Mixing Breast Milk with Formula - Oceanside,CA

Updated on April 13, 2008
L.W. asks from Oceanside, CA
7 answers

Can I mix breast milk with formula? My breast milk supply is rather low. I only produce about 1 oz per breast per feeding, so I need to supplement with a bottle. I've been trying to pump in between feedings to create more of a supply, and I was just wondering if I could mix my milk with formula. Any advice is wanted and helpful.

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answers from Honolulu on

Yes you can mix it. The other suggestions are great.
One other comment....your baby is 5 weeks old. Since you are not producing enough milk, yes you need to supplement. Don't wait too long though... when a baby does not have enough intake (in quantity and calories)...they can get dehydrated and it can affect their growth & development as well. So look out for that. Your little one does seem to be gaining weight though, so that's good. Also, be sure you breastfeed long enough so the baby can get to the hind milk. Use both breasts per session as well... i had to do that with my boy who nursed voraciously... versus alternating breasts, 1 boob per session wasn't enough. Using both breasts may increase your flow.

Are you producing only 1 oz. per feeding because you pumped it and measured it??? Sometimes with pumping, not as much comes out... versus breastfeeding. (it's 2 different "sucking" methods). I was that way too. But, my Pediatrician said no worries, in my case, because both my babies were in the 90th percentiles. So I only breastfed and didn't pump... and both my children grew like weeds too. So... perhaps you are actually producing more milk than you may think?
In either event, it's best to check. Perhaps see a lactation consultant.
Good luck and take care,



answers from Los Angeles on

I mixed together because I didn't have enough either. Do it gradually so it doesn't upset his tummy. Start with more breastmilk than formula then gradually switch it over.



answers from San Diego on

If you want to increase your milk production you need to drink lots of fluids and let your baby nurse when he wants to nurse. If you are judging the amount of milk you are making by measuring what you are pumping, make sure that you are having a letdown when you pump otherwise you will get an inaccurate measurement. Do you feel really full? Are you having let down when you nurse? It's the tingly feeling that happens after your baby starts nursing. If you go more than an hour or so do you feel like you are going to explode? If you answer yes then I can promise you are making way more than one ounce per breast per feeding.

Your baby is only 5 weeks and you are still trying to adjust. Were you encouraged with the cluster feedings when he was newborn and for the first 3 weeks? All of my kids would nurse every 30 minutes for about 3 or 4 hours and then they would sleep. It wasn't until my 5th baby (2 years ago) that I was told about cluster feedings. They are really important for you and for your baby. I'm not sure if you are following a book that told you to feed every 3 hours or not, but let your baby guide your nursing it takes 6 to 7 weeks before they establish a good schedule.

Trust me if you allow him to nurse when he wants and for as long as he wants you will have more milk than you know what to do with! :-) If you have further questions find your local La Leche League group and talk to them. www.llli.org/

Keep up the good work, you are doing great and trust me he's getting what he needs from you, if he's gaining weight and is healthy you are giving him what he needs, if he seems like he wants more food he may have a bubble that needs to come up or he may just have a strong sucking reflex and a pacifier will help with that. Trust me if he's over 11 lbs at 5 weeks he's not starving :-)



answers from Los Angeles on

I was in the same boat and my lactation consultant always said not to mix, because if they don't finish the bottle they are missing out on precious breast milk - plus you end up throwing it out which is heartbreaking to do. It means more to wash but give him the breast milk first, then finish up with formula. That way you know you are giving him all that you can. I had to do the same with my twins and every little drop meant the world to me. Also unless you are measuring the baby, pumping is not a good measurement of how much they are getting. I never got much more than you did no matter how long or often I pumped but they always ate well on the breast (again, confirmation from my two lactation consultants).
Good luck - feel free to email me if you have any more questions - we did a lot of different types of supplementing. And btw - my boys are 18 months and I am still nursing. I feel like I produce more milk now than I did back when they were little.




answers from Las Vegas on

Hi L.,

My name is H. and I am a board certified lactation consultant. I have been teaching for 15 years and I have 4 years personal experience. Congratulations for offer your child such a special gift. Remember breastfeeding does not have to be all or nothing. Even just a little goes a long way. I am available if you would like to try increase your milk supply. I can either talk over the phone ###-###-####, my breastfeeding hot line number or we can communicate over the net. My personal address is ____@____.com

I would like to answer your question regarding mixing formula and breastmilk. There is nothing physically wrong with mixing the two together as long as you mix the formula according to the directions.
However, I would suggest feeding the breastmilk first and then topping off with formula. This way if the baby doesn't finish the bottle, you are only throwing away formula and not precious breastmilk that worked so hard on retrieving.

Good luck! I hope this helps. Please forward any other questions that you may just have.

H. Bushy



answers from San Diego on

Yes, people do mix. But i would look at your diet first. Are you consuming enough food... enough fats... and enough WATER? You can try drinking the Mother's Milk Tea by Traditional Medicinals. It helped me and didn't bother my son.



answers from Los Angeles on

I am sure you can. I mixed BM with whole milk when i was introducing whole milk to my son. I have heard of people doing it with formula!
Good Luck, God Bless

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