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Breastfeeding and formula

(28 Posts)
CristaBell Tue 28-Jan-14 23:14:42

I've always said I would bottle feed my baby as that's what my family have done with their babies in the past. However, when the midwife explained all the benefits of breastfeeding last week I felt I should give it a go. I'm quite a shy person and wouldn't want to breastfeed in front of anyone, not even my family. I think the only person I would feel comfortable breastfeeding in front of is my dh. I was just wondering if anyone has breast fed and bottle fed? and if so what formula did you use?

Any advise would be very much appreciated.

AShowerOfBastards Tue 28-Jan-14 23:19:36

I only breasted as that worked for us, it's great that you want to give it a go. Why not just hold off on deciding one way or another and see how you feel when baby is born. I was unsure before dd1 was born, set myself the target of the first three days, then that went well so extended it slightly and before I knew it we were at a year.

Don't pressure yourself either way, and good luck smile

ExBrightonBell Tue 28-Jan-14 23:51:01

I intended to bfeed, probably for all the reasons your midwife outlined, but had to use some formula for a short while due to ds being v poorly. Fwiw we gave Aptamil - no reason other than that's what the hospital had. They are all fundamentally the same (they have to have the same ingredients by law, any differences are tiny because of this), so it really doesn't matter what formula you give, if you decide to give formula.

My general point is that any plans made before delivery are completely subject to change! My best advice is to be flexible and to consider what is best for your baby at that particular moment. If circumstances allow, then breastfeeding for the first few days will give your baby your colostrum which is really important for their immune systems. If you can carry on exclusively breastfeeding for 6 weeks you will have given further benefits to your baby and so on. Just take it day by day and see how you get on.

I am a very reserved and private person, but after having my ds I would have fed him in front of anyone if he needed feeding (and have fed him in front of all sorts of people). Compared to giving birth, breastfeeding is really not that embarrassing! You can get used to it at home before you venture out, and make sure you go somewhere breastfeeding friendly for your first trip out. There are often baby cafés that you can go to - I used to go to a drop in baby cafe where once there were about 15 mums all breastfeeding little tiny babies. Takes the focus off any one individual.

Once you get into the swing of it there is really nothing to see - mostly people wouldn't have been able to even tell I was feeding my ds.

This time I am aiming to do the same as you OP.

I FF DS1 and DD1, with DS2 I managed a few weeks BF but never in front of anyone, I am painfully body conscious and sadly I didn't find it any easier for the sake of my baby. I stopped not long after DH went back to work full time as I could no longer disappear to the bedroom when we had visitors blush How pathetic I know!

This time I am planning on BF when alone and having bottles ready for when people are around and seeing if I last any longer.

yellowsnownoteatwillyou Wed 29-Jan-14 00:22:59

Depending on your hospital you could be offered a choice as a top up,I chose aptimal. However if I had the choice again I would choose cow n gate as its 2 pounds cheaper!!!
That's the only reason.
I mix fed for 6 weeks no nipple confusion, then due to medical conditions had to stop. You can learn to be quite discrete. The 2 vests are good with a muslin tucked in your bra, also practice in front of a mirror.
If I have dc2, I hopefully won't be in the same circumstances so will try and breast feed longer, as bottles are a faff, and expensive. But you don't have to think about bras as much and someone else can feed your baby if you want. Thou I did express a lot which is the same thing, I suppose.

AnythingNotEverything Wed 29-Jan-14 00:33:42

Feeding in public isn't as scary as you think. You can plan ahead, choose a good chair (poss facing a wall at first!), wear good feeding clothes, have a handy scarf etc.

Practice at home. If you do it in front of a mirror you can see how little other people can see.

The thing that has surprised me is how few people even notice, and those that do are desperate to look anywhere but at you.

The best way to ensure long term success in breastfeeding is to do it exclusively. That said, plenty of people successfully only breastfeed at home or at night and express or take formula when they go out. That feels like the worst of both worlds to me, but plenty of people manage it.

The boards here are full of advice and info about pitfalls and tips etc.

Rootvegetables Wed 29-Jan-14 09:30:55

When I first fed ds it was rubbish always going out the room, hiding upstairs etc but after only a week or two it's very easy to do it without anyone even noticing especially when they're so little at the beginning not wriggly little toddlers! Also have a look for other people breastfeeding you don't see them unless you really look and then it's nothing except lovely.

Alexchallex Wed 29-Jan-14 09:32:41

With regards to feeding in public, mothercare as an example have breast feeding rooms to give you some privacy. Lots of supermarkets do also as well as places like John Lewis and boots

Trooperslane Wed 29-Jan-14 09:33:26

We're still combination feeding at almost 6 months.

It's worked for us.

Snowlet Wed 29-Jan-14 09:41:19

Of course, your feelings about privacy/shyness are valid and I would never want to dismiss or invalidate them.

But I wanted to share this spoken word poem as I think far too many women are shamed into hiding their breastfeeding, when it's the most natural thing in the world. Especially when, as she says, there are tits everywhere on show only for the pleasure of men.

I'm pregnant with first sprout now, but planning to give breastfeeding a go, and planning to do it wherever the hell I want. I know DP has my back as well and would stand up for my right to do so. We're looking forward to it, really.

MrsPatMustard Wed 29-Jan-14 14:20:29

We intended to breastfeed but it didn't work out DS just couldn't get the hang of it, despite fantastic support from midwives, and I was badly anaemic after birth so didn't feel well enough to provide nutrients for my son. We're using Aptimil now. Whilst I accept the arguments that breast is best, DS doesn't seem to be disadvantaged for being formula fed. He's thriving...

Inglori0us Wed 29-Jan-14 14:59:42

I breastfed and bottle fed for 5 months. It worked well for us.
I used Hipp Organic and Aptimil.
See how you go, that's all you can do. See what works best for you.
Ready made cartons are really handy, especially for night feeds.
As others have said, a large thin scarf can cover the baby and your whole front completely. I tucked one corner under my bra strap so it didn't fall down. I also bought loads of cheap vest tops from primark so you can pull your top up and the vest underneath down so very little skin is on show.

LucyB1 Wed 29-Jan-14 16:50:15

Snowlet. Brilliant poem. i like that a lot.

harry78 Wed 29-Jan-14 17:00:45

Hi Crista. My baby is six weeks old. We started off mixed feeding because he took some time to take to the breast. We are now solely breastfeeding. But I completely get what you say about being unsure about breastfeeding in front of anyone. I have found going to my local breastfeeding group really helpful. It is a safe space of women where you can breastfeed and no one bats an eye. I have one of those covers for out and about but to be honest I haven't tried it much yet - only a very empty pub with my OH once, but I think that's what I would use if the moment came. Ironically I feel less worried breastfeeding in front of strangers than I do my family and I know that I will not be able to do it in front of them, for many reasons. How I have got around it is I express every day and that way I always have a bottle of breast milk to hand should I be in a situation that I don't feel comfortable directly feeding. It takes the pressure off. It also means that there is always a bottle for my OH to feed LO with and give my bosoms a break / allow me a nap which is a bonus! Might be worth a try.

I mix fed with dd but can't rember what formula I used in the UK..sorry!

I just wanted to say there are a lot of wraps which you can wear with the baby that make it impossible for anyone to know you are feeding and it might be worth looking in to that. I had to mix feed due to supply, but actually adding formula to the equation actually reduces supply long run so it's best avoided if possible! Good luck

NickyEds Wed 29-Jan-14 22:02:06

I'm mix feeding my 5week old DS and there are definate pros and cons. I intended to BF but DS was tongue tied and it really effected his early feeding. The main advantages are that your other half can do some feeds and you can use cartons and bottles when out and about- you won't have to worry about feeding in front of people etc. The cons are that sterilizing and making up bottles is a pain and it takes longer-I feed DS on the breast then top up and it takes longer. Its quite a good solution if you really don't want to BF in front of anyone but want baby to have BMilk. The most labour intensive way to feed is all three- expressing, BF and ff!!
I use SMA but I think they're more or less all the same.
I felt horribly guilty about giving DS any formula at all at first but DS was loosing weight and I was miserable whereas now we're both doing well- I know everyone says breast is best but if, for whatever reason you don't exclusively BF mix feeding is pretty good too.

CristaBell Wed 29-Jan-14 22:18:19

Thank you all for your advise, you have definitely made me feel more confident. It seems a lot of you didn't care about breastfeeding in public after a couple of weeks so hopefully I'll be the same. I do feel nervous about breastfeeding in public (and this might seem strange) but I feel more nervous about breastfeeding in front of friends and family. I will have a look to see what wraps and things are on the market to help with being discreet.

Thank you for posting the poem snowlet it is brilliant and so true, definitely makes you think.

AnythingNotEverything Wed 29-Jan-14 23:28:08

If you ever feel I comfortable with family, just say "baby is very easily distracted at the moment so I'm going to feed him upstairs so he gets a full feed". Then go sit on the bed and catch up with Mumsnet.

Works a charm. Also great for getting away from the inlaws shock

Snowlet Thu 30-Jan-14 12:58:51

Glad some of you liked the poem smile

and good luck with everything Crista x

CristaBell Mon 18-Aug-14 23:28:29

I was just looking at old posts I have started and found this one.

I just thought I would let you know my dd is now 5 months old and i'm still breastfeeding. Breastfeeding in public hasn't been as horrendous as I imagined, I got a cover like a few of you suggested and it's been working really well.

I think the nature of my dd birth gave me a lot of determination to bf as I felt I needed to bf to help with the bonding process and it did smile

I appreciated bf isn't for everyone and I didn't think it was for me so I'm really shocked to be typing this.

Thank you everyone x

Rockchick1984 Tue 19-Aug-14 00:43:46

Glad it's going well for you smile

JeewizzJen Tue 19-Aug-14 06:22:23

That's lovely to hear, thank you for updating the thread smile

Missingcaffeine Tue 19-Aug-14 08:07:56

There are some 'discrete nursing' tops out there on sale in places like mothercare and online. I plan/hope to bf, pregnant with 1st at mo. Have bought a few items of clothing that should make it more discrete. I know what you mean about feeding in front of family. I'm more uncomfortable about the idea of feeding in front of my dad and FIL than strangers. The thing to remember is that everyone is different, but generally supply of breast milk depends on demand, so if your baby is not having much bm, your supply might reduce and make it harder to feed. Mixing can work, but not for every woman and they say to try and establish bf well before introducing any formula if you really want to mix feed. There are lots of resources to help you understand things, I'd recommend having a good read. I learnt a lot from local breastfeeding advisor.

MB34 Tue 19-Aug-14 08:30:33

I was exactly the same as you before I had DS1 - adamant I was going to ff. Then because of all the benefits of bf especially colostrum, I wrote in my birth plan that I wanted to try to bf straight after birth with no-one, apart from DH, in the room. The midwives were great with this and honoured my wishes.

As it turns out, I was ill after the birth and had to have a midwife hand express the colostrum for me and feed it to DS. I also had a lot of pain, so was constantly being checked for latch, positioning etc but by this point I was adamant I would do whatever it took to bf! After that, I bf anywhere and everywhere that DS wanted, using the 2 layer clothing method.

In the early days I did give the odd bottle of Hipp Organic milk - DH and I felt that this brand, as stated on the pack, is so close to bm that baby's poo will be like that of a bf baby or maybe we were taken in by the marketing blurb!
After 4 weeks of mixed feeding I went on to exclusively bf and fed him until he was 17 months.

Good on you OP for going against 'tradition' in your family, if you want to do it, do it your way with confidence. But, if you find bf is not for you, then that's ok too and you can use formula.

PenguinsIsSleepDeprived Tue 19-Aug-14 08:33:49

That is lovely OPsmile

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