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When most people think of feeding an infant and baby, they automatically think breastfeeding vs bottle feeding. If you have your heart set on breastfeeding your baby- you should know that this does not always mean your nipple to your baby’s mouth. It is entirely possible to breastfeed your baby via a bottle. We are here to show you that breastfeeding from a bottle is a great way to ensure your baby receives all of the benefits of your breastmilk in a way that works best for your family.
Factors Counting Against “Traditional” Breastfeeding
There are many reasons why “traditional” breastfeeding does not always happen between a mother and her baby. Your baby may have a hard time establishing a secure latch. Perhaps your lactation consultant is not the most helpful or sensitive to the needs you and your baby have. In some cases, a newborn’s mouth may be so tiny that even a nipple shield may not help them breastfeed successfully.
If a baby is in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) or Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and unable to be held for a lengthy amount of time, breastfeeding from the nipple may be impossible. If you are in this situation, rather than think breastfeeding vs bottle feeding, think of breastfeeding from a bottle. The nurses can get a hospital breast pump for you and help you learn to use it. They will label your breastmilk and properly refrigerate it on the floor. It will be noted that your baby is to be breastfed from a bottle whether you are there or not.
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In place of breastfeeding vs bottle feeding, breastfeeding from a bottle equates to pumping. You will want to get yourself a top of the line breast pump since you will be pumping a lot of, if not all of, your milk. Make sure you choose a breast pump that comes with the necessary accessories you will need so you do not have to make additional purchases. You will want to have everything you will possibly need to make pumping your milk a success. Suggested accessories include, but are not limited to, an insulated cooler bag, ice pack, ample bottles, and a car charger. If you have to go on a trip or anywhere unexpected, you can literally pump while in the car with a car charger. If you are breastfeeding from a bottle- you will be pumping all of your milk. Therefore, you will want to have a hands-free stress-free pump and bra. Make sure you allot time to research breast pumps, adequately. Read the reviews! Find a breast pump that works best for you and your needs.
Breastfeeding vs Bottle Feeding And Who Can Help
Breastfeeding through a bottle allows you to have a “break” from solely providing your baby meals and nutrition. Dad or Grandma can feed the baby your breast milk via a bottle so you can rest and heal from childbirth. If you find yourself in the hospital with your baby or if your baby has special needs, nurses can feed your baby your breast milk through a bottle. Make sure you let others know that they are to only give your baby your breast milk. Do not listen to their breastfeeding vs bottle feeding advice. Know that with all things pertaining to a new baby, people are quick to offer unwanted advice. Stick to your decision and be firm.
TIP: Clearly label all of your pumped milk with the date it was pumped. Be sure to refrigerate / freeze your breast milk properly!
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Get The Whole Family Involved
Cousins and siblings can feed the new baby and feel important while having a part in caring for the baby. Breastfeeding through a bottle allows for more people to have the opportunity to bond with your baby during feeding times. All the benefits of your breastmilk are still present (such as antibodies). You get the added bonus of having some help from others when you omit the breastfeeding vs bottle feeding mindset.
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I know breastfeeding from a bottle has replaced the notion of breastfeeding vs bottle feeding because I have successfully breastfed my baby through a bottle. Throughout my entire pregnancy I knew that, personally, I wanted to breastfeed my daughter. Fast forward to the morning I had her. I had severe preeclampsia that was undiagnosed and quickly was on its way to the life threatening and dangerous HELLP Syndrome. The high levels of Magnesium I was given to help my liver function ended up constricting my daughter’s airway. She was rushed to the PICU at two days old where she was bound to her hospital crib. I could only hold her for short amounts of time. As we breastfed, she would spend all of her time on my nipple before having to go back to her crib. Our PICU nurse suggested I pump my milk so I could get some rest and they could help me feed her if needed. Since I did not leave my daughter’s side, I thought it was not necessary but still allowed her to show me how to use the pump and create the labels for my milk. Once we got home, I realized what a gift it was to know that breastfeeding vs bottle feeding was out! I was able to pump 12 ounces of milk from each breast EVERY time I pumped. I was an actual milk machine. Pumping my milk allowed my husband and my mother to feed my daughter as I rested. I was not solely responsible for nighttime feedings. It was extremely helpful and beneficial to have the ability to breastfeed from a bottle.
Know that there are options for breastfeeding. The “traditional” nipple to mouth is not the only way anymore. No longer is there a strict two option debate of breastfeeding vs bottle feeding. It is completely possible to breastfeed your baby through a bottle. This allows others to help take on the responsibility of feeding your baby. Whatever the reason, know it is completely possible, and normal, to breastfeed your baby through a bottle. Research breast pumps and educate family members on how to best help you with your new addition. We always support doing what is best for you and your baby. Others will adjust.
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