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Should we Breastfeed or bottle feed ?

(57 Posts)
sharoz Fri 08-Jan-16 02:27:45

There is so much conflicting advice and wondered what all your experiences are and the pro and cons of each for the baby and for us ?

Junosmum Fri 08-Jan-16 03:06:51

Well, I'm currently sat here with a 4 day old baby attached to my nipple, which is where he has been for the last 2hours. So initially breastfeeding can take a while! You also have no idea how much they are taking in. It's cheap and convenient when baby is with you. My nipples don't hurt.

eleanoralice1 Fri 08-Jan-16 03:26:21

Definitely breastfeeding if you can, I can't see how you think there is lots of conflicting advice, as the general consensus is that if you can, you should breastfeed. It's tricky at first, but I have a beautiful 10 week old who has dinner whenever he wants! Any questions about it, feel free to ask!

Hootthatnanny Fri 08-Jan-16 03:35:42

Are you trying to start a row? grin

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 08-Jan-16 03:36:05

I joke that I BFed because I'm fat, cheap and lazy. They suck the baby weight off you, it's free and I don't have to sterilize, make sure I have formula, take piles of stuff everywhere.

Also, you can start BFing and switch to formula. It's massively harder and frankly normally impossible to go the other way.

Health-wise, people will argue but formula is clearly worse and more risky.

DulcetMoans Fri 08-Jan-16 04:32:01

From the times of these posts I would guess the responders so far are BFers! I'm up feeding the baby again and this is the biggest downside - there is nothing to say a formula fed baby wouldn't wake frequently either, it's not a given that they will sleep better, but you are the sole giver of food so can be very stressful. The first few weeks are likely to be harder than we can prepare you for.

But it's worth it for so many reasons.

Haveheart Fri 08-Jan-16 04:58:21

Honestly? I would just go with your gut feeling as no one on here will know your personal experiences.I planned to BF with the view that I would express as I knew I would find being a baby's only source of food really bad for my mental health. However when he came 3 weeks early after a 3 day labour I just couldn't do it and formula fed. I spent every night feed googling BF vs formula feeding and there's been times where I've read things that have made me feel bad for my decision. Now I'm a few months on and have a happy and healthy baby I've realised that us mums should just have abit more confidence in our decisions and not be hard on ourselves or each other. There's no right or wrong, yes breast milk is better for a baby but sometimes other factors come into play. Basically my 5am ramblings ( yes FF babies wake during the night too!) is that you can read up, listen to other people's opinions and plan but once that baby arrives all your best laid plans may just go out of the window!

Haveheart Fri 08-Jan-16 04:59:28

Sorry there were paragraphs when I wrote that grin

kinkytoes Fri 08-Jan-16 05:03:47

Conflicting advice? Even the latest TV ad for formula acknowledges that breast is best!

Unless you mean expressing for bottle feeding. But unless you had a really good reason I'd avoid that too if possible.

SnackPlease Fri 08-Jan-16 05:03:57

Why don't you tell us a bit about your story, OP? Why do you ask? I'm not sure I've seen much conflicting information. Different choices and opinions, of course, but the advice is pretty consistent.

(I FF my first baby and plan to BF my next who is due in a few days, FWIW.)

Starspread Fri 08-Jan-16 05:57:40

In a choice between two perfect situations, breastfeeding is obviously best (I've got a sturdy little breastfed baby snoozing on me right now) - but real choices are rarely between two perfect situations.

Formula is more expensive and requires more equipment than breastfeeding, plus I suspect it's more disruptive what with having to actually get out of bed, and is less of a perfect individual fit for your baby plus all the other advantages of breastmilk... BUT a fed baby is always better than an unfed baby, and if you have to formula-feed don't let anyone give you shit for it; it's wonderful that we now have good-quality formula options for when breastfeeding doesn't work out. If you can't breastfeed, your baby will still be absolutely fine. Good luck!

SerenityReynolds Fri 08-Jan-16 06:20:38

Barring all the official advice, it is more important to go with whichever is best for both your baby AND you. In my own personal experience, there are pros and cons to each. Breastfeeding is convenient, on tap and obviously confers all the antibodies from you that formula can't give. However, it is often much harder to establish than people realise, and for some people (me included, especially with DD2) is not a practical option on it's own. Both of mine had issues with severe tongue tie (undiagnosed in DD1), long/unsatisfying feeds, significant weight loss. Mixed feeding saved my sanity both times. I had a friend with similar issues who ended up with PND after huge problems breastfeeding where her daughter almost had to be admitted to hospital due to excessive weight loss and refusal to top up with formula. Not exactly "best" for mum or baby! Equally, I am jealous of friends who can just whip out a boob, feed baby for 10 minutes and job done!

You need to see what works best for you and your family. If you decide to try breastfeeding, access as much help as you can early on if you're struggling and accept it can take a little while to get going for some people. And just see if it is for you.

StrawberryLeaf Fri 08-Jan-16 06:29:36

Breastfeeding has been great, there have been no downsides really. It's so quick and easy to calm my baby and I don't have to lug lots of stuff around for my baby. Also a big factor is the cost, breastfeed is free obviously!

As a previous poster said, give breastfeeding a try, you can always move to formula but it's almost impossible to do it the other way.

StrawberryLeaf Fri 08-Jan-16 06:29:53

Breastfeeding has been great, there have been no downsides really. It's so quick and easy to calm my baby and I don't have to lug lots of stuff around for my baby. Also a big factor is the cost, breastfeed is free obviously!

As a previous poster said, give breastfeeding a try, you can always move to formula but it's almost impossible to do it the other way.

TheDowagerCuntess Fri 08-Jan-16 06:48:42

What's wrong with giving breastfeeding a try, seeing how it goes, but realising nothing is set in stone?

There is no conflicting advice. Give the biological norm a whirl (I mean, all things being equal, why wouldn't you?), and if it doesn't work out for you, switch to formula. No drama.

GeoffreysGoat Fri 08-Jan-16 06:56:54

Why buy the cow when you can get milk for free?

Breastfeeding is incredibly demanding for the first few weeks - but then that goes away, it gets easy, and you can spend your spare tenner a week on clothes, or going out for coffee, or whatever you like instead of lining the pocket of a multinational company

tiktok Fri 08-Jan-16 11:09:29

No one can tell you the pros and cons for you, sharoz. But the way babies are fed is important in many ways.

On a public health level, more breastfeeding, and breastfeeding for longer, has benefits for society and the human race. Some would say a more accurate way to put it is that not breastfeeding has negative outcomes that should be avoided by better enablement of the decision to breastfeed and to continue breastfeeding.

But individuals come to parenthood with emotional baggage, memory and feelings. They encounter obstacles and challenges that can be hard to overcome - and support for overcoming them may be missing. They may have personal priorities that are important to them.

There is not much conflicting advice, though - the scientific consensus is pretty solid, too. What is the conflict you have seen?

TheCatsMeow Sat 09-Jan-16 08:59:31

Well this thread is heavily biased.

OP there are advantages to both. Breastfeeding
It's free
It has antibodies in
You don't have to faff with bottles

The downsides
You're the only food source
Possible leaky boobs and discomfort
Breastfed babies usually feed more often
First few weeks are demanding

Other people can help with the feeding
Bottle fed babies tend to sleep longer
No physical discomfort

No antibodies
It's more expensive
You have to sterilise things

Other benefits of breastfeeding like higher IQ and things are debated. I did try to bf but found it uncomfortable so I switched to ff. it's much easier for me but that doesn't mean it will be for you

AllOutOfNaiceHam Sat 09-Jan-16 09:09:40

If you bottle fees from birth there is a chance you can still get pain, mastitis, leaky boobs.
That is just what happens when you have a baby - you are actually more at risk of mastitis if you are bottle feeding.
The reason artificial milk fed babies sleep longer sometimes is because the AF is harder to digest and stretches their tiny stomachs. But AF does not make babies sleep better, or make them sleep through the night.
Some BF babies sleep through, some AF babies do. What you feed them doesn't make that much of a difference.

AF is great if you have medical issues, and it saves lives.
BF is the biological norm, and in most cases the best option.
(For full disclosure, one of my DCs was AF)

TheCatsMeow Sat 09-Jan-16 09:13:51

Ham but it goes away far quicker if you ff from birth. Some avoid it all together. I'm not saying either is better but sore boobs also from latch problems and getting used to bf is more common with bf

CottonSock Sat 09-Jan-16 09:15:44

You can do both and then get all benefits, but need to establish breastfeeding first. As others said, if you don't try it there is no way back. I did this with my first, thought I would switch to more bottles over time, but actually as bf got easier, I did bottles less. It meant I could leave her with others and not have to express as she would take formula. ( for me expressing was not much fun). She would still go back to breastfeeding fine after a bottle, and I fed for 13 months.

DangerMouth Sat 09-Jan-16 09:22:35

I think you should bf for at least the first wee while so dc gets the colostrum. I've bf one dc for 8 months and the other l bf for a few weeks then had to express. My opinion is probably clouded as dd2 is now ff and it's a doodle compared to expressing (imo l should add smile).

If bf doesn't work out for whatever reason you have the option to express bm or move to ff.

ff dd2 in the night has been easier than bf dd1 who would feed for hours until at least 3 months. Dd2 is now 16 weeks and has slept 12 hours for a few weeks so l still feel ff has been less effort than bf for me!

But l personally believe breast is best which is why l put myself through a hellish couple of months to give dd2 bm also.

dogvcatcat Sat 09-Jan-16 09:26:52

There isn't any conflicting advice. Breastfeeding is better for your baby.

You don't have to do it, obviously. Formula is perfectly adequate and the most important thing is both you and baby are happy.

NoArmaniNoPunani Sat 09-Jan-16 09:37:10

My baby had to be given formula through a tube in the special care unit. I was desperate to breastfeed and feel like a failure that I couldn't manage it. He is getting some pumped breast milk but I just can't keep up with his needs. If I had the choice I would breastfeed but sometimes it isn't a straightforward choice.

NerrSnerr Sat 09-Jan-16 09:43:37

Breastfeeding was tough for the first month for me, sore, bleeding nipples etc. After that it's been great, you can feed anytime without worrying about bottles, no getting up to sort bottles at night etc. When I have a second child I will definitely breastfeed again.

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