People say BF is easier. How is that?(73 Posts)
I have done both and FF is a (very very tempting) doddle in comparison to this. But I see many people say BF is easy, so easy, can be tough at the start but easier long term and so on. That's definitely not my experience. Tell me which you find easier and when and why?
Baby riddled with acid when direct from boob, so have been expressing and able to put infany gaviscon into bottle. He finds it hard to ingest if I make it up into a paste after a boob feed, plus its hard to time right if he is off and on the breast. So expressing every feed in advance can get you down as can't go very far from home without needing to express. Have introduced a couple of ff and feel like I'm getting my life back. Got to admit feeling like I might give up the bf, could have been a different story if ds was able to take it direct. Although it has been much better that I know exactly how much he has had and easier to have some kind of routine.
I found breast feeding tricky, and ended up with baby being back in hospital on day 10 with severe dehydration and weight loss. We ended up combined feeding with the formula feeding slowly stopping and I breast fed till baby was 7 months. Breastfeeding bloody tricky to get started, but formula feeding a faff. Get all the help you can in the first few days - I felt really rough post-birth so that didn't help. Midwives too busy to notice anything wrong.
I did both with both my children and certainly found breast feeding easier, mainly because I didn't have to think about it. But then I never had any problems or pain, both children seemed to get the hang of feeding from the off. When I moved to formula I found it more of a hassle, but still relatively easy as they were both settled into feeding routines by then, so relatively predicable with supplies. It was more of a pain with dd as she was younger and sometimes only took a little bit of a bottle so I might need to have three or four made up for one feed whereas if I'd still have been breastfeeding I wouldn't have had that concern.
FF's not complicated (cup of tea for me, bottle for DD) and all the food/kit has clear instructions on. I have bought a little heat exchanger thing that instantly cools the bottle to drinking temperature. It's really helpful. BF, by contrast I found v. painful and complicated. I am in awe of those of you who have spent weeks or even months getting the hang of it...I couldn't bear the thought that feeding would mean me and DD being upset and crying every time and not knowing how long that part would last. Hurray for modern technology, I say.
I expressed for 5 weeks while DTs were in NICU / SCBU. They never 'got' bf'ing and were 31 weekers. When they came home we switched to fully FF. I never found it a hassle, just packed sterile bottles and cartons of milk if out. Can't compare to BFing but it was way way simpler than expressing and bottle feeding them BM!
Bertie - it's crazy isn't it? Common practice in France where I am though so can't do too much damage. They start solids in general from 4 months too so, yes the baby was getting other forms of food, as was mine by 6 months.
I think it's important to be aware that bf has downsides and not just upsides though. It prepares you better for bf. There are good reasons why, after all, many women choose to ff.
I FF from 8 weeks and find FF a lot easier than EBF. I use the ready made formula (big bottles at home, cartons out and about), have lots of bottles so never run short and a good system for sterilizing so we just pick bottle out of fridge and stick it in the warmer. Everybody shares the sterilizing task (DH, grannies, grandads) and now we do it without thinking about it. Poster above was right - its about as complex as making a cup of tea and that 10 minutes gets you the bottles for a whole day.
DH and I share night feeds - night on, night off, so I feel great. I don't have to think about what I'm wearing (not in a fashion sense, just in a 'can I whip this top up in M&S'), or whether I can leave the house without the baby - so not every quick pop to the shops is a performance with changing bag/buggy/dressing baby for cold weather.
When I was EBF I felt that was all I did with the baby because when he wasn't feeding I was getting other stuff done and giving DH/granny time with him. Now DH/granny can do the feed then I play with him on his mat, read stories, dance with him - all of which I hope is equally good bonding time as EBF since I am full of energy and we're not concentrating on the feeding.
If you compare the two delivery methods specifically, then of course EBF is easier (no paraphenalia), but when I stepped back I came out that FF was easier when considered in the round.
It might be less hassle, I suppose, only feeding twice a day. Happily, most parents (including you, LeBFG ) accept that the 'hassle factor' of bringing up babies comes lower down the list of importance than the 'ensuring my baby is fed and nurtured according to his needs' factor. Otherwise we would think the baby who lies in his cot and doesn't need feeding or nurturing at all would be best of all
Here's a quote (from US birth writer Kitty Franz) which can be judgmental sounding in the wrong context, so I use it with care:
'You are raising a baby, not managing an incovenience'
Surely two enormous bottles per day at 6 months isn't healthy! I'm guessing baby must have been on solids too, though, at least?
Less hassle surely? I just wonder what the baby was doing the rest of the time .
I was gutted because feeding 2 hourly for 5 months was exhausting. It was really around the 6 month mark that he started to go as long as 3 hours in the day and about 4/5 hours at night (sometimes). I was sleep deprived. I don't regret/never resented it at all - he was premature and I reason he needed a LOT of millk for catch-up growth...in fact, he was so fat from all the weight gain, I'm sure if I was ff they would have recommended feeding him less! With bf I always knew he was getting exactly what he needed.
"By 6 months, she was giving two, just TWO, enormous bottles a day while I was only just moving to feeding every 3 hours. I was a bit gutted. "
No reason to be gutted....and to be honest, I am struggling to understand why two enormous bottles a day is better than feeding every three hours. Why is one 'good' and the other not??? If each baby is happy and thriving, then that's fine, isn't it?
I haven't FF but I see a LOT of mums doing it where I live and tbh is looks a hell of a lot easier than bf.
I was bf while my friend was ff hers - the babies were almost the same age. By 6 months, she was giving two, just TWO, enormous bottles a day while I was only just moving to feeding every 3 hours. I was a bit gutted. Plus, loads of mums have ff babies that settle very quickly into feed routines. If baby needs more, you just up the dose. No cluster feeding - no grotty days of suckling and complaining to increase milk production - I think by ff you can respond a lot quicker to hungry baby cues. Oh, and there are no leaky boobs, night sweats etc that I had early on when bf.
So, will I bf the next one? Yes, because I like it (hormones), baby likes it and I don't think it's actually so great that babies sleep longer, deeper early on. It's fantastic when baby is ill (comfort, antibodies, reassuring mummy hormones again), there's less poo and the poo smells much nicer .
I'm killing myself to try to breastfeed right now and it's literally the bloody hardest thing I've ever done. We've spent tons of money on different accessories, consultants, even surgery for our child as the NHS put us off for tongue tie surgery, even though diagnosis happened Day 1 in hospital (I have a thread elsewhere on here). FF would be so much cheaper!!
If I end up FF (and I hope I can at least express), a big part of the relief will be not having to deal with the guilt and shame heaped upon me by lactation consultants etc. None of them seem to care if someone's had major surgery, a difficult delivery, need rest to produce milk, or so on - it's all about the breast no matter what.
What scares me is that I'm starting to resent my baby for not being satisfied at the breast, despite all our medical issues. I feel like a huge failure. Good thing I've not got PND or I'd really be in a state!
ida I think you've really tried with the bf. I'd have given up months ago under those circumstances.
Back to op's question. I think if you just used those wee ready made cartons ff would be as easy as bf. i bf and whilst it is easier it can be a hassle to find a place to sit, baby out pram in cold, baby flash boobs to world. My baby is 9 months old and lots of her wee pals will take a bottle handed to them now. Not that I think babies should just get on with it but sometimes it would be nice to not have my boobs all over starbucks.
Expressing = pain in butt. About 3 months I decided if a bottle was required (e.g out with dad) I'd use formula. I hated pumping away to then have to resign myself to not having produced enough for a night feed but I'd had to stay up late sterilising and pumping. Aarghhhh!
I've done both and the jury's out. Ff not such a hassle as people claim, bf not always easy. 12 weeks in and getting chewed - agony!
Sorry, I hope I'm not being flippant but I don't think anyone should beat themselves up over something that just doesn't work for them snd their DC
the first few years are so filled with worry and strife, if we could only go with the flow and accept that our needs ad well as our babies are also a huge factor in being a happy, balanced parent life would be more pleasing
Then bottles is it Ida. That's what works for you and a person should do what suits them
In the whole big scheme of things it's a teensy weensy no tangible factor [looks ruefully at bf / blw / organic weaved lentil raised DS filling his face with donuts and sugary juice whilst watching trashy tv and wearing cheap, possibly unethically produced clothes]
Yes screaming and crying through each feed, sometimes refusing outright, most times throwing up the majority of what has gone in. Night time feeding means full sheet changes nightwear changes, big light on, everyone out of bed, the whole lot.
DD's been on various combos of all the meds, this one is the best so far in that she puts on weight with it but none have decreased the fussiness.
She feeds happily from a bottle.
I bf ds for 15 months, after getting over the first 5 weeks of hellish pain and soreness it was a joy once I got into the swing of it. I was looking forward to bf my dd who arrived 4 months ago. It was as I expected at first, soreness pain etc. she had a slight tongue tie which was snipped but instead of things getting easier they got worse. She was screaming and crying through each feed, constantly clamping and yanking on my nips. It was so painful, demoralising and depressing.
Turns out it is silent reflux, since being on meds and changing her sleeping position things have turned around but this is 3 months in, it was like a crazy endurance test! It's now nice more often than not.
Unfortunately I have to work too,more than he does. I don't have a job that offers maternity leave, wish I did
Thanks for the information about tongue tie etc, DD had a tongue tie which was snipped at 7 weeks, many of our problems have carried on and on much longer than that. But she has been watched feeding and latching by I think 6-7 people who really know what they are doing from lll leaders to bf consultants to lactation specialist mws, all say latch fine (and one of the things I've never suffered from is painful feeding, never felt so much as a nipple twinge even through mastitis, just felt like I had flu)
Anyway its all just been put down to reflux and painful feeding.
Thank you anyway. I am pleased so many people find feeding so easy. I wish it was something I could enjoy but it's a horrible chore here that limits my life horribly
Also, for us, and only us, I'd wake anyway when the baby cried, or snuffled or whatever. I'd only semi wake if doing the grab baby / feed thing, whereas is dp had got out of bed to bake a bottle I'd have been wide awake anyway
I'm a very light sleeper, I find it hard to go back to sleep after being woken. I treasure sleep above most other things. The anticipated disruption to my sleep was probably one of my most acute concerns before having a baby
In the event I found the disruption to my sleep minimal and as a result was relatively relaxed and rested in those scary few months
That's just me though, I appreciate everyone has different priorities and alternative ways of addressing them
OneHundredSeconds - it would be easier to stay asleep and let DH feed the baby
But he has to go to work. I don't. Once I'm back at work it's even Stevens, until then il'l do nights. Suits us
Zara she sounds terrible!
OP something is not right with her latch - it doesn't sound like she is "refusing" more that something is stopping her or making it painful, which might be something like tongue tie (very well heard of these days but commonly missed by HCPs) or lip tie or bubble palate (which can cause similar problems but less known about and even more likely to be missed) or even some kind of allergy to something appearing in your milk - although I'd have thought this less likely if she's happy with Ebm. This then leads to feeding becoming a negative experience for her which may be why she refuses outright sometimes even though you know she's hungry.
I don't think in your situation it will become easy by itself - you need to get her looked a by someone who knows about lip & tongue ties. You can also have a look yourself - here are some links.
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