Supplementing with Formula

Though generally not encouraged for breastfeeding infants in their first 6 months of life, there are times when a mother may be advised to temporarily supplement feeding her baby breast milk with formula from a bottle, including:

  • When the mother is too ill after giving birth to breastfeed
  • When a newborn requires specialized medical care due to premature birth or a life-threatening condition that precludes breastfeeding
  • When a doctor determines that an infant is not gaining enough weight through nursing alone to maintain health.

Follow your pediatrician’s instructions on when to supplement with formula and how much your baby will need.

Supplemental feeding may also be necessary if you have had breast augmentation or reduction surgery. This can result in a reduced breast milk supply if milk ducts or nerves were cut during the procedure. Breastfeeding is still possible, but supplementing with formula may be necessary. Talk with a lactation specialist about your breastfeeding options if you have had this surgery.

Disclaimer: This page is not intended to provide medical advice about your child. Always seek the advice of a physician, qualified healthcare provider or child-development specialist with any questions you have about your child's health, medical condition or development. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you read here.

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