How to Breastfeed Part Time

Breastfeeding full time is a fantastic experience, but there is a time when it will come to an end. While some mothers switch immediately from breastfeeding to bottle-feeding, others choose to use both methods of feeding for a while before stopping breastfeeding altogether. This may be because they are returning to work, so that they can share the responsibility of feeding with another person or because they are making a gradual switch from the breast to a bottle. If you have decided to breastfeed part time, then here are some tips to help you do so successfully.

Take advice

If you have a medical professional who you have regular contact with, then you will be able to seek advice and support from them. They can offer hints and tips on different methods to try to start weaning your baby from the breast onto the bottle and suggest equipment that you need to do this.

Prepare all the equipment

Whether you are planning to express milk for the bottles when you are not breastfeeding or to use formula milk, you will need equipment for either option. It is important that you buy everything you need to do this. This will usually include bottles, teats, a sterilizing unit, sterilizing fluid and bottle cleaners. If you are expressing milk then you may also need a breast pump, storage bottles and storage labels.

Have support

The first few bottle feeds can be difficult for both mother and baby. The mother often feels emotional about stopping breastfeeding or only doing it part time and the baby may take some time to adapt to a new method of feeding. Another responsible adult, such as your partner or a family member, could give your baby the first few bottle feeds. This will remove the confusion that your baby may feel about you not offering the breast if you try to feed them and it can also reduce the anxiety that you may feel.

Give yourself time

It can take time to adapt to part time breastfeeding, therefore, it is important to give you and your baby time to adapt to the changes. This is especially the case if you have a deadline, such as the date of your return to work, to have successfully switched to part time breastfeeding. Start introducing bottles several weeks before it will be a necessity. If you are not working to a deadline then it is important that you are aware that it is a process that may take some time and be patient.

Introduce bottles gradually

Bottle should ideally be introduced gradually. This is important for several reasons. Firstly, it will cause less stress for both you and your baby. Secondly, your baby’s digestive system needs to adapt to being fed a different milk, if you are using formula milk rather than expressing breast milk. Finally, it will help your breasts to adapt to the new feeding routine.

Conclusion

Even if you love breastfeeding there may come a time when you need to begin breastfeeding part time. If this is the case there are several steps that you can take to make the change easier. Get advice and support from professionals and family, take your time, introduce bottles gradually and prepare any equipment you will need well in advance.