EPISODE 18

Breastfeeding Friendly Bottle Feeding

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Episode Transcript

August 28, 2020

Is it possible to bottle feed in a breastfeeding friendly way?!

This is Maureen Feral and Heather O’Neal and this is The Milk Minute. An inclusive evidence-based podcast hosted by midwives and lactation professionals. That’s us. Here to talk to you about all things, lactation and boobs, body positivity, mental health, all the milky topics. Join us for another episode.

Welcome to The Milk Minute everybody. Hi, we’re happy to have you here.

Maureen, I wanted to just quickly pay homage to the parents that are working and doing the majority of the parenting and the feeding and maintaining a very high level of efficacy in their work work as well as keeping a human alive at home. And just acknowledge the changing partner dynamics and family dynamics that happen when something is large as a, I don’t know, human enters the mix, but yet nothing else is taken off the plate.

And just wanted to let you know that that happens to just about everybody. And it can be really stressful. And it won’t be the last time it happens to you in your relationship. Wait, wait, I thought you were going to say something hopefully. No, I mean, I guess this is where you say, but you’ll come out stronger on the other side.

Got it. Wait, wait, let’s do that over. But Heather, you always come out stronger on the other side. You always come out with closer friendships with other people that you’ve bitched to about it. Yeah, well, Heather, I did just get off the phone with my therapist. How’d it go? It was good. I mean, she’s great.

She likes to tell me things that are hard to hear. Yeah. And we pay them for that. I know. And I’m like, Oh, why do you, why did you point that out? It was so much easier before you did, but no, she’s wonderful. You know, sometimes it’s hard to hear things like, “oh, the reason we’ve been talking about your dad for two weeks is because you’re projecting the problems you have with your husband onto this easier, less scary relationship with your father.”

And I’m like, Oh, ouch. It was definitely less scary five minutes ago before you said that. Yes. Because then once you acknowledge the problem in the room, you have, it’s like, then you have to own the choice of whether or not you want to do something about it. Well, at least you do when you’re like us and you’re the kind of person who just can’t stand not making a choice.

Yeah. Some people do, you know, there are people who can do that. They can just look at a problem and be like, Hm, not making that choice. And that happens to me. And I’m like, I’m going to stay up all night every night until I make a choice. Yeah. I’m going to make lists. I’m going to have spreadsheets and the pros and cons.

Yeah. But that’s only when it’s really bad. I would say 95% of the time, I’m the kind of person that’s like, I’m going to do this and live with the consequences. And I’m going to decide it in less than five minutes. I’m pretty decisive usually as well. Yeah.

So if you’re one of those people that has basically just added an entire human to your plate while maintaining everything else in your life. Yeah. I mean, you know, we’re just in a global pandemic. Also you’re probably working from home now with your tiny human and so is your partner and that, you know, they might feel more entitled to private workspace than you, and also be passive aggressive about it. They might, it might happen. And when it does just remember your reasons for doing these things that you feel are important and hope that someday when they take a beat, they can see that it was really for the good of all.

You know, my therapist today. She was telling me; I need to be more like a vending machine. She was like, look, vending machines aren’t tired at the end of the day. They’re full of either food or money. And she was like, so you can’t be giving away this shit for free all the time, but she didn’t say shit, but I do.

So she, she doesn’t cuss. Well sometimes, but usually not. It’s very funny. But, you know, she’s basically like, look like if so-and-so needs this from you, instead of just being this lovely people- pleaser that you are, think about it and be like, Oh, wow. Yeah, I’d love to do that with you, but I need X, Y, and Z first.

Much harder to do, actually. I thought when you said that she needs you to be more like a vending machine, it’s like people just repeatedly ask you for things. And if you don’t give it to them, they just beat you. No, I did actually mention that to her. And she was like, we’re not going there.

Just for the record, no one is beating Maureen. No, no. She was saying more like, you know, instead of me just constantly doing everything I can to please all the other people in my life that maybe I should specifically, ask for things in return before I do that. Hmm. That can be challenging in partnerships though. It can.

But Hey, with our relationship with you listeners, this kind of relates. Heather and I do a lot. A lot to make this podcast and to record for it. And the only thing that I ask of you guys is that you help us out in some way. So whether that’s leaving a review on Apple podcasts or sharing the podcast with friends, or maybe becoming a member of our Patreon, it’s only five bucks a month.

And for that, we will literally give you private question and answer sessions. We’ll give you access to hilarious fucking videos of us just being silly. We’ll give you extra content we haven’t published. I mean, all kinds of shit and merchandise that Maureen’s designed herself. Oh, I’ll send you t-shirts and mugs and all sorts of things.

Five bucks, guys, a month. And it just kind of helps to keep everything going. And it also helps our partners to remember that we’re not doing this in vain. Yeah. So that’s Patreon.com/MilkMinutePodcast. Sweet.

So in the same vein of acknowledging these people that work really hard while breastfeeding their babies, a lot of these people have to pump and bottle feed while they’re away from their child. And that can be really difficult. And a lot of times it requires a lot of communication with the person that is going to be bottle feeding your baby because there is a way to do it in a breastfeeding friendly way.

And this can really create some tension, especially if you have like a daycare provider like I had, who’s like, “I’ve been doing this for 35 years and it’s worked for me so far. So I just won’t do it.” She literally told me, like, I asked her to do something regarding my milk and she said, yeah, I just won’t do that. Did you switch daycare? No, there’s no other daycare. So sometimes yeah, like I’m still on wait-lists and my baby is 18 months old, but have never called me.

So if you’re in that situation where like, this is your only option for a daycare, you might want to just give them a sweet little rundown of what we’re talking about today, and kind of frame it, like, this is really going to help me and the baby continue to breastfeed for as long as we want by you doing this.

And this is a way that you can help us, not like a demand like a, we have a common goal and you can help me with it. I think another big challenge is when people are trying to work with family members who provide childcare, because when it’s somebody you have a personal relationship with, emotions just come into play in the weirdest fucking situations, like feeding your baby.

You know, if you say, talk to your mother-in-law and say, “Hey, like, I’m so happy you’re watching, you know, my baby while I’m working. Can I just talk to you about how to feed the baby?” That can turn into a situation where that person feels defensive very quickly, because it feels like an attack and you’re ungrateful, right?

It feels like an attack on the way they fed their kids. What’s wrong with the way I fed your husband? Right. He turned out fine. You’re like, Hmm. But, but did he? So, you know, just in general when you’re having these conversations you frame it so it’s about you, right? This is something I need and I really appreciate you doing.

Yeah, I agree. So we’re just going to give you a quick little pod snack of breastfeeding friendly ways you can bottle feed and explain a little bit why. So, first of all, we do not schedule feedings and I know a lot of people are going to be like shit. Because when your kid’s at daycare, it’s almost impossible to do this, but there are some breastfeeding friendly daycare.

So when you are searching for them, this is a really important question to ask straight up. Like, would you be willing to feed my baby on demand with the bottle? Like that means only feeding them when they show signs of hunger? Not, okay well, we’re overcrowded with children and we feed at one, we feed it four and we feed at seven or whatever it is. Probably not seven, but who knows? Who the hell knows?

So no scheduled feedings. Scheduled feedings for breastfed babies do tend to show weight loss as opposed to weight gain. So that’s one thing you can do. Also when you’re feeding this baby on demand with a bottle, you are letting the baby draw the nipple into their mouth. Not like a Slurpee.

Yeah. Yes. You’re not jamming it in there. You should not need a shoehorn to fricking get the nipple in the baby’s mouth. And if you do, they’re probably not hungry yet. Right. A hungry baby wants something in their mouth. Yeah. So make sure that your provider knows how long breast milk is good at room temperature, and that’s really important.

So like if you’re freshly expressing breast milk in the morning and bringing it with your child to “school,” let them know that this milk is good for six hours at room temperature, freshly expressed, six hours. So they don’t have to do any thawing at all. Once it’s, you know, if they are using one that’s thawed, it’s only good at room temperature for two hours.

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Right. But that’s really important as well. So if they feed, but they, you know, another thing is we don’t force them to finish a feeding. Oh yeah, yeah. Guys, I actually hate the whole concept of you have to finish your plate at any age because and I get that, some of that comes from fear of like food scarcity and things like that.

But the reality is that you should not be encouraging your infant or child to overeat. So if they are content with what they’ve eaten, especially with a breastfed baby at the bottle, that’s okay. And that’s why we constantly tell people only put an ounce or two in the bottle at once, because it really sucks if you filled a five ounce bottle and your baby drinks two.

Cause now their saliva’s touched it and now it’s already thawed, and it’s not going to be, you’re not supposed to reuse that bottle. Technically, no. It’s still good. It’s still good for two hours, but you know, whatever. So in addition to all of that, we are using a slow flow nipple. Fast flow nipples, fun fact, were created for NICU babies specifically who could not feed and like have the energy to suck.

Right. Every baby, even if they’re drinking formula, should actually just be using their own body’s suction and vacuum to get that milk out of the bottle. Yeah. And part of that is because of the behavior. If it takes them only three minutes to finish a bottle, do you think that they’re going to have the patience to finish a 20 minute feeding at the breast?

They will not. So we highly recommend that your baby takes 20 to 30 minutes to finish a bottle. And because, you know, we’ve mentioned this in other episodes before. It takes about 10 minutes sometimes for the signals from your stomach or your baby’s stomach to tell your brain that you’re full and you don’t need to eat anymore.

So the slower we make the feed, the more accurately our baby is going to assess whether or not they’re full. Right. And actually you know, back in the day, when I say back in the day, I mean, like in the nineties where they were blaming formula on obesity. Okay. So that’s not necessarily because formula is full of like more fat or something.

It’s because babies are chugging formula and it’s not giving their brains time to catch up on the full cues. So they tend to overeat and they tend to overeat more consistently. So we want to not only feed the baby, but we want them to mature behaviorally and neurologically to make sure that those signals are growing and maturing properly. Because if you have a baby that consistently thinks that it’s full, when it’s overeaten, that’s going to grow up to be an adult that only feels full when they’ve overeaten. It’s satiety.

Is it satiety? Nobody says that. The feeling or state of being sated. Sated. Yeah, not satiated? No. Sated. I’ve been saying that wrong my whole life. Haven’t we all? Let’s see. And sated is the past tense of to satisfy. Really? Fully, to fill to excess; surfeit; glut. Well, good thing this isn’t a grammar podcast or whatever.

I thought satiated was a word too, though. Yeah. So satiate, I think satiated it’s the past tense of satiate, but sated is the past tense of what I just say? Satiety? Wherever man. Satisfied.

So the last tip, tiddly bit, that we have here for you is to switch sides while you’re bottle feeding every five to 10 minutes. And the reason for that is because most people offer one breast and when the baby’s done with that, they offer the second breast, right. Burp in between, offer the second breast. And switching sides while bottle feeding is going to prevent side favoritism while breastfeeding. Yeah.

Because most people in bottle feeding, one arm is easier to hold the baby with and one arm is easier to control the baby with to control the bottle with, and they just stick to that. And if your baby is always going to be bottle fed, that’s kind of okay. But also sometimes it causes baby to get like a stiff neck. Yeah. A stiff neck definitely can make torticollis worse.

Yeah. So if you have a baby that’s already favored, favoriting, oh my Lord. If you have a “Satisfied!” Just now I have Hamilton stuck in my head. If you have a baby that prefers to lay on one side anyway, you might naturally just bottle feed them in the same way. And that’s just going to make it worse. Before you know it, your kid’s going to be in a helmet.

So switch sides. It’s not that hard. Yep. Why am I so mad? We just like to get fired up. So best of luck having those really difficult conversations with people that are going to be feeding your baby other than you. I don’t know why people just can’t appreciate the fact that you are gracing them with the opportunity to watch your baby while you are at work.

I love it when people just constantly say, Oh, yeah. I’ll watch your baby, but then make you feel like it’s a burden for the next six months. Okay. When I had Griffin, we were just frankly, completely shocked at the lack of help we were offered, even when I was asking. Yup. And we were just like, Holy shit.

Like all these people prenatally who were like, “absolutely we’ll babysit.” Fucking nowhere to be found. Yep. And by the time you’re asking, you’re already crying. Oh God. And then they say no, and you’re like, I’m truly alone and I’m not going to survive. And then you do. And then you start a podcast so you can help other people feel not alone in the world.

You’re not alone. You’re not alone. You might be satiated. You might be sated. We’re not sure what you are. Yeah. We might just start singing Hamilton cause now it’s stuck in my head. I’ve actually never seen Hamilton. I know. I’ve been like afraid to tell you. I’ve been busy editing these episodes.

You just outed yourself to the whole podcast land. I’m going to edit it out. No breast friends. Now, you know. I expect you to comment on our Facebook and Instagram with how much you want Heather to watch Hamilton. Okay. And then for those of you that hate Hamilton, also let me know. Those people don’t exist, Heather. They don’t? No.

Well, actually, there are some people who are slightly critical of Hamilton because they kind of ignore the fact that he actually like did trade slaves and he wasn’t an abolitionist, but also most people still love it. Okay. Well, I’m just going to have to see for myself. Maybe if we reach 75 reviews, I’ll watch it.

That’s not that many away guys! And I will sing a Hamilton song on the podcast. I’m holding you to it. If you edit this shit out, I’m going to be so mad. I got the power. All right, everybody. So good luck with your breastfeeding friendly bottle feeding. We’re here for you. And I know it’s hard. It’s just all hard right now.

We’re feeling it. I’m only here for you’ve watched Hamilton. Maureen! Just kidding. I mean, I’m here for you because you plan to watch Hamilton. I know. Yeah. So if you haven’t seen Hamilton, maybe we’ll have a watch party. Oh, that’d be fun. Yeah. It has nothing to do with breastfeeding. As far as I know, I’ve never seen it.

I mean, if I told you it did, would you watch it? Yeah. It is all about breastfeeding. The whole thing, start to finish. All right. Well, we love you. Hang in there, everybody. Bye. Bye.

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