Skip The Guilt And Follow These Tips For Baby’s Next Feeding

One of the best ways to bond with our newborns is through breastfeeding.

But many new moms struggle to nurse, and some moms are not physically able to.

Now one study has been released that may discourage the next best thing – here’s what you need to know.

Every mom wants to do the best they can for their new baby, and if they are unable to breastfeed, they can feel discouraged – or even as if they’ve failed.

For some of these women, they have worked tirelessly to pump their milk so that baby gets all the wonderful nutritional benefits of breast milk.  They may have to return to work full-time or have a medical issue that prevents them from nursing.

One study, however, may inadvertently discourage new moms from pumping their breast milk.

Science Daily recently reported on a study released this month in the journal Cell Host and Microbe.

In the largest study of its kind ever conducted, researchers state that pumping breast milk not only depletes the production of natural oral bacteria in the infant, but that pumped milk may contain an increase in “pathogens” not found in directly nursing at the breast.

“Pathogens” is a scary word, and this study may cause moms to turn to formula over pumping out of fear of harmful bacteria.

We’re pretty sure that most moms who use breast pumps are aware of the need to sterilize all parts, bottles, and nipples. 

The bacteria present in pumped milk when equipment is properly cleaned is likely minimal, and studies like these just further the guilt that mothers may feel.

And with the release of these findings, researchers fail to mention one thing – pumped breast milk is still extremely beneficial to newborns. 

Mothers who pump their milk expend a great deal of time and energy to provide the best they can for their child.  They skip lunch and pump on their breaks, they struggle with sometimes cumbersome equipment, and they suffer physical discomfort pumping, all to be told that they are not doing enough.

The study mentions the need for further research into the differences between direct breast versus pumping, but one thing is clear.

No matter how you are getting your milk to your baby, you’re doing the best you can – and doing it out of love.  Keep up the good work, mommas!

Now, if you are not able to nurse your baby directly from the breast, Native Mothering has some great tips to make bottle feeding the best experience it can be.  (That goes for pumped breast milk or formula!)

Make sure feedings are done in a quiet and calm environment and give your baby as much skin to skin contact as possible while giving them a bottle.

Follow your baby’s lead for feedings and skin contact.  Newborns fed directly from the breast nurse constantly, often not on a regular schedule. 

You can promote the natural patterns your newborn would follow in suckling, swallowing, and breathing by taking their cues at feeding time.

Always hold your baby close while feeding, touching and stroking their skin and talking or singing gently.  This makes feeding a social experience for them that increases bonding.

Offer fresh breast milk whenever you’re able and store your milk in smaller quantities (this may mean pumping more often) to make sure it stays fresh.  Long-term freezing of breast milk can start to break down the good bacteria.

Babywearing and co-sleeping can help encourage the same bonding experiences as if you were nursing directly from the breast and are great for any mom and baby.

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Constant touch and immediately responding to their cries are vital those first few weeks and months.

You can also speak with your pediatrician or lactation consultant about the best approach. 

You may be able to nurse directly from the breast as a supplement – either to pumped milk or formula feeding — if you are not able to produce enough milk for a full feeding.

Any length of time breastfeeding is worth the effort.  If you’re frustrated and overwhelmed, don’t give up! 

And above all, there’s no room for guilt in a new mom’s busy life.  We’re all doing the best we can, and we’re in this together! 

Don’t forget to turn to other veteran moms for support and advice.  They may just have a trick that you may never thought of.

Have you struggled to nurse directly from the breast?  What are some of your tips for making feeding times special?  Leave us your comments.

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