Sonoma County

Maternal Child and Adolescent Health

Check Out our Improved Website!

Combo Feeding-

word on the street is rates are up

Has the stress of Covid lowered exclusive breastfeeding rates? Or is it a lack of support? Or something else altogether?

According to a 2020 study

"having doubts or thinking that the infant was not getting enough food or especially having offered the infant bottles of artificial milk during the stay in hospital were the factors that had the most influence on the abandonment of EB (exclusive breastfeeding) at 15 days and before the end of the first month."

What protected EB? "If, before the birth, the mother had decided that she wanted to breastfeed her newborn, this reduced the risk of abandonment at 15 days by 98%, at one month by 96% and at three months by 93%"


Talking about breastfeeding prenatally is an important piece of exclusive breastfeeding success. For help assessing and supporting your client's breastfeeding intention and confidence look in the Steps to Take Manual, Nutrition 147. Offer your client prenatal breastfeeding support with a referral to the WIC Peer Counseling Program.


Postpartum support can be a challenge in our post-Covid world.

For a current list of support resources check out the

Sonoma County Breastfeeding Coalition website

or the Maternal Child and Adolescent Health Breastfeeding page.

Many moms have found combo-feeding to be a good fit-

According to this 2017 Bustle Digital Group Romper Blog

Hmmm, this blog states "combo-feeding is something that MOST breastfeeding moms do"- and that "almost 80% of breastfeeding moms" combo-feed, citing the CDC.


According to the CDC website, in 2017 46.9% of babies in the US were exclusively breastfed to 3 months, that number fell to 25.6% by 6 months.

(It's all in how you report it.)

Steph Montgomery, 9 Things Only Moms Who Combo-Feed Actually Know, November 6, 2017

-Bustle Digital Group has "“the largest reach and engagement of any Millennial and Gen Z focused publisher” according to their website. "Health and medical articles also include a clear list of citations to studies referenced within the piece, as well as a list of experts who were interviewed for, or contributed to, the piece".

A UK study from 2020 found the pandemic did not impact all breastfeeding mothers equally. "Mothers with a lower education, with more challenging living circumstances and from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds were more likely to find the impact of lockdown challenging and stop breastfeeding". For mothers who were able to work from home, and had partners also working form home- it was a different story"-

"Depending on the working situation, some participants reported that their partner was at home for longer after the birth. Some were furloughed and had much more time to support breastfeeding and maternal recovery from both an emotional and physical perspective. Others were working from home but were still more present than they would have been if out at work all day. This shared care was felt to increase bonds between partner and baby and strengthened the

new parent relationship".


Money isn't everything though- this 2019 study found a positive correlation between economic status and breastmilk substitute use.


There are many well documented health risks of not breastfeeding, for both mom and baby.


Some studies have shown a higher risk for depression associated with not breastfeeding, and some show that difficulty breastfeeding may be a cause of depression post partum.


The bottom line is- After assessing breastfeeding goals and providing appropriate and timely support to help the new parent meet their stated goals- Perinatal Professionals need to support the parent's choice and rights regarding breastfeeding-

Breastfeeding Awareness Month is here with World Breastfeeding Week.

Send your breastfeeding story to liz.george@sonoma-county.org today!

All stories are anonymous, they need not be recent- Help another person to normalize breastfeeding by sharing your story on our Facebook page!

Sonoma County Maternal Child and Adolescent Health Website

Check out the Stories and Resources we are sharing on our Facebook page all month long in Celebration of Breastfeeding!

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