What is mixed feeding?

Breastfeeding has many benefits for both mum and bub, but sometimes things do not go as planned.

As a mum, you may not produce enough milk or your baby may struggle to feed directly from your breasts.

Alternatively, you may suffer with blocked milk ducts or mastitis.

When this happens, or you feel your baby needs extra feeding, it is best to talk to a medical professional about what is best. They might suggest you start mixed feeding.

Mixed feeding is when you supplement breast milk with formula feeding. A baby may benefit from this if they were born premature or had a low birth weight, are ill or have trouble gaining weight.

So, how do you know if you know if you should mix feed?

The first thing to do is consult a midwife, child health nurse or GP who will be able to talk to you about boosting your milk supply, how much formula to give your baby, how often to feed and how long you should do it for.

Many mums worry about their milk supply, especially if their baby cries after feeds or their breasts feel empty.

The best way to know if your baby is getting enough milk is to check their nappy and body language after feeds.

Your baby is getting enough milk if:

  • They have at least five very wet disposable nappies in 24 hours.
  • Poo every day.
  • Are alert and happy after and between feeds.

Mixed feeding also does not have to be forever and could be a great way of transitioning your baby from breast to bottle if you are returning to work.

You may find when your baby starts consuming formular and not your breast milk that they start to prefer the bottle and the consistency, smell and colour of their poo changes.

Alternatively, you may decide you’re ready to increase breastfeeding again. To do this, you can try:

  • Gradually increase your milk supply by expressing after breastfeeding;
  • Increasing how often you breastfeed your baby, or
  • Reducing the amount of formular you offer your baby in each bottle or by cutting out some formula feeds.
 
- Information sourced from www.raisingchildren.net.au 
 
 
 
 
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