a message from our chief medical offier
We, as providers, see some infants navigate the differences between conventional bottle feeding and breastfeeding without any difficulty, but others struggle.
We see choking, flooding of milk in the mouth and uncoordinated swallowing from some infants when they attempt to bottle feed. On the opposite side of the spectrum, we see some babies come to prefer the free-flowing, easy-to-feed from bottles so much that they struggle to go back to the breast. Both of these phenomena are forms of nipple confusion.
Nipple confusion and even the possibility of nipple confusion can be excessively stressful for parents and caregivers of infants. Whether it is the broken-hearted mother whose infant refuses to nurse again after bottle introduction or the captive nursing mother whose infant will not take a bottle, we have all seen these cases.
Where does nipple confusion originate?
The research around infant feeding is vast and at times contradictory. The main themes cited in scientific research as sources of feeding difficulties are artificial nipple properties, infant oral mechanics, infant suck-swallow-breathe patterns, and maternal-infant interactions. Read more below.
the mōmi nipple was developed by experts in the fields of pediatrics, biomechanical engineering and materials science, working to mimic nature’s gold standard: nursing.
the mōmi nipple stands apart in its softness and patented compression shutoff.
research and development
artificial nipple properties & infant oral mechanics
Most conventional bottle nipples are not designed to mimic natural nursing. They are typically made from silicone material nearly as hard as tire rubber, are hollow and have minimal stretch. Lacking softness, stretchiness and response to compression, the inherent property differences in the nipple material require that infants learn different feeding mechanics for bottle feeding.
The mechanics of sucking have been researched since 1958 and continue today. Researchers work with ultrasound and other imaging modalities to understand the intra-oral mechanics of both breast and bottle feeding.3, 4, 5. We are particularly interested in babies that go from breast to bottle to breast. Studies have gone back and forth regarding the impact of compression, vacuum and infant tongue movement (peristaltic vs piston/driving motions).
These studies highlight the material property differences in artificial nipple behavior during feeding. The hard silicone material of most conventional artificial nipples significantly limits stretch6.
the mōmi nipple is designed to mimic natural tissue mechanics. its first-of-its-kind blend of gummy-soft silicones creates a soft, solid nipple with a central milk duct. the mōmi nipple responds to both vacuum suction and compression shutoff, replicating natural nursing.
Natural feeding regulation and infant suck-swallow-breathe patterns
Traditional bottle feeding shifts control of volume, timing, and pace of feeding from the infant to the caregiver. This is not how nature intended and does not follow the natural rhythm of feeding. Without the ability to self-regulate, infants become passive participants in bottle feedings12. Allowing baby to self-regulate is critical to maintaining the natural rhythm of feeding, and helps prevent over-feeding, spit-up, and other negative effects.
Nursing requires an active, engaged infant. Some pediatricians and caregivers have even referred to nursing as exercise. During nursing, babies are able to self-regulate their feedings, stopping on their own when full. The mōmi nipple allows the baby to stop the flow by compressing the nipple, just as in natural nursing. This enables the natural suck-swallow-breathe feeding rhythm, giving control of feeding back to the infant14.