1. Pumping + Breastfeeding
2. Pumping + Formula Feeding
3. Breastfeeding + Formula Feeding
There are several reasons why a combination of feeding methods might be the right fit for you and your baby – right away or after some time. The biggest reason to combine methods is to make sure your baby is getting enough to eat at each feeding. Sometimes a mom just isn’t producing enough milk and supplementing is a must. Sometimes a mom is working and needs to supplement somehow. But sometimes, it’s just a personal choice. And being able to see the amount of milk/formula you deliver to your baby is, of course, more exact than breastfeeding and therefore much easier to measure. Whatever you end up doing, do not shame yourself for any reason. And don’t let anyone else shame you either! There’s enough judgy-ness in parenting already! Just do what you feel is right for your family.
In all three scenarios, you’ll want to buy three to five 5-ounce bottles and three to five level-1 nipples to start. Plus, it’ll help to read our Formula Feeding post and our Breastfeeding post for all of the other pumping and bottle gear you’ll need to have on hand.
If you are pumping + formula feeding, we highly suggest that you keep any formula you are supplementing separate from the pumped milk and deliver the pumped milk in its own bottle first at the feeding, followed by the formula in its own bottle. This is because oftentimes babies won’t completely finish a bottle, so this way you can make sure your baby is drinking all of the colostrum or breast milk you’re offering first.
The same goes for breastfeeding + formula feeding; breastfeed first and supplement with formula in a bottle second.