May 2015 Moms

Mixing or supplementing breastmilk with formula and how long breastfeeding

I've been thinking about giving my baby some formula (supplemental milk for daycare for his last bottle if he needs it. Mainly because I'm trying to get my supply up and its been hard with trying to pump at work and pumping at home and waking up during the night to pump. I've also heard people mixing breastmilk and formula together, but I'm not sure if I want to do that and what the benefit will be. Also, how long do you EBF people plan to breastfeed?

Re: Mixing or supplementing breastmilk with formula and how long breastfeeding

  • With my first, I had to supplement with formula starting at 9 months because my supply tanked. Even pumping three times a day and a couple times on the weekend was not enough to send to daycare, so he had to get some formula there.  I'll probably have to supplement even earlier this time around because I just don't have the time to pump extra with 2 kids now, and I'm going through my freezer stash like crazy.

    You might want to mix the formula and BM the first couple times you give to to him just so it tastes somewhat familiar, but once you know he'll take it, then just do whatever.
  • I can't speak to the supplementing because I'm EBF. Although I'm a bit confused by your statement that you want to give formula because you want to increase your supply? Maybe I'm misunderstanding but substituting your milk with formula would decrease your supply to my knowledge. But I don't know a lot about this like I said. So pardon my ignorance if this is wrong.

    As for your question about how long to EBF. I am planning on going at least until DS is a year, with starting solids at 6 months as well. I am hoping to continue breastfeeding until he's 18 months but I'll see how it goes past the year mark and if he weans himself then that's okay.
    salovedmorgansWed105148Sammadden27
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  • Oh, and to answer your last question:  I plan on BFing until DD is a year.  I was able to nurse my first until a year, even though he was also getting formula.  I even stopped pumping altogether at 11 months, and was able to just nurse in the morning and before bed with no problem for the last month.
  • @chambersbaby2015 I plan to pump and breastfeed, but give my baby formula as a supplement if I don't have enough pumped milk to go to daycare. Not sure if the way I wrote it makes sense.
  • I started suplementing at 2 months. I got my period and my supply went way down. I felt so bad I couldnt EBF I mixed formula half and half with breast milk to introduce it to him. He took it great and now I give him formula and breastfeed. Has been a lifesaver and he is thriving!
  • scharle3 said:

    @chambersbaby2015 I plan to pump and breastfeed, but give my baby formula as a supplement if I don't have enough pumped milk to go to daycare. Not sure if the way I wrote it makes sense.

    That makes more sense. I misunderstood. :)
  • I've had to supplement since DD was three days old. I'd like to make it to at least 6 months but she really doesn't nurse a whole lot anymore. :( As soon as my letdown is done she gives up and wants a bottle, and I don't pump a whole lot ever, so she gets more formula than bm at this point.
  • Once my LO pops a tooth I think I will be done. Im shocked I have made it just shy of 3 months. Which i know a tooth can come at anytime or not for a while but it seems like a good time to end. I am hoping it will be post introduction of solids so that most of her meals are not formula though
    CordeliaD87mars8k
  • Just wanna put my 2 cents in here. I wouldn't mix breastmilk and formula unless your trying to increase LO calorie intake. When you feed LO formula it has to be discarded an hour later, however breastmilk will keep longer. If you mix them you have to go by the formula rules. 
    saric83ashtownyeah
  • Thanks all for the advice.
  • I will supplement as my last resort.
  • odawg said:
    Once my LO pops a tooth I think I will be done. Im shocked I have made it just shy of 3 months. Which i know a tooth can come at anytime or not for a while but it seems like a good time to end. I am hoping it will be post introduction of solids so that most of her meals are not formula though
    Even when your baby starts solids, breastmilk/formula should still be their main food source.  Solids are just for practice until 1 year.
    Knottie76365376jujellis1
  • Or just mix your milk/formula in small amounts - I don't have enough milk in the evenings so I am supplementing with some I pump that she doesn't get in the mornings - I don't mix more than 1oz/1oz of each at a time - just keep them in separate storage bottles in the fridge.
  • This is late, but supplementing could actually lower your supply even further. Here is a helpful article: https://kellymom.com/hot-topics/low-supply/

    My supply dropped when I went back to work, so I started to supplement from my (small) freezer stash. My supply got worse. So I stopped supplementing, nursed the baby more often when I'm home, pumped for 15 minutes minimum (even if nothing is coming out), and added a pump session before bed. Within a week my supply has gone back up.

    Hope it works out for you. Good luck!
    jujellis1Sammadden27
  • I'm going for 18 months, but I also am not going back to work till next year! So I rarely pump.. Only if I can't pull out my boob
  • I've been back to work for only 3 days, i'm not pumping there but i only work 5 hours for the next six months and then 6 hours for another 6 months because i get nursing hours, when i get home i'm full! So i feed LO if she wants any and then pump both sides simultaneously and i get more than i ever had at a pump session. I know that everyone says that the more times you pump the more milk you get but i think i would get less if i pumped twice a day and i think since i keep pumping when i get to work my body will know that it should produce milk for that.

    But like i said i haven't been back long enough, my logic could be 10% flawed lol

    As for the second Q, i used to say i would wean once she gets her first tooth but now i changed my mind, i think i would miss it too much.
    morgansWed105148
  • Agreed with PP. Supplementing will more likely reduce gour supply rather than increase it. Feeding LO and/or pumping more often will be more beneficial.

    I am planning on breastfeeding for at least a year. I'm hoping to go for 18 months unless DS weans himself sooner.
  • I don't know about mixing BM with formula, but I plan to BF 2+ yrs and delay solids until after the 1st tooth.
  • My big goal to BF is 6 months. Being a FTM, I had a 'realistic goal' of 3 months- I made it!
    Knottie76365376justkeeptrying
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