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    Home ›› 5 Ways to Find Your Feeding Rhythm with Doula Mandy Major
    Home ›› 5 Ways to Find Your Feeding Rhythm with Doula Mandy Major

    Table of Contents

     

    There is no such thing as a perfect routine.

    1. Sameness
    2. Signs
    3. Tracking
    4. Comfort
    5. Care
    6. Disclaimer

    5 Ways to Find Your Feeding Rhythm with Doula Mandy Major

     

    I’m going to drop a truth bomb, front and center. There is no such thing as a perfect routine.

     

    Gah! I know. It’s what we all hope for, and there is so much advice that tells us the ultimate sleep-wake-feed cycle is possible if we do XYZ magic trick in an exact sequence. 

     

    Here’s the catch: A routine suggests you have control, and with newborns, control is the one thing you don’t have. So what can we do? Learn to lean into your baby’s natural rhythms to encourage what’s working well and foster positive feeding patterns. 

     

    Start with the following five tips:

    Sameness

     

    Predictability pays off for you and your baby. The less variables to think about the better, and babies are very smart at picking up on cues. Feed in the same chair, listen to familiar songs while you nurse or bottle-feed (check out my feel-good chill feeding playlist here!), and stick with one style of bottle — my preference is the new Philips Avent Natural bottle, which is the closest to the shape and feel of the breast as I’ve found. 

    What you need

    Philips Avent

    Natural baby bottle

    SCY903/04
    Avent
    Avent

    Philips Avent Natural baby bottle

    SCY903/04

    A nipple that works like a breast

    • Nipple releases milk when baby actively drinks
    • Natural latch on with breast-shaped nipple
    • Designed to reduce colic and discomfort
    • No-drip nipple design prevents spills and lost milk
    • Choose the right nipple flow for your baby
    See all benefits

    A nipple that works like a breast

    • Nipple releases milk when baby actively drinks
    • Natural latch on with breast-shaped nipple
    • Designed to reduce colic and discomfort
    • No-drip nipple design prevents spills and lost milk
    • Choose the right nipple flow for your baby
    See all benefits

    A nipple that works like a breast

    • Nipple releases milk when baby actively drinks
    • Natural latch on with breast-shaped nipple
    • Designed to reduce colic and discomfort
    • No-drip nipple design prevents spills and lost milk
    • Choose the right nipple flow for your baby
    See all benefits

    A nipple that works like a breast

    • Nipple releases milk when baby actively drinks
    • Natural latch on with breast-shaped nipple
    • Designed to reduce colic and discomfort
    • No-drip nipple design prevents spills and lost milk
    • Choose the right nipple flow for your baby
    See all benefits

    Signs

     

    Are there stages of tiredness, alertness and “optimal” moments for feedings? Yes. Will you always be aware of them? Nope. Instead, focus on basic body signals that help you “read” your baby. Ideally, you want to feed your baby before they are crying, so watch for signs like clenched fists, rooting or smacking their lips, and putting their fist in their mouth. On the flipside, you’ll know your baby has had enough when their hands are nice and relaxed while on the breast and they start to pull away. Bottle feeding can sometimes take more guesswork … which is why I cheered when I saw the new Philips Avent Natural bottle with Natural Response Nipple. The new nipple technology is 100% baby-led, releasing milk only as they suckle. It allows your baby to pace the feeding like they do on the breast. 

    Tracking

     

    Whether you use an app or go for an old-school journal, tracking feedings (at least at first) is gold. By reviewing what yesterday looked like, you’ll be better prepared for what’s ahead today. Or, a weekly view may help you realize your milk supply isn’t dipping — your baby’s having a growth spurt and cluster feeding. Your milk will soon ramp up in response! 

    Comfort

     

    In the early days, especially when establishing your feeding rhythm, calmness counts. Limit visitors and create a peaceful, cozy feeding space that allows you to feel at ease and encourages your milk to flow — whether you’re nursing or pumping (highly recommend the Philips Avent Double Electric Breast Pump, Advanced for that!). Studies have shown that stress really does a number on your mood and supply.

    What you need

    Philips Avent Breast pumps

    Double Electric Breast Pump, Advanced

    SCF394/62
    Avent
    Avent

    Philips Avent Breast pumps Double Electric Breast Pump, Advanced

    SCF394/62

    Natural motion technology for quick milk flow

    • Natural motion technology for a quick milk flow*
    • Soft and adaptive silicone cushion
    • Pumping belt, travel bag and pouch
    • Rechargeable battery for pumping on the go
    • Personalized experience, 8 + 16 setting levels
    See all benefits

    Natural motion technology for quick milk flow

    • Natural motion technology for a quick milk flow*
    • Soft and adaptive silicone cushion
    • Pumping belt, travel bag and pouch
    • Rechargeable battery for pumping on the go
    • Personalized experience, 8 + 16 setting levels
    See all benefits

    Natural motion technology for quick milk flow

    • Natural motion technology for a quick milk flow*
    • Soft and adaptive silicone cushion
    • Pumping belt, travel bag and pouch
    • Rechargeable battery for pumping on the go
    • Personalized experience, 8 + 16 setting levels
    See all benefits

    Natural motion technology for quick milk flow

    • Natural motion technology for a quick milk flow*
    • Soft and adaptive silicone cushion
    • Pumping belt, travel bag and pouch
    • Rechargeable battery for pumping on the go
    • Personalized experience, 8 + 16 setting levels
    See all benefits

    Care

     

    When you’re caring for an infant, it’s easy to spread yourself thin. That’s why you need to take a (metaphorical) lesson from those airline safety manuals: put your oxygen mask on first. Enlist anyone and everyone available to create an environment that lets you eat, hydrate and shower like a normal human being. Bonus points for naps. Having your needs met as much as possible will help you be present with your baby and have the energy to do all of the above.

     

    Mandy Major aka Doula Mandy, MA, PCD(DONA), is a certified postpartum doula, founder of Major Care and creator of My Fourth, the first-ever app devoted to mothers and birth parents in the fourth trimester. She holds a MA from Columbia Journalism School and has written for HuffPost.com, Healthline.com and Motherly, among other publications. You can follow her @doulamandy. This post is part of a paid partnership with Philips Avent.

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    A disclaimer:

     

    If your baby was born preterm, you’ll absolutely need to follow a schedule of timed feedings as outlined by your pediatrician. Preterm infants do not initially display feeding cues in the same way as full-term infants.

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