supplementing apply to you, the choice is solely yours.

Your Baby Has Medical Points

In case your child was born prematurely or with sure medical situations, they could want extra than simply breast milk. Supplementing is usually accomplished for the aim of serving to a child achieve weight.

You Have a Low Breast Milk Provide

A earlier breast surgical procedure or sure medical situations can intervene with the manufacturing of breast milk, although any lady can expertise low provide. In the event you or your physician really feel that your child isn’t getting sufficient breast milk via breastfeeding alone, you might must complement with toddler method.

You are Going Again to Work

It might be too tough or tense to pump at work, or you will have a lower in your breast milk provide as soon as you come back to work. If you do not have a stockpile of breast milk saved within the freezer, you will have to complement your child’s eating regimen with method.

Your Accomplice Desires to Take part

Your companion might wish to participate in feedings (and also you would possibly welcome sharing the accountability). You might pump and use your breast milk, otherwise you may give your infant a bottle of method infrequently.

You Have Multiples

Completely breastfeeding twins or triplets is usually a problem. Not solely do it’s important to construct and keep a big sufficient breast milk provide, however you may be breastfeeding fairly often. It’s possible you’ll simply want a break just a few instances a day (each bodily and mentally), and method feedings can assist with that.

You Simply Need to

It’s possible you’ll merely have a private desire to breastfeed among the time and provides your child method the remainder of the time.

When Docs Advocate Supplementation

When potential, most docs suggest unique breastfeeding. Nonetheless, at sure instances your doctor might want you to complement your breastfed child with method. This might embody any of the next circumstances:

  • Fewer than six moist diapers in a 24-hour interval
  • Fussiness and indicators of starvation quickly after feedings
  • Gradual weight achieve after the primary few days
  • Weight lack of greater than 10% of physique weight within the first few days of life

Introducing System

In the event you’re not supplementing your youngster for medical causes, consultants suggest breastfeeding for a minimum of one month earlier than beginning method. This offers you time to construct up a wholesome breast milk provide and be sure that your child is breastfeeding nicely. At this level, you possibly can slowly start so as to add method.

Whereas it’s OK to place breast milk and method in the identical bottle you probably have already ready the method, mixing them can result in wasted breast milk in case your child doesn’t end the bottle. If potential, give breast milk first, then end the feeding with method.

For security causes, you must by no means mix your breast milk with unmixed powdered or concentrated method. All the time put together method in response to the producer’s instructions, utilizing clear water.

Earlier than selecting an toddler method in your youngster, discuss to your pediatrician. Most suggest an iron-fortified toddler method in the course of the first 12 months of life.

In case your child develops a rash, vomiting, diarrhea, extreme crying, fussiness, or gasoline after beginning method, it could be an allergy. Cease utilizing the method and verify with the child’s physician to debate different toddler method choices.

How Including System Impacts You

Supplementing will probably be a change in case you’ve been solely breastfeeding. If potential, add method progressively in order that your physique can alter.

Begin With One or Two System Bottles a Day

Every day, your physique makes breast milk primarily based on the idea of provide and demand. Whenever you begin to add method, it could actually have an effect on how a lot breast milk you make.

In the event you plan on supplementing one or two bottles per week, it should not have an effect on your breast milk provide. However in case you give your youngster one or two bottles of method a day, your milk provide will start to drop.

Add Extra System Slowly

Going from not supplementing to giving lots of bottles in a brief interval may trigger issues comparable to breast engorgement and blocked milk ducts. It might additionally trigger your youngster gastrointestinal points.

Think about Pumping or Hand Expressing

Both observe can assist keep your breast milk provide and stop among the widespread breastfeeding issues that may pop up while you skip nursing to bottle feed. Eradicating your breast milk will assist relieve the fullness that breast engorgement could cause.

One other profit is which you could retailer your pumped breast milk to make use of at a later time. Relying on the way you retailer it, breast milk can keep within the freezer for as much as one 12 months.

How Including System Impacts Your Child

In the event you’ve been solely breastfeeding your child and start so as to add method to their every day eating regimen, there are some issues you might begin to discover. Normally, these are simply a part of the transition and your child will ultimately alter to the brand new routine.

Refusing the Bottle

Your youngster might refuse to take the bottle, particularly in case you’re the one giving it to them. The transition might go extra easily in case your companion or one other caregiver gives the method.

Other than merely wanting milk from the breast, some infants might have a tough time getting the grasp of utilizing a bottle. Others may not just like the style of the method.

Ready Longer Between Feedings

Since your child can digest breast milk extra simply than toddler method, the latter permits them to really feel fuller longer. They could not appear hungry as rapidly after method feedings as they do after breastfeeding.

Refusing the Breast

Refusing the bottle is normally not a difficulty after a while. After your youngster will get used to the method and ingesting from a bottle, nevertheless, you will have the reverse challenge: They could not wish to nurse. Ingesting from the breast takes extra work, and lots of infants find yourself discovering method extra satisfying.

Adjustments in Bowel Actions

Including method to your child’s eating regimen might change the sample, coloration, and consistency of your child’s poop (e.g., it could be firmer, darker in coloration, and have a stronger odor than earlier than). Your youngster may poop much less typically when you begin giving them method.

A Phrase From Verywell

The last word purpose of each mother or father is to have a contented, wholesome child who’s rising and thriving. It is nice in case you can breastfeed solely, nevertheless it’s not all the time potential or fascinating for each mother or father.

Breastfeeding does not should be all or nothing. Each child and scenario is exclusive, and a mixture of breastfeeding and method may match greatest for your loved ones.

Verywell Household makes use of solely high-quality sources, together with peer-reviewed research, to assist the info inside our articles. Learn our editorial course of to study extra about how we fact-check and maintain our content material correct, dependable, and reliable.


Further Studying

  • Breastfeeding and the usage of human milk. Pediatrics. 2012;129(3):e827-41. doi:10.1542/peds.2011-3552


By Donna Murray, RN, BSN

Donna Murray, RN, BSN has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Rutgers College and is a present member of Sigma Theta Tau, the Honor Society of Nursing.

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