Feeding the baby
As your midwife, we give you complete information about the pros and cons of breastfeeding and formula. Then you determine which food is preferred.
Breast milk is the best food for a baby because it contains antibodies that stimulate the immune system of your baby, and thus protects against infections. Also, children who are breastfed less often suffer from allergies and usually have a higher resistance. In addition, breastfeeding is geared to the development of your baby. The composition of breastfeeding will therefore grow with the needs of the baby.
Breastfeeding should teach you and the baby. It is a natural thing, but it does not go automatically. We and the maternity care will therefore help you to build and give you lots of information and tips. To get breastfeeding going well we will always strive to put the baby on the breast within one hour of delivery. This ensures that a lot of prolactin is released. Prolactin is a hormone that stimulates the production of the milk. Resting and practicing a lot is also important for the successful success of breastfeeding, so we advise you not to invite too many visitors during the first days after delivery, so that you have enough time to put the baby quietly on the breast.
It helps a lot if you have some knowledge about the different methods of application and the mechanism behind breastfeeding before you start breastfeeding. That's why you get the 'GrowthGuide Breastfeeding' from us during the pregnancy. This contains a lot of information that can help you prepare for breastfeeding and can serve as a reference book. In addition, we advise you to go to a breastfeeding information meeting.
For newborn babies always buy infant formula number 1. Number 2 and 3 are for older children and unsuitable for a newborn baby. There are many brands of bottle food for sale, they differ in terms of price and additions. There is no brand that we advise, all artificial food in the Netherlands meets the standard requirements. Do not change brands too often because babies sometimes suffer from this. Always use the proportions indicated on the packaging. Never dilute the food with extra water unless you have been advised by us or the health center!
There are many types of bottles. It is very different for each bottle which bottle is best. A hungry or fast-drinking baby will need a different bottle and teat than a slow drinker. Do not buy lots of bottles right away until you know which bottle-teat combination is good. Buy 2 different bottles and teats for the first week and discover which fits best with your baby. Note: always buy a teat for a newborn for the first weeks!
It is important that you always prepare bottles hygienically:
- Wash your hands before preparing food.
- Wash the bottles with hot water and detergent and dry them with a clean tea towel. Some bottles can also be put in the dishwasher.
- Sterilize the bottles and teats before using for the first time. (You do this by placing all the parts for 5 minutes in boiling water.) Sterilize them at least 1 × per week and daily if your baby is born prematurely or has a low resistance for another reason.
- Keep bottles and teats in a clean sealed container.
Fortunately, breastfeeding often goes without problems. But if it is difficult to build up the baby, if there are problems with milk production or if the flasks do not work, you can ask for help from a lactation consultant. Lactation specialists give professional guidance in breastfeeding, if our help and that of maternity care is no longer sufficient. A lactation consultant works independently and you do not need a referral. After a phone call you can usually get an appointment within 2 days if necessary!
Sometimes it is wise to make an appointment with a lactation consultant during the pregnancy to make a plan for the breastfeeding period. For example, if you expect twins, you have ever had breast surgery, feeding in a previous child did not go well or you have many questions.
More and more insurers pay for the help of a lactation consultant.