People will tell you the merits of breast-feeding, but what they don’t tell you, is that the struggle is real. And what about the “bottle”? (*gasp*). Purists will balk at the idea, but for pete’s sake, let’s be realistic.
Here are things that the books and online portals do not tell you about breast-feeding.
- Oh yes indeed.. the purists HATE to even mention the word ‘bottle’. What? Not exclusively on breast.. heaven forbid! Well, let’s be a bit realistic. Not everyone lives in a Utopia where they are live at home moms for an eternity ya (as much as I would love this myself). Even with exclusive breast-feeding, you will need to go back to work at some point, and feed your baby expressed breast milk, through a bottle. And you really need to start your baby on the bottle EARLY. By early, I mean even earlier than 8 weeks. Any later and your baby will reject the bottle for sure. I mean who wants to give up the comfort of the warmth of the boob, for expressed breast milk in a sterile bottle, right? To minimize the chances of rejection, go for a bottle that mimics the boob (as shown in this post ). If working mums want to return to work after 2-3 months make sure you introduce BM in a bottle EARLY to your baby. We introduced ours at 3 weeks (expressed breast milk in a bottle) and we had less trouble switching between boob and bottle.
- With greedy babies there is no nipple confusion. Happy are we, who have greedy babies! People used to tell me, that my hubby had to give BM from the bottle, and me solely from the boob. I was not to touch the bottle. Well with my baby, she takes it from both parents. She really does not care so long as she is fed. She is however super impatient and will holler her head off if we are a second late feeding her. So, the good and bad of greedy babies, you can imagine.
- Both boobs are NOT created equal. Fact. One boob’s let down might be much slower than the other. As there is no way of seeing this, you cannot tell yourself, but your baby will tell you. Impatient babies will tug at your nipples and get agitated, writhing and throwing their head back (in the early days, the tough part is that mothers need to figure out, is it colic? dirty diaper? or some other factor?) . The let-down reflex makes breastfeeding easier for your baby and means your milk is ready to flow. A few seconds to several minutes after you start breastfeeding, you may feel a tingle in your breast, and milk may start to drip from the breast not being used. In the initial stages, the let-down can be super slow. Well then you need to cajole your baby to stick with it, and soon they will be rewarded. This is no easy task with impatient babies (like ours! Greedy and impatient).. You need to find your own style. Some people pump a bit to get the let down going, but I find that too troublesome. I just talk my baby through it and tell her “all good things come to those who wait”! hahaha (it works well actually and even at a couple of weeks age, she understood me).
- If your baby does not need to be burped don’t! Ie. don’t wake the sleeping giant. In the books they tell you after feed, burp. Well this does not work well at night. As you know, not all babies sleep through the night. Well, mine is 2 months old and still doesn’t… Sigh:P She needs a min of 2 feeds throughout the night. I found bringing baby to the bed and feeding her lying down next to me was the easiest. Sometimes both of us dozed off at the same time which was nice. Initially I would still wake her and try to burp her, and that was it.. she woke up, agitated, refusing to go back to bed. So, later I learned to just doze off with her, and she hardly ever puked. So let sleeping babies lie..
- “All women can produce BM. Stick with it.” Falacy, if you ask me. This is just another statement that makes women feel bad about themselves. Let’s face it, some women can produce BM and some cannot, or produce very little. No point getting all cut up or guilty about it. Milk formula is just fine. Again the purists will make you feel like shit for not being able to provide for your baby, but puh-leese, come off it! You baby on formula will still thrive and be a happy child! So persist and give it a go, but if it doesn’t work out, then so be it. I have seen so much anxiety in women who cannot breast feed. I just want to say, it’s OK! Nobody is judging you and you’re still a great mom who provides for her baby, the best way she can.
NEXT UP… my tips on breast feeding! Stay tuned !