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How to support parents with combination feeding

How to support parents with combination feeding

Combination feeding, also known as mixed feeding, refers to the practice of providing a combination of breast milk and infant formula to meet a baby’s nutritional needs. For healthcare professionals, it is essential to provide comprehensive support to parents who opt for combination feeding, ensuring they have the necessary information, guidance, and reassurance. In this article, we will explore various ways healthcare professionals can support parents with combination feeding.

Educate on the benefits and techniques of combination feeding

Healthcare professionals play a vital role in educating parents about the pros and cons of combination feeding. Research shows that combination feeding can offer flexibility, convenience, and help parents maintain breastfeeding while addressing specific challenges or preferences. By providing evidence-based information, healthcare professionals can empower parents to make informed decisions.

Provide guidance on establishing a feeding routine

Establishing a feeding routine is crucial for parents practicing combination feeding. Healthcare professionals can guide parents on setting a consistent schedule, ensuring the baby receives both breast milk and formula at appropriate intervals. This guidance can help maintain adequate milk supply, prevent engorgement, and promote proper infant nutrition.

Assess and address individual needs

Each parent’s situation is unique, and healthcare professionals should evaluate their specific needs. By conducting thorough assessments, professionals can identify factors that may impact combination feeding, such as maternal health, milk supply, infant’s weight gain, and feeding difficulties. Addressing these factors promptly can help parents navigate the challenges and ensure the best possible outcomes for both the parent and the baby.

Support breastfeeding techniques

For parents choosing combination feeding, it is essential to maintain breastfeeding alongside formula feeding. Healthcare professionals can provide guidance on optimizing breastfeeding techniques, such as ensuring a proper latch, promoting skin-to-skin contact, and encouraging frequent feeding sessions. These practices can enhance milk production, strengthen the parent-infant bond, and support the baby’s overall development.

Address common concerns and challenges

Parents may face various concerns and challenges when practicing combination feeding. Common concerns may include nipple confusion, milk supply fluctuations, balancing breastfeeding and formula feeding, and emotional aspects of the feeding journey. By providing empathetic support and evidence-based strategies, professionals can help parents overcome obstacles and feel more confident in their feeding choices.

Monitor infant growth and development

Regular monitoring of the infant’s growth and development is crucial for healthcare professionals supporting parents with combination feeding. By assessing weight gain, tracking milestones, and conducting routine check-ups, professionals can ensure that the baby is thriving and receiving adequate nutrition. Monitoring also allows professionals to identify any potential issues early on and provide appropriate interventions.

Combination feeding can be a valuable choice for parents seeking a balance between breastfeeding and formula feeding. Healthcare professionals play a significant role in supporting parents on this journey by providing evidence

Read NHS guidelines for mixed or combination feeding

Important notice: Breastfeeding is best for babies. Kendamil should be used on the advice of a doctor, dietitian, pharmacist, or other professional responsible for maternal and child care. It is important that, in preparation for and during breastfeeding, mothers eat a healthy, balanced diet. Combined breast and bottle feeding in the first weeks of life may reduce the supply of breast milk.

The content of this article is intended solely for the use of healthcare practicioners.

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