Breast milk is the best food for a newborn baby. It contains all the necessary and most useful nutrients for his health and development. However, sometimes, for certain reasons beyond the mother’s control, there is not enough milk, and then the solution is feeding with baby formula.
Whether you plan to switch entirely to formula feeding or combine breastfeeding with formula feeding, there are several ways to make this transition easier for you and your baby.
What is a Combined Feeding, Also Known as “Breastfeeding”
Combined feeding or including breastfeeding is a type of feeding in which, in addition to breast milk, the newborn also receives formula.
This is most often necessary when after the application of all methods stimulating lactation in the mother, the desired result is not achieved and the amount of breast milk is insufficient to provide the necessary calories to the baby.
This can cause the risk of disrupting the normal growth and weight gain of the infant, so it is necessary to include a formula to supplement the baby.
Combined feeding can be used in two ways: The first, which is also considered more physiological, is to breastfeed the baby and then give him the right amount of formula.
The second option is to replace one or two feedings a day entirely with formula.
Combined feeding can continue until it is time to introduce solid food to the baby – about 6 months.
Then the formula added as a supplement feeding will be replaced by the phased-in solid food, and the baby will continue to be breastfed.
Babies who have been on a combined feeding until the age of 5-6 months can be fed in the same way as naturally breastfed babies – the number of feedings, the term of feeding, the intervals between them, and the order of introduction of nutritious foods and in both cases are the same.
How to Introduce Formula to Breastfed Baby
The baby needs to be fed enough and complete to be physically healthy and to develop and gain weight normally.
When combined feeding is required, it should be carried out according to the recommended amounts of milk that the baby should take at a certain age.
Regarding what this amount is – the mother can consult with the baby’s pediatrician for an individually set meal plan for the particular infant.
Once you know how much milk your newborn needs to take, the next step is to determine how much formula you need to supplement.
To find out how much milk the baby eats, there are two ways to calculate it – either the mother expressing the milk and then giving it to the baby, then supplementing it with formula, or weighing the baby before and after breastfeeding and the difference in the table will show the amount of milk taken.
However, it should be noted that lactation is different at different times of the day and it is necessary to make these measurements several times over a number of days.
Once it has been determined how much breast milk the infant takes, it is also calculated how much formula is needed for each breastfeeding. In some cases, it may not be necessary to supplement the baby in the morning, because then the milk produced by the mother is usually in the largest amount.
Combination feeding should be applied when needed, in the interest of the best health of the baby.
There is nothing better for a baby than breastfeeding, but when there is a shortage of breast milk, inclusive breastfeeding is what helps to avoid malnutrition and the baby to continue to breastfeed, which is essential for his health and normal development.