03:59pm Tuesday 28 January 2020

A helping hand for bottle-bubs and mums

Dr Kimberly Mallan, a senior research fellow from QUT’s Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI) said a new program, which follows on from a pilot study completed earlier this year, busted common bottle-feeding myths and offered some much-craved support.

“Something we have heard quite a lot is that there is very little support for mums who choose to formula feed for whatever reason,” she said.

“What we saw in the pilot study was that a lot of mothers felt guilty for a variety of reasons. Many of them had tried breastfeeding but had moved to either formula or combination feed instead.

“This program will be about providing a non-judgemental support network that gives parents the right information they need early on.”

The program, Healthy Feeding Healthy Growth in Formula Fed Infants, is looking for participants who will receive a free one-on-one consultation with a paediatric dietitian in their own home and follow-up phone calls to monitor their baby’s milk intake and growth.

“One concern we have is that there is not enough information out there for mothers and what is available is often unclear,” Dr Mallan said.

“For example, there are times when a breast-fed baby may be just suckling for comfort rather than taking in much breast milk, but with bottle-fed babies mothers often see how much formula is in a bottle and encourage the child to finish it.

“This program is about guiding mothers towards becoming more responsive to the child’s cues.”

The pilot program worked on three key principles: healthy growth; correct preparation and storage of formula and; building positive relationships through feeding and letting the baby self-regulate how much formula they need.

For mothers who are mixed feeding, support and encouragement to continue breastfeeding is also an integral part of the program.

To take part in the study babies need to be aged between 6 and 12 weeks old and be given at least one bottle of formula every day.

To take part contact Dr Mallan on 07 3138 6171 or nourish@qut.edu.au.

Mums from a variety of backgrounds are encouraged to participate and a Mandarin-speaking dietitian is also on hand.

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Media contact: Alita Pashley, QUT media officer, 07 3138 1841 or alita.pashley@qut.edu.au

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