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Is it okay to feed your baby both breast milk and formula?

My son is 5 weeks now, he wont latch on so I have to pump to feed him and my breast milk isn't coming in very well... I can only get about 2.5 oz total from both sides. I'm taking Fenugreek to help my milk come in better but it hasn't kicked in yet... in the mean time I can't exactly let my child starve :( I've heard from a few other moms that it's okay to use both... to give him my milk and fill him up the rest of the way with formula, but my husband thinks it's going to mess with his stomach. What do you think? And if I can use formula what is the your opinion on the best kind of formula?

Thanks :)

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Asked by Beanzy22 at 5:55 PM on Mar. 3, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (11)
  • It's ok as long as YOU'RE ok with it, and it can damage your supply further. Have you been to an IBCLC or contacted LLL? It's only 5 weeks, and breastfeeding can still be established. In the meantime, I understand that you need to feed your child. 2.5 oz per session is actually a great amount. How often are you pumping, what pump are you using? These things can make a big difference. The "best" formula is different for each child. It's the one that your baby takes well.

    Answer by Krysta622 at 6:00 PM on Mar. 3, 2010

  • You can use both. I did that with my twins for a while because I could never pump quite enough to feed both of them. Be aware that when you supplement with formula it is even harder to get your supply up since it is not mandatory (I'm not saying don't do it - just try to limit the formula as much as possible). Giving breast milk first is a good idea because you will waste less that way. I actually mixed the formula and the breast milk together because I needed to save time any way I could with two babies. One of my twins did spit up a lot when on breast milk and formula combined, but the other did fine. the pediatrician said it was normal to see some extra spit up when you use both methods. I eventually went entirely to formula, and spit up decreased at that point. To help you best stay on track with breastfeeding make an appointment with a lactation consultant. GL!


    Answer by Anonymous at 6:06 PM on Mar. 3, 2010

  • I pump every hour if I'm awake... he sleeps for 2 hours at a time so while we're sleeping I pump every 2 hours. I use evenflo pumps... I have a manual and an automatic one, same brand. When I give him the 2.5 oz he still makes the kissy face like he's hungry... I was able to pump more than once while he slept yesterday and he got 4 oz and he ate the whole thing and then he fell right asleep and slept for 4 hours, which was amazing because he is so angry and screams and cries... I was up for over 24 hours because he just would not sleep. So after he was full he slept for 4 hours. I just want to be able to feed him to where he's full... I don't want to completely put him on formula, I still want him to have breast milk.. and I only want to give him formula if I'm not able to pump enough. I just didn't want to do it if it's going to hurt his stomach.

    Answer by Beanzy22 at 6:08 PM on Mar. 3, 2010

  • It's good that you're pumping a lot. I'd suggest every 2 hrs around the clock. BUT your pump.... I'm sorry, it's garbage. Evenflo pumps are really meant for occasional use, and even then, they usually cause lots of problems for people. I'd give a smaller amount of formula. If you're giving 2.5 oz of BM, I'd only give 1-2 oz of formula after, at 5 weeks old. How much fenugreek are you taking? Are you doing/taking anything else for supply? Have you looked into professional help with latching, or do you WANT to just pump?

    Answer by Krysta622 at 6:24 PM on Mar. 3, 2010

  • My milk wasn't coming in well, so I used a supplementer - which was given to me by a lactation consultant and is a very thin tube which attaches to the nipple, at the opposite end of the tube is a container into which you can pour formula, so your breasts are being stimulated to produce more milk, your son is getting any milk you are producing, and your child is getting a small amount of formula to fill up his tummy. Giving bottles sometimes causes a problem because the milk comes out easier and the baby gets used to being lazy and won't want to "work" to nurse.

    Answer by missanc at 6:45 PM on Mar. 3, 2010

  • Oh! Yes! missanc-I don't know why I didn't think to recommend a SNS! I'm glad YOU thought of suggesting it. It's a great idea to stimulate production. Although, I don't know how well it will work with a baby that won't latch. You've got to get the latch problem solved if you want to successfully nurse directly from the breast. But I don't know what your long term goals are. If that's what you want, it can be done.

    Answer by Krysta622 at 7:06 PM on Mar. 3, 2010

  • Get help with your latch asap! PUmping exclusively can be done but is hard work and must be done properly. Consult with your local LLL and also  and    and also join the breastfeeding moms group for help.

    Remember that every formula bottle you give it will eat into your supply and you are having issues already.


    Answer by amileegirl at 8:04 PM on Mar. 3, 2010

  • It's perfectly fine and safe to do both but I would try to get some breastfeeding support either through a LC or the La Leche League first.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:12 AM on Mar. 4, 2010

  • Thanks for the advice. I know my pumps are pretty crappy but the only other ones I saw were soooo expensive :/ & for the fenugreek, the bottle says take2 a day. I've noticed that it's getting easier to pump.. but its still not as much as I'd like. Before I started taking the pills it'd take me 30 mins to get my 2.5oz but now it flows faster. & I ended up having to give him a little formula tonight because my wonderful little dog spilled all the milk I had pumped & I couldn't get anymore out for him. He ate 4oz & then went to sleep..& as for trying 2 get him to latch on.. It'd be alot easier but my only worry is I wont know how much food he's getting. When I pump I can visibly see how much he's getting which I like. But my plan was that even if I give him formula I'll still pump constantly... I'll always give him breastmilk over formula.. that'll just be a little extra in case he's still hungry after the BM.

    Answer by Beanzy22 at 2:00 AM on Mar. 4, 2010

  • I had the same problem with my twins. Too exhausted, and not enough milk. Used formula to supplement, and sometimes I forgot which one I had fed which way--so I ended up with chubby little babies--but happy. LOL I have read that, the more you let the baby nurse, the more milk you make. If that is true, you should just trust your body and let him nurse longer, and more frequently.
    But--you know your body, and your baby best. And you know what's best for him. Just do what's in your heart, and don't listen to anyone who tries to put a guilt trip on you!
    It's love and cuddling and care and attention your baby needs--YOU--and, in the long run, it won't matter...
    Good luck, and God bless!

    Answer by OldnWiseMom at 2:12 AM on Mar. 4, 2010

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