Mixed feeding, or combi feeding, is a method of feeding combining both breast and bottle feeding. There are various reasons to consider mixed feeding:
- You want to share feeding responsibilities with you partner or family members
- You aren’t producing enough milk
- You are returning to work or study and need to provide bottle feeds while you are away
There are several different methods of mixed feeding, any of which can be used to suit yours and your baby’s needs:
- Combining breastfeeding and expressing breast milk
- Combining breastfeeding and formula feeds
- Combining breastfeeding, expressing breast milk and formula feeds
- Bottle feeding expressed breast milk and formula milk
- Bottle feeding expressed breast milk
As I was keen on giving my child the benefits of breast milk, I started talking to other mothers who were going through a similar experience to me. Most mothers think that there are only two options for a baby’s nutrition; it’s either their own breast milk or bovine based formula milk, or an amalgamation of the two. We are largely ignorant of the option of donor human milk.
Wet nursing, or a form of breastfeeding provided by someone other than the infants’ mother, was commonplace until the invention of infant formula and feeding bottles made it virtually obsolete in western culture. However, technological advances over the past 100 years or so making expressing, storing and transporting of milk possible, have given rise to the practice of donating milk.
Donor human milk can also be used when mixed feeding to supplement low milk supply, or to replace the element of breast feeding when it is not possible.