Breast or Bottle?

Hi girls,
Im breastfeeding my lo by my own personal choice but a few friends who have had babies felt pressured into breastfeeding by their midwives and as a result when they have been unable to continue have felt like bad mothers and like they are letting their babies down.
I know that this is not the case as formula fed babies do just as well, but was wondering if breast or bottle feeding, any of you had similar experiences and or any advice i can give to the worrying friends?



  • I think it is a shame when people feel presured into bfing, and also a huge waste of resources!! There are so many people who REALLY want to bfeed but end up giving up due to lack of support that I think it would be better if the money spent encouraging people to try bfing was spent on them instead.

    I bfed my first untill she weaned herself at 10 1/2 months and I am now bfing my second (6 months) I always wanted to bfeed and I was lucky that my midwife first time round told me how hard it could be, suggested books to read before hand, and then supported me once I had given birth. I also had a lot of support from my mum (who bfed all three of us) and my oh. Realistically if you are not 100% certain that you want to bfeed, or you have no support, then it is pretty likely that you will give up when you encounter problems. Formula isn't poision and I think it is sad that some people are made to feel guilty for bottle feeding.

    Sorry, no real advice there!! Can you tell I feel strongly about the lack of bfing support? :lol: :lol: (and by that I mean support for those who want it, not bullying for those who don't!)
  • lol there definaltly is a lack of support for those who want it in some places. I was really lucky though - after having Connor i went for my aftercare at a midwife led unit and they helped me so much and my hv is really good (shock!! lol)
    And i agree that if you dont 100% want to do it you probably will give up, if i wasnt sure i wnted to breastfeed Connor i would have given up after the mastitis, cracked nipples and general lack of sleep lol
  • I agree completely with Bedhead, the resources should be used for those people who really want to bf. I am a big fan of bfing and was really lucky that I didn't have many difficulties with it. But it isn't for everyone and new mums have enough to deal with physically and emotionally without adding a big guilt complex if bfing doesn't work for them. Seems like there's all this pressure at first, and then once you leave hospital you are completely on your own, with very little support for either feeding method.

    I'm sure your friends babies are very healthy, happy and loved- try to remind them of this if they are feeling upset about it. And also that a relaxed mummy is best for any baby, and they would only be stressed if they were bfing because of pressure from mws.
  • Hi, like your friends i felt pressured into breastfeeding and it didnt work for me. I also felt really bad for giving up because i knew deep down if i really wanted to and really tried then it would have worked.
    During pregnancy i thought about whether to bf or ff. went the midwife asked me what i wanted to do i said i wasnt sure, then she started to go on and on about bf. everytime i spoke to a midwife it was the same thing and then i felt i got bullied into it.
    When the midwife came to see us after lo was born i felt as though i had to breastfeed and the thought of giving a bottle was like i was doing something wrong. In the end it didnt work. I felt so bad and i spoke to oh about how i felt. He made me feel better by saying what a great mum i was and just because i couldnt bf didnt make me a bad mum.
    I feel if i was left to make my up my own mind to bf i would have made more of an effort.
    I still get people saying 'omg, you're not bfeeding' i just ignore them now.
  • Basically when you breastfeed you need LOADS of information, support and guidance because it can feel you're doing things wrong (when you're not!). Also, in the beginning it can be hard to get the hang of and if you haven't got access to someone experienced then you may feel like giving up. Some people take to it like a duck to water on the other hand. I have experience of both, bottle fed my 1st, breastfed my 2nd. I have to say breastfeeding was 10times easier for me. Mostly as it is SO convenient. I got so fed up of washing and sterilising bottles, I was sick of it. Also formula has got so expensive recently, I've saved about ??350-??400 since Kyra was born 6 months ago by breastfeeding, which I will put into her bank account and catch up with her big sister! lol. Also, for night feeding in the early days it is literally a god-send not having to get out of bed to make up a bottle! Good luck with whatever you choose to do! xoxox
  • i really wanted to bf but my first attempt once on the maternity ward was horrible. The mw who was 'helping' me was soooo rough with my boob and Charlie, she kept grabbing it and literally shoving it in his mouth which distressed him and me as well as it hurting me, after that i just felt too uncomfortable to try again. I then felt so guilty for bottlefeeding but charlie's doing fine and i now realise there is nothing to feel guilty about but agree with others when they say there is a lack of support for those who want to bf.xx
  • Not meaning to contradict some of the ladies above - I suppose as with everything it differs from area to area - but where I am the support for breast feeding is excellent. I've been so impressed.

    For a start, not once did I feel pressured into breastfeeding by any of the staff who cared for me during pregnancy and after the birth. Second, there were a good number of ladies on the postnatal ward who were ready to be discharged but who wanted to stay until they were confident breastfeeding, and the midwives were more than happy to let them. I could hear them helping the ladies on my ward get the hang of it and they were so supportive.

    Third, when I was discharged from hospital I was given a whole load of information on breastfeeding, including helpline numbers and leaflets for local bf support groups.

    Finally, there's a breastfeeding counsellor based at my hospital who you can book to see for an hour at a time (free of charge) for any breastfeeding-related advice.

    So anyone living the in the North Hants area - the support IS there in our area!
  • I'd agree with the complete lack of support as well I'm afraid.

    I was desperate to bf and it's only through sheer determination that I'm still here 6 months on. In hospital after a section I had the same experience as Spedshaw, in that the mw's would pop their head around the door, say the position looked fine and then disappear. I was in agony and distraught as Reiss couldnt' lacth on properly.

    I was discharged, still struggling, no one seemed to check or be bothered or anything. The BF counsellor wasn't in on any of the three days I was in hospital as she only worked Monday and Tuesday!

    When I came home, the only person I saw was a mw who again told me I looked fine, despite me bleeding and being in agony. Every BF counsellor I phoned was only available if I travelled to a session, which I couldnt' do as I'd had a section and couldn't drive!

    How I'm still here bfing amazes me as I've also had numerous problems. I'd agree that unless you are 100% and sometimes bloody minded, you will not carry on for long if you have problems!

    Anyone living in my area (Middlesex) - move to North Hants!xx
  • The midwife gave me info on both and told me to do whatever felt right for me, but that colostrum is important. I personally really wanted to breast feed so that's what I did, for 4 days after which I just couldn't take it any more. My problem was my mother, she was so pushy about breast feeding always saying how women are wimps for bottle feeding just cause it hurts etc... she said the same about epidurals, calling my cousin a wimp for having one. I had an epidural 18 hours into a 26 hour labour i think I did quite enough without any pain relief!!!
    Anyway so she went on and on at me so much during my pregnancy I think I started to feel like I hadn't made the choice to bf but was sort of forced to. After four days of absolute terror that i was doing it wrong, my ds wasn't getting enough etc I decided to formula feed. I felt on top of the world and relaxed instantly and it just felt right that I was giving him a bottle.
    My mum found out 2 days later and went mad. saying I wasn't going to bond with my baby and that I was going to get post natal depression. The only time I ever cried or felt bad was when I spoke to her. It felt like I was embarrassing her by bottle feeding. For ages I was sooooo paranoid about giving him a bottle in public, thinking that people were staring at me and judging me the same way as my mum.
    I am now 14+5 with my second child and I plan to breast feed again this time, but I am not going to tell my mum anything about what I am going to do and if I don't enjoy the breast feeding then I will formula feed again full stop.
    I really feel like I will do it this time though because I just feel like its the right thing for me to do this time. I even have leaky boobs already lol.
    My midwife was really supportive when I told her this and she said "When your baby is born you can give your baby a bottle if that's what you want and what you need to do, no-one will look down on you" and that almost made me more determined to bf just because I don't feel like i HAVE to do it, i feel like i WANT to do it!

    Sorry for the extra long post but this subject really upsets me and makes me angry. People should not judge either way, it is personal choice and its YOUR choice.

  • Its really sad how ff mums are made to feel sometimes, imo as long as mum and baby are happy it doesnt matter how baby is fed.
    Thanks for your opinions on the subject
  • No one should ever feel bad about the way they feed their baby. At the end of the day, we are just feeding our babies! What's the big deal, do what you feel is right. xoxox
  • I think it is awful too that bf mums are pressurised. I ff Kara from the start and to be honest I will do the same with my next baby. I don't have anything against bf at all. I just don't feel comfortable doing I don't feel it makes the slightest bit of difference to a child no matter what the professionals say about it. My daughter was prem and they kept telling me it was better to bf her. I was so adamant that I wasn't going to and wouldn't let them pressurise me as she was my baby and not theirs. Kara came on fantastic in SCBU and was only there for 2 weeks and had no problems at all and was the only baby in there off her monitors within a week. All she had to do was grow.
  • I had a very similar experience to funkymonkey83 and it was awful. Gabe screamed every time I tried to latch him on. None of my family were very supportive of bf either as they all ff out of choice so I decided to ff too and Gabe has thrived on it however I do sometimes feel guilty that he has had a few colds and has eczema!

    Next time I was completely undecided of what to do but now I've made the decision to bf the next one for as long as possible...because after 7 months of bottle making I am so bored of it!! Also I hate getting out of bed in the morning in this freezing weather to warm up a bottle (I have seen bottle warmers but they seem to take ages!) so it will be bf all the way just out of pure laziness lol....

    I do think it is such a shame that mums are pressured into bf when they don't want to. Luckily I never had this experience. But I was ff and am hardly ever ill, have no allergies and generally have always been really healthy xx
  • lol Tiger Lily - the night/early morning feeds are the reason I am stii bfing!
  • lol Tiger Lily, laziness is also my main motivation! I am particularly fond of bfing first thing in the morning when I can take him back to bed and literally feed him in my sleep :lol:
  • When I was in France this summer talking to my pregnant friend I realised how different the advice over breast feeding was in different countries. In france there is much less pressure, and so women are advised to breast feed, if they want to/can, for 3-4 months. After that it is just a question of choice.

    There may be some benefits to breast-feeding, but it was totally frowned upon for generations of babies in the 40's & 50's and the obsession in this country wasn't there when I was born in the 70s.

    My point is, as many people have said, whatever the benefits to breastfeeding, my guess is that the most beneficial thing is to have a happy relaxed mother, and for some women that will have come through bottle feeding, and for others through breast feeding!

    Ally x
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