How To Supplement With Formula While Breastfeeding
Having a child is a magical event that brings enormous amounts of joy to a family. At the same time, there is an equal amount of work involved in their care. One of the most important tasks of caring for an infant is ensuring they get the nutrition they need to thrive. Having the right nutrition at an early age greatly affects a child’s growth. Early nutrition supports improved brain function, strong bones, and helps the immune system to get stronger.
The Power of Breastfeeding
For many mothers, the first choice is breastfeeding. It offers a fully rounded source of nutrition constantly calibrated for the needs of the infant. In addition, it offers vital antibodies newborns and growing babies need to strengthen their immune system during the critical first months and years of their life.
While breastfeeding is the best source of nutrition for newborns and young infants, infant formula also can serve as a valuable source. Many mothers are unable to breastfeed due to illness, work, or simply the child’s inability to latch on. In some cases, mothers may simply need to offer a supplement to their own milk when their own supply is not enough to meet their child’s needs. Whatever the reason, supplementing breastfeeding efforts with infant formula is a healthy way to make sure your child thrives.
The Advantages of Supplementing Breast Milk With Infant Formula
While most new mom’s hope to exclusively breastfeed, sometimes it simply is not meant to be. Other moms start out with the intention of combining breastfeeding with formula feeding. Regardless of the circumstances, it is important to know that supplementing while breastfeeding is a safe practice that offers a wealth of benefits for your child.
Infant formula paired with breastfeeding will ensure that your child is always satiated and also that they are getting the nutrients they need. The first months of a child's life are critical for their brain development, so it is important to ensure they are well fed. Infant formula offers extra vitamins and minerals such as iron, omega-3's, and calcium. When paired with breast milk, European infant formula offers children a solid start in life when they need it the most.
Choose The Right Formula For Your Child
Successful formula supplementing depends on your child and the formula you choose. There are a lot of brands on the market to choose from which can make it hard to select the best one for your child. We suggest choosing a European infant formula that is as close to breastmilk as possible. Infant formula from brands such as Holle, HiPP and Nanny Care are created specifically with infants in mind. The proteins are smaller and many have lutein which helps to prevent constipation. Avoid low iron formulas and ones that contain GMO’s and processed sugar. European formulas, in general, are hormones, antibiotic, and synthetic-free which is what makes them an excellent choice for mothers who are supplementing.
Nipple Confusion Concerns When Supplementing
Many parents worry about nipple confusion when supplementing. While it may occur, the actual number of babies who experience it is very low. The majority of infants have no problem switching between a bottle of HiPP organic infant formula and their mother's nipple. Most pediatricians recommend for mothers to stick to breastfeeding alone for the first six weeks and then introduce infant formula. This will help cut down on nipple confusion and also help mothers to build a steady supply of milk. Mothers who start supplementing from birth may have to work a little harder to teach their infant to latch, but over time, the benefits are the same.
Creating The Best Feeding Experience
Along with choosing a gentle organic European baby formula, you should make a point of making the breastfeeding and bottle feeding experience as similar possible. Your infant will love the feeling of being close to you while they feed, replicating that feeling while also using a bottle of Holle infant formula will ensure they like both. Just as you switch sides and snuggle when breastfeeding, you should also do the same with a bottle. Skin on skin contact is also important, consider holding your infant against your belly or chest during bottle feedings.
Feeding Frequency When Supplementing with Organic Infant Formula
Exact feeding schedules when supplementing should be discussed with your pediatrician. Each child has different nutritional needs that may mean they need to be fed more often or less often than another child. In general, it is a good idea to breastfeed more often while spacing out the formula feeding when supplementing. Many mothers will use European infant formula often right after birth and lessen the formula feedings as their milk supply increases. Other mothers may start off by breastfeeding more often at the start and then introducing formula as their infant gets older or they prepare to return to the workforce. Typically, offering a bottle of formula an hour or two after a breastfeeding session will give them the supplement they need without replacing their main milk source.
Trust in the Process
Feeding is often the most difficult part of raising an infant, but trusting your instincts and the process will result in a healthy, happy child. When supplementing it is harder to track how much a child eats, so instead of focusing on the number of bottles or feedings they complete, instead pay close attention to their growth. Pay attention to your instincts and ignore outside commentary on your feeding habits. Follow the advice of your pediatrician in regards to how much breast milk and how much European infant formula your child should have.
Babies go through stages where they may eat every hour as well as when they may feel satiated and eat only every few hours. Pay close attention to your infant's cues about which food they want and when they want it. Even when you are supplementing, your child may prefer the bottle or the breast at different times. It is okay to break a schedule and offer them their preferred feeding choice. As always, Mommy Formula is always here to offer support and advice when you need it the most.