Bottle feeding your baby
Breastfeeding doesn’t always work, even if that’s what you want for your child. Sometimes the mother is unable to breastfeed due to medical reasons and sometimes she simply doesn’t want to.
2 min read
Not being able to breastfeed may lead to feelings of guilt, shame and sadness. It’s not uncommon for women to hear comments that are hurtful and thus amplify those feelings. The way you choose to feed your child has nothing to do with how good a parent you are. It’s more critical for the child that the mother is well, rather than that she breastfeeds, no matter what. Infant formulas are regulated to the baby’s needs and are an adequate nutritious alternative.
Feeding is the time when you can make yourself comfortable, cuddle your baby close to you and relax together. Even if you are not breastfeeding, the baby can still experience closeness, the touch of skin and the connection with the parent as the baby is held in your arms while being fed. Hold the baby on a slight incline in your arms, preferably skin-to-skin, and support the baby’s head and neck with your arm. Make yourself comfortable, have a pillow under your arm for support if you need to and ensure you don’t create tension in your body. Remember to swap sides next time you feed your baby. Let the baby find the teat, keep the bottle still and allow the baby to set the pace and decide how long to feed. Some babies take a rest and want to be burped during feeds, while other babies don’t. It is up to you to decide what bottle to use, but it is good if the hole in the teat is big enough not to slow down the feeding. Keep the bottle at an angle during the feeding to ensure that the teat is full of milk. Keep your baby in your arms for a while after feeding.
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Breastfeeding the very first time
Straight after birth, the newborn baby tends to be awake and alert for about two hours, which is when the baby breastfeeds for the first time.
Getting the baby to latch on to the breast
It is important that the baby can latch on to the breast properly as this will reduce the risk of sore nipples, uncomfortable breastfeeding, engorgement, insufficient amounts of milk and slow weight gain in the baby.
The first days of breastfeeding
The breastfeeding pattern differs from child to child. Some babies sleep almost the entire first day after birth, while others want to feed straight away and often. Although your priority is not on yourself, make sure to sleep when the opportunity presents itself, eat well, and ensure that you get enough fluids.
Bleeding and discharge after giving birth
After giving birth, it’s normal for the mother to bleed, for up to eight weeks. Most of the bleeding is from where the placenta comes away from the wall of the uterus. This happens to all women, whether the birth was vaginal or by cesarean section.
The uterus will shrink back down to its normal size after delivery. The contractions are called postpartum pains, or simply afterpains, and are similar to period pain.