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Breast Feed Or Bottle Feed

(27 Posts)
ashleyjane Sun 09-Oct-16 16:48:11

Hi ladies,

Just looking for a bit of advice.....

I am now single and due in January with my first baby. I know the difference and benefits between breast feeding and bottle feeding, I'm kind of going on the fence between them both and not sure what route to take as I don't want to get to stressed out.

mamalovesmojitos Sun 09-Oct-16 17:03:24

I would say give the breastfeeding a go first, as if it goes well, it cuts out bottle sterilising, getting up and heating milk during the night feeds etc. You can travel light and always have food ready to go with no prep! If you struggle for any reason however, or breastfeeding just doesn't suit. you could move to bottles & formula.

Sunshinegirl82 Sun 09-Oct-16 17:03:29

Hi there,

I had my first baby 15 weeks ago and am breastfeeding. I think it is definitely worth trying to breastfeed if you can for the simple reason that, if it works out for you, it is much easier and less faff than bottle feeding!

I don't need to sterilise anything or heat anything up or cool anything down! When he wakes in the night I just have to pick him up, feed him and the put him down. Now that he is a bit older night feeds rarely last longer than 15 mins.

If I'm out somewhere later than planned then I don't have to worry about having enough sterilised bottles/milk.

I understand it's not for everyone and also realise that it doesn't work out for everyone even when they desperately want it to but if you're on the fence I'd say give it a go and see how you get on. You can always move to formula if you decide you want to but if you start off with formula it will be hard to go the other way if you see what I mean!

The first couple of weeks of breastfeeding are difficult (for most although not all) so I think others to be a bit prepared for that.

Whatever you decide the key thing is that baby is fed and you are happy. I decided before ds was born to try breastfeeding but was very clear with everyone that I wouldn't be a martyr to it and would switch to formula if needs be. Fortunately it worked out for us and I'm really glad I decided to give it a go.

Good luck with the baby and congratulations!

ElspethFlashman Sun 09-Oct-16 17:13:35

The big advantage of breastfeeding is that it's spontaneous. Newborns want to feed at erratic times and start to cry quickly. Being able to pop a boob in the mouth is bloody handy in that regard. No thinking required. Bottles aren't hard (if they were, everybody would hate them) but do require prep so you have a fresh bottle ready to go at short notice.

However breastfeeding on demand, whilst brainless, makes it difficult to get household tasks done. As a single parent, online groceries are a must, as you just won't leave the house for the first two weeks really.

If you have zero support , then breastfeeding will make no difference as you do it all anyway. But if you have family support then bottles might suit better as anyone can feed the baby to give you a break.

UnicornPee Sun 09-Oct-16 17:16:16

Don't let those who have breastfed guilt trip you into doing it. In my opinion both breast and bottle are fine!
I chose to bottle feee my children and they have always been very healthy.

Sleepybeanbump Sun 09-Oct-16 17:18:06

Wise words already. Try not to think of it as either or. You can try BF and change to bottle or mixed feeding later. Most people I know even if they ebf to start with mix feed now (9 months). And don't worry about making a decision now. Things are never how you expect with a newborn- you just have to see how you go!
And babies often have ideas of their own...

AppleJac Sun 09-Oct-16 17:19:31

Everyone is different.

I personally never breastfed dd and wont breastfeed this one (currently pregnant).

If you want to have a go at breastfeeding then try it and see how you go and if you dont like it or its not working out then switch to bottles.

Artandco Sun 09-Oct-16 17:20:02

EIther is fine. However as you will doing this alone at first, I would try to breastfeed. If it goes well it means you don't have to get up in the night to feed, and the first few weeks if feeling tender from natural birth or c section you can just chill in bed getting used to feeding baby. Fill bedside cupboard with snacks and water!

Thequilltosurvive Sun 09-Oct-16 17:20:39

I'd definitely give breastfeeding a try - it's the best option for your baby's health (nutrition, immune system, reduced risk of SIDS etc.) but also because once it's established its much more convenient than making bottles. Personally I think every woman has a duty to her baby to try to BF but if it doesn't work out, then fair enough.

My DS really struggled to feed initially so I had to BF, express, and top up with formula, and making bottles can be such a pain in the arse. We battled through a combi fed for several months before switching to formula when he stopped latching. To be honest, BF is not easy though so I think it takes a certain amount of determination and willpower - especially in the early days. If you're on the fence you might not be in the right mindset to push through that bit.

As long as baby is fed and you're both happy, it's not the huge deal however you decide to do it.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sun 09-Oct-16 17:20:42

I always take the laziest easiest approach with must things parenting. Breastfeeding was a no brainier in that respect wink

Thequilltosurvive Sun 09-Oct-16 17:20:55

I'd definitely give breastfeeding a try - it's the best option for your baby's health (nutrition, immune system, reduced risk of SIDS etc.) but also because once it's established its much more convenient than making bottles. Personally I think every woman has a duty to her baby to try to BF but if it doesn't work out, then fair enough.

My DS really struggled to feed initially so I had to BF, express, and top up with formula, and making bottles can be such a pain in the arse. We battled through a combi fed for several months before switching to formula when he stopped latching. To be honest, BF is not easy though so I think it takes a certain amount of determination and willpower - especially in the early days. If you're on the fence you might not be in the right mindset to push through that bit.

As long as baby is fed and you're both happy, it's not the huge deal however you decide to do it.

ElspethFlashman Sun 09-Oct-16 17:21:11

Yes, you can do both. Introduce a bottle early and you can change at will.

(But fail to introduce a bottle early and you may be unable to switch at any time as you may have a bottle refuser on your hands)

Thequilltosurvive Sun 09-Oct-16 17:22:55

Sorry for the double post.-- Bloody app.--

Whatsername17 Sun 09-Oct-16 17:27:19

It is absolutely up to you. Your baby will be perfect to either way. I loved breastfeeding but suffered lactation failure and my milk never came in. Dd is perfectly healthy after being ff. This time I'm hoping to breastfeed again but if it doesn't work I will use formula.

Artandco Sun 09-Oct-16 17:30:53

Oh if breastfeeding works it's also cheaper if that helps.

But I would introduce a small bottle after a month once every few days if babies dad will be having them at some point or family members

Bumptittybump Sun 09-Oct-16 17:32:14

They don't have to be mutually exclusive. Give breast feeding a go, be prepared to have to put some effort into it in the first few weeks, but don't put too much pressure on yourself to exclusively breast feed or feel guilty if it doesn't work out at all. Strike whatever balance suits you. Formula is not the enemy, it's there to help you out - the extent to which you need or want that help is entirely individual to you and your baby.

Hoppinggreen Sun 09-Oct-16 17:35:17

It's up to you. There are pros and cons for both.
Do your research and and then decide. Your MW may not give you and advice or help on Formula feeding so you will need to sort yourself out.
But prepare for both as you could change your mind.
I would also suggest getting some formula, bottles and equipment to put away even if you decide to go the BF route - at 2am with a screaming baby you may want to bottle feed but if you don't have any it's not an option. I do know people who had to send their OH out to an all night supermarket but if you are single that's probably not an option.
Also, don't listen to people who use the word "duty"

Batteriesallgone Sun 09-Oct-16 17:35:20

Why not try breastfeeding? I can understand switching if it's not working out but I can't understand feeling the need to decide now (unless you have a strong feeling against it which you say you don't). Try bf, if you don't like it the shops will still be open.

SpecialStains Sun 09-Oct-16 17:40:26

I'm exclusively breastfeeding my 2month old. The first two weeks were so hard and painful and if it wasn't for my amazing midwife I would have given up on day 4. However, by week 6 it was easy. Advantages are it's cheaper and easier than sterilising and making up bottles and it is a nice bonding thing and you never have to worry about over feeding. It also confers some advantages with immunity and some babies digestive systems don't always get on with formula. Disadvantages are that baby has to come everywhere with me and no one else can do night feeds (I don't like expressing), it can feel like you are constantly feeding (particularly in the early days when establishing milk supply, even at 8 weeks I had to do a 2hr feed last night).

However, from my other mum friends several are mix feeding successfully, one couldn't mix feed so are just bottle feeding and one just bottle fed from the start. All the babies are gorgeous and thriving, so it doesn't matter which one you do, but I would recommend trying breastfeeding first and then using bottle if you don't get on with it. If you try breastfeeding, get your community midwife to check your latch and show you how to feed lying on your side and rugby ball hold!

Good luck with whatever you decide, and all the best with your baby. smile

Thequilltosurvive Sun 09-Oct-16 17:43:19

As I said, hopping, that's just my personal opinion. I don't think it makes my post invalid. To me, trying to BF felt like part of the job of being a mother (which was why I was so upset it was such a struggle). I'm not saying it's like that for everyone. If you actually read my post you'll see that I combi fed pretty much from Day 1. I wouldn't dream of judging someone who chose to FF from the start, BF is just something I was really keen to do. If OP is undecided it makes sense to give it a try and see how she gets on with it. If she hates it then nothing is lost.

Scotmum83 Sun 09-Oct-16 17:51:46

i found with breast feeding its best not to put pressure on yourself and just give yourself small goals like say ok I'm going to give it a go for the first week, if things go ok 3 weeks and so on. Once your milk is established you can combination feed, plenty of mums I know do that due to work etc so you can be quite flexible. And if you start formula and have a change of heart you can actually go back to breast feeding too. I just said I'll give it a go a see how I get on and ended up breastfeeding for 18 months, would never have thought I would have done it so long at the beginning. Do what's right for you.

sycamore54321 Sun 09-Oct-16 18:32:52

I believe the oft- touted benefits of breast over formula are greatly exaggerated and not well supported by scientific evidence for healthy term babies. You sound like you have a fairly level-headed approach and I would strongly encourage you to keep that mindset. In my experience, if BF works well for a mother, then it is generally easier than formula and I intend to try to BF on my next baby but will not be distraught if it is too challenging (my previous issue was consistently inadequate supply).

For me, the biggest advantage of formula feeding is that someone other than you can do it, allowing you more sleep, etc. As you are single and don't mention having daily support from another adult, then this advantage is largely neutralised. If you will be doing every feed and particularly every night wakening anyway, then I think there is advantage to you in trying BF.

bubblegum23 Sun 09-Oct-16 20:02:25

definitely give breastfeeding a go, unfortunately I couldn't continue to bf after day 2 but in the short time I could I loved it, really helped with our bond, it's a beautiful thing which I'm happy I got to experiencesmile

WhatWouldFlopDo Sun 09-Oct-16 20:11:49

Give breastfeeding a go if you're happy to. It's easier to switch from breast to bottle if you change your mind than the other way around.

elfonshelf Sun 09-Oct-16 21:23:00

Give the breastfeeding a go.

I had a miserable first couple of weeks - no milk at all due to severe anaemia and being on a lot of opiates, and poor DD lost nearly 20% of her birth-weight in the week we were in hospital. When they finally noticed, they switched her to formula and I got a small hand pump to try and up my supply.

Until 4 weeks, I did alternate days of formula and breastfeeding - the hand pump helped enormously at the beginning when my nipples had been chewed to bit and I was in real pain. DD never got confused between boob and bottle - had a definite preference for boob though. I was told by so many people that if I used formula then any chance of breast-feeding was doomed. It wasn't my experience, nor that of many of my friends.

By 5 weeks I had dropped the formula and loved breastfeeding. I'm lazy and since we also co-slept, I was very keen on the not having to get up at night. I could go anywhere and didn't have to plan since DD's food was all on tap.

Eventually stopped when she was 3.5 years - that was never planned and I was slightly concerned I was going to end up in documentaries. I'm very glad that I kept going through the awful early weeks as I have very fond memories of feeding DD.

Whatever you choose, it is much better to be a happy mummy than a miserable one so don't beat yourself up if you choose not to or if it doesn't work for you. Formula is a wonderful invention. Good luck!

(For bottles, I used the Tommee Tippee 'Closer to Nature' ones and their hand pump - all v easy to clean and can go in dishwasher etc).

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