Should You Supplement Your Milk?
Many mothers are reluctant to stop breastfeeding altogether, so they supplement their infant's diet with formula. If you're considering this, speak with your child's pediatrician, keeping in mind that the ultimate decision is up to you and your partner. Spangler says to realize that the more you supplement the less breast milk your child will eat and the less milk you will produce over time.
If you do decide to supplement with formula, be secure in your decision—you are doing what is best for your entire family. "Nobody has the right to pressure you either way or to criticize you whatever your decision," says Dr. Leach.
Also, be aware that you can breastfeed and simultaneously supplement your feeding with formula. A lactation consultant can help you acquire a supplemental nursing system (a bottle or bag filled with formula and worn around the neck, clipped to your shirt, or worn under your clothing; thin tubes attached to the bottle or bag then extend and attach to both breasts). You can also purchase small syringe and attachment tube from your local hospital, lactation consultant, or pediatric office to tape to your breast, next to your nipple. As your child nurses normally, she then also takes in the supplementation in addition to your breast milk.
While most experts agree that babies do not need sustenance other than breast milk or formula for the first four to six months of their lives, or until they have doubled their birth weight, this is not always the case and there are other considerations.
While you know that breast milk is the optimal food for your growing baby, if you discover your newborn is not getting enough milk, consider the tips mentioned here to help solve your dilemma. And don't be afraid to seek help and advice from a lactation consultant, your child's pediatrician, or even friends who are experienced at breastfeeding. They can help you work through any nursing issues and develop the confidence to know your baby is thriving from your milk.