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Breastfeeding and Bottle Feeding

When it comes to feeding your baby, it’s a personal decision and often based on a number of different factors. Whether you breastfeed your baby, bottle feed or combine the two, we believe fed is best. These mums have shared their individual stories about their experiences with both breastfeeding, bottle feeding and combination/mix feeding their babies. Read on for advice on the different ways to feed your baby and watch these videos for real mums’ experiences.

You can also chat with other mums, and get support, in our Baby Clinic.

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How to breastfeed a newborn

It’s supposed to be the most natural thing in the world but breastfeeding a newborn baby can prove particularly difficult. Sore nipples, let down pain, latch problems, tongue tie, the list of things that can present a challenge can be endless. So don’t worry if those first few days are a struggle – you are your baby are learning together, and it does get easier.

To get started, make sure you’re sitting comfortably. Pillows and cushions can help you feel relaxed. Hold baby close to you facing your breast and make sure he or she is in a straight line so baby can swallow easily. Bring baby to you, his/her nose level with your nipple, rather than bringing your breast to baby. This helps baby to latch on. Don’t hold your baby’s head but do support their neck.

We have plenty of positive breastfeeding vlogs here from our mums, but that’s not to say it’s a breeze, most of these mums have had to overcome difficulties to be able to breastfeed. Listen to their stories and we’re sure you’ll find some helpful tips or at least hear that you’re not alone. You can also chat to other mums in our Support Group.

How to bottle feed a baby

Looking to learn more about bottle feeding a baby with expressed milk or formula milk? To start you’ll need a few supplies – bottle, teats and a sterilising unit. In fact formula will come with instructions for making it up. Be sure to follow these carefully. Many bottles are made up incorrectly and this can be very dangerous to give an over-concentrated feed. Obviously if you’re expressing you’ll need a breast bump, unless you’re doing it by hand.

When feeding your baby, hold him or her upright and support their head so they can breathe and swallow easily. Keep the teat full of milk so they aren’t swallowing air. When they have had enough, gently wind your baby by rubbing their back to bring up access air. Throw away all used milk.

Hear first hand from these mums about how they bottle-fed their babies. From feeding routines to teats and quantities and formula or breast pump preferences, there’s a lot of ground to cover. And do pop over to our Support Group to chat with other mums.

Combining breastfeeding and bottle feeding

It’s perfectly possible to combine breastfeeding with bottle feeding using formula milk or expressed breastmilk, although it’s worth discussing it with your health visitor first. If you can, wait until your baby’s at least eight weeks old. Combining breast and bottle sooner than this may affect your milk supply. Looking to chat with other mums about their feeding routines? Head over to our Baby Clinic.

Health Visitor approved advice

This guide has been checked and approved by our in-house Health Visitor, Maggie Fisher, in August 2018.