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Formula Feed

(81 Posts)
MrsBee19 Tue 19-Jul-11 11:57:42

I've just been to the midwife and been told if you formula feed you can't prepare any bottles in advance (as in previous years) , they have to be made on demand and will take a good 30mins for each prep time (including kettle cooling)
I can't help but think this is a tactic to encourage breastfeeding.
Can anyone shed any light?

icravecheese Tue 19-Jul-11 12:48:22

I bottle fed my first baby from about 1 month old....I asked a GP friend for her advice (who was also bottle feeding her first born). We both did the following:

Washed & sterilised 10 or so bottles
Filled them with required amount of freshly boiled water (eg 4oz or so for a new born)
Left them, with lids on, on the kitchen work top for maximum of 24hours (after which the water got thrown away & the bottles sterilised again).
When I needed a bottle, I put in the required amount of powder, shook bottle, and reheated in a bottle warmer (you could just as well do it in a microwave, use bpa-free bottles though).

I think they now mutter on about making up bottles from scratch because the formula powder might not be sterile and the only way to kill any bacteria in the powder is to mix with boiling water straight away (not cold water then reheat to baby-drinking temp). Personally, I think this new advice is, yet again, slight hysteria (and like you say, probably designed to discourage people from bottle feeding).

People have been using formula for years (it was all the rage when I was born in the 70's & i've never suffered from being bottle fed!) & I'm sure it is ALOT more clean / sterile / free from nasties than it was back in the 70's. The powder will have to have been steriled before it is packaged... we dont all boil our milk for our cuppa's just in case any more nasty bacteria has crept in since the pasteurization process.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.... So far I've fully bottle fed one baby (1st born) & fully breast fed the 2nd born & both seem to have been identical in terms of coughs / colds / tum bugs / baby eczema. Even though I plan to breastfeed my 3rd, the BF propaganda drives me mad & I agree that everything DOES seem to try and discourage people from bottle feeding which, in my opinion, just isnt right & fair.

icravecheese Tue 19-Jul-11 12:53:31

ooh ps sorry for the slight rant at the end - know that wasnt what your post was about! But am with you on feeling slightly suspicious that anything about bottle feeding is negative, anything about BF is positive. Having done both, I could write a long list of negatives about BF too (which are NEVER discussed by health care providers!)

Marrow Tue 19-Jul-11 12:56:32

There are numerous threads on this! It doesn't take 30 minutes. There are several different ways around this. You can fill a flask with just boiled water so that it is at least 70 degrees and is there ready and waiting for when you need to make a bottle.

Alternatively you can keep cooled boiled water in the fridge (say 3oz) Then make up the bottle using hot water with the correct amount of scoops but less water. i.e for a 7oz bottle. Put 4oz of hot water in bottle with 7 scoops of formula. Shake then add the 3oz of cooled water. The water is hot enough to kill any biugs in the formula but then will cool more quickly once the cold water is added.

When they are little and the feeding is unpredictable they are having smaller amounts so it doesn't take long to cool down anywhere. Once they are older and start to get some sort of routine you can normally plan ahead. The formula is good for two hours once made up.

apple99 Tue 19-Jul-11 12:56:41

My first dd was bottle fed (she is now 4.5), we used to make up the feeds in the morning from scratch, cool down under the cold tap and keep in fridge until needed, then we would warm them in the bottle warmer or hot water to required drinking temp. When out and about we used the ready made cartons.

lovesicecream Tue 19-Jul-11 13:18:12

We brought a tomee tippee flask and just make the bottles up from that then cool them down in cold water

TheSugarPlumFairy Tue 19-Jul-11 13:53:54

your midwife is talking bollocks. The Department of Health provide guidance on how to safely make bottles up in advance.

Look specifically at page 4.

They do recommend that if you have a premmie or low birth weight newborn and wish to formula feed that you use the ready to serve formula at least initially but other than that it is perfectly safe to make up formula in advance if you do it correctly (make with water at 70 degrees or higher, rapidly cool, store at the back of the fridge and do not store for longer than 24 max).

TheSugarPlumFairy Tue 19-Jul-11 13:58:04

oh and so long as you are not some kind of idiot, you can microwave the formula to warm it up again despite what you may have heard. You just have to shake the bottle to remove any hotspots before you give it to your baby.

Congrats on your pregnancy and i hope it all goes well for you.

MrsBee19 Tue 19-Jul-11 17:57:01

Thanks for all of the advice. I tend to agree that it's just another scare tactic, so won't be pushed intoakimg a decision I'm not comfortable with.

Flisspaps Tue 19-Jul-11 18:45:00

Actually, this guidance was brought in as people were making up formula incorrectly (mainly through poor storage or not using water above 70C) and babies suffered from gastroenteritis and were hospitalised due to this - there have been threads about this in the past with details of research.

TheSugarPlumFairy page 4 of the advice clearly state that it is best to make up fresh formula for each feed but that it is not always practical to do so. This reads to me as it's OK to do once in a while, but not as your standard practice.

It also says that "storing made up formula milk may increase the chance of a baby becoming ill and should be avoided". The midwife is not talking bollocks, it is standard advice now to make up feeds individually to prevent babies becoming ill - it's got absolutely sod all to do with promoting breastfeeding.

Flisspaps Tue 19-Jul-11 18:47:21

icravecheese the milk powder isn't sterilised before packing, hence the need to use very hot water (but not boiling as that destroys some of the nutrients)

I'll add that I both BF and FF my DD, so I'm not on one side of the fence or the other!

icravecheese Tue 19-Jul-11 19:54:43

But flisspaps, surely the milk powder will have had some sort of treatment, even if it was pasteurisation of the milk fluid prior to drying it to a powder? A dry powder is a very harsh environment for anything nasty to grow in,& all packaged dry foods have had some sort of treatment to enable them to go thru a supply chain & sit on a supermarket shelf for months. I suspect babies who have been poorly from formula feeds are likely to have been given formula that has been sat around for too long, rather than dodgy powder. Obviously I don't know that for fact...but if powder alone is dodgy then heaven help us!!

Flisspaps Tue 19-Jul-11 20:19:11

icravecheese Yes, it will have undergone some kind of treatment to dry it out, but as per the DoH link (and others from reputable sources which are accessible on the net smile) there is the possibility that salmonella and other bacteria can still be present and passed on to babies once the formula is made up (if made up and/or stored incorrectly) It's not dodgy, but it's not sterile!

My issue with this argument is that "it must be to make more women breastfeed as it was fine to do this X amount of years ago" - guidance changes all the time with research and new developments

There's nothing sinister in it - the DoH has to work to the 'lowest common denominator' - horrid way to put it - but not everyone is/was sensible enough to use hot, recently boiled water to make up feeds and store them in a fridge despite the fact that the majority of parents were. Therefore everyone is told to make up fresh feeds using water boiled less than 30 minutes ago to try and ensure that people who may not have prepared feeds safely do so.

icravecheese Tue 19-Jul-11 20:31:11

Fair do's, I appreciate that lots of government advice out there is written assuming we are all totally daft (which I have to admit I am prone to being when pregnant!!). Its just that I have come across midwives who are mega helpful when it comes to advice on breastfeeding but mega unhelpful when questioned about bottle feeding, just doesn't seem fair sad

Flisspaps Tue 19-Jul-11 20:35:43

I know, icravecheese and that's because the NHS has to promote BF first and foremost - the interest/information/help dies off pretty quickly once you've given birth though!

nunnie Tue 19-Jul-11 20:37:09

If it is any help I found my health visitor was very helpful with regards to bottle feeding.

DialsMavis Tue 19-Jul-11 20:42:03

icravecheese's method is the most dangerous and just as much if not more more hassle than just making feeds in advance with water over 70c then rapidly cooling and keeping in the fridge.

This is not the optimum method but deemed perfectly acceptable.

RitaMorgan Tue 19-Jul-11 20:45:47

It's not just hysteria or anything to do with breastfeeding - babies died from bacteria in formula, that's why the guidelines were changed!

Why risk your baby's health like that?

Lady1nTheRadiator Tue 19-Jul-11 20:47:49

My DD is 9 months old and I've made every single bottle with freshly boiled (and SLIGHTLY cooled) water. For the first few weeks I used cartons exclusively, and still use them if going out for the day. It's just not worth the risk, and in all this time I've yet to find it a particular pain in the arse.

BikeRunSki Tue 19-Jul-11 20:48:37

I did what icravecheese and marrow said with DS. DD due in October, we'll see what happens. I'd recommend getting one or two of these too to measure out all formula for the day ahead too, I got mine in Asda.

RitaMorgan Tue 19-Jul-11 20:51:20

Seems bizarre to me to bother boiling the water, but not worry about the powder. Do babies get salmonella or enterobacter from tap water?

icravecheese Tue 19-Jul-11 20:56:03

Oh no, pls ignore my advice if deemed dangerous!! However, I specifically followed the method described because my GP friend believes its the safest method- if you follow the making up complete bottles method (boiled water & formula, then rapid cooling), she considered this to be a major risk because as soon as you add powder to water, bacteria can start to grow, and will continue to do so during the cooling of the made up formula, storing it in the fridge won't guarantee to kill all the bacteria that might have proliferated whilst you're trying to cool it. I took her advice as she's a brilliant medic who has worked on labour and paediatric wards....but I appreciate there are different methods & views on it. I'd just hate to be giving out advice that people consider dangerous!!

RitaMorgan Tue 19-Jul-11 20:58:46

Maybe your GP friend was unaware that the powder can contain bacteria, or wasn't up to date on DoH/WHO advice.

icravecheese Tue 19-Jul-11 21:01:52

Ps I did my method 5 yrs ago now, then breastfed my 2nd, so am not up to speed on new advice or research....prob best to ignore my posts as perhaps I'm just really out of date!! Sorry!

Rootatoot Tue 19-Jul-11 21:19:13

Really hoping I can manage to bf cos all the formula feeding info has made my head hurt! I can imagine finding it rather difficult when so tired after giving birth and home with newborn. confused

Stupid question...if you use the flask method, how do you know that the water is the right temperature? I mean do you put boiling water in the flask or do you wait a bit before filling flask?

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