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  1. #1

    Is it okay to breastfeed as well as give your baby formula?

    I have a godsister that recently gave birth. She has breastfed her son for the first 3 months of his life, but she'll be going back to work soon and she wants to bottle feed him. She's pretty much weened him off of the breast (only breastfeeds at night) and feeds him breast milk from the bottle. But she's not really producing enough milk to keep him satisfied. Would it be okay to give him one or two bottles per day that are formula, or is 100% breast milk the best way to go?

  2. #2
    100% breast milk is absolutely the best, preferred method. However, many women supplement with formula. If your god sister wants to give him formula than that is her choice. If she feels she is not producing enough milk she can increase the amount by pumping and nursing more frequently. Certain supplements like Fenugreek can also help to boost her supply.

  3. #3
    Thanks mom2many! I think she'd prefer to go the 100% breast milk route, but she wasn't sure what to do because she isn't producing enough milk. I will definitely pass your suggestions on to her.

  4. #4
    I hope your godsister is getting on ok hopefulmom.

    As mom2many said, 100% breastmilk gives a baby the best health benefits including reduced chance of ear infections and long term health effects like reduced chance of being obese in later life. However, that said any amount of breastmilk is of benefit to the baby and your godsister has done a great job to breastfeed her baby for 3 months already.

    Babies are more effective at extracting breast milk than a breast pump is: which is why many women find it more difficult to express enough milk for their baby. However, there are some useful tips to help with expressing enough milk such as:

    -expressing whilst looking at a photo of the baby: this aids 'let down'
    -expressing after a warm shower
    -expressing in the morning
    -expressing after massaging the breasts

    Ultimately, your godsister needs to decide whatever is best for her and the baby. I wish her all the best in whatever she decides.

  5. #5
    I agree with both of the above posts. Trying to exclusively feed breast milk is definitely the best option. Introducing formula can cause some tummy troubles for babies who have never has anything but breast milk, so it would be wonderful if she could only do breast milk. Herbs like Fenugreek (6 capsules a day) and Blessed Thistle (2-3 capsules a day) can help milk production. When taken together, those herbs seem to work well for some women. The tips above for expressing are all good, as well. If she does need to give some formula, it may be easier on the baby if it is mixed with some breast milk. Some babies do not like the taste of formula when they are so used to breast milk. She should also try to express as much as possible to keep up her supply. I know expressing milk can be difficult, so it is wonderful that she is trying. Is there a reason she only feeds her baby from the breast at night? Babies are much more efficient than a breast pump, so only expressing can be quite difficult. She should also check to make sure the flanges (breast shields) on her pump are the correct size, so she is expressing effectively. I wish her luck.

  6. #6
    You have received some excellent advice from Jessica, ljmarsden and mom2many.

    Just today I received a question from a mom who had an extremely low milk supply and wanted to
    crease it, so I created a new thread on the topic. You can find it here: Increasing Breast Milk Supply

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