Breastfeeding: ask an expert

Sioned Medela Lactation Consultant

As part of the breastfeeding blog series, Medela have given us access to their lovely in-house Lactation Consultant Sioned. Every Tuesday Medela run a drop in clinic on Facebook where Sioned answers breastfeeding questions. Anyone can join in, but as part of the breastfeeding blog series readers can also post their breastfeeding questions right here on the blog.

Today we have a breastfeeding question for Sioned from Boo over at Blooming Boo:

Blooming Boo: I had huge difficulty breastfeeding my son as he couldn’t grasp the latch, lost too much weight and so I ended up expressing for 3 weeks and topping him up with formula. I really want to try again with my second though. However, my husband loved being able to help with the feeding and so I was thinking for my next one, I would introduce a night time bottle of either formula or expressed milk. When would be the earliest I could do this? 

Sioned’s advice: Hi, your experiences with your first baby were challenging but what you have gained is the understanding why it was so tough. Every baby and pregnancy is different and it may be that you will not experience the same hurdles. It’s great that dad wants to be involved with feeding however it is important that you try to get breast feeding established first – invest in at least 2-3 weeks of exclusive breastfeeding after birth. If you are experiencing difficulties after birth you can express – these are baby not latching on, not feeding well , born too early, jaundiced, – you can talk with your midwife or breastfeeding support group for further advice, but in these circumstances you can support your milk coming in and milk supply with expressing. If you introduce formula – it will have a knock on effect upon your milk supply as you are replacing potentially 2 breast feeds which can down regulate your milk supply.

The challenges also then arise with the formula milk that may lead to the baby feeling fuller, as it is harder for the baby to digest, and a bit more fussy and unsettled, and also with the teat system you use.

If you choose to support your breastfeeding with your partner ideally express breast milk (EBM) and deliver it with the Medela Calma feeding device as this ‘teat’ is proven to utilise the same tongue and vacuum movement as breastfeeding enabling baby to benefit from breastfeeding, bottle feeding ebm and then back to breastfeeding without nipple teat confusion.

Thanks Sioned, and thanks Boo for getting in touch. I hope this helps answer your breastfeeding question.

If you are reading and have any breastfeeding questions you’d like to ask Sioned then please get in touch too. Thanks for reading!

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