Bottle vs. Breast

[deleted account] ( 182 moms have responded )

Ok. With that Old Navy thread going, I thought I'd just get it out of the way. Let's just get this debate out of our systems once and for all. Any takers?

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Jenny - posted on 10/09/2010

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We have to stop thinking it's about "vs." It's about the best way for a family to feed their baby period. It's not a contest.

[deleted account]

I just have to YELL THIS HERE to dispute what Sherri says is the NORM in the US. It may be the norm for her to say what she says in her area of the country, but I promise you that MOST of the rest of the contry does not live that way. Breast feeding is the norm and is becoming more the norm every day, thanks to education and information given during gestation. I think in the US the biggest problem is this. When I was pregnant (had my son in late 2007), it was "breast is best" the whole way through. Doctor's appointments, childbirth classes, books, you name it. Breast was best. In the hospital, when my son was born, the minute he came out of me they put him on my belly and said "Look at your baby Joy". I immediately put him to my bosom and tried to breast feed him. He didn't latch right away. They took him into another room to weigh and measure him (with my husband in their presence). I was left to clean up and shower and get "decent". Armed with a box full of pads that went from belly button to tail bone, I accomplished "clean" and "presentable" and then, my baby was brought back to me. I was grateful for the time to get cleaned up. I was grateful for every single person in that hospital until two days later when I went to pack my stuff to go home and some random nurse came into my room with a Jug 'O Formula (literally it was like a gallon of formula) and said , "Breast is best" as she THUMPED this bag of samples down onto the foot of my bed. Had it not been for that jug of formula, I may have perservered and breastfed even longer than I did. The pain was horrible and I was bloody and scabbed but I would have had no choice. It's what a mother does, right? Bullshit. A woman who, for WHATEVER REASON, decides......DECIDES......I'll say it again....DECIDES to formula feed.....who fucking cares, really? Honestly? Is the child being fed? Yes. Do you personally know WHY the mother decided to go that route? No. Why the hell would anyone...ANYONE presume to feel like they know enough about another woman's situation enough to judge them for their choice to bottle OR breastfeed their baby? Hmm? Why? Are you gonna be in my house every day and tell me that the chemical breakdown of ALLL his food is wrong too? Or is it just formula? Are you gonna stand beside my husband next Sunday at the grill and tell him that the chicken breast he is grilling isn't being done right? Or that the cereal or oatmeal or scrambled eggs in between aren't right too? For fucking real. Seriously. Anyone who judges or preaches at another mother for chosing one way or another should take an honest look inside, and seek counselling to try and figure out why they feel the need to have their nose so far up another woman's ass. For fuck's sake. seriously.

[deleted account]

This topic will never go away and it's been over-debated and gets nasty.
A healthy baby is better than a dead baby, and it does not matter if that baby received breast milk or formula. Line up a Kindergarten class and you will NEVER know who got boob milk and who got formula.

April - posted on 10/10/2010

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@ Christina E-- 1 ounce is actually normal for pumping...it is the average amount that women are able to produce with a pump. he breastfed for more than an hour because he was supposed to at that age. in the first 2 months, they do "marathon nursing". it is actually very important because it helps lay down the prolactin receptors in your breasts. it is actually normal for then to nurse several times every hour. and.... it can take up to SEVEN DAYS for your milk to come in.

it is VERY COMMON for women to believe they are not making enough milk because of how often a baby is nursing. but that's a myth!!! hope this helps....

Charlie - posted on 10/09/2010

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Yeah still seems like a lot more work than simple , convenient breastfeeding and i personally wouldnt have given an unsteralized bottle or water but i realize a lot of people dont do this , i prefer to :)

I guess its cultural and environmental too , where i am no one thinks twice about pulling out their breast to feed reguradless of who is present because no one cares , its completley normal , i guess its all in the attitude and i think for breastfeeding advocates to accept formula feeding , formula feeders need to accept that breastfeeding in public and in private is normal , no woman should EVER have to pump in a toilet .

Attitudes need to change on both sides , women need more support and education on breastfeeding before giving birth and after and if all else fails there is formula to fall back on .

I dont look down at a woman if they use a bottle but i do get a warm and fuzzy feeling when i see a child breastfeeding .

And i agree Krista demonizing people will often have the opposite desired effect certainly will not promote or encourage anything .

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Lacye - posted on 01/21/2011

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Breastfeeding is awesome, IF you are able to do it. There are some women out there that can produce milk like a Jersey cow and there are some that can't produce a drop and then we have to factor in the child's reaction to the milk as well. One of my sister's twin sons couldn't have breastmilk because he had severe infant acid reflux and it would make him have a horrible reaction. I tried to breastfeed but I ended up sick and not able to eat for 2 weeks so my milk ended up drying up from that. To me, as long as the child is getting the nourishment that he or she needs, either one is perfectly ok.

Merry - posted on 01/21/2011

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Breastmilk is normal, formula is an imitation that does a good job.

Breasts are normal feeders, bottles do a good job in place of a breast.

So, there's normal, and then there's the the alternative.

Essentially if every woman and man knew everything about how different breastmilk from formula and breasts from bottles was- If everyone knew all the facts then we wouldn't have anything to argue about!

If, knowing the full facts about it all, some parents choose the alternative feeding, then no one should give them hassle about it. And for the few babies who cant have breastmilk, formula is a life saver! And for moms whose milk is unfit for babies to eat then formula is an alternative along with donated human milk. The only reason some women get all preachy about breastmilk is cuz the average person has no idea the vast differences between the two choices.

So, that said, education about normal feeding of infants is definitely warranted. But once a woman and man are informed fully, it's their choice and they should be respected.

But I myself had NO idea the full amount of differences between breast and bottle until I took it upon myself to search the Internet and find the facts myself. So with all the obgyn visits, the hospital stay, my friends and family, none of them gave me the full extent of the facts.

Someone should have told me, and it's sad that the information is hidden for the sake of 'respecting' the womans choice.

Blind choices end badly, informed choices are usually happily accepted.

April - posted on 01/20/2011

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It is very hard without a support system but it's just something that unfortunately comes with the territory for most moms in this formula feeding country (USA). I have a very loving family myself but when it comes to nursing...they are NOT supportive and constantly ask when I am going to wean (they have NO concept of natural duration at all)

Carol - posted on 01/20/2011

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I think its personally choice, especcially if you dont have a support system. I bottle fed my son with formula, and im breast feeding my daughter. I regret not breast feeding my son.

Jaime - posted on 11/23/2010

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I support breast feeding and formula feeding equally. From a personal standpoint, if a woman is able, I think it is in her best interest to give breast feeding a try...but if she chooses not to try it, so be it.

Kimberly - posted on 11/22/2010

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I BF my first because I was poor. Buying formula would have been absolutely impossible. I was given free samples at the hospital, but I never used them because I knew if we didn't get the hang of it I would have been in big trouble trying to feed her. I had pretty much zero support from experienced BFers but I didn't have options.

We went on to have a wonderful BFing relationship, and I was happy to BF my two other children when they came along, but my experience with learning everything the hard way led me to researching how in the world our species had managed to survive when so many mothers had trouble feeding their babies by the breast.

In the past, mothers had the support of other mothers. It was normal for a baby to be fed by an aunt or sister in law for a few days if a new mom was exhausted or her milk was slow to come in. It was normal for a new mom to be lent an experienced nursling with a strong suck to help get her for one or two nursing sessions in order to help bump up her supply.

Without these societal BFing norms in place to support new mothers, we substitute pumps and SNS, and bottles and formula, send moms back to work in 6-12 weeks, and it is HARD to manage it all yourself.

If society needs to change to make BFing easier, we have to focus on supporting the new mother, and making that the norm. It doesn't matter how baby gets fed, as long as baby IS fed. But a culture that supports mothers fully, will probably lead to more mothers feeding their babies with human milk.

All that being true, I do think that we do need to make it a standard of care that all new mothers should be instructed to put their baby to their breast in the minutes of birth, even if they intend to bottle feed exclusively. This has nothing to do with feeding or bonding, but purely to do with the mother's health. BFing clamps down the uterus and helps to slow bleeding and start the healing process in the mother's body. Even just as a one time "take your medicine" measure, this simple instruction would do wonders for helping give mothers the physical edge they need to get back to feeling good.

April - posted on 11/12/2010

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i'm starving right now and i'm waiting for my husband to bring me food. i am near tears! So hungry that i feel sick!

I cannot imagine what a baby must go through if his parents are the kind that wait until he cries!

Charlie - posted on 11/12/2010

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Yep thats what i do feed on cue , Harry never cries he is a happy baby .

Minnie - posted on 11/12/2010

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It's called 'feeding on cue.' That whole on-demand doesn't do babies any good. People think that they have to wait until their babies DEMAND it. So Babywise supporters still say "oh I fed on demand...every three hours."

April - posted on 11/12/2010

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I thought it was horrible that my son never cried for anything as a newborn...he still doesn't cry unless he is in severe pain. Now I think it was probably a blessing in disguise because I constantly offered him the breast. I wouldn't call it feeding on demand because he didn't seem to demand anything, but I offered frequently enough that he tripled his birth weight by 6 months old.

**I wish i knew it was normal for a baby to feed several times an hour because then I would have offered even MORE!!

[deleted account]

Yep, there are a few times that stick out in my head where I wished I would've fed her sooner. It's so hard to learn all of this stuff all at once. Now I can easily recognize hunger cues and will feed the next baby on demand from the beginning. Once I let go of that 'but you just ate!" feeling we were both happier.

Kate CP - posted on 11/11/2010

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I knew when to feed my daughter because my boobs would get hard and she'd start grunting and fidgeting. :P

[deleted account]

It's the same thing as the parents that wait until their child is "tired" before they put them to bed. If your child is yawning, whining and crying they're OVER tired and it becomes a fight, and usually not a voluntary one on their part. BUT....that's a whole other topic too, right Lisa!? ;)

Minnie - posted on 11/11/2010

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:(. She's probably missed so many cues like sticking out his tongue, rooting, becoming more active, quickened breathing, etc.

Unfortunately, many mothers are told to wait for crying before nursing their babies.

April - posted on 11/11/2010

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that reminds me...i was talking to my friend about nursing her 3 month old. She told me she knows to feed him because he cries every 2 hours. **crying is the last sign of hunger (poor baby!)

Minnie - posted on 11/11/2010

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I, on the other hand, can't pump much and my babies nurse very frequently. I'm perfectly able to meet their caloric needs, but my storage capacity is smaller than others, so my girls couldnt go the three hours that some babies can without nursing.

I think that that is one thing that discourages mothers- I was told in the hospital that my daughter should nurse every three hours. She wanted to nurse nearly constantly off the bat and both nursed a few times every hour. Some people have called into question my milk-making capability, but I have successfully breastfed two children, and my second didn't have a crumb of solids until ten months and is still nursing at two. Each woman has a different storage capacity. Lower- nurse more frequently. Higher- baby may not have to nurse as much.

That's why I hate scheduling, but that's a completely different topic.

[deleted account]

I for sure have large storage capacities. I had to change bottles while pumping. I could get 5-8 oz at a time. I never *needed* to pump. Most of the milk I stored was from "catching" what came out of the other side while nursing (due to my severe oversupply). When I did pump it was with the Medela manual pump. I loved that pump. I ended up donating 300+ oz. I actually hope I have oversupply next time as well so I can donate again.

Minnie - posted on 11/10/2010

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Dana and Cassie, that's excellent. You both found a method of pumping and a type of pump that worked well for you! Some mothers have a large amount of milk-producing tissue and have large storage capacities.

Cassie - posted on 11/10/2010

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That's how I am too Dana. Emma is almost 5 months old. I pump once a day while at work and get anywhere between 5-9 ounces per session. I guess I thought that was a normal amount for pumping both breasts. I never had to pump with Kiera since I stayed home with her for the first 12 months.

[deleted account]

Hmmm....

Roxanne stopped breastfeeding around 6 months but I continued pumping until she was 11 months. I was always able to pretty much fill a bottle every time. My frozen supply ran out when she was b/w 13-14 months.

Minnie - posted on 11/10/2010

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That's pretty common. Mothers can pump a ton in the early weeks and then come about four months they wonder what happened. The majority of e-mails I get are from mothers who need to pump for work and all of a sudden they're having trouble- usually around three to four months. A good way for mothers to minimize the amount they need to pump is to make sure the care givers are bottle feeding in a way that is similar to breastfeeding- the baby won't take as much milk that way.

April - posted on 11/10/2010

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i think the 1 ounce thing is after your supply regulates. I am sure Lisa would know for sure if she comes back to this debate! I used to get about 8 ounces a session then once my son turned about 5 months it became 1 oz. Also my boobs didn't like the hospital grade pump. i got much more out with my tiny hand held pump!

[deleted account]

I honestly think that every situation is different. When my son was hospitalised for jaundice, severe dehydration and severe weight loss at 6 days old I was asked to pump milk so they could tube feed him. Not even an ounce came out of them put together. In my case my milk wasn't there, it wasn't a case of the pump didn't work as if it had been there my son wouldn't have lost so much weight =]

[deleted account]

I hate that for your friend April. I feel my SIL was misled by her children's pediatrician. She nursed each of the three for no more than 6 weeks. But I wouldn't tell her that. For one thing, she had the first two before I became a mother. For her third, I encouraged her and kept my mouth shut otherwise. I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination. But from what little I do know about BFing and infant development, I think she was given bad advice.



By the way, I would typically get between 2-4 ounces on the occasions I pumped. I had to explain to people that my daughter was much more efficient than a machine. She had the instincts to get the milk out. Why should that have to be explained?

April - posted on 11/10/2010

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PS. I do consider myself militant. I am not one to force breastfeeding on someone, but i am one to talk it up when I see a chance. I am also one that will never offer my child formula unless it is a medical necessity. I don't think you have to be forceful on someone else to still be militant and proud of it!!

April - posted on 11/10/2010

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I know .I wanted to cry! But then, i would have scared her and she is currently nursing her second child. i actually had to excuse myself because i was talking about breastfeeding too much. I didn't want to her to think of me as a zealot or militant. i am just thankful that she is still nursing her 3 month old. Sometimes less is more!!

Minnie - posted on 11/10/2010

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You're right, April. Even at the breast, a baby who nurses every hour will only get about an ounce or two. And a pump is far less efficient. Pump six ounces- wow!

Celeste - posted on 11/10/2010

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Wow! That's really sad. I nursed twins and couldn't get more than the average output!

It is disheartening that there is so much misinformation out there for moms who want to breastfeed.. And a lot of it is given by medical professionals.

April - posted on 11/10/2010

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well this thread is kind of getting slow...so i thought i would add that it is amazing how much misinformation is out there. My friend just told me that she stopped nursing because her doctor told her that if she couldn't pump at least 6 oz. in a pumping session, then that meant her milk was drying up. Her child was 4 months old he moved to formula!

*FYI the average pumping output is 1 ounce and some women just cannot pump no matter what fancy device is out there. It has NOTHING to do with supply!

Minnie - posted on 11/08/2010

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Yes, definitely any stressful procedure can have an effect on breastfeeding.

Charlie - posted on 11/08/2010

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I just wanted to add that it isnt exclusive to circumcision ANY surgical procedure can have this affect the reason circumciosn is focused on is because its is a common ( although decreasing rapidly ) cosmetic procedure in the U.S unlike emergancy surgeries that may be performed .

Minnie - posted on 11/08/2010

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Sherri, everything that I state regarding breastfeeding is evidence-based. Loureen is correct- there is a direct correlation between circumcision and difficulty breastfeeding. It's wonderful that your boys did not have trouble after the procedure but it is a fact that traumatic procedures definitely DO result in difficulties within the breastfeeding relationship in many cases.

[deleted account]

In my opinion, one of the things that can make breastfeeding difficult is lack of knowledge and prepararion. It's "natural" yes, but it doesn't always come naturally.

Charlie - posted on 11/08/2010

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While it doesnt effect EVERY CHILD the same it can disrupt breastfeeding .
The circumcision procedure frequently causes the newborn to withdraw from his environment,interfering with his process of bonding and breastfeeding.

La Leche League International (LLLI) first reported problems with breastfeeding by circumcised male infants in 1981. Circumcision has long-lasting postoperative pain that continues for days after the surgical event. Howard et al. found that some male babies are unable to suckle the mother's breast after circumcision, thus confirming the LLLI report.

The Workgroup on Breastfeeding of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that stressful procedures that interfere with breastfeeding be avoided.

Breastfeeding problems among circumcised male infants have been verified by lactation consultants worldwide .

Sherri - posted on 11/08/2010

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Lisa circumcision has NOTHING to do with difficulty in breastfeeding!! Sorry but that one made me laugh. All my kids have been circumcised and so have all my friends and families boys breastfeeding is never an issue.

Sherri - posted on 11/08/2010

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Neither one matters it is simply what works best for each persons family plain and simple.

Minnie - posted on 11/08/2010

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There definitely is quite a list of issues that could make it difficult to initiate breastfeeding- a difficult birth, not breastfeeding within the first hour after the birth, circumcision, bottles/pacifiers given in the hospital, a sleepy baby due to drugs given during labor, birth trauma such as injured nerves or muscles from the mother not being in the right position, tongue tie, neurological disorders, pushy hospital personnel who squash the baby onto the breast vs. letting the baby lick and sniff his way to latching, etc.

Much of these issues are due to a medicalized maternity care system and breastfeeding misinformation. It can be frustrating and difficult to navigate the system and initiate something that not many mothers have experienced before (breastfeeding).

Charlie - posted on 11/08/2010

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It can take months to establish a good latch !

Breastfeeding isnt easy all the time it takes some work i know mine sure did the second time round .

April - posted on 11/07/2010

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did you seek the help of a lactation consultant or La Leche League? I wonder why he wouldn't latch. Maybe he has a short tongue or some kind of issue like that?

I am just wondering because my son had a really hard time latching...a REALLY hard time. When he finally latched, he was terrible at breastfeeding. I had the cliche cracked and bleeding nipples for weeks on end.

What helped was going to a lactation specialist. I always went to her if I needed help..even after a year.

Celeste - posted on 11/07/2010

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Cheyenne, I don't know if you plan on trying again, and this is just for future reference. Sometimes, it can take longer than 2 weeks for a baby to latch. One of my twin boys developed nipple confusion and refused to latch for 6 weeks. He was given a bottle and then preferred the bottle. But having said that, you did what you felt was best at the time!

Cheyenne - posted on 11/07/2010

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i tried for 2 weeks to breast feed my son. he wouldnt latch on, he wouldve rather have had formula. so I did not make that descion. i wasnt going to starve my baby just because breast milk is better and he wouldnt latch.

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