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grace4cyn in mamas_milk

The challenge of bottlefeeding a breastfed infant...

This was written by a great lactation consultant form www.kellymom.com and I had to copy it because she makes it so simple!! It is very informative and I hope you enjoy it and can use it!!

To start I want to explain the problem with bottles. They're just nothing at all like bfing and it can give us bfing moms a bit of grief. When babies are young, and we first intro the bottle, the bottle goes in the baby's mouth the mouth fills with milk, the baby is obligated to swallow and the action of swallowing initiates another suck. The suck again fills the mouth and the cycle repeats, giving an appearance of the baby "gulping the bottle down hungrily". Many times the baby fusses/cries after the bottle is taken away, leading caregivers or parents to assume that baby isn't "satisfied" with the amount of milk in the bottle. The problem isn't usually the volume of milk but rather the natural desire to "complete" the nursing cycle which at the breast, would include some comfort nursing. Comfort nursing is impossible with the bottle.

As time goes on and because the milk can be seen and measured, it is not unusual that babies are encouraged to feed beyond being full (to "satisfy" the baby). This then creates a situation where the infant is used to feeling over full meaning they then consume the higher volume without complaint, resulting in overfeeding that is only seen in bottle fed infants. Current/ongoing research seems to indicate this is one of the reasons that bottle fed infants are more likely to become obese - they lose their ability to regulate their appetite because they need to eat more as children/teens/adults to feel full.

One may not see the obesity issue arise at first - sometimes it takes years, but the implication is that (according to research) it starts with "overfeeding" in infancy.

Paced bottle feeding is a way to slow the feeding down for baby, and actually gives baby a chance to end the feeding, instead of being forced to finish (due to the way bottles work). If we remember that the average BF baby only eats 24 oz or so a day, you can see pacing bottle feedings puts baby back at a more normal volume.

It also has several benefits:

~ it reduces overeating. This of course reduces spitting up, helps minimize or reduce reflux symptoms, and reduces risk of obesity.

~ it helps baby maintain their oxygen saturation. Many bottle fed babies experience decreases in oxygen saturation due to the mechanics of the bottle. The flow of milk from a bottle is a continual flow. Once they take the bottle (and suck) they must continue to suck/swallow/suck/swallow. or choke, as the mouth fills again and again with fluid. You might notice a pattern of gulping then a "gasp" (brief sucking in of air) then more gulping, then gasping, etc. as baby drinks the bottle.

This is what I was talking about earlier when I mentioned "gulping the bottle down hungrily". It can be very misleading if we don't understand how bottles work differently than breasts do. Pacefd bottle feeding reduces the risk of baby gulping, which results in increased air intake. This reduces spitting up (and possibly gassiness too), and minimizes reflux symptoms.

~it makes the feeding more variable, like the breast – so baby doesn’t get to gulp down “easy” milk. This often makes bf easier for a baby that has gotten a preference for the faster/easier flow of the bottle.

More here:



2.5 yrs and newborn, tandem nursing Lily ans Susannah

September 2010

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