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Breast Feed or Bottle Feed

(122 Posts)
confusedat23 Tue 04-Jul-17 16:42:34


I am looking for info on both really... It is so hard to find unbiased information and I have always been a believer that it doesn't matter which way you feed!

However now I am preganant (almost 24 weeks) I feel like it is such a major decision and cannot make my mind up! I bought all the stuff for both really cheap in the sales so I am prepared either way (I will just sell or donate stuff I do not use).

Also to add to matters I have low Papp-A which means I have growth scans to check on baby and there is a chance we might have a premmie... I have heard that you need to hand express and then breastfeed with a premmie as they cannot process formula (this might be the biggest BS ever, but adds to the feeling of being forced to breastfeed).

I am just really not sure what to decide!

honeysucklejasmine Tue 04-Jul-17 16:46:54

It's always worth a try to breast feed, if you're open to it. If it doesn't work out, formula is there to fall back on. But breast milk is better as it contains extras not in formula, like antibodies.

(Note: I formula fed, before I am lynched.)

DinoMania Tue 04-Jul-17 16:47:31

Maybe give BF a go at first and it can be a nice way to bond with the skin to skin but if it doesn't suit you then go with formula, you can always do skin to skin anyway.

I recommend doing a BF class just so you know how to do it and can take away some tips.

Guess it's a case of seeing how you feel at the time xx

MyfatheristheKing Tue 04-Jul-17 16:49:31

Like the others, I say just give it a try. If it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out. But nothing to lose by giving it a try smile

MyfatheristheKing Tue 04-Jul-17 16:56:41

Like the others, I say just give it a try. If it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out. But nothing to lose by giving it a try smile

MyfatheristheKing Tue 04-Jul-17 16:57:03

Sorryfor double post

divafever99 Tue 04-Jul-17 16:58:18

I was planning on bf dd1, but after a long labour and an emergency section it didn't work out as planned and she was formula fed. Similar scenario with dd2, but this time I was more prepared, had a breast pump and expressed for 6 weeks ( also topped up with formula as she was a hungry baby). So I wouldn't get too hung up about it if I were you, try and breast feed first but don't stress if it doesn't work out for you. I would recommend nearer the time purchasing those pre filled formula bottles to take in your hospital bag as most hospitals no longer provide milk. After dd was born I was in theater for some time and unable to feed her. She was really hungry and dh had to feed her one of the emergency bottles! Its good you are prepared for both. I would also have a trial run of your equipment, steriliser,etc. Read up on how to make a bottle correctly, as with DD 1 I had assumed I would be breast feeding and didn't have a clue what I was doing! Good luck.

Barefacedbear Tue 04-Jul-17 16:59:00

You don't have to decide now and it doesn't have to be just one or the other, you might find that combination feeding works for you. Don't make any assumptions on what you will do or how you will feel, every mum and every baby is different. What you are doing now is great though, get as much info on your options and also where to get good bf support so that you can adapt to your circumstances and deal with issues quickly as you go.

Justhadmyhaircut Tue 04-Jul-17 17:00:09

I had ds at 35 weeks and he bf the same day.
Shame not to try. .

beekeeper17 Tue 04-Jul-17 17:05:55

Like the others, I'd suggest you give breastfeeding a go to start with and see how you get on. I had lots of issues with it, struggled on for quite a few weeks and then switched to formula. Even if you only manage a few days there are benefits for the baby, but you might get on well with it and love it and breastfeed for a long time.

It's one of those things that no one can really tell you what it's like until you actually do it, so I think it's best to go in with an open mind, see how you get on and make a decision from there.

Brown76 Tue 04-Jul-17 17:06:24

Hiya, congratulations on your pregnancy. Don't worry about having to make this decision now, you can choose either after the baby arrives, do one first then the other, or even both (mixed feeding). If your baby is born prematurely you can hand express or use a hospital grade expressing machine if they cannot feed from you directly. I'd definitely recommend a course on breastfeeding at your local hospital or with la leche league so you can ask more questions and learn more about Breastfeeding, and there are also lots of you tube videos and videos on the nhs website so you can see how to hand express, what's involved in breastfeeding etc. The NHS promotes breastfeeding more i found, as there are health benefits for mum and baby that formula doesn't offer, so I'm not sure if that will feel 'unbiased' to you, but they do provide you with evidence based info. I'm currently bf my second, and I've gotten support with this as even having done it before it still took a few weeks for it to all fall into place, so make sure you get help with feeding (whichever form of feeding you choose) if you need it.

anchor9 Tue 04-Jul-17 17:11:30

i would only formula feed if for some reason i couldn't breastfeed. I'm currently feeding my 10 week old (my first baby) and we are both very happy. it's easy, free, better for him, better for me, and a lovely experience. it's not like choosing between models of prams confused.

sebashocked Tue 04-Jul-17 17:23:42

Mum of a preemie here (born at 30 weeks). If you can breastfeed then it really does give them a boost on so many fronts (nutrition, immune system and all important skin to skin contact). Depending on the level of prematurity (post 35 weeks-when the suckle reflex is developed enough to BF- or before) then the choice may not be yours to make. If pre-35 weeks then tube-feeding is standard and preferable with your expressed milk rather than formula. Good electric pumps (particularly hospital grade ones) are pretty efficient at establishing supply. It's also nice to feel that you are doing something positive for your baby during their stay in NICU/SCBU - most of the time you feel pretty useless/impotent.
In our case I mainly expressed for the first 12 weeks (when DS was too small/weak to breastfeed) and then switched to just breastfeeding when he got to a decent weight.
There really is no need to decide now. I am massively pro-breastfeeding having been lucky enough to do it successfully without major issues despite a 2 month NICU stay but would never judge a woman who just doesn't feel that it's right for her. Whatever you decide is the right choice for you.

Barefacedbear Tue 04-Jul-17 19:12:14

If in nicu and you struggle to express, donor breast milk may be an option, but it's not available everywhere.

Caterina99 Tue 04-Jul-17 19:54:05

I planned to bf DS, although I must admit I was never super keen on the idea. I struggled, and after him losing too much weight and lactation consultants and the lot, we committed to mixed feeding (rather than supplementing bf with formula) from about 6 weeks. It was the best decision for us, and although I felt guilty and like a failure, it was also as if a weight had been lifted. We mix fed for 4 months before moving to formula and I intend to mix feed again with DC2, although I hope the bf does work out better and I am less stressed about the whole process.

I'd definitely try to bf. You and baby might take to it brilliantly. If not, then formula is a great alternative

Mummyh2016 Tue 04-Jul-17 21:27:14

I planned to mix feed but she wouldn't latch much longer than a few seconds. I could've tried harder but it wasn't for me. I wasn't enjoying it and tbh I wasn't comfortable with getting a boob out in public to do it.

picketfences Tue 04-Jul-17 21:57:12

I'm pg too, and I really don't want to breastfeed but I'm worried about being judged. I just don't think it would be best for our family, I've had a very difficult pregnancy and have ended up on daily medication for pregnancy issues, and quite honestly the thought of breast feeding is just too much after all of this! My partner knows how hard the pregnancy has been on me and is keen to share the feeding. I think combination feeding/expressing sounds ideal but in practice it seems very complex and expressing seems to take so much time. I just think we would be happier all round FF. worried about getting lynched by the BF brigade for not even trying tho!

newbian Wed 05-Jul-17 03:38:15

My advice is to do research. I find a lot of mothers spend more time reading about the best pram or cot than they do about infant feeding! is a great free online resource. "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding" by La Leche League is a good book to read as well. When you have the information it is easier to make a decision.

I will echo previous comments that if having a premie BF might be even more beneficial than for a full-term baby, in fact many breast milk donation banks focus solely on premies as they get a lot of benefits from it.

It makes me sad how many women seem to have such negative experiences with BF. It was one of the best ways I spent with DD even though it was a challenge, and the day she weaned from the breast I cried. I'm pregnant now and looking forward to BF again. Don't assume it will be hard or you will be forced, just educate yourself and have a positive attitude. If it doesn't work thank God for formula, your child will thrive either way.

confusedat23 Wed 05-Jul-17 11:11:40

Hey thank you all so much for your lovely replies!

I will take a look at all the links and websites you have suggested they sound great!

My initial plan was to combination feed but was told by midwives I wouldn't be able to. I then asked if i could express instead so DH can help feed and i can pre-prepare bottles before going out etc... but I was told I wouldn't be able to do that until baby is at least 8 weeks old also.

Of course if my little one is Premmie we are prepared and I will breast feed no doubt! I have been looking into Harvesting Collostrum early to try and get a good supply for tube feeding and have syringes on order (again trying to be prepared) ready to go.

Surprisingly choosing our Pram was a very easy quick affair confused

Again thanks for all the replies... there is some very good non-biased advice given on this thread!

Amd724 Wed 05-Jul-17 15:30:29

Hey OP, the midwife who said you couldn't express or combi feed were only saying that because they say it can affect your supply.

My mom started expressing/pumping immediately because she had to go back to work 2 weeks after giving birth (US with no maternity leave). It didn't affect her supply, and my sister and brother had no problem latching or going between bottle and breast. So many women don't have a choice but to combi or pump immediately so I plan on pumping almost immediately so my husband can share in the feeding and the baby still gets the nutrients from me.

ScarletSienna Wed 05-Jul-17 15:34:50

I pumped until my DC has his feeding tube removed (he was premature) and then switched to breastfeeding. It was not easy. He had an undiagnosed posterior tongue tie and he slipped down the percentiles until it was fixed (privately).

The support of a health visitor made all the difference as did a private lactation consultant and I'd really recommend looking into this.

BringMeTea123 Wed 05-Jul-17 15:50:22

My son was a nightmare in the hospital and had to stay an extra 35 hours after he was born as he wouldn't feed. Obviously he eventually did (formula and bottle) I had decided while pregnant I didn't want to breastfeed. But when he was born I felt I wanted to (strange how I suddenly changed my mind). When I got home I decided to give it a go. He latched on but obviously had to work harder for it than a bottle so he got fed up and didn't really feed. But I used tommee tippee breast pump (the hand one) and that's was really good and managed to express some for him which he had out the bottle.

Not sure what I'm getting at 🙈 but I wish you all the best. They all say breast is best but I think the formula is so good now days it doesn't really matte x

Ginlinessisnexttogodliness Wed 05-Jul-17 23:42:47

@BringMeTea123 I have ebf then combination fed both my babies and hopefully this one due later in the year.
I mention that just so you know I'm not the breastfeeding police when I write that manufactured formula is just not comparable to breastmilk. Even the manufacturers explicitly acknowledge this,

You (one not you personally ) are not a failure for having to or choosing to bottle feed formula. You are certainly not an inferior being and mother. These are ludicrous assertions. But please let's not muddy the waters by pretending that something produced by our own bodies, that adapts to fight illness and dehydration, responds to the information passed by the infant saliva whilst feeding and reduces risks of ill health for both mother and baby is the same as a tub of powder. It's not. The products and the processes of feeding a baby need to be distinguished between in the whole breast v bottle debate. It would be much more helpful for women like the OP and countless others.

AdultHumanFemale Thu 06-Jul-17 00:23:49

Just weaned youngest DC after 6 years of pretty much continuous bfing one child or other. It has been easily one of the loveliest and most defining aspects of my relationships with DCs. If you want to do it, and you are able to make it work, go for it. It's no-fuss, instant and free -what's not to like? It's worked really well for our family (and fwiw, my boobs are still as pert and firm as they were before). Good luck smile

TittyGolightly Thu 06-Jul-17 00:36:33

I took milk from my boobs and fed it to DD in bottles. Exclusive expressing has its pros and it's cons to be honest, but I did it for 9 months (setting alarms through the night for all that time was a killer but it meant the supply lasted a year).

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