Most lactation consultants recommend to wait until breast milk supply is well established for at least 6 months before introducing a bottle to the baby.
But for moms who are returning to work would have to introduce a bottle to their baby at the end of the confinement leave which is normally on the 2nd or 3rd month.
For the baby, it would be a learning experience as sucking milk from bottle require different mouth and tongue movement compare to breastfeeding. Moreover, being care by others apart from mother would also need some time to adjust.
Its a good choice to begin bottle feeding at least 2 weeks before returning to work in order to gives some times to work out any glitches a head of time.
1. Let someone else gives the bottle.
Baby associates mom with the pleasure of nursing, and having some one else make the introduction to bottle may be less confused. Get help from your mother, partner or childcare provider.
2. Try a slow flow nipple
Always use a slow flow teat to continue to encourage baby to suckle & works for his milk. A faster flow teat will made baby lazy to suckle since the milk flow easily into his mouth. If your baby gags, replace the nipple with a slow-flow and check if that helps.
3. Hold him in a different position.
Try different feeding positions. Different babies prefer the nursing position, sitting propped up on caregiver’s legs (like sitting in an infant seat), or being held facing out with baby’s back against caregiver’s chest.
4. Try different temperatures
Try using different temperatures when offering the milk – some babies will take it cold, others barely warm. Experiment with different temperature to determine his preference.
5. Encourage baby to seek for the bottle
Instead of pushing the bottle into baby’s mouth, offer the bottle slowly by brushing his lips with the nipple or laying it near his mouth or tickling or stroking baby’s mouth/lips with the bottle nipple to encourage baby to open wide for the bottle, then gently place the entire nipple into the baby’s mouth.
6. Try some distraction
Try giving the bottle while moving rhythmically: rocking, walking or swaying side to side. Some babies who refuse a bottle at other times will take one when riding in a car seat.
7. Use something that smells like mom
Wrap the bottle in a piece of mom’s clothing so that it smells like mom.
8. Try different nipples
Try different bottle nipples to find a shape and substance (rubber or silicone) baby will accept. Try nipple that resemble as much as possible the shape of your areola and nipple.
9. Don’t wait until baby is desperately hungry
When offering the bottle, it’s often best to offer a small amount like 1/2 – 1oz of breastmilk, at a time when the baby isn’t too hungry.
10. Dream feed baby
Dream feed work well for babies who are younger than 6 month especially newborns. Dream feeding is feed your baby while they are asleep by putting a bottle to their lips and let them fed until content, gently burp and lay them without waking them up.
This is a sharing by a mother who is a nurse on shift working mode yet successful in breastfed her baby.
Each mother has different type of breastfeeding challenges but don’t give up too soon.
# The most important is that a breastfeeding mother don’t get too stress as it will affect your emotion and then affect your milk production even before you are ready to stop breastfeeding.
# Its important for a breastfeeding mother to be on a healthy diet and be aware of food types that cause low milk supply.
# Not forgetting the Breastfeeding set, it helps mother to gain strength and be healthy and energetic that aids in extended breastfeeding until the baby age 2 years old.
Sounds like too many thing to consider, but the breastfeeding benefits towards the baby make it worth the effort. So, make use your confinement period to gain strength and be healthy, get over postnatal emotional upheaval and bond with your little ones.
Enjoy your motherhood fully.
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