Baby Nurse Question: How can I avoid nipple confusion?

Q. My breastfed baby needs to take a bottle but I’m worried that she won’t go back to breastfeeding once she has a bottle. Is there anything I can do to avoid nipple confusion?

A. Yes–and in fact “nipple confusion” is not so much about the nipple as it is the quick access to formula or milk, versus the longer wait and slower flow from breastfeeding. Use what is called slow-paced feeding: instead of holding the bottle at an angle (which most do to avoid baby getting a lot of air), hold the bottle flat so your baby has to draw milk/formula out using her tongue and it comes at a slower pace. This should help baby get back on the breast without getting frustrated because it will be a similar pace of feed from breast to bottle. I addressed this very topic of slow-paced feeding at a recent Isis Parenting speaking engagement:

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