Breastfeeding can be an immensely rewarding and joy filled time. However, there are times when it can be extremely challenging.
We all want the best for our babies, and while we know that breastfeeding has many exclusive benefits, there are many instances when baby formula can be a complete nutritional answer when a mother’s milk supplement is needed.
When Is Mixing Breastmilk and Formula Necessary?
There is no question that the benefits of breast milk are plentiful. For little ones, breast milk naturally evolves to meet a baby’s ever changing nutritional needs; mother’s milk offers antibodies that protect from infection, and has been linked with reducing the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
For mothers, breastfeeding can help to speed up the recovery process, reduce the risks of certain cancers, and breastfeeding can play an important role in fighting postpartum depression.
For these reasons and more it is recommended that breastfeeding continues exclusively for the first 6 months of a child’s life, but for many parents and caregivers this is not practical.
It is extremely important for mothers to know that when it comes to breastfeeding, it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing experience.
In some instances, breastfeeding moms may choose to supplement their baby with baby formula. This is an excellent way for mom and baby to continue receiving all the benefits of breastfeeding but offers an alternative when medical or life circumstances make exclusive breastfeeding impossible.
Whether out of necessity, convenience, or simply a personal choice, there are many reasons families choose this type of combination feeding.
How To Successfully Combination Feed
Many parents ask, can combination feeding cause tummy ache? The simple answer is no, it shouldn’t, but if you don’t combination feed correctly, it could. As such, if you do decide to mix breast milk and baby formula, there are a few things you should consider as you begin.
Consult Medical Providers
It is always best to work with your pediatrician. They can help you determine how much baby formula to supplement within a 24-hour period. Baby formula takes more time to digest, so you may need less than what you expect.
Speaking with a lactation consultant will help you come up with a plan to adjust your breastfeeding sessions as you begin adding formula to your daily feeding plans. This will help both you and your little one more readily make the transition from exclusively breastfeeding to combination feeding.
Consult the Instructions
Like breast milk, baby formula is made to provide your little one with the perfect amount of calories and nutrients in a specific volume of fluid. For example, HiPP UK stage 2 is about 20 calories per fluid ounce. So, if you follow the baby formula preparation guide, your little will get the perfect proportion of nutrients.
However, if you add powdered formula directly into your breast milk before adding the specified amount of water, it changes the balance of nutrients in both your breast milk and the European baby formula. This process should be avoided.
When you have a dissymmetry of nutrients it can be very hard on an infant’s immature kidneys. The kidneys of newborns and young babies need enough water to process all of the vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, and other components in their feedings. When feeding is too concentrated, it can be dangerous and too much for your baby's body to handle.
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How to Mix Breast Milk and Formula
After choosing the best organic baby formula for your baby, you will have powdered baby formula shipped directly to your door in a canister or box.
Carefully follow the mixing directions on the powdered European baby formula of your choice, making sure to use the correct water-to-powder ratios of the baby formula and keeping it separate from the breast milk.
To prepare the perfect bottle of baby formula the powdered baby formula and water should be mixed in a clean and sterilized container, using properly handled equipment and kitchen tools.
Baby formula should be carefully mixed with boiled water that has been allowed to cool. Depending on the quality of the water in your area and barring any special requirements your little one may need, you may be able to use tap water for your baby's formula. Talk to your child's doctor as well as checking with your local municipal water source to find out if the tap water in your neighborhood is safe.
Using the recommended amounts suggested from your family physician, you can add the prepared baby formula to a bottle of expressed mother’s milk for your little one to enjoy. This is the only safe way to combine the breastmilk with formula.
Breastmilk and Baby Formula Storage
There are rules for the storage, use, and disposal of breast milk and baby formula, due to the different compositions they are not the same.
Mother’s milk can be frozen in a food-grade plastic container or breast milk storage bags for 6 months. Once thawed, it can stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
Freshly pumped breast milk can be kept in the back of the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in an insulated cooler, if you are on the go, for up to 24 hours.
All breast milk bottles left out at room temperature will need to be discarded after 5 hours.
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Breastmilk and Baby Formula Mixed
Once you introduce baby formula to breast milk the same rules for formula storage will apply. A refrigerated bottle of formula mixed with breast milk should be used or discarded within 24 hours and room temperature bottles should be discarded after 1 hour from the start of use.
European Baby Formula
Whether you are primarily formula feeding or choose a combination breastmilk and powdered baby formula, My Organic Company is here to help you find complete nutrition to complement your little one’s needs.
Made with unique properties and organic ingredients, European baby formulas make the perfect supplement or alternative to breastmilk.
Do you want to share your experiences, tips or tricks on supplementing with European baby formula? Are you looking for advice or community support? Please visit us in the HiPP, Holle, Kendamil & European Baby Formula Parent Community where you can ask for advice, share a laugh, or look for answers to parenting questions all in one place. We look forward to seeing you there.