When we give birth, we’re always asked if we’re bottle feeding or breast feeding. Those are given to us like they’re the only options when they’re not. Combination feeding is an option that gives you the best of both.
You can give your baby the ‘best’ in breast and have the ability to share the love and load with a bottle.
Combination feeding comes in many ways. Breast milk pumped and given with a bottle combined with breast feeds, bottle feeds containing formula combined with breastfeeding or even formula bottles and breast milk bottles combined. Whatever suits yours and your baby’s needs.
If you feel that you want to combination feed then don’t let anyone put you off. Any and all breast milk is good for your baby whether that comes straight from the source or through a bottle.
Reasons for combination feeding ;
#1 Low milk supply –
It may not be common but it certainly is something real. Four months into breastfeeding R and I’m sure I still have a low supply (well, lower than most people) Topping up with bottles, whether they contain breast milk or formula can be a great way to take the strain off. If you are looking to increase your supply it’s important to still pump otherwise your milk supply will drop more.
#2 Sore nipples –
At the beginning it can be so hard to get the right latch no matter how many times you try and how many breastfeeding consultants you see. Your baby may even have tongue tie. To allow yourself time to heal you may find expressing and feeding with a bottle helpful. If it is the difference between you to keep trying or giving up altogether then its definitely worth it.
#3 Going back to work –
Not everyone has the luxury (or not, if your kids drive you mad) of staying home so combination feeding is perfect, you still get to have the experience of breast feeding but you’re also able to go back to work knowing your baby is provided for. Regularly expressing during the day will keep your milk supply up and if baby still wants to, you can feed at the breast when you’re home.
#4 Share the load –
Night feeds are hard work and when you’re in the newborn sleepless nights stage we could all do with some help. Introducing a bottle so someone else can feed while you get some sleep (night or day) can make all the difference.
#5 Because you want to –
There’s loads of reasons to combination feed. Whether you have a low milk supply, need the sleep or simply just because you want to it doesn’t matter. As long as you are feeding your baby, they are growing nicely and are healthy then combination feeding is a great choice.
Although combination feeding can be a great choice it’s not for everyone. Babies can refuse the bottle or breast and may get confused. It’s also important to remember to express when giving a bottle over the breast to ensure the milk supply doesn’t drop.
Do you have any experience with combination feeding or are you wanting to try it?
Until the next post.