Why is bottle feeding a breastfed baby discouraged?

Bottle feeding a breastfed baby can “derail” baby’s instinctive reflex to suck vigorously to initiate milk flow. Most teats have holes which allow milk to flow into baby’s mouth and baby swallows because the milk is felt in the throat. This can quickly reduce baby’s instinctive jaw and tongue action during breastfeeds and baby may begin to prefer bottle feeds as it is easier.
If a bottle needs to be given to feed a breastfed baby I recommend using the Pigeon Peristaltic Plus CROSSCUT teat which requires baby to initiate sucking and apply pressure to the teat as well as vacuum to obtain milk. When baby stops the suckling action the milk flow stops until baby suckles effectively again. This allows baby to “pace” the feed and control the rate of flow, with pauses between sucking periods similar to breastfeeding patterns. The shape of this teat also encourages and maintains a wide gape and flanged lips as required for effective breastfeeding. The vent in the teat which prevents it from collapsing should be positioned opposite baby’s nose while feeding.  The Pigeon Peristaltic Plus Crosscut teat is suitable for young babies even though it is labeled as “M” >3mths.  Other methods of giving milk include cup feeding and spoon feeding.  For full details about alternative feeding methods read “New Baby 101 – A Midwife’s Guide for New Parents” Topic 4 Feedtime pages 50-53.

17 Nov 2015| no comments.

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