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Disclaimer: The information in this post is for educational purposes only. I am not a doctor. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider.

Bottle Feeding Breast Milk to Baby

Bottle Feeding Breast Milk to Baby  - Breastfeeding Place  #nursing #weaningDeciding on when to begin bottle feeding breast milk to your baby is a hard decision. Some mothers are unsure about whether or not they want their child to receive milk from a source other than mother’s breasts; and then some are nervous that attempting to bottle feed may interfere with the nursing relationship.

When it comes to bottle feeding breast milk to your baby, you should first consider why you are wanting to do it in the first place. Rather than bottle feeding breast milk because of outside pressure, have a good idea of why you want to offer breast milk bottles to your baby.

Some Reasons for Bottle Feeding Breast Milk

  • To allow daddy the opportunity to feed baby. While there are numerous ways to bond with a baby, some people find that feeding baby whether by bottle or breast, is an extremely bonding experience.
  • To allow mama more freedom. Being the only source of food for your child can be challenging at times. Eventually mama may want a day to herself for relaxation and pampering or even time away for dates with daddy.
  • To allow mama to work outside the home. Many women balance motherhood with part-time and full-time jobs, a situation that obviously requires a bottle. Whether your child stays with Grandma or at a daycare, chances are your baby will need to eat while you’re away.
  • To make public outings easier. Some women are not comfortable with nursing in public or at other places outside of the home. Having a child who bottle feeds and nurses can give mama the best of both worlds and maintain the breastfeeding relationship as privately as she wishes.
  • To supplement. Perhaps you are currently on medications that are not safe for breastfeeding or perhaps you currently have a cracked nipple that makes feedings extremely hard. Using expressed breast milk will help you avoid introducing other supplements to baby if you do not desire to do so.

Deciding When and How to Try a Bottle

One of the concerns that a nursing mama will have is whether or not bottle feeding breast milk will interfere with the success of the nursing relationship. In order for a baby to retrieve milk from a bottle they use a different sucking motion than when they nurse from mother. By bottle feeding breast milk too soon, there is a chance that baby will prefer the ease and flow of a bottle more than the slower flow of mother’s breast. This issue can result in a baby who prefers bottles over nursing, which in turn will cause emotional distress for the mother as well as affect her supply.

Most breastfeeding literature recommends giving the first bottle anywhere from four to six weeks old and only after baby has proven to be successful at latching and sucking. By holding off on the introduction of the bottle, there is a better chance that baby will continue to nurse when presented with that option.

For maximum success in this situation, let daddy give the first several bottles while you are nowhere in sight. Sometimes babies can smell their mothers, which will make for an unpleasant bottle introduction since they will be confused as to why mama isn’t feeding them (and why they have this weird silicone nipple in their mouth).

Start off slow with bottles and eventually you should find that your baby can successfully transition between both bottle and breast.

When Problems Arise

In some cases, some babies will not do well with a particular bottle. If the introduction of the bottle does not go well for you, try attempting it a few days later and even consider trying a different bottle. Always try bottles first that are marketed for breastfeeding mothers; these will usually have a slow flow and a natural shaped nipple. If your baby refuses bottles, do not make the experience hard by forcing it. Try the bottle on occasion to see if they are ready for the transition. If baby seems to prefer the bottle over the breast, try to limit the bottle as much as possible and nurse every time you are with baby.

Bottle feeding breast milk to your baby will definitely provide you with a tad bit more freedom, but for some women that freedom really isn’t important. If you are hesitant to begin a bottle or feel pressure from others around you to bottle feed your baby, only begin the process if you are ready. Never take the chance of hindering your breastfeeding relationship just for the sake of others. There are many mamas who exclusively nurse their babies, just as there are many mamas who bottle feed breast milk and nurse their babies. Either way, baby is still getting that nutritious mommy’s milk!

Do you think bottle feeding breast milk is a good option for your family?

Sasha is the voice behind the green living, mommy blog, The Mushy Mommy, where she writes about her journey towards living a healthier, non toxic lifestyle. She is happily married to her high school sweetheart and is the proud mama to a spunky little girl. Sasha loves supporting others through breastfeeding so much that she is currently in training to become a certified breastfeeding counselor and a certified childbirth educator. You can visit Sasha over at her personal blogFacebookTwitterInstagramPinterest and Google+.


  1. […] Give your bottle a few tries over a few days and then try a new brand (breastfeeding friendly of course) a few days later. Make sure not to overdo the attempts as you don’t want to frustrate your little one. It can take quite awhile for a baby to get used to a bottle and there are some general steps to follow when introducing a nursing baby to a bottle. Make sure to check out my post, Bottle Feeding Breast Milk to Baby. […]

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