Ideally baby will be breast fed. As has already been pointed out under (“Breast Feeding“), baby’s best chances of developing normally and healthily come when this form of feeding is used.
Some mothers experience difficulties at the time of lactation. Probably the commonest one is an apparent failure of the breasts to produce an adequate amount of milk. This problem often begins very early after baby’s birth.
It is essential that every effort be made promptly to ensure the milk glands are producing adequate amounts, and that the necessary stimulation for this be provided.
Baby may be a lethargic type, and show little interest, in the early days, to suckle. Therefore, there is little stimulus to the breasts to continue to produce milk.
It is essential that the breasts be completely emptied after each feed for the stimulation to be maintained, otherwise problems are inevitable. Manually expressing each breast is advisable. Offering baby alternate breasts to begin each feed is also good.
Some baby experts have recommended that, for the first 10 days, all mothers express their breasts regularly after baby feeds. This gets the milk flow off to an excellent start.
Before long, the “lethargic baby” will begin to suck more vigorously. In turn, this will promote an even greater stimulus for the glands to continue to produce milk abundantly.
However, some mothers are intrinsically poor milk producers. If there has been a history of previous difficulties, and an apparent poor supply despite all efforts, artificial feeding may be preferable.