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breast vs bottle

Hey all! I've been having troubles being consistent with breastfeeding. Before Chloe was born, I was pretty firm on strictly breastfeeding her for the first 6 months. Soon, I found that she would often get frustrated while feeding and I would have to supplement with formula. I have taken advice from the public health nurse to pump 5 minutes on each side following each feed to increase my milk but still, my lo is constantly hungry and not satisfied. I feel bad that I am starting to give her more formula than breast milk. Is it possible that my breasts just don't produce enough for her? Has anyone experienced the same? I've met people who strictly breastfeed and feel bad that I am not doing the same.


  • hi i had the same prob at 5 weeks hun and i gave in eventually i must admit and i still feel guilty about it. he was screaming in hunger after emtying both breasts and formula did calm him so i thought he wasnt getting enough and its just so distressing! my sister felt the same and she gives her 8 week old baby both breast and bottle and it works for her? i will try harder next time but will not beat myself up like i did this time as joseph is now 7 months old and absolutely perfect and very healthy so far (touch wood). a happy mummy is a happy baby and vice versa xxxx
  • you shouldnt feel bad at all, breastfeeding is the best thing in the world if it works for mum and baby, if it doesnt then you shouldnt feel guilty at all, my second baby was constantly hungry and i was determined to b/f her for at least 6 months but ended up giving up after a month, i felt really guilty and had pnd as a result but she is now a happy healthy 8 year old who has suffered no ill effects. stop beating yourself up about it you have tried and thats whats important. xx
  • I know how u feel hun. I went through exactly the same- i felt so guilty as i wanted to BF for the first 6 months and felt as though i had failed and i dont know hy looking back but i just felt guilty when giving LO her bottle. I think there is too much pressure on mothers to BF nowdays, u need to do what is right for u and ur LO at the end of the day. I gave up at 8 weeks after struggling for about 5 of those weeks and was having the exact same problems u have described. I was told it was because i introduced the bottle too early that my baby had become too used to taking it from the bottle and was getting frustrated because it was harder work for her to take milk from me so i tried stopping the bottle and all hell let loose. My LO was choking where she worked herself into such a huge state. In the end after that experience i decided that having a happy contented baby was best so i switched to fully bottle feeding and its been great since. There has been a great steady routine and she has been putting on weight nicely and steadily and sleeping through the night so we are both happy.

    Try not to beat yourself up about it, i know its easier said than done because i was in tears on a few occasions about it as i felt so bad and at first i really missed the close contact, but try to remmeber that breast isnt always best for everybody if u do decide to stop and just enjoy your LO without feeling so pressured. Some people are lucky and dont have many problems (i still feel jealous when other women are successful and i hate that i feel that way but cant help it) but at the same time i decided to do what was right for us and im happy that i chose to do just that.

    If u decide to persevere- i would talk to your HV as they can perhaps point u in the right direction for some bf clinics or give u some valued advice

    Good luck, and i do feel for u because i remember how low i felt about it, i hope this helps u a bit anyway
    Hannah xx
  • hi hannah
    i could have wrote that post myself its exactly what i went through to the letter and yes i hate it when others do it and i cant xx
  • I didn't even manage to bf for that long, my baby was a comfort suckler and was just attached to my breast all the time and even though the midwife said she was latching on correctly i became extremely sore, it wasn't an enjoyable experience for either of us so i switched to bottle feeding and do not feel guilty as this is obviously the best for both me and my lo, i would have liked to have bf a little longer than i did to give all the antibodies but at the end of the day it didn't work out that way.
    I think we have to remember that all babies are different and yes bf does give the best start but doesn't work for everyone and surely having a happy baby who is getting the amount of feed they need and is being loved and cared for is the most important thing.
    So don't beat yourself up about it do what you feel is best for you and your baby - happy baby happy mum and vice versa.

    Good luck!
  • Hi - I bottlefed my 1st 2 daughters thinking that I couldn't breast feed, this time round I tried it and 13weeks on its still working - it was hard work at first but its working and I will continue to feed for as long as possible.

    My 2nd daughter suffers from the early signs of asthma and for a long time I thought that was because I didn't feed her, but my 3rd daughters who I am feeding is now showing signs of it so don't beat yourself up over not feeding yourself.

    As long as your baby is happy, gaining weight and contented that's the most important thing.

    Sam xx
  • hi
    this is so familiar Abby was 10lb 5 1/2oz at birth and i just couldn't keep up with her as she needed more than i had so i now give her on average 4 to 6 oz of formula a day it increases when she has a grow spurt we are now at 9 weeks and are going to carry on like this as long as we feel its ok.i did feel really upset annd a bit of a failure as i had fed my son exclusivly for 5 months and continued during weaning till he was 11months so not having enough for aby was a hard thing to admit.but now i have a wee girl who is happy to get fed anyway it comes most of the time some times she messes around wanting me when im giving her a bottle and sometimes she messes me when she wants a bottle!!
    only advice i will give is relax always offer boob first to stimulate your milk as the first sucking they do is stronger to get the letdown reflex to happen then offer bottle and you will get like me where the formula feeds decrease so you have the convenience of it during the night or if your out during the day...
    fea x
  • Hiya

    While I agree that you should do what makes you most happy there might be something else you could do to help continue bf.

    Are you eating enough calories? You need to keep up with the 500 extra calories per day as you did in late pregnancy. I find that I don't have the appetite to eat as much as I should so I bulk up my calorie intake with hot chocolates and lemonade.
    Also make sure that you're drinking LOADS of water; seriously, I mean loads. I probably drink 8 pints of water a day and 2 cups of tea or coffee. If you're thirsty then you're already dehydrated. The more you drink the more milk you'll produce.

    My LO is 18 weeks old and I've just started to wean onto a bottle because I want to be able to have a drink over xmas. I feel immensely proud that I've bf my LO and would encourage anyone to do so.

    Good luck x
  • I had trouble with my LO. When she was weighed in hospital at 3 days old she'd lost 10% of her body weight so the peads told me to express my milk and top her up after she'd fed off me with the expressed breast milk. I did this and she slowly came up to an acceptable weight, I continued doing this at home and at 2 weeks old she was constantly attached too me and I could hear her tummy rumbling after [email protected] fed her and she would cry and want to go back on the breast within an hour of coming off. I switched to the bottle and she's so much more contented and is gaining weight nicely and is nearly 6 weeks old. I was really upset that I'd switched as I couldn't feed her and I wanted to as didn't have the birth I wanted to. But now I know it's important that my little girl is happy and getting food so Im now happy too.
  • I fed my first two girls up to and slightly past the six month mark my little one who is now six month is a bottle fed baby,I tried to breastfeed and thought as i had managed it twice before it would be easy the third time round. I wanted Archie to have the same start in life as his sisters.. I managed 5 weeks, five very long painful and distressing weeks with a baby loosing weight and a mummy so upset and distressed my hubby gave Archie a bottle and from then i stopped feeding and harmony returned but then guilt hit after speeking to my Gp and having a good sob in her room I felt a lot better she went through researh re breast v bottle and helped me see i was doing best for my baby and the rest of the family. Archie is happy gaining weight and starting solids and i regret now getting so hung up over breast feeding as it kinda spoilt our first few weeks together..
    I wish you luck inwhat you decide and remember a happymummy + a happy baby

    Vic x
  • Hi, I've been breastfeeding my LO. He is now 5 months old and pretty much on formula all the time now with occasional short feeds on the breast.
    It is hard work and I had to keep reminding myself that we were both new to this and both learning. I had the opposite problem to you, I had an over abundent milk supply which many see as a blessing unless you suffer from this (I was leaking constantly).
    My sister advised me to look on for lots of breastfeeding advice (La Leche League International).
    I didn't feel I got the hang of it until he was about 13 weeks but I started the transition to formula as I saw my boobs having huge problems with weaning my baby off them at the recommended rate and I felt it was better for me to reduce it very slowly.
    Don't feel bad about giving formula, I got/get nagged by my mum (who BF me for 15 months!) but this only spurs me on to do exactly what I want to do and not what anyone else tells me. Do whats right for you.
    I have heard that to increase your milk supply you should get your bb to feed more frequently but it will take a few days to take effect (if it works!). Drink plenty of water (I was told to not drink too much!). If you are determinded to try and give solely breastmilk have you thought about expressing for every feed and giving her BM in a bottle so you know what she is getting exactly and then make a decision on whether to top up (although I can understand this would be very time consuming). Or if you are extremely rich and open to it - hire a 'wet nurse', apparently it is becoming very fashionable with American Celebrities who will pay $1000 a week for someone to do this (I think I read this in Grazia magazine a couple of weeks ago?!) - I hope this last one makes you laugh, but thinking about it it's actually what was done before formula was invented wasn't it?!
    Give the LLL website a look, don't feel bad if you do top up or move solely to formula, just do the right thing for you.
    Good Luck.

    Anyone changing from breast to bottle - try MAM bottles, their teats are great (funny shape) and my baby would only take these teats at first, turned his little button nose up at AVENT! But luckily doesn't care what bottle he has now that he is solely on formula!
  • Hey all, thanks for the great advice. The problem why i think this is harder on me is because my boyfriend makes me feel guilty about this. I don't think he understands how difficult it is to strictly breastfeed and I've had to deal with his constant nagging about this. He thinks that she is at risk for being obese when she is older due to the formula she is getting as an infant. Also, he has even called her 'fat' at seven weeks old which has really ticked me off. She was born at 6lb 3oz and weighed 8lb 9oz at her 4 week check up. She is NOT FAT!! I can't believe he would say that.
  • Hit him on the head with a frying pan! I'm sure you'll get away with it - "hormones m'lord!"

    FYI - weights of my bb who isn't fat (and I'd be the first to say if he was!), we're both 5ft 6inches tall, I am or was (lol!) slim build - my hubby is stocky. Everyone told me I had a small bb but he didn't feel small!
    At birth 7lb 1oz.
    11days 7lbs 4oz.
    18days 8lb 1oz.
    4wks 9lb 7oz.
    7wks 10lb 7.5oz.
    9wks 11lbs 3.5oz
    23wks 15lbs 9.5oz
    He had one bottle of formula at 8wks old then I left it for a month.
    Her weight looks ok to me. I'm sure the HV would say if they thought she was overweight - show him your bb's red record book.
    Remind him that babies should have cubby bits, mine has cubby legs (like his dad! lol!).
    Your picture is gorgeous - looks like a little cutie to me.
    I think there has been a slight link to obesity when older if formula fed but anyone can be fat when they're older if they are a greedy pig - BF or formula! My sister has started getting chubby cuz she can't stop troughing and she was breastfed...she isn't keen to lose it as her boobs have grown! lol! I used to be a size 8 but now I'm a 12, I am older/filled out/worked shifts so ate too many take aways/had a bb and I was BF for 15 months.
    Just a 'Chubbys' get out clause if formula fed! lol!
  • hi laurie, i agree with fragsjones, hit him on the head with a frying pan!! my son is 7 months and still b/f (luckily i had no problems this time) and he weighs 22lb which is more than my 3 year old weighed at a year and also more than my first 2 who were bottlefed! People get obese because they eat too much in later life NOT because they were bottle fed as babies and as your oh cant breastfeed he has no right to comment! sorry rant over.
  • Hi - I totally agree with hayley1 & fragsjones - my 3rd daughter who is bf weighs more at this age (13weeks) than my other 2 who were bottle fed, she is well over the 50th centile - so agree its just a get out clause!!
    Sam xx
  • My lo has been bottle fed from 5 days and i only have to look at the post about babie weight on here to see that she definately is not over weight she is heavier than some and lighter than others, stick your baby on your oh nipple and see how he finds it!
    it is not easy and only a man would think it is!
  • As long as your baby is getting fed thats the most important thing, i breast feed and my lo is now 6 month and am now at the stage where i wish he would take formula but he wont so am just going to carry on!

    I cant get a night out and have a good old drink because i have to feed him in the morning!

    so think that, you have given yor baby the best start in life and really your getting the best of both worlds because you still have yor ;ife to yourself, where as my baby is stuck to my boob lol

  • I'd just like to let you all know that I have taken your advice and hit him on the head with a frying pan! He didn't appreciate it much but I think it may have knocked some sense into him. Cross your fingers!
  • for those that are still bf (i am too) research has shown that you can have a drink - once the alcohol has been processed and is out of your system (an hour for each unit) its also out of your breastmilk
    so as long as you drink in moderation (how crappy do I sound!) you can have a couple of drinks, I intend to !

    My lo is 6 monthd old now and im still bf. I found it difficult at first, but that was when he had hit hid first growth spurt. I felt like i dint have enough milk for him and i was failing and starving him. once he'd finished his spurt tho it got easier and i still find it easy now. I'm fortunate that its been easy, a lot of people have found it very difficult.

    having said that if you find it easier to give your lo a bottle then do so, who is anyone to tell you how you should feed your lo. its your baby and as long as youre both happy nothing else matters.

  • lol lauriec has he got a bump on his head??
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