Your body is designed to make milk. Work with nature by avoiding things that get in the way, such as formula, bottles, nipples, and pacifiers. If your doctor thinks baby needs a little extra, use your own milk when you can and feed it to baby in a dropper or spoon.
There’s no greater pride as a mom than seeing your baby grow healthy and strong because of you! Mother Nature gives you all you need to feed, comfort, and protect your baby without using formula, so you and your little miracle can enjoy being happy and close.
How to do it
Here’s how to make plenty of milk and keep your baby calm without using formula.
How Your Body Makes Milk
The more milk that is removed from your breasts, the more milk your body makes. It really is that simple! It starts during the first hour after birth when special hormones tell your body to start making milk. After that magical first hour, feed your baby every time she shows signs she is ready. Keep your baby close, skin-to-skin. This gives her lots of chances to learn how to breastfeed well.
How to Calm a Fussy Baby
All new babies are fussy. This does not mean they need formula. In fact, babies cry for lots of reasons! Babies cry when they are too cold or hot. They fuss when their diaper is wet or soiled. They fuss on the second night when they are tired of all the noise and people in the hospital. Home is in your arms. So instead of giving formula, calm baby the way he wants most – skin-to-skin with you.
If Baby Needs Extra Milk
In some cases the doctor may ask you to give your baby a little extra milk for a medical reason. If this happens, the best milk to give is your own milk. You can pump or hand express your milk to give to your baby in a spoon, cup, or dropper.
Helping Mom Get Privacy
Most new moms do not want an audience while they breastfeed. You can help her nurse in private. Suggest visitors grab a bite to eat or go for a walk. Ask your nurse for a sign to place on the door. Request “quiet time” so you and mom can spend time alone with the baby.
How to Encourage Mom
Many moms blame their milk supply if baby is fussy. They may even feel they need to give formula to make baby happy. When mom feels upset, this is a great time to remind her how much her baby needs her milk. You can also help her calm the baby without formula. Hold the baby skin-to-skin. Rock the baby, or sway him gently until he calms. Tell mom she’s doing a great job.
You can breastfeed without formula even when…
Many babies “cluster feed” or eat several meals back-to-back. This is normal! Your new baby’s tummy is very tiny, and the milk goes through her system quickly. Just follow your baby’s cues and hold her skin-to-skin. Your baby will take the lead and show you when she needs to eat.
Your family and friends mean well, but may offer advice that does not help you meet your feeding goals. Explain to them that you want to breastfeed. Tell them that giving formula will make it much harder.
Your milk is all your baby needs for the first six months. If you decide to use formula, too, it’s best to delay it until your baby is around 3 to 4 weeks old. This gives your body time to get your milk flowing well. It also gives your baby time to learn how to breastfeed well.
Moms in all kinds of jobs keep giving their milk after they return to work. Today, laws require your employer to give you a private space to express milk at work. Talk with your nurse or your local WIC office to find out how to get a breast pump.
Baby gets enough if he eats at least 8 to 12 times every 24 hours. Let your baby nurse as long as he wants until he drops off on his own. You can also watch for soiled diapers. Baby should have at least one poop on the first day, two on the second day, and three on the third day, and beyond. By the fifth day, the color will change from black to greenish brown or yellow, and stools will be looser.
Frequently Asked Questions
Your baby has a very tiny tummy in the first few days. He can only hold around 1 to 2 teaspoons of milk at a time. That’s just how much your body makes for him! You may not feel like you have any milk, but you have what he needs. This small amount of milk passes through your baby’s tummy quickly. Follow your baby’s lead and nurse when he shows signs he wants to eat.
Many babies become very fussy on the second day or night. This is because they start to wake up more on the second day. The people and noise in the hospital begin to bother babies and they become annoyed. If your baby is extra fussy on the second day or night, just give your baby what she wants most – to be held and comforted in your arms skin-to-skin.
Studies show this is not the case. Formula is harder to digest so babies might eat slightly less often. But drinking formula does not make them sleep. Formula also has many risks. For instance, babies who get formula are at higher risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Breastfeeding helps lower the risk of SIDS. Babies need to eat very often, even at night, to grow and gain weight. As they get older, they will sleep for longer stretches at night.
You will be able to fully breastfeed in most cases. If a medical situation occurs, the doctor or nurse might suggest that your baby get some extra calories. Ask about using your milk when possible. If formula is needed, you can often go back to full breastfeeding again after the medical issue is resolved.
The best milk to feed your baby is mom’s own milk. You can pump or hand express your milk to feed to your baby. Once your milk volume grows, you can try using a breast pump to remove milk. If you are not able to get extra milk, ask if your hospital uses donor milk provided by an approved milk bank. Formula is the last choice to consider.
In the early days, breastfed babies should get extra milk in another way besides a bottle. Try a spoon, dropper, cup, or tube. The easiest way is to express milk directly onto a spoon and place it near the baby’s lips. The baby will lap it up with his tongue. Your nurse or lactation consultant will help you find the best way of giving extra milk for your baby’s situation.
And there you have it
Your baby only needs a few things after birth – safety, warmth, comfort, and food. You don’t need formula. You only need your arms and your love.