Breastfeeding moms have a higher response rate?

Katherine - posted on 05/02/2011 ( 71 moms have responded )

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This is sure to piss some people off :|

The "breastfeeding bond" is a very controversial subject. Obviously, it's unfair to even suggest that moms who use bottles, whether it's formula or breast milk in them, don't bond with their babies, and fortunately that's not true in the slightest. In fact, what often dictates how a bottle-feeding mom bonds is HOW she bottle feeds. Great bonds can form when a bottle-feeding mom cuddles the baby or feeds like at the breast, meaning the baby is held close, making eye contact. Bottle-propping does not help with a bond.

However, a recent study from the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry has found that there is a distinct difference in the emotional response breastfeeding moms have versus formula-feeding, especially in those first few months.

The study says that a breastfeeding mom's brain showed a greater response to baby's cry, especially in the caregiving and empathy parts of the brain.

I know, I know ... no one likes to hear that there's any difference EVER between formula-feeding and breastfeeding moms, especially when it comes to something like how you are emotionally. The study suggests that the hormones released into the body while breastfeeding, especially prolactin and oxytocin, the chemicals responsible for euphoria and relaxation, "may all play an important role for mothers' brain activity and parenting behaviours during the early postpartum period."

Honestly, I can see it, I really can. I've both bottle-fed and breastfed ... I supplemented a newborn Rowan with formula for the first few weeks when we didn't understand his reflux nor did I understand breastfeeding. Bottle-feeding for me, even when I was cuddling my baby and looking into his eyes, was just ... different. I didn't love him any less or treat him any different, of course, but when I'd nurse him instead, I'd get the hormones that made me relax or sometimes even almost fall asleep, and sometimes I have to admit after a stressful day with my toddlers, getting them to just lay down and nurse calms ME down almost as much as them. It's nothing against bottles, of course, but there's no rush of hormones when you use a bottle, even if it's breast milk in it.

My guess too is when you formula-feed, other people feed your baby as well. You don't have a hormonal response every time your baby cries, then a chemical release every time you nurse them and get them to stop crying, so your body probably doesn't learn that every time the baby cries, you'll get "feel good" hormones. In that way, breastfeeding can be almost addictive, and it's why so many nursing moms hear a baby crying, even one that's not their own, and can have let-down and just want to nurse. But these are my thoughts, not the study's, obviously.

Of course, you don't want moms who can't or don't breastfeed to feel like they're being told they can't bond, because that's totally not true. The lead researcher, Dr. Pilyoung Kim, says, "It is important for loved ones to support mothers and help them cope with challenges related to breastfeeding and parenting during this period. Mothers unable to breastfeed may benefit from extra encouragement to engage in sensitive, caring interactions with baby."

I think taking the time to be with your newborn, maybe something like a "baby moon," can be super-important to early bonding.

Do you think the hormones breastfeeding moms feel changes how they feel emotionally when their baby cries?

http://thestir.cafemom.com/baby/119720/b...

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Chelsey - posted on 05/03/2011

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I definately had an emotional/hormonal response when I was breastfeeding...I wanted to run away and cry. I didn't have PPD, but with having problems at first with latching and then my daughter throwing up everytime I fed her I started to cringe everytime she cried and I started out not wanting to hold her anymore. Finally after 2 months of hell I told my husband to get his ass to the store and get me some bottles and formula. After that we started to bond...she stopped being so fussy from starving and feeling my emotions and I stopped pulling away and feeling crappy about not feeding her. I think its great that people love what they get out of breastfeeding, but I sure as hell didn't...I love bottles lol :)

Sarah - posted on 05/03/2011

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That all makes sense, I don't doubt for a minute that there is a chemical release when you breastfeed and that it is a good thing and a good feeling.

I haven't breastfed, so I can't really compare the two. I will say though that I was still the one to feed the girls 99% of the time, in fact, for the first few months, it was probably exclusively me.

The bit about this post that bothers me is this bit: " Mothers unable to breastfeed may benefit from extra encouragement to engage in sensitive, caring interactions with baby."
Why would we need "extra encouragement" to interact with our babies in a "sensitive, caring" way?!?!?!?
Just because we can't, or chose not to breastfeed, doesn't mean that we aren't sensitive and caring.

Giving my girls their bottle was the most relaxing and contented time of the day for all of us, we cuddled up and I would just stare and stare at them.......all that good stuff! lol

I'm not disputing the fact that there's a chemical reaction that happens etc. but I do get annoyed that even when the person posting, or the study itself is trying not to offend bottle feeders.........they still manage it somehow. ;)

Tah - posted on 05/09/2011

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o whatever..mourning now...puhlease..like i said..just outlaw bottlefeeding already, it'll save all the time of writing the articles that help make bottlefeeding moms feel like crap..

Tah - posted on 05/08/2011

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Now what this does make me wonder about is the part where it says it's addictive...which leads me to believe that moms who bf for extended time periods are doing it more for them and not the 5 year old on their breast...but it's just a thought....

Amy - posted on 05/08/2011

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I do not agree with this at all! I breast fed my son and we didn't bond at all. In fact when I switched to bottles I finally felt like we could bond. Then we had issues with our girl and had to bottle feed from the start. I feel so much more of a bond when I was bottle feeding.

I do however, feel it has more to do with the mom and baby. Some moms can't bond as much with bottles and others (like myself) bond better with bottles.

My kids are healthy happy and I've got a strong bond with both.

71 Comments

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Merry - posted on 06/16/2011

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There isnsomething special about knowing I'm the ONLY one who can feed Fierna. She absolutely refuses a bottle so really I'm it. It's both stressful and wonderful. I love that she really needs ME. While I know if she were on formula she would still need me, it would be different since she could survive just fine if I wasn't there.

Katherine - posted on 06/16/2011

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@ Jenny, I know this question would be offensive that's why I preluded with what I did.

Merry - posted on 06/16/2011

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Laressa,I do that too with my toddler who sleeps in a different room who I still breastfeed.

Laressa - posted on 06/15/2011

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I find it amazing that I regularly wake up just before baby. And he sleeps in a different room. I had never before specifically contributed that to bf. More to the connection we shared already before birth... sort of a telepathic communication

Jenny - posted on 05/12/2011

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"Do you think the hormones breastfeeding moms feel changes how they feel emotionally when their baby cries?"

As in changes how they feel emotionally when their baby cries v's formula feeding moms? I dont think so. I find this question offensive towards formula feeding mums (FFM's).

FFM's have to respond just as imediatley to their babies cry, if not more so as it can take a minute or so to prepare the formula in the bottle. I know i jumped quick as i could as soon as my newborn made a peep, she would cry like crazy when she was hungry so i would make sure i could get her the bottle in time.

A FFM that could not breastfeed despite trying so hard, will still want to be as bonded to baby as she hoped she'd be before she found out she couldnt BFeed.

Sharon - posted on 05/12/2011

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Not to mention - how does this work for dads? I guess they're all clueless morons when it comes to babies only we only need them for their sperm right?

Bullshit. My husband was AWESOMELY tuned in to our infants and kids. Yeah he could be clueless about neosporin versus bactine or something, or the reason WHY we gave our kids vaccines but for being tuned in, > I can promise you, the macho man was NOT breastfeeding.

Sharon - posted on 05/12/2011

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What is with the stream of barfemom shit? Does no one here have an original question, topic or ability to communicate themselves?

Yet another load of horseshit. You're as engaged with your baby as you let yourself be.

I've seen plenty of breastfeeding mothers who were shitheads and god knows I've read plenty of them here blathering on about whatever, while breastfeeding at the keyboard. Oh yeah, you're bonding. Bullshit.

You're feeding a baby. Not mixing up the next atom bomb. Yes pay attention. That the child doesn't drown or smother is a big deal. But good grief, sorry there aren't words for this idiocy.

[deleted account]

Regardless of what anyone thinks every individual has the right to choose how they want to feed their baby and not be made to feel bad about the decision they have made.
Not everyone can breastfeed and why should they have too when there are alot of good formulas out there, as I said in my other post I was able to breast feed my son for 2 years I now have another one on the way and if for some reason I am unable to breast feed that's fine with me because I know my baby will be loved just the same as my first.
Im sure there are babies out there who are breastfeed and then abused their whole lives, people need to get over this and focus on more important issues, bottle feeding a baby does them no harm what so ever so what's the issue, I think its people wanting to feel like they are better than everyone else or in this case people who couldn't breast feed.

Tanasha - posted on 05/10/2011

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I honestly can't say. My daughter was bottle fed. 5 weeks premature, latching difficulties, and other issues had me bottle feeding her. My son was breastfed for a couple months, before my supply started dwindling and he was not growing and gaining the way he should have. So I supplemented with forumla, eventually just switching over. And honestly, it is my daughter, who is the needy and clingy one. My son is very laid back, sociable, loveable, happy. and I don't feel any more bonded to one or the other. My response was always the same whenever either one of them cried. I would not let-down when i heard some other person's baby cry, even when I was nursing fully. So maybe there was just something wrong with me. My son is not as needy or clingy as my daughter, despite being fully breast fed for the first couple months of his life. I found breast feeding stressful, myself, except at night, after my daughter was in bed. She was naturally curious about it, and often was at her most distracting during those moments. However, all things considered, if I had another child, I would probably still try and breastfeed again, knowing a bit more about it. Not for emotional reasons, but for cost effectiveness :)

Tina - posted on 05/10/2011

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I couldn't get my son to breastfeed but just ask my partner my son would make the slightest noise and i could hear him and he couldn't. I did try to breast feed and I did express for some time. I had help to try and breast feed I was doing everthing I was suppose to do but my son just didn't want to work for it and it was better to go to bottle otherwise my son would have gotten very ill. Maybe it was also the fact my son had a hard time coming into the world it was a very long labour and i ended up having an emergency c section. I tried to establish breast feeding straight away I tried all I could it just wouldn't work my me. But as far as response goes and bonding and so forth I can't say that it has had an impact on that. I think it mostly depends on the mother. Some people can breast feed, some people try and can't and some people simply don't want to. I think the hormone response could just depend on the bond from the begining people have different attitudes when they have a child. Hormones are involved when it comes to breast feeding and for some people maybe it does affect their bond. But in other cases it may just be the parents overal attitude that makes the difference and how much they really wanted a baby in the first place. I think there are other things to take into account that is all I am saying. Breast feeding may affect your hormones but that's not to say it's the only thing affecting your overall repsonse.

Merry - posted on 05/10/2011

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And babies who have galactosemia will die if fed only breastmilk! They are the rare few who literally are better off with formula because their bodies can not tolerate human milk.
Rare, but it happens and those babies NeED formula!

Charlie - posted on 05/09/2011

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"Anyone, and I do mean anyone, can breastfeed, with the right support and the right guidance, there is no reason anyone would not be able to."

Actually there are real reasons that not ANYONE can breastfeed ,1) Tubular Breasts
2) Other failure of the breasts to develop
3) Double Mastectomy
4) Radiation of the breasts may damage the milk making system to the point that no milk is made -usually partial or full nursing is possible
5) Some nipple and breast may damage the milk making system to the point that no milk is made -usually partial or full nursing is possible
6) PCOS during puberty or pregnancy may prevent the proper development of the milk making system though partial breastfeeding may be possible. This can often be treated if caught in time, but if the damage is done it can be impossible to undo.
7) Arguably HIV may prevent a mom from breastfeeding, there are risks and benefits and each mom must make her own decision. However HIV positive moms generally must stop once solids are started
8) There are very few drugs that are not safer than formula feeding, however some do accumulate in breastmilk and the infant would get a higher dose than is safe.
9) Mom can not stop abusing drugs -illegal, legal, or prescription it doesn't matter. Excessive doses of anything are unsafe, however generally speaking this would stop the mother from being able to care for their baby at all. Moderate levels of cigarette smoking is safer than formula; smoking more than 1-2 packs a day (depending on which source you believe) is not safe.

What is often overlooked is mental health , for many breastfeeding can worsen depression .

I am all for breastfeeding and think everyone should try but I certainly wouldnt say ANYONE can breastfeed.

Tah - posted on 05/09/2011

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Well Nancy, your kids couldn't stop you I see, it's not a wonderful experience for everyone as many moms on this post have expressed, and bottle-feeding can be just as wonderful an experience and was for many

[deleted account]

I Breast feed my little man for 2 years but I must say the first month it was not an enjoyable experience at all, the pain of feeding was almost unbearable, I loved it after I got over this.
I don't agree at all with Mothers unable to breastfeed may benefit from extra encouragement to engage in sensitive, caring interactions with baby."
that is the most insulting thing I have ever heard, my Mother for example couldn't breast feed me and my twin sister as we were adopted and the bond we have with our mother is incredible, my Twin sister also couldn't breast feed and the bond she has and has always had is the same as I have with my son.
I cant understand the constant breast is best theory I feel lucky I could breast feed but know alot of other people cant and I have heard from them that not being able to makes them feel like a failure, why rub this kind of thing in their face. I believe it makes no difference as long as the baby is loved and getting feed that's all that matters.

Nancy - posted on 05/09/2011

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I breastfed 3 children and I am so totally for the breastfeeding that even though my kids all agree with me they make me stop being aggressive about breast feeding. It is exactly as you say...emotionally one of the most wonderful ways to bond with your child. I am not saying you cannot bond with your child if you don't breastfeed, however, the bond is EXTRA close. What bothers me most of all, is that support and, most of all knowledge, about breastfeeding is not given to new moms. I don't know how many times I have heard the phrase "I can't breastfeed. My milk was not enough." There is reason that it was not enough. Anyone, and I do mean anyone, can breastfeed, with the right support and the right guidance, there is no reason anyone would not be able to. It is such a wonderful experience, that I would not want ANY woman to be deprived of it, if they only knew how wonderful it was.

Merry - posted on 05/09/2011

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Melodie, I'm sorry you had to quit when you became pregnant! I was low risk and was able to breasdtfeed Eric right through my pregnancy, in fact im 8 days overdue right now and Eric still is bfing like 7 times a day! It's been quite a journey, but the down times have made the up times so much sweeter! I'm looking forward to the adventure of breastfeeding two little ones as soon as my daughter decides to come out!,!! *fingers crossed* tonight maybe...... :D

Digna - posted on 05/09/2011

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whatever it is its still boils down as how a mother cares for his/her during that period of time where a baby needs it most.im a huge fan of breastfeeding and my mom taught me tha really,really,good benefit of breastfeeding.unfortunately,i only lasted a month.bus as a mom,i was there all the time during bottle-feeding.we made a bond each time we are together.i'd also let my husband bottle-feed as well as my parents -in-law.my son now is 8.and he's very close to me as well as to y family.cheers!

Corrie - posted on 05/09/2011

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I'd like to think that this positive look at the bonding benefits of breastfeeding would encourage more women to try it :)

Merry - posted on 05/09/2011

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Melody,my friend had a colicky baby too, she bottle fed but she had the same anxious and overwhelmed feeling you described. She actually saw her dr because she was worried she was going crazy! So while hormones might play a part in it, it's not all hormone related. J think tis simply moms who have a semi controlling nature(like me) and moms who are super in tune to their babies who feel so anxious when baby cries.
I think breastfeeding or not it's probably going to affect you the same, but wasn't there any times where breastfeeding her calmed her? Made her peaceful? Put her to sleep? I'm sure those moments overshadow any hormone issue with breastfeeding!

Merry - posted on 05/09/2011

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I think it's got to be obvious that the bond of breastfeeding has to come after breastfeeding is learned and is working well.
Of course no one is bonding well if it's too hard to continue. But the bond is probably a reward of sorts for getting through the crappy times and coming out on top. I don't feel was bonding well with Eric when we first began breastfeeding, it hurt, I was depressed, I was tired, I was overwhelmed and honestly I hated how much I felt like a failure because I thought I was supposed to be enjoying breastfeeding. But I didn't switch to bottles,I kept going and when it got better it was such a surge of powerful emotional and I felt like superwoman for making it to this place of loving breastfeeding. I felt like I conquered the world and it was such a huge amount of bonding feelings towards Eric because I felt like I finally 'got' him and understood him and felt like we made it through a war or something!
If I had stopped when it was still bad then obviously I wouldn't have the same bond I have now, I'd still have bonded I'm sure, but I wouldn't have this 'we conquered the world' feeling for him.
Breast-feeding isn't easy, it's usually hard to start, gets hard again over and over again. I thi it's more working through the problems together and coming out on top together that bonds you so tightly. It has to be hard for the reward to be so strong.

Jessica - posted on 05/09/2011

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nursing made me cry and feel tense and like a horrible parent because my daughter didn't get anything out of my brast and was losing weight rapidly. I felt like more of amother and more in tune with my daughter's needs after switching to formula.

Caroline - posted on 05/09/2011

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Wow! That was really interesting. Maybe it says something about our changing society. I definitely believe in a womans right to choose whether or not to breastfeed because its not easy to put ourselves in another womans shoes - we can't know how hard it is for anyone else to juggle a million and one things. And I think that is the crux of the matter. Maybe our hormones are telling us that all we are meant to be doing at that point is holding and nurturing our babies not preparing meals or sorting laundry or landscaping the garden or doing the school run. Mothers who bottlefeed maybe feel they have things under control more but what are they missing out on? I breastfed all 3 children and in those first few weeks when your body is still in shock and your brain has turned to jelly and you can't sit unless you have a ring cushion or a pack of frozen peas, its so lovely to have a relaxing warm drink and to sit and hold your beautiful baby, gaze into each others eyes and blot out the whole crazy world except for the noises of contentment coming from your feeding baby. Of course 6 months on when the school has rang about a sibling and wants to see you and you only have 2 hours to mow the lawn, dry the laundry, peel the veg and have a shower you wish you could hand over the task to someone who actually has 15 minutes!
On the other hand, will psychologists ever fully understand the evolutionary processes at play here? and do mums really need another pile of fresh guilt on top of everything else? We're very lucky we have a choice in how to feed our children now and that choice was created to free up some time for overstretched mums (probably by men so that time could be spent on them!), so lets just agree that we each have the right to weigh up the pro's and cons and decide for ourselves - and who elses business is it anyway so long as the kids are alright?

Krystle - posted on 05/09/2011

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Very well thought out and expressed post Katherine!

I believe that Mother Nature is very wise and knows what to do to help turn a regular woman into a good mother. :)

Laura - posted on 05/08/2011

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First off I want to say that I know without a doubt that mommas who bottle feed vs. breastfeed their babies love them every bit as much. That being said, I would absolutely agree with what this research has shown, to me it just supports what I already have seen in my own life. Yes I do think it changes how they feel emotionally. It's sort of Pavlovian, that we will relax and respond in a certain way if we have already FELT how we are going to FEEL during breastfeeding. There is already an anticipated positive response emotionally and physically, and we are aware of that. Especially those mommas that breastfeed for a little longer, I feel. We learn those various cries and what they mean a lot sooner as our body responds to them differently.

Britany - posted on 05/08/2011

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There may be a lot of truth to this but I have the opposite experience with my children. I breastfed my first child for 5 months then due to medical reasons I stopped and bottlefed. This child was extremely colicky and I essentially held him/rocked him for the first 6 months of his life. It was a difficult time but I felt there was a huge bond created during this time.

My second child is now 8 months old and I am still breastfeading. He is a very calm, good natured baby and doesn't seem as needy. I do feel a strong bond with him yet it is not as strong as was my first. For me it wasn't just the breastfeading it was being there for my colicky child.

Lisa - posted on 05/08/2011

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I bottle fed breastmilk to my second child, and actually put my third child to the breast. When i pumped, I had the most relaxing feeling...of course until my LO started walking at 9 months and it took longer and longer to get the same amount of milk into a bottle lol. The bonding was different with all three of my children. I formula fed my first, was 24 years old, worked and had her babysat by my mom when she was 3 months old and I went back to work. With my second and third I stayed at home and had all the time in the world to feed my babies and relax and lay down at sleeping times with them...just totally different. The bond I have with each is unique, but the point is I have a deep bond with each of them. The feeling I personally got/get from feeding each one differed of course as there was no hormonal "feel good" feelings when I fed the first two. It is addictive, I am still breastfeeding my LO and she is almost 2. I know I'm giving her the best nutrition I can and that it's so good for her. Bonding is best described by me as responding to your baby's needs, giving them what they need when they need it, so if a parent does that, regardless of where the milk is coming from, then they've bonded.

Tah - posted on 05/08/2011

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I think this makes a sweeping generalization, sorta how people assume that if you prefer to bottle feed you hate breastfeeding or that moms who bottle feed need help encouraging caring interactions with their children....what the flip ever, many moms on here prove it depends on the mom, baby, and situation. Why don't they just outlaw bottle-feeding already...geez

Amy - posted on 05/08/2011

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I do not agree with this at all! I breast fed my son and we didn't bond at all. In fact when I switched to bottles I finally felt like we could bond. Then we had issues with our girl and had to bottle feed from the start. I feel so much more of a bond when I was bottle feeding.

I do however, feel it has more to do with the mom and baby. Some moms can't bond as much with bottles and others (like myself) bond better with bottles.

My kids are healthy happy and I've got a strong bond with both.

Jenn - posted on 05/04/2011

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Breastfeeding was torture and awesome all rolled into one. My boobs have yet to stop cringing, two years after I stopped with my last child but I also have enormous pride for doing what I felt was the best for my babies.

Mrs. - posted on 05/04/2011

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Sarah, I must "hate" breastfeeding so much because I don't care for my child and I generally suck as a mother....What? Not the answer you were looking for.

I'm totally kidding BTW...

Bfeeding, as I said before gave me a great deal of anxiety and made my PPD worse. I don't hate it. My doctors and I decided it was best, in my case, to switch to bottlefeeding at 3 months. Everyone's needs are different.

Sal - posted on 05/04/2011

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sara, i honestly think it is hormonal, having a new baby giving birth and being pregnant and breast feeding all screw your hormones around in the most amazing ways and it is quiet niave to think that each mum reacts the same way to those hormonal changes, i think some mums get good some get bad, i loved being pregnant, some mums hate it, some mums get a huge rush like super woman from giving birth some feel it was ttraumatic and gross, some mums bond the moment their babies sit on their breast others want to sream get that blood covered thing off me,
for me there was never that love of it or the emotional bonding from it, i had milk but even though i looked after my self and ate well my babies seemed to feed all the time but were hungry all the time (i mean all day and all night) maybe i didn;t make great milk, i knew it was the best thing (or ment to be) so i did try, and feed for 4 to 6 months with each, my middle baby just didn;t grow well, she was boney and tiny at 6 months she was still too small for 000, i had her at tresillian and nothing worked she would sleep for maybe 3 hrs a night and not more than 15 minutes at time during the day, put her on formula she slept she grew, i just think the same way that you dont understand how some mums can't do it or hate it is the same way i and other mums feel about mums who love it and want it to continue for ever, we just don;t get it, for me it did n;t feel natural and specail, it felt useless, tireing, ineffective and just gross...

Vegemite - posted on 05/04/2011

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Sarah I love breast feeding and wished more than anything at the time that it worked for me. My oldest took 1-11/2 hours to feed and had reflux. I would get an hour break between the end of a feed and the beginning of the next. I honestly can't remember sleeping the whole time I breast fed but must have because I persisted for 5 months. Five months of hell, I cried all the time and only felt dislike and sometimes hate towards my son. I also had huge amounts of milk but had let-down problems. As soon as I got him on the karicare ha ar formula for reflux everyone was happy, my son started to put on weight and grow and I just thought he was the most beautiful baby ever.
With my second son I had the same let down problems and decided to give up the sometimes 2hour feeding sessions at 4months and go with formula.

[deleted account]

all i can say is i am grateful breastfeeding worked well for me and that i was able to nurse both my boys.

Chelsey - posted on 05/04/2011

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Sarah - it's like explaining to someone who loves a certain food why you don't like it and they can't understand or believe you. I don't like breastfeeding for myself because it wasn't beneficial for me or my daughter. I would cringe everytime she cried because I knew it was going to be another two hour fight to get her to eat only for her to throw most of it back up again and then start the process over again...this went on for months. No amount of help helped. My home was a much happier place when I finally said to hell with it because it was soooo not worth it for us. Breastmilk may be good for babies but my 4 and 2 1/2 year old daughters are both healthy, happy, previously bottle fed little girls :)

Sarah - posted on 05/04/2011

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Just out of curiosity, why do you ladies hate breastfeeding so much?
I went through hell with it and loved it because i knew it was the best thing for my baby. That got me through so i can't imagine hating it no matter how agonizing and tiring it can be at first.
I'm not formula bashing, i'm just genuinely curious :)

Katherine - posted on 05/04/2011

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I have some catching up to do! I think that both have their pro's and con's as far as getting up.
I had to pump with both of mine because the frustration wasn't worth the fight. I was getting SO stressed out that my daughters were getting stressed and I didn't want them to feel that way. I did hate not having that bond though.

Sal - posted on 05/04/2011

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christine, i felt the same.. if it wasn't for the fact that i had my first son pre breast feeding natzies (he is 15 it was much less pushed to me then) i think i would of beat my self up too, i am so sad that women are made to feel so bad about something we really have really no control about, i can't imagine anyone doing something so personal and so emotional for 2 plus years when it was causing grief for themself, i thnk that all mums (or nurses or drs) who love it should get a dose of realilty, no one would do something they hated for so long if there was a perfectly viable alternative...

Sal - posted on 05/04/2011

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i haven't read the others yet but yes i think that hormones are there, and yes they change your mood, (is post partum physcosis related to the milk comming in and the hormonal changed) is it always for the better, i shouldn't think so, i hated breast feeding, i didn;t relax or feel happy or eupophoric, i was stressed and exauhsted and felt it was just another chore that i had to do, i have always felt that extended breast feeding is far more (or just as much) about the mum wanting it than the health of the baby, those mothers are clearly getting something out of it that i never did, i don;t judge them for those feelings just never felt it my self and can';t understand it, i just wish that the mums who loved it would understand that it isn't that lovely joyous feeling for all mums and not judge us for not doing it for years, my hormones and emotions improved significatly when i stopped, as i was getting more sleep, and i think that a healthy happy mum is the best thing for any baby...

Vegemite - posted on 05/03/2011

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Wow Rebecca I was the same. I don't know why but breast feeding had the effect opposite of bonding for me. I beat myself up badly about it and decided I just wasn't a maternal loving kind of mother. I know now that was a load of crap i was feeding myself.

What is bottle propping, I thought the only way to feed a baby is to cuddle, breast or bottle feeding.

Mrs. - posted on 05/03/2011

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Breastfeeding stressed the hell out of me and always ended up making me more anxious. Maybe I'm a hormonal freak or something, but nothing was better for my anxiety and stress levels than to surrender to the fact that bottle feeding was best for me after three months of hell.

But hey, to each his own. If breastfeeding makes you less stressed and more connected to your baby, by all means continue. If it doesn't, the study does not apply to you and you are not alone.

Jane - posted on 05/03/2011

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I absolutely think that the hormones released during breastfeeding makes you feel certain things. I agree that breastfeeding is very relaxing but I'm not at all sure that response to a cry is different. I breastfed my first for only 2 months due to inexperience with ow to handle things when I went back to work and zero support to help me get educated. With my second, I knew I could go back to work and breastfeed so I did for almost 8 months until he self weaned. I didn't react any differently to my childrens cries BUT I do know that feeding my daughter bottles was not as gratifying or relaxing for me like when breastfed my son. And when he self weaned, I was heart broken.

Charlie - posted on 05/03/2011

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I was wondering the same thing Sarah , are you ok Iza ?

None of the Op implies anything you have said about yourself .

Sarah - posted on 05/03/2011

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@ Iza, why are you talking about yourself like that? Is everything okay?
Just coz you can't tell why she's crying just from the sound of it means NOTHING and has nothing to do with how you go as a mother in general! You still go to her, and do different things to try and fix it. That's not spoiling her, thats just being a good mum.
Every mother is different! Some mothers know whats wrong by the sound of a cry, some mothers know by what time it is, some have to go and figure it out by trying different things. As i said, it means nothing! We all do what we can to the best of our ability. You are a good mother.

Iza - posted on 05/03/2011

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maybe i'm a bad mother because the whole of the 8 months i could breastfeed, i STILL had a hard time differentiating her cries.. i still attended her, but many would tell me i was spoiling her.. maybe i'm just a dummy mommy.. my poor girl has to grow up with a dunce for a mother.. but at least she knows i care enough to check on her, even if she IS faking it.. but, what do i know.. i'm dumb..





just to be clear, i'm a little offended by this article... i was being sarcastic and i feel that anytime comparisons are drawn between what some women do and other don't do, it can be hurtful.. we already know that our hormones are all out of wack and we can be either really happy or really down.. why do that to each other?



i breastfed my daughter and did my best by her, but reading her cries never came naturally.. i think many will read this and take it fact.. period.. that could be hurtful..

Charlie - posted on 05/03/2011

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It is up to the individual and it is all a matter on how relaxed you are and how "easy" Breastfeeding is for you , you have to be relaxed to get the benefits of this which I did with my second baby , unfourtunately with my first I suffered PND and Breastfeeding actually brought on my depression , with my second I was much more confident , armed with knowledge and was able to just enjoy the whole thing ......I really wish I had experianced that with my eldest son but I cant change that and we have a great bond .

I think what it means by " Mothers unable to breastfeed may benefit from extra encouragement to engage in sensitive, caring interactions with baby." is that while most mothers do naturally snuggle up and enjoy feeding with a bottle and it does serve as a great bonding session it is easy for some mothers to simply prop the bottle all the time ( not just occasionally )and walk off ....I think it is these mothers it is reffering to .

Erin - posted on 05/03/2011

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I think the hormones play a huge part, but its still different for each woman. I wanted nothing more than to breastfeed, and I definately tried. 4 months, and my nipples were split right down the middle right to the breast, and I was told it was because she wasnt latching properly. La Leche tried to help from the start, but they couldnt get her to change her ways. It was just one of those things. I both loved and hated to feed her. I adored the closeness, and she always was nice and full, but adding the stress of the agonizing pain she put me through made me extremely conflicted. Eventually I guess my body just shut down the milk factory because I started to dry up despite solely breast feeding. Couldnt deal with the stress subconciously? I dunno how to explain it. I wish I had a better experience with it, and im hoping this next baby will be able to latch better.
To the women who go "You should have taught her to latch better, its your own fault"
I was 18, La Leche, and my own personal doctor, as well as my mother, and mother in law, all had their paws on my goodies most of the first few weeks trying new and different techniques. She just wouldnt buy it.

Donna - posted on 05/03/2011

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i agree. i bottle fed my older 2 daughters then breastfed my youngest. Although I dont love my 2 older daughters any less the bond is just different. I dont know if its b/c haley is the baby and i dont plan on having any more kids or what, but it just is different

Rosie - posted on 05/03/2011

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i dont' doubt that there is a chemical reaction going on. however for me, breastfeeding was hell, and i did not bond with my child during that time. gave him a bottle and it was all blissful after that.
breastfeeding was definitely not for me.

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