What would you choose? Breast milk in a bottle or formula from breasts?

[deleted account] ( 72 moms have responded )

I know, I know, I know. It's another one.



I'm reading a book that posed an extrememly interesting question. It asked: if you had to choose between bottle feeding your baby on a schedule with little body contact, but with breast milk in the bottle or breastfeeding your baby on cue with formula coming out of your breasts which would you choose? Would you choose the product of breast milk or the process of breastfeeding?



I understand that you would never have to make this choice, but I found the question so intriguing that I thought about what I would choose. Obviously I love both parts of breastfeeding, the nutrition and the super close snuggles. What part would be more important to you?



If you bottle feed do you prefer to bottle feed baby snuggled up against you? Do you feel that contact is important?







Please play nice, I'm really interested to know what other moms think! :)

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Tinker1987 - posted on 01/22/2012

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i would totally bottle feed breast milk...my issue was never against breast milk,i just had a hard time nursing. its harder then it looks!!

Angela - posted on 02/25/2012

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having had one that was bottle-fed and one that was breastfed I can honestly say there is no difference in either growth/health or in emotional stability/closeness... it all comes down to how you parent all round - I just wish people would stop making bottle feeders feel bad and make them think they are emotionally and physically damaging thier children when they are in fact feeding and nuturing them..

[deleted account]

The sickness didn't factor into my thoughts, really my point was children can be healthy when ff and can get sick when bf and vice versa.

Sigrid - posted on 02/05/2012

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Definitely breast milk for my babies. However, new mothers shouldnt be pressured into breast feeding if they dont want to. Formula milk is just as good. It's the mother's choice.

Sigrid - posted on 02/05/2012

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Definitely breast milk for my babies. However, new mothers shouldnt be pressured into breast feeding if they dont want to. Formula milk is just as good. It's the mother's choice.

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Eva - posted on 03/06/2012

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I breast fed for 6 weeks sometimes it was breast milk in the bottle dure to sore nipples and got mastitis twice in that period and it created too much stress to carry on. I formular feed now and we still are very close, I still hold him in the same position as breast feeding, it is comfotable and still close. Some people are living in the past, due to science and the knowledge we have these days, formular is so advanced. Breast is stil best obviously but if a mother cannot breast feed, then we are lucky that there are other options.

Maree - posted on 02/29/2012

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I agree with Toni that it has nothing to do with judgment....yet some people still feel the need to go on about it.

Suzanne - posted on 02/29/2012

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I would choose breast milk in the bottle. I formula fed my son by choice, we always and still do have plenty of snuggles so i dont think we missed out on any bonding. When I bottle fed him he was always in my arms. I agree breast is best but it wasn't for me, my son is strong and healthy so I have no regrets x

Mother - posted on 02/26/2012

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I was fortunate enough to breastfeed. It was a wonderful experience but I'm with Angela....why are people so cruel?? Some woman can't breastfeed. Just because they are formula feeding does not make them bad parents...

Cyndel - posted on 02/25/2012

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Personally the emotional health is more important than the physical in this instance I have good eating habits and will give my child years of good examples, I would choose the nursing and formula.

[deleted account]

I used both pumped breastmilk & formula for my son. For me, the priorty was nourishment. My son was a slow weight gainer and breastmilk did not satisfy my son or help him gain weight. I had no preference in the later months after I realized that my body simply failed at producing milk. He thrived on formula-so in the grand scheme of life, it didn't matter.

Desiree - posted on 02/22/2012

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I bottle fed my son with pumped breast milk. I initially tried to breastfeed directly but he had a problem latching on so it was easier (less stressful to both of us) to bottle feed. Therefore I'd choose bottlefeeding breast milk because that was what I did given the situation. One other big advantage is that his dad could also take turns, which was great because both of us can have that special bond you share while nursing/bottle feeding & cuddling.

While I think breast is best, I have nothing against formula either. I did give my son formula since about 5 months because my milk supply gradually wasn't enough for him. He's healthy and that's all that matters.

Rachael - posted on 02/17/2012

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I would choose breastmilk in a bottle. I loved the closeness of bfing, but you can still cuddle a bottle-fed baby very closely, and have all the bonding associated with it, while they receive the best nutrition (not that formula is bad in any way, just different and less natural). When my son was done bfing, our bonding never ceased. I believe bfing is more about the nutrition than the relationship, since a close and healthy relationship can be formed with your baby in so many different ways.

Jen - posted on 02/12/2012

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I'd pick formula with the cuddling, but for me it wasn't too much of a choice anyway. Son is adopted and I never liked the idea of donated breast milk, so he was a formula fed baby since he left the hospital. He's three now and I can't imagine he'd be any different if he had been breast fed.

Sherri - posted on 02/12/2012

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For my last I slept on the couch but I had him in a bassinet next to me.

Merry - posted on 02/12/2012

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Statistically, couch sleeping is far far more dangerous then safe bed sharing.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/12/2012

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Where I had to stop breastfeeding with my son at 3 months, I most definitely made a very strong effort to keep up the skin to skin with him during formula feeding. It definitely can be done. There is no better way than the other, except that there are great nutrients and benefits to breast milk. I don't feel anyone is lesser a parent for choosing BF or FF. I would never want a parent that found BF'g stressful to do it anyway, that is stressful for the baby too.



Although, I let my first sleep in my bed and that became very stressful by age 3. Not with my son, he has never ever slept in bed with me. I did however sleep with him on the couch for the first 3 months (I just couldn't put him down in his crib and I didn't want to have to get up every 2-3 hours) I am sooo glad that is over! ;)

Rebekah - posted on 02/12/2012

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Never enjoyed nursing. I'd be the happiest mother in the world if I could bottle feed my son breast milk without pumping.

[deleted account]

My SIL co slept while bottle feeding Laura.



Also on the skin to skin thing, you would make the conscious effort to give skin to skin if you bottle fed Laura...I know I did with Ethan yet I don't even think about it with poppy because we get it naturally.

April - posted on 02/08/2012

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i am so with you on the bedsharing, Laura. Zach was 2 when we started bedsharing. For 2 years it was an all night milk buffet where i had to get up anywhere from 5 to 7 times to get him to the nursing chair. NEVER again, I tell you. I can get up multiple times but I'm not leaving my bed!

April - posted on 02/08/2012

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breast milk in a bottle. the bond can still occur with bottles! also, breast milk digests faster than formula, so a 4 hour schedule really wouldn't work. i would have given my son the bottle as often as he would have nursed (based on how often a typical newborn nurses and how often an older infant nurses at various stages)

Merry - posted on 02/08/2012

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Oh I know you can! I just don't know if I would lol.

I never think, let's do skin to skin! It just happens when I'm feeding.

And I thought one of the 'rules' to safe co sleeping was you had to be breastfeeding.

Stifler's - posted on 02/08/2012

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Renae is really good at eating like picks stuff up and eats it now she used to choke on anything I offered her on a spoon but would eat a sandwich she snatched off Logan.



@Laura you can still co sleep and do skin to skin if you bottle feed. I am the opposite I could not stand the kids being in our room when they were really small!

Merry - posted on 02/08/2012

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I choose no answer.

I can't decide which is more important to me

Nutrition of my milk for my baby is very important and it's got tobe the biggest reason I breastfeed.

But I also do it so my baby gets the skin to skin often, so I can cosleep at night, so I have a hand free, so I'm not tempted to let baby feed themself, so their teeth and jaws are strong and straight from not using a bottle, so I'm not doing dishes all the time, so I don't have to pack all the crap around place to place, so it's easier and simpler to feed.

Nutrition is like 50% of it and the other 50% is divided into all that other stuff so I'm completely torn.



As for co sleeping, when she was little yes I woke sore and stiff I felt I didn't move allllll night and I was constantly conscious of where she and I was and making sure she could breathe. BUT even with the soreness and all I was waking much more rested then I was when my son slept beside my bed.

And after a while I was able to sleep in more comfy positions with her as she grew and now I wake up feeling only a little sore somedays but seriously, no soreness could outweigh the fact that I'm waking feeling rested.

Eric was one year old when I one day woke up and thought to myself, wow I'm not tired!

I've been doing that since Fierna was only a few months old, well actually, every since I brought Eric back into our bedroom too!

Just the fact of getting out of bed makes my sleep worse. If I have to wake so be it, but I'm not getting out of bed!

I can't imagine not bed sharing. It's the best decision I've made in a long time :)

[deleted account]

Thank you meme, I'm in no way concerned about poppy, she eats everything we put in front of her, and is gaining weight lovely (following her 25% line) she is just sick an awful lot with the reflux. It drives me nutty tbh, I know it'll stop in the next few months so I'm not worried about it I've been there before lol.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/08/2012

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Actually my boy couldn't eat our food (table food) until about 14 months... He was however, OK with a bottle as long as it was a slow flow until he was 7.5 months... It'll get better Toni, I know it is frustrating and concerning for sure. We just want our LO's to be happy all the time, even when eating. ;)

[deleted account]

So lucky, Ethan didn't outgrow the reflux until he was 13/ 14 months old and poppy is still awful at 8 months old :-( I wish they stopped at 8 months...

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/07/2012

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Ah, that could be... My boy loves food, he definitely loves our food now. He is pushing 25lbs, not too shabby. LOL I think he really hated the jarred baby food! ;) He was 7.5 months before we could give him a 3-6 month nipple (fast flow).

Maree - posted on 02/07/2012

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meme,my daughters Paediatrician said it is very common for reflux babies to gag a lot. I had no idea about this because 11 years ago when my son started solids he never had this issue and ate constantly !!! My daughter is the opposite,she isn't particularly fussed on food.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/07/2012

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My son grew out of the acid reflux but went right into a gag reflex... He was about 13 months by the time he could tolerate some table food without gagging. Now for the past 6-7 weeks he has been able to eat everything. I brought him to a feeding specialist because I was concerned he was falling behind with eating "our" foods and no sooner than the next day of that visit he never gagged again... My MIL says the feeding specialist must have scared him into eating our food! LOL Now life is soo much easier.... ;)

Maree - posted on 02/07/2012

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Both my kids had severe reflux and both were/are breast fed. My daughters paediatrician said that putting her on formula may make it worse but can't be sure. She had a bottle of formula ONCE to see if she could go longer without a feed and she spewed the entire thing back up....she never did that with breast milk so either it made the reflux worse or it just tasted like shit !!!

Stifler's - posted on 02/07/2012

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Renae and Logan both grew out of it at 8 months. She barely spews anymore at all.

[deleted account]

I don't know Emma, Poppy's reflux is as bad as Ethan's was, I just hope it doesn't last as long, although it looks like it might, I cannot wait to feed my children and not have to consider them being sick lol.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/07/2012

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It's possible Emma but my boy had terrible reflux while breastfed... I think it probably depends more on the individual baby. My boy had to take Zantec at 3 weeks old due to his reflux. He grew out of it though before he was FF...

Stifler's - posted on 02/07/2012

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I formula fed both my kids practically from birth and they are perfectly healthy althought I do believe if I'd breastfed them their reflux might not have been as bad.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/07/2012

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IMO, breast Milk is best when possible, with that said, it does not guarantee your child will not have sickness. My daughter was BF for 16 months and from 12months to 3 years she was deathly ill, she had acute sinusitis. We spent more time in Hospital that out. My son was BF up to 3 months (had to stop for medical reasons on my behalf) he was then switched to Formula, he has not had the same issues as my daughter but he has had a few bouts of bad ear infections. Which I blame on the humidity here in NS due to the Ocean water, since where I am from, North AB, you never here of ear infections.



I loved breastfeeding because it felt right to me BUT I ended up loving bottle feeding simply because I had sooo much freedom with it (except for nipple cleaning, I use Playtex Drop-in system, so no bottle cleaning, only nipples but my DH and I shared that task). I loved that I could go out whenever I wanted, which BTW was very seldom but I had the opportunity whenever and my DH could stay home with our son.



I agree with Toni too. Some babies prefer and/or require cool milk and some parents prefer to not warm the milk. There is a boy in my sons Daycare (10 months old) and his parents never warmed his bottle, they simply made it ahead and let it self warm on the counter, for their own reasons....



So, I would definitely bottle feed breast milk... You can still feel just as close with your LO while bottle feeding as you can while breast feeding...

[deleted account]

Maree - some babies prefer cool/ cold bottles because warm milk makes them sick, my friends twins have to have cool formula made with cool water to help their reflux.



Ok to the question, it's a difficult one but I think I'd breastfeed formula. I have fed both to my kids (son bf for 3 wks, I won't go into why, and ff from then; my daughter was ff in nicu with breast milk top ups and is still being bf now at 8 months), and my son is incredibly healthy whereas my bf daughter not so much (she catches everything). I love the freedom bf gives me, I love not having to sort out bottle paraphernalia and warm bottles up etc, I have found bf to be so much easier than bottle feeding.



However, I could very easily be tempted into letting my hubby bottle feed breast milk at night, so she got some of the health benefits.

Minnie - posted on 02/06/2012

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Bottle feed with breast milk- because I'll just stick it in a SNS and breastfeed anyway. Aha!

Maree - posted on 02/05/2012

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Sigrid...why would you "definately choose breast milk for your babies" if you think formula milk is just as good???

Stifler's - posted on 02/04/2012

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I would prefer the breastmilk. I think there are misconceptions regarding bottle feeding, about as many as with breastfeeding. I bottle fed both my kids and I have bonded with them, they're loved and happy. I fed them on demand also, not everyone schedule feeds or denies their kids a feed when they're screaming because it's not 1 o'clock yet. I also warm the bottles. I didn't choose to formula feed them because I felt it was nutritionally supreme either, I had no breastmilk for whatever reason. I would have preferred to breastfeed (for the nutrition factor mainly).

Tanya - posted on 01/31/2012

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Breast milk in a bottle.



Nursing is about so much more than just milk, and you would actually lose a few of the benefits of nursing by having to bottle feed, but at least the bonding/nurturing aspect can be closely mimicked when bottle feeding. The components of human milk simple can NOT be replicated.

Bernadette - posted on 01/29/2012

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oh, by the way - interesting question, and I'm not really sure what I'd choose. I hate pumping, it's tiring and time-consuming and for me, pointless, as both of my kids flat refused to drink out of a bottle. I tried every brand and shape of teat under the sun, and they both just hated it. The only reason I really tried was for the odd occasions when breastfeeding was just too inconvenient, or if I needed to leave them with someone for a few hours. Needless to say, what I could do was pretty limited while they were exclusively breast fed. Life is so much easier when they start solids! Gives a little more freedom. And as for formula, you have to get up and prepare it and that's a pain. I did try that with my daughter briefly because there was a period where she just wouldn't stop crying at night and I thought maybe she wasn't getting enough. It was awful though, because I'd know she was hungry when she first started to cry. Well, by the time I got out of bed, went to the kitchen to prepare the bottle, warm it, etc, and came back, she'd be screaming so hard that there was no way she would accept it. The advantage of breastfeeding is that you can put them on as soon as you hear that first wimper, before they get themselves so worked up that the won't feed. I'm glad to not have to make that kind of decision, because I don't think either of them would work too well for me!

Bernadette - posted on 01/29/2012

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I couldn't co-sleep either. There have been plenty of times when I've fallen asleep while breastfeeding in bed, and wake up several hours later sore and unrested because even when I'm asleep, I'm conscious that the baby is there and seem to hold my body stiff so as not to roll and I just don't have a deep sleep. I have my baby in the cot right next to the bed, so I don't exactly have to get up either - I pretty much sit up, reach in and get the baby, then lay back down and feed. It's still easy enough, you don't have to get up, go to another room, turn any lights on, etc - you barely even wake up. Sorry, not exactly answering the question, just responding to a couple of other posts about how do breast feeding mothers not co-sleep, because it means having to get up. That's how you do it, just have the baby's bed right next to yours. I'm fine with sharing the room, just not the bed. I'd even kick my husband out of the bed if I could! I like my space when it comes time to sleep. I had to share with my nearly-3-yr-old last night when we stayed at a friend's place, and it was awful! We were in a queen size bed, and I had pretty much my body width worth of bed, and she had the rest! And then she'd turn around sideways, so her feet were against me and kick me. At one point, she rolled over and in doing so lifted her head and then put it back down...on my face! It was the worst sleep! And a few months ago we visited my sister for over a week, and she, my then seven month old son, and I shared a room. She and I shared the bed (same thing then too, she kept rolling over and kicking me in the back - a few times she just put her feet against my back and then pushed, like she was trying to push me out of the bed even though she was asleep) and my son was in the cot at the end of the bed. I put him in bed with us to feed him, and she rolled over and threw her leg over his head while he was feeding, and pinned him there with it. Nope, I definitely like to sleep by myself. I hate when my husband tries to cuddle in bed. I feel restricted, like I can't roll over when I need to, and if I can't roll over I get a sore back. Same if I've got bub in the bed, because I know I can't roll. It's still easy enough to feed with him in the cot in the same room though.

Janice - posted on 01/28/2012

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I definitely believe most older babies sleep better on their own but most newborns aren't sleeping thru either way. My eight week old sleeps for two 4-5 hour spans at night next to me. But all babies are different my daughter wasnt sleeping that well till over 4 months. She didn't sleep thru the night till I night weaned and moved her to her crib at 10 months.

[deleted account]

Janice: I wish my son would nurse nicely in bed. He is so picky on how he feeds. He has to face to my left at all times or he wont latch on right or feed well.



It's weird though a lot of doctors and researchers say that babies who sleep on their own sleep for longer and better. I haven't ever found that to be true with either of mine.

Janice - posted on 01/27/2012

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Yeah, I could sleep just about anywhere. Truthfully, I'm not sure how I manage to be so aware of the baby and yet feel well rested too but it works for me.

Sherri - posted on 01/27/2012

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I don't know how moms who breastfeed get any sleep at all co-sleeping. I could never do it. Even when I have this new one in a few weeks. I will get up every time he needs to be fed. I just can't sleep at all if I have kids in my bed.

Janice - posted on 01/27/2012

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Anna you make a good point. I was just telling my MIL that I dont know how mom's who don't co-sleep & breastfeed do it. I LOVE not getting out of bed in the middle of the night :)

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 01/27/2012

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Breastmilk from the bottle for sure! My son is 15 months and I still cuddle him for his bottle feedings! I breastfed my daughter for 16 months but I could only do 3 months with my son because my nipples became infected terribly... I would prefer breastmilk, since I could still get the closeness... ;)

[deleted account]

I would choose the bottle of breast milk no questions asked. After all you then just make other times for that closeness. Just like when you wean your child. It isn't like there is suddenly little to no close contact with them. You still cuddle them and keep them close.

Anna - posted on 01/27/2012

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I would choose breast milk in a bottle.



In this is a purely hypothetical situation though, I think my hypothetical preference would be breast milk in a bottle during the day and formula from the breast at night. We are mostly bed sharing at this point so feeding at the breast just makes sense. (would that be cheating)



Good question! Makes me glad I don't have to choose.

Jenna - posted on 01/26/2012

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It's really not that hard to let the water warm up before putting it in the bottle for the formula. You'd have to do that with pumped breastmilk too. I always make sure that the water is the same temp as my wrists, which means it's my body temp, so that way the formula is the same temp breastmilk would be. I know my husband has a different idea of what "body temperature" is and warms up the water too much so it feels hot to him and that's how he makes bottles. My son prefers my cooler bottles to his warmer ones.

Ania - posted on 01/26/2012

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Easy answer for me! I BF my son for 21 months and first 6 months...actually a year FOR ME was tough! I could not leave him for longer than 1h for the first 6 months, no sleeping through the night until he was 1 year old and constant judgment of my friends that I should enjoy life more and go out more. I already felt like my life is over I dodn't want to listen to their opinions. I didn't ask them I would choose breastmilk in the bottle!!! if it was that easy...pumping and bottle is even more work than just BF, or someone who is not amiliar with the topic...

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