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Can I supplement FORMULA with breastmilk?

I stopped breastfeeding in my son's first week-week and a half for about 5 days and only pumped once a day, if that, because my nipples were sore due to my son not latching on correctly, and they were cracked and bleeding all the time. Little did I know it was OK to breastfeed while my nipples were torn up, and I should have put some lanolin on them. However I didn't, and now my milk supply is low, making it extremely hard to get back to just breastfeeding/pumping. I'm not interested in breastfeeding my son again because it hurts, and to breastfeed I would have to go into the bathroom because it is so difficult to get alone in my house. However I want my son to get as much breast milk as I can produce. My question is, is it alright to give my son formula for what I cannot produce? I am only able to produce 3 oz a day.

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Asked by mamamorgs at 4:39 AM on Mar. 12, 2011 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 2 (8 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • I will not put you down or belittle you for not continuing. Do what you feel best for your baby!

    You really need to supplement at this point. 3 oz just isn't enough. You're not interested in continuing to breast feed, but you can still totally and safely give your son what you can produce, and supplement formula with the rest. When choosing a formula, I do recommend talking to the pediatrician before choosing one as he/she can probably help guide you in a direction that is best for your baby.


    Answer by Razelda at 4:48 AM on Mar. 12, 2011

  • yes you can. But you needed to check with your dr. Sometime the breastmilk is not enough.

    Answer by Parka54 at 4:48 AM on Mar. 12, 2011

  • Some breast milk is better then none, I only nursed my daughters in the morning and at night because my supply was so low from working I couldn't keep up with her only pumping twice at work so I stopped and nursed then. You could build your supply back up it will take awhile but its possible, the first 3 weeks are awful you get super sore and it hurts so bad when they lach on. Even with my second daughter it hurt like that I thought it wouldn't be so bad because I had only stopped nursing my first 9 months ago. Nope hurt just as bad, just gotta get through it then one day you wake up and its all better ha. I would think if the breast milk wasn't enough he would just want another bottle, I'm sure you know when your baby's hungry and give him formula then. Fenugreek supplements and oats are good milk booster and drinking lots of water like 8oz every time you nurse. The Fenugreet makes you and the baby smell like pancakes lol GL

    Answer by letlovegrow2524 at 5:28 AM on Mar. 12, 2011

  • I HAD to do that with my daughter. She was preemie and the nutritionist said she needed the extra bulk that breastmilk alone would not provide so we supplemented with a special formula. She never actually breastfed (I had to pump) but we mixed breastmilk and formula in her bottles.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:56 AM on Mar. 12, 2011

  • It's not that you can't produce more then 3 oz a day, but rather that you can't pump more then that. But since you are certain you don't want to go back to nursing, yes, you absolutely can do both breast milk and formula. I know that for EPing moms, baby needs about 24-30 oz per 24 hr period, but not sure for formula. There is a chance that if you begin pumping now to do both, you will, at some point, be able to pump more then 3 oz, which will be great because then you can increase the breast milk he gets and decrease the formula.

    Keep in mind that if you change your mind about nursing, you CAN still nurse later on. You can pump and do bottles of EBM and formula now, and decide in 3 mos that you want to try nursing, and if that happens, I just want you to know that you CAN.

    Answer by Krysta622 at 8:55 AM on Mar. 12, 2011

  • Oh, also, I wouldn't put the formula and breast milk in the same bottles. Some moms do, but I wouldn't.

    Answer by Krysta622 at 8:56 AM on Mar. 12, 2011

  • Do what works for you. A relative of mine pumped as much as she could and also gave formula. You are doing fine.

    Answer by elizabr at 10:52 AM on Mar. 12, 2011

  • Yes, you can give baby whatever breast milk you are able to pump!

    Answer by maggiemom2000 at 6:12 PM on Mar. 12, 2011

  • Yes, that is absolutely fine to supplement what your cannot produce with formula. The most important thing is that your baby gets the adequate intake that he needs to grow and thrive. I have a preemie in the NICU at the moment, and my breast milk does not contain the adequate calories that he needs to grow right now, so we're supplementing my pumped breast milk with a special high calorie formula for him. I can't re-iterate enough that the most important thing is that your son is getting the adequate intake of nutrition that he needs to grow. Don't let others shame you because you are pumping what breast milk you can and supplementing with formula- you're a very good mom because you are taking care of the nutritional needs of your child!

    Answer by 5andlovingit at 8:40 PM on Mar. 12, 2011

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