Would you like to be a member of our research panel? Join here - there's (nearly) always a great incentive offered for your views.

Baby milk???

(28 Posts)
Jenjen85 Sun 30-Jun-13 17:32:49

I'm currently 39+3 and I intend to breastfeed for at least 6 months but it occured to me today that if I can't breastfeed (for whatever reason) then what kind of formula is best for baby?? There are quite a few different brands on the market an as I intend to breastfeed have never given formula a second thought until today when DH asked if we needed to get any in. Is there any particular brand that's best??? First time mum so could do with a bit of advise altho I don't intend to buy any just want to be prepared should breastfeeding not work out.

MrsHuxtable Sun 30-Jun-13 17:41:44

If you want to breastfeed, I wouldn't get any milk at all. Breastfeeding might be very hard at the beginning and then it's all too easy to reach for the formula bottle when you're tired and teary if baby won't latch on in the middle of the night.

This was the best piece of advice I was given re breastfeeding and it's true. So easy to throw in the towel when there's an alternative. It's very unlikely you won't be able to breastfeed. Over 95% of women can and if you indeed are unlucky to belong to the small group with trouble, you can get emergency formula from any supermarket, petrol station etc.

RJM17 Sun 30-Jun-13 18:06:56

I am planning on doing both so would also like to know what is the best formula. I was told that cow and gate is the closest to breast milk but not sure if that is right or if there is a better alternative out there. I will certainly be breast feeding but want to have formula milk for when we are going out etc as I know that personally I won't be comfortable breast feeding whilst out and about. Which people may think is soft and criticise but this is my personal choice xx

extracrunchy Sun 30-Jun-13 18:12:30

Cow and Gate and Aptamil are made by the same company and GP tells me the standard formulas they both make are exactly the same! But oddly one is cheaper than the other. Sneaky.

MrsHuxtable Sun 30-Jun-13 18:17:14

The reason mixed feeding isn't ideal at the start, is that if you don't feed your baby to demand, it endangers your milk supply. Nothing wrong with adding formula once you have an established supply at 6-8 weeks but before that it's really a slippery slope and many women fail to breastfeed for more than a couple of weeks because of it.

If you don't want to breastfeed in public, you could take expressed milk?

I really don't think there's much difference between the different formula brands. Maybe repost this in the feeding section?

sleepyhead Sun 30-Jun-13 18:19:21

They are all the same. It's a strictly regulated product and they are basically all made to the same "formula".

Some people do find that their babies do better with a particular brand (eg get constipated or fussy with one) but there doesn't seem to be any particular rule to that. One person will tell you that SMA made their baby constipated, another will say that C&G did and they switched to SMA.

All the companies hint that their formula is "closest to breast milk", but that's marketing bollocks. They provide decent nutrition for babies so just get whichever one attracts you or is easiest to get at a pinch (eg stocked by your corner shop).

kd73 Sun 30-Jun-13 18:19:46

Have you considered giving expressed milk whilst out and about? Beware that offering bottles consecutively can cause a reduction in your milk supply (as your body will think you don't need to make the milk) also you may find the baby rejects the breast over the bottle, which is generally much easier to feed fron particularly if offered in the early day's.

With regards to which formula us best, it may be a case of seeing which one suits you best

Good luck with whatever you decide

meditrina Sun 30-Jun-13 18:21:55

There is no one formula that is "best". All are modified cow's milk (though soya is also available should cow be not tolerated at all), most have various 'add ons' which are rather hyped up in the advertising, but only make a tiny difference if that.

I agree with pp - don't get any formula in at all in the early days.

Jenjen85 Sun 30-Jun-13 18:26:23

I don't intend to buy any formula just wanted to be prepared on which are good should I need to buy some. I will be breastfeeding from day one and expressing further down the line once it's established so DH can also feed.

sleepyhead Sun 30-Jun-13 19:29:36

Interestingly, most women who bf end up using Aptamil (if they use formula at all).

This is not because it's closest to bm (see above), but because they deliberately market their formula at bf women and health professionals - you'll have probably seen their follow-on milk advert. They even go so far as to make it the most expensive formula on the market so they can cash in on the "guilt factor" from women stopping bf but wanting to give their babies the "best" = most expensive.

I was conned by this when ds1 was little. I'm determined that not a drop of Aptamil will cross the lips of ds2! If we use formula (which we probably will as I'm going back to work at 6 months) it'll be whatever's cheapest.

Cow & Gate is (I think) cheapest. Cow & Gate is basically identical to Aptamil and made by the same company....

Formula is horrendously overpriced for what it is. Don't be fooled into thinking that the price is any indicator of the presence of high-tech additives. Their marketing spend completely dwarfs the money spent on R&D.

Cow and gate is what I used with dc2 - dc1 had farleys once i stopped breastfeeding but that's long gone now. It'll be cow and gate again fir dc3 , they are basically all the same but my aunt used cow and gate after bf'ing way back in The early 90's and Recommended It.

Plus it's pretty cheap, c&g or hipp are the most reasonable.

LittleMilla Sun 30-Jun-13 20:31:31

Totally agree with sleepy head! I was thinking the exact same thing the other day, bastids.

Fed ds until he was 8 months and id always given him the odd bottle of aptimal. Once is stopped bf and realised how expensive formula is I switched to cow and gate. Ds didn't notice.

I'd disagree with advice on having formula in. You sound similar to me and very intent on bf - taking the good with the bad in the early days. But when you're exhausted and simply need a break for one feed, it's a god send. And it doesn't mean you'll suddenly move to mix feeding. But you might NEED a longer sleep one day, which is perfectly normal.

Xmasbaby11 Sun 30-Jun-13 21:01:07

Aptamil is good. You can buy prepared milk and bottles too, which is really handy.

It's no bad thing to keep it in just in case - both formula and bottles you have sterilised. I wanted to bf, but wasn't able to fully after a week in hospital trying and went home on a mixed feeding routine. Having to rush round a supermarket at 7.55 on a Sat night to buy formula before the next feed was stressful.

No matter what the statistics, many women struggle with breastfeeding exclusively and use formula to help. They just don't tell midwives.

lurcherlover Sun 30-Jun-13 21:49:15

There's no difference. It's all marketing.

Think about it - it would be completely inethical to make one (expensive) milk somehow "the best" - with more of whatever it is that ff manufacturers deem that babies need - and to make the cheaper milks "less good", and therefore deprive the babies of poorer mums of better quality milk.

sleepyhead has it exactly right - Aptamil is marketed at women who feel guilty about ff. Hence the price tag and more "scientific" name and packaging. Women who intend to ff from birth and feel confident about their choice generally choose Cow and Gate or SMA - these are "heritage" brands, they've been around a long time and the chances are these mums' own mums used them, so they're familiar brands.

But if the packaging was plain and the powder was analysed, it's the same stuff. If you intend to bf, don't buy any. If you need it in the future, buy whichever one you can get hold of easiest.

And there's no reason to stick to one either. Again, manufacturers make us think there is, because they know they've got a captive audience - once they've got you using formula, they know that for 6 months, that's all your baby will eat. So it pays well to make you think that swapping brands will "unsettle" your baby. There's actually no evidence for this at all and in fact swapping may be beneficial, in that different milks may have a very slightly different taste (even though the ingredients are the same) and therefore ff babies can have an approximation of the bf experience (breastmilk changes taste from feed to feed).

Scaredycat3000 Sun 30-Jun-13 22:01:00

If you don't want to feed in public it's worth checking out your local facilities before your arrival. The baby change at the new Westfield shopping centres are family rooms, you walk into a room with a play area with a T.V. playing cartoons. There are huge toilets cubicles each with an adult and child size toilet, also a room with baby change and like a mini kitchen to warm bottles or baby food and finally feeding rooms. These are individual rooms with sliding doors with a leather sofa chair and foot stool. Now this is the nicest I have ever come across. The worst I ever have been in was Mothercare! John Lewis usually have a nice one. Ikea have a little screened off area in the restaurant as a baby feeding area. You may be pleasantly surprised and horrified at what you find.

RJM17 Mon 01-Jul-13 09:27:53

It's not just out and about I wouldn't want to feed in front of DHs friends and brother or my own dad or uncles. I know you will probably all say its natural etc as others have said this to me but its just my personal feelings and they are not going to change. My cousin was the same so maybe its the way we were brought up. But she managed perfectly fine with a mixture of the two so planning to do the same xx

extracrunchy Mon 01-Jul-13 09:31:45

OP would you be comfortable with a cover or shawl to bf under?

I think a lot of women worry like you about feeding in front of people, but you may well find with time and the help of a cover (and a hungry baby who will be your priority!) you don't care as much as you imagine you will.

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 01-Jul-13 09:48:47

Just get the one your local shop sells, should you need it. You don't want to be stuck with a hungry baby, 6 feet of snow and their favourite formula is only sold in a shop 5 miles away.

Agree with others on not getting formula in yet. Research shows that if you have formula in the house, you are more likely to give up on bfing.

As you are planning on bfing hers my unsolicited best tips smile

Find out where your Bfing Support Groups are and start going to them now.

Put the numbers of the Bfing Helplines in your phone.

Read about tongue tie, just in case.

Read Bfing your newborn: what to expect in the early weeks and preparing to bf.

Talking of reading, I give these books a wide birth, I'd also like to add Clare Byam Cook onto that list but that just my personal opinion, not that of kellymom or MN (just in case her legal team are reading) grin

Watch these lovely videos and google biological nuturing.

And relax, I'm sure everything will work out just the way you want it too smile

lurcherlover Mon 01-Jul-13 09:55:57

RJM there are ways of feeding discreetly. I bf in public and never flash any boob. Just bear in mind that especially in the early days, bf babies want to feed very frequently, and feeds can last 40 mins or so - and most cluster feed in the evenings for a few hours at a time. If you don't want to feed I front of people, that's a long time to be sitting in a bedroom. Using formula in the first 6 weeks or so is likely to result in a drop in your own milk supply and make bf more difficult. If you want to bf, would you consider a nursing cover to help you feed confidently?

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 01-Jul-13 09:57:11

rjm have a look around you next time you are out. When people are bfing you can usually see very little smile

If you are worried about bfing in public, try going to a bfing support group. You will get the knack of bfing in public but surrounded by other bfing mums.

There are some useful articles here and if you don't want to feed in front of family members its fine to say "lo is hungry, I'm about to feed", then they can leave the room smile

Its also fine to give ebm while out and about, have a read of how much ebm will my baby need?

I personally would offer ff or express for at least the first couple of weeks as it could impact on your supply.

Jenjen85 Mon 01-Jul-13 10:00:09

Think people have got the OP (me) confused with RJM17 I only asked about formula whereas the other poster commented on not feeling confident at breastfeeding in public. I will be breastfeeding in public altho like RJM17 I don't think I'd feel confident feeding in front if DHs family/friends but in sure ill overcome this once baby has arrived.

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 01-Jul-13 10:10:24

I've done 2 posts OP, one addressed to you and one to rjm. No confusion here smile

loopydoo Mon 01-Jul-13 10:16:20

I think jilted meant wouldn't offer ff etc

I watched a BFI video whilst doing my training and the experts all agreed that you may as well choose the cheapest formula milk as they are all pretty much the same.

The reason they advertise Follow On milk on tv is because it's against the law for them to advertise first infant formula as it discourages mums from breastfeeding. So instead, formula companies advertise follow milk as a way to get their products seen....really naughty and follow on has no real benefits.

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 01-Jul-13 10:28:40

Sorry yes, wouldn't offer. Whoops blush

Teaandflapjacks Mon 01-Jul-13 10:40:04

RJM17 a close friend - who is very into BF - is not keen on doing so in front of people, public or otherwise. She does sometimes express and use that if she thinks she will get caught short when out and about, and has done so since the beginning. She has frozen some of her milk too - and now she is winding down her BF is pleased she can give him bottles with the stuff from the freezer if she needs to as well etc.

I am also not keen of BF in front of anyone bar DH or my family (not his side TBH). I don't really care what people think of that either - it's my boobs! grin

Jen - They are honestly all the same, but different ones may agree with your baby better. Aptimel has done some extremely clever marketing. I believe C&G is exactly the same. I expect tescos is no diff. I have also got a packet in, and a steriliser, and bottles - but mainly because I will be mixed feeding (dream feed at 11 with formula) and expressing if I need/want to. my DH will be working away mon to thurs so when he gets back at weekends I will def want him to take over a 11pm feed so I can catch up on some sleep.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now