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Bonding - breastfeeding v bottle feeding

(129 Posts)
Overcooked Sun 07-Oct-12 15:50:42

Not a bun fight, genuinely interested.

There are a lot of people (health professionals included) who state that breastfed babies have a closer bond with their mother.

AIBU to think that actually it could be similar to the intelligence thing (i.e. intelligent women are more like to breastfeed and also more likely to have intelligent children so the breastfeeding is in fact a bit of a red herring).

So in the same vein are women who choose to breastfeed more likely to have a good bond with their babies in any event, and also trying to measure 'bond' must be nigh on impossible and very subjective in any event so how can one compare the two.

Would be very interested to hear from anyone who breastfed one child and bottle fed another to see whether they feel they had/have a stronger bond with one over the other.

McHappyPants2012 Sun 07-Oct-12 15:53:05

Dc was bf till 5.5ish months dc was bf for 3 day then ff.

I have a different bond with each of my children, but I wouldn't say I was closer to my son or my dd in that sense it is equal.

Smeghead Sun 07-Oct-12 15:53:42

I take great offence at that comment tbh.

I had no choice but to bottle feed as I have had radical breast surgery, and I have as close as bond as anyone could want with my children. Infact, I would say that I am closer to my children than my friend is to hers, who seem barely tolerated, despite her breastfeeding until they were over a year old.

Its all bollocks. You cant do a controlled test to measure it because every relationship is different, so they just make this shit up in order to bully women who may not want to do it, into BFing.

Lovelygoldboots Sun 07-Oct-12 15:54:02

I have had three, breastfed them all with varying degrees of success, my third for about a month, the first for sixteen months. I think that the idea of your bond with baby being stronger if you have breastfed for longer is rubbish. The only reason I continued with my daughter is because she wanted to and in the end I stopped because I had had enough. The bond is no different at all.

RobynRidingHood Sun 07-Oct-12 15:56:07

Ditto what smeg said.

halloweeneyqueeney Sun 07-Oct-12 15:56:32

I can hand on heart tell you that breastfeeding hindered bonding!

dh got all the good bonding sleepy cuddles when I handed the baby over to nurse my broken sore nipples or to sleep because BFing drained everything out of me

I will NOT breast feed this time with no2 if it gets in the way of enjoying and bonding with my baby, and will have nice AWAKE calm snuggles with my baby and it's bottle.. but will have to wait and see

Lovelygoldboots Sun 07-Oct-12 15:56:50

Overcooked tbh I think you are on the road to nowhere with this thread. Its such a personal issue and so many women end up feeling bad no matter what they choose to do.

Funnily enough, I was discussing this with a friend today. I don't think bonding can be measured. So if you take that out of the equation, maybe it's more to do with the feelings a mother has when bf'ing - nourishing their child etc. I think that has to be a different feeling from the feeling of bottlefeeding. Even though you're both achieving the same end - ie that baby is fed. It probably is different when you are the source of the food.
That said, the closeness you have with a bf baby is not always a good thing. I regularly felt 'touched out' when bf'ing in the early weeks. I was tempted to give it up just to have a break from the, what seemed like, constant contact.
I don't think I am any more bonded with my DS than I would have been if I hadn't bf'd.
Interesting question.

Overcooked Sun 07-Oct-12 16:07:41

It might help if I say that I tried and was unable to breastfeed DD (my only child) and that it caused me a lot of anguish at the time but I have since put the demon to bed.

I am completely happy with the bond that I have with my child and think it is so subjective anyway that I just don't know how HPs could say whether it is better for binding or not.

I guess I think that breastfeeding does have a lot of benefits but I don't think I am yet confidence that greater bonding is one of them.

I am certainly not trying to offend anyone, I didn't say it was my opinion I said that I thought it was a bit of a red herring (see analogy with intelligence in my OP).

Fairylea Sun 07-Oct-12 16:07:55

What !! I'm an intelligent woman and I chose to formula feed. I just didn't want to breastfeed.

I bf dd 1 for all of 6 days and hated it. I just hated the feel of it. So for me I bonded better formula feeding. I formula fed ds from birth .

LiegeAndLief Sun 07-Oct-12 16:07:57

Are you implying in your OP that more intelligent people have closer bonds with their children? Because I don't think that really follows either.

Overcooked Sun 07-Oct-12 16:10:00

Thanks Biglads, I am trying to debate this and see differing persepctives, I really am not trying to find another stick to beat women with - there are enough of those smile

gordyslovesheep Sun 07-Oct-12 16:10:11

I have a masters degree - I bf for 8 weeks first time and 2 weeks second and third time - I didn't cope well with it at all.

I have a very close bond with all three daughters

strawberrypenguin Sun 07-Oct-12 16:10:37

Bullshit. I ff DS because I had no choice but to, I still cuddled him and spent a lot of time feeding him. It's a load of crap to say f babies have a stronger bond. Oh and words fail me at your intelligence comment!

I think the intelligence thing has been debated extensively previously - it would be harsh to hold the OP responsible for that one! It's from the old 'breasfed babies are more intelligent' argument.

picnicbasketcase Sun 07-Oct-12 16:13:21

So anyone who formula feeds doesn't give a shit about bonding with their children and are thick as well? confused

BuggerLumpsAnnoyed Sun 07-Oct-12 16:13:52

I am a massive supporter of breast feeding and BF DS for 16 months. There are many many benefits to breast feeding, but I would never think that I have a closer bond to my DS then my friends who bottle fed have to their's.

AThingInYourLife Sun 07-Oct-12 16:13:55

"There are a lot of people (health professionals included) who state that breastfed babies have a closer bond with their mother."

Are there?

I have never, ever heard anybody say that.

Certainly I think that breastfeeding forms part of the bond I have had with my babies, in that I think we would have bonded differently if I had fed them differently.

But I don't think the bond would have been any less close.

I just find that utterly bizarre.

And also weirdly reductionist.

Certainly there have been times, particularly when feeding a baby of 9mos + where I have felt like nothing but a walking pair of boobs grin

But I certainly have always hoped that there was a lot more to our bond than breastfeeding.

halloweeneyqueeney Sun 07-Oct-12 16:13:55

its not the OP making the intelligence link, the OP is questioning it!

Overcooked Sun 07-Oct-12 16:13:59

Liege no - not at all, sorry probably not worded well.

There is some suggestion that breastfed babies are more intelligent but not so long ago this idea was challenged. It was said actually, intelligent women are GENERALLY more likely to breastfeed and intelligent women are more likely to have intelligent offspring so the feeding thing was a bit of a red herring.

I was wondering if the same could be said of the idea that breastfed babies have a better bond with their mother.

IloveJudgeJudy Sun 07-Oct-12 16:14:07

I think that's a load of rubbish. I could only BF DD for a short while and couldn't BF DSs at all. Am very close to all three, obviously in a different way to each as they are each different people. How on earth can you quantify or measure this?

Nancy66 Sun 07-Oct-12 16:14:26

Yes, yes you are right OP.

I always doubted this but your compelling argument and extensive research has won me over.

Tailtwister Sun 07-Oct-12 16:14:49

There are so many variables involved I don't think it's possible to tell tbh. The only factor I can think of regarding bf, is that only the mother can do it. If there are no bottles involved at all then the baby becomes used to the fact that only one person can feed them.

There are also hormones involved when bf which aren't there when ff (for both mother and baby).

pointythings Sun 07-Oct-12 16:14:58

I think bonding really has nothing to do with feeding methods, it's far more about how the delivery went, what mindset you go into having a child with (i.e. not setting yourself up with false expectations of how being a mum is going to be) and accepting the seismic changes that will happen in your life.

And I say that as someone who bf for 13 months both times and loved it - but it was easy for me and I would not dream of judging people for making their own choices.

scarletfingernail Sun 07-Oct-12 16:15:34

I don't see how anyone can make this statement for the reason smeg said. Different mothers, different babies, different circumstances.

I BF DS who is now 3 until he was a month old, then switched to FF.

DD is 5 months and still BF. She also has formula. I don't believe my bond is stronger with her compared to DS.

As for the intelligence thing hmm

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