Supplementing with Formula
Sometimes, due to one of the above-mentioned complications, a baby simply isn’t thriving on breast milk alone and formula supplementing is required. And sometimes moms just want a break from the around-the-clock feedings and are looking for a little relief. In either case, formula is there to help.
- First of all, don’t feel discouraged. While it’s true that the less you feed the less you’ll produce, it’s still possible to maintain your milk supply for a few nursing sessions a day. Plus, the stress of your baby’s compromised health or your overwhelming schedule might be more damaging to your milk supply than taking breaks from feeding. As with every aspect of motherhood, do what is right for you and your baby.
- Your baby will receive necessary nutrients through formula, and because you’re still nursing a few times a day, your baby will benefit from breast milk’s unique antibody properties. A little breast milk is better than none.
- How do you know if you need to supplement? Look for signs that the baby isn’t eating enough and talk to your doctor as soon as possible.
- While it might be necessary to start supplementing now, most lactation consultants recommend waiting until the baby is a month old to prevent any production disruptions. If your milk supply is compromised, know that your baby’s health is more important than where the nutrition is coming from. If supplementing is a choice, perhaps weigh your options on waiting it out.
- To make the transition smoother, have someone else give the baby bottles in the beginning. Babies are more likely to refuse bottles if they can smell breast milk.
- If the baby is frustrated or frantic, he or she is less likely to take the bottle.
- There might be changes in your baby’s bowel movements and eating habits when you start supplementing, since the consistency of formula keeps babies fuller longer.