During pregnancy, as mothers-to-be, we all want to make sure we make the best choices to offer our children the very best. When the topic of breastfeeding comes up, most of us feel absolutely capable of successful breastfeeding. However, once our baby is born, circumstances may change, forcing us to readjust our original thinking and, why not, opt for mixed breastfeeding.
Importance of food
Feeding the baby is a very important aspect, as it will not only provide him with everything he needs and requires for optimal development, but it will also be a moment of bonding and connection between the parents and the baby. It is advisable to always keep an open mind and decide what is best for both our baby and for us as mothers. Although the World Health Organisation and many national organisations recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, there are cases where it is necessary to include infant formula.
Mixed breastfeeding, what is it?
But what is mixed breastfeeding? Simply put, mixed breastfeeding is a combination of breastfeeding and infant formula supplementation. Feedings can be combined throughout the day, alternating between the two. In turn, the reasons for implementing it can vary; some of them are as follows:
- Because the baby is not gaining weight as it should.
- By the mother’s decision to return to her daily activities.
- During the first weeks of the baby’s life, due to latch-on problems or low milk production.
Mixed breastfeeding can take two forms: simultaneous or alternate. In the first case, simultaneous, the breast is offered to the baby and, once milk production is very low, if the baby still shows signs of hunger, a bottle with formula is used. In the case of alternate breastfeeding, breastfeeding and bottle-feeding are alternated, which makes this the ideal option for mothers who work and are absent for a few hours.
When to start mixed breastfeeding?
Let us remember that exclusive breastfeeding is the most recommended for a newborn, but each case is particular, and sometimes it is necessary to supplement while establishing successful breastfeeding. While, in other cases, it is beneficial for the newborn to alternate between formula and breast. Whatever the case, the truth is that mixed breastfeeding brings many benefits, for example, it will be of great help when weaning the baby from the teat.
Regardless of the reason why you think it is necessary for you to establish mixed breastfeeding, it is crucial that you make the decision in consultation with a paediatrician, as only he or she can guide you as to the best supplement for your baby. At the same time, if the problem has to do with latch-on and production issues, don’t hesitate to approach a lactation specialist, as often all it takes to establish successful breastfeeding is a little help and belief in yourself.
We hope you have found the information useful, and remember that what is best for your baby is what makes them feel good and stay healthy. If exclusive breastfeeding has not been successful, you can still provide all the benefits of breastmilk while helping your baby develop properly, as modern formula milks provide many nutrients and are similar to breastmilk. It can even be a good way to teach your baby to eat and thus reduce choking.