Will combo feeding affect my breast milk supply?

Exclusive breastfeeding isn’t in the cards for all moms.

While breast milk is the best source of infant nutrition, exclusive breastfeeding isn’t for all moms. In some cases, health conditions may interfere with or prohibit a mother’s ability to breastfeed. Stress and fatigue can contribute to lower milk supply, which may require a mom to turn to formula. Working a full-time job and scheduling logistics often interrupt breastfeeding. For a wide range of reasons, many moms turn to combination, or mixed, feeding to supplement their breast milk supply.

What is combo feeding?

Combination feeding is when you feed your baby both breast milk and infant formula. While formula feeding gives moms more versatility, it doesn’t offer baby all the nutrients and protective health benefits that breast milk does. For example, risk of diarrhea and acute ear infection is 100% higher among exclusively formula-fed infants compared to exclusively breastfed infants. Babies that are exclusively formula-fed are also at higher risk of developing chronic diseases, like asthma, type 2 diabetes, and childhood obesity. Combo feeding gives moms the option to take advantage of the convenience of formula with the health benefits of breast milk.

Does combo feeding affect breast milk supply?

In general, your breast milk supply is determined by how frequently your breasts are emptied of milk. The more you breastfeed or pump, the more breast milk your body will produce. Combo feeding could reduce your breast milk supply if you do not continue to pump regularly in place of breastfeeding sessions.

When is it safe to introduce combination feeding?

Medical experts recommend exclusive breastfeeding for as long as possible. Introduce formula only after you’ve established a comfortable daily breastfeeding routine if you intend to continue producing breast milk after you introduce formula. This ensures that your baby has mastered the tricky task of nursing and your body has mastered milk production.

How do you maintain your breast milk supply when combination feeding?

Once you introduce baby formula, your baby isn’t going to need to breastfeed as frequently. This can significantly reduce your breast milk supply. If you plan to continue supplementing formula with breast milk, you’ll want to pump at regular intervals in order to maintain your milk supply. The easiest way to integrate pumping is to replace breastfeeding sessions with pumping sessions, and several pumps make this really easy, even if you’re going back to work.

Consider a wearable pump for easier supplemental pumping.

The Elvie Stride is our most popular wearable pump. It slips discreetly into any standard nursing bra, and it operates noiselessly. That makes this 100% Tricare-covered breast pump ideal for moms who need to pump at work or while running errands. You can even control and monitor your pumping sessions using the free Elvie Pump app.

Order your wearable breast pump today to supplement your breast milk supply while combination feeding.

The Elvie Stride breast pump offers powerful, comfortable pumping for moms looking to supplement formula while combination feeding, but it’s just one of many pumps that we offer. Not sure which option is right for you? Get in touch. We can walk you through some of our most popular pumps and all the advantages they offer.