Is it okay to mix breast milk with formula? For an adequate response to this, I sought out the expertise of a lactation manager – Josie M. Karoki, who is a lactation manager and breastfeeding counselor at HunySuckle. Josie shared the following information:

“When preparing formula, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the tin. Never substitute breastmilk with water and similarly, never add formula powder to expressed breast milk. This can lead to dehydration of the baby or worse, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal upsets.

Josie M. Karoki of HunySuckle
Josie M. Karoki of HunySuckle

If you have already constituted formula milk as per the instructions and you’d like to add breastmilk to it, this is not advisable because formula milk must be discarded within 2 hours of preparation or within 1 hour of use by baby.

The advisable option would be to first breastfeed baby, or give the baby the breastmilk, then top-up/supplement with formula milk that has been prepared with water as per the manufacture’s instructions on the tin.”

That was Josie’s expert advice. Share this message with all the breastfeeding moms you know.

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Maryanne W. Waweru is a Kenyan mum raising her two sons in Nairobi. A journalist, Maryanne is passionate about telling stories and hopes that through her writing, her readers learn something new, feel encouraged, inspired, and appreciative of what they have in their lives. Maryanne's writing focuses on motherhood, women and lifestyle. "Telling stories is the only thing I know how to do," she says.

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