Bottle Feeding to Support Breastfeeding

Bottle Feeding to Support Breastfeeding

Typically, as baby feeding professionals, lactation specialists and other specialists in the field of human lactation are asked how to properly bottle-feed a baby.

Direct breastmilk feedings from the mom’s breast are always preferred to any synthetic source or compound. In addition, there are typically alternatives to bottle-feeding, such as cup feeding, which must be explored.

For the baby who has to be bottle-fed, following is some details to assist make the experience an excellent one for the baby and also to make sure that breastfeeding is completely supported even when synthetic feedings are used. This info can likewise be useful in evaluating child care providers and for instructing them on how to bottle-feed a breastfed infant. Keep in mind that when working through any feeding troubles with an infant, a lactation expert is an exceptional resource for assessing techniques for their appropriateness to the particular situation. While beneficial for any bottle-fed baby, this info is particularly targeted to babies under 6 months of age. Babies ought to be bottle-fed:

  • When their hints suggest cravings, rather than on a schedule.
  • Held in an upright position; it is especially crucial to avoid letting the baby drink from a bottle when lying down. Such a position is related to bottle caries and an increased frequency of ear infections. Note likewise that babies need to be held typically sometimes when they are not being fed, to prevent the baby being trained to eat in order to be held.
  • With a switch from one side to the other side midway through a feed; this offers eye stimulation and advancement, and wards off the advancement of a side choice which might affect the breastfeeding mom.
  • For 10-20 minutes at a time, to imitate the typical breastfeeding experience. Care suppliers ought to be encouraged to make appropriate quantities last the average length of a feeding, rather than aiming to feed as much as they can in as brief a time as possible. This time element is considerable since the baby’s system requires time to acknowledge satiety, long before the stomach has a possibility to obtain over-filled.
  • Carefully, enabling the infant to draw nipple into mouth rather than pushing the nipple into the baby’s mouth, so that baby controls when the feed begins. Stroke baby’s lips from leading to bottom with the nipple to illegal a rooting action of a wide open mouth, then allow the baby to “accept” the nipple rather than poking it in.
  • Consistent with a breastfed rhythm; the caregiver ought to motivate regular stops briefly while the baby drinks from the bottle to mimic the breastfeeding mom’s let-down patterns. This prevents the baby from guzzling the bottle and can alleviate nipple confusion or preference.
  • To satiation, so that baby is not strongly motivated to complete the last bit of milk in the bottle by such steps as forcing the nipple into the mouth, massaging the infant’s jaw or throat, or rattling the nipple around in the baby’s mouth. If baby is drowsing off and releasing the bottle nipple before the bottle is empty that indicates baby is done; don’t rekindle the baby to “complete.”

The benefits of bottle-feeding in this way:

  • The baby will take in a volume appropriate to their size and age, rather than over- or under-eating. This can support the working and pumping mom who then has actually an increased probability of pumping an everyday volume equivalent to the baby’s need.
  • This can minimize colic-like symptoms in the baby whose stomach is distended or over-fed.
  • It supports the breastfeeding relationship, ideally causing longer periods and increased success at breastfeeding particularly for moms who are separated from their nurslings either intermittently or continually.

Bottle Feeding to Support Breastfeeding

Parents typically ask “when is the best time to present a bottle?” There is not an ideal time, however lactation specialists generally recommend waiting until the milk supply is established and breastfeeding is going well. Providing a bottle somewhere between 2-4 weeks is a great time frame. Sometimes waiting too long (after 6 weeks) can result in a baby who may highly decline the bottle.

Bottle feeding Myth 1: Bottle feeding lets me know how much nutrition the baby has had.

Mommies who bottle-feed, whether using expressed breast milk or anything else, need to know that while artificial feeding might seem to be a really precise measure of volume taken in, in truth it is frequently not. Bottle-fed babies more often regurgitate some quantity of a feed, or get a less than perfect balance of fore and hind milk than they might if feeding straight from the breast. If a substance other than breastmilk is used, the increased metabolic workload for the baby, lower digestibility of nutrients and increased waste significantly water down the advantage of a feed, although it is more easily determined.

Bottle feeding Myth 2: It is simple to bottle-feed safely.

Bottle-feeding caregivers face specific challenges in feeding a baby securely.

  • Wash hands before dealing with bottles or feeding baby.
  • Wash bottles and nipples/teats with warm water and soap, and wash well. Some sources advise sterilization of all feeding equipment, particularly bottle nipples/teats.
  • If infant formula is used:
    • Wash, rinse, and dry the top of the formula can before you open it. Ensure that all equipment used has actually been completely cleaned: can opener, measuring cups/spoons, blending container, etc.
    • Lot numbers must be kept for any infant formula or bottled water fed to the baby, so that parents can determine whether the item went through a recall.
    • For powdered formula, a clean source of water need to be readily available, devoid of bacteria. If tap water is used, the caregiver must choose whether to boil the water to get rid of bacteria (which might focus any heavy metals in the water), or to use unboiled water. Because powdered baby formula is not sterile, it must be blended with water that is at least 70 ° C/158 ° F to kill any harmful bacteria that may be present in the formula (to reduce the risk of infection, do not blend with cooled water– even if it is bottled or has already been boiled). Cool formula prior to feeding to baby.
    • Amounts the baby will need must be thoroughly approximated, because unused formula must be disposed of after the feed.
  • If you are using both breastmilk and infant formula during the very same feed, it’s best not to blend them in the same bottle. This is merely to avoid losing breastmilk when baby does not complete the bottle (because it includes formula, contents should be discarded at the end of the feed). Feed the breastmilk, then follow with formula.

Additional resources

There are a number of options for feeding baby when you are unable to straight breastfeed– a bottle is only one of them. If your baby is older than 4-6 months old, consider going straight to a cup. If your baby is below 3-4 weeks old, think about alternative feeding methods for a number of factors:

  • Routine use of a bottle rather of breastfeeding can interfere with mom’s efforts to establish a good milk supply.
  • Bottle use also increases baby’s risk of nipple or flow choice.
  • One study has actually shown that babies fed by bottle (whether the contents are breastmilk or formula) tend to gain excessive weight: Li R, Magadia J, Fein SB, Grummer-strawn LM. Risk of bottle-feeding for fast weight gain during the first year of life. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Medication. 2012; 166( 5):431 -6. The paced, baby-led technique of bottle feeding explained here and in the resources below need to assist to avoid overfeeding.


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