Feeding your baby
A non judgemental look at Breast and Bottle feeding.
We are well aware of the numerous health benefits of breast feeding your baby, however we are also aware that breastfeeding is not for everyone. Whether you struggle to breast feed, (we have an article coming up covering this subject), cannot breast feed or just frankly don't want to sometimes with the "breast is best" motto thrown every around everywhere it can be difficult to find honest impartial advice about breast and bottle feeding.
There is no judgement here, we are all trying our best and so you can find some information and appropriate support links for both breast and bottle feeding below.
"Breastfeeding has long-term benefits for your baby, lasting right into adulthood". (Source Benefits of breastfeeding - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
Even the smallest amount of breast milk can have a positive effect on babies long term health. with these effects increasing with the duration of your breast feeding journey.
Breastfeeding can help to reduce your baby's risk of:
infections, with fewer visits to hospital as a result
diarrhoea and vomiting, with fewer visits to hospital as a result
sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
cardiovascular disease in adulthood
However breastfeeding can be tricky to get the hang on to begin with. Breastfeeding is a skill that takes work, patience and time to establish. Breastfeeding mums can also wonder if their baby is feeding well and getting enough milk, but careful liasion with midwives and health visitors as well as regular weighing appointments can usually help. (Source Breastfeeding Help & Support | Baby | Start4Life (www.nhs.uk))
What will you need, there is no specific equipement needed for breast feeding (other than breasts) but you may find breast pads, a nursing bra/clothes, nipple cream (we recommend lanolin) , i also found the lanolin heat pads were useful. You may also wish to purchase a breast feeding cover of some kind if you are uncomfortable with feeding in front of others.
Advantages of bottle feeding
Here are some of the advantages and benefits of bottle feeding and formula feeding;
Featuring the below does by no mean mean we are under valuing the multitude of health benefits breast feeding has. But for some breastfeeding either isnt possible or is not something they want to do.
When bottle feeding your baby , you can measure exactly how much food your little one is getting per feeding. This can be reassuring to parents who want to ensure their babies are getting enough.
Bottle feeding enables both parents and other care givers to help with feeding .
Mums who choose to bottle feed their baby don't have to worry about altering their diet to meet the needs of their baby. Caffeine, alcohol, and calorie intake are more flexible.
Formula-fed babies also tend to go longer between feeds as formula takes longer to digest.
What you will need
If you decide to use infant formula, first infant formula (first milk) should always be the first formula you give your baby. It is receommended that you use the ready made formula for at least the first month. You'll need several bottles, teats and a bottle brush, as well as sterilising equipment, such as a cold-water steriliser, microwave or steam steriliser.
If you're using infant formula, follow the instructions on the packaging carefully when you make up the feed. Make sure you throw away any unused milk after feeds and try to avoid making bottles ahead of time If you have any questions, concerns, or need some advice (whether you are breastfeeding or using first infant formula), you call the NCT helpline (0300 330 0700).
A further option that can be used is combination feeding. This is where baby is both breast and bottle fed (with with expressed breast milk or formula). This isnt recommended within the first 6 weeks due to potential nipple confusion, however as any amount of breast milk is beneficial can be used within the first 6 weeks if you are advised to do so by health professionals.
There is further information on combination feeding here: