It is a fact that breast milk has complete nutrition for your growing baby. However, you can combine formula milk to it as a supplement. Is it safe, though? How will it affect my baby? These are the questions that will surely pop in your head. Good thing, it is perfectly safe to mix breast milk with formula milk. In this article, you will learn the differences between breast milk and formula milk. Plus, you will also learn the many reasons why it is beneficial to mix both, and you will know how to mix breast milk with formula milk using our simple guide.
Breast Milk vs. Formula Milk
Both your breast milk and formula milk have their benefits. However, the best is breast milk because it contains the essential nutrients and vitamins your baby needs for a boosted immune system. Let us look at these two supplements before learning how to mix breast milk with formula milk.
Breastfeeding needs to be the priority for newborn babies. Not only does breast milk provide your baby the proper health benefits, like vitamins, proteins, fats, and antibodies to boost their immunity, but it also allows you, as a new mom, to bond with your kid. Also, breast milk is easy to digest, compared to formula milk. They make babies less constipated. Studies show that babies taking breast milk have higher levels of intelligence and reduce the risk of developing asthma, being overweight, or suffering from cancer. Besides, you can produce breast milk naturally, and you can pump it and store it for four days.
Baby formula milk is processed skimmed cow milk with other ingredients added like lactose, probiotics, vitamins and minerals, fatty acids, plant-based oils, enzymes, and amino acids. They are a great alternative to breast milk, but they do not have the evolving quality of breast milk nor the antibodies needed to boost your baby’s immune system. However, with formula milk, it allows you to feed your baby less since they take time to digest, allowing you to save up consumption. Just remember, though, that once mixed, you need to feed it to your baby. Formula milk is good for ten to fifteen minutes max. Throw it away if it is beyond that period.
When to Mix Both
Six months after birth is the advisable time when you can start mix feeding your baby breast milk and formula. However, there are situations when mothers do not produce enough breast milk right after labor, so their doctor must advise that the baby be fed formula from then on. Yet the situation depends, like if the mother starts to develop more breast milk later, then she can opt to combine breast milk with formula, especially the fact that formula milk can be too costly.
Other Reasons Why to Mix Feed
The reason mothers search for ways on how to mix breast milk with formula milk is because of other breastfeeding issues. Breastfeeding issues are normal, and new mothers always face problems, particularly having sore or cracked nipples, which can be painful during breastfeeding. A mother may be suffering from mastitis or has difficulty in feeding due to inverted or flat nipples. Another reason why there is the need to mix feed is, as mentioned, the low supply of breast milk. Also, some mothers will feel awkward breastfeeding in public, so they resort to mixing breast milk with formula when feeding their baby out in the park. Lastly, give yourself extra time to sleep. You can give your partner the mixed milk and get a rest while they are feeding the baby.
Mixing Breast Milk with Formula
Now, it is time to know how to mix breast milk with formula. It is quite a simple matter, but it is important to note the proper measurements and steps given to ensure there will be no health risks to your baby. Remember, a baby’s stomach in the early months is not mature enough yet.
Some safety tips first before learning how to mix breast milk with formula milk:
- Never mix concentrated formula powder directly to your breast milk, nor use breast milk as a replacement to water in mixing formula.
- Give these kinds of milk to your baby at a time. However, always give your baby your breast milk first, then the formula milk.
- Always warm the bottle of mixed milk before feeding your baby to simulate fresh breast milk.
Simple Mixing Guide
Here is how you mix breast milk with formula milk, safely:
- Wash hands first with warm water and soap to avoid contaminating the feeding bottle with bacteria.
- Pour clean water—whether tap, bottled, or sterilized water, you can ask from your doctor. Measure at least 50ml of water into the feeding bottle.
- Add one scoop of the formula powder. Always use the scoop accompanying the formula milk. Shake the bottle to mix.
- Add another 50ml of breast milk to the formula.
- Warm the mixture using a bottle warmer. If you do not have a bottle warmer, you can put the bottle on a cup of hot water. Make sure that the mixed milk is warm and not hot before you feed it to the baby!
Now you know how to mix breast milk with formula milk. Easy, right? All that is left for you to do is apply the things you have learned so that you can start mix-feeding your baby properly. Remember that both breast milk and formula milk have their advantages and disadvantages. There are also benefits to mixing these two. Just keep in mind the guidelines and safety tips in doing this. Always check how your baby reacts to it. After all, it is their health and safety we are looking out for. Know more about baby milk.