To breastfeed, your baby needs to master the fine art of taking your nipple far back into her mouth and then using her tongue to pump out the milk which can take a minute or so before it starts flowing. With a tilted bottle, a baby has gravity on her side: She can suck with her lips and get all the milk she wants right away. So the baby suffering from nipple confusion may not be befuddled so much as opinionated.
She prefers the bottle. Give breast-only feeding the recommended three weeks for your milk supply to get well established and for your newborn to really master the technique, and then feel free to give yourself that longed-for break. Some babies take to bottle-feeding right away, others protest. If you've got a stubborn bottle feeder on your hands, be ready to offer a choice of formula, nipple sizes and style, and formula-feeding times until he decides which one he prefers.
Go back to square one. Revisit the basics of latching on and remind your baby how soothing breastfeeding can be by cuddling her skin-to-skin.
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Make it easier. Time it right. Back off on the faux nipples. Let Daddy do the honors. Try different nipples types. Just watch the flow rate. A drop a second when you turn the bottle upside-down is just right. Make bottle feeding as much like breastfeeding as you can. Interact with your baby. Switch arms halfway through so she has something different to look at. Burp her. But remember that while some newborns want bottle feeding to be just like breastfeeding, others take to it better if the experience is completely different.
Bottle or breast feeding doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing choice. By spacing out feedings, finding a formula baby likes almost as much as mom's breast milk, and making sure nursing time includes lots of skin-on-skin bonding, you'll be able to enjoy the flexibility of both. The educational health content on What To Expect is reviewed by our team of experts to be up-to-date and in line with the latest evidence-based medical information and accepted health guidelines, including the medically reviewed What to Expect books by Heidi Murkoff.
Help Me, Heidi! How Do I Get Baby to Latch After Bottle-Feeding?
First Year. Baby Products. Nipple Confusion. Don't wait for your baby to cry. That's a sign he's too hungry. Breastfeed as long as your baby wants to nurse each time. Don't hurry your infant through feedings. Infants typically breastfeed for 10 to 20 minutes on each breast. This is key. Relax while breastfeeding, and your milk is more likely to "let down" and flow. Get yourself comfortable with pillows as needed to support your arms, head, and neck, and a footrest to support your feet and legs before you begin to breastfeed.
In a few situations, breastfeeding could cause a baby harm. You should not breastfeed if: You are HIV positive. You can pass the HIV virus to your infant through breast milk. You have active, untreated tuberculosis. You're receiving chemotherapy for cancer. You're using an illegal drug, such as cocaine or marijuana. Your baby has a rare condition called galactosemia and cannot tolerate the natural sugar, called galactose, in breast milk.
You're taking certain prescription medications, such as some drugs for migraine headaches , Parkinson's disease , or arthritis.
Continued Talk with your doctor before starting to breastfeed if you're taking prescription drugs of any kind. Some women don't want to breastfeed in public. Some prefer the flexibility of knowing that a father or any caregiver can bottle-feed the baby any time. Babies tend to digest formula more slowly than breast milk, so bottle feedings may not be as frequent as breastfeeding sessions.
Stages in breastfeeding progression
You can expect some soreness in the first weeks of breastfeeding. Make sure your baby latches on correctly, and use one finger to break the suction of your baby's mouth after each feeding. That will help prevent sore nipples. If you still get sore, be sure you nurse with each breast fully enough to empty the milk ducts. If you don't, your breasts can become engorged, swollen, and painful. Holding ice or a bag of frozen peas against sore nipples can temporarily ease discomfort.
Keeping your nipples dry and letting them "air dry" between feedings helps, too. Your baby tends to suck more actively at the start. So begin feedings with the less-sore nipple. Dry, cracked nipples. Avoid soaps, perfumed creams, or lotions with alcohol in them, which can make nipples even more dry and cracked. You can gently apply pure lanolin to your nipples after a feeding, but be sure you gently wash the lanolin off before breastfeeding again. Changing your bra pads often will help your nipples stay dry. And you should use only cotton bra pads. Worries about producing enough milk.
A general rule of thumb is that a baby who's wetting six to eight diapers a day is most likely getting enough milk. Avoid supplementing your breast milk with formula, and never give your infant plain water. Your body needs the frequent, regular demand of your baby's nursing to keep producing milk. Some women mistakenly think they can't breastfeed if they have small breasts. But small-breasted women can make milk just as well as large-breasted women. Good nutrition , plenty of rest, and staying well hydrated all help, too.
Pumping and storing milk. You can get breast milk by hand or pump it with a breast pump. It may take a few days or weeks for your baby to get used to breast milk in a bottle.
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So begin practicing early if you're going back to work. Breast milk can be safely used within 2 days if it's stored in a refrigerator.
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You can freeze breast milk for up to 6 months. Don't warm up or thaw frozen breast milk in a microwave. That will destroy some of its immune-boosting qualities, and it can cause fatty portions of the breast milk to become super hot.
Overcoming The Obstacles of Breastfeeding (And Fifteen Reasons You Can Do It)
Inverted nipples. An inverted nipple doesn't poke forward when you pinch the areola, the dark skin around the nipple. A lactation consultant -- a specialist in breastfeeding education -- can give simple tips that have allowed women with inverted nipples to breastfeed successfully. Breast engorgement. Breast fullness is natural and healthy. It happens as your breasts become full of milk, staying soft and pliable.
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But breast engorgement means the blood vessels in your breast have become congested. This traps fluid in your breasts and makes them feel hard, painful, and swollen. Alternate heat and cold, for instance using ice packs and hot showers, to relieve mild symptoms.
It can also help to release your milk by hand or use a breast pump. Blocked ducts. A single sore spot on your breast, which may be red and hot, can signal a plugged milk duct. This can often be relieved by warm compresses and gentle massage over the area to release the blockage. More frequent nursing can also help.