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Your question:

Can I combine breastfeeding and formula feeding?

Expert’s answer:

During the first few weeks, combining breastfeeding with formula feeds can make it difficult to establish breastfeeding well.

Exclusive breastfeeding (giving only breastfeeds) helps ensure you have sufficient milk supply for your baby’s needs. Introducing formula feeds can cause your milk supply to reduce.

The type of sucking action needed to get milk from your breast is different to that needed when taking milk from a bottle. Introducing other teats (such as on bottles or soothers) in the early weeks this can cause ‘nipple confusion’ for your baby and it may cause them to have difficulty latching on and feeding well. This in turn can cause problems for Mum like sore nipples.

If you need to give your baby formula feeds during the early weeks, it is best to use a special feeding cup or syringe to do so. Ask your public health nurse or Lactation Consultant for advice.  

You and your baby will get the most health benefits from exclusive breastfeeding, and the longer you breastfeed for the greater the health benefits.

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