Chapter 16: Breastfeeding
Feeding milk that has been removed
When feeding milk or formula to a young baby, use a very clean
cup or spoon. Even newborn babies can drink from cups. Do not
pour the milk into the baby’s mouth or she will choke. An older
baby can drink from a
cup or a feeding bottle
and rubber nipple.
A baby sucks on bottles or pacifiers
(dummies) in a different way from
Whatever a baby drinks from must be how she sucks the breast. She may
very clean. Unclean bottles and rubber
forget how to suck the breast
nipples in particular often carry germs
correctly if she uses a bottle while
that cause serious infections in babies.
very young. The more a baby has
Boil the cup, bottle, and nipple before
breastfed before using a bottle, the
using them. If this is not possible, wash
better. If possible, do not give a
them with clean water and soap and let
bottle to a newborn.
them dry in bright sunlight.
Sharing breast milk
Breastfeeding another woman's baby is a common practice. Many mothers do this
for friends or family members when a mother needs to be away from her baby at
feeding time. Sharing breast milk is free, easy, and can make ties between families
stronger. But if a woman has HIV, it is possible she can pass her infection to the
baby through her breast milk (see page 293). This can happen even if she seems
healthy or does not know she has HIV. It is best if women are tested for HIV before
sharing breast milk.
Common difficulties while breastfeeding
Fear of not having enough milk
Some women are afraid that they do not have enough breast milk. Health workers
or family members may even tell them they do not have enough. Assure the mother
that this is almost never true. The more a baby suckles, the more milk a mother’s
breasts will make.
If the baby does not
do not give solid
food or a bottle.
A Book for Midwives (2010)