7 doctors weighed in:

How do I know if I should supplement with formula?

7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Sky Pittson
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Depends

This is a big question, and one best made in collaboration with your pediatrician and lactation consultant, if possible.
There are some cases in which exclusively breastfeeding your baby is just not possible due to medical considerations, some due to practical issues associated with job/family/social dynamics, and others with desire or motivations. But help is available. One great source is http://lllnorcal.Org/groups/peninsulaca.Html.

In brief: Depends

This is a big question, and one best made in collaboration with your pediatrician and lactation consultant, if possible.
There are some cases in which exclusively breastfeeding your baby is just not possible due to medical considerations, some due to practical issues associated with job/family/social dynamics, and others with desire or motivations. But help is available. One great source is http://lllnorcal.Org/groups/peninsulaca.Html.
Dr. Sky Pittson
Dr. Sky Pittson
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Dr. Bert Mandelbaum
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Poor Weight Gain

Breastfeeding is the ideal nutrition for most infants.
As long as your infant is gaining weight well and having wet and soiled diapers, you probably do not need to supplement your infant with formula. Occasionally, an infant might not gain weight or might become slightly dehydrated and formula supplementation might be helpful. Always speak with your pediatrician first if you are concerned.

In brief: Poor Weight Gain

Breastfeeding is the ideal nutrition for most infants.
As long as your infant is gaining weight well and having wet and soiled diapers, you probably do not need to supplement your infant with formula. Occasionally, an infant might not gain weight or might become slightly dehydrated and formula supplementation might be helpful. Always speak with your pediatrician first if you are concerned.
Dr. Bert Mandelbaum
Dr. Bert Mandelbaum
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Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics

In brief: If not enough milk

If a baby is very hungry after breastfeeding and cannot wait until the next breastfeeding, or if a baby is not gaining weight properly, a mom can supplement by feeding the baby some formula after the breastfeeding.
The mom can pump her breasts after each feeding, to increase her supply of breastmilk, so that the baby might stop needing formula.

In brief: If not enough milk

If a baby is very hungry after breastfeeding and cannot wait until the next breastfeeding, or if a baby is not gaining weight properly, a mom can supplement by feeding the baby some formula after the breastfeeding.
The mom can pump her breasts after each feeding, to increase her supply of breastmilk, so that the baby might stop needing formula.
Dr. Robert Kwok
Dr. Robert Kwok
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Dr. Marcus Degraw
Pediatrics

In brief: No

Moms who breastfeed rarely need to supplement with formula.
Breastfeeeding was created to work without help. If your supply comes in within a few days and the baby's weight is within a normal range (losing less than 10% the first week, and then gaining 1 ounce per day affter that period) then the amount of breastmilk is normal for that baby. Supplements are rarely need for full term babies.

In brief: No

Moms who breastfeed rarely need to supplement with formula.
Breastfeeeding was created to work without help. If your supply comes in within a few days and the baby's weight is within a normal range (losing less than 10% the first week, and then gaining 1 ounce per day affter that period) then the amount of breastmilk is normal for that baby. Supplements are rarely need for full term babies.
Dr. Marcus Degraw
Dr. Marcus Degraw
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Dr. Pamela Lindor
Pediatrics

In brief: No

Breast fed babies do not "need" formula, even in the first few days.
Once breastfeeding is established, you may be able to pump some "extra" milk to save for those times when you are separated and can't nurse. After nursing is well established, talk to your pediatrician about how and when to introduce other foods (including formula, if needed) to your baby's diet.

In brief: No

Breast fed babies do not "need" formula, even in the first few days.
Once breastfeeding is established, you may be able to pump some "extra" milk to save for those times when you are separated and can't nurse. After nursing is well established, talk to your pediatrician about how and when to introduce other foods (including formula, if needed) to your baby's diet.
Dr. Pamela Lindor
Dr. Pamela Lindor
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