Written by Aparna Hari
Breastfeeding comes naturally to all newborn babies. When it comes to difficulties with breastfeeding, we are aware of the milk supply and other issues a mother faces. Did you know babies can have trouble sucking too? In such situations, spoon feeding a newborn is a common practice.
Have you ever seen a nurse, or a mother feed a newborn some breastmilk with a spoon? Did you know many doctors recommend spoon-feeding to bottle-feeding to encourage breastfeeding in babies? Many doctors and hospitals are against bottle feeding a newborn, as a policy.
In This Article
Breastmilk contains all the essential nutrients that promote the growth and development of the baby and helps build a baby’s immunity too. It contains bacteria which is good for the baby’s gut health and immunity.
It is always a better option to use a spoon, pallada, fillers, or even syringes over bottles because these methods-
Yes, many doctors believe so and have even gone to the extent of discontinuing bottle feeds as a policy for their patients. Bottle-feeding requires a baby to put in a lot of effort which is not possible in most cases.
Direct breastfeeding is the best option. However, we do not live in the ideal situation at all times. Here are a few times when you need to consider spoon feeding.
Babies born with very low birth weight or pre-term may not have enough strength to suck or may lack coordination between sucking and swallowing. Spoons, syringes, pallada, and cups do not require the baby to suck.
[Read : Helping A Low Birth Weight Baby]
Some babies can be born with a poor sucking reflex, a cleft palate(whether with a cleft lip or without) or birth asphyxia. In each of these cases, the baby will have difficulty sucking and swallowing the milk.
If the mother is still recovering from her C-section or has other complications post-delivery, someone else will have to feed the expressed breastmilk to the baby.
Spoon feeding breastmilk to a newborn baby is very different from spoon-feeding solid or semi-solid foods to a toddler. Follow these steps to successfully spoon-feed your baby
When you spoon-feed your baby instead of resorting to the bottle, you can enjoy the following benefits.
Not too sure about spoon-feeding your tiny baby? Use these tips:
If you or your baby are unable to breastfeed, there is no harm in adopting alternate methods of feeding and spoon feeding a baby is one of them. Breastmilk if available, should be the first priority for feeding a baby. However, the means and ways of feeding do not really matter as long as the baby is getting the needed nutrition of mother’s milk or formula milk depending on the situation.
When the baby gets stronger and develops the sucking reflex, you should stop spoon-feeding. Stopping will encourage the baby to put in the effort and suck.
If you notice your baby is trying to suck from the spoon or syringe and is able to swallow freely, you can try discontinuing spoon-feeding. They will take time to adapt to breastfeeding but with time and patience, they eventually will.
Technically, you can but medically it is not recommended. Spoon feeding is for babies that can’t suck a breast. Giving them a bottle and expecting them to put in more effort to suck and swallow is not a realistic expectation.
Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.Read more.
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