Bottle feeding and bonding with your baby

Learn about: Bottle feeding and bonding with your baby from Suzanne Barston, CLC,...
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Bottle feeding and bonding with your baby

One of the things that concerns me the most with bottle feeding parents is that they're told that breastfeeding is the only way to bond with their babies correctly. This is just not the case. First of all, if you're miserable, you're not going to be able to bond with your child. So that means if you have some kind of postpartum depression that can only be helped by medications and that are contraindicated for breastfeeding and you can't breastfeed, you're obviously gonna bond much better with your child if you're well and healthy and happy than if you are if you're miserable in breastfeeding. Same thing goes for women who have extreme pain while breastfeeding. That happened to me, and I would hold my child and be cringing, so tense the entire time and I can't imagine that was comfortable or warm and cozy for him. So that said, there's definitely ways to bond with your child when you're bottle feeding. All you need to do is hold them close. You can still do skin to skin. Take off your shirt and put them in the exact position you would if you were breastfeeding. You can hold your bottle at the exact level of your nipple and hold your baby as in any other breastfeeding holds and feed them that way. So that's a great way to do it. Basic things, like any loving parent is gonna know. You don't want to just prop your bottle up or give your baby to somebody every time you want to feed them because you want to go run off to the mall. No loving parent's going to do that, it doesn't matter if you're a breastfeeder or a bottle feeder. Love is love, and as long as you're feeding your child with love and holding them close to you, you're going to bond perfectly. And I also think that's really offensive to adoptive parents who have not been able to or don't have interest in inducing lactation, or grandparents who are raising their grandchildren, or father, single fathers, or stay-at-home dads or any dad. You can still bond with your child and feeding them is a great way to bond; it doesn't need to come from your breast. You can still bond with your baby perfectly well with a bottle.

Learn about: Bottle feeding and bonding with your baby from Suzanne Barston, CLC,...


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Suzanne Barston, CLC

Blogger & Author of Bottled Up

Suzanne Barston, CLC is the former Editor-in-Chief of Los Angeles Family Magazine, a Certified Lactation Counselor, and a freelance writer specializing in parenting, women’s interest, and science/health topics. She is the author of Bottled Up: How the Way We Feed Babies Has Come to Define Motherhood, and Why It Shouldn’t and blogs as her alter ego, the "Fearless Formula Feeder". "FFF", as it’s known to an international fan base representing over 40 countries, supports parents dealing with issues of guilt, fear, conflict and uncertainty regarding infant feeding difficulties and choices through critical assessments of research, pithy commentary, practical advice, and a weekly series allowing parents to share stories in a cathartic way. She is also the co-creator of the #ISupportYou movement. 

Barston was raised outside of Boston and earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Northwestern University in 2000. After living and working in Chicago and London, she now resides in Los Angeles with her husband, the photographer Steven Barston, and their two obnoxiously cute children. She and her husband were featured on two award-winning online reality series for, A Parent is Born and Welcome to Parenthood, about their pregnancy and first years as parents. Suzanne's writing and her work with FFF and Bottled Up have been featured in the New York Times, the Huffington Post,,, Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine, Parenting, Babytalk, OhBaby!, Fit Pregnancy, The Observer, Yahoo Shine!, Australia's Good Weekend magazine, and on a variety of radio programs including KPCC's "Take Two", numerous NPR affiliates, "Parenting Unplugged", "Positive Parenting", "Mom Enough", "For Crying Out Loud", "Voice of Russia", and more. Suzanne was honored to be one of the keynote Voices of the Year in 2012 for the annual BlogHer conference.

She currently works both as a writer and as an Infant Feeding Counselor. 


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