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EBM & bottle feeding ???

(38 Posts)
blossom2 Wed 20-Jul-05 10:33:07

okay, dont shoot me but i'm not enjoying breastfeeding at all. i'm exhausted the whole time and baby is just 2 weeks old. the days are dragging and i feel like i have no control. even though she's my 2nd baby, i don't know how to read her crys and not sure whats going on...

i know its all normal but i really am exhausted. i do however know the benefits of breast milk and wondered how realistic is it to bottle feed with EBM?? has anyone done it and how long did you managed it for?? i have an electric dual breast pump and can probably managed to express every 3 hours but worried about milk supply.

what are your thoughts ladies/men???

Bellie Wed 20-Jul-05 10:42:54

blossom2, I feel for you. I never managed to get breastfeeding started properly despite huge effort and the efforts of many midwives and hvs, so well done you for starting .
I did manage to express and feed dd ebm for 8 weeks until it became a lot of hassle for very little milk iyswim. It did seem to affect my milk supply, but I had a hand pump (would do electric if had time again) and dd used to guzzle every feed, so I had to do top up formula too.
I was getting 8oz every time I expressed in the first few weeks but it went down to 6,5 4, in the subsequent weeks - not really sure why.
In the early days of doing this until I understood dds feeding habits, I used to split the 8oz into 4oz so none of my precious milk was wasted if she didn't drink the full 8oz.
HTH and good luck

Cristina7 Wed 20-Jul-05 10:44:42

I don't know if it would make it any easier. You'd need to find time to express frequently and then still spend the time bottlefeeding. Sometimes they guzzle the bottle down but othertimes it can take just as long. Plus you may not be able to express as efficiently as the baby sucks. I don't want to put you off if it's really that bad, just to point out it might not be the best solution. Good luck, it does get easier.

Cristina7 Wed 20-Jul-05 10:46:18

I should have mentioned that I tried EBM in bottles with DS as he couldn't BF but I couldn't do it for long (about 3 months) and it was always with formula top-ups.

NotQuiteCockney Wed 20-Jul-05 10:48:00

Tiny babies are annoying and difficult, however you feed them. It's frustrating when you don't know what's wrong with them, or what they want.

I can't really compare breastfeeding and bottlefeeding, as I've not really done formula. But I have done some pumping, and it's very hard work, pumping, sterlising, reheating etc etc. Your DD is much better at getting milk out than any pump.

What is it about pumping and bottlefeeding that appeals? The control? The familiarity? If you can work out what's annoying you about bf, there may be ways around it ...

Babies do get easier at around 6 weeks, however you're feeding them. If you can hang on with breastfeeding until then, you may well find things get much easier. And if not, well, you've given her a good start ...

throckenholt Wed 20-Jul-05 10:48:46

I did it for 9 months for my twins.

I would NOT recommend it unless you have no choice.

Honestly I breastfed my ds1 and it was much much easier.

Try and hang in there and breastfeeding should get easier.

Talk to a breastfeeding counsellor to try and figure out what is going wrong.

blossom2 Wed 20-Jul-05 10:50:35

i bottlefed my first child and its only now that i've realised how much easier it was.

its not the pain but the not knowing why DD2 is crying, not being able to wind her and then settle her, the constant nappy changing, the hours sitting on the sofa breastfeeding then another hour getting her to sleep ... it really is retentless. how am i going to cope with all this and meet the demands of a 3 year old .....

NotQuiteCockney Wed 20-Jul-05 10:54:13

I must be missing something. If you were bottlefeeding, how would that help you know why she was crying? How would that help you wind and settle her? How would that change the number of nappies?

Some babies do seem to take ages to feed. This gets better as they get bigger. (I gather some take ages on the bottle, too.)

They do poo less often when they're a bit bigger - my DS2 went through a phase of only pooing once every few days, which was nice. They're also happier and more settled when they're bigger.

Can you feed her in a sling, so you can carry on with normal life? As babies get bigger, you can move about with them while feeding easier - I fed DS2 while standing up in the park, yesterday.

blossom2 Wed 20-Jul-05 11:00:45

i think it was the routine of formula in bottlefeeding. DD1 got into a routine really quickly and yes there were times we didn't know why she cried, most of the time we were able to comfort her quickly. DH could also do feeds and i could get some sleep.

whereas with DD2, i've no idea whats going on and scared that she's not gaining enough weight so she's straight back on breast. and already, it seems she can only be comforted by the breast ....

hunkermunker Wed 20-Jul-05 11:06:35

But there's no guarantee that your routine would be better with bottlefeeding - just because DD1 was more settled, there's no reason DD2 would be.

You're doing really well - this is the hardest part, IMO. It will get easier as she's more settled.

Is bfeeding sore? If so, get your latch checked by a bfeeding counsellor.

You could always try an occasional dummy - or in a little while she might find her fingers or thumb to suck and need less time on the breast. But while it's hard, it's perfectly natural that she finds it a comforting place to be - near Mummy.

throckenholt Wed 20-Jul-05 11:14:59

Sounds like you need to talk to a breastfeeding counsellor or some successful breastfeeders to boost your confidence in your ability to feed.

Most babies are tricky in the first few weeks - it takes a while to get to know them.

blossom2 Wed 20-Jul-05 11:17:45

she does like to suck my little finger and when she's been on the breast for an hour, she uses the finger to get herself off to sleep. but then its like a dummy and 5 minutes later she realises its not there and wakes up ....

the breastfeeding has gotten better over the last couple of days. its not painful and she is getting milk and latching on well so i'm not sore. just bored, exhausted and tired ....

hunkermunker Wed 20-Jul-05 11:20:39

Would agree with NQC - ask for some easy to breastfeed in sling recommendations on here - and don't beat yourself up about not enjoying it. I didn't particularly enjoy breastfeeding to begin with at all - it kind of grew on me

blossom2 Wed 20-Jul-05 11:24:18

i think you might have hit the nail on the head HM.. i don't particularly enjoy breastfeeding and everyone is going on about how enjoyable it is etc ... what is there to enjoy about it ?!?!?! it hurts, its hard, its slow and there is no-one else that can replace you .....

i'm sorry, i'm just tired ...

hunkermunker Wed 20-Jul-05 11:31:44

Oh, sweetheart, it does get better, I promise. If it's still hurting, please see somebody who knows what they're talking about to check your latch.

As DD2 grows, she will get better at feeding and settle into a routine. Growth spurts are still hard work, and I remember very clearly spending a lot of time sobbing in the early days, but I'd do it all again for the easiness that breastfeeding brings when it's established.

Can you get DH to look after her for a couple of hours one afternoon so you can have a long bath or a couple of hours' sleep? If he takes her out of the house in the pram or the car, so much the better - feed her before she goes and she'll probably sleep for a few hours.

hunkermunker Wed 20-Jul-05 11:34:53

I'll start you a sling thread - I'm interested too

hunkermunker Wed 20-Jul-05 11:36:55

Sling thread

oliveoil Wed 20-Jul-05 11:48:51

blossom2 love you sound EXACTLY like I did when I had dd2, HATED breastfeeding, the not knowing how much she has had, sat on the sofa for what seemed like hours just feed feed feed feed feed. And I know EXACTLY what you mean when you have another one to look after as well. The frustrations of it all.

I fed dd1 for about 4 months (can't remember now ) and I found it so much easier than with dd2.

I tried to get dd2 onto bottles and she wouldn't have them and then got angry about that too, just such a hard hard time when they are new.

What I am trying to say amongst all this waffle is that I now regret not trying to enjoy this time, it is such a short time when they are this wee and small. I know it is hard but it really doesn't last long, just seems it at the time.

And if you decide not to breastfeed, don't beat yourself up about it. It is SO MUCH HARDER when there is more than one child to consider. Or I thought so.

Chin up even though you feel and (insert knackered smiley).

xx

CarolinaMoon Wed 20-Jul-05 11:50:22

Blossom, it really is only that bad for the first few weeks - she'll soon get faster at feeding and you'll really appreciate not having to take bottles out with you or worry about heating them up in the middle of the night.

throckenholt Wed 20-Jul-05 11:59:42

blossom it does get better. Really having done both I would say breast feeding is much the easiest option - but only after you have it really well established (usually by 3 months).

Try reading a book, or watching tv, or even surfing the net while feeding (prop baby on pillow on the table or lap in front of you).

lovinit Wed 20-Jul-05 12:13:46

Blossom2, if you are really not enjoying it, then do not feel pressured to continue as in the long run if you are unhappy then no one wins as you will feel fustrated towards the baby and yourself and then your husband ! i do understand where you are coming from and have had exactly the same misgivings. DD1 is 22 months and I feel as if I am totally neglecting her due to the amount of time spent feeding and also the tiredness of constant feeding. HOWEVER, I did 3.5 mths with DD1 and I really want to be fair and do the same for DD2. It is hard work and like yourself do not feel as if I am in control or feel like other Mums who seem to thrive on BF and have a good supply and have a baby who sleeps well at night. How about split BF and formula ???

blossom2 Wed 20-Jul-05 12:19:19

i've been reading your thread lovinit!!

unfortunately DD2 is only just 2 weeks old and i'm trying to hold off until she is 3 weeks before we give her a bottle. she was given bottle at the hospital for the first 3 nights (my laziness and MW insistance) so by day 4 she didn't want breast. But i'm counting the days until next friday when we start introducing bottle so that DH can help & bond with his baby .... i'm also going to start introducing the Tracey Hogg routine about the same time, for me rather than for her i think ....

i'm just a control freak and like routine (but not the gina ford kind) .... i found it much easier for me & DD1 when we had a routine ... helped me predict what was going to happen and DD1 knew what was going on....

Nik72 Wed 20-Jul-05 12:24:57

The expressing thing can be done, it is a faff though. I stopped BF at 7 weeks - I never enjoyed it, had recurrent thrush infections which made it agonising at times and I stopped when I sterted feeling very resentful & negative towards my poor dd for wanting to feed. I expressed until she was 3 months old - I used a medela pump and to be honest supply wasn't a problem and I was able to space expressing to 3 times a day, getting 8-10oz each time. She usually needed one formula feed a day, the resy was EBM.

I have to say, I did prefer it, I felt more in control, DH was able to give feeds BUT I still feel very sad at the way it turned out, I never anticipated not being able to BF successfully and feel upset that I never got that lovely closeness & enjoyment out of it.

I suppose you could try expressing, see how it goes and you could then go back to BF...it's so hard at this stage when you're tired to know what's the best thing to do in the long run. Sorry for rambling.

blossom2 Wed 20-Jul-05 12:31:45

Please don't apologise Nik72. any advice is appreciated. its good hearing that you expressed until she was 3 mths - thats really good.

i am definitely questioning why i'm breastfeeding.

Nik72 Wed 20-Jul-05 12:37:08

Would have expressed for longer but went on medication that comes out in the milk so stopped because of that. I think a few mums here have expressed successfully, there were several threads about it a couple of months ago including some useful links.

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