Is It Safe To Mix Formula Milk And Breastmilk?

Is It Safe To Mix Formula Milk And Breastmilk?

Your infant will thrive on breast milk. It provides adequate nutrients to the newborn for the first six months. However, you should give them a formula sometimes.

The best way to nourish babies and infants is via breastfeeding, which is universally accepted. But there are times when it might not be feasible or desirable to breastfeed exclusively for various reasons. Due to this, many parents are now thinking of feeding their infants a combination of breastmilk and formula. In order to provide parents with the information they need to make decisions about their child's nutrition, we will examine the advantages and risks of mixing formula milk with breastfeeding in this blog.


Can Breast Milk and Formula Be Mixed?

According to doctors, breastfeeding is the greatest source of nourishment for at least the first six months of your baby. You can breastfeed your child for two years. That is not always achievable in real life. You may sometimes need to mix breast milk with formula. Due to your schedule or the amount of milk available, you should give formula.

It is okay to give your infant breast milk as well as formula. It's the best solution in some circumstances. You may combine feed in a couple of different ways:

  • Breastfeeding and formula bottles can be switched back and forth.
  • Switch between bottles of milk and formula while pumping your milk.
  • In the same bottle, combine the formula and your pumped milk.


The Ingredients in Breast Milk and Formula Milk

Although the mix of breastmilk and formula milk varies, both offer the vital elements a developing infant needs. Antibodies, living cells, enzymes, and other bioactive substances in breast milk help prevent infections and promote healthy nutrition. The nutrient profile of formula milk, on the other hand, is purposefully created to resemble that of breastfeeding and contains proteins, carbs, lipids, vitamins, and minerals.

How to Begin Combo Feeding

Although you can mix breast milk and formula in the same bottle, it's typically better to try alternative types of combination feeding first. Let's examine the two most often-used methods:

First, Breast Milk, Then Formula

The Nemours Foundation advises breastfeeding before attempting to pump your infant pumped milk in a bottle if you are having trouble producing enough milk.

Formulation can make up the gap if you need to increase your supply. It may take some time to help your infant adjust to a bottle. They're learning an entirely new talent.

Having a partner or carer give them the bottle initially is one possibility. So they won't be able to smell your breast milk when they're close to you. Also, be aware that there can be a little transition time if you go the other way, from formula to nursing again.

Regularly Pump Milk

Pumping the milk regularly raises a hormone called Prolactin that helps to increase supply.

According to Barnes, "Supply and demand helps regulate your milk," thus, the more frequently you feed, the more cues your body will get to produce more milk. Consistency and frequency are, therefore, two factors that can help.

While giving you the choice to bottle-feed your child, pumping enables you to preserve and grow your milk supply. By developing a pumping practice, you can guarantee a consistent milk supply and keep breast milk on hand to add to the formula. Since consistency is important, try to pump frequently throughout the day, even if you're giving formula milk. This not only aids in increasing milk production but also gives you the freedom to mix breast milk and formula milk as necessary. Keep in mind to maintain good cleanliness while pumping and storing breast milk.

Hug Your Infant

Hugging your baby is a great method to start the combination feeding process, combining formula and breast milk. A sense of comfort and connection is created between you and your baby while nursing because of the intimate physical proximity and skin-to-skin contact. As a result, both your body and your kid are encouraged to feed.

Because hormones are strong, when you gaze at and cuddle your baby, hormones are released that can help with milk supply. Giving them a bottle while interacting skin-to-skin might be a terrific alternative as you transition.

Continue to cuddle your baby during bottle feedings while you switch to combination feeding. Holding them close can help sustain the emotional bond created by nursing. Make sure to keep eye contact and use a gentle touch. Hugging helps you and your baby feel secure and nurtured, which improves the feeding experience for both of you. Remember that feeding time should be used to establish a caring and nurturing atmosphere for your child's general growth and provide nutrition.


What Ratio Of Formula To Breast Milk Should Be Used?

Combining formula and breast milk is possible but must be done carefully. The fundamental rule here is to prepare the formula before adding it to your breast milk.

Therefore, before adding it to a bottle with your breast milk and a concentrated liquid or powder formula, prepare it first in accordance with the instructions on the box using safe drinking water. Since the ready-to-feed formula has already been diluted, it should be fit for use.

Using this method, your baby can receive breast milk and formula to ensure sufficient nourishment. The ratio of breast milk to formula can be adjusted based on the mother's milk production, the baby's development and weight gain, and any specific nutritional needs. To ensure your baby's good health and well-being, it is important to seek advice from a healthcare professional that can customize recommendations for your specific situation.


Some Benefits of Combining Breastmilk and Formula Milk 

Make sure you’re eating enough:

When the mother's milk supply is low or unavailable, mixing breastmilk with formula milk can assist in guaranteeing that the infant gets enough nutrition.

Easily manageable:

Parents may more easily manage their time and feeding patterns when they mix breastfeeding with formula milk. Additionally, it may be helpful when switching from liquid to solid diets.

Managing nutrient intake: 

Mixing formula milk with breastfeeding helps balance vitamin intake and fix any inadequacies because formula milk is made to satisfy certain nutritional needs.

Adding to breastfeeding:

Suppose you need to supplement your breastfeeding with formula milk. In that case, combining the two can provide extra nutrients for you and support your breastfeeding efforts.


Guidelines for Combining Breast Milk and Formula Milk 

The following guidelines must be followed to combine breastfeeding and formula milk safely and effectively:

  • Wash your hands well before handling breast milk or formula milk as part of good hygiene. 
  • Clean and sterilize feeding apparatus, such as bottles and nipples.
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions to properly make the formula by preparing it at the recommended concentration. 
  • Never add less water than necessary to formula or breastfeeding.
  • Store carefully by keeping breastfeeding and formula milk in different containers and cooling or freezing them as necessary. 
  • To ensure freshness and security, use them within the suggested time ranges.
  • When it's time to feed, gently stir the breastfeeding container to disperse any fat that may have separated before adding the appropriate quantities of formula milk. 
  • Avoid shaking too hard since it might denature some ingredients.


Why Isn't Mixed Feeding Advised?

Making the mixture is risky for a few reasons. The most crucial one is that you shouldn't overfeed your infant regarding nourishment. The formula specifically suits your baby's nutritional demands when combined with water in a precise ratio. The nutritional composition of breast milk could be wrong if formula is added directly. This could be harmful.

Your child's kidneys and digestive system may not be prepared to process such a nutrient-rich combination since they are still figuring out how to do their jobs.

As a result, it's crucial to prepare the formula exactly as directed on the container before adding breast milk to the finished product.

The possibility of wasting your priceless breast milk is another drawback of this method. The best possible care should be given to them, especially in the first six months.

And you may have to say farewell to part of the breast milk you worked so hard to produce if they don't drink their bottle. However, it's also crucial to remember that, despite all efforts, breastmilk cannot always be used again. When your baby has breastmilk from a specific bottle, the bottle needs to be thrown out within two hours. It would seem alluring to offer it again at the next bottle feed, perhaps even with some formula to keep it longer.

Because of this, separate feedings are advised rather than combining breast milk and formula in the same bottle. Consult your healthcare professional. They might suggest that you seek assistance from a lactation specialist.



In order to ensure that their infants receive the proper nourishment, parents may find it feasible and safe to mix formula milk and breastfeeding. While blending the two can assist in alleviating issues and give breastmilk and formula milk advantages, breastfeeding is preferred whenever feasible. Parents may ensure their children's healthy growth and development by adhering to adequate cleanliness procedures and knowing the nutritional needs of their newborns by making smart decisions about what to give them. Always seek the individualized counsel and direction of healthcare specialists to determine the best course of action for your child's unique requirements.

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