Breastfeeding is the best way of feeding, both for mums and babies. However, not all mums are able to exclusively breastfeed – and some will choose not to.
Combination feeding involves supplementing breastfeeding with bottle-feeding – using formula or expressed breast milk. It enables parental flexibility through the night, or when a mum returns to work.
Advice to offer parents who have chosen to combination feed:
- Breastfeeding should be well established first
- Introducing partial bottle-feeding may have a negative effect on breast milk supply and reversing a decision not to breastfeed is difficult
- The Unicef Guide to the Baby Friendly Initiative Standards recommends responsive bottle-feeding as a way to prevent overfeeding.
- Bottle sterilisation and preparation instructions should be carefully explained to parents/carers to ensure that they have the information to make up feeds correctly and safely.
- Introducing one bottle