Mixed Feeding: Everything You Need to Know

Mixed Feeding: Everything You Need to Know

Last update: 05 May, 2018

When a baby is fed both breast milk and formula, it’s called mixed feeding. This is a type of feeding for newborns chosen by many mothers.

Although it’s not usually a mother’s first choice, mixed feeding represents the perfect blend for many women. This decision is sometimes motivated by the difficulties encountered when feeding exclusively breast milk.

If you don’t know anything about it, it’s normal to ask yourself, “What is mixed feeding? Does it influence the baby’s development? When is it recommended?”

We’ll answer these questions below.

Reasons to choose mixed feeding

It’s normal for a mother to choose either exclusive breastfeeding or exclusive bottle feeding. The combination of both is usually the result of problems with the first, arising from difficulties with the mother or baby.

Mixed Feeding: Everything You Need to Know

There are many reasons that lead a mother to choose mixed feeding as the best method for her baby. Normally, they can be summarized as:

  • Personal choice. Many women have had a bad experience breastfeeding and consider it appropriate to combine it with formula.
  • For the baby. Different things can cause the baby to not get enough nutrients from breast milk, so extra supplementation is needed.

Breastfeeding vs. mixed feeding

A key moment for a woman who has just given birth occurs when she places her child at her breast for the first time. This a unique and exclusive moment for each mother.

Often the frustration of a bad “latch” causes the mother to consider breastfeeding a source of stress. The problem is that the more the mother stresses, the more difficult it is to breastfeed.

Given this situation, it’s often decided that adding artificial milk is better than totally abandoning breastfeeding.

However, it’s good for you to go to your midwife with any questions you have about breastfeeding. Many times, these problems can be solved.

Breastfeeding is, as a rule, enough to feed your baby. But mixed or artificial feeding can also adequately fulfill the function of feeding your child.

When breastfeeding is not enough

The production of breast milk is different in each woman. Throughout the last trimester, the body is already preparing for breastfeeding.

After childbirth and the expulsion of the placenta, the body is ready to breastfeed. 

However, the demand for milk can be greater than that produced by the mother, or the baby could have trouble latching on to the nipple. These problems mean the baby is not well fed.

Mixed Feeding: Everything You Need to Know

It’s normal for a newborn to lose weight immediately after birth and to recover without any problems after the first few days. If this doesn’t happen, opt for mixed feeding after consulting with your doctor.

Motherhood is the most important of all professions. It requires more knowledge than any other matter related to man.

-Elizabeth Cady Stanton-

Can mixed feeding fail?

As a general rule, your baby will end up choosing the method he likes most. If not, it’ll be the parents who end up deciding what is most comfortable for everyone.

There is no problem in continuing to feed your baby with both breast milk and formula. Don’t worry about breastfeeding or bottle feeding exclusively.

However, eventually you won’t be able to keep up both procedures, and either you or your baby will eventually choose one.

If you notice that your baby doesn’t want a bottle, but instead wants your breast, he thinks it’s the most comfortable thing. The connection of the baby with the mother is a very special bond that is strengthened at the time of breastfeeding.

If, on the other hand, he opts for a bottle, he probably does it because it’s more comfortable to suckle on than a nipple.

Feeding a newborn may seem like an act that requires so much responsibility that it becomes overwhelming.

Relax, your baby will give you clues about what to do. And above all, go to the professionals who are at your disposal to answer any questions. 

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.