During this time, many mothers thought that the use of a milk bottle through a pacifier was the only medium for giving expressed breast milk (ASIP) to babies. In fact, there are many breastfeeding media other than pacifiers that can increase the chances of successful exclusive breastfeeding.
Breast milk is the best food for babies. Breast milk is easily digested by the baby's intestines, and contains complete nutrition and antibodies (immune-forming substances), so that it can prevent babies from various diseases.
However, there are times when mothers cannot breastfeed directly, either because of problems with the breast or because they are not always with the baby. In this condition, breastfeeding mothers can continue to provide breast milk by expressing and storing breast milk to be given to the baby later.
Expressed breast milk (ASIP) is most often given via a teat bottle. However, using a pacifier bottle too often when giving breast milk can make it difficult for your little one to breastfeed. Therefore, there are several alternatives to breastfeeding other than a pacifier that you can choose from and are easy to get.
The risk of nipple confusion due to the use of pacifiers
Babies are born with a natural reflex to suck on the mother's nipple to get milk. Optimal emptying of the breast occurs through good latch on and sucking ability.
This natural reflex can be disrupted due to breastfeeding through a nipple-like medium, namely a pacifier, so your little one is at risk of nipple confusion. This occurs when a baby who is accustomed to sucking on a pacifier or pacifier has difficulty sucking from the mother's breast.
The following are some breastfeeding difficulties due to nipple confusion:
Baby has difficulty attaching his mouth to the mother's nipple
When the baby suckles at the breast, the baby should open his mouth wide to get a good latch. Meanwhile, when using a pacifier, breast milk can flow easily without the need to open the mouth wide.
As a result, when feeding on the breast, the baby has difficulty in attaching his mouth to the nipple. This can make the mother's nipple sore or uncomfortable while breastfeeding because the baby's mouth isn't latching on well enough.
Baby has difficulty sucking mother's nipple
Sucking on a pacifier is different from sucking on the breast. The pacifier has a constant flow, so that without even bothering to suck, the milk in the teat comes out easily. This is different from the breast, where to express milk, the baby needs to try to suck harder.
Using a medium for breastfeeding through a pacifier can damage the baby's natural sucking pattern. As a result, the baby is not optimal in getting breast milk or emptying the breast. Because the breasts are not empty optimally, the milk production gradually decreases, thereby reducing the chances of successful exclusive breastfeeding.
Baby refuses to feed directly from the breast
Using a pacifier bottle as a medium for breastfeeding can make your baby drink more than he needs. When offered a breast, your baby may be frustrated that the flow isn't like a bottle or he's not getting as much milk as when he's using a pacifier. As a result, the baby may be fussy during direct feeding.
Breastfeeding media for babies
In addition to pacifier bottles, the following are some media for breastfeeding babies:
1. Cup feeders
Cup feedersis a special glass designed to provide ASIP. Usually the cup feeder is made of safe plastic. On cup feeder There is a dose indicator in milliliters.
Use cup feederas a medium for breastfeeding has many advantages. Breastfeeding with this tool can help babies learn to practice sucking and swallowing coordination because babies taste their own milk inside cup feeder the. In addition, the baby can control itself how much milk goes into the mouth.
Not only in healthy babies, cup feeder It can also be used in premature babies.
2. Shot glass
Shot glasses are small and made of glass. This glass is easy to obtain and has the same function as cup feeder. The use of a cup does not affect the baby's ability and sucking pattern, so the baby is avoided from nipple confusion.
But when using this glass, make sure the glass is strong and not cracked or broken. Using a broken or cracked shot glass can injure the baby's lips and mouth while breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding using a spoon is suitable for babies whose milk needs are still small. Feeding breast milk using a spoon should be done slowly so as not to spill and put the baby at risk of choking.
Pipettes are usually used to deliver drugs, but pipettes can also be used as a medium for breastfeeding. On the pipette, there is a dose indicator in milliliters. How to use a pipette is to spray the milk slowly on the baby's inner cheek, not the esophagus, then let the baby swallow.
5. The syringe
The syringe is shaped like a syringe, but without the needle. Its use is also quite easy, namely by spraying it slowly on the baby's inner cheek or tongue, then let the baby swallow.
To achieve the success of exclusive breastfeeding, choose breastfeeding media in the form of: cup feeder, shot glass, spoon, dropper, or syringe as suitable for babies. The media for giving breast milk via a pacifier, in addition to causing nipple confusion, can also increase the risk of choking, cavities, ear infections, and drinking more than needed.
If your little one is already confused about the nipple but you still want to give exclusive breastfeeding, don't hesitate to consult a doctor or a lactation consultant.