For many breastfeeding families, bottles are a regular part of their feeding routine. Whether the mother has returned to work, other caregivers are participating in the feeding, or the baby has challenges that make feeding directly at the breast difficult, being aware of how to feed an infant from a bottle is an important skill.
Amy Peterson, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and Mindy Harmer, a Speech Language Pathologist, wrote an excellent book entitled Balancing Breast & Bottle: Reaching Your Breastfeeding Goals specifically for these families who have healthy infants without any oral differences such as tongue tie or cleft palate. They have extensive experience in this area and have worked together for many years to provide support for families.
Amy and Mindy recognized that there was very little information available for breastfeeding mothers who were also using a bottle except what came from the bottle companies themselves. They set out to write a definitive guide. Much too often in our culture, parents believe that using a bottle means that the breastfeeding relationship must END and that it must be an “either/or” situation. Fortunately, the authors give an incredible amount of hope and guidance to these families.
How to Choose A Bottle
Amy and Mindy make a number of recommendations about how to find the best bottle and nipple for your particular baby. They completely embrace the belief that every baby is unique and different. Because of this, no one is able to make a “one size fits all” recommendation for the BEST bottle and nipple for a breastfed baby. Don’t be fooled by advertising that says that a particular feeding system is “most like breastfeeding”. It is vital that a family look at their particular baby, the way they suck, and how they attach to the breast. This will help to determine what is best for their little one. Things like nipple shape, flow, and the type of (or lack of) venting system can all impact the way a baby takes a bottle. The book is full of excellent information and insight to help families choose the best bottle and nipple for their baby.
The SIMPLE Method
The book’s authors do an great job of gathering all the necessary information and breaking it down in an understandable way. One of the best parts of their book is their SIMPLE Method. This is a method that helps parents to know the various steps in choosing and using a bottle for their baby. Each step, which include things like selecting a nipple and helping the baby to maintain a wide latch, is important and, with this acronym, easy to remember! Check out the book for more of the steps!
One of the reasons that I find this so important for parents (especially those reading this blog because many of you are pumping!) is that, if we are removing milk from our breasts, we need also to be mindful of how that milk gets to the baby. All too often we don’t think critically about how to feed babies in a way that not only gets them the nutrition they need but also is aware of their breathing, their sucking, and their swallowing. The SIMPLE Method allows parents a structure that makes them aware of exactly how the baby is doing with the bottle.
Balancing Breast & Bottle: Reaching Your Breastfeeding Goals by Amy Peterson and Mindy Harmer is an excellent addition to your parenting library. They have a common sense approach that believes that “You Can Do It” and gives you the tools to make breastfeeding AND bottle feeding your baby possible.
Would you like to own your own copy of Balancing Breast & Bottle: Reaching Your Breastfeeding Goals?
The book’s authors have agreed to GIVE AWAY one free copy to one of our readers. You may enter by leaving a comment below between now and February 28, 2013 and a winner will be chosen in the first week of March!
If you’d like your own copy of Balancing Breast & Bottle: Reaching Your Breastfeeding Goals, you can order your own copy HERE.