How to Make Breastfeeding More Comfortable For Your Baby
Is it alright to supplement a mother’s breast milk with a supplement?… These are some of the common questions mothers ask. The answer varies from woman to woman. I believe the best way to start is by understanding why a mother may supplement. Does a mother who breastfeed often supplement with formula for the health and comfort of her infant?… Or maybe a mother has trouble latching on to a certain protein routine that could be hurting her child?
Sometimes moms are tempted to just stop supplementing at all because they feel as though there is not enough in the bottle. There is nothing wrong with wanting to supplement, so don’t let that stop you! As long as it is done only when needed and under strict medical supervision. Moms who exclusively breastfeed, may even have the medical approval to mix a little extra in with their baby’s bottle. It’s entirely up to you and your family’s lifestyle and situation.
Breastfeeding is a wonderful experience for the new mother and her baby. However, sometimes the breastfeeding relationship can take a little getting used to. There are many ups and downs when it comes to breastfeeding, not the least of which is bottle-feeding issues. The most common complaint when it comes to bottle feeding is that the mothers are trying too hard to provide their babies with all the needed nutrients – this can be quite frustrating to a new breastfeeding mother.
One solution to alleviate some of these frustrations is to supplement with formula. Many new mothers who exclusively breastfeed find that it is difficult to get their babies to drink a fully composed solid food after three months of nursing. The added comfort is welcome, but if the baby still has not learned how to drink a glass of water at night or if he or she wakes up frequently at night and drinks more than three days a week, bottle feeding may not be the best option. As long as the mother only drinks from the bottle at night, this will usually be enough to keep the baby comfortable for the entire day.
Bottle feeding is also problematic for several other mothers. One of the biggest problems is nipple confusion. Unlike bottle feeding, where nipples do not need to be cleaned after each feeding, babies who are bottle fed often have their nipples disturbed with mashed up formulas or smeared with fruit juices, creams, or other ingredients that are meant to flavor the milk. Some of these products can cause nipple confusion, which causes babies to nurse more than normal.
Another issue that can be caused by supplementing breastfeeding is weaning. Weaning occurs when babies begin expressing milk but stop within a few days because they are not ready to wean themselves. Weaning does not usually take place until after three months of breastfeeding, sometimes taking up to six months. Supplementing will allow a mother to wean her baby sooner and provide more weaning relief for the baby.
Mothers should make sure that they are getting enough nutrition during these months. Babies need three essential things: protein, carbohydrates, and fats. For formula-feeding babies, it is important to add a fat-free supplement to ensure that they are getting enough fats and carbohydrates. While babies who eat a lot at day old can easily absorb fat from the formula, little ones who have a shortage of these nutrients will have an easier time digesting it.
As long as a bottle-feeding continues, supplement with formula at night should be considered as a beneficial option. If a mother is not comfortable with bottle-feeding, she should discuss the possibility of continually breastfeeding her infant while supplementing breast milk. There are benefits to both approaches and moms should be encouraged to consider their options. A mom’s comfort and health should always come first. Bottle-feeding should only happen when it is comfortable and desirable for the family.