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(p. 277) Where the Food Goes 

(p. 277) Where the Food Goes
Chapter:
(p. 277) Where the Food Goes
Author(s):

Donald W. Winnicott

DOI:
10.1093/med:psych/9780190271350.003.0052
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date: 24 April 2018

In this broadcast and paper for mothers, Winnicott describes how a mother actively adapts to her baby’s needs. Whether breast- or bottle-feeding, the baby’s mouth becomes very active and milk goes from the mother or the bottle into the mouth. The breast-fed baby gets behind the root of the nipple and chews with the gums. The bottle-fed baby, however, has to employ a different technique, and the mother has to act more from her conscious processes than when she breast feeds. Babies seem to know the state of their stomachs. When the baby swallows the milk there is an increase in the amount of fluid in the stomach. If mother and the baby are fairly calm the pressure in the stomach-wall adapts itself and loosens up a bit; the stomach gets bigger. The baby is usually a bit excited, however, and the stomach therefore takes a little while to adapt.

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