(Family Features) – Motherhood comes with a host of accessories and a whole bunch of questions. One of the most common worries new moms face concerns feeding their new bundle of joy. Breastfeed or bottle feed? Can I do both? What if the baby doesn’t like the bottle? Is formula ok?
“All these questions are normal,” explains Nikki H., a UK qualified midwife and one of the infant feeding experts at Tommee Tippee, the number-one brand of infant and toddler feeding products in Great Britain now available in the U.S. “New moms are often surprised at how much they already know intuitively about feeding their babies.”
Still, questions abound. So Tommee Tippee offers the following advice.
Ask any expert and they’ll tell you: breastfeeding is best. That’s why virtually every new mom is encouraged to give breastfeeding a chance at the outset, even if they are unsure whether they want to breastfeed or indeed will be able to. The advice is at least to try and then go from there, knowing that you do have other options.
Breast milk itself is packed with nutrients to help your baby grow, develop and stay healthy. That’s why experts often recommend breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of a baby’s life and even longer if possible. But some moms might not realize that breastfeeding also benefits them.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says that breastfeeding can help moms lose pregnancy weight more quickly. It also helps reduce postpartum bleeding by releasing the hormone oxytocin. Over the long term, breastfeeding may also help reduce the risk of ovarian and breast cancer and may help increase bone density, which can protect against osteoporosis.
“Some new moms are unsure about breastfeeding,” explains Nikki. “But with some simple hints and a bit of practice, soon mom and baby will find their comfortable position and a natural rhythm.”
Moms should keep the following tips in mind while breastfeeding:
- Bring your baby to your breast, not your breast to your baby.
- Avoid sore nipples by making sure your baby latches on properly.
- Remember your baby’s feeding position: chin to breast and nose to nipple.
- Eat and drink plenty and regularly.
- Accept all offers of help in the early weeks so you can devote yourself to establishing breastfeeding.
- Feeding on demand ensures a good supply of breast milk.
Additionally, always seek prompt medical attention if:
- Your baby seems unusually sleepy and/or refuses feeds.
- Your baby seems unusually unsettled and is crying more than usual.
- You feel flu-like, hot, cold, aching or generally unwell.
- You have any redness, tenderness or lumpiness in your breasts.
“It’s a fact that some women find breastfeeding difficult, nor do all moms want to breastfeed,” explains Nikki. “It is a personal choice. But one of the great learning experiences of motherhood is being able to politely listen to the unsolicited advice and opinions of others. Bottle feeding, either with expressed milk or infant formula is a safe and practical alternative for mother and child.”
Introducing a bottle, and therefore more help in caring for her baby, can be liberating for a mom. Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature baby bottles are designed to allow baby to switch from breast to bottle, and back again. To make introducing a bottle easier, here are some suggestions:
- If mom usually breastfeeds, have someone else offer the baby a bottle. If your partner or other family member introduces the bottle, baby won’t have the usual cues to start seeking out the breast.
- Have your feeding helper offer about a half ounce of breast milk or formula about an hour or two after a regular feed. Baby should be alert, but not so hungry that she’s upset.
- Sometimes it helps to drip a little breast milk on the baby’s lips or tongue. Then gently introduce the bottle nipple into her mouth. If she becomes frustrated or isn’t interested after 10 minutes or so, take a little break and try again later.
The Closer to Nature line of baby bottles and accessories from Tommee Tippee feature an ultra-sensitive anti-colic valve that lets babies feed at their own pace with less air, vacuum build-up and nipple collapse. The simply intuitive bottle shape provides a more comfortable hold and breastfeeding-like closeness.
Expressing simply means removing milk from your breasts so that it can be safely stored and given to your baby later. Expressing allows you to continue to give your baby all the nutritional benefits of your breast milk, even when you can’t feed your baby yourself.
“Like bottle feeding, expressing milk can be a huge benefit for moms,” explains Nikki. “You can safely store a supply of milk for those times when you know you won’t be available to breastfeed. Plus, you give your partner an opportunity to participate in feeding, an important bonding time with your child. From a practical standpoint, expressing can help relieve engorged breasts, while stimulating your body to produce even more milk for your baby.”
Unless recommended by a healthcare professional, it is typically not advisable to express milk until baby is about four to six weeks old. This gives you plenty of time to establish breastfeeding and to resolve any little difficulties that may arise.
Sold in 45 countries around the world, Tommee Tippee is now being offered in the United States and Canada exclusively at Babies “R” Us and Toys “R” Us. For more helpful advice and product information, please visit www.tommeetippee.com, or find them on Facebook.com/tommeetippeenorthamerica and Twitter.com/tommeetippee_na.
To learn more about the Tommee Tippee Health Professional, Nikki, please visit: http://www.tommeetippee.co.uk/pages/meet_nikki/.