Advice Needed on Supplementing Formula

by Sarah (Albuquerque, NM)


My baby has some sensitivities to foods that I eat, including most oils (except olive). I am working part time, and having a difficult time pumping enough milk.

I would like to supplement some soy formula with the milk for my six month old. Problem is, most contain oils.

A. Do you know of any other way to supplement and not compromise nutrition?

B. I may just try a little and see how she reacts. Any brands you recommend?

Thanks for all your good information.



Hi Sarah,

It's wonderful you're able to nurse your baby when you're with her, and that's you've worked at pumping.

Supplementing with formula (such as while you're at work) can work for babies, especially if you nurse while you're with her and continue to nurse at night.

About formulas: I do not recommend soy formula. You're right in that it contains a lot of oils – and it contains many, many things that you don't want your baby to have.

Read about the dangers of soy formula

Before I go on please remember that I'm not a doctor, just a mother sharing information I've gathered.

If you're going to supplement with a formula I'd recommend supplementing with a homemade formula. I will provide you with two recipes for homemade formula, both of which have been tested and proven – many babies have thrived on them. I don't think they equal mother's milk, but they're very good.

Many of the beautiful children in these galleries have thrived on homemade formulas

Both use oils – olive oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, and cod liver oil. You can give the cod liver oil separately to an older baby. The other oils are important components to the formula recipes and I'm not sure if you should leave them out.

My son Galen has a very uncoordinated swallowing ability and doesn't do well with solids. He gets a modified version on the homemade formula to supplement his purees and my milk – I don't use all the oils in it, but Galen is also 13 months old at the time of this writing.

Before moving on let me give you some links:

Ann Marie's technique for Milk-based formula (includes official recipe).

Milk and Meat Based Recipes

Homemade Formula Q & A

Email list for Moms feeding traditional foods – this list has LOTS of moms who have needed to use the homemade formula and is a huge resource. It is very supportive of nursing AND of supplementing. Some of these moms might have experiences with babies who have trouble with oils.

What kind of oils have you tried? Have you tried other very natural oils like coconut oil, or butter? She may have issues with “new” processed oils – soy oil, corn oil, etc… these oils are very new in the human diet and cause a lot of issues for many of us. But both you and she need good fats. Good fats help you sustain your milk supply, too.

I'll let you explore these resources – please let me know if you have further questions or if I can help in any other way.

Best of luck with you and your daughter!

About the author 


Kristen is a pregnancy coach, student midwife, and a mama to 8 - all born naturally! I've spent nearly two decades helping mamas have healthy babies, give birth naturally, and enjoy the adventure of motherhood. Does complete support for a sacred birth and beautiful beginning for your baby resonate with you? Contact me today to chat about how powerful guidance and coaching can transform your pregnancy, birth, and mothering journey <3

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