Mixed breastfeeding occurs when the baby is fed from the mother’s breast and milk formulas. However, this type of diet has some unwanted effects. In this space we detail them.Breastfeeding is the most common way to feed babies, but in many cases baby feeding can be combined with artificial milk. We tell you everything you need to know about mixed breastfeeding.

The recommendation by the World Health Organization(WHO) is that exclusive breastfeeding is sustained until 6 months of age, since breast milk has all the necessary nutrients for the development of the baby. After this time, complementary feeding can be started.

However, in many cases this is not possible and mixed breastfeeding occurs. That is, the baby feeds both on the mother’s breast and on milk formulas

Why does mixed lactation arise?

There are many situations that lead mothers to combine breastfeeding their babies. Some of them are the following:

  • Mothers state that the baby is not full enough with the milk they produce and, furthermore, they are unaware of the benefits of breast milk.
  • Lack of stimulation for milk production.
  • Lack of knowledge about the correct manipulation of the method to express milk and keep it properly refrigerated.
  • For its practicality, since breastfeeding requires time and adequate space.

What benefits can mix breastfeeding have?

In many cases, there are certain digestive problems that require the use of adapted formulas, as they help to correct some problems, such as in premature children or those with a tendency to reflux. In these cases, they help the improvement of symptoms, since they are designed to avoid them.

Check baby’s weight

When the child has certain difficulties to gain weight, the ideal is to think about the correct nutrition, which often means incorporating the formula that best suits. This is because babies need controlled hydration, and the formulas are very appropriate.

By taking medications

There are certain medications that the mother may consume that have the characteristic of passing into breast milk. In these cases, it is recommended to stop breastfeeding and resort exclusively to the formulas, until the medication stops.

The problems of mixed breastfeeding

Mixed breastfeeding can have some drawbacks. Therefore, as far as possible, the ideal is to continue breastfeeding for the time recommended by the WHO. Likewise, the use of formula should be supervised by the pediatric professional to avoid complications in the baby. What can cause?

Baby may have preferences

Generally, the baby rejects the bottle, since he takes it to the breast not only provides food, but there is an emotional bond. However, the opposite may occur, as the baby begins to prefer the bottle because it needs less force to suck.

Even, in many cases, the child rejects the breast because it is difficult for him to suck. To avoid this, there are nipples designed so that it costs the same to suck from the bottle or the mother’s breast. The amount of breast milk does not adjust to the growth of the baby

When the needs of the child increase over time, it is usual, or easier, to increase the amount of artificial milk, rather than wait for the production of breast milk to increase. Therefore, as the months go by, the amount of breast milk that the baby takes will be less relative to that of formula milk.

Lower breast milk production

As already mentioned, to the give less chest reduces stimulation of milk production, so that exclusive breastfeeding may have to end sooner than you had thought. To avoid this, the use of formulas should be given as little as possible, leaving it for specific occasions.

Mouth problems

Several studies suggest that when the baby is fed with the bottle, he cannot perform the physiological movements of the jaw, since he must control the amount of milk he ingests to avoid choking and swallowing, which is not the case if he is breastfed.

The lack of a correct muscular movement, diminishes the stimulation of the growth and the shape of the mouth, and conditions the appearance of future problems.

Mixed breastfeeding: what should be clear?

We must not forget that breastfeeding up to six months of life is important, not only for child growth, but also for its benefits in protecting against infectious and respiratory diseases.

However, the combination of breastfeeding with formulas can have some benefits, such as those mentioned, as long as it is used in specific cases.


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