From breast to bottle
12:50 (GMT+2), Wed, 20 July 2011
“Breast babies who are being weaned onto the bottle often protest a lot to both the sucking from a bottle teat and to formula milk,” says Sister Lilian. “Every drop of breast milk is worth gold,” she adds, “so preferably stick to Mother Nature’s baby elixir for as long as possible.” However, if you simply have to turn to the bottle or formula feeding, there are many useful tips to remember to ease the process for both you and your baby.
From about five months it is generally possible to work a half day and fully continue breastfeeding and if working a full day, from about ten months you could also manage to only give breast milk, solids and an occasional alternative drink for thirst. Sleeping patterns at night might well change, with more feeds required at night to make up for those missed in the day, as well as to ensure a little more time together – babies thrive on this as it makes up for not being together during the day.
It is advisable to start about two to three weeks before the need for weaning if your baby is younger than 6 months. Do not start weaning much earlier, as the value of breast milk for a longer period is still significant, both nutritionally and emotionally. Furthermore, if one weans gradually, there is mostly no need to take any medication to dry up the milk, eliminating much of the challenge of turning to another mode of feeding your baby. If it is necessary to wean rapidly for whatever reason, see the doctor for a prescription.
During the weaning process, keep any stimulation of the breast to a minimum (no hot baths or undue touch for instance), wear a firm but comfortable bra and express a little milk if your breasts become painfully full, but do not express enough to stimulate renewed supply if you want to stop breastfeeding altogether.
When giving your baby the bottle, the caregiver must take care to hold him close and give him lots of extra emotional support because feeding is an incredibly nurturing experience. One need not stick rigidly to a schedule and many babies do better on smaller amounts of formula milk more frequently. The overall amount in 24 hours is usually very similar to the recommended amount, although you will always have babies who have a lot more or a little less than advised.
By Sister Lilian
From breast to bottle: Bottle feeding tipssister lilian, bottle, teat, weaning, feeding, breastfeeding, baby