Before giving any advice on bottle feeding with breast milk, you should know that a breast pump cannot stimulate breast milk production like a baby. If you are going to pump exclusively you can read more here , as you will need to pump more often.
Breastfeeding and bottle feeding moms should pump those times that they would normally breastfeed to keep breast milk supply up.
You are a great mom for wanting to do the best for baby and continue to try breastfeeding and bottle feeding together.
~ bottle feeding breast milk ~
Never warm breast milk in the microwave, it can form air pockets that might burn baby and will destroy some of the nutrients in the milk.
Reasons for bottle feeding breast milk
- Mom is returning to work and will need somebody to bottle feed baby the breast milk during the day.
- Mom wants to take a break at night, will give dad or another family member the chance to feed and bond with baby while she rests.
- Mom may just find that she prefers to feed baby using a bottle.
- Mom expresses her breast milk because she wants to increase her milk supply. Remember this should be done while continuing to breastfeed, as a breast pump cannot increase breast milk supply as well as baby's suckling.
Bottle breast feeding milk tips
These tips are especially for moms who are planning on continued breastfeeding
- Make sure that baby is not making a lot of sucking or popping sounds while drinking
- Keep baby at a 45-degree angle while bottle feeding him.
- Always keep milk in the nipple and neck of the bottle while tilting it so that baby swallows less air while feeding.
- Never prop a bottle up against something and leave baby to drink alone. Baby can choke like this and will end up drinking more air, resulting in more spit ups and gas pain.
- A breast milk bottle feeding time should be seen as a time to bond with baby. When breastfeeding, mom spends valuable bonding time with baby, this should continue during bottle feeding.
- When handling breast milk from a bottle, always follow proper breast milk storage guidelines.
- Always try to get an artificial nipple that is closest to your own nipple to prevent nipple confusion. You can alternatively use other feeding methods like cup feeding.
- Bottle feeding breastfed babies should be switched from one side to the other half way through a feed so that they don’t develop side preference, which could hinder breastfeeding afterward.
- Don’t stuff the nipple into baby’s mouth, but let him root for it and take it himself just as he would when breastfeeding.
- Pausing every few minutes will mimic the let down reflex that happens when mom is breastfeeding, which will also prevent preference for the artificial nipple.
Introducing a bottle to a breastfed baby when bottle feeding and breastfeeding
- It is recommended to only start introducing the bottle after baby is between 3 – 5 weeks old and can breastfeed well. This is so that your breast milk supply does not dwindle when you start breastfeeding less and expressing more.
- If a bottle needs to be introduced before 4 weeks of age, it's best to use alternative feeding methods like cup or finger feeding.
- For the first couple of bottles it would be best to first breastfeed for a few minutes to ease baby’s hunger and then only give him the bottle.
- Some moms have found that it’s best to let somebody else give baby the first few bottles, as baby associates mom with the comfort of the breast.
Ways that you can express your milk for breast bottle feeding
- Hand expressing ~ This is a very cheap and convenient way to express your breast milk, but not recommended for moms who are trying to increase milk supply. Read more on how to hand express your breast milk.
- Hand help breast pump ~ This is usually quicker than hand expressing, but should only be used once your milk supply is established.
- Electric breast pumps ~ They are usually quite expensive, but are great for increasing milk supply. They can be hired too, sometimes at a very reasonable price. These types of pumps come in double action so that you can pump both breasts at the same time…saving you time. How to choose the right breast pump.
- Read more on pumping and breastfeeding to increase milk supply
Other pages on “breastfeeding problems” in connection with “bottle feeding breast milk”
- Breast milk storage guidelines
- Breastfeeding and pumping
- Weaning from breast to bottle
- Mixing breast milk and formula
- The best breast milk bottles
- Pumping exclusively.
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Site by BFeeding Mamma, Tracy Behr, Studying through Child birth international (CBC, CBD), Author and Mommy of two.