Be realisticLooking after a new baby is hard enough without feeling pressure to do something you just aren't comfortable with. We all know breast is best, but it isn't for everyone. If you have mastitis it can be agony and if your baby isn't gaining weight it's very worrying. It's better to be a happy, confident mum who enjoys giving her baby a bottle, than a tense miserable mum who dreads each feed.
Be assertiveIf you've decided to bottle feed, make sure you tell your midwife or health visitor what you're doing and why. Once you've made your choice, nobody should pressure you into changing your mind. But if they think you're wavering, they might.
Be positiveBottle-feeding doesn't have to be complicated, expensive or time consuming, no matter what anyone has told you. You just need to be organised. Don't worry if you're not the 'organised' type. You'll soon get used to it and it doesn't have to take more than a few minutes to make up a bottle.
3 advantages:1. You can share the feeding
There's a lot to be said for this. Knowing you're not the only person who is able to feed your baby can be a big relief and it gives you far more freedom and flexibility too. You can go shopping with your friends and leave your partner in charge of the baby!
2. You know what your baby's getting
It can be very reassuring to know exactly how much milk your baby is having each day. If he's draining each bottle and still crying for more it could mean he's going through a growth spurt and needs to be given more. If he doesn't take his usual amount he may be feeling poorly. Bottle-feeding can take away some of the 'guess work' that comes with looking after a baby, and help you get to the root of a problem quicker.
3. It's much easier than it used to be
You can now buy ready-made formula milk, microwave sterilisers and a huge number of anti-colic teats and bottles all designed to make bottle feeding a quicker, easier and happier experience for both of you. However, it can get very expensive if you never buy any powdered milk. So be sensible. Keep those ready-made cartons for emergencies - or for during the night.