“I have mixed emotions about it. The biggest thing is that breastfeeding is going so well now I don’t want to confuse him. It’s almost been the 40 days that the lactation consultant suggested waiting to introduce the bottle, but I’m still a little apprehensive. In your experience does adding a bottle to the breastfeeding cause any trouble? Also, I’m not really sure when I should pump. I thought I would just pump one bottle each day, but I’m not sure what time would be best. It would be nice for daddy to give our baby a bottle at night, but I don’t want to get out of bed at night to pump. I would rather do it during the day/evening sometime. The last thing is probably silly…. It makes me a little sad to share the feeding. I enjoy being able to meet that need for him every time. I know realistically I need to give bottles occasionally, but it does make me a little emotional.”
Let’s start with the last trouble first. It is a good sign that this mom is well-bonded to her baby and that she is successfully breast feeding. A lot of good chemicals are pouring into her brain every time she breast feeds and is helping her to be really attached to her baby. However, knowing the great importance of the baby and daddy bonding, should help her to “share” the joy, as well as the responsibility to feed the baby. The sooner and better the bond between a father and his baby, the better able he will be to carry the responsibility of fatherhood. He will always treat baby differently from mom, but that’s one of the reasons we best raise a family when both parents are involved. Share the joy! It will pay rich dividends later in childrearing.
When to introduce a bottle
She has lots of good questions. It is always best to get breastfeeding well established before trying to use a bottle for some feedings. The lactation consultant’s suggestion of 40 days is a good one. About the time of your 6 week check-up is a good time to introduce a bottle. If you are going back to work and your baby will need to take a bottle for some feedings, you may want to start pumping and feeding by bottle for a little while before returning to work. It will be good for both you and your baby to be used to this pattern.
Most of the time introducing a bottle for an occasional feeding doesn’t cause problems with breastfeeding. You may have to experiment with different nipples to find one that your baby can use well. Before starting to feed breast milk in a bottle, you may want to give your baby some water in a bottle. Adding a little bit of honey or sugar may keep him from rejecting the nipple.
How to begin pumping and still breast feed
Your breasts produce as much milk as in required. That means if you only breast feed your baby, your breasts produce enough for your baby. If you pump your breasts, they will produce enough to breast feed your baby and for you to store some for times when you want him bottle fed. Drinking lots of water and being relaxed also help to increase your milk supply.
Reasons to breast pump
There are lots of reasons moms have to pump their breasts either short term or long term. Many moms who work outside their homes still want to breast feed. They want their baby getting all the benefits of breast milk, but cannot be there physically. Breast pumping and having their child care provider feed their baby breast milk is a great solution.
Breast pumping also allows daddy to feed baby sometimes. It is so healthy for dads to bond with their baby and feeding time is a great opportunity for dad and baby to get attached to each other. A night feeding is especially nice so mom can have an uninterrupted night’s sleep occasionally.
Using a breast pump will stimulate more milk production. Premature babies sometimes cannot suck well enough to breast feed successfully at first. Mom can pump her breasts her baby will get all the great benefits of breast feeding during those early formative days. Once he is ready to breastfeed, she no longer needs to pump all the time.
Occasionally when mom needs to take a medication that might affect her baby, she will be told to pump her breasts and discard the milk until it is safe for baby again. During this time she will need to use a formula, but should be able to resume breast feeding soon.