How Can I Combine Breast and Bottle Feeding?

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
I'm expecting a baby and plan to both breast feed and bottle feed. There has been a lot of controversy in the news regarding what formulas consumers should avoid. What would you recommend?

ANSWER

The ideal would be for you to give your baby nothing but breast milk from the breast for the first two weeks (no pacifiers, either) to build up your milk supply. Then start pumping breast milk--it keeps 2 months in the freezer (or 6 months in a chest-type deep freeze). Whenever you need to give your baby a bottle just give it breast milk. Then you won't have to worry about what kind of formula is not okay. A good breast pump is cheaper than formula, and it is definitely best for both you and baby. It will take you about 10 minutes with a good pump to empty both breasts.

I'm sorry I don't know the answer to your question about which formula is best. You will need to talk to your pediatrician who will suggest the best one for your baby if that's the way you choose to go.

-- Cynthia, CNM

Cynthia Flynn

Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.