Being a mom is exhausting, it’s even more exhausting when you are an exclusive pumper!
Sometimes you just need a couple of minutes with free hands to pump, eat or just take a break between either holding baby or your pump flanges!
Bottle feeding can seem tiresome, especially when it can be so temping to lay baby down and prop a bottle up and tend to whatever it is you need to do, but there are risks involved, and these risks can be devastating, so it important to take them into account.
Babies, especially newborns have an immature suck, swallow, breathe reflex, their airways can very easily become overwhelmed and this can lead to a host of issues which include colic, bloating, gas and even choking and long term can have an impact on obesity.
Breastmilk is more watery than artificial infant milks, and because most bottles are manufactured with artificial milks in mind there is very little effort needed by baby to remove the breastmilk from the teat, the sucking also creates a vacuum which causes milk to rush from the teat, because baby cannot control the flow they often gulp which leads to painful winds, taking in too much milk which causes bloating and tummy cramps, but the most dangerous is when baby is unable to safely stop suckling to remove the teat to take a breath, milk can overwhelm the airway and baby can choke.
It is always recommended to use feeding time as a chance to bond with your baby, these early stages are when baby’s brain is going through huge developments and the beneficial stimulation of mothers touch as well as the connection of feeding cannot be disputed.
Making sure your baby’s caregiver understands the importance of paced, respectful bottle feeding can help alleviate any discomfort for baby and any worry for you. If you are really struggling to deal with your schedule, try simplifying, or ask for help if you need it, having someone on hand who is supportive to come take over feeding when you are in desperate need of something to eat or a shower can help keep you sane and baby safe.
It is never recommended to leave baby alone with a propped bottle, baby should be either held by a caregiver or if older, in a sitting position with a caregiver watching baby at all times.
Here are some safe bottle feeding tips:
- Feed baby in an upright position with the bottle parallel to the floor.
- Allow baby to lead the feed.
- Support baby’s head and neck.
- Make sure baby is able to regulate the flow safely.
- Never swaddle when feeding, baby’s hands are good indicators of stress.
- Never force baby to finish a feed.
Breastmilk is completely different from artificial infant milks in that the consistency of breastmilk stays the same throughout the breastfeeding relationship, therefore a slow flow, size 1 teat is all that you will ever need.
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