Can pacifiers and bottles really cause nipple confusion?

If you want to try pumping and bottle feeding your baby, you're probably nervous about nipple confusion. Here's what you can do to prevent it.

Photo: iStockphotos

Photo: iStockphotos

Waiting six weeks to introduce artificial nipples to my newborn felt like an impossible length of time for my boobs to be the only source of sucking. Then I developed a cracked nipple that was so severe, I started noticing blood in my baby’s diaper (she had ingested my blood during nursing). I was relieved when my midwife uttered the glorious words, “Time to take a nipple vacation.” To give my boobs a chance to heal, I pumped and bottle-fed. While it is very important for a newborn to imprint on his mother’s nipples and adapt to flow rates from the breast (it’s less work to suck on a bottle), there are bottles and pacifiers that are designed to more closely mimic breastfeeding, says lactation consultant Anita Arora. Moms should work with a pro to remedy any problems while maintaining their milk supply. If you’re lucky, your baby will switch back and forth between bottles, binkies and the real deal with no issues.

Read more:
How to combine breastfeeding and bottle-feeding
How to get your baby to take a bottle
16 beautiful bottle-feeding photos

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