It truly is Mom’s Special Gift to her infant—protecting babies from illnesses and giving them the best nutrition.
It is best to only give breast milk. This is called “exclusive breastfeeding.” But some moms are told to also give infant formula to their babies when they are breastfeeding. It can be confusing when you get different advice. We hope this fact sheet will help you.
Below are several Questions and Answers that you may have.
A. To establish your milk supply. Your baby needs to learn how to suckle, which helps you make more milk. Your first milk is colostrum. It contains lots of protein, vitamins, minerals and fat, but little lactose (milk sugar) or water. As your baby continues to suckle, your milk volume increases.
A. Ask why! There are only a few medical reasons for giving a newborn breastfeeding baby infant formula. Ask the doctor or nurse if your baby has one of the listed conditions. If so, your baby may require supplementing breast milk with infant formula for a brief time.
A. Not usually, unless your baby has a rare disease.
A. There are three important reasons.
A. You will need to nurse your newborn frequently and watch for good latch-on. If your baby only received one bottle, there is generally no problem. But if your baby has received several bottles, latch-on might be a bit frustrating for both of you. You may need help in getting back to exclusive breastfeeding. Place your baby skin-to-skin on your chest and let your baby find your nipple. Don’t give up—call for help. The sooner you get help, the sooner you will reach your breastfeeding goal.
A. Wait at least three weeks before introducing a bottle. It generally takes three weeks for a full milk supply to become established. After this time, your infant will be able to adjust to taking expressed breast milk from a bottle.
A. First, you will need to have a supply of expressed breast milk. Learn correct expression, storage and handling of breast milk.
Then, have someone else give your baby the bottle. If you try to give the bottle, it is likely that your baby will not take it. You even may have to leave the room. When you are with your baby, put your baby to the breast. Leave bottle feeding to others when you are away from your baby.
A. Learn how to give expressed breast milk from a feeding cup. This method must be done slowly and safely or your baby can choke. Talk to your health care provider or a lactation specialist about how to safely use a special cup.
A. Below is a short list of available resources in southern Nevada as well as some Internet sites that list sources available in other areas.
Extension's Communication Team
Sigman-Grant, M., 2013, For New Breastfeeding Mothers: What You Need to Know About Supplementing With Infant Formula, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, FS-13-16
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