to ask about breastfeeding?

(140 Posts)
Thisismyfirsttime Thu 19-Sep-13 16:26:03

So, I am currently 20wks pregnant with my first baby and have been doing my research into breastfeeding. I'm asking this leaving aside whether bf is best for baby (which is difficult I know). All the information I can find from personal experiences of bf is making me feel it's really not for me. A lot of what I'm seeing is making me think it's far more difficult to get into a routine whilst bf and that it seems to take up a LOT of the day. Is this true?
Really, I would ask if some of you share the absolute basics with a complete novice please? I.e does it hurt at first, how long does it hurt for, how long does each feed take (different for different babies I know but from personal experiences), did anyone BF one and FF another- which was easier to get into routine, is it really difficult to get anything else done in the first few weeks of bf etc etc? I would value opinions from mums who bf and ff please!
I was intending to bf for at least the first 6 weeks but AIBU to consider not breastfeeding at all?

Feminine Thu 19-Sep-13 16:42:57

Don't ask this question here. wink

Take it swiftly to pregnancy!

I mean this with kindness. Good luck with whatever you choose. smile

Squitten Thu 19-Sep-13 16:45:43

I think YABU to consider writing off something that you've never tried before before you've given it a chance. There is no standard BF experience TBH - babies are all different, women are all different and depending on which combination of the two you are, it can be very easy or very hard.

I tried to BF DS1 and it was a nightmare. With hindsight he had a bad latch and I got no suppport so I stopped really quickly. ENTIRELY different with DS2 - he just did it! I found it really easy and convenient and am looking forward to doing it again. There were the growth spurts where he fed a LOT but we managed. I had a blocked duct once, which was painful but brief. He was a better sleeper than his FF brother.

You're going to get a really mixed response to this that isn't going to help YOU know what to do. The only answer to give you is that, IMO, you should give it a try and see what happens. There's no shame in saying it's not for you and FF instead. You can always move onto bottles, you won't always have breastmilk!

Viking1 Thu 19-Sep-13 16:45:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

rosiedays Thu 19-Sep-13 16:47:54

Yanbu your baby your choice
Loads and loads of great advice on breastfeeding and bottle feeding in feed the world section
You could ask mnhq to move this for you

I wouldn't dismiss anyone's personal choice.. But I BF and FF and I found it a lot more pleasant to spend my time BFing on the sofa with my feet up eating biscuits than I did washing and sterilising bottles and making up feeds!

LovesBeingOnHoliday Thu 19-Sep-13 16:48:33

Bf in a routine was piss easy with dd and she slept tgrough from 6 weeks. Not so with ds. It that turned out to be an undiagnosed lip tie.

hettienne Thu 19-Sep-13 16:49:02

My experience was:

takes up a lot of time in the first few weeks (but what else are you going to be doing?)

bit sore for the first week or so but never found it painful

feeds took up to an hour in the first few weeks, but I had a jaundiced/sleepy baby. Certainly by a month or so in it was more like 20 minutes, and after that 10-15 I suppose. Bedtime feed took longer though, more like 45 minutes but I would use the time to MN!

Couldn't be bothered with a routine in the first few months as I found the best thing about breastfeeding was you could just go anywhere and feed/sleep as and when without worrying about a routine! We did do a bedtime routine from about 3 months though. By 6 months we had more of a nap routine and then bfs and meals fell in around that.

MyNameIsAnAnagram Thu 19-Sep-13 16:49:37

Crikey you're brave posting that question here! Ask on the feeding section if you want an actual discussion rather than a fight smile

Fwiw I am bfing ds2 and he's a very routiney baby. Ds1 wasn't so much, but was also bf. your baby won't have read the routine rules so may not want to comply, about feeding or sleep or anything!

Nancy66 Thu 19-Sep-13 16:50:24

You absolutely can't have a calm and rational debate about BF on Mumsnet.

Someone will be along with a load of graphs and pie charts in a minute and then people will start banging on about Nestle and the WHO

noblegiraffe Thu 19-Sep-13 16:51:31

It was only a pain in the arse for the first 3-4 weeks, after that it has been a complete piece of piss. My baby only took 5 minutes to feed from very early on.

With routine, it doesn't matter so much with a bfed baby. With a ffed baby you need to know when the next bottle is due, because you need to have the kit with you and ready. With a bfed baby, the kit is always with you and ready! You can leave the house at the drop of a hat, extend trips out to all day if you feel like it and you never have to worry that your baby will end up hungry.

I couldn't bottle feed, simply because I'm far too lazy and it seems too much like hard work.

hettienne Thu 19-Sep-13 16:52:31

Friends and family breastfeeding experiences:
mum breastfed three to between 3 and 7 months without problems
sister found it really easy but swapped to bottles at 3 months so she could go out more/away for the weekend etc
friend found it really easy, continued til toddlerhood
another friend found it tough, stopped after about 5 months I think
another friend fed her first for a while but once she introduced the odd bottle her baby preferred it and stopped bfing, second baby she fed exclusively for a year
another friend had really poor advice about topping up with formula in hospital, kept up mix feeding for 3 months until she lost her supply

MummyCoolski Thu 19-Sep-13 16:53:37

I agree with Nightmare. I had a pretty hard time getting breastfeeding established with DS as his tongue was tied. For for months I expressed all of his feeds. I was so glad when his tt was released and I could breastfeed as I no longer needed to worry about bottles and sterilising.

Rooners Thu 19-Sep-13 16:54:13

I found it very easy too - well I still do.

I knew I wanted to do it, had no idea it could be difficult really before I had my first baby so I just tried it and it worked.

I know now that some people have trouble but a lot of the time they get through it Ok, anyway.

It's worth a try and if it doesn't work then that's Ok too.

I'm bfing my third baby now and I would be stuffed if I had to use bottles. BF is so blooming simple and convenient when it works. I bf'd ds2 till he went to school.

Good luck x

Mumoftwoyoungkids Thu 19-Sep-13 16:56:12

I am writing this while bf-ing. From what I can tell bottle feeding involves 2 hands and concentration. bf-ing is for lazy slattern mothers who like sitting down, watching telly, eating biscuits, reading books and going on mumsnet. grin

I love bf-ing!

nickelbabe Thu 19-Sep-13 16:57:55

I'm breastfeeding a baby who is 21months old.
And have been doing since the very first day she was alive.

The thing is, when you are pregnant, you have so many worries and concerns, and questions and what-ifs.
when your baby arrives, you'll have so many people telling you what you should be doing and how you should be doing it.
they'll dictate to you what the baby should wear, how often they should feed, when they should sleep, what they should be doing.

but you know what (apart from any developmental problems), it really doesn't matter

the best advice I can give you is that your lifewill be turned upside down. you won't know what's hit you.
But, you are in charge of this tiny weeny thing, it wants and needs you for everything. It doesn't understand the clock, or routine, or even day from night in the early stages. It doesn't understand rules or anything - all it knows is it needs something and it's you who can provide it.
So, don't listen to the rules, don't do anything that anyone else tells you - listen to your baby. If the baby is hungry, feed it (and yes, sometimes that can be every hour for days on end! in the early days (and during growth spurts), if it's wet or soiled, change it. If it's crying, cuddle it (or all the other things that you need to check) but the biggest thing is go with it all stages will pass, and you'll both find your own best way.

FWIW, I really love the fact that I breastfeed DD, and I feel like I'm doing something really special that no one else can do.
And I don't care how much time it takes. And whenever I'm stressed, the only way I can calm down is to remind myself that nothing really matters.

And it does bloody hurt the first few weeks like someone's sucking the life-blood out of you! (but once she's latched and drinking, it stops)
and if it seems to be going tits-up <boom boom> take the baby to bed for the day and relax and start all over again.

KateSpade Thu 19-Sep-13 16:58:22

My Experience was Trying to BF was a hundred times more painful that labour itself.

A good latch is critical.

Doing what is best for you and your baby also critical.

For me, the palaver of bottles and formula and sterilising and boiling and cooling and faffing was WAY harder than breastfeeding once it was established. With both DDs I had to give up BF at about 4 months to go on some medication. BF for me was way better and I cried the last time I did it. I really loved the bonding too.

If I were you I would at least try BF rather than deciding before the baby is born.... but sorry OP you are ultimately going to have to decide for yourself!

ZutAlorsDidier Thu 19-Sep-13 16:59:21

I have never had a baby and not breastfed it, but I doubt that using formula is going to make having a newborn a breeze.
I would let go of the whole "reality of bfing" thing for a minute and do some candid research into "reality of having a newborn"

sameoldIggi Thu 19-Sep-13 16:59:25

You are being unreasonable if you think the first 6 weeks are about getting stuff done, getting into a routine etc. They should be about you recovering physically from pg/labour/csection, your baby gaining weight, and the two of you getting to know each other.
But although I think yabu, it's no more so than I was being having my first child. I didn't have a clue (thank god)

DontPanicMrMannering Thu 19-Sep-13 16:59:34

I tried to bf dd1 but because I wasn't expecting to face poor latch, hunger as milk came in, growth spurts and lack of family support I ended up mix then ff.

Bf with dd2 I was way more relaxed and she was a dream I bf to 1 year.

My advice would be breastfeed at birth, relax about getting "stuff done and a routine" as ff doesn't guarantee you that! My dsis ff herdd2 and she was a colicky unputdownable nightmare. Just bf for each day for that day and you are suddenly past about the 8wk stage and bf becomes way more easy than ff.

BUT if you really get rundown don't tie yourself in knots of guilt about switching to bottle.

Also:

I believe rven if latch is right your nipples need to toughen up so you will feel pain until they do lanolin is your friend.

Prepare to sit on your ass and eat and bf for the first 4 wks everyone else should be doing to work.

Grt them out in public it really doesn't matter and noonecares. TTrying to hide away means you will not bf for long.

Expect weightloss for baby and ignore helpful family members /hv unless its a large (more yhsn 10% loss) and baby is not weeing.

Baby may not poo for a week dont panuc until 7 days.

Use the feeding forum here!

TooExtraImmatureCheddar Thu 19-Sep-13 16:59:39

I think it's something you should try. <disclaimer: I BF and love it>

My experience: DD was quite small at birth (6lb 5oz) and although seemed to me to be bf well, she lost a lot of weight and we had to feed her every 2 hours (from the beginning of the feed, not the end), and I had to try to express as well to give her top-ups by syringe. We should really have gone back into hospital as she lost more than 12% of her birthweight but the MW miscalculated and thought it was 11%. DD had to feed for 10 mins or more on each side and we had to try to keep her awake and feeding - blowing on her face, tickling her toes, changing her nappy, taking her clothes off etc. This was all v hard, especially expressing when I didn't know what I was doing and the feeds were so frequent my milk didn't have time to build up.

After a week or so she started to gain weight, we went back to feeding on demand and stopped expressing, and it felt like a breeze by comparison. It does hurt at first - it takes time to get the latch right, plus I had a CS and some positions were uncomfortable at first.

Best advice I had was to give it 6 weeks for us both to learn how to do it. It didn't hurt for the whole 6 weeks - it was intermittent as DD would latch well or poorly and sometimes I would catch the poor latches and sometimes I wouldn't.

DD started cluster-feeding in the evenings for literally hours at about 2/3 weeks old. This was hard on my nipples, and on my patience! Tbh, I'm not sure I would stand for it now - I would get up when I wanted to and go for pee/have a break and hand the baby to DH, but at the time I thought I had to sit there and feed even when I was actually squirming with the need to pee or just to move around and not be pinned to the sofa. This phase didn't last that long, though, and her feeds gradually got shorter and shorter.

She's now 18 months and I'm still bf her. She loves it, I love it, and it is easy and flexible. I work 4 days a week and just feed her first/last thing. On my days off she feeds a lot throughout the day, and the milk supply just regulates itself. She also takes bottles of cow's milk. I'm too lazy to stop, and too worried about not being able to stop a tantrum in its tracks by offering a boob!

stowsettler Thu 19-Sep-13 17:00:34

Give it a try, and be prepared for LOTS of feeding in the early weeks. If you're successful it does settle down, I'm told.

In answer to your question 'does it hurt' - it does for some and it doesn't for others. I found it agonisingly painful on so many levels and gave up after 4 weeks. I found out when DD was 4.5 months that she has a lip tie and a tongue tie. Knowing this, if I ever have another and find BF so hard again I will be far more assertive in getting lip and tongue tie checks.

My friend had a baby at the same time and BF came incredibly naturally to her.

So it really depends - but don't rule it out without trying it.

And see Kate and Nickelbabe for me it wasn't painful at all. Sometimes my boobs felt quite full and uncomfortable, and I certainly complained a LOT to DH, but not what I could in all conscience call painful.

Thisismyfirsttime Thu 19-Sep-13 17:01:05

Thank you all for your replies. I guess the whole package of producing a brand new person is a very scary prospect and it is very helpful to have specific questions answered rather than looking at a thread someone else has started about their difficulties/ questions/ etc. I know it will be different for everyone, it is just the unknown I am afraid of I suppose!
Thank you!

DontPanicMrMannering Thu 19-Sep-13 17:01:49

My phone sucks!

jimijack Thu 19-Sep-13 17:03:32

Hi there.
I have bf both my boys but was adamant from early in my first pregnancy that this was what I was going to do.
I didn't read anything or ask anyone about it at all as I would have got 5000 different descriptions and experiences. I wanted to learn for myself.

8 months in I am still bf ds 2.
In fact I am doing it now as I type!
I found/find it easy, clean, perfect & convenient.

I have experienced no pain.
Also don't agree that it takes up all day. It's 2-3 hourly, 20minutes tops for a good feed.

All the best with it. Any other questions feel free to ask x

FindusLasagne Thu 19-Sep-13 17:04:34

I had to FF my two for various reasons (not at all through choice). So I can't really compare to BF, which I only managed for just over a week both times.

I agree with a ^ PP that it does feel faffy because you have to be prepared. There's also all the faff of bottle washing and sterilising. If you can afford the little individual cartons, they make life easier for making up the feed. I couldn't afford these for all the time but for the night feeds and being out of the house it was definitely easier.

If it turns out that you can BF, I'd say it definitely seems easier than FF, for the reasons other posters have said. It's just that for some of us, it's not an option unfortunately. I reckon you should give BF a go to save yourself the chore of the bottles and making up sterile feeds.

Tailtwister Thu 19-Sep-13 17:05:28

The biggest problem is that everyone's experience varies hugely. Some people have lots of issues and others find it easy. The main thing for me was that yes, in the early days you do seem to spend a lot of time feeding. It's simply the mechanics of how breastfeeding works. The baby needs to build up supply and that's what they do.

The good news is that you don't have to stop your life completely to bf. You can bf on the go, in a sling. Once you become more at ease with it, it's perfectly doable to be out and about as much as you want. You can also go out without thinking about taking bottles etc with you.

If I were you I would give it a go and see how you feel about it. I didn't do much research at all before having DS1 other than deciding I would give it a go. I'm glad I didn't as I think I would have scared myself witless!

I bf DS1 until he was over 3 and I'm currently winding down with DS2 who is 3.4. Is has been lovely, I have no regrets, I'm glad I'm able to stop with minimal upset to either of us.

hettienne Thu 19-Sep-13 17:05:51

I'd remember as well that people tend to write posts about breastfeeding when they are having difficulties (and of course some people do struggle for all kinds of reasons - problems with the baby's mouth, physical abnormalities of the breasts, poor support, unrealistic expectations, infections etc etc) - no one starts a thread titled "breastfeeding is so lovely and easy, isn't it?" on a board full of posters asking for help, even if that is many women's experience. So reading help boards does skew the perception of how hard it is.

Rooners Thu 19-Sep-13 17:06:55

Hmmm, I did find the first few days a bit sore, in the sense that your nipples are being a bit stretched I suppose - but they never got overly sore or cracked, thankfully. I just let the babies feed as much and for as long as they wanted, which seemed to work.

No routines imposed, nothing else, just feeding on demand.

I wasn't sitting feeding all day by any means.

It is random and you may find it happens for a few hours in a row, sometimes, or whatever. The trick may be not to have any expectations and just to try and respond to what the baby wants.

My third is now asleep on my lap, he is 8mo, and has never had a bottle and I am not too excited at the idea of weaning him onto proper, messy food! That will mean leaving the computer and engaging with the kitchen grin

Minifingers Thu 19-Sep-13 17:07:37

"A lot of what I'm seeing is making me think it's far more difficult to get into a routine whilst bf and that it seems to take up a LOT of the day. Is this true?"

Looking after a small baby takes up A LOT of your time you will find. I'm not sure what you've got planned for your maternity leave. Other than feeding your baby, what else will you have to do that's so important it can't wait until your baby has eaten?

Breastfeeding involves an investment of your time at the beginning. If you make it to six weeks it becomes much, much easier usually, and IME makes life much, much easier and stress-free than bottle feeding, once you've got to grips with it. One of the things I found massively anxiety reducing about breastfeeding is that you're not always worrying about sterilising and cleanliness, and whether you've accidentally poisoned your baby by forgetting to wash your hands while making up a feed, or by putting the scoop down on an unclean kitchen worktop halfway through making up a feed at 3am in the morning.

"how long does each feed take" - depends on the mother and the baby. This is also true of bottlefeeding. Not all babies take a bottle well, and quickly. They are not machines, they will feed in their own good time, where ever the milk is coming from.

As for AIBU for not breastfeeding at all - it depends whether you agree that it has significant health benefits for your baby. If you believe this is true then you probably owe it to your baby to at least give it a go.

Katienana Thu 19-Sep-13 17:09:42

I found it easy. Time for feeds varies, I fed on demand so whenever he was hungry I offered the breast. When he was smaller it did take up a lot of time but I would eat cake and watch tv while I did it. It was great! And so easy to be able to comfort him whenever necessary. After 6 months he started solids and feeds became more predictable. I will miss it when we stop as the experience has been so lovely.

Minifingers Thu 19-Sep-13 17:09:42

"it is just the unknown I am afraid of"

But good you are acknowledging this fundamental truth of what makes first time parenting such a challenge. smile

We've all been there!

hettienne Thu 19-Sep-13 17:09:59

Agree with others that whatever feeding method you use, feeding, changing and just holding your baby is going to take up most of your time at first! Getting 2-3 hours to yourself while the baby naps doesn't happen til a lot later (if at all) whether breast or bottle.

CrispyFB Thu 19-Sep-13 17:11:27

I remember with DC1 thinking about breastfeeding at around 20 weeks too. It seemed so weird - using the things I'd been used to dressing to make into an asset.. to feed a baby. I mean, huh? But I wanted to give it a go, partly because my mother had breastfed all of us even if I couldn't remember much about it. Although the geek in me was excited by the idea of finding the best possible formula hmm and best bottles..!

I had DC1. She was seven yesterday. I have had two other DC since. I haven't actually stopped breastfeeding (aside from 4 months when I was forced to wean DD1 due to serious pregnancy complications) since that day seven years ago. I've never made up a formula bottle in my life, so I suppose it's fair to say I don't know if it is easier or harder to formula feed. We had a few struggles with DD1 and I pumped at work from 4-12 months, but it was nothing insurmountable especially thanks to help on forums like these and kellymom website.

This experience though was sooooooo not in my plans! I remember telling friends I'd "give it a go for a bit" and then "probably switch to formula" at six months or something. I had no idea my feelings would change so significantly and I never imagined I'd have no issue feeding a two year old. I'm now pregnant with our last and I am guessing by the time I've finished with this one, I'll have been breastfeeding for ten years shock

I presume the reverse is true too - there could well be people who were insistent they would breastfeed and six months down the line feel like FF was more their style.

So the only thing I would say is to go into it with an open mind. Remember that starting FF usually rules out BF but not the other way round so unless you're really set on FF, it's worth giving BF a shot.

Lweji Thu 19-Sep-13 17:14:10

Yes, it is different for everyone and every baby.

So, my advice would be to give it a go and see what happens.

Just relax and assume all will be ok.

I found it hurt the first couple of minutes of each feed, but then it was ok.
Never got cracked nipples.
I was still able to go places (including an overnight congress in Italy during maternity leave - left expressed milk) and DS fed every 4 hours, roughly.

I found it great for bonding and a great calming and soothing thing, particularly when DS was poorly. (I still remember him feeding over a bout of bronchiolitis in hospital, and taking at least half an hour, but I don't think formula would be anywhere near as good)

It was also great because it didn't involve bottles or washing or sterilising.grin

Lweji Thu 19-Sep-13 17:15:48

DS fed every 4 hours, roughly

Oh, this was his own timing, between naps and so on.
I'd still feed when he asked.

HavantGuard Thu 19-Sep-13 17:22:15

Everyone has a different experience. Even the same mother can have a wildly different experience with each new baby.

I would say if you're open to it, give it a try, as the colostrum is so good for the baby that even if you never got further than that (the first day or two) it's a boost to their immune system. You might find that it works well for you. If it doesn't, formula is still there as an option if you feel that's right for you. You can go from BF to FF anytime you want but not the reverse.

Standard MN formula advice is if you do FF check what milk your nearest shop that's open late stocks. That's the one to pick!

FlapJackFlossie Thu 19-Sep-13 17:22:46

I BF for 3 weeks. Then found out baby was lactose intolerant, so HAD to FF.

BF was a faff and no-one else could help.

FF - I never had a problem sterilising and cleaning bottles, twas easy, and DH and my Mum were glad to give him a bottle to give me a break.

Whatever suits. I bonded with my baby without trouble (so don't listen to people who say you can only truly bond if you BF).

NomDeClavier Thu 19-Sep-13 17:28:15

My view for myself and all the mothers I've ever worked with professionally is that you can stop BFing and start FFing at any point. It's immensely difficult to restart BFing. On that basis you should give it a go.

If it hurts, get help. If it takes forever after a couple if weeks, get help. If you have any worries, get help. The worst you'll be told is that it's normal and if you than feel you can't hack it you can give up.

I've only ever BF my own and even with pumping it was easier than all the babies I've FF professionally (and working as a maternity nurse that could be 24/6), even taking into account the fact I wasn't recovering from giving birth at the time I was FFing. It's time consuming, expensive and stressful. BF can be time-consuming and stressful bit it's free!

No-one can tell you how you or your baby will get on. Heck even though I have no doubt about my capacity to BF I don't know how this one will get on with it! You just have to roll with it, and that goes for pretty much every aspect of life right from conception on wink

Minifingers Thu 19-Sep-13 17:32:29

Flap - if your baby was lactose intolerant you have never experienced normal breastfeeding.

Babies who are intolerant of cows milk would have a horrible time bottlefeeding, but we wouldn't assume their experience was representative of normal bottlefeeding.

Incidentally OP - if you have read Flap's post and want to know more about lactose intolerance, this is a good article. Most, (but not all) lactose intolerance in babies is transient and doesn't necessitate stopping breastfeeding.

nevergoogle Thu 19-Sep-13 17:40:21

give up any thoughts of routine and go with the flow.

NotYoMomma Thu 19-Sep-13 17:40:27

I tried bf

it did not agree with my anxiety

I have a crazy healthy baby who has a lovely routine (that she set herself)

im pregnant again.

I would rather chop off my mega boobs than try bf again - I just didnt like it and couldnt hack it.

good on those who do but people just dont like to admit sometimes that they disliked it or dont want to shrug

baby can have some colostrum and thats it

maddening Thu 19-Sep-13 17:51:34

I found bf v easy - hardest in first 4 mths but for out and about it was easier - didn't have to plan feeds in advance - and no worry of running out if out longer than planned.

Also got us through illnesses easier - when ds had a tummy bug for example he would only keep down bm. He had one at 10 mths and then at 18mths and both times the bm got us through smile

It didn't hurt too much at start - couple of times when it did nipple guards got me through.

maddening Thu 19-Sep-13 17:56:12

Ps the first few months is when you get more noticeable growth spurts - generally at 3, 6, 9 & 12 weeks - they were hard as more time on breast but each only lasted a couple of days - can make you doubt your supply but I went by the fact he was gaining weight.

firesidechat Thu 19-Sep-13 18:01:04

I'm afraid that I haven't read all the replies because I'm supposed to be making a cream topped chocolate pie and I can't put it off much longer.

Personally I thought breastfeeding was so much easier and more convenient than bottle feeding. Admittedly my bottle feeding experience is somewhat limited. I only tried on a handful of occasions when the stupid health visitor suggested that youngest daughter needed top up feeding. Try telling a baby that! She wasn't having any of it, but I did have to buy and mix formula and mess around with a steriliser for a while.

The first few days/weeks with breastfeeding were a bit tricky. A nurse in the maternity hospital (we had to stay in for 5 days then) pulled my first daughter off of my boob mid feed and I got a really nasty blister as a result. The best advice I can give you is buy some nipple shields just in case. It took the edge of the soreness and got me through until the nipples hardened up. You do have to sterilise them, but it's a lot less hassle than bottles and teats and I only used them for a very short time and not at all for d2.

Breast milk is free, always there when you need it and good for your baby. The only downside that I can think of is that your partner can't do a feed and especially at night that can be a bit trying. However my husband found other ways to help and get involved.

I would recommend giving it a go.

SHarri13 Thu 19-Sep-13 18:01:54

I think a new baby takes up all of your time regardless of your feeding method. My advice would be, give it a try. In my personal and professional experience most people don't continue.

It hurt all three times for me but that was mostly due to engorgement which most will experience despite method of feeding. I also had varying amounts of nipple soreness due to lazy latches in the first few days.

Just do what you have to do. See how you feel when your baby arrives but please do give it a try, any amount of breast milk is worthwhile and beneficial. Also, please don't get too caught up on routine in the early days, there's so much learning and recovering to be done that a routine on top of that will be very difficult.

neunundneunzigluftballons Thu 19-Sep-13 18:17:18

Done both. It is not as simple as one easier for routine because for me undoubtedly ff babies need routine bf not so much. personally I don't especially like routine when I am on ML. i like to be free to stay over an extra night when I am staying some where. I like hanging around unexpectedly for coffee when I meet someone for up town. I much preferred bf and I also had the health benefits they all rave about. 2 sick all the time ff babies and ds has never been to the doctor aged 22 mths.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Thu 19-Sep-13 18:28:28

Firstly, having a newborn takes up your entire day regardless of how you feed them. And I wouldn't worry about routines whilst they're little. We were totally baby led and our DS fell into a three hour feeding pattern all by himself.

I struggled to bf. I thought I was until DS lost a lot of weight very quickly and just screamed. Turned out he was hungry and I had no milk. I went to a breast-feeding clinic at the hospital who were brilliant and I tried to express and top up with formula for four weeks. Didn't make a blind bit of difference to my supply and I ended up ff. DS turned out to have a milk allergy too.

Saying all this, I would still try and bf no.2 (if we have no.2!). Bottle feeding is more of a faff. A lot of people mix feed too, don't forget.

beepoff Thu 19-Sep-13 18:32:05

It sounds like you're massively over thinking it tbh.

For me DS latched straight away. Was a bit sore for a few weeks, then fine till he got teeth and practised biting on me! That phase passed quickly and I'm still feeding now at 9 months.

I'm lucky:
DS takes a bottle (we introduced it at 5 weeks or so, one per week) so I can go out
I had a fast flow so feeds were over quickly and expressing fairly easy
DS was always piling on weight so I didn't stress that he wasn't getting enough milk

You might be lucky too.

Patchouli Thu 19-Sep-13 18:33:27

Yep, I spent a lot of time feeding - especially those early weeks
...it's good - it makes you rest.
DH sometimes had to help out with other stuff as I was "busy" lying on the bed feeding DD.

strangething Thu 19-Sep-13 18:48:46

I had a routine fairly quickly with DD (Gina who must not be mentioned as well!). But she is 6 mo and has only slept through about twice, but I do find it lots easier during the day to follow a routine, especially with a toddler as well. I really like having a baby routine, but pre babies I wasn't into routines at all!
Agree with Pp, adv of Bf are that u get to sit around a lot relaxing, and its easier to play with smart phone with Bf rather than bottle. Also less crap to cart around. U kind of get to carry on the pregnant 'I need looking after' thing a bit longer!
Disadvantage - it does take ages - feeds took an hour for us until about 5 months, but DD had a tongue tie... It was fixed but maybe she had bad feeding habits or something. But all newborns can take a while to feed, even gf. Also personally I think they take longer to sleep through.

Chunderella Thu 19-Sep-13 19:32:33

Yanbu. Your body, your baby, your business. You have no duty to try a feeding method you don't want. That said, it's worth being aware that even women who have very fixed ideas about how they want to feed sometimes change their minds after birth. It may be a woman who wanted to bf and changed her tune once she tried it, or it may be a woman who had felt her breasts were exclusively sexual until she had her baby. So, not to undermine the importance of any feelings you have now, which are totally valid, but it's possible they will change.

I think the experiences of other women can be useful, but so much depends on your own feelings and indeed circumstances. I have found myself disagreeing with posters who say that a new baby is going to take up your whole day however you feed them, because actually as a formula feeder with loads of support I was able to pass DD over for several hours at a time in the early weeks (even the odd overnight!) whenever I knew I needed a break- having had a very traumatic birth I was in a worse state than the average new mum, though. But, unless your circumstances are similar this isn't at all relevant to you.

Oh and don't assume ff= routine. DD has never been that type of baby, sadly!

Rolypolyroll Thu 19-Sep-13 19:39:19

No read replies but I was very lucky and accept for blocked ducts occasionally no pain. I love BF my lo. It is our time. An almost indulgent time in someways. Yes it can be hard but if you accept it, it's easier.

Get DVD box sets you've always wanted to walk, buy cake, chocolate, whatever. Grab a flask of coffee and a big bottle of water. Put on your comfiest clothes and snugly and enjoy it. The time flies by and you'll miss the cuddles. At 9 months, it's the only time by lo will be cuddled.

Hope that helps. It's just my experience.

I also recommend if you do BF learning to feed lying down early on and taking naps together. A stretchy wrap is also great newborns and a ring sling is great for feeding in in the go.

Good luck with your decision.

Rolypolyroll Thu 19-Sep-13 19:41:22

Excuse typos/mistakes!!

its free and I found it easy. I know some people find it hard and cant BF , but if you can breastfeed I would just do it, saves getting out of bed at night to make a bottle, to be honest I only BF because I am lazy. My two also never minded if they got a bottle of formula at night so their dad got to feed them sometimes.

Jan49 Thu 19-Sep-13 19:42:05

I breastfed for 18 months and I found it was the easiest part of looking after a baby. The rest was really hard. No, it didn't hurt. I think feeds tended to last about half an hour per side so often an hour. Looking after a baby takes up most of the day and feeding is a big part of that.

Beautifulbabyboy Thu 19-Sep-13 19:45:52

I did FF with DS1 and BF and FF with DS2. I too like a routine and have never found sterilising a hassle. Boil a kettle put the boiled water into the sterile bottles and then use those bottles for the next 12-24 hours. Then start again. Likewise I also found BF quite easy, probably because I put no pressure on myself. I think that is key, be open about everything, and do not beat yourself up about any decisions you make. The decision to BF or not, whether you can or can't will not be the reason your baby ends up in the therapy chair when they are older. ;-))) after all no one starts a counselling session with "all my problems stemmed from when I was/wasn't bf".

Good luck. Xx

Ps I don't think I will ever forget the complete shock to the system bringing home DS1 and thinking I was in charge of another human!!

JollySleepyGiant Thu 19-Sep-13 19:49:00

BFing DS was difficult and painful, but we continued for 20months. Most people would have quit if they'd had my experience.

BFing DD is very easy. 4 weeks in she's gaining pounds, feeds rarely last longer than 10 minutes and we need far less paraphernalia when leaving the house. Last night she went 5 hours between feeds. At 4 weeks!

And there's no question that there are health benefits for both of us.

RiotsNotDiets Thu 19-Sep-13 19:50:30

I love bf, here's a couple of resources I think you will find useful.

this book is fantastic, I recommend it to everyone. Most bf books only focus on good bits of bf, but this one has quite a lot on what might go wrong and how to fix it.

kellymom is a good website too.

Lots of useful info on bf in both.

Good luck with whatever you choose and congratulations on your pregnancy flowers

LifeBalance Thu 19-Sep-13 19:53:56

So I have FF the first dc and bf my second. My experience is:

1- I did try (for a couple of days!) bfing dc1 and gave up, mainly because I had no idea what to do. I didn't think I would bf. BUT what struck me is that I actually really really enjoyed that experience even though it was hard, didn't quite work etc...
So I would say you can't quite say whether it's for you or not until you have actually tried it yourself.
2- dc1 was in a routine just as dc2. Not the same one but a routine nevertheless that worked around dc1.
3- Yes dc2 did feed for long periods at the time but it was lovely to have an 'excuse' to just veg on the sofa watching crap TV. It actually did me a lot of good because I needed to get some rest and I wouldn't have done it otherwise.
and 3a- I didn't get much more done with dc1 than with dc2 anyway!
4- First weeks were painful (About 6 weeks). But I did have some issues with nipples that were too big. As soon as dc2 grew big enough, the pain went. No issue with latching, mastitis etc...
I would recommend to do your homework before giving birth. Eg I wish I had known that putting your baby on the breast asap when they are born helps the milk supply build up. I would have needed the name and tel of a bfing counsellor at hand 'just in case' etc... Also knowledge is power and it's easier to get that knowledge when things are quite than when you are stressed because you have a grumpy baby.
5- Bf was actually easier when out and about. No need to think ahead about bottle, sterilizing etc...
6- DH helped with night feeds with dc1, obviously couldn't with dc2. But I didn't find it more tiring to get up and feed him compare to get up half of the time and gave dc1 a bottle. maybe due to the hormones involved in bfing?
7- FF or Bfing had no impact on how i did bond with dc1 and dc2.
8- I had planned to bf for about 6 weeks and thought I would do extremely well if I was feeding for 3 months. As it turns out I bf dc2 until he was 1yo and in retrospect should have carried on because it was nice and easy smile
BUT the reality is that I think you should start with no expectation of what you will do or not. Give it a try if you want and see how it goes. It might not very enjoyable or something fantastic. You never know smile

technosausage Thu 19-Sep-13 19:54:14

I bf my ds until he was 6 months and to be honest it was horrible at the start, bad latch, bleeding nipples, bad supply, so painful in the first couple of weeks that I would cry when he needed a feed.
But it got better, I agree with what everyone says in that you can just leave the house with a few nappies and wet wipes. Lots of sitting on the sofa watching films (get love film!)
Whatever you chose to do you will still be doing what's best for your baby because your their mum, enjoy your pregnancy and don't stress to much!

EmmaLL25 Thu 19-Sep-13 19:54:24

Am bf as I type, 4 month old boy. First feed was a dream, then a couple tricky days due to poor latch and sleepy baby. Once we got the hang of it, it's been great.

It's convenient - I've tried bottles for expressed milk and find the washing/sterilising a faff. It's easy to do out and about.
I imagine night feeding with bottles would be a pain - bf you just grab baby and pop them on.

It's been great for comforting post jabs etc too.

Only advice I'd give is if you do it try to not let your baby feed to sleep once they're a few weeks old - that creates a whole lot of bother (see many other threads).

I love feeding my boy and seeing him grow.

Bubbles1066 Thu 19-Sep-13 20:09:19

When I hear all this faff about bottle feeding I wonder what on earth people are doing that takes them so long?! I mean it's no more time consuming than making tea. Putting bottles in a steriliser is not hard or that time consuming. You have to wash dishes etc so just wash the bottles at the same time. Takes minutes. Or better yet get DH/DP to do it.
Anyway OP, I'd try BF and if you hate it, can't or don't want to do it then FF instead. The ready made is great for nightfeeds and try to see if baby will take a carton at room temperature as then you just take a bottle and carton to bed, pour it in and you're done, you don't even have to get out of bed.

hettienne Thu 19-Sep-13 20:22:00

I think compared to just getting a breast out if the baby grumbles, boiling water, counting out spoonfuls of milk, cooling it to drinking temperature while the baby complains, washing, sterilising etc does sound like a faff. Not to mention always having to have milk in. I really struggled once my DS was drinking cow's milk just in always needing to have fresh milk and clean cups about grin

TiredyCustards Thu 19-Sep-13 20:31:36

I found bfeeding a piece of piss both times.

I can't imagine bottle feeding takes up less time, as the baby can't hold its own bottle, plus you have to clean and sterlise and warm and all that guff.

With breastfeeding it's always there, always sterile and always the right temperature.

You won't care about getting things done anyway!

Bubbles1066 Thu 19-Sep-13 20:35:36

I'm not saying FF is easier than BF just saying that FF'ing really is not that much hassle. It just becomes something you do without a thought. I can safely make bottles whilst half asleep. If you are not used to FF it may seem like loads of work but I found it easy once I was used to it. Just like people find BF easy once they are used to it. Both BF and FF are hard at first then they are a piece of piss after that for most people.
I just find the faff argument about bottle feeding annoying. It really doesn't take hours.

Jinsei Thu 19-Sep-13 20:48:50

I found bf difficult for the first week or two, just finding the right position and so on, no pain that I can recall. After that, it was incredibly easy and tbh I struggled to understand why anyone would bother using formula! I'm quite lazy, and was so glad that I didn't have to worry about sterilising bottles etc. Bf was also really convenient when out and about - it was always available and didn't need any advance planning, so much easier to be spontaneous.

We weren't that bothered about routine so can't comment on that really, but had friends who breastfed and were very into their routines, so presumably they managed it. BF did take up much of the day when dd was very small, but I think babies just take up the day anyway, don't they?! I was quite happy to have an excuse to sit around and rest, anyway! And dd became much more efficient as she got older. grin

CoffeeChocolateWine Thu 19-Sep-13 20:56:40

DS - I breastfed for 5 weeks and it was all going well...I was finding it relatively easy although I don't think I got as far as getting him into a routine with it. Then I went down with flu and my milk dried up and could never get it going again, so I had no choice but to ff. I was disappointed that bf-ing didn't work out for me but my experience of ff-ing DS was pretty good apart from the first 4 months. He had colic for the first 4 months and my feeling was that he was having problems digesting the formula milk and he also had terrible constipation, which I think was formula-related too But once he was over these initial problems it was pretty plain sailing. He was in a very reliable routine from very early on, he was sleeping through the night at about 16 weeks and he was a very happy and easy baby. No idea how much this had to do with ff-ing rather than bf-ing though. But I do know that at the time, out of my 'mum' friends, all of whom were bf-ing, I seemed to be having the 'easiest' time with my baby. I also liked that I knew exactly when he would need his next feed and never got caught out.

DD - I was determined to bf after things didn't work out with DS and this time I managed it for 6 months. But in honesty, although I LOVED bf-ing her, it wasn't easy for me, I don't know why. I felt like, and was always worried, that I wasn't producing enough for her, she wasn't satisfied even though I seemed to spend quite a good chunk of the day attached to my boob, I couldn't get into any kind of routine with her, and she was a terrible daytime napper....for the first six months she wouldn't nap for longer than 15mins at a time (although slept through the night from 5 weeks) and she was always really overtired and frankly, miserable. I didn't know what to do with her and I was miserable too. At 6 months I finally decided to call it a day with the bf-ing and started exclusively ff-ing. Within 3 days of doing this she started napping properly (for up to about 1.5 hours...something she had NEVER done before) and within a week I felt like she was in something that resembled a routine.

I don't think we'll be having more children, but if we did I would definitely try again with bf-ing and would try to do it for at least 12 weeks, and maybe 6 months or longer if it worked out. But my experience is that bf-ing hasn't come easily to me and my DC have been happier, 'easier' babies on formula.

IamSlave Thu 19-Sep-13 21:02:17

I have done both, FF with one, and BF another.

The problem with my BF the first was my mind set. It was all a shock, time consuming, felt too trapped, could not get into a rythum it, expressed, got milk all in a mess. Lasted 8 weeks FF and BF then phased it out.

Second time round gave myself a target of 3 months, possibly mixing again, but second time round, as I know what to expect, better prepaid, had ELC this time too, I BF, no expressing even, and am still BF now.

I have found it so much easier, we have a routine, but its not around feeding...it doesn't need to be, when she is hungry, she feeds.....she still sleeps when she is tired which is at roughly the same times each day etc. So much easier at night to put on boob than faff round with bottles.

If you can do it, I think your doing yourself a favour as much as the baby, however, as someone who has done both this is not a criticism to the FF feeders!

CoffeeChocolateWine Thu 19-Sep-13 21:03:24

* SHE seemed to spend a good chunk of the day attached to my boob!

Catsize Thu 19-Sep-13 21:05:10

To be honest, I was in tears with the pain, and this lasted a couple of weeks or so. All down to lack of advice in the first few days. I am bloody minded though, and kept going. It got so much easier and I breastfed my son to ten months, albeit with some formula after a couple of months. It got easier and easier and I remember feeding him around the supernarket etc. you actually BOTH need to learn how to do it, and in the end we were ace at it. And we travelled lit as a result.
However, I remember the toe curling days and the every thirty minutes days and the clamped-to-the-sofa days and the time we went away for our anniversary (daft idea - baby was two weeks old but 'should' have been 4wks) and he fed non-stop 6pm to 2am. However, remember you have given birth to a baby, not a routine, and go with the flow (literally!). brew
It is TOTALLY worth the short-term pain for the very long-term gain and I plan to do it all over again.
An excellent book is The Food of Love by Kate (Evans?). Has all sorts of positions to try and good if having twins etc.
And put Lansinoh on after every feed, even of you don't think you need it!
Have to say that when my son switched to formula, it was a complete faff.
For us, co-sleeping was a massive help too. I could just roll over and fall asleep whilst he fed. smile
Good luck!

I ff my 1st and bf my other 2 and honestly bf was for me
easier... I didnt have to get out of bed at night and go downstairs to make a bottle up they were both easier babies although im not sure if that was anything to do with bf.

It hurt me for the first week.. and they both put weight on quickly the feeds once established took about 15 minutes alot quicker then my first taking a bottle.

Catsize Thu 19-Sep-13 21:09:01

The other thing is, do not let people tell you that they are feeding too much if bf. they will not overeat, and the reason there is a longer gap between feeds for ff babies is that it is harder to digest, simple as that. Whenever I thought I could give up, the thought of the ingredients on formula (esp. mashed up fish - in floweryer language) shock kept me going!

sandwichyear Thu 19-Sep-13 21:09:34

for my first bf was a nightmare: horribly painful, went on for hours on end, never had a good supply- I did little else apart from feed him while in agony and he didn't gain weight properly and my supply pretty much disappeared by 3 months (I had tons of top notch advice by the way from NCT, la leche league, breastfeeding network etc but none of it seemed to help and they never found a reason.) I have a few friends who have had similar experiences and some who have had a much easier time. I loved FF- found it incredibly convenient (sterilising the bottles etc used to take about 10 mins a day and if you do it properly you can make up the bottles for the whole day at one time and keep them in the fridge- people will come on and tell you that you can't but this advice was from a top paediatric gastroenterologist.) For me bottle feeding was convenient and bonding as I could look into my DC's eyes rather than having him smushed into my chest and my DH could take a full part in his feeding too.

I'm about to have DC2 any day now. I will try breastfeeding again but if it's anything like last time I'll move onto formula sharpish. Good luck OP- everyone is different- both methods of infant feeding are fine. Don't let anyone guilt you into anything. Everyone's experiences are different so do what's right for you.

Balloonist Thu 19-Sep-13 21:15:59

"Does it hurt at first?" "How long does it hurt for?"

First baby -after not hurting for the first week, I developed cracked nipples and it was very painful for the next week or so. Once I'd got through a difficult period it got a lot easier and once both of you know what you're doing it's much easier and pain free

Second baby- breastfeeding didn't hurt at all but my letdown was rather strong at first. I love the feeling of the let down though.

"How long does each feed take?"-Most feeds were about ten-20 minutes. The occasional one was a couple of hours if DD dozed in and out of sleep.

"Did anyone BF one and FF another- which was easier to get into routine?"

Breastfed both- still breastfeeding- 5 years without a break- it can't be all bad!

"Is it really difficult to get anything else done in the first few weeks of bf etc etc?"

It's difficult to get anything done full stop with a new baby (unless they are asleep). Nowt to do with breastfeeding.

Twattybollocks Thu 19-Sep-13 21:42:42

I've got 3 dc, first I bf for about 6 weeks, never found it painful, mix fed after about 4 weeks, had pnd so stopped to take meds. Second dc I fed for 5 months, tried giving a bottle as I was going back to work, she refused for weeks, I finally persuaded her to take it, she then decided the next day she preferred the bottle and refused the breast. Third dc is 7mo I'm still feeding, she has a bottle happily if I want to go out. We are currently winding down bf as i need to start my arthritis meds again.
Bf is hard work in the early days but it pays off in spades after a few weeks. Seeing the hassle my sister has trying to warm bottles etc and having to go home at a set time because she hasn't another bottle in her bag, I can just make it up as I go along which suits me perfectly.
The problem with routines is they are written in books by adults. . I had one baby who read the rule book, threw up all over it and cried, another who refused to read it ripped it up and threw it at me, and my current dd who read it and was happy to oblige. Babies are all different, they do like routine, but the easiest way to get them into one is to let them find their own and go with that than make both of you miserable trying to follow one you have made. 4 hourly feelings for newborns is never a good idea, when they are hungry they are hungry, they won't shut up till you feed them, so trying to do a 4 hour thing you are on a hiding to nothin.
One thing I will recommend is the easy routine, that's eat, activity, sleep, you time (you sleep if you have any sense)
Doesn't matter what times you do it, or how long each cycle is, but it does work in most babies.

Thisismyfirsttime Thu 19-Sep-13 21:52:32

Thank you everyone for your replies, I am glad I asked as I am now feeling a lot more reassured. I had no idea you could bf baby in a sling whilst wandering around, what a revelation! I was mainly worried about how long it takes in terms of my own impatience and need to fidget and move about constantly rather than having anything better to do! It's definitely good to hear mums' own stories without it being on a feeding thread as as someone else said, people will mostly post when there is a problem or difficulty rather than to say it is lovely and easy!
Thanks again ladies x

nickelbabe Thu 19-Sep-13 22:14:43

oh, I have a very low boredom threashold.
don't worry, in the first weeks you'll find you have a lot of thjngs to juggle, so you won't feelbored! grin

but once you get used to it, you can use the sitting time for reading, internet, all sorts of stuff smile

mynameismskane Thu 19-Sep-13 22:31:51

I really don't get how people can think Breastfeeding doesn't matter. There is nothing like breastmilk for a baby and I think not to try and give your baby the best milk you possibly can is quite strange. Formula cannot and doesn't compare at all. Sorry but it doesn't. Breastmilk is full of nutrients and antibodies designed for a baby and changes and adapts according to a baby's needs. I really don't get why so many people choose to ignore breastmilk.

beepoff Thu 19-Sep-13 23:16:40

Trust me, your patience levels will be tested regardless of how you feed...!

Just wanted to add that before I saw this thread I was feeding DS and thought to myself, feeding you is the best part of my day. I absolutely love it.

claremp7 Fri 20-Sep-13 08:56:37

I suppose you could say I've had a tough time breastfeeding.
DD tongue tie and unusually high palate undiagnosed! So pretty painful but not too bad. A couple of paracetamol when it got bad.
The sitting for hours feeding just didn't seem like it. I rested after the birth while feeding. She normally feed for only twenty minutes at a time from the start.
I went to and still go to an amazing support group who obviously want you to breast feed but I've seen ladies come in and be told do whats best for you and if thats ffthen thats fine too.
No one should pressure you as to how you feed your child but I personally wouldn't change a thing with how I fed and still feed.
Its convenient and a very bonding experience. I have no experience with ff so I can't really speak about that but do whats best for both of you.
Good luck!

Rooners Fri 20-Sep-13 12:49:40

Fwiw I have never managed successfully to bf wearing a sling! I still have no idea how that is accomplished.

MerryMarigold Fri 20-Sep-13 12:53:06

YABU to put aside whether it is best for the baby or not.

That is how you get through the difficulty at first.

MrsOakenshield Fri 20-Sep-13 13:00:05

I struggled with bfing to begin with, but got there in the end. In the first few weeks there is no routine anyway, but DD kind of fell into a routine at about 3 months which I liked as I'm not very good with not knowing what I'm doing or where I'm at. FF or BF I don't think you'd get a routine going much before then anyway.

For me the thing that enabled me to bf successfully was the total support of DH. He did everything in those early weeks, and I mean everything, even once he was back at work.

Also, it's worth finding out where your nearest breastfeeding cafe is, the midwives who run them are experts (more so than the midwives in hospital, I found). If you can do an NHS or NCT breastfeeding class as well, that would help.

It's very convenient if you can do it, costs nothing and all you need when you are out and about are your boobs and somewhere to sit!

Best of luck OP.

jasminerose Fri 20-Sep-13 13:01:45

For me it doesnt hurt. I just stick them in sling, whack my boob out and carry on life as normal. I bfed for nearly a year for no 2 and ffed 1. I would now only bf with my future kids as its easier and Im lazy.

sameoldIggi Fri 20-Sep-13 13:03:04

I agree with what minifingers said earlier, the first month is harder and is really an investment in the future - so you may have more difficulty at the start than your ff friends, but later on you will head out with a nappy and a packet of wipes (and your boobs) but with no sterilised bottles, powder, flask of water etc. That's my experience anyway.

FamilarSting Fri 20-Sep-13 13:23:44

For me, yes it was time consuming and a huge shock to me with my first child, I was basically stuck on the couch for a lot of the time and found it hard watching the housework pile up and not being able to take a shower whenever I wanted, for example.
With my second child - I realised just how quickly those first weeks pass and was really looking forward to being stuck on the couch having lovely baby cuddles and sleepy feeds again. I felt more at ease with letting the house go to hell for a couple of months as I knew the time would fly by and the baby would reduce feeds eventually.

For me it did hurt quite a lot in the beginning, (first few days,) it took a while for my first baby to get a good latch so although most feeds were fine, sometimes the beginning of feeds hurt a bit, this actually lasted a couple of months (I don't think this is the norm, don't want to scare you but being honest! But to be honest I got used to it. My second baby who was pretty big seemed pretty unhappy with the amount she was getting before my milk finally came in on day 5, so the first few days were very intense and quite painful but after that she was a great feeder and I had/have no discomfort at all.

In the beginning the feeds seemed to be pretty constant, to be honest, but then I was happy to have a sleeping/feeding baby on me for a lot of the day. Probably in reality they'd take 10-30 minutes, but in the space of a couple of months they'd be down to 5 mins per feed or less.

I was determined to breastfeed and I deemed it well worth the initial discomfort to reap the benefits to come. I won't go on about the health benefits to baby and mum but personally I think the idea of FF would be so much more hassle. Cleaning/sterilising bottles, making sure you always have a clean bottle to hand, making up formula, having to take it with you wherever you go, getting up in the middle of the night; going downstairs, making formula, feeding baby, getting everyone back to sleep? Aarghh!
Both my babies woke a daft number of times in the night, maybe pumping them full of formula might have knocked them out a bit but having the milk right there all the time, I expect, makes night feeds sooo much easier. I co-sleep with DD and despite her waking more in the night than DD1 ever did, I am so much more rested as the milk is right there and so I have to wake up very little to settle her in the night. (I breastfed DD1 too but she was much further away from my bed)
The same for getting out and about; the milk is right there so I don't have to worry about packing bottles and whatever else is involved in bottle feeding.

I think lots of people say that breastfeeding is harder in the beginning, but after a while it becomes much easier and much more convenient than bottle feeding.

rallytog1 Fri 20-Sep-13 13:46:02

Definitely try it. Even if your baby only gets the first colostrum, every drop counts. There's so much support out there that if you do encounter difficulties, you should easily be able to find sources of help.

Having said that, if it doesn't work (for whatever reason), don't beat yourself up and don't let anyone else make you feel guilty.

Loopylala7 Fri 20-Sep-13 13:52:01

I think the phrase 'suck it and see' springs to mind. BF is for some, not for others, it's just how you get along with it really. I always get quite annoyed at militant camps on either, until you've tried you won't know what suits you and DC, but please don't feel bullied or pushed into either, I found my hormones were quite a mess and got a bit emotional when people forced their opinions on me. There are good and bad points for both. Good luck.

Booboostoo Fri 20-Sep-13 14:23:31

I am bfing DD at 2.4yo and it has been a completely different experience from what I expected. In the beginning it was very painful due to a poor latch but this was resolved at 9 weeks. Since then I have had mastitis x3 and a milk blister, she has bfed for hours on end and very frequently...but I still enjoy the experience.

I don't think you can tell what it will feel like until you try it, so don't stress too much about it. You can give it a go and if it's not for you there is a really good alternative so it's not as if you'll be stuck!

I also suspect that each baby is different, my friend's baby bfed very quickly and very few sessions every day/night. She was in the 5th centile and DD was over the top curve for weight so that might have had a role to play as well!

cantthinkofagoodone Fri 20-Sep-13 14:36:04

It's painful for lots of mums, tiring because you can't share the load and do every feed and it takes a tonne of energy.

I quit after 6 weeks because it was getting harder not easier and I wanted a night off.

He became predictable and settled between feeds, less gassy and I relaxed. A by the clock routine wasn't established until a year old but using awake times and how long since the last feed was a gauge at least.

Ff worked for our family. Washing 6 bottles a day and popping them in the steriliser isn't labour intensive.

You may well find that bt works for your family but don't beat yourself up if not. Irl ffing is normal too and effective for feeding your baby.

Minifingers Fri 20-Sep-13 14:56:09

"When I hear all this faff about bottle feeding I wonder what on earth people are doing that takes them so long?! I mean it's no more time consuming than making tea. Putting bottles in a steriliser is not hard or that time consuming."

It depends whether you are making up feeds fresh (as advised with a newborn) or making them up in batches.

If you are
- boiling the kettle
- waiting for it to cool to 70 degrees
- making up the feed
- cooling it under the tap

and doing all this at 3am with a crying baby, it definitely IS more faff.

Of course you can always use liquid formula, but this is a financial burden on less well off families.

Or you can ignore the guidelines, but a lot of people with newborns aren't happy to do that.

Minifingers Fri 20-Sep-13 15:01:03

Should add, that my immediate response to 'formula feeding is more convenient' is to feel a bit sad that convenience for adults trumps health benefits for very tiny babies with immature immune systems. It's different when we're talking about emotional issues - that some women genuinely find breastfeeding emotionally unsupportable. But because it's easierin a practical sense? 'Works for our family' in this context tends to mean 'easier for the adults'.

MrsMook Fri 20-Sep-13 15:13:10

My experience in the early days was middling. Not pain free, not bad enough for the thought of sterilising bottles and mixing formula for every feed from then on to seem that tempting. DS2 was a little harder as with the heatwave this summer, and mild recurring thrush meant the getting started phase was lasting longer.

We've recently had a disruptive growth spurt and he went from sleeping through to 3 feeds per night. My reponse was to snuggle him up in bed and allow self service, so my sleep wasn't too badly disturbed.

I was worried about balancing DS1 (2.9) with a BF baby, but a FF baby would still have to be fed. On holiday a few weeks back I was walking around a castle with DS 2 feeding in the wrap. I couldn't have done that with a bottle.

I get to go out, and leave expressed milk for DH. TBH I wouldn't want him doing night feeds when he has work to be fresh for, and he's not there in the day so it makes little difference to the amount of feeds I do. DS 1 was a CS birth with complications and I liked that feeding was the one job I could do for him myself. With DS2 I had a very painful tear, and my SPD worsened for a while, so again, it was nice that that was my job in the recovery weeks.

I love the freedom of BFing. I can feed anywhere, be spontaneous and travel light. For popping around with a baby and toddler, I have 3 nappies, wipes and a mat in a smallish bag.

I love looking at my 5m baby and thinking I have fuelled every cell of his body and growth. (Especially the effect on my decreasing waistline) I love trusting him to take what he needs to grow and not stressing over the last oz or two in a bottle.

There are circumstances where it is better to FF (thinking of medications, overwhelming personal experiences, medical conditions...) but otherwise, it's well worth giving a try for as many feeds as you can. I managed 13m of them with DS1, still going strong with DS2.

monicalewinski Fri 20-Sep-13 15:31:28

No faff at all to FF, fitted in perfectly for me and got good routine going with both my boys (didn't try to BF at all as totally not for me, so can't comment on that).

GirlOutNumbered Fri 20-Sep-13 15:39:26

I'm sad at the moment as I am thinking of ending my breastfeeding relationship with DS2. He is just over a year.
I can't tell you how wonderful the feeling of providing nourishment for your children is. I love the fact that we have some special time together.
It wasn't particularly easy at the beginning, but neither is having a new born baby.
I gave myself two weeks with both to see how it went, both times we were flying at the end of those two weeks. No bottles to carry, no sterilising, even now at 1 I know I have a handy snack for him, or something to console him if he wakes etc.

DS1 never slept through the night until I stopped breastfeeding, but I still really miss that special time you have.
DS2 slept through the night from really early, so I think its not really how you feed, but what your babies like.

Good luck with everything.

ipswichwitch Fri 20-Sep-13 15:40:33

I bf DS for 16 months in the end, and for me it was a doddle. He was prem so it took a little work in the beginning to take every feed from me instead of the tube, but he took to it so well he was allowed home 3 weeks before he was expected to be.

I used lansinoh from day 1 and never had cracked nipples or any sort of pain. It was great for me being able to leave the house with a pack of wipes and some nappies in my bag, and stay out as long as I wanted - I hear a lot from my SIL how they have to be home by such and such a time as her DD is due a feed. No such worries here. When DS wanted feeding, I would get a coffee and cake and feed him while I fed myself!

It was a great comfort for him when he was ill (hospitalised twice, and it used to calm him down really well after prodding and poking by the doctors). Yes, it means you do all the feeds, but if you learn to feed lying down, then you don't even have to get up. I would feed him, hand him to DH for winding (he was always better than me at it) and nappy changes in the early days.

I would say that it's not always a positive experience for everyone for a whole variety of reasons, and it won't be possible for everyone either. However, as someone has already said, you can choose to try it then ff if it's not working for you, but you can't ff then switch to bf weeks down the line if you change your mind.

Regardless of whether you bf or ff, don't expect to get much of anything done in the early weeks, and don't try to because you'll put way too much pressure on what should be time to spend with the baby. Sod the housework for a bit! I think many of us wondered what the hospital thought they were doing letting us home in charge of a wee baby at first - thats normal!

sameoldIggi Fri 20-Sep-13 17:55:43

Not sure it's been mentioned, and maybe it's meant to be a secret wink but bfeeding can at times give you the most amazing feeling - hormone rush and also the sheer relief of having the pressure in your boobs released. And it can make you sleepy again in the middle of the night. (Sleepy as opposed to just tired, which you may feel all the time at first!)

LadyRabbit Fri 20-Sep-13 18:41:02

OP I remember feeling EXACTLY like you all the way through my pregnancy. I was also surrounded by the 'Breastapo', including my Dsis who had no trouble telling me I was hugely selfish even considering bottle feeding and how I would be endangering my child by doing so - my DSis doesn't have any kids hmm

So I was all set to give it a go but fully expected to be ff'ing within weeks.

Three years on and DS is still on the boob, but thankfully not the marathon 24/7 he managed in his early weeks.

Be open minded. Nothing prepares you for how you will feel physically and emotionally when you hold your child for the first time. Sticking my baby on the boob felt like the only thing to do, and all my fears of what it would or wouldn't be like were unfounded.

I should add I'm a very lazy bugger and being able to breastfeed while co-sleep meant I was actually getting pretty decent sleep early on.

Don't stress it - do what feels natural for you and you'll be fine.

Monka Fri 20-Sep-13 19:39:34

YANBU - bf can be hard am exclusively bfeeding my 4 week old and it still hurts when she latches on for about 30 secs (like my nipples are being pinched very hard) but then its fine. I have fed in public twice using a baby blanket and you can use a scarf or special bf scarf.

I made full use of all the help offered to me at hospital and by midwives and now health visitor. I got the nurses to check my latch each time i fed and i had a csection.Personally, I found the pain from my nipples worse than the pain from my csection! Get the lanolin cream for your nipples it was a godsend!

I was told by friends while I was pregnant that if I perserved it would get easier and it does. That said I am only planning to exclusively bf until about 3-4 months then mix feed until my milk dries up.

Baby cluster feeds from about 7pm until midnight but she does give me 4-4.5 hrs sleep and then feeds every 3 hours from then. It's easy to feed the baby in the middle of the night.

But if you do ff then you could always take a flask of hot water upstairs with you and some bottles like my SIL used to much easier than going downstairs in the middle of the night to make up the ff.

I have loved spending the time relaxing on the sofa watching telly. I still cook as the baby does sleep just more organised about planning quick easy meals. You could always express milk so you can go out and about more easily as well.

cantthinkofagoodone Fri 20-Sep-13 19:50:25

minifingers when I say it worked for my family to ff this is because bfing led me to feel quite low. The sheer exhaustion that came about by not getting a break and feeding a baby for 40 minutes of each hour in the day just didn't allow enough rest for me and as a result, I wasn't being a good Mum.

Being slightly more rested and getting one night off a week gave me the energy to interact with ds. It was for all our benefit. Bfing was getting in the way of us bonding as I was frustrated and not enjoying him.

Minifingers Fri 20-Sep-13 20:32:18

It is hard to get rest when you have a little one full-stop. I went back to work part time at 5 weeks when my first was still breastfeeding, and with a second and third baby very close in age and breastfeeding - I remember that feeling of not being able to get stuff done. Luckily my DH is super supportive and didn't have a problem with me prioritising feeding my baby over cleaning. I appreciate that not everyone has a partner who is as supportive of breastfeeding.

All that said, I found breastfeeding fairly unexhausting in the sense that you tend to do it sitting down. I remember reading and watching more tv while my babies were small because I had to take time out if my busy day to feed them. And also to sit down with my toddler or oldest child while feeding and read to them and give them cuddles.

Don't discount the unforeseen benefits. I flew with D aged 3 months and aged 6 months. No bottles, no mess, no worries. Her ears were fine and I could relax. We had to (DH's DM was very ill) but it was a bonus that DD din't need anything but me.

purplemurple1 Fri 20-Sep-13 21:34:24

Hi

I bf for the first 10dys, bb lost 15% of his birth weight so we are now mixed feeding (he is 3weeks), bf hurt for the first couple of weeks but most of that was because he was very hungry and his latch when hungry is still painfully strong. Even with mixed feeding bf takes about 5 to 6 hrs a day at the moment, although I can work on my computer for some of that time.

Making formula is no problem, I run the steriliser once a day and make up the 8 bottles with water, then put them in the fridge and add powder as needed and give them cold it takes about 15min a day. The only extra work is because he dribbles etc more with formula so more changes of clothes and washing. I don't see any issue with packing a bottle or 2 of water and some powder in a cool bag, when putting in the nappies etc - it's hardly rocket science.

Personally I find ff more bonding as I have to look at the bb and am able to look at this face, when bf I tend to end up doing something else as it just takes up so much time. Still I'm glad I tried bf, but am accepting ff doesn't make me a bad parent and there are much more important things in their life.

Minifingers Fri 20-Sep-13 21:41:37

"I don't see any issue with packing a bottle or 2 of water and some powder in a cool bag, when putting in the nappies etc - it's hardly rocket science."

No - that's if you're prepared to ignore the recommendations on making up feeds as safely as possible.

Almostfifty Fri 20-Sep-13 21:47:10

I formula fed two, and breastfed two.

I'd take breastfeeding over formula any day. It meant I got to sit down and have a break, as I was the feeder, and there was no messing with sterilising bottles, making up feeds and so on and so on.

If I were you, I'd try it. If you don't manage, don't beat yourself up, you've tried and it's not for you. If it works, it works.

hettienne Fri 20-Sep-13 21:47:12

Making formula up with cold water isn't a safe method.

Drinkprunesbutstaynexttotheloo Fri 20-Sep-13 21:47:14

I have never used formula in my life, so it is odd that I know you need water at a certain temperature ( to kill potential bugs in formula as well as water) and yet many who feed their babies this way do not.

Minifingers Fri 20-Sep-13 21:47:21

Frequent feeding and night feeding is normal newborn behaviour. Like crying, or possetting, or wanting to be held a lot. It's often inconvenient to adults, but it is part of the physiological and developmental norm of being a baby.

I wonder if someone could come up with a medicine that stopped newborn babies wanting to be held a lot that it would soon become incredibly popular, even if there was proof that not giving it to babies was better for their health. You'd soon see loads of posts from people saying how tiring they felt holding their newborn was, and how it made them depressed and interfered with bonding, and that it was better for the whole family if the baby could be medicated so that it didn't want to be picked up all the time.

Seriously - it makes me sad that normal newborn feeding behaviour is seen as something which is basically pathological.

purplemurple1 Fri 20-Sep-13 22:03:16
hettienne Fri 20-Sep-13 22:16:58

purple - that's the best option if you have to feed a baby but can't access boiling water. It doesn't mean it's the safest option.

HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs Fri 20-Sep-13 22:28:31

Between birth and six weeks, DS fed for about an hour at a time, with about an hours break in between each feed. It was toe-curlingly, take-your-breathe-away painful for the first minute or so, and then fine. It was exhausting.
He is now 4mo and gets one bottle per day, bf the rest of the time. No pain at all. Feeds take ten/fifteen mins max. Three hour breaks in between. So glad i stuck with it. (Miss those days of spending all afternoon sat feeding while watching telly!)
You can easily get in to a routine, but with a bf baby ( at first) your routine needs to involve feeding on a much more regular basis than a ff baby.
Go for it, and see how you get on. No need to decide anything yet.

magicberry Fri 20-Sep-13 22:37:04

I think it's sad this is about convenience and routine - it's better for your baby and better for you to breastfeed, so why not give it a go. If you hate it you can always reevaluate. But each feed is better than nothing.

bumperella Fri 20-Sep-13 22:56:47

I tried to BF for about 10 wks. The closest we got was via nipple-shields whilst using a Supplemental Nursing System filled with expressed breast milk. I would never EVER recommend ANYONE persue that line, it's madness, pointless and completely futile. I expressed every 3 hrs, which could take an hour or more. DO NOT DO THIS. You will loose your mind. It was a miserable, lonely, demoralising experience; I really struggled with the "decision" to stop trying.

In many situations is HUGELY embarrassing to get a bottle out in public (esp posh toddler groups, etc). I'd not let embarrassment over boobs/bottle influence your decision.

FF isn't the faff that people tell you. Really, it isn't. Formula lasts (in a sterile bottle in the fridge for around an hour). For night feeds single-use cartons are fine.

Formula will not kill your child. It's not as good as breast-milk, but sadly most people won't be "perfect" parents and there are worse things that most parents end up doing than formula feeding.

Lots of people will tell you that BF is the right answer, but the reality is that feeding is only a part of the picture.

TheBigJessie Fri 20-Sep-13 23:19:29

I had to mix-feed with formula at the beginning, before I managed to switch to exclusive breast-feeding.

Breast-feeding is easier. You can knit, type, play computer games, and read while breast-feeding up to two babies. However, I needed both hands to bottlefeed one newborn at a time. You can also wander around shopping centres with one baby discreetly feeding in a sling. (People would occasionally come and talk to the breastfeeding baby to do coochie-coo noises, without ever noticing what the baby was doing! grin )

In my opinion, the last thing you need with a new baby is more washing-up, considering the sheer volume of laundry that is going to be entering your life! Formula-feeding was a huge faff at 3am.

I also liked the fact that breast-feeding released sleep-hormones that meant I went to sleep immediately after feeds, instead of lying awake for two hours and then dropping off half an hour before the baby wakes up again!

CrispyFB Fri 20-Sep-13 23:22:04

Candy Crush and breastfeeding are an excellent combination! Take it from me.. grin

OP, just wait until the baby arrives and see what happens.

bumperella Fri 20-Sep-13 23:26:58

I absolutely agree that breast milk is best.
But I cannot agree that it's easier. Surely you have one arm free when you're formula feeding? I found it easy to have baby in crook of right arm, hold bottle in the right hand, and therefore have left hand free. But I never got beyond the strategically-positioned cushions, SNS, sticky-plasters, palaver of failed BF. For (nearly) 3 months.
OP, for all the people who say one is easy, their'll be another 100 who says it's really difficult.
Routine and teensy babies don't go together.

beginnings Fri 20-Sep-13 23:31:53

I know someone who form

beginnings Fri 20-Sep-13 23:36:09

Gah! Bloody phone.

I know someone who formula fed and her baby fed little and often for the first few weeks. She was washing, sterilising and prepping over a dozen bottles a day!
I EBF and it was much easier! Yes I had to wince as she latched for the first ten days but then it was much easier.
You will not necessarily get a routine out of a formula fed baby and you won't necessarily not from a bf one. DD has slept 7 til 7 since 13 wks.

Give it a whirl!

TheBigJessie Fri 20-Sep-13 23:40:08

I'm afraid I could never work out how to support and feed with the same arm. It was one to support head and one to hold the bottle in the right place. Maybe I needed to wait for the babies to get bigger?

As it was, I was lucky enough to find that breastfeeding was a realistic choice for me, so I went for the road that I knew could deliver hands-free feeding. Sounds a bit like a mobile phone ad.

Possibly not the kind of thing you're meant to admit to in public? "Oh I chose breastfeeding for Jack for the hands-free option, which enabled me to carry on my pre-baby lifestyle of spending too much time on the computer." instead of "I was concerned about health risks". grin But meh, they say the Truth will set you free!

bumperella Fri 20-Sep-13 23:46:38

BigJessie - I had a teensy baby but freakishly long arms - that could be why one handed FF worked for me!
However, apparently I've big nipples and DD had teeny mouth - they used words like "disparity of size"....

TheBigJessie Fri 20-Sep-13 23:53:05

Ah. I suspect that if anything, I have short arms. I'm a shortarse in all respects! My hands would pass for a twelve year old's!

Not as bad as me, BigJessie. I tell everyone I BF because I was cheap, fat and lazy. It's free, they suck the fat right out of you and no bottles, washing, planning or sterilising.

Sod the 'perfect parent' bollocks, I like lying in the sofa playing Civilization and drinking tea, you know, while giving my baby the best start in life and all that.

CrispyFB Sat 21-Sep-13 00:09:14

<looks suspiciously at MrsTerryPratchett> Are you me? I love a bit of Civ+breastfeeding too (Candy Crush is for short feeds, Civ is good for nursing to sleep!) Best excuse for playing computer games all day and sitting on my arse I ever had!

No, I'm not you because I closed down CC in disgust after level 89 made me want to throw my phone across the room. Maybe we should give all first time Mums a copy of Civ instead of all that leafleting about BFing.

beginnings Sat 21-Sep-13 07:42:34

I've just thought of another advantage, not getting out of bed at night. And nope, I didn't co-sleep. Lean out of bed. Retrieve child from Moses basket, latch, doze, wind, doze, place child back!

DH used to not wake up at all!!

YY to the fat eating too.

Faithless12 Sat 21-Sep-13 08:15:36

DS was always very quick to feed, at 4 weeks some older friends didn't believe that he took 5/10 mins to feed and didn't take both sides at a feed. When he clusterfed is the only time he stayed on for longer than 10 mins and he fed for an hour at the most. He has never stuck to a 4 hourly schedule as everyone suggested he should. He took to it amazingly well, it was achey to begin and the after pains were more pronounced while BFing but that was the first week during the evening feed normally.

Friends of ours who have a DC a similar age to DS also BF, their DC is very sleepy so had a routine from very early on but would take forever to feed as they were so sleepy.

Viking1 Sat 21-Sep-13 08:17:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Faithless12 Sat 21-Sep-13 08:18:13

MrsTerryPratchett & CrispyFB I wish I'd thought of gaming before while BF. I spent the first three months sans phone/computer cuddling DS.Now I find out missed hours of gaming opportunities. grin

tattiehowker Sat 21-Sep-13 08:35:23

Wait til the baby is here before making any decisions. Right now you are just trying to weigh up options based on what has happened for other people. But this is your baby.

Personally I regard BF has much easier and more convenient than FF - that's my experience. I also can't begin to explain the magic of snuggling up with your baby in a dark, silent house and looking down at their little contented face as you breastfeed.

I found it painful when my milk came in - but this will happen whether or not you breastfeed. Apart from that there was the occasional twinge in the first few weeks til we got the latch established. Everyone is different. You will hear more stories about difficult experiences I imagine because they are more interesting!

Yes, breastfeeding is time consuming at first. But having a baby is time consuming what ever you do. It sounds a but like at the moment you are trying to imagine how to fit the baby into your life. But your life is going to change and you can't really plan for that now. Your baby is designed to tell you what it needs so listen to your instincts. You'll just go with it at the time and all will be well whatever choices you make.

Have to disagree with you on the idea that is is difficult to know that BF is best for the baby. It is definitely better for baby and Mum from a health point of view. Totally agree with nickelbabe on the relaxing effects of breastfeeding. It is a great instant stress relief!

Congratulations on your pregnancy.

LouiseD29 Sat 21-Sep-13 09:37:33

I'm a month in to bf DD1 and have been very lucky with it ever since she latched on by herself at 15 minutes old. I have been vigilant with the Lansinoh and although she took a tiny bit of skin off each nipple in the first ten days it was only a tiny bit sore, and they have now toughened up and don't hurt at all. She's also a really fast feeder so each feed tends to only take 5/10 minutes and she will often nap for 3 hours. I like that bf gives me flexibility though so if she does demand feeding more frequently (which happens quite a lot) I can just plonk her on, or haul her out of the Moses basket at night at a moment's notice.

Oh, and I've also lost 12lbs of baby weight since coming out of hospital.

YANBU to feed in whichever way seems right for you, but as a previous poster said, you are more likely to read about bf problems on a bf forum, and for many people it works really well.

Good luck with your baby, whatever way you choose.

BooCanary Sat 21-Sep-13 09:49:48

Pros and done ime.

BFing DC1 took up most of the first 2 m of her life. She would feed for 45minutes minimum, every couple of hours once we got some kind of routine. There were days when she was newborn when I was feeding for 18 hours a day! BUT I kept on bfing uh until DD was 12mo, and I was so sad when she self weaned. BFing in bed without getting up is a real benefit.

DC2 was bf too, but not a good feeder (opposite of DD who wanted to feed constantly). I got mastitis, and he had poor weight gain. I ended up mix feeding (bf with bottle top ups from 6wo), and tbh it was no easier. He was no more likely to drink formula than bf. Sterilising and greeting things ready quick enough was a giant pita.

If I could do it again, I would definitely bf, but I do think people should be more open about the pitfalls. I felt like I wasn't given a realistic view before having DC1, almost as though mws didn't want to admit it may be hard in case you decided not to bother.

BooCanary Sat 21-Sep-13 09:50:14

Pros and CONS.

Whereisegg Sat 21-Sep-13 10:28:50

I can't understand people saying that ff isn't more work than bf (and I switched at 8 weeks with my first so experienced both in relatively early days).

With bf you can stay out however long you want.
With ff you are really quite stuck especially as if you do decode you'd like to stay somewhere longer, you can pretty much guarantee dc won't take a full feed, leaving leftover milk redundant after a certain amount of time.

Sterilising itself isn't that much work but, again, you have a limit as to how long bottles stay sterile, so if you fall asleep (likely) you may well have to start again.

I found forgetting that the kettle was boiled for bottles, and then re-boiling to make a cuppa was an issue in a sleepy haze.

Having a baby wake up for the millionth time and having no real way to comfort them while waiting for a bottle to warm was awful, and they had screamed themselves awake by the time it was ready and then often too worked up to feed properly.

I also found that if my dp was doing a night feed, I was awake for the duration regardless.

The only positive I found, was knowing how much the baby had had. Not that this really 'helped' with anything though?!

I don't mean to sound like I'm bashing ff, I'm not.
But I did find it restricting and hard work.

KateSMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 21-Sep-13 13:30:02

Hello - we're just going to move this to the breast and bottle feeding topic.

Bubbles1066 Sat 21-Sep-13 16:42:14

If you FF buy an extra kettle, a cheap plastic cup and a cheap thermos flask. The kettle avoids people boiling the kettle again when you are cooling water. Use the thermos to heat bottles (pour water in the cup and put bottle in cup) or to make hot feeds when out or at night. Buy steri bottles from Boots (pre sterilised bottles that last for 24 hours after opening and come in packs of 5;) that along with a few cartons in your change bag/car will keep you going for 10+ hours if you are unexpectantly kept out longer than you thought. I made every feed fresh with hot water or with ready made using these things and managed to FF everywhere, including up hills as we all regularly go hill walking. I'm not saying this is easier than BF just that with a few tricks and some not very expensive things you can go out and about very easily with formula.

Sunflower1985 Sat 21-Sep-13 18:02:18

I would advise reading up on positioning and latching before birth. I didn't and it made the first few days harder as I struggled to get support in hospital. By the time I did my ds was jaundiced and it wasn't the lovely natural process it should be.

I've had all the common problems (latch, thrush, cracked nipples and tongue tie) but at 7 weeks am still going as there's no better feeling than looking down at a milk drunk baby. Bliss.

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