I've Been There

Feeding your baby


One of the most stressful things for a new mum after the birth is learning how to feed your baby.


Everyone you meet will probably try to tell you what to do.


But these are your breasts we are talking about. It’s your baby and your choice on how you feed your baby.


However, you have been given something very special that can help you meet most of your baby’s needs, you guessed it … breast milk!  


Figuring out breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is something both mum and baby have to learn, a bit like learning to dance. Until you both learn the steps it might be a bit tricky but luckily there’s lots of help out there.


A nurse in the hospital will probably help show you what to do at first and there’s heaps of information on the internet to give you tips on how it’s done:


So if breastfeeding sounds good and is something you feel like trying, go for it and give it your all. 


If you are not sure if it is for you, try expressing by hand or use a pump and put your own milk in a bottle for your baby. This can be a good “Plan B” if you are not sure about the whole feeding thing at first. It means you’ll still be able to breastfeed later if that’s what you decide to do.


What if I want to use formula?

If this is what helps you to cope best, do it! You are not a bad mother if you decide to formula feed. Some mums have worries about mental or physical health issues and breastfeeding can just be too stressful. 


A baby needs a happy mum more that they need a certain type of milk. You can still cuddle close with your baby when feeding, enjoy each other and develop a strong and close bond to each other.


If you decide to formula feed: 

  • Go to the supermarket to get formula
  • Choose a commercial cow’s milk based infant formula for babies from 0-12 months
  • Choose one you can afford. They range between $15 - $25
  • Formula goes quicker than you expect and lasts about 7-10 days
  • Get sterilized/clean bottles to make the formula in
  • Follow the instructions on the tin to make the formula
  • Keep up your visits with your Child & Family Health Nurse or doctor so you can be happy your baby is growing just like they should be


Extra Advice with your Baby’s Feeding

It’s okay if you need more help and advice, or if you’re still not sure. The Australian Breastfeeding Association has an online forum, or you can look for a support group or playgroup where you can talk about it with other young mums.