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Feeling pressure to breastfeed

(91 Posts)
lucy19977 Mon 15-Oct-18 22:04:02

Hello, I'll try and get to the point as quickly as possible. I'm pregnant with my first baby due in January and I think I'm prepared (well as much as you can be for a small human who relies on you to survive😅) but one thing that's always mentioned and has annoyed me since my first midwife appointment at 9 weeks is wether to Breastfeed my son or to bottle feed.

I was always adamant that I wanted to bottle feed due to the fact that I personally would feel uncomfortable breastfeeding (I have NO issues what so ever with other women doing it - unsure if it's an age thing as I'm 21 and can be self conscious at times), I have a rather large chest 34GG before pregnancy and I would also like other people to be able to feed the baby mainly because I'm no longer with the father of the baby and I would like the baby to get used to staying with him for a period of time but might be difficult if I'm breastfeeding.

Recently I've felt more pressured into breastfeeding and I'm unsure what to do now as I obviously want to do the best for my baby and give him the best start.

I also planned on SMA milk if I bottle feed - is this type ok or is cow and gate or aptimil etc better?

Please advise what you think is best and if bottle feeding would be ok?

Dobbythesockelf Mon 15-Oct-18 22:05:51

Do what you want and just be clear about it. I can't give you much advice about formula as I breastfeed but my understanding is that it is all pretty much the same so I would think any is fine.

Verbena87 Mon 15-Oct-18 22:09:09

If the pressure is from midwives try saying directly “I feel really pressured; is that your intention?”

Also can’t advise on formula as I breastfeed as well, but I’m sure someone will be along with useful experience!

DDogMum Mon 15-Oct-18 22:10:42

I can't advise on formula either I'm afraid.... BUT! My sis in law gave me an excellent tip "buy whatever formula they sell at your nearest local shop".
Do what you want to do, it will all fall into place x

StrumpersPlunkett Mon 15-Oct-18 22:11:04

Of course bottle feeding is ok
It is in the end your choice
Do I personally feel you should give it a go?
Yes. As a single mum it is quicker cheaper easier in so many ways.

However my opinion is just that an opinion
Your baby your choice breast or bottle is just the beginning of things other people will have opinions on with regards to your parenting choices.
Do your research and go with what you want. Parenting is hard enough don’t complicate it with feeling bullied into your choices.

Lilbear14 Mon 15-Oct-18 22:11:44

Hey! I breast fed my eldest for 7 months at 17, I felt very pressured into doing so. However, I don't regret it.
At 23 I breast fed my youngest for 2 months....again feeling pressured.

Pregnant with my third. I'm not breastfeeding this one, flat out refuse to feel pressured into it. Personally, as much as I don't regret it. I hated every moment of it. I know some mum's aboslutely love it. But I'm not one of those. I still can not shake off even now how I felt physically and mentally and i know it sounds selfish when worded that way but you still do have to think about yourself aswell. This is all personal to me, I would never say don't breast feed if someone wanted to. I'm just saying don't let the pressure get to you and do what you feel is best for the baby and yourself.

Verbena87 Mon 15-Oct-18 22:11:46

Also, don’t worry about self-consciousness. Motherhood is a pretty good cure for that, I’ve found. I’ll now happily sing nursery rhymes with silly voices in public, go out in tops that have sick/banana on (who cares, really?!), get a boob out for a hungry baby, discuss birth injuries and pelvic floor function with near strangers etc etc - definitely don’t base any of your decisions on feeling awkward/embarrassed.

UntilTheVeryEnd Mon 15-Oct-18 22:12:25

I chose to bottle feed both my children and plan to do the same with DC3 when they arrive. Similarly I do not feel comfortable with myself to breastfeed - it is a personal preference. I admire those that can and do!
I just said to my midwife that I was bottle feeding and would not try to breast feed. I wrote on the top of my birth plan “do not ask me to breast feed”
I’m pretty sure there are new regulations for midwifes as well that they have to offer both as suitable options and give you info on both (equality and all that)
Be firm and confident with your decision as it is yours to make.
I had a few comments from MIL about feeding being the best thing for baby and while I appreciate it, I just said thank you, I know but I will be bottle feeding.
I got a perfect prep machine - it was a godsend x

Helpmemyhairisterrible Mon 15-Oct-18 22:15:31

Two bottle fed babies here.

Nothing can prepare you for the shock of having the baby and only getting them here will tell you if you can or can't hack breastfeeding. I wanted to feed both myself and was fully prepared to do so both times, to the point of antenatal expression for the second because I was so desperate to feed him. Managed a week with the first and two weeks with number two mixed feeding before going to formula. They're not healthy and thriving and my mental health is finally intact after number two. It's what works for us. I have attention to give both of them and was able to go back to self employed work at 12 and 5 weeks because I can leave them with Dad/granny. You do what works for you and you move past any preconceptions you had before the baby was born. Breastfeed if you want to, if you can physically and if you can accommodate in you life. If not, formula is fine too.

I believe cow and gate and aptamil are essentially the same. Same manufacturers.

Iaimtomisbehave1 Mon 15-Oct-18 22:15:37

My first was exclusively breastfed. My second was formula and breast as I was very ill after birth so unable to feed for quite a while. Breastfed as much as possible when I was better but my milk production was affected and could never get off formula completely.

Being honest, breastfeed is just easier. No making bottles in the middle of the night when you're exhausted. Don't actually need to get up and sort anything. Cheaper. Less hassle when you're out as you don't need to find a place to warm the bottle. I expressed with my first so other people feeding wasn't an issue. They just warmed it up. Second one was formula instead of expressed.

You shouldn't make the decision now. Wait and see what works once you've tried it.

Okaassan Mon 15-Oct-18 22:15:57

The midwife isn't allowed to mention formula for legal reasons, this doesn't mean she is against it. Do what you want to do.

My family didn't agree with my choice to bf and they tried to talk me out of it. I did what I wanted to.

UntilTheVeryEnd Mon 15-Oct-18 22:16:49

Regarding formula - SMA is what they give you in hospitals in the little ready made bottles.
I preferred cow and gate for 3 reasons - smelled creamier, was £1 cheaper and had a convenient little plastic bit under the lid for scraping the scoops level. Better than getting a knife out the drawer.

Helpmemyhairisterrible Mon 15-Oct-18 22:17:16

they're both healthy and thriving!

Wellonlyifihaveto Mon 15-Oct-18 22:21:01

I’m a bottle feeder, I’m on my 3rd baby and most formulas are one and the same I use sma, this was because the shops closest to me sell it. The pressure to bf can be overwhelming but if you’ve made the right choice for you that’s what matters, it’s not heroin you’re giving the baby!
I tried to bf with my first and it was horrendous, two weeks of agony and worrying which put me off ever trying again but you never know it could be really easy for you!

AssassinatedBeauty Mon 15-Oct-18 22:36:12

Of course the midwives can talk about formula, in fact they should be if the mother is planning on formula feeding. They shouldn't recommend one brand over another, as that is not what they're there to do. All first infant formulas available in the UK are suitable for newborns, with very little difference between them.

Hospitals don't all give out SMA, in fact many hospitals don't give out formula apart from those who need it medically. In many hospitals, if you're planning on formula feeding from birth then you will need to take your own premade formula in with you. All the main brands do the "starter" packs. If it's not explained for your hospital on your notes then check with your midwife.

If you formula feed you will be in a majority, more than half of babies are partly or fully formula fed by 6 weeks.

It's worth considering that it doesn't have to be all or nothing. You can give a few breastfeeds in hospital if you like, for the first few feeds of colostrum. Then you could swap to formula when at home. You can continue to do one or two breastfeeds if you like, in the evenings/overnight for example.

snowone Mon 15-Oct-18 22:39:30

I bottle fed DD1 and currently pregnant with DD2 who will also be bottle fed! I also have a large chest 32/34 H before pregnancy and would be very conscious of breastfeeding discretely. And to be honest I just don't want to breast feed, it's my choice! (I'm 36 by the way)

Aptamil was our formula of choice last time with a tommee tippee perfect prep machine and our DD did great - she is 4 now and is bright as a button and healthy as anything - always has been!

Do what you want to do - don't let anyone pressure you in to doing anything you don't want to 

MarthasGinYard Mon 15-Oct-18 22:42:13

Breastfed from birth using Aptamil Op

Amazing stuff

FoxgloveStar Mon 15-Oct-18 23:01:56

Do what you want. However it would be a shame if your self confidence or self image was the thing that stopped you.

PennyMordauntsLadyBrain Mon 15-Oct-18 23:10:07

Another bottle feeder here- expecting dc2 and although I’m going to give breastfeeding another go, I won’t be heartbroken if it doesn’t work out. I have a strong suspicion I’ll have a similar reaction to @Lilbear17.

Bottle v breastfeeding both have their pros and cons, but I will say that it’s usually those who have only breastfed that are convinced that bottle feeding is a hassle rather than those who have actually done it.

AssassinatedBeauty Mon 15-Oct-18 23:27:21

Meh, I had to use formula/bottles in the early weeks with both of mine and found it an enormous hassle. Very glad when I got to the point of no longer needing to use bottles. But lots of people don't find using formula to be a hassle, particularly if formula feeding is what they have experience of from their family/friends etc.

grace7 Mon 15-Oct-18 23:41:13

Hey - no pressure from me but I just wanted to share my own personal experience! I had my son when I was seventeen and during pregnancy I was certain that I'd bottle-feed but I eventually gave into the pressure to breastfeed but I'm so glad I have done. I was so shy and upset at the thought of it at first but I love it now.

Regardless, good luck with you little one and congratulations thanks

TryingToStayRational Mon 15-Oct-18 23:45:35

I’m also pregnant with my first so don’t have any experience yet, but on my NCT course recently we were told that all the different formula brands are basically the same and also that “first stage” milk is suitable for all babies - you don’t have to change to “follow on” milk at 6 months. We were given this link that explains the different types of formula:

Also NCT has practical advice on bottle feeding that may be worth a look:

Hope you feel supported in however you choose to feed your baby smile

polkadotpixie Mon 15-Oct-18 23:52:17

I was absolutely adamant I would bottle feed when I was pregnant but when I had him I felt I wanted to try and feed him myself. You may or may not feel the same and either is fine. Feeding is a huge part of early motherhood and you need to be comfortable with whatever method you use

I really tried BF but my baby just would not take to it at all and I was so upset. I tried expressing but my supply was so low I was having to heavily supplement with formula anyway

He is now almost 6 weeks and exclusively formula fed. He is healthy and thriving. We use Aptamil and the Perfect Prep machine and I've not had any pressure from midwives or health visitors 😊

coffeeforone Mon 15-Oct-18 23:56:25

I think you allow yourself to feel pressured when you are undecided yourself. if you're not comfortable breastfeeding then just say you're formula feeding. I have a 2 week old and have not had a single bit of pressure from any HCP, I've just said 'I'm formula feeding' and they didn't probe any further.

Totally different situation when I was really struggling to breastfeed DS1 2 years ago. The pressure to continue was immense even though it was having a huge impact on my mental health.

If you decide to go with formula I'd give whatever is most easily available locally - for me that's Aptamil. I also would switch to follow on after 6 months as it's just as good, but sometimes cheaper and you can get loyalty points etc!

Iwantaunicorn Tue 16-Oct-18 00:11:23

I think fed is best. I’ve tied myself up in knots about not being able to bf my DTs, and gave up mixed feeding at a month, maybe 6 weeks (can’t remember!) because my milk never really came in, and I really do look back and wonder why I put so much pressure on myself. I did manage to feed them some colostrum though. The best thing for baby constantly changes over time, I know someone who was advised to bf her children for the first couple, then was advised to ff for the last couple of kids (admittedly this was a very long time ago, but you get the gist!).

If you want to bf and struggle, there’s stacks of brilliant women on here who have loads of advice and tips, and your hv will be able to point you in the direction of real life help.

I feed my two sma, mainly because that’s what I was fed after my mum gave up bf. I’d suggest if you’re unsure when you get to packing your hospital bag that you include the pre made bottles of milk so you have something to feed your baby with, not all hospitals will provide formula milk.

Good luck with your little one 💐

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