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25 weeks pregnant and starting to.think.about breastfeeding of course I know there are lots of benefits to breastfeeding but I know it's not for everyone would love to know some pros and cons of it from mamas with experience
I loved breastfeeding and fed Ds for almost 12 months. It was a lovely experience for me and I hope it all goes as smoothly with dc2.
However, I honestly believe it's not for everyone and more importantly many struggle for a myriad of reasons.
If it works it's so easy and natural
Health benefits for the baby
Very easy for night feeds
Lovely way to bond. I'd never felt so needed!
You have to do all the feeds unless you can get expressing sorted
My ds refused a bottle until he was 9 months, only wanted breast. This was ultra frustrating
It makes it more difficult to go out and impossible to be away from baby for extended periods
I'm currently breastfeeding DC1 age 20 months whilst 6 months pregnant with DC2.
I honestly didn't expect to be able to breastfeed. The first couple of weeks were really hard whilst I got used to the discomfort and having another human attached to me most of the day. By the end of the first month it wasn't uncomfortable any more, just tiring because DH couldn't breastfeed in my place (I developed a ridiculous fear of expressing in the early days).
The biggest pros for me are:
1. It's cheap and labour saving - no formula to buy or bottles to make up or clean
2. It's convenient - you can feed anywhere at any time without having to prepare anything
3. The health benefits for both of us are good and, on the rare occasion DC has been poorly, breastfeeding has been very comforting for him and helped him settle
The main cons for me are:
1. Getting established was painful as my breasts adjusted (if you try breastfeeding use lanolin from feed 1!)
2. The lack of sleep, especially when they're cluster feeding. Although by 4 months I was getting nightly 4 hour sleep blocks which improved things dramatically
3. I'm an introvert and felt quite embarrassed by the number of people enquiring about whether my milk had come in and how was I finding breastfeeding
The thing I found best was that nobody pushed me either way on feeding method so I was able to do what worked for me and DC.
Pros...free, convenient, quick, no sterilising and making bottles, health benefits for yourself and baby, really helped with my weight loss (feeding a newborn is equivalent of going for a 40 min run)
Cons....expressing is not fun and then baby refused a bottle anyway, only I could feed her till weaning so couldn't leave her for more than 4 hours, you smell like sour milk after a long night cluster feeding! Insane thirst and sore nips.
Cons didn't really bother me though and I was sad when she self weaned off he boob at 13 months.
I breastfed my first until he was 6 months old and I returned to work - couldn't get to grips with expressing - free, convenient and it gave me a bond with him (I suffered from PND and this was the only time I really felt close to him like he was mine if that makes sense until I got my mental health sorted) the only downside was going out or having a drink - I couldn't do this easily without giving him bottles days in advance on some feeds so he would be used to it so no last minute plans.
Currently 8 weeks in with my second and breastfeeding her also - all the same pros do apply and I've been able to express this time (electric pump! Why did I not know about these before?!) downside - although I can express she won't take a bottle at the minute so I do feel I don't get any 'me time'
If you want to give it a go then try it, if it's not for you there is nothing wrong with formula - I hate this 'breast is best' no, a fed baby is best no matter how they are been fed x
I screen grabbed this from someone else's post on here a while back. It sums up my breast feeding experience perfectly!!
My advice would be to get in some Lansinoh nipple cream (it's the best by a long shot) find yourself a good breastfeeding support group and give it a whirl. Once you've made it through those first tough weeks it's sooo much easier, and I genuinely love being able to snuggle down and feed my baby
whilst going on Mumsnet and Facebook
Its free for starters! Night feeds are a doddle. I used to feed lying down and when baby gets the hang of feeding he would latch himself on. Obviously you have to follow the safety guidelines. I really miss it though. It was very special time for me- I was providing him with something no one else in the world could do for him.
In my experience (DS is 5 months)
Less faff than making bottles.
It's free (although some of the equipment required is expensive: breast pumps if you're expressing, nipple cream, nursing tops... But it's cheaper than formula still, I'm sure).
It's nice to be able to comfort them by feeding. I don't think, if I was FF, I'd be able to feed them as often as baby would be massive! So I'd be a bit stuck when he was upset if he'd just had a bottle.
Nappies are much less unpleasant.
Apparently they are less colicky if breastfed.
Your stomach deflates a lot quicker because breastfeeding pulls the muscle back into place.
Painful for the first month or so. The shredded nipples are agony at first.
If you're not an "ostentatious breastfeeder" it can be stressful trying to time feedings so that the baby isn't hungry when friends/family/health visitor are round or you're out in public. Or, you time it perfectly, and then some fucker that said they'd be there at 11 doesn't turn up until 1145, and then it all goes to shit.
It feels like they are feeding constantly at first. Which makes point one and two above worse.
BF babies are usually slower to put on weight. Which is stressful, as health visitors who are a bit shit
mine make you feel like it's your fault.
You're more sensitive to comments that people make like "Oh that sounds like a hungry cry", "are you hungry", "when was he last fed", etc. Then see point two; if you're out and they're hungry it's harder to find a place to feed privately, whereas you could bottle-feed anywhere.
Typically, breastfed babies wake more during the night.
It's quite hard work on your body; I've struggled to maintain my weight and I assume that's because I'm feeding. But on the flip side, if you want to lose weight, it helps.
You can't really leave the baby with anyone else and get a break.
Leaking milk during the night at the beginning is really unpleasant.
I'd say it is worth it though, and it all gets easier the longer you do it.
I love it. DS is nearly 5 months and I'll keep feeding him for as long as he wants to. First couple of weeks, bite on a dummy painful. Fine till he was 11 weeks and then we had issues with an undiagnosed tongue tie which made feeding tricky. But I am unequivocally glad I stuck it out. It really is lovely when their little hand is resting on your chest and they're feeding, those little newborn gulpy noises, their milk drunk face, absolute trust, ooh I'm getting all nostalgic.
We gave a bottle a day from about 3 months (because of tongue tie) used the same brand/type as his dummy and haven't had a problem with him refusing a bottle.
If you do decide to breastfeed: Top tips, eat porridge, drink loads of water, find your local breastfeeding group (unendingly helpful and supportive in my experience) and get the lactation consultant/infant feeding person at the hospital to check baby for tongue tie before you leave if possible.
BF until 4 months. DS was colicky, had prolonged jaundice and was only slowly putting on weight. I am glad I tried it but also glad that I knew when enough was enough (was exhausted by the constant feeding). Will be trying again with DD when she comes along, but won't beat myself up if it doesn't work out. Making bottles is a faff so got a perfect prep machine in the end which made it easier for home feeds.
Thanks so much for all the replies I am 100% going to try it and as some of you have said if it's not for me there is nothing wrong with formula. I really like the thought of breastfeeding and being able to have that bond with my baby. Thanks
@Michellemc1xo I think you should give it a try and if it's not working out then just switch to formula , I myself am pregnant 12+2 and would love to breastfeed but if it's not working out for me or baby I am not going to force it
I breastfed for about 17 months. It was wonderful and plan to do it again with DC2 on the way. I worked so I BF directly and also expressed.
The main benefits are the bonding, the perfect nutrition, and the immunity building from your antibodies.
Most women quit in the first few weeks which is actually the hardest part. Once you get past 6-8 weeks it really becomes really easy. Much easier than dealing with bottles especially when out and about. Look up the details of your local La Leche League branch, they can offer advice.
It's said that BF babies wake more than FF babies but I have a friend who quit BF so that her child would sleep on suggestion from a maternity nurse. Hers still doesn't sleep through the night at 13 months old and mine who never tasted formula has slept through since 8 months. All kids are different and pretty much all mothers of infants are sleep deprived. I would not use that as a reason to choose one or the other.
Breastfed DD1 for 15 months and currently breastfeeding DD2.
I've struggled with both for different reasons. It's more difficult than formula to start with, but once you both get the hang of it It's easier than making up bottles for every feed. It's a learning curve for both you and baby, so don't expect it to be easy straight away.
You never have to think about how long you'll be out and how much milk to take.
If you do choose to Breastfed, take it one feed at a time!
I agree with PPs, I found it so much easier to breastfeed as I'm horribly lazy and couldn't be bothered with all that sterilising and complicated rules for making up formula!
It really hurt for the first 5 or so weeks but it seemed like I broke through a barrier and then it just never hurt again. I breastfed for 18 months and had mastitis about 7 times which is pretty nasty but will definitely breastfeed with my next one. Especially now I know it gets so much easier after the first few weeks!
I'm the only one of my friends who breastfed for so long though, give it a go and see if it's for you. Do whatever makes those first few months work for you 😃
Ina may gaskin's book 'guide to breastfeeding'. Highly recommended.
For me one of the best bits is not having to cart bottles and formula about. Going anywhere with a baby requires so much Stuff, at least with breastfeeding I've always packed enough milk however long the journey
Cons - can be a tough learning curve and means your baby only wants you.
Pros - your baby only wants you; it's free; it's easier than making up bottles once you're through the first weeks; it helps keep poorly babies and toddlers hydrated; helps regulate temperature; no getting up in the night to make up feeds; you won't run out; less packing for days out/weeks away; you burn calories while sitting on your bum eating cake; you're giving your child the best nutritional start in life; oxytocin.
If it works it's amazing, if it doesn't its soul destroying and heart breaking.
I would say, aim to breast feed but don't stress if it doesn't work.
I also disagree with the boob/bottle effort chart. Bottle feeding also gets exponentially easier as they get older, being able to hand them the bottle and walk off to do something else for instance.
No.1 was very poorly so after 3 weeks of him not feeding I swapped to bottles and formula to save my sanity, it was a huge relief but took a lot of guts to change because all the NHS literature is geared at "everyone can breast dress" and "it's easy when you know how".
Hopefully no.2 won't be poorly and will feed normally (because did god did I have a lot of milk last time) and my aim will be to breast feed but not to stress if it doesn't work.
I'm breastfeeding my DS who is nearly 7 weeks old. So far it's been exhausting but worth it. At the beginning he was feeding constantly and it turned out he had tongue tie, so we got that sorted and things improved. After about a month I started expressing and we tried giving him a bottle - the first time didn't work but the second time did. For me, expressing has been an absolute lifesaver because DH has being doing one of the night feeds which gives me a decent stretch of sleep. It also gives me the option to take a break if I need/want to be apart from DS during the day, and we can still give him breast milk.
DS is thriving and it's all thanks to my milk, which is a wonderful feeling
My advice is to seek help if you have problems at the beginning - go to breastfeeding clinics (I went to a couple and they were so helpful, and that's how DS's tongue tie was diagnosed).
Also if you'd like to occasionally bottle feed (either expressed milk or formula) I would suggest trying a bottle early on and persevering if it doesn't work the first time - try again or try a different teat.
User2468 as a working mother DD had plenty of bottles from my expressed milk...BF doesn't mean never being able to hand off a bottle and walk away! I had more options not fewer.
Currently breastfeeding 7 month old DD and it has been the most wonderful experience for me even though we didn't have the easiest start. Because she had jaundice she was too sleepy to latch so I had to hand express and feed her with a syringe for the first week or so. But from then on it has been an absolute joy, yes there are difficult bits, cluster feeding and mastitis are hard but for me it is so worth it for the lovely bond and less faffing around with sterilising and heating bottles and carting them around with me along with all the other baby paraphernalia.
I hand expressed from the start with the syringe to feed so at 5 weeks DP gave dd a bottle of expressed milk, which she took some getting used to but drained her first bottle quite quickly, so now she will take a bottle but not from me and I can't be around or she just wants the boob. This is a useful thing to establish early on so that your dc can be babysat or just looked after by someone else while you have a bath or go out.
If you decide to breastfeed lanolin is your friend! It is pretty pricy but nothing else comes close to soothing sore nipples in the first few weeks when your are establishing breastfeeding. I kept one on my bedside table and one in whatever bag I was using in the early days but haven't needed it for a long time so my nipples must have toughened up significantly.
When it is difficult you just have to remember both you and baby are learning how to do it, neither of you has any prior experience and every baby is different, but most mums and babies are physically able to breastfeed they just need support and patience. I recommend getting a book as often support from midwives HV etc isn't the best, and the book will show you different positions to feed in and give you the correct information regarding feeding, my mum gave me hers from the early 90s and it was so useful in terms of understanding babies changing needs, why they cluster feed and so much more, and as breastfeeding has been done since the dawn of time I don't think it being old makes much difference to the quality of information.
It is all worth it for the pure loveliness of your dc falling asleep in your arms all milk drunk and warm and content. I miss the early days before dd was clambering all over me while feeding, or trying to get her foot into her mouth along with the boob which is always amusing.
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