Bottle vs. Breast

Schmoopy - posted on 10/09/2010 ( 182 moms have responded )

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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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Ashley - posted on 10/09/2010

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what ever works for each child and mother are teenagers are not going to care we are not going to wounder if i had off breast fed would my 16 year old off passed that math test. Yes breastfeeding is wonderful for bounding and i loved that but it also makes your boobs hurt u always have a let down at the worst times u wake up wet and sticky pumping for me sucked and for me breastfeeding near people was uncomfortable. But i would do it again even though bottle feeding is way more convenient for me anyway. Why because i loved having that time with my baby.

Charlie - posted on 10/09/2010

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I find that incredibly sad and juvenile .

I understand WHY a woman doesnt want to breastfeed in your area but it doesnt excuse the behaviour of people in general to make mothers feel that way .

Sherri - posted on 10/09/2010

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I would say 1% or less breastfeed here past 3 mo's or so. Teresa so it is a very extremely uncomfortable situation Teresa out of every friend I have only 2 have ever breastfed other than myself. One comfortably and no problems but she is not very conservative anyways. She still only did it till 3 mo's or so. My other still breastfeeds but NEVER in front of anyone ever, not even family she will go in a room privately or she pumps and bottle feeds. I can honestly say I am 38 and I have maybe only seen a handful of people ever breastfeed in public and they have always been infants only. It 99% of the time is always a bottle. This includes malls, fairs, restaurants, planes. I mean anywhere. It really is kept extremely private if done.

I remember when my son was 3 mo's old and I was at a friends house for a Christmas Eve party. My son got hungry and I discreetly started breastfeeding him. The lady next to me whipped around and started staring horrified, which in turn caused the room to go silent and everyone else started to stare as well. I never again when I went to someones home breastfed from my boob again. I pumped and fed him by bottle only. This is not very much the norm here then not.

Sarah - posted on 10/09/2010

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I had every intention to breastfeed my son, but like someone else mentioned, things don't always go as planned! Before my son was born, I imagined how simple & natural breastfeeding would be. I envisioned this beautiful, bonding breastfeeding experience...yeah, not so much. Once my son was born, I dreaded every feeding session. I had a hell of a time trying to get my son to latch on correctly & even after two months of trying, we still never got it quite right. Every feeding session was painful, tiring, stressful & I knew my son could sense my tension and frustration. I spent money on two different types of breast pumps & was very dissapointed when I could only get like 1oz or less at each session. When I decided to go to formula exclusively after 8 weeks, feeding sessions became relaxing & tension-free & I knew my son was happier, too. :) I'll try to breastfeed again with my next child & if it doesn't work out, oh well.

[deleted account]

What is taboo where you live, Sherri, is normal where I live.... I nursed my son in public til he was 2 and no one ever said a word or even looked at me funny. ;) Of course, I do live where 50% or more of mom's are still breastfeeding at 6 months and I 'believe' it was 30something% at 12 months. :)

Johnny - posted on 10/09/2010

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That's really sad Laura. The predominant thing that you see around here is breastfeeding. I was the only mother to use a bottle at my baby group and from my pre-natal class. But not one person ever questioned me or berated me or attacked me or anything even close to that. My friends who knew what I was going through always supported me. It was actually my doula, who is an LC who gave me my bottle warmer for my baby shower. The only time I ever felt attacked or unsupported was when I went to La Leche for help. That was something nasty, and I would never offer that organization my support or my recommendation ever. It's too bad that some of the breastfeeding population has decided to take that sanctimonious attitude and spread it around. So unhelpful!

Isobel - posted on 10/09/2010

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That's exactly why I am so protective of formula feeding moms...it has come full circle where I am...nobody bottle feeds in public.

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 .

Sherri - posted on 10/09/2010

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Loureen I bottle fed and I never sterilized, never boiled water it was simply I put some powder in a pitcher and put water in from the tap. Stirred and throw it in the fridge. To heat I would put in a bottle and throw in the microwave for 20secs or so. If we were going out I had premeasured the formula out and put extremely hot water in a bottle and off we went. When my kids were hungry just pour formula in bottle and shake.

It is also extremely taboo to just whip out your boob while visiting at someones home or in front of a group of people. Also in the U.S. you are back to work full time by 12wks. Most work places do not have places to pump other than a bathroom and they are not going to give you 20 mins or so to do so when you should be working during the day. You will lose your job. So when the baby is at the sitter beginning anywhere from 6-12wks. You really have no choice to switch to formula. Especially when they are there for 8-10 hrs a day.

Also to breastfeed a child older than 12mo's in public is just not okay, by that time it would really need to be done in private. As in the US I believe by 12mo's only 17% of the entire country even breastfeeds that long and only 12% of the entire country exclusively breastfeeds to 6mo's.

If someone dared ask my that Laura I would knock them out. How dare they be so rude. I would never explain myself or decisions to anyone.

I wold have been furious April if they had done that to me in the hospital. I knew about breastfeeding my 1st son wouldn't latch had enough with that we were both miserable so bottle it was. 2nd breastfed for 3 1/2mo's, 3rd for 1mo he was like the hoover vacuum and caused massive sores. So bad I was bloody and scabbed. Totally done with that bottle he went. I was only a SAHM mom for the 3rd. So if it had worked out I would have breastfed till he was around 10mo's but it didn't so oh well.

My mom told me that breastfeeding wasn't very prevalent back in the 70's either. She bottle fed my brother and I. I have found this to be quite often true with my friends parents too as they actually were all more comfortable with my friends bottle feeding then breastfeeding.

[deleted account]

"but it makes me so sad that many mothers don't even try breastfeeding"

Why would you feel sad for someone else's feeding choice? Big deal! A mom didn't want to or even attempt to nurse. Nothing to feel sad about in the slightest!

Krista - posted on 10/09/2010

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@Kate: Oh, I don't doubt that those women exist.

But is demonizing formula the answer? I just think that it's very possible to encourage and support breastfeeding, and to make sure that expectant and new mothers have all the resources that they need, without needing to trash formula (and by extension, the mothers who use it.)

We can promote and encourage breastfeeding, and STILL let the formula-feeding moms buy a freaking onesie that says "formula-powered" -- why does it have to be an either-or scenario, where acknowledging ANY merits to formula somehow takes away from the breastfeeding cause?

Isobel - posted on 10/09/2010

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weird...how different some places are from each other...I'm quite certain that anybody "caught" bottle feeding in my neighbourhood would be asked exactly what went wrong with their breastfeeding experience.

Kate CP - posted on 10/09/2010

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Krista: Yea, a lot of moms don't even want to try to breastfeed. I talked to one woman who was like "Eew, that's gross. My husband plays with them, I don't want my kid sucking on them!" I just shook my head. I see lots of women bottle feed and not nearly enough nurse in public. I think breast is obviously best but I don't think any less of a mom for bottle feeding.

Isobel - posted on 10/09/2010

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where I live EVERYBODY breastfeeds...I can't remember the last time I saw a woman bottle feed in public.

Krista - posted on 10/09/2010

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it makes me so sad that many mothers don't even try breastfeeding and that society has programmed them to not even think about it

Is that really still the case, though? I don't know about you, but when I was pregnant, I heard about breastfeeding from every pregnancy book I read, from my obstetrician, from message boards, in TV ads. Frankly, I would have had to have been living under a rock to have not realized that breastfeeding was an option.

April - posted on 10/09/2010

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i agree that families need to do what works for them, but it makes me so sad that many mothers don't even try breastfeeding and that society has programmed them to not even think about it. i was one of those mothers that didn't realize breastfeeding was an option until a nurse came to my room and just popped my son on my boob. There was no "would you like to try nursing?"

Charlie - posted on 10/09/2010

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See i will never understand formula feeding being easier though , i know several people who chose to bottle feed for this very reason , nothing else , now i understand an issue that can make breastfeeding difficult and that is where support and information comes in , if it doesnt work out becaue of these issues then luckily there is formula however just going on the suggestion that bottle feeding itself is easier i would have to disagree .

I did both and washing , steralizing , measuring , boiling water , waiting for water to cool , shaking the bottle then feeding then REPEAT is SO much harder than popping a boob out and latching on.

Krista - posted on 10/09/2010

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I agree with the others -- whatever works best for your family is the best choice. And I think that it is very admirable to promote breastfeeding and to make sure that a woman has all of the assistance possible in helping her to breastfeeding. I just think that it is a crying shame that the promotion of breastfeeding has lately appeared to go hand-in-hand with the demonization of formula and formula-feeding mothers. We can promote and support breastfeeding without making formula-feeding moms feel like they're doing something shameful.

Johnny - posted on 10/09/2010

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I think that virtually always (there are rare cases of milk protein allergies) breast milk is the best thing for the baby. But formula is there to make them strong and healthy when breast milk is not available for whatever reason. I don't think it can be really distilled down to a "vs." sort of thing. Is the baby being fed appropriate infant food? Yes? Then that is "best".

Sherri - posted on 10/09/2010

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I only breastfed my youngest 2 and only for a short time all were done by 3 months. My oldest only bottle fed. Have found no difference between any of them. Have no problems with people that breastfeed or bottle feed. I personally liked bottle feeding easier and my kids all thrived on formula. Thank heavens for free samples and coupons.

I also don't think breast is always best because it wasn't best for my family. So in our case breast wasn't best for us.

Charlie - posted on 10/09/2010

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I just want that i had a very different experience with my first born , i had PND and breastfeeding actually worsened my depression , after every feed for no real reason i would feel like i was falling into a black hole , i would curl up in my room and cry and i was told it was because of the severe increase then decrease of hormones and PND that i was feeling this way , it really affected my ability to be the best mother i could and i persevered for six months against my will , i know now that wasnt the best choice i made , i am happy i breastfed my first for those months but i ask myself at what cost ?

Luckily i do not suffer from PND this time around so i am fully able to enjoy breastfeeding my LO , its a whole new , positive experience for me but i knew if PND was the case this time i would not push myself to breastfeed like i did last time .

Rosie - posted on 10/09/2010

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ii absolutely think ashie has it nailed!! whatever works best for your family is the best choice. i was miserable trying to breastfeed. my son wasn't happy, i wasn't happy, and formula was the thing that made both of us happy. if breastfeeding makes you happy than go for it. i don't get why people have the attitude that one is better than the other. everybody knows that breastmilk is the better choice when only nutrition is a factor, but people need to realize that everybody is different, what works for one, may not work for another. there are so many other factors in play when this discussion comes up that sometimes people just didn't know, or didn't think about before.

Charlie - posted on 10/09/2010

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Big fan of breastmilk here BUT formula may have saved my babies life when there was no milk bank to provide him after i gave birth and had zero colostrum and by day two his heartbreaking cries were discovered to be from dehydration , no wet nappies , paper dry tongue , cracked lips , i had to pump like hell for a week to get anything if it wasnt for formula he would be dead , im thankful for that , im also thankful that my milk came in and came in a plenty on day 7 because i was honestly heartbroken that i would not get to breastfeed when the midwife said i had nothing , two days old and i felt like a failure .

Breast is best but formula is a perfectly good alternative as long as babies are fed im not worried !

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I am personally a huge fan of breastfeeding, but as long as your child is well loved and cared for... breastmilk from the tap, breastmilk from the bottle, combo feed, or strictly formula from the bottle.... so what?

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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.

Ary - posted on 10/09/2010

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Of course breast is "best," but a bottle giving lovingly is infinitely better than a breast given grudgingly. I was a breastfeeder myself, but I know many many bottlefed babies that are just as healthy, happy, and intelligent as my babies (well, almost...can't help it....my personal bias always gives my babies the edge ;)). I'm against judgmental moms that think their way is best, and that other moms are inferior because they chose differently. That's what really chaps my ass....but, alas, I think that rant will probably be better for another thread :)

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]

Everyone knows nutritionally breast is best, butt hat doesn't mean women shouldn't have a choice of how to feed their babies. I planned to breastfeed my son to at least the age of one but plans don't always go to plan. My milk didn't come in and didn't find this out until he had been admitted into neonatal with severe jaundice, dehydration and had dropped from 6lb 12oz to 5lb 9oz. So for us formula was the only option.

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