Back to breast: Tips for breastfeeding after bottle feeding
During breastfeeding, latching for the majority of newborn babies can be easy, but for a reluctant few it’s a herculean task—especially when they've gotten used to bottle-feeding.
You might be wondering while looking at other breastfeeding mums, like you are missing something very important or maybe you want to give your baby the natural healthy feed. On the other hand, you might also be wondering what methods to use to get your baby back to breastfeeding after bottle feeding. If your little one is throwing tantrums during breastfeeding then you need to understand the possible reasons behind this struggle.
Below mentioned could be the cause of why your baby is not breastfeeding-
- Baby is too sleepy
- Inadequate flow of breast milk
- Baby is too lazy to suck
- Lack of comfort or coordination between mum and baby
- Fussy baby
- Comfortable with the easy flow of the milk bottle
- Medical reason
- Nursing strike
As a mum, you can analyse the issue and can further employ the following tried and tested methods to get your baby back to breast or improve breastfeeding-
1. Try different nursing positions
Some babies are comfortable in specific nursing positions and
some prefer one breast over the other. When resuming breastfeeding after bottle feed, try different nursing positions like cradle hold, cross-cradle or crossover hold, side-lying position and football hold.
By trying these positions, you will come to know in which position your baby is less fussy and comfortable while breastfeeding.
2. Snuggle, cuddle and relax the baby
Before breaking the bond between the baby and the bottle, make your baby feel at ease by being present both physically and emotionally. Try cuddling, snuggling and playing with your baby, after all, babies love cosy cuddling sessions. Your baby will feel more comfortable with you and will bond while doing so. You can try feeding the baby after a few minutes of playtime and pampering.
If your little one is still not latching or interested, try giving a light massage to soothe your baby.
There are various breastfeeding artificial nipples and supplementers available in the market. You can place them on your breast and then feed the baby easily. These breastfeeding nipples or supplementers will give your baby the comfort of
bottle nipple but the nutrition of your milk.
4. Increase lactation or breast milk flow
Low milk flow can irritate your baby and will make him/ her avoid the breast completely. Try different home remedies and food items to naturally increase breast milk flow.
You can also discuss this with your gynaecologist or paediatrician and can take supplement powder or tablets to boost lactation.
5. Skin-to-skin contact
Try giving your baby more of skin-to-skin contact and warmth. While feeding strip your upper clothes till waist and have the baby wear only a nappy or diaper. This will bring more skin-to-skin contact and comfort for the baby.
Use a blanket to cover yourself and baby if the weather is cold.
6. Continue to offer your breast
Even if your baby is continuously rejecting your breast and is constantly fussing for the bottle; keep on offering your breast first. Whenever your baby is hungry, first offer to breastfeed.
Try offering both your breasts gradually to see which one the baby prefers. Do not give up, if the baby rejects them and does not latch. Keep trying gently!
7. Minimise the distractions
Dim the lights, switch off all musical toys and minimise the distractions around the baby before breastfeeding. Take the baby in a separate room where distractions are less and cuddle the baby to feed.
You can slowly reduce bottle feed or can offer a combination of both breast and milk bottle as per your baby’s need and comfort. The trick is to stay positive, relax and keep trying.
This article was first published on AfricaParent.com
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