If Breast Is Best, Why Do Many New Mothers Give Up?
So babies don't mind getting a bottle one time, a breast the next?
"Many babies will adjust easily to going back and forth from breast to
bottle," McCoy tells WebMD. "Many lactation consultants believe that
there's an issue of nipple confusion, but I think many babies will adapt very
easily as long as it's more often breast rather than bottle. The other thing I
find helpful is for someone other than mom to give the bottle. ... There are
many babies who won't take a bottle from mom at all, if they're breast-fed, but
they will take it just fine from dad or grandmother."
Also, some bottles are designed to be more similar to a natural nipple,
McCoy tells WebMD. "They've been very helpful with babies who are lazy in
sucking at the breast. ... It actually helps to train them with those because
they have to do that deeper draw rather than a chewing motion." Ask your
doctor or lactation consultant which brands of bottles are best.
What about pacifiers?
They're not a good idea, at least not at first, the experts say. In the
early days, the baby needs to suck. Also, the baby needs to nurse to stimulate
milk flow, Garrison says. "Once the milk is in a nice volume, because
nursing takes longer than bottle feeding, babies don't need pacifiers because
sucking will take care of that need. Pacifiers were created for babies who were
fed by bottles, because they were full before they knew it and yet their
sucking need wasn't taken care of." If mothers want to use pacifiers, they
should wait until the baby is gaining weight and has plenty of wet diapers, so
it's evident that feeding is going well, she says.
Generally, McCoy encourages new mothers "to try not to let the baby have
a pacifier, because they will develop that shallow suck, which will not work
when they get back on Mom." But, she adds, "for babies who have an
additional need to suck and for moms who don't like to be the pacifier, I do
encourage moms to use a pacifier to give them little bit of a break.
"I support a mom in whatever she decides," McCoy says. "In the
end, she has to feel comfortable with it and enjoy being a mom. Sometimes you
have to know when to say when. But it's important that they know there are
people they can talk to -- the lactation consultant, the pediatrician -- when
they have problems."