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Topping up your breast milk with baby formula is simply called supplementing. Do not worry, it is a perfectly fine and healthy thing to do. A handful of families go for topping up, either because of low breast milk supply, convenience, or a downright personal decision.
In certain cases, physicians recommend topping up your breast milk with baby formula on a medical basis.
Reasons For Topping Up with Baby Formula
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the World Health Organization (WHO), it is advisable to breastfeed your baby exclusively for the first four to six months, and then follow through with it until one year or beyond, alongside other solid foods.
While lots of mothers top up their breast milk with baby formula because they want to, other moms do it out of necessity, because they have to. It does not matter if any of these reasons is yours or not, the decision is always yours to make.
- Low Breast Milk Supply
- You to go back to work:
- Your Partner Is Willing To Participate
- Your Have Twins or Triplets
- You Just Feel Like Topping Up
Topping Up With Formula after Every Feed
You can top up with formula after every feed. Actually, you can as well top up with formula before, during, and instead of breastfeeding. But to begin with, kindly ensure to converse with your midwife, health visitor, or breastfeeding counselor about this. The truth is different options will apply to different circumstances. And ultimately still, the decision is dependent on what you like to accomplish.
To slowly reduce breastfeeding is to gradually help your own health. A reduction in breastfeeding is a reduction in the tendency of your breasts to become painfully engorged and leaky. It also depletes your risk of developing mastitis. And if yours is a demanding job or boss that will require you to be fully back in the office soon, your baby might not have that luxury of having breastfeeding blessings for long. So, topping up with formula after every feed helps you drop breastfeeding without much difficulty.
Topping up With Formula for Weight Gain
If your breastfed baby is gaining little to no weight or losing weight due to a low milk supply, the primary thing to do is ensure the baby gets more milk. Ways abound for increasing a mother’s breast milk supply. It can be time-consuming, and there is no idea how urgent the need may be.
The reason for the reluctance of many parents to top up with formula is that they think it disregards breastfeeding. What they probably do not get is that extra calories do not necessarily have to mean the end of breastfeeding.
So, there are no two ways to do it. Loss of weight in a baby is simply a result of low milk, and to correct that, the milk supply has to be increased. This not only adds to their weight and gives them more energy; it also does protect their health.
Topping Up with Formula at Night
If you have been exclusively breastfeeding your baby, it is possible that at some points, s/he starts getting relatively less sleep. This could be as a result of the breast milk being too thin, and not able to keep your little one going for as long as normal.
A situation of this type requires you to top up with formula at night. Another thing you can as well do is get someone else other than you to give your baby their bottle. The endpoint of this is that your baby gets familiar with someone else feeding them, as they will reject bottles from you knowing you have the original food.
Topping Up With Formula Until Milk Comes In
As a first-time mamma, it is not uncommon to experience a slow letdown at first, if you notice that your newborn is losing weight and seems hungry? Should you top up with formula until milk comes in? Well, actually, the answer is no. It is understandable that your milk supply might be currently low, and you might be afraid of the fact that your little one is losing weight. You need to know that it is perfectly normal and even expected for your infant to shed almost ten percent of their weight in just a few days.
For the first few days of life, your baby receives colostrums – super-healthy, nutrition-packed “first milk” that will safeguard them from illness and infection.
In the case of a low milk supply, rather than watch your precious baby lose weight, it is better to top up with formula and give them some calories, pending the time milk comes in.
Topping Up with Formula During Growth Spurt
Obviously, your baby requires nutrients and calories to grow. So, do not be surprised if they suddenly become hungrier than usual during a growth spurt. The growth spurt is what happens when a baby starts growing very rapidly.
Below are some of the things you could notice during your baby’s growth spurt. During a growth spurt, your baby:
- Goes through a feeding spurt
- Feed for a long time
- Becomes fussy at your breast, if they breastfeed
- Appears hungry after their usual bottle
- Eats and drinks more than usual
These things are not dangerous indications. They are only reflective of the growth phase that your baby is currently undergoing.
It is possible that your breast milk supply may not be sufficient for your baby’s growth spurt, and hence topping up with a formula becomes the ideal thing to do.
If you are a new parent, you should that know breastfeeding is not negotiable for the first four to six months of your baby’s life. But unexpected things happen, and that we cannot help. Situations may present themselves where your breast milk supply is nothing near your baby’s nutritional requirement. This is where topping up with formula comes in.
In the article, we have outlined all you need to know about topping up with formula. We hope the information helps you.