When it comes to feeding, there are different options to choose between. Each has their pros and cons but it all ultimately boil downs to you and your baby’s personal preferences. Of course, breastmilk direct from the breast has its advantages but don’t feel guilty if this route isn’t working: you will still have other options to try out. Providing your baby is getting fed and growing bigger, you’re doing things right, trust us. Figure out what works for you.
Breastmilk direct from the breast
It’s on-demand and you will not forget to take it with you when you leave the house. Breastmilk is packed with all the good stuff your baby needs to get growing big and strong. It’s going to help reduce your baby’s risk of infections too. Don’t let us jinx this, but there’s some evidence breastfed babies cry less.
Expressing breastmilk and bottle-feeding it to baby
Going back to work? Or need to nip out and leave your partner in charge? Sometimes it will not be convenient to breastfeed. Bottle-feeding will give you a bit more freedom. Plus, handing over to your other half (or your baby’s grandparent or favourite friend) gives them a chance to bond with baby too.
What is it? A combo of breastfeeding and bottle-feeding (with expressed milk or formula milk). Why? Because sometimes you will have sore, cracked nipples that need a night off or you might need to take a few hours to sort some work things out. That’s okay. You may need to persevere in getting your baby used to receiving milk through both a nipple and a bottle teat.
Expressed milk supplemented with formula milk
If your baby is demanding more milk than you can keep up with (and believe us, this can happen), supplementing your breastmilk with formula milk means your baby will not go hungry. There are ways to increase your milk supply (your midwife will be the expert here) but meanwhile, supplementing your breastmilk feeds with formula and formula milk feeds may work best for both of you.
Formula milk, like expressing, gives you a clear picture of how much milk your baby has had. It can sometimes be hard to tell with breastfeeding whether they’ve had a little or a lot. Formula milk provides your baby with the essentials they need to grow and develop.