Support

yoomi understands that being a parent
can sometimes feel overwhelming...
but don’t worry you’re not alone.

The team at yoomi have put together
top tips from parents, health professionals
and experts so that you can find the advice
and support you need to feel confident
about caring for your baby.

Please feel free to get in touch with us at
hello@yoomi.com if you have any questions
or would like more tips!

Alternatively, why not get in touch with
Clare Byam-Cook, Former Nurse and Midwife, Independent Breastfeeding Counsellor and Author who also carries out home and hospital visits to help mothers with feeding problems.

bottle feeding

gently introduce your baby to bottle feeding

expressing

helping you get the most out of expressing

breastfeeding

top breastfeeding tips and advice from the experts

dad’s corner

helping dads bond with baby

 

how do I make up a bottle feed?

Here are step-by-step instructions for making up a bottle of formula feed for your baby. Remember, always read and follow your manufacturer’s instructions:

  1. Guidelines recommend that you prepare a fresh bottle of formula when your baby needs it
  2. Clean and disinfect the surface you are using
  3. Wash your hands
  4. Fill a kettle with 1 litre or more of fresh tap water
  5. Boil the water and leave it to cool for no more than 30 minutes – until it reaches a temp of at least 70°C
  6. Follow your manufacturer’s instructions – pour the correct amount of water into the bottle first while the water is still hot but not boiling, then add the measured amount of powdered formula
  7. Assemble your bottle and gently shake or swirl until the powder dissolves
  8. Cool the formula to body temperature by placing the bottle under running water
  9. Test the temperature on the inside of your wrist – it should feel cool to touch
  10. Never reuse leftover formula – throw it away!

yoomi’s top tips to ensure your little one remains healthy and safe and enjoys a nourishing feed:

  • your baby’s immune system is fragile, so practice good hygiene
  • remember that freshly boiled tap water is the best option. Artificially softened water, previously boiled water and bottled water are not recommended
  • ensure that you use the correct amount of formula. Adding more than the recommended amount may lead to constipation or dehydration
  • if preparing feeds for later use, prepare in individual bottles, cool straightaway and store in the back of the fridge
  • when reheating refrigerated bottles, place in a container of hot water and occasionally shake so the feed evenly warms. Never warm feed in the microwave as hot spots can develop
  • remember, yoomi warms baby’s feed to the perfect temperature of breast milk... every time
References
World Health Organisation guidelines

bottle feeding: do’s and don’ts

DO DON’T
  • Be prepared... gather all your equipment, find a comfortable holding position, and give yourself some time.
  • Hold your baby in a fairly upright position and support the head.
  • Keep the teat full... this ensures that your baby isn’t swallowing air.
  • Sing, smile, talk to your baby... feeding sessions make for great bonding time.
  • Take short breaks... you may need to give your baby a break during feeding to wind.
  • Remove the bottle if your baby falls asleep during feedings... pooled milk can lead to tooth decay.
  • Throw away worn out teats and bottles... check for signs of wear often.
  • Ask for help... midwives, health professionals, and other mums are great sources of support and advice!
  • Force your baby to finish a bottle... let your baby feed at their own pace.
  • Leave your baby during feedings... your baby may choke on the milk if left unsupervised.
  • Keep any unused formula or breast milk... throw it away after your baby’s done feeding.
  • Mix breast milk and formula... formula doesn’t store as long and you don’t want to waste your breast milk!
  • Heat bottles in the microwave... uneven heating can harm your baby and damage nutrients in your breast milk.
  • Feed your baby expired formula... pay attention to the labels.
  • Feed your newborn baby juice, cow’s milk, soda, or water. A newborn’s digestive system is not quite ready.
References
NHS Advice on bottle feeding

what to look for when buying bottles

If you’re planning to bottle feed your baby then you’ll need to get stocked up on bottles and teats. Simple, right? Well not always! Some babies take to a particular type of bottle and teat and outright refuse others. What’s more, introducing a bottle to a breastfed baby can be tricky. Here’s what to look for when buying bottles and why yoomi stands out from the crowd:

The teat – these come in different shapes and flows. A slow-flow teat is preferable when combination feeding as your baby needs to actively suck to get the milk. Specialist teats can also be found and may be slanted to suit baby’s palate and gums.

The yoomi teat is made from super soft silicone and has a natural breast shape to promote easy latch-on and transitioning. Unlike other teats, when yoomi is used with the warmer, the teat oozes gentle warmth, providing a feeding experience most similar to the breast.

The air vents – look out for bottles with a good venting system to reduce the air that flows back into the bottle as this can lead to colic.

With 6 air vents to reduce colic rather than the standard 1 or 2, yoomi is designed to be one of the best vented bottles on the market.

The material – you’ll find bottles made from glass, silicone, and plastic. Plastic bottles are lightweight and unbreakable, but make sure they are BPA free. Glass bottles are not ideal for travel and are easily breakable. Some glass bottles come with a silicone sleeve for protection.

Yoomi uses premium Grade 5 plastic and the entire range is BPA free.

We’ve broken down the different types of bottles on the market and evaluated their pros and cons...

Type of Bottle Pros Cons
Standard Bottles
  • Often come in packs of 4 or 6. Intended for heavy use
  • The cheaper option
  • Valves and vents may not actually reduce gas in your baby’s tummy
Angle-neck
  • Baby can feed in semi-upright position which reduces risk of ear infection
  • Less likely to swallow air
  • Awkward to fill - may have to use funnel
Wide
  • Breast-like shape – good for combination feeding
  • Variety of teats available
  • Maybe more expensive
Anti-colic
  • Specifically designed to reduce colic and gas
  • May have more pieces to clean and require special brushes/equipment

Nipple Confusion...what is it?

Nipple confusion is a subject that leaves a lot of mums a little, well, confused. When babies switch between bottle and breastfeeding, they may experience nipple confusion and refuse to feed. This can be an extremely frustrating experience for both mum and baby.

Why does nipple confusion happen? Well, breastfeeding and bottle feeding both require different sucking and latching techniques. Breastfeeding requires coordination to latch-on correctly and your baby has to actively suck to get the milk. With bottle feeding, babies do not have to suck “correctly” or work as hard to get the milk. Problems may arise when your baby has become established with a particular feeding routine and a new technique is introduced.

There are different ways to deal with nipple confusion depending on the feeding method your baby prefers.

What to do if your baby prefers bottle feeding...

  • Go back to the basics and try breastfeeding again. Focus on skin-to-skin contact and proper positioning. It may take a few sessions, but your baby should be back on track in no time.
  • Get your milk flowing before feeding sessions either manually or by pumping so your baby doesn’t have to work so hard to get the milk.
  • Try breastfeeding when your baby is hungry but not starving. Your baby may not have the patience to latch-on if too hungry.

What to do if your baby prefers breastfeeding...

  • Have dad or another family member take care of the bottle feeding. Your baby may be apprehensive to take the bottle when you are around.
  • Keep trying different types of teats until you find one your baby likes.
  • Try to make your bottle feeding sessions as similar to breastfeeding as possible. Hold your baby close in a similar position, switch arms part way through the session and interact with your baby.

Deciding when to introduce a bottle ultimately depends on your lifestyle and preferences. Mums should not fret if their baby experiences nipple confusion. It’s most important to be patient and persistent and eventually your baby will settle into a new routine.

References
What To Expect: Nipple Confusion Ask Dr.Sears: Nipple Confusion

how can I safely warm my baby’s feed?

Your baby’s safety is important to you – it’s important to us at yoomi too! Here are a few safe options for warming your baby’s bottle come feeding time:

  • Place the cap over the teat. Fill a bowl with hot water and place the bottle in the hot water for 15 minutes maximum. Shake the bottle to ensure the bottle is warmed evenly.
  • Run the bottle under very warm or hot water for a few minutes. Shake the bottle vigorously.
  • Use a bottle warmer – like yoomi! There are electric warmers on the market, but yoomi’s clever warmer allows you to easily warm your baby’s feed on the go with just the push of a button. Plus there’s no risk of overheating the milk.
  • If you’re pressed for time, you may find that your baby will take milk at room temp.

Once you’ve warmed the bottle, test the temperature by squirting a little on the inside of your wrist. The feed should feel warm, not hot. Some babies prefer to feed from warm teats. Try running the teat under warm tap water or submerge in warm water for a few seconds before feeding.

These options are the safest ways to warm up your baby’s feed. Don’t microwave your baby’s feed. Uneven heating can lead to burns, and the power of the microwave can destroy important nutrients. Never reuse breast milk or formula that has been heated, since bacteria can grow in this liquid.

With these tips, you can ensure safe and easy warming.

References
Babycentre - How do I warm my baby's bottle? Formula Feeding FAQs: Preparation and Storage How to Heat a Baby's Bottle

BPA free bottles – please explain!

You may have noticed that yoomi bottles are BPA free, but what does that even mean? BPA (Bisphenol A) is a chemical that can be found in many hard plastic food containers (like bottles), reusable cups, and the lining of some metal cans. Most plastic companies have BPA free products because the chemical is potentially harmful, especially to the development of babies and young children. What can you do as a parent, to make sure your child isn’t exposed to BPA?

  • Check the labels of your plastic products – most products are labelled if they’re BPA free
  • Discard scratched baby bottles and feeding cups – if the bottles contain BPA, scratches allow for the chemical to be released
  • Do not put very hot or boiling water in BPA-containing bottles as this can release the chemical into the feed
  • Do not heat baby bottles in the microwave
  • After sterilising and cleaning your bottles, let the bottles cool to room temperature before adding formula or breast milk
  • Pay attention to “dishwasher safe” and “microwave safe” labels on your plastic products

Mums and dads should be careful about how they heat up plastic bottles, as this can release chemicals into your baby’s feed. The safest bet is to buy a BPA free bottle for your little one – lucky for you, BPA free bottles are easy to come by.

References
The US Department of Health and Human Services

bottle feeding equipment – what do I need?

So here’s our list for comfortable, stress-free bottle feeding...

  • Bottles and teats (4-6 each)
  • Sterilising equipment
  • Formula – if you plan to formula feed
  • Bottle cleaning brush
  • Muslin cloths or bibs – useful for cleaning up dribble and winding your little one

There are lots of bottles, teats, and sterilisers on the market now, but how do you choose? The truth is all babies are different. One baby may love a bottle that your baby outright refuses. We’ve put together some lists to help you choose the products that are right for your baby...

Teats:

Type Description
Latex Soft and flexible but not sturdy - may wear quickly with use
Silicone Firmer to withstand regular use and cleaning
Orthodontic Slanted to protect teeth
Wide shaped Shaped like a breast to accommodate combination feeding
Anti-colic Designed with vents to reduce air intake during feeding
Slow Flow Best for newborns who are new to bottle feeding
Medium and Fast Flow Best for babies who are accustomed to bottle feeding and can handle the speed of the milk

Bottles:

Type of Bottle Pros Cons
Standard Bottles
  • Often come in packs of 4 or 6. Intended for heavy use
  • The cheaper option
  • Valves and vents may not actually reduce gas in your baby’s tummy
Angle-neck
  • Baby can feed in semi-upright position which reduces risk of ear infection
  • Less likely to swallow air
  • Awkward to fill - may have to use funnel
Wide
  • Breast-like shape – good for combination feeding
  • Variety of teats available
  • Maybe more expensive
Anti-colic
  • Specifically designed to reduce colic and gas
  • May have more pieces to clean and require special brushes/equipment

Sterilizers:

Method Pros Cons
Boiling
  • Inexpensive and convenient since it doesn't require any special equipment
  • Limescale may build up on the bottles - harmless, but can be rather unattractive
  • Takes up space on your hob
  • Teats won't last as long
Cold Water Steriliser
  • Good on the go/travel option
  • Inexpensive and convenient
  • Keeps bottles sterile for longer - often 24 hours
  • Perception is that solution leaves a taste or smell, although modern options don’t
  • Takes slightly longer – about a half hour
Steam Steriliser
  • Quick and convenient - often 6 min cycles
  • Some models may sterilise your breast pump too
  • Expensive
  • Not ideal for travel/on the go
Microwave Steriliser
  • Relatively inexpensive if you own a microwave
  • Some models may sterilise your breast pump too!
  • Smaller – may not hold as many bottles as steam sterilisers
  • May become a tad hot – requires careful handling
References
NHS Advice on bottle feeding Babycentre bottle feeding guide

benefits of expressing

Expressing is a great option for mums. Here’s why...

  • Convenience... breastfeeding can be time-consuming and exhausting. In an ideal world all mums would have time to breastfeed, but this is not the case. Expressing makes it easy to have milk ready when your little one gets hungry
  • Trouble feeding? may be your baby is having difficulty latching or breastfeeding is simply uncomfortable for you. You can overcome these frustrations by expressing your milk
  • Getting others involved in feeding... expressing allows your loved ones to experience the closeness of feeding baby. Why not let dad feel more involved by getting him to do the night feed… great for dad and baby bonding and mum get a well-deserved break!
  • Breastfeed in public... not all mums feel comfortable breastfeeding in public. When you’re out and about, simply take a bottle of expressed milk for when baby gets hungry. Problem solved!
  • Helps boost milk production... milk production is all about supply and demand. Expressing between feedings and pumping both breasts simultaneously are two great ways of increasing your milk supply to keep baby satisfied
  • Help decrease “fullness” in your breasts... as your body adjusts to milk production you may, from time to time, feel a bit uncomfortable. Expressing is a great way to relieve your discomfort in between feeds
  • Mum can return to work... coordinating breastfeeding with work can be tricky. Mums can plan with their partners or child care facilities and prepare bottles of expressed milk, so their babies are well fed while they’re at work. Mums can even find a way to pump at work to keep up their supply. See expressing at work - my rights?
  • Baby still receives all the benefits of breastfeeding... it doesn’t matter if your baby is exclusively breastfeeding, combining, or only taking milk from a bottle. Expressed breast milk still provides the same nutritional benefits as breastfeeding!

safely storing and warming expressed breast milk

If you know the yoomi story, then you’ll know that yoomi was invented to make it easier for Jim, an exhausted, stressed out, first time dad to warm a bottle of expressed breast milk straight from the fridge in the middle of the night.

Designed with mums who express in mind, we think yoomi got it right on so many fronts:

  • yoomi is the only bottle to gently return mum’s milk to the EXACT temperature of breast milk without damaging any nutrients
  • yoomi warms the feed as baby drinks providing a constant temperature (just like breastfeeding) for a soothing and less interrupted feeding experience
  • the teat is naturally shaped and super soft to promote easy latch on; and
  • the teat is warm unlike standard teats to provide the reassurance and familiarity baby needs to make the sometimes challenging transition from breast to bottle

For this reason, mums often ask us for help on how to safely store and thaw their expressed breast milk. And here they are...

Location Maximum Time Tips
Fresh breast milk
Room 6 hours
Fridge: 5-10 C 3 days
Fridge: 0-4 C 5 days
Fridge: ice compartment 14 days
Freezer: -18 C or lower 6 months
Frozen breast milk
Thawed in fridge 12 hours
Thawed outside fridge use immediately
  • Be sure to wash your hands before expressing or handling breast milk
  • Always store breast milk in clean containers
  • Clearly label with date milk was expressed
  • Store in the back of the fridge and not in the door
  • When stored, the milk and cream may separate out, this is normal
  • If the milk smells sour, do not use
  • Do not re-freeze breast milk once it has thawed
  • Do not defrost or heat up breast milk in a microwave
References
The Breastfeeding Network

help! I'm not producing enough milk

It is not uncommon for mums to experience a fluctuation in their milk supply, but there is no need to panic! There are many ways to encourage milk production and help keep milk flowing…

  • Increase feeding and/or expressing. Remember your body produces milk on a supply and demand basis. The more you feed and /or express the more milk your body will make!
  • Try to express or feed every 2 hours. Frequent, short expressing sessions are more efficient than long ones
  • Don't wait too long to feed or express. You may be tempted to wait until your breasts feel full, but the truth is, you'll have enough milk in your breasts to feed your baby even when they don't feel full.
  • Try expressing both breasts at the same time. The extra stimulation can increase prolactin, the hormone essential for milk production
  • Engage your senses. Look at a picture of your little one or smell a piece of your baby's clothing to take in their scent. This can help encourage milk production
  • Relax. Stress and tension can affect your milk production - take a nice warm bath or shower before you express to help you relax a bit
  • Encourage flow. Hold a warm, damp face cloth against your breasts to encourage them to release the milk
  • Moment of Calm. Find a quiet place to express
  • Stimulation works. Massage your breasts and nipples to stimulate milk production
  • Take care of yourself. It's your natural instinct to worry about your baby's health but remember your own health is just as important especially. Make sure you are eating and drinking enough and getting plenty of rest

If you have on-going concerns or need specific advice then don't be afraid to contact your Health Visitor or Local Breastfeeding Counsellor, as they are best equipped to give you advice and support

References
How Can I Increase My Milk Supply? Low milk supply I'm pumping my milk to feed my baby, but my supply is going down. What can I do? I want to know if my breasts are making milk normally. Do I have enough milk?

expressing at work - my rights?

Mums can often feel forced to stop breastfeeding when they return to work, but this need not be the case. More and more mums are continuing to breastfeed by expressing their milk, so that baby can enjoy the benefits of breast milk even when mum is back in the workplace. Expressing at work is an option, and your employer has legal obligations to try and accommodate you…

So, what does the law say?

  • When you return to work, you should submit written notification to your employer stating that you are breastfeeding and intend to express. Your employer should then conduct a risk assessment to evaluate whether the workplace is safe and well-equipped for expressing
  • Employers are required to provide suitable facilities for breastfeeding mothers to rest under the Workplace Regulations and Approved Code of Practice.
  • The Health and Safety Executive recommends that employers provide a safe, suitable, and private place for breastfeeding mothers to express and then to store milk. The toilets are not suitable for expressing. Unfortunately employers are not required by law to provide this space, it is merely encouraged

To make the transition back to work easier, try to be organised. Here are a few things you can do to prepare...

  • Give your employer notice that you plan on expressing when you return. This should give them time to make any adaptations/provisions necessary for you
  • Help them out - let your employer know what you need to make expressing at work comfortable and safe
  • Start expressing a few weeks before you go back to work to get familiar with the routine
  • If your baby has never used a bottle make sure you leave plenty of time to make the transition. Yoomi can help in making this easier for both you and baby. Why not give yoomi a try!
  • You may want to build up a store of expressed milk in case you don’t want to express during the first few days you’re back at work
  • Initially expressing can be time consuming so make sure you discuss and coordinate plans with your partner regarding baby’s feedings and household chores
  • If possible, return to work in the middle of the work week, so you can ease back into it with a short week
  • Try and prepare everything you need the night before you go back to work to minimise your stress in the morning

An increasing number of mums are now able to combine going back to work with continuing to breastfeed and expressing. All it takes is a little preparation and forward planning.

References
Breastfeeding and work Employee - Pregnancy and Work Expressing Milk at Work Expressing and the working mum

can you explain the different expressing methods?

Mums choose to express for a variety of reasons. Expressing milk can be a solution if your baby is having trouble breastfeeding, you find breastfeeding in public challenging, to involve dad in the joys of feeding or if you need to leave your baby with someone for a short period of time.

There are 3 methods you can use to express your milk...

1. Express by hand

This method requires you to put pressure on the milk ducts to encourage the milk to flow. You must make sure that the milk expressed is stored directly into a sterilised container. As you do not require any specific equipment this is an inexpensive option and it is worth consulting a Breastfeeding Counsellor who can advise on proper and effective techniques

2. Use a breast pump

Breast pumps work by using a funnel type device which is specially designed to fit over the nipple and areola area of the breast. Usually the pumps connect to a bottle so that expressed milk collects directly into the bottle. Breast pumps can be hand operated or battery powered and which one you choose is really a matter of personal preference

3. Use an electric pump

Electric pumps are by far the fastest method of expressing and should be considered by those who plan to breastfeed long term. Electric pumps are good for encouraging milk production and dual pumps are available. They can be expensive, but your local Breast Feeding Counsellor / Health Visitor can advise you of local places where you can borrow/hire electric pumps

With a little experimentation and practice, expressing will become second nature. Your baby can then reap the benefits of breast milk whilst you enjoy a bit of free time!

When warming breast milk take care not to overheat as this may damage some of the nutrients. Why not let yoomi lend a hand! Yoomi is the only way to return mums milk to perfect breast milk temperature without damaging any nutrients.

References
How to express breastmilk Expressing breast milk: Are some methods better than others? Expressing your milk

milk supply misconceptions

Mums can naturally become anxious about their milk supply but remember there are some common misconceptions...

  • Leaking is not a sign of good supply. If you stop leaking, don’t panic! It just means your body has grown accustomed to how much milk you need to make
  • Just because your breasts stop feeling “full” doesn’t mean that your milk supply has decreased. By the time your baby reaches 6 - 8 weeks, your body knows how much milk to make and will have adjusted to your baby’s needs
  • When your baby is around 6 - 8 weeks, she may have shorter feeding sessions. This doesn’t mean your body isn’t producing enough milk. It usually means your baby has mastered breastfeeding and can get milk more efficiently than before!
  • On the opposite end, the occasional long feeding session doesn’t necessarily indicate inadequate milk supply. Your baby will go through a number of growth spurts (usually around 2-3 weeks, 6 weeks, and 3 months of age). During these periods, your baby will naturally want to feed longer and more often

If you have on-going concerns or need specific advice then don’t be afraid to contact your Health Visitor or Local Breastfeeding Counsellor, as they are best equipped to give you advice and support

help! my baby isn’t latching

Latching problems can be extremely frustrating for a new mother. Instead of getting discouraged, remember these tips when feeding time rolls around:

  • Make sure you are comfortable before you begin breastfeeding – use pillows and sit in a supportive chair
  • Increase skin-to-skin contact with your baby and/or use a sling or carrier to keep your baby close during feeding sessions
  • Make sure your baby opens wide and then quickly bring your baby to your breast (not your breast to your baby)
  • If your baby doesn’t latch on right away, simply move your baby off your breast, take a break, and try again
  • Massage your breast towards the nipple to encourage milk flow
  • Squeeze drops of colostrums on the nipple to encourage your baby

Still unsure? Here’s how to check for a good latch:

  • Baby has a good mouthful of breast
  • Baby’s gums should bypass the nipple and cover about one inch of the breast tissue
  • Baby’s lips should be turned out, not tucked in
  • Baby’s nose should be resting against your breast

Remember that if the latch is not good, simply take a break and try again. A bad latch can lead to sore, cracked nipples and prevents your baby from getting enough milk. You should not feel pain beyond the initial 30 – 60 seconds of initial latch-on discomfort.

Most importantly, remember to keep positive and give it time! Your baby will do better at some feedings more than others. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and consult a breastfeeding counsellor if the problem persists. La Leche League is a great international organization dedicated to helping mothers who want to breastfeed their babies. Use the following link to find a leader or group near you:
Find a La Leche League Leader or Group Near You

References
Breastfeeding How to latch Positioning and Latch-On Ineffective Latch-On or Sucking When a Baby Won't Nurse Common Problems When You Begin Breastfeeding Ineffective Latch-On

the benefits of breastfeeding

Breastfeeding has numerous benefits, both for mums and babies. Breast milk is the best source of sustenance for your baby. Why? Well, breast milk contains important white blood cells that protect your baby from harmful germs. Breast milk also contains Immunoglobulin A (IgA) which coats the lining of your baby’s intestines to protect against harmful germs and prevents food allergies from developing. Colostrum, the milk produced during the first few days after birth, acts as your baby’s first immunization. Breast milk also contains antibodies that fill the immunity gap before your baby’s immune system matures. Your body even has the ability to manufacture specific antibodies to protect your baby if it is exposed to a new germ!

Studies show that breastfed babies reap some amazing health benefits including...

  • Fewer ear infections
  • Less need for orthodontics
  • Fewer and less sever upper respiratory infections
  • Less pneumonia and influenza
  • Lower cholesterol as adults
  • Less gastrointestinal infections, diarrhoea, and constipation
  • 6 or more months of breastfeeding leads to a lowered risk of food allergies
  • Better response to vaccinations
  • Reduced risk of diabetes
  • Fewer urinary tract infections
  • Lowered risk of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
  • Less allergic eczema
  • Breastfed babies are leaner at one year
  • Breast milk is easier on the kidneys – it has less salt and protein than formula
  • Stool has less offensive odour

It is clear that breast milk has some fantastic benefits for your baby’s development, but what about mum? Some benefits for breastfeeding mums include...

  • Reduced risk of breast cancer by as much as 25%
  • Reduced risk of uterine and ovarian cancer
  • Breastfeeding for 1 year or more, reduces risk of developing heart disease conditions by 10%
  • Reduced risk of high blood pressure by 12% and high cholesterol by 20%
  • Lowered risk of osteoporosis
  • Delayed ovulation which allows for natural child spacing
  • Better emotional health – breastfeeding mums show less postpartum anxiety
  • Promotes weight loss – breastfeeding can burn about 500 calories a day
  • Costs less than formula feeding

It’s no wonder that so many health organizations embrace breast milk as the best form of nutrition for growing babies. But remember if you can’t breastfeed, don’t despair, expressing your breast milk gives baby all the benefits of breast milk plus dad and others get to enjoy some quality bonding time and give mums a little break.

References
7 Ways Breastfeeding Benefits Mothers 3 Little Known Benefits of Breastfeeding Breastfeeding Benefits from Top to Bottom How Human Milk Protects Babies From Illness Good for Moms, Too

how do I know if my breastfed baby is getting enough milk?

One of mum’s biggest worries is often... is my baby well fed? There are some signs you can look out for to monitor feeding and ensure your baby is healthy...

  • First few days... your baby will only wet 1 - 2 nappies a day
  • After the third or fourth day... your baby will have 6 - 8 wet cloth nappies, or 5 - 6 wet disposable nappies a day
  • For the first few months... your baby should have at least 2 - 5 bowel movements every 24 hours (this may decrease after 6 weeks).
  • Your baby should nurse at least 8 - 12 times in a 24-hour period.
  • You should be able to hear your baby’s swallowing sounds during breastfeeding.
  • Your baby should gain at least 4 - 7 ounces a week, after the fourth day of life.
  • Your baby should be alert, active, appear healthy (good color, firm skin), and growing in length and head circumference.

A good latch is key, so mums should look for these signs of good latching during feeding sessions...

  • Your baby takes a large mouthful of breast
  • Your baby’s chin is firmly pressed against your breast
  • After the first few seconds of discomfort, mum should not feel any pain
  • Your baby’s cheeks stay rounded while sucking
  • Your baby finishes and comes of the breast on their own
  • Your baby’s sucks and swallows should be long and rhythmic (pauses and breaks are normal!)
  • Watch for hunger cues - opening and closing mouth, making sucking noises, opening eyes, and turning towards mum

Feeding problems can leave you feeling a little bit helpless, so don’t be afraid to ask for help! With the right feeding technique, your baby will be nourished in no time.

References
How can I tell if my baby is getting enough milk? Is My Baby Getting Enough Milk? How can I tell whether my baby's getting enough breastmilk? How do I know if my baby is getting enough breastmilk?

how can I successfully combination feed?

Many mums are under the misconception that breastfeeding has to be all or nothing. This is simply not the case. Mothers can have great success when mixing bottle feeding with breastfeeding sessions. In fact, combination feeding is a great option for mums who are returning to work, who want to include dad or others in feedings or are simply having trouble with breastfeeding.

Before deciding if this is the right option for you, there are a few things mums must keep in mind...

  1. Milk production is based on supply and demand. If you breastfeed or express often, your body will naturally produce more milk and vice versa. Express often to maintain a good milk supply.
  2. Combination feeding is often tricky for newborns. It requires different techniques to suck from a bottle than from a breast. Changing methods can be confusing for a young baby. Wait until breastfeeding is established before switching between bottle and breast, usually 3 – 4 weeks.

Some mums start combination feeding in order to introduce formula. Here are a few quick tips to make this a smooth transition...

  • Give your body time to adapt as it reduces the amount of milk it makes. You may need to express the first week to avoid engorgement.
  • Babies may not take to bottles at first, especially if they’ve been successfully breastfeeding. Give the first few bottles when your baby is content and relaxed. Turn the baby away from you so your baby does not try to instinctively find your breast. Alternatively, have someone else besides mum give the first few feeds
  • Try warming the formula to the same temperature as your breast milk. Remember, yoomi is the only bottle that safely returns mum’s milk to the natural temperature of breast milk!
  • Try bottle feeding your little one with expressed breast milk first to retain that similar consistency, smell and taste... then introduce formula.
References
Combining breast and bottle feeding Mixed feeding Breast and Bottle Feeding Supplementing the Breastfeeding Baby

breastfeeding tips from the experts

We’ve put together some golden nuggets of information from the experts just for you!

  • Pace yourself in the beginning. Breastfeeding for too long at first can wreak havoc on your nipples. Experts suggest that you start with 10-15 minutes per breast at first until you get acclimated.
  • It’s perfectly normal for newborns to lose about 10% of their body weight in the first few days of their life so don’t be alarmed - this isn’t a sign of undernourishment.
  • Don’t follow a feeding schedule. The best way to ensure your baby is getting the right amount of milk is to breastfeed on your baby’s hunger cues.
  • Don’t fret if your baby sleeps for a while and doesn’t wake up for feedings on the first day. This is perfectly normal.
  • Bottle feeding should be introduced around 21 - 28 days, or later. Trying to bottle feed too early may lead to nipple confusion.
  • Mums don’t have to follow a particular diet to breastfeed, just eat a healthy and balanced diet. If you notice that your baby’s in distress in reaction to certain foods, then stop eating them.
  • Avoid foods that the baby’s father is allergic to.
  • Touch base with a breastfeeding counsellor or lactation specialist even if you’re not having any problems. They are great resources for information and advice.
  • Prepare yourself for breastfeeding - take classes, read books, and talk to other mums. It will ease your nerves, especially if this is your first time breastfeeding.
  • Take care of yourself too! Make sure you are eating a healthy diet, staying hydrated, and getting enough rest. This will lower your stress levels and help your milk supply.
  • Proper positioning and latch techniques are the key to avoiding uncomfortable sore and cracked nipples.
  • If your baby bites you during breastfeeding, say ‘No’ and remove your baby from your breast. This way your baby learns that they can’t breastfeed if they bite.
  • Breastfeeding is not easy for all mums. If it’s not working for you, don’t be hard on yourself. Find out what works best for you and your baby and be proud of what you accomplish as a mother.
References
Tips for Successful Breastfeeding Expert Breastfeeding Secrets

breastfeeding myths

You may have heard some misleading myths about breastfeeding. We’ve put together a list of some common misconceptions to help you separate fact from fiction...

Myth... Frequent breastfeeding leads to poor milk supply and a weak let down system.
The Truth... Frequent breastfeeding sessions actually help boost milk supply.
Myth... Four to six breastfeeding sessions a day are needed to maintain your milk supply.
The Truth... Research shows that an average of 9.9 feeding sessions a day during the first few weeks is optimal for milk production.
Myth... Mothers must drink milk to make milk.
The Truth... Drinking milk has no effect on milk production. In fact, we are the only mammals that continue to drink milk after infancy. Just follow a healthy diet and you’ll be fine!
Myth... Some babies are allergic to their mother’s milk.
The Truth... Breast milk is the most natural and physiologic substance your baby can consume. Any sensitivity to feeding is likely due to foreign proteins in your milk. Simply eliminate the offending food from your diet while you are still breastfeeding.
Myth... The lying down breastfeeding position causes ear infections.
The Truth... Your baby has a lowered risk of ear infections because of antibodies in your breast milk. Breastfeeding positions do not cause ear infections.
Myth... Your baby should feed off of both breasts during feedings.
The Truth... If you switch your baby to the other breast too early, your baby could be getting lower calorie milk that is less nourishing, the foremilk. Mums should let their baby finish on their own before moving to the other breast.
Myth... Nursing after 12 months is of little value because your milk quality diminishes after 6 months.
The Truth... Your milk changes as your baby develops, but it is still a primary source of nutrition and fills the immunity gap as long as your baby breastfeeds.
Myth... Small breasts don’t produce as much milk as large ones.
The Truth... In breastfeeding, size does not matter. You will still produce enough milk for your baby regardless of your cup size.
Myth... Breastfeeding will ruin the shape of your breasts.
The Truth... Your breasts will change in consistency after pregnancy, but your breasts can still return to their normal size and shape after breastfeeding. Age and weight gain affect the shape of your breasts more.
References
Common Breastfeeding Myths Myths of Breastfeeding Common Myths About Breastfeeding

breastfeeding with twins

Having twins means double the love, right? Well, it also means double the work. Deciding to breastfeed your multiples may seem like a daunting task, but lots of mums have successfully breastfed their twins (and even triplets!).

When starting out, you can try feeding each baby individually. This gives you a chance to see how each baby handles breastfeeding and address any possible problems. You can also monitor how frequently each little one feeds. Once you feel comfortable, it’s up to you! Some mums choose to continue breastfeeding each baby separately to accommodate their needs. Others learn to breastfeed both at once. There is no right way - choose which is best for you. Here are some breastfeeding positions to try with your twins...

  • Double Clutch/Double Football Hold - both babies are in a football hold with a pillow supporting them on either side of you and their feet pointed towards the back of the chair. Make sure they are at breast level, their bodies turned towards you (not up), and support the back of each baby’s neck with your palms.
  • Double Cradle Hold - place both babies in cradle position with their heads resting on your forearms. Position your babies so their legs cross and make an X.
  • Cradle Clutch Combination - if your babies have different hold preferences, this position might be ideal for you. Hold one baby in a football position and the other in cradle position.

Make sure to ask for some help when you are first trying out the double breastfeeding sessions.
You may be wondering: how can one mum make enough milk for two growing babies? Most women can produce enough milk for their multiples. Keep up your supply with these tips...

  • Start breastfeeding right after birth to help establish your milk supply and nurse often.
  • If your babies can’t breastfeed right away, express milk right away to encourage your milk supply. Pumping while breastfeeding may also help keep up your milk supply.
  • Alternate the breasts you feed each baby on. Perhaps feed each baby on a particular breast for one day, and then switch the next.

Breastfeeding multiples is hard work which is why it’s important to enlist as much help as you can at home from your partner, family, and friends. Find a knowledgeable doctor, breastfeeding counsellor or lactation specialist who you can turn to for professional advice.

References
Breast-feeding twins: Making feedings manageable What do I need to know to breastfeed twins?

I want to bond more with my baby (Dad)

Dads may feel a bit left out when it comes to bonding with baby, especially if mum is breastfeeding. Dads should keep in mind that they don’t need to be another mum – dad’s role is just as important! Here are some ideas for taking advantage of quality time with your baby:

  • Participate in labour and delivery
  • Handle those dreaded middle of the night diaper changes and feeding (if bottle-fed)
  • Read or sing to your baby
  • Give your baby a bath
  • Be a part of your baby’s bedtime routine
  • Soothe your baby when he or she’s crying
  • Set aside time every night to play with your baby
  • Cradle your little one during bottle feeding to get the same closeness as breastfeeding
  • Use a front carrier to hold your baby while doing household activities
  • Give your baby a massage – babies respond well to touch
  • Mirror your baby’s movements
  • Mimic your baby’s cooing and sounds to develop communication
  • Don’t miss out on doctor’s visits – learning more about your baby’s health will help you feel closer to your baby

With these tips, dads can easily bond with their babies. Remember that bonding will happen at a different pace than mum, but it is equally meaningful. In fact, research shows that providing your baby with opportunities for playtime is an important part of your baby’s brain development. Getting involved with the day-to-day tasks and your baby’s routine also helps solidify your relationship with your baby.

References
Bonding with the New Baby Bonding With Your Baby How dads bond 12 Ways for Dad to Bond with Baby Fathers and breastfeeding What Men Bring to Caring for Children

how can I do more to help my partner (Dad)

Caring for a baby can be hectic and stressful for a mum – as a dad, you may be wondering what you can do to lighten your partner’s load a bit. Here are some ideas for helpful dads...

  • Ask your employer about paternity leave – the first couple of weeks can be really nerve-wracking. Your partner will appreciate having you home for support.
  • Those late night feeding and changing sessions make for an exhausted mum. Offer to look after your baby during the day so your spouse can get some well-deserved rest.
  • Take over basic housework responsibilities – laundry, meal preparation or tidying up the house
  • Bring your partner a snack or drink during breastfeeding or help out with bottle feeding.
  • Learn how to change nappies and how to bathe your baby – share in the responsibilities!
  • Even though you can’t breastfeed your baby yourself, educate yourself so you can aid in breastfeeding. Look for signs of hunger, monitor the frequency of feedings and help your partner feel comfortable during feeding sessions.
  • It’s important that mum remains healthy throughout the taxing experience of breastfeeding. Encourage your partner to eat regularly, hydrate and get plenty of rest.
  • If your partner is having trouble breastfeeding, encourage her to seek help from a specialist and be supportive.
  • Coordinate any help from family, friends and neighbours.
  • Encourage and praise your partner – it’s hard work being a mum!
  • Be a gatekeeper – friends, relatives, co-workers might be eager to see your precious little one. If this attention becomes too overwhelming, try to limit the visitations and give your partner a break.
  • Be a source of emotional support for your partner. Listen and talk to your partner, and learn to spot symptoms of postpartum depression.

There are a lot of ways for dads to help out their partners. Make sure to maintain open communication with your partner and be a constant source of support.

References
How can dads and partners support breastfeeding? Fathers and breastfeeding How to be the perfect new dad

the yoomi story so far

yoomi was created by Farah and Jim , a mum and dad whose experiences
of bottle warming inspired them to look for a better solution.

Since our launch in 2009, we have continued to look for ways to support parents.
There was our ‘warming up the government’ campaign where we hand
delivered your messages to No 10. Our ‘national coffee morning campaign’
in which we sponsored over 150 coffee mornings to encourage parents to
get together. And our wonderful ‘red collar launch’ where we donated
proceeds from red collar sales to TAMBA to support parents of multiples.

Watch this space for our next campaign and be the first to hear by joining
the yoomi family!

Yoomi story so far