Everything You Need to Know About BPA Free Bottles While Breastfeeding

Becoming a mother is hard. You want the best for your baby and sometimes, the information you find causes you to spiral into a whirlwind of anxiety rather than calm your mind. While there is a lot of conflicting information on the Internet, most moms agree on one thing: BPA is bad.

But what about the BPA free bottles that emerged as a replacement? Are they safe to use? What kind of precautions should you take? In this article, we’ll explore the dangers of BPA, address BPA free bottles, and dive into some tips for introducing the bottle to your new baby.

What is BPA and Why Should I Be Concerned?

BPA, also known as Bisphenal A, is a chemical commonly used to harden plastics, keep bacteria out of food, and prevent the formation of rust. It’s often used in a number of different plastic products and people tend to voice their concern for its safety. While we know that BPA products are harmful, there’s a lack of scientific data that shows us this to be true in humans. The real concern began to grow after the results of animal studies, which showed detrimental effects over time.

Because of the rising concern, most, if not all, American companies no longer produce plastic bottles that contain BPA. Even a number of cans are now lined with BPA free liner, boasting increased safety for their consumers. After the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) realized the potential dangers of BPA, they put a stop to its mass production, especially in conjunction with children.

By 2013, BPA was banned it in the manufacture of all baby bottles, sippy cups, and infant formula packaging. This was a huge win for parents and parents to be.

The reason it was banned was due to the high amount of chemicals that eventually leak out of the containers into whatever food or liquid is being held inside. What’s more, the more heat a plastic container receives, BPA of not, the more chemicals seeps into the food or liquid. For a number of reasons, this is not ideal… especially in the case of BPA.

The Dangers of BPA

Since there have not been a lot of human studies done on the effect of BPA, we have to look at ones done using animals. BPA is very harmful to animals, therefore it’s inferred that human consumption, especially at such a young age, comes with a myriad of consequences as well.

The reason that BPA is so harmful is due to its effect on the body’s endocrine system. BPA, when consumed, mimics the hormone estrogen, disrupting the overall balance of your endocrine system and eventually developmental areas throughout your entire body. Since babies are in such a crucial stage of development, this disruption should be avoided at all costs.

The Truth About BPA-Free Plastics

As the dangers of BPA became more apparent, companies switched to BPA-free plastics. However, just because there is no BPA present, does not necessarily mean there are no chemicals.

In a 2011 study, it was found that even BPA free plastics had traces of estrogen-like chemicals in them. A plastic baby bottle, one with multiple parts, contains over 100 different chemicals that have the potential to leek into your baby’s food. Whenever the plastic is heated, such as when you warm your baby’s bottle, the chemicals become more easily transferable.

BPA free plastics are a newer development and have less scientific data supporting their safety, but are still considered safe for babies to use.

As a new mother, the chemical presence in plastic is disheartening news… but it doesn’t mean that you can’t still have some help at feeding time using a bottle. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your plastic BPA free bottles:

  • Don’t over sterilize your bottles. The continual use of chemicals to clean your bottles will increase the degradation of the plastics.
  • Replace baby bottles and the accompanying nipples frequently.
  • If your bottles look damaged, throw them out.
  • If there are any discoloring or cracks, throw out the nipples.
  • Never heat up your baby’s bottle using a microwave, especially if it’s plastic.

The Best Bottles for Breastfeeding Babies

There is an ongoing debate in the parenting world about what bottles are the best for breastfeeding. Unfortunately, as we’ve learned, plastic BPA free bottles may still contain chemicals that get into our baby’s food supply. However, it’s important to take all of the factors into consideration when making your decision.

If you want to completely avoid any chance of chemicals, opt for glass bottles. Glass bottles are 100% free from any chemicals, especially those that could potentially transfer to your baby’s food.

On the other hand, glass bottles are heavy and breakable. They’re also much harder for your baby to grip while feeding.

Plastic BPA free bottles still contain chemicals, but they are easier to use, less expensive, and much easier for your baby to hold. As long as you avoid heating the plastic bottles or using them after they’ve clearly worn down, you shouldn’t worry.

As babies, toddlers, and adults, we are exposed to a number of chemicals in our environment. If we lived our lives in fear, it would be a very difficult life. Considering that BPA is still used in baby’s toys doesn’t mean that they will experience adverse effects. Our advice is this: breastfeed often, do what’s in your power to protect your children, and focus on instilling healthy habits that will last well into adulthood

Introducing Bottles to Your Baby

With that being said, when and how you introduce bottles to your baby one important aspect of childhood development that are under your control.

  • When you first introduce bottle-feeding to your baby should depend on their individual development needs. If they’re nursing well, it’s a good sign that they will take to the bottle.
  • Introduce the bottle about one to two weeks prior to when you want to start regularly using it so that you have time to prepare for any obstacles.
  • Feed your baby in an upright position during bottle-feeding.
  • Pace your baby while bottle-feeding.
  • Try to induced the rooting reflex.
  • If your baby is refusing to take a bottle from mom, try having another person introduce it. Since your baby associates you with breastfeeding, bottles will confuse them at first. Have your partner or a trusted friend try until they become comfortable with it.
  • Don’t get frustrated. Transitioning to bottle-feeding takes time, but it will happen. If you’re having difficulty, take a break and try again later. Patience is key!

Conclusion

Whatever type of bottle you decide to use, whether it’s BPA free plastic or glass, the important thing to remember is to follow good sanitary processes. Always wash and sanitize bottles as directed and never allow plastic containers to be heated. Remember; if you’re heating your formula allow it to cool prior to putting it in a plastic BPA free bottle. Doing so will help you avoid any excess chemical transfer to your baby’s food. If you have any concerns or doubts, do some research on the baby bottle brands and talk to your doctor or pediatrician to get advice on the best bottles for your baby. To assist you with your bottle-feeding needs, don’t forget to get an efficient breast pump. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, all new mothers are eligible to receive an electric breast pump covered by their insurance provider. Head on over to Byram Healthcare today and browse our wide selection of breast pumps to find something that works for you.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, head over to our Facebook page today and share them with other expecting mothers. It’s always enlightening to hear from our reader’s regarding their personal experience, thoughts, and overall feedback.

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