Many new mothers have an idea of the methods they want to use for feeding baby but it doesn’t always go according to plan. Some mothers may not be able to produce milk and others choose not to breastfeed for other reasons. No matter what your situation is, don’t fret because a fed baby is best!
Benefits of Breastfeeding
If you are able to produce breastmilk, you may want to consider breastfeeding as there are several benefits for both you and baby.
- Bonding with Baby
- Strengthens Baby’s Immune System
- Burns Calories
- Cost Effective
Breastfeeding is a great way to bond with baby. In the first few weeks of baby’s life, they will find comfort in their mother’s arms and even recognize their mother’s heartbeat. It’s an unexplainable and precious feeling to look down at your little one as they gaze into your eyes and feel safe and nourished.
The milk your body produces for baby actually helps build up their immune system. Infants are susceptible to colds and illnesses so this gives them an extra fighting chance. Breastmilk is different based on the age of your baby. When baby is just a day or two old, your body can produce what is called colostrum which is also known as liquid gold. It gets its name from its gold color and because the droplets are packed with rich nutrients for your infant’s first feedings. Their stomachs are so tiny so drops is all they need. It’s amazing how the body knows how much volume to produce.
It takes a lot of work for the body to produce breastmilk. It even burns calories! If you are exclusively breastfeeding, you can burn anywhere from 300 to 500 calories! If you notice you have an increased appetite while breastfeeding, that is normal. Talk to your doctor about how many extra calories a day you can consume.
Breastfeeding is convenient. When your little one is cluster feeding (eating more frequently) it is nice to be able to feed them quickly and easily. It is also easy to feed your little one when you are out and about. All you need is a nursing cover if you would like some privacy and you can feed them anywhere. If you choose to breastfeed in the beginning, you can also save on formula costs.
Breastfeeding and Bottle Feeding
Some women choose to exclusively feed one way or the other. There are several benefits of doing both!
Here are a few great reasons why you should try both breastfeeding and bottle feeding:
- Great way for Daddy to bond with baby. A lot of the baby’s needs naturally fall on the mother in the beginning. When you introduce a bottle properly, Daddy can have a wonderful bonding experience with baby as well.
- Milk Supply. Some women experience shortages of milk supply or are unable to produce altogether. Many women struggle with this as if it is a sign of weakness but it’s not. As long as you are making sure your baby is fed, you are doing a great job. It’s alright to introduce formula if it appears your baby is frustrated and still hungry after nursing.
You can keep trying to nurse even if you notice your supply seems low. By keeping a nursing routine, you can actually encourage your body to produce more milk again based on the supply/demand principle. If at some point you need to return to work, adding an occasional bottle feeding will help you to stock up a frozen supply of breastmilk.
- Give your breasts a break. Breastfeeding can be an amazing experience but it does take a toll on your breasts and cause discomfort. If you choose to nurse and pump frequently, adding in some bottle feedings to the routine will give you a well-deserved break!
Tips on Bottle Introduction
Baby will likely be awkward during the first bottle feeding. Not only are they still figuring out their motor skills, but they also know this is something different than what they are used to. Fortunately, the Wawita bottle nipples are carefully designed to mimic breastfeeding to minimize confusion for baby. Several of our loyal Wawita moms have been delighted that their little one was still interested in nursing after bottle feedings. If your goal is to breastfeed for a certain amount of time, this is a big relief!
It's important to understand that there are different nipple flow rates on bottles. You would choose the right size based on your baby’s age. Wawita offers a variety of sizes that cater to different age groups. Below is a chart to help you select the right size for your little one. Wawita also offers bundle packages where you can choose a variety of fun colors and sizes so that your child can continue to use the bottle as they grow.
The first bottle feeding can be intimidating. If you are going to try giving your baby a bottle for the first time, you may be asking a few questions.
Q: What temperature should the contents of the bottle be?
A: If baby has been breastfeeding, they are used to warm milk. Before a bottle feeding, warm up the contents by running under warm water or using a bottle warmer. Pour a few drops on your wrist to test the temperature. It should be slightly warmer than room temperature. Never microwave a bottle as it can warm unevenly and be too hot for baby and microwaving breastmilk breaks down the proteins and it loses some of its quality. The Wawita bottles have an amazing temperature color changing feature to help determine if the contents is too hot! Learn more here!
Q: How much should I feed my baby?
A: First, talk to your doctor for recommendations. There are also a lot of great resources and helpful charts online that you can use as a guideline. We did some research for you and compiled some of the best information into a helpful chart below. This is a guide for milk/formula and assuming introduction of purees and solids after 6 months.
For more frequently asked questions, visit our FAQ page and see what other moms are asking!
General Tips on Feeding
- Baby may naturally prefer one breast over the other when nursing. This is likely because one breast has more milk flow than the other. Regardless, be sure to alternate as much as you can to keep supply up on both sides. You may notice an unevenness in breast size temporarily.
- It is normal for baby to cluster feed. This is a growth spurt that causes them to have an increased appetite and nurse more frequently than normal. This can last a few days or even weeks.
- If baby starts to cough and choke on milk - remain calm. Sit them up right away and pat their back to help clear the throat. Be sure to choose the appropriate bottle nipple size based on your child’s age.
- Breastmilk production is strongest in the morning.
- Many moms fear that introducing a bottle will make baby stop breastfeeding. Every baby and their preference is different but there are many moms that enjoy both nursing and bottle feeding.
- You can continue to breastfeed if you are sick. This may vary depending on what your illness is but for colds and minor sickness it is fine to feed baby. Talk to your doctor if you are uncertain.
- Always try to burp baby after every feeding to minimize discomfort for them.
- Avoid tummy time, bouncing and baths right after a feeding to minimize spitting up.
Being a new parent can be intimidating. Just when you think you know it all and have spent countless hours researching, you will learn something new! Hang in there. However you choose to feed your little one is just fine and it should be whatever works for you and your family.
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