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after delivery

Feeding your baby

Breast vs. bottle: it's a personal choice

How you choose to feed your baby is up to you. Breast-feeding is recommended, because breast milk provides the baby with antibodies that protect them from certain diseases and allergies. If you are unable to breast-feed or choose not to, commercial infant formulas are filled with all the nutrients a baby needs to develop and grow. What's important is the closeness you and your baby will feel during feeding time.

Feeding tips

  • Newborns need to be fed every two or three hours
  • Try to get plenty of rest during the day. Consider napping when your baby sleeps, so that night feedings are easier
  • Be sure to ask your doctor any questions you may have about feeding
  • If you're breast-feeding, your hospital will have breast-feeding classes, as well as a lactation nurse, to help new mothers and babies learn to breast-feed

La Leche League is an international organization that supports breast-feeding. Their website www.llli.org has breast-feeding information, resources and links to find support in your area.

Burping

All babies need to be burped during and after each feeding. Burping helps get the air out of the baby's stomach. Too much air and the baby will spit up, or be uncomfortable with a tummy ache. There are three common positions for burping your baby:

  • Shoulder. Place your baby on your shoulder and gently rub or pat the baby's back. You may want to place a towel on your shoulder to protect your clothes in case the baby spits up
  • Lap. Place your baby on its tummy across your lap. Gently pat or rub the baby's back
  • Sitting up. Sit the baby up on your lap, support the chin and neck, and gently pat the baby's back

Some babies are great burpers; others are a little harder. If your baby doesn't burp easily, sit the baby in an infant seat or car seat and see if that helps the air bubbles move up and out.

In this section:

Breast-feeding tips
Breast-feeding support
Breast-feeding positions
Breast-feeding nipple & breast care
Breast-feeding & nutrition
Bottle feeding
Adding solid foods