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Is it not normal to breastfeed and never give expressed milk in a bottle?

(35 Posts)
KatyBeau Sun 09-Jan-11 08:24:35

I am exclusively breastfeeding my 4 month old. I tried expressing and giving her a bottle a few tomes, bit found it too stressful, time consuming and emotional. Partly because baby hated the bottle when we tried a few times. Partly because I found expressing difficult, incomfortable, unnatural and time consuming. I was doing it I think because everyone else seems to be using bottles. Also, I'm constantly seeing advice about bottles so that you can go out without baby. Is it really not normal to not use bottles?

At the moment the need to go somewhere for longer than an hour without baby is far outweighed by my desire not to have to get to grips with bottle feeding. I can't help but feel like I'm doing something wrong! And I sometimes think people think I'm not using bottles out of some ideological pro-breastfeeding reason like I'm criticising them in the process.

belgo Sun 09-Jan-11 08:29:03

Of course you're normal. I hated expressing, I don't really understand why women would want to express unless they are at work (which is the only time I've ever expressed milk). As you say, it's time consuming and uncomfortable and no indication of how much milk you are producing.

Avocadoes Sun 09-Jan-11 08:29:23

I think it is quite normal. BF babies often reject bottles. Mine both did. In my case I got to 12 months and had to return to work and really had to get them onto a bottle at that point. It was a battle and I wish I had not had to do it.

I have never expressed in my life. I hated the idea of it.

DirtyMartini Sun 09-Jan-11 08:30:25

Just try not to worry over it. Normal is a very wide range.

Easier said than done of course, but if you spend your energy on concern over some people being passively offended by your choices then you'll never have another wink of sleep. It's none of their business. If you are forced to discuss it just say you don't get on with bottles and find bf easier for you and your baby. If that ain't good enough for them, sod 'em smile politely until they move on.

I expressed and used bottles with DS regularly. He loved bottles. With DD I did it a few times in the early-ish days (after bf was established) and she was fine with it, but then I just didn't bother & couldn't be arsed keeping it up and after several months with no bottle she now will not take one at all! She is nearly 9 months.

Only problem is she starts nursery in late Jan and they won't be able to give her a bottle. They will manage though -- she sips from a Doidy cup and eats well, so hopefully we will muddle through somehow.

MarshaBrady Sun 09-Jan-11 08:31:06

Expressing is my least favourite thing. I did it with ds1 but not at all with ds2. He is 1 and does refuse to use a bottle. But now he can last hours and has solids etc so have been able to do things.

I dislike it so much I'm glad I didn't have to do it!

ProfYaffle Sun 09-Jan-11 08:33:35

I didn't use bottles either. Dd1 wouldn't take them but eventually submitted to a cup of formula at 6mo when I went back to work. When dd2 was born I'd given up work and didn't even try to give her a bottle til 12 months when she started to drink cow's milk. (when she discovered that bottles were far easier and rejected bf totally!)

Far, far less stress with dd2, wish I could've done the same with dd1.

IneedacleanerIamalazyslattern Sun 09-Jan-11 08:33:40

DS1 never had a bottle like you I was happier not to go anywhere for too long rather than all the faff ox expressing (which I am rubbish at anywyay)
Looking back it wasn't long before I could feed him put him to bed and go out for a meal for a couple of hours knowing he would stay asleep and if there was a major problem (now ex) mil could cope.

When I was having ds2 I got all the "oooh you'll need bottles for when he's a few months old" stuff from (current) mil and she couldn't believe that DS1 never had a bottle.
This time I have had to use bottles but that is for going back to work reasons only.

If you have no reason to push the bottle and have no desire to then why bother just popping baby on the boob is far easier.

WowOoo Sun 09-Jan-11 08:33:42

I'd say normal.

In months to come, when you might want a night or day off it could be an option.
I really didn't mind staying at home with ds2 24/7.

Some people need a break though and I understand that.

Sure no one thinks you're criticising them. I used to just smile inanely and say bottles were a hassle for me.

WinkyWinkola Sun 09-Jan-11 08:34:35

I couldn't express very well at all. t was a royal pain and I don't know why I got in knots about it. Lots of people kept telling me it was important to get the baby to drink from a bottle. I didn't bother after my first baby who wouldn't even drink from a bottle anyway. I

So, I just bf'd and bf'd and bf'd and I was very happy with that. If you're happy and content with your situation then sod everyone else's opinion.

It won't be long before you can wean your baby and the length of time you can go out with him/her will get bigger. If that's what you want.

ProfYaffle Sun 09-Jan-11 08:34:54

Meant to also say, not only did dd1 reject bottles but I couldn't express a drop. I had lots of drip milk from the non feeding breast which I collected in breast shells instead. Bottles still firmly rejected whether ebm or formula.

Besom Sun 09-Jan-11 08:38:50

I was the same - we tried but it didn't work out. It was emotional at the time, you're right.

Rhian82 Sun 09-Jan-11 08:40:47

I hated expressing with a passion. However, I went back to work when DS was 5.5 months, so it was that or formula, and I'm stubborn about things like that.

WinterChillita Sun 09-Jan-11 08:43:13

I expressed for DD for no other reason than because I could and it did mean DH and I could go away for a night on our anniversary...kind of pointless really. DS (5 mths) doesn't take a bottle well so I don't express with him, it's me or nothing. I think it's as 'normal' as anything when it comes to raising children!

PassionKiss Sun 09-Jan-11 08:49:50

I couldn't get on with expressing and DD wouldn't take a bottle anyway. I hated the few occasions I tried to give her a bottle, it seemed unnatural at the time.

She learnt to use a sippy cup at 6 months when I introduced formula. She is 8 months now and seems happy to have breastmilk if I'm there, sippy cup or bottle of formula if I'm not there.

But it was booby or nothing for the first 6 months!

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 09-Jan-11 08:53:03

Think its normal, well I hope so anyway as I was exactly the same as you.

Try not to worry about what other mothers are doing and have the courage to raise your children the way you feel is right.

Louii Sun 09-Jan-11 08:54:26

God no, no expressing here either and Dd is nearly one.

InmaculadaConcepcion Sun 09-Jan-11 08:57:24

I had to do loads of expressing in the early days as part of my efforts to get DD OFF the bottle and taking milk direct from me (got there after a few weeks with the help of a SNS lactation aid).

After a few months, the pendulum swung back and DD refused bottles. The action of sucking from a bottle teat is different from removing milk from a human breast (the tongue is used for that), hence why many babies will do one but not the other.

If going out etc. is not big deal for you (and let's face it, they're only reliant on your BM for a very short time), then don't fret. Likewise, if you don't need to return to work for a while.

And as other posters mention above, even if your LO never takes a bottle, in time the baby will learn to use a sippy cup or similar and can always drink milk from that if needs be in the future.

I really enjoy BF my DD - it was worth fighting for. It won't be long before these cuddly times when she's on the breast will be a distant memory (mammary?!) so I'm making the most of it...

SnowIsFallingOnLee Sun 09-Jan-11 09:10:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HowToLookGoodGlaikit Sun 09-Jan-11 10:00:58

Mine all rejected bottles, so only ever had milk from the breast until they managed a cup.

Goblinchild Sun 09-Jan-11 10:04:29

Whatever works the best for you. I had no trouble expressing (Think firehose) and storing huge quantities. My two didn't cope with teats and had feeding spouts on their bottles instead.
Don't worry. That's the worst thing you could do.smile

jaggythistle Sun 09-Jan-11 10:15:42

I only expressed because I was going back to work, always found it a total faff to do.

I especially hated coming home form work (shifts) and having to wash up my pump and bottles for the next day in stead of going to bed.

Really glad I did it as I am still bf now with no expressing required, but not something I would choose to do.

We just took DS with us everywhere we went, he was pretty good at sleeping in restaurants after a feed grin I used to get told a lot that I needed to get away from him for a break, but it wasn't something that I felt so I ignored it.

I think there is a view that expressing for a bottle will somehow 'give you a break', not sure how that works with the extra pumping time and washing up smile

Just enjoy your baby and as said above, don't worry.

Udderly Sun 09-Jan-11 10:17:33

I express, am I now 'abnormal'?
I could go into the reasons I express but frankly I'm secure in the feeding choices I have made for my LO and don't feel it necessary to justify how I feed or put down other people's methods in order to feel secure about it.
Really, are there breakaway 'my breastfeeding is better than yours' groups now?

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 09-Jan-11 10:20:51

Udderly don't think you should feel like that at all.

When I had DC1 I tried to express and couldn't and ended up feeling quite stressed about it as it seemed everyone else did it.

In the end I sat down and thought about it and realised that I actually liked bfing but it was the trying to express that was the problem. Once I stopped trying to express, I was much, much happier.

Whether you express or not is personal preference and nothing else.

gorionine Sun 09-Jan-11 10:25:16

I think there is no "normal" or "abnormal" on this subject as it is one of the most personal decision you can make.

Like yourself, I was never able to express milk in a "painless" way and have never given a bottle to my BF Dcs (DS2 ff after 6 month old as he started refusing my brest) I had no real reason to insist on trying expressing as it was far to stresfull. Another mother will find it stressfull to BF in public and will express or will express because she can a few minutes baby free if someone can take over a few feeds. There no right or wrong really.

Udderly Sun 09-Jan-11 10:32:15

Thats exacty it. There is no normal, and its whatever works for you. If the question was "Am i weird because i don't express?" I would be supportive and sympathetic. I would have the exact same as I had response if the thread title was "Is it not normal to only give formula and never breastfeed?"
Its not necessary to put down other's choices to justify your own.

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