Breastfeeding and Bottlefeeding
If you deciding to breastfeed, you should begin nursing the baby as soon after birth as possible even though your body may not begin producing milk until the third or fourth day.
Before you have milk, your breasts secrete a calorie-rich liquid called “colostrums” that contains antibodies. Do not be tempted to supplement the baby’s feedings with formula during this time.
You should nurse your baby every 2 to 3 hours, day and night, during the first week. This helps the baby gain weight and stimulates your body to produce and let down milk.
The baby needs to nurse at both breasts at each feeding for 10 to 15 minutes on each side. When the baby begins to suck, check to see that he or she is latched on correctly. The areola which is the dark part around the nipple as well as the nipple should be in the infant’s mouth. If the baby does not latch on correctly, he or she will not feed as well and your nipples will become sore or cracked.
There are many brands of both milk and soy-based formulas on the market. Some brands are very similar to each other while others contain certain additives. Ii you are considering bottle feeding, discuss the benefits of different kinds of formulas with your child’s medical provider.
There is no set amount of formula your baby should drink at a feeding .Within the first few days after birth babies usually take in 1 to 4 ounces at a time. You should schedule a feeding every 3 to 4 hours, day and night until the baby is back to the original birth weight. This usually takes about 2 weeks. After that, it is no longer necessary to wake the baby for a feeding. You should burp the baby after each 2 ounces he or she drinks. The baby will not need any food other than formula for the first four months.
: Regurgitating a little bit after feeding is quite common. It is not considered vomiting unless the amount is large each time. Spitting up can be minimized by feeding your baby less at each feeding to keep his or her stomach from getting too full. Also limit the total feeding time to 20 minutes and wait at least 2 hours between feedings.
Crying before feeding time
: Sometimes babies become fussy before it is their scheduled feeding time. Try cuddling, rocking, changing a diaper, or offering a pacifier to calm the baby. Use feeding only as a last resort.
Getting enough milk
: An infant’s milk intake may vary from day to day, how- ever, underfeeding is very rare, especially in bottle-fed babies. You will know if your baby is getting enough milk if he or she:
averages a weight gain of 4 to 6 ounces a week during the first month.
produces six or more wet diapers a day and the urine is pale yellow.
is alert and active.
has a moist mouth.
Do not supplement feedings with formula. If the baby is gaining weight, you do not have to worry about having enough milk. Your body will produce milk to meet your baby’s demand. Since it is easier for the baby to get milk from a bottle than the breast, offering formula could cause the baby to lose interest in nursing. This in turn could cause your milk supply to diminish since sour breasts need the stimulation of the baby’s sucking to continue producing milk.
You do not need to feed the baby for more than 20 minutes every 2 hours. The baby can get all the milk from the breast in 10 to 15 minutes of sucking. More frequent or longer feeding provides only oral Stimulation and calming.
Hold your breast during nursing so that the baby can breathe more easily.
Let your nipples air dry and clean them only with water. Change breast pads as soon as they become wet. Apply a light coat of lanolin lotion if your nipples become sore or chapped.
Not drinking enough fluids can interfere with your milk production. Try to drink a glass of water at each nursing in addition to your regular fluid intake.
Try to eat a bland diet since certain foods can cause your baby to have gas. Foods to watch out for are garlic, cabbage, onions, turnips, chocolate, broccoli, rhubarb, beans, apricots, and prunes. A diet heavy in fresh fruit can also cause the baby stomach upset.
Do not take any medication while breastfeeding without speaking to your medical provider.
Do not try to lose weight too rapidly. Cutting back calories could affect your milk production and deprive you of the nutrients you need.
If your breasts become hard and swollen, do not stop breastfeeding. Take warm showers or place warm, moist cloths on your breasts to relieve discomfort. Also, try to feed your baby more often to keep breasts soft and empty. You can also try changing breastfeeding position from sitting up to lying down, or from lying down on one side to the other to see if that helps the problem. Gently massaging your breasts beginning under the arm and working your way down to the nipple may help soften them. If you develop a fever, take immediate medical care.