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Breast Or Bottle " What’s Best For Your Baby?

Breast

When you hold your baby in your arms for the very first time it's often both a euphoric and frightening experience. Here you are suddenly responsible for this tiny baby's wellbeing and your natural instinct is to want to give him/her the very best start in life.

We're constantly told that breast feeding is important for the continued health of your baby. This is certainly true from the point of view that it's a time when mother and baby form a lasting bond. Baby will also reap the benefit of feeling the closeness with its mother that breast feeding brings. Most important of all is the fact that mother's milk supplies all the nutrients a baby needs to boost it's immune system and give it a healthy start in life.

Breast feeding doesn't necessarily come naturally to all mothers and so it's a learning process for both you and your baby. Most babies have a powerful instinct to find mother's nipple and feed, so as a new mum don't try to force baby onto the nipple. As long as baby is in a comfortable position which allows him/her to find the breast easily without having to twist his/her body, then it should make feeding easy.

If you relax and follow your baby's natural instincts you'll know when baby is satisfied without timing the feeds or putting a strict regime on feeding times.

Many mothers experience sore nipples and this is mostly due to the fact that baby is not being positioned properly during a feed. This can also lead to baby  not getting enough milk and will cause distress for both mother and baby. There is always help available for mothers who feel they are either not ‘getting it right' or their baby isn't getting enough milk from her.

Bottle

If, for whatever reason, you decide to bottle feed your infant, it's often a case of finding what is best suited to your baby. For instance, some babies are allergic to cow's milk and there are specialist formula milks which make it easier for baby to digest. Your Doctor or Midwife will be able to help you decide the best option for your baby.

Whatever formula you use it's extremely important that all the feeding equipment is kept scrupulously clean at all times. Cleaning between feeds is essential. It's best to have several bottles and teats available so that you have a steady supply of bacteria free feeding bottles. Brushes for cleaning the interior of the bottles and special sterilizing equipment should be in constant use.

Feeding time is a time for mother and baby to be enjoying one another, and there's no reason why bottle fed babies can't be given the same closeness and feeling of security as breast fed babies.

Breast or bottle is an individual choice. The most important thing for baby is to feel secure whilst being fed, and whether it's breast or bottle, it should be a quiet time for mum and baby to be together.

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