When the nursing parent and baby are separated or the baby cannot feed at the breast, they may need another way of taking breastmilk. These tips assume that your baby is being fed expressed breastmilk. Most babies of all ages will accept a bottle — some with a little coaxing! He will already be eating other foods and drinking water, and could be offered milk in his usual cup.
Breastmilk provides complete nutrition for an infant to 6 months of age, with the type and level of protein, carbohydrate and fat ideal for the optimal growth and development of the infant throughout that time. The World Health Organisation recommends neonates and infants are exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of life, and thereafter receive complementary foods with continued breastfeeding for up to 1 year or beyond. Breast milk is readily available and contains anti-infective and anti-inflammatory properties that assists in preventing infections and necrotising enterocolitis. Long term benefits include improved neurodevelopmental outcomes and reduced risk of obesity. Benefits to the breastfeeding mother include enhanced bonding, reduced anxiety, reduced risk of ovarian and breast cancer and post-partum weight loss.
Mark the date on powdered formula when opened. Throw it away if it is not used within 30 days of opening. Be sure to wash your hands before making formula for your child. If your child is very young, he or she can suck on a pacifier during feedings. This helps your baby relate sucking with the pleasant feeling after a feeding.
Feeding your baby is rewarding, and provides nutrition for your baby's physical and mental growth. It is also an opportunity for you to love, touch and communicate with your baby. When your baby gains weight steadily and is content and thriving, it's reassuring and rewarding.