Whether you're supplementing formula because your breast milk supply has decreased or because your baby needs extra calories, there's a good chance you're still pumping. Pumping is not only going to help bring your supply back up, but it's also providing your baby with the breast milk you want them to have. But if you have to continue supplementing, does that mean double the bottles, or can you mix supplement formula with breast milk?
Although it's recommended that you always breastfeed rather than give a bottle of pumped milk, if you're feeding your baby their supplementation formula and want them to have the added benefits of breast milk, you can safely mix the formula with the breast milk according to La Leche League International. In fact, this is actually a form of supplementation and has the added benefit of not wasting much breast milk if your baby doesn't finish an entire bottle. Dr. Sheela Geraghty told Parents that she recommends moms mix smaller bottles of the mixture, just in case your little one doesn't finish.
Just be sure that every time you give your baby a bottle, you make up for that supplementation by pumping. Parenting notes that if you're supplementing (even with breast milk), but not actively keeping up with your supply, your milk supply will eventually tank, as it thinks you no longer have a hungry baby.
But being able to mix bottles of formula with breast milk is especially helpful for moms who may only pump a few ounces at a time. If you're working to get your supply up, use that extra breast milk you're pumping each day to add to your baby's bottles of formula. You'll save on formula and you'll give your child the added benefits of breast milk, all while you're pumping to increase your supply. Also, now you only have one bottle per feeding to wash instead of two, so you're welcome.