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Breast vs Bottle

(74 Posts)
elishacatt Wed 24-Jan-18 19:02:28

Hi all - I'm not sure what I'm really looking for here, advice I guess.
My baby is 6 weeks old and I'm exclusively breastfeeding her. I do enjoy it and the closeness that we have by doing it, but I wonder would things be easier if she was formula fed.
I don't have a partner so I am literally doing everything alone. I'm not struggling with any part of being a single parent, nor am I struggling breastfeeding, but for some reason a voice keeps popping in to my head telling me to go to bottle. I've tried pumping but if I'm honest, couldn't get on with it. I expressed an ounce each time. Should I just give it longer? Baby took to the bottle okay and drinks the ounce.
I'm also a little nervous about giving up breast because of the discomfort it's going to cause.
I have complete mum guilt and feel torn with what to do.
Any one else know this feeling and can offer me some advise?

OP’s posts: |
Nurse15 Wed 24-Jan-18 19:06:35

Depends what's maki g you feel this way - for me formula feeding was much harder because of sterilising, cooling the bottles, wasting milk, having to bring bottles when out etc

natalie16175 Wed 24-Jan-18 19:07:20

I didn't have the chance to breastfeed it took over 2 weeks after The wee one was born before my milk came in. I didn't have any discomfort just avoid touching them. I know breast is best I bottle fed and my sister inlaw breastfed and the carry on she had feed for 5 minutes sleep for ten back up wanting fed again I was like F*k that thank F***k my milk didn't come in for 2 weeks. Her son is now 9months old bottle fed but still wants to use her breast at a dummy tit.😂😂

honeysucklejasmine Wed 24-Jan-18 19:14:18

Natalie hmm

OP I've done both. There's been no difference in my kids sleeping habits or general personality - they are very similar. My bf baby does feed more often in day but it takes approximately 10 seconds from "he's hungry" to "boob in mouth". Going out and about it much easier too. Just need some nappies.

My FF baby (now a toddler) involved huge amounts of washing up, sterilising and taking out various flasks of various temperature water with me when I went out. (I followed current NHS guidelines about how to make up bottles). Honestly, it was a faff. I did it because I had no choice but I am glad my perfect prep machine is now gathering dust in a cupboard as I bf new baby. So much easier.

Of course, this is on the basis of having no problems bf-ing, which sounds like is the case for you too.

honeysucklejasmine Wed 24-Jan-18 19:15:55

And if you have been feeding for 6 weeks and decide to stop, please don't just stop. Gradually wind down his often you're feeding. Cold turkey is a sure fire way to get mastitis.

Mybabystolemysanity Wed 24-Jan-18 19:24:37

DD was bottle fed after a week because I simply couldn't do it. Too painful and no bf support.

I felt horrible about it until I realised that for me, I would have been very restricted if others couldn't feed her (went back to self employed work at 12 weeks).

FF has worked well for us with a Milton steriliser and tippee machine, but night-time was a giant PITA until she stopped wanting a bottle at 3am.

Now pregnant again and I really want to have another go at feeding myself. Have read more this time and will be going to hospital armed with formula so I can give myself a chance until I actually have milk to give myself. If I have to mixed feed, then that's what I'll do and just pray I can keep supply going. What I won't do this time is best myself up about it whatever happens.

Six weeks is an amazing achievement and you have given your baby a wonderful start. Do what's right for you going forward.

honeysucklejasmine Wed 24-Jan-18 19:32:27

my baby I'm so sorry you had no support. Bf-ing rates in this country are awful, mother's have "breast is best" drilled in to them, but then there's no support to back it up. It's ridiculous.

My ds had tongue tie which needed a private appointment to cut. I specifically asked at his newborn check if his tongue was ok and told it was. 4 days later, agonising pain, baby losing weight... I booked a private assessment. Cut immediately, and suddenly pain free feeding for us both. I shouldn't have had to go to such lengths, and I was lucky I could afford to do so.

elishacatt Wed 24-Jan-18 19:56:13

Thanks all. I guess I'm just thinking being on my own I could just let my mum or sister have her while I get some me time for a bit. Have my body back etc...
Seems as though formula fed may not make her sleep much longer through the night either?
Between trying to pump and feeding I feel like I'm constantly attached to something lol but formula feeding sounds like it could be an arse ache too?

OP’s posts: |
honeysucklejasmine Wed 24-Jan-18 20:09:23

Unfortunately sleeping habits are rarely influenced by food source. Some babies sleep, some don't.

I do understand the "touched out" feeling of bfing. Could you perhaps more to mixed feeding? You can organise it however you like - maybe breastfeed at night, FF in day, or every other feed, or whatever works best for you. It doesn't have to be one or the other. smile

happydays00 Wed 24-Jan-18 20:18:36

Why don't you do a mix? I honestly don't know why it has to be one or the other. I wasn't able to BF so my DD was exclusively FF but I have several friends who successfully did a mix between the two. If your son is already taking a bottle and breastfeeding well you're, in my opinion, in a lucky position!

happydays00 Wed 24-Jan-18 20:19:23

** daughter, not son. Sorry OP!

BertrandRussell Wed 24-Jan-18 20:22:00

I don't think ff babies sleep better, to be honest. But you're right-you would be able to give her to someone else for a while -I remember longing to do that. Have you considered mixed feeding? It always seems to me that bf and pumping is the worst of all possible worlds. All the faff of formula feeding with none of the convenience.

Rumpledfaceskin Wed 24-Jan-18 20:22:33

It very early. It’s likely that you baby will get into more of a routine and more efficient at feeding in which case breast is so much easier, especially at nights. I think breast is harder in the first few months but after that so much easier.

villainousbroodmare Wed 24-Jan-18 20:24:42

If I were you, I'd try mixed feeding; in other words get your mother or sister to offer a bottle whenever they can or you need a break. It doesn't have to be expressed breast milk if you find pumping slow or difficult. Best of both worlds. Bf is much handier if you are finding it reasonably easy though. And it's free.

MargaretCabbage Wed 24-Jan-18 20:26:08

I had one FF and one BF baby, both were completely terrible sleepers. I found breastfeeding easier because I was happy to co-sleep so didn't have to get up in the night to feed, and it was much easier to go out and about without worrying about sterilising and taking anything with me.

My formula fed baby did stay with his grandparents every other week from about 9 months so I could have a break. I obviously couldn't do that with my breastfed baby, but every other night was hard.

Whatever you decide to do, this really difficult bit doesn't last!

Tmgc123 Wed 24-Jan-18 20:26:29

It’s a myth that formula fed babies sleep better.

There’s nothing stopping you giving her a bottle of formula once a day to get her used to it (although my baby wouldn’t take a bottle from me, only others) but I don’t see why you would stop BF if you can do it.

It’s free, it’s so convenient (you’ll spend a lot more time cleaning bottles and if you’re on your own you have to make sure you always pick the formula up) when you go out you literally take a nappy. Also, do google the risks to both of your health with FF. I understand some people cannot BF and I’m not judging in the slightest, but there are risks to both of you if you use formula which people don’t talk about, so it’s not something you should choose to do if you have any other choice.

Seriously, BF is so convenient and a magic cure, I have no idea why people who can, choose not to do it!

FlaviaAlbia Wed 24-Jan-18 20:30:33

I did a combination of formula, expressed milk and breastfeeding so I could leave milk of some variety when I was going anywhere without DS. I still felt touched out but at least it meant I got a bit of a break. I had to express or feed him as soon as I got in if I missed a feed at the start as I'd be uncomfortable and start to leak.

I found bottles were a faff generally because of the hassle of sterilising them, though DS had terrible reflux so I was using the Dr Brown's ones that have all the extra bits. Plus at night DS would go from sleeping to screaming in minutes while I was heating up milk for a bottle when he had a tongue tie and couldn't latch. I did find it way easier to bf at night once he got that snipped.

Sierra259 Wed 24-Jan-18 20:32:26

I mixed fed with both of mine (due to tongue tie and issues with latching from the start) and found it worked really well. I mostly bf, topped up with formula initially then gradually cut back to 2 bottles a day. It was the best of both worlds for me, as I still got to bf, but got a bit more freedom too. I stopped bf DC1 at 13 months and DC2 at 15 months and I don't think I'd have carried on as long as that exclusively bf!

Rumpledfaceskin Wed 24-Jan-18 20:33:19

I’m inclined to agree with Tmg. I’ve been staggered when friends have told me how much it costs them per week to ff. Also it’s very handy having a supply of breastmilk for when they start getting weird skin things and gooey eyes (conjunctivitis etc) as it seem to work wonders on those. Not sure if that’s proven science.

honeysucklejasmine Wed 24-Jan-18 20:44:17

Lordy yes, we used to spend about £15 a week on formula.

TableShack Wed 24-Jan-18 21:00:48

Of course FF babies sleep better, there are dozens - if not hundreds - of peer review papers on this. Try here for starters:

Tmgc123 Wed 24-Jan-18 21:08:46

Personally getting a little extra sleep isn’t enough for me to choose not to BF if I have the option to do so easily.

Also, I know friends who can’t settle FF babies at night and are up for hours, whereas you can pop the baby on your boob and you’re laughing.

elishacatt Wed 24-Jan-18 21:14:07

Thank so much - as a first time mum it's hard to know what's best and easiest and everything makes me feel guilty especially wanting some me time!!

OP’s posts: |
Applesandpears23 Wed 24-Jan-18 21:27:27

Lots of people have told you to mix feed so I will give the counter argument. There is lots of great science behind the recommendation to exclusively breast feed for six months. Some babies develop a cow's milk allergy from early exposure to cow's milk protein. Exclusively breastfeeding offers health benefits over mixed feeding. Some babies develop a preference for the bottle and start to want it at every feed. The more formula you give the less the baby will take from your breasts and the less your body will make. Many people who's babies happily mix fed will then wean from the breast well before 1.

Sunshinegirl82 Wed 24-Jan-18 21:28:32

I think you should do whatever works best for you OP.

All I would say is that you're sort of in the eye of the storm now. In a few weeks baby will start stretching out the time between feeds and it will suddenly get much easier. I think bf is harder at the start of things and you've done so well to get this far. It would be a shame not to get the pay off of having an easier time of it later on!

I found by 12 weeks bf was a piece of cake! No faffing about and free! I never really got on with expressing but I found I got the best results if I did it first thing in the morning. Fed baby first then expressed, boobs were generally fuller and I could often get 4 or 5 ounces. Could never get that much at any other time.

Maybe introduce one bottle of formula a day to give yourself the option of someone else feeding if you wanted?

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