When my little guy was born, I had the lovely adventure of working with low breast milk supply. Thanks to the help of my lactation consultant, I was able to increase my milk supply but we had to supplement his feeding the whole time he breastfed. She suggested that we use a specialized bottle that would be allow his latch to be similar to actual breastfeeding. It worked like a charm for us. We never had issues going back and forth, and he breastfed for a little under a year. The only problem was that bottle was not commercially available in many places, and many moms that I’ve talked to had never heard of it.
Medela has introduced a new bottle called Calma which is specifically designed for breastfeeding babies. According to Medela, “Calma is a research-based nipple used with a BPA-free breastmilk bottle designed to help babies to maintain their natural feeding behavior and transition from bottle back to breast with ease — a revolution for breastfeeding mothers.”
Here’s how it works –
With Calma, breastmilk flows when babies create a vacuum so they can feed, pause and breathe — which mimics their feeding behavior at the breast. As a result, Calma’s unique vacuum technology allows mothers to provide pumped breastmilk to their babies, and easily transition babies back to feeding at the breast.
The vacuum technology in the Calma nipple is vastly different from a conventional bottle nipple, which may disrupt normal feeding behavior and contribute to a difficult transition from bottle to breast. Milk flows freely from a standard bottle nipple even if the baby is not actively sucking — a feature unlike that of the breast. Calma’s technology allows babies to continue their natural feeding behavior as if they were at the breast, making it easier for babies to transition back to breastfeeding.
With the support of Medela, Calma was developed through research by Dr. Donna Geddes, assistant professor, School of Biomedical, Biomolecular and Chemical Sciences at the University of Western Australia. “Our research on how babies breastfeed showed that tongue movement is different than previously described and that vacuum is important for milk removal,” said Dr. Geddes. “These new research findings led Medela to incorporate unique features into a teat so that infants use vacuum and tongue action similar to breastfeeding to remove the expressed milk from a bottle.”
The bottle has been available in Canada and Europe since 2010, but has just hit the market in the United States this year. It’s awesome news for moms who might be having breastfeeding issues that require bottle feeding early on but also for moms who will be feeding baby pumped milk for a whole host of other reasons.
While breastfeeding should be well established before Calma is introduced. Although, I think this is an awesome option for moms who might be needing to feed a baby while dealing with issues *while* establishing their supply when working with a licensed lactation consultant.