Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Finally! A Bottle for Breast Fed Babies

I've talked before about my struggles with Mister A when I tried to move from breast to bottle at 6 months. He had never taken a bottle and rejected and teat that we put in his mouth for a good 4 weeks. At the time I had scoured the Internet and bought possible every kind of bottle that claimed it was suited to breastfed babies - none worked and eventually we ended up using a sippy cup. 

I was determined that this time around we would not hit the same problems with Little E but it was like history repeating itself. Every bottle we tried she would just play with in her mouth before crying out in protest. Then a few weeks ago, we were sent the Medela Calma bottles to try. Calma is an alternative to breastfeeding for mothers still wishing to feed their babies with breastmilk. It works by allowing your baby to retain her natural feeding behaviour learned on the breast. They can drink, breathe and pause regularly and they use the same suckling motion that they would on the breast. There's no need for different teats either - the Calma teats are one size and last for the entire breastfeeding period.

How did the Calma work for us?

Well, as usual, we were a bit late on the band wagon for introducing something new and at first it didn't look like it was going to be a successful trial. I think it would have been more successful, had we introduced the Calma to Little E at around 8 weeks I think she would have been a lot happier and more open to 'something a little diffrent'.  At 6 months old, Little E is not easily fooled and although the same sucking technique is used with the Calma as on the breast, the feeling of a nipple and a teat are very different and she knew something was amiss. The trick for us was to allow Little E to hold the bottle and have a play with it. Eventually she did start to put the teat in her mouth and within a couple of days she began to suck on it. The milk coming out did take her by surprise at first but now we are well on our way. So, if like us, you are struggling to get your baby on the bottle then give the Calma a shot. Yes, they are a little expensive but if it means you can continue to give your baby breastmilk whilst you are apart then surely it's worth a few extra pennies.

Medela say...

Why Calma?

Our latest studies with researchers from the University of Western Australia show that creating a vacuum is essential to successfully breastfeed. Babies learn very early on that they have to produce a vacuum for the breastmilk to flow. Their natural way of sucking requires intensive work during breastfeeding!

Standard teats accelerate an unnatural technique

When you give your baby a bottle with pumped breastmilk and a standard teat, it learns a different technique as to when you breastfeed it. The pumped breastmilk flows automatically and does not stop when the baby wants to pause or breathe. So the baby chokes more easily and can develop difficulties in its regular breathing.
Medela Calma breastmilk teat

Calma - the best teat for your baby

For a mother looking for the optimal teat to feed her child breastmilk, Calma is the ideal solution. Calma was developed based on the results of our studies with the University of Western Australia. That's why Calma is the ideal teat for babies who are being breastfed with breastmilk, as it allows them to suck, swallow and breathe, as learned on the breast. Whether you breastfeed or use Calma, the baby has to create a vacuum for breastmilk to flow. As soon as the baby pauses, the flow is stopped, this is also the way with breastfeeding.

The Medela Calma is available now at

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