When it comes to feeding your baby, it’s not always a question of only breastfeeding or only formula feeding; many women (but not all) can successfully do a combination of both.
Mixed feeding can affect your milk supply, especially if you start it when your baby is still very young (before six weeks old), so if you are mix feeding from early on try to breastfeed as much as possible to establish your supply.
You may want to try mixed feeding because you want to breastfeed for some of your baby’s feeds, but give formula for one or more feeds.
*It is important to remember that Breast milk works on a supply-and-demand basis: the more formula you give your baby, the less milk you'll produce.
“When you're desperate for sleep and, frankly, a little time off from your milk round, the idea of mixed feeding - combining breastfeeding with formula feeding - can seem very attractive indeed”
Introducing formula milk alongside breast milk has many positives, and like anything it has negatives, so it’s important to understand both sides.
The benefits are that your baby will still be getting all the nutritional benefits of breastfeeding and you'll still be passing your antibodies on to her through your milk, you also may be able to get more sleep, as someone else is able to feed your baby to give you a break, at also allows your husband or partner to feed your baby and is also very beneficial for mothers with multiple children.
It's also worth knowing that milk flows faster and more steadily out of a bottle than it does from a breast, so your baby doesn't have to work quite so hard to get it. So one of the negatives is that your baby may decide that they prefer the bottle.
The later you introduce the bottle and do mix feeding the more successful it seems to be.
As a mum you need to do what’s right for your and your family. So if you’re unable to make enough milk, need to mentally have a break or simply want to share the load, but want to continue to breastfeeding mix feeding may be to help you.
Mixed feeding can work and for some women it works very well. If you decide to do it, you may very well be able to keep on breastfeeding - but there is a chance that you may find yourself giving up breastfeeding altogether.