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Breast feeding OR formula feeding OR both?

(28 Posts)
LJFM2B Wed 13-Jun-18 14:33:37

I always thought i would FF because i have very small boobs and around my time of the month and during my pregnancy so far i have found my boobs being so so painful and sore and cant imagine the pain being worse with cracked, bleeding nipples with a new bubba to take care of (never mind the fact everybody says your boobs go so saggy after?!). But a friend has a 6 month old and has been BF and has changed my mind a bit on it.

Im now thinking, breast feed to start with and then express to give my DH time to bond and grandparents etc, and possibly going to a formula feed at night time?

I dont know but thought id ask on here before turning to family as they will say what they think i want them too no doubt smile as lovely as they are - i need a bit of honesty to help make the decision.

I still have a while before DC arrives but think it would be good to have a good idea of what i want to do now rather then decide on the spot.

Eeeeek2 Wed 13-Jun-18 14:47:59

I believe that night feeding is what really stimulates milk supply so unless you want to formula feed and pump at night I'd reverse and breastfeed at night and bottle feed some of the day feeds.

By the way pumping is hard work, I exclusively pumped for a couple of moths as ds would not latch. It's hard and eventually my supply just couldn't keep up because it's not as efficient as baby doing it, plus you have all the hassle of bottle washing and sterilising as well as pumping to fit in. Some women manage thought.

Fed baby is best. Do what ever works best for you. You can alway try breastfeeding and or combined and if it doesn't work out then you move on.

Mrsharper88 Wed 13-Jun-18 14:57:41

My advice is to give it a go and don’t get too hung up on set ideas of how you want to do it. Some people find it easy, others find it more difficult. There might be some aspects you expect to find hard but are actually easy (for me this was night feeds, I planned to FF at night but it was far easier for me to BF). There are no rules, just see what happens and how you get on. Good luck xx

Seeline Wed 13-Jun-18 14:58:27

It's worth thinking about but you won't really be able to decide until the time.
I was going to BF my first, but after the birth he spent a week in special care being tube fed. I did persevere wit the BFing but I think due to a traumatic birth never had enough for him, so often had to top up with formula. He had a bottle during the night and I Bfd during the day until 6months. I never had enough to pump.
I quite enjoyed the flexibility of doing both and was planning on doing that with my 2nd. She had other ideas and flatly refused to take a bottle - ever. I BF her until 15months.
It's good to think about things, and make sure you know all the options, but be prepared to be flexible and do what works for you and your baby.
By the way, I rarely found BFing painful. And it was certainly a lot less bother than having to measure formula and sterilise bottles etc.

Astrid2 Wed 13-Jun-18 14:59:52

The size of your boobs has no impact on your milk supply. I would just wait and see how things go. If breastfeeding goes well, you might just find it really easy and carry on. If not, you can try expressing or formula. I wouldn't worry or plan cause you just never know! As PP said, you need to feed at night to establish milk supply so make sure you're a few months and completely happy with feeding before changing to bottle feeding at night.

I never had much soreness or cracked nipples while feeding so that's not always the way either. Make sure you have lanolin balm and apply it after every feed and get some multimam compresses to ease any discomfort if you have it.

Dads and Grannies etc don't need to feed baby to bond. Bathing baby, cuddles, singing and even nappy changes are enough I think. My husband and all grandparents are perfectly bonded with our daughter even though she is breast fed.

faeriequeen Wed 13-Jun-18 15:28:05

Not everyone gets saggy boobs! I'd recommend trying to breastfeed and seeing how you get on. That first colostrum is the best start you can give your baby.

LJFM2B Wed 13-Jun-18 15:44:44

Thanks for your responses!! i think theirs so much pressure around this subject that i feel like i need to decide but i suppose your all right ... i can give it a go and be prepared with some bottles just in case it doesn't suit us!!

Thank you, Fed is best your right and i strongly believe this too - hence why im not apposed to FFing, just thinking of giving BFing a go too!!

Eeek i cant wait to meet our baby!!!! BF or FF smile

Wellthen Wed 13-Jun-18 15:50:40

Do what feels right at the time. Expressing wil give other people a chance to do the work and make babysitting easier but it is hard work and quite a commitment for you.

Mixed feeding is more expensive than breast feeding or expressing but obviously has its advantages. I think your supply would dwindle eventually although I don’t know this as fact - there are lots of good websites and books about breastfeeding which would answer that.

Be confident in your own choices.

GlitterRollerSkate Wed 13-Jun-18 15:58:03

I'm doing both. Give breast a go and see what happens. My supply isn't up to ebf would have liked to but it doesn't really matter. Fed is best remember that. I got really hung up with my first that I couldn't ebf. Eldest is perfectly happy and well. Newish baby is a pig!

Bluebirdsky Wed 13-Jun-18 16:03:00

Ultimately you need to do whatever feels right for you and baby but it sounds like you might want to give breastfeeding a try when baby is born and see how you get on. All other decisions from there can be made further down the line depending on how you get on and if you continue to enjoy it.

HazyDays81 Wed 13-Jun-18 16:03:53

I have breast fed all my 3 DS’s. I have small boobs but this hasn’t been a problem (yes they are a little on the saggy side now!). With my first I did find it a bit painful but it soon gets easier. Now feeding DS3 & I find it convenient & can’t imagine sterilising bottles, making up formula etc & I love the closeness of cuddles & feeding. Like others have said though whatever works for you - good luck!

BE18mum Wed 13-Jun-18 16:13:34

I’m mix feeding as my supply isn’t good enough to sustain DD by itself. I was upset by this at first but it gives DH a chance to feed her and there are times where it’s much more convenient to whip out a bottle than your boobs.

Agree with PPs that BF is much better at night - no lights on, no waiting around, just a sleepy baby cuddled up to you who goes back to sleep nice and easily smile It’s a lovely bonding experience.

Okaassan Wed 13-Jun-18 16:15:42

As a BF mother of an 8 month old I would like to give you an honest picture. Breastfeeding is hard. It consumes your whole day 24/7. A lot of women will say " I BF for 6 weeks but my baby was just too hungry so i had to put her on Formula". When really her baby was feeding so often because this is what BF babies do. You have to persevere through the tiredness, constant feeding and lack of sleep. That would be my first point, the rest...
Breastmilk is a lot thinner than formula so your baby will feed more.
Don't worry about not being able to "see" how much your baby is getting, this is the way your marvellous body was designed. You can have baby weighed regularly to see if baby is getting enough food.
BF is not cost free. You will need nursing bras, maybe a breastpump (electric is best) , breast pads etc.
Introduce a bottle of breastmilk as soon as possible and a dummy ( my baby was tube fed for first 3 weeks of life, this is the advice I was given by the neo natel nurses). Pump first thing in the morning ( 5 or 6 am) as supply is at its highest. Do this regularly to create a freezer supply of milk.
Search for support.. support for me was and is limited (post SCBU care). I had to do a lot of research to find out what is normal behaviour for BF babies.
Be ready to be almost broken by growth spurts! They will try to break you.

BF really doesn't fit with the modern lifestyle so the commitment is a big one.

I wish you and your baby the best of luck.

Blondemother Wed 13-Jun-18 16:18:01

Give it a go and see what happens!
I was lucky and got on well with BF - no cracked nips and boobs look pretty decent after weaning at 18m.

There are so many variables in birth/baby/boobs I think it’s good to have an idea of what you’d like to do and keep an open mind.

PretABoire Wed 13-Jun-18 16:24:40

Research both, keep an open mind, see what baby thinks and do what's best for you both.

reallyanotherone Wed 13-Jun-18 16:24:43

My advice is if you really want to bf, bf. Fuck everyone else, especially those who seem to think feeding a baby has mystical woo powers which you are depriving them of if you don’t give them the opportunity to feed.

The best chance you have of successfully bf is to just bf at every opportunity. Faffing around with expressing (utter pita, time consuming, and three times the work of bf or ff) or adding formula there is always a small chance you risk your supply. The more formula you give, the less milk you make and chances are you end up ff.

Having said that, if you aren’t that bothered about bf, especially long term, give the mix feeding a go and see how it works out.

Bear in mind bf is actually hard work for the baby, the milk isn’t always instant, and they need to work to get at it and then stimulate more. Ff is readily and always there- some learn that very quickly, it’s not about your milk or supply, it’s about their preference for food now, not in 30 seconds!

Check kellymom, fantastic advice on there.

ForeverBubblegum Wed 13-Jun-18 16:47:22

Everyone is different so do what works for you, but a few thing to think about:

1. Mix feeding long term is very hard work - probable harder then fully bf as you need to pump as well when you give formula or you will gradually make less and less milk and have to stop.

2. Night is the last time I'd want to be formula feed, easy night feeds are one of the perks that make up for the crappy bits of bf. Just look at formula instructions and think about the practicalities:

Baby wakes up hungry - baby cries
you get up, pick up baby and head to kitchen - baby still crying
Run Steriliser - baby still crying
Wait for kettle to boil - baby still crying
Wait for water to cool to 70 degrees - baby still crying
Add powder and shake - baby still crying
Wait for milk to cool to drinkable temp - baby still crying


Baby wakes up hungry - baby cries
Pick up and put on boob - job done

I know people will have hacks to make it easier but if I had to mix feed i'd definitely prefer to give formula during the day

MeadowHay Wed 13-Jun-18 17:22:34

1. Mix feeding long term is very hard work - probable harder then fully bf as you need to pump as well when you give formula or you will gradually make less and less milk and have to stop.

I made a thread about mixed feeding awhile ago in Infant Feeding and a few ladies responded who had done mixed feeding right from baby being about 2 weeks or so, mostly just one bottle of formula a day from then on. They all said that they didn't express any milk, nor have any problems with engorgement or supply. Is the above your actual experience?

Not trying to hijack the thread though. I'm 39 weeks pregnant and hoping to breastfeed and quickly introduce a bottle of formula a day after a couple of weeks if I'm happy otherwise breastfeeding. I think pumping sounds like way too much work and if BFing doesn't go well I imagine I will just switch to FF rather than faff about with pumping.

Luxembourgmama Wed 13-Jun-18 17:38:39

Just FYI nobody makes formula from scratch in the middle of the night you use the prepped bottles which you ca have on your nightstand so ff is very very easy.
I exclusively formula fed from birth but I think mixed feeding is properly the best way to go

ForeverBubblegum Wed 13-Jun-18 18:38:28

Meadow - everyone's different but this was my experience, and is apparently quite common. I did a mix of direct bf and expressing from about 2 months. I started off pumping the same amount as DS drank each day, and supply seemed stable. Then I cut one of the pumping sessions and topping up the rest, and from then yield started to decrease and the top up got bigger.

Also a friend of mine had to mix feed for a while due to tongue tie and was advised to follow pumping scheduled to keep up supply, so that she could go back to bf once it was cut.

As I say everyone's different, and some people just seem to produce whatever they need, as an when. Others like me have fall into supply and demand cycles.

ForeverBubblegum Wed 13-Jun-18 18:40:27

Sorry that had paragraphs when I typed it

Smurfybubbles Wed 13-Jun-18 19:11:33

I'm another one for going into it with an open mind!! I never really planned on breastfeeding but said I would give it a try and see what happened (even packed premade formula bottles in my hospital bag) as at least wanted to give the baby colostrum. 6 weeks later and I'm still BF'ing.

There is so much pressure on women to BF but you need to ignore it all and do what is best for you and baby at the time. My DS struggled at the beginning waking to feed because he was so tired and ended up slightly dehydrated. The midwifes wanted me to try express colostrum but I ignored them and gave him a formula feed which did the trick!

I'm finding it easy at night without having to deal with making up bottles etc. I express at least one feed a day using a hand pump which at the beginning I froze and now we use it to give DS at least one bottle a day so he gets used to them. I've been advised to introduce at least one bottle a day now to make the transition to bottle feeding in the future easier as they can refuse them if exclusively BF.

ForeverBubblegum Wed 13-Jun-18 19:29:46

Luxembourg - That makes more sense, I've only ever seen people with the powdered stuff (and don't tend to hang out in other mothers bedrooms at night). I always wounded how anyone could consider ff 'easy' as every guide I read per baby made it sound like utter hell on earth. And that was ignoring the overzealous instructions that you should clean and disinfect your kitchen every time hmm.

But then I'm pretty lazy at the best of times, luckily DS was older by the time I had to start topping up so I just mixed in cows.

butunlikely Wed 13-Jun-18 21:17:37

I combination fed because of a poor latch (nipple shields for 6 months, fun times) and lack of supply to do exclusive. My supply got used to the routine and I never had to pump - if I did, it was appalling and took hours! I wept when I saw a friend pump 60ml in 5 minutes - and at night I used premixed bottles. It is more expensive and at first I had severe guilt about the whole thing, but I quickly realised that giving DH a night feed was a mental health saver for me and because of the nipple shields I hated feeding in public - bottles just made my life better.

Fed is best. If breastfeeding works this time around I'll do it, but if not, the only thing I'd change is how much I cried unnecessarily over what is actually a privilege of having access to formula and my baby being happy. Good luck! (Oh and all my smaller boobed friends had the best supply! Without exception! Whereas my poor F cups were well ropey! 😉)

LJFM2B Thu 14-Jun-18 09:44:02

Thank you for all your open and honest comments! Its given me lots to think about and really have already come to the conclusion of BF if i can and be prepared with Formula if i cant! no biggy either way FED IS BEST smile

PS also given me alot of confidence in my small boobs not being an issue!!

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