Breastfeeding - Hmmm.

I should point out that I'm awaiting my BFP :-( so this is merely being posted out of interest. What makes people want to breastfeed? I know its meant to be better for the baby, but there are lots of healthy formula fed babies too :) I also know some view it as more convenient because you don't have to faff around with bottles.

I can't help but already think that not breastfeeding might suit me better. I don't think the thought of being the only person to be able to feed our baby is appealing to me. Also, how much they have to feed when on the boob, and the restrictions that are in place because of that.

Has anyone decided not to breastfeed - and what were your reasons?



  • Oh no here we go...


  • You're right there are healthy formula fed babies. But research shows it a fact that breast feeding IS better for babies. You can express so other people can give a feed. No sterilising, right temperature, there are lots of benefits. But that said if you're not comfortable doing it, it won't be best for you or baby. Happy mum is happy baby.

  • Uh oh, will I open up a can of worms here? :-|

  • Quite possibly, but it's not a bad can of worms to open if you genuinely don't know the benefits of bfing.

    For me the reasons I bf are that it is scientifically proven to have numerous health benefits for both baby and me, it's free (although I'm probably spending more on breast pads than most people do on formula), it's easy (for me, I realise I'm fortunate in this), no fading around with bottles at 2am and the weight loss I get from doing it is fricking amazing, best diet ever!

    However, formula is not poison, far from it, and of bfing didn't work out for me for whatever reason I like to think I'd use formula without issue.

    One thing to consider is that, generally speaking, it's easy/possible to move from bf to ff, but if you start ff it's very difficult if not impossible to move to bf. Formula, scientifically speaking, can not match the first 3 days of colostrum that bfing provides. My advice to anyone is to just try it, you might surprise yourself and if it doesn't work out, so be it.

  • Also re others not being able to feed them, you can express to allow others to feed them. BF babies to tend to feed more often than FF babies, yes, but IME I'd rather that than have to prep a bottle every time.

    Another option is to mix feed, although it's advise to establish bfing for a few weeks first.

  • Ok this is purely my point of view...!

    I chose to breastfeed because it is medically considered best for baby. You are right that formula fed babies wont be undernourished but breastmilk contains antibodies and formula cant.  It is much more convenient. Bottles are a faff and then you have to wait for kettles to boil or milk to cool whilst the baby is hollaring! If you are happy to bf in publucit is much easier. First time round it didnt bother me at all that G wanted to be on my boob every 2 hours. She was my only child and i was on mat leave solely to care for her. With P i wont lie - it was much harder in the early days as i also had G to look after but the non-stop feeding soon calms down and for me it was worth it to know she was being nourished by my milk.

    My breastfeeding journey is now almost at an end as its looking like P is lactose intolerant and i am genuinely gutted. I love that special bond you get when breastfeeding. That 3am feed when its just you and your baby as close as its possible to be. Like there is nobody else in the world at that moment. Yes its also nice to sit and bottle feed your baby too. Its still a really special time but for me personally nothing cones close to the way i feel so close to P (and G when i was bfing her).

    As i say, just my view!


  • You are right that there are plenty of healthy FF babies - I'm one of them.

    But for me, I always planned to BF - not because of the benefits, although there are many, but because it's just normal to me. It's what nature intended us to do, and whilst formula is a great alternative, breastfeeding is what our bodies are designed to do.

    The other benefits became clear as I fed - on tap, free, no sterilising or preparing bottles. Other people have fed my babies when I've left them with bottles of expressed milk, and it certainly hasn't restricted us in any way, if anything it's the opposite. Last weekend I fed N in a sofa shop whilst we ordered our new sofas - if she was FF, I couldn't have done that without preparing and warming a bottle whereas because she's BF I sat on a display sofa and simply fed her.

    I believe that breastmilk is best for babies, although breastfeeding doesn't always work for everyone.

  • Speaking as someone who bottle fed both of her children, why would you not just try before you decide? I did with both but for a hundred different reasons, it didn't work out great for us but I feel mildly better about it having given it a shot.

  • Wow! You've all changed my mind! Thanks all. Always interesting to hear other people's experiences.

  • I definitely dont think people should feel guilty for formula feeding. As someone else said its not poison and i too am a healthy ff baby! I did top both my girls up with formula so i am not against using it. Bfing isnt for everyone and some people just cant for whatever reason. I would just say if you can, give it a try x

  • Weep could this actually be a one page bf/ff debate?

  • I breastfed because I believed that it was best for my baby. However, beforehand I wasn't thrilled at the idea in terms of actually doing it, and doing it for the recommended six months was really daunting. But I knew I wanted to try. It was difficult, I won't lie to you, but once we got going it was fine. It was convenient, it's free, and (once I'd got used to it) it was perfectly comfortable. If you're unsure, I'd recommending giving it a go, and for at least a month as those early days are difficult and I felt like throwing in the towel a few times. If you really don't get on with it, stop. As for your worry about it restricting life, babies restrict your life to a degree anyway, at least until you get used to them.

  • Pretty much what everyone else said, re anit bodies, clostroum etc

    for me personally BF is great it works for us I don't have to faff with sterilising, I didn't have to worry about remembering to buy formula before I ran out.

    I fed on demand and onc I had a bit of practice was happy to feed out and about so didn't have to worry about finding somewhere to warm/ prep a bottle (great when H and I fancied a walk when on holidays)

    Easy weightloss and I still got to eat loads of cake.

    Quick and easy night feeds.

    If I want to go out / have a break then could express and leave a bottle

    That said formula isn't bad BFing doesn't work out for lots of people and it's great a healthy alternative is available, I think my only advice for people would be try it before you decide one way or the other, like anything else I think it is best to go into these things with an open mind

  • Oh and I didn't/don't find BFing restricting, but can see why some might. It was hard going for the first few weeks just getting physically used to it but I am glad I perservered

  • Breastfeeding didn't work out great for me but I gave it my best shot and was advised, for baby's sake, to switch.

    I'm hoping for better luck this time, will do my best, but going to work after 3 months or less will reduce the scope so we'll see how it goes. I remember feeling a terrible failure (one nurse in particular) but I think folk are more understanding now if it doesn't work for you.

    I remember feeling close to baby when bf-ing but, although I could be on my own on this, I think both parents should have the opportunity to feel equally close to little one so if I was asked to choose on that basis alone, I'd probably go bottle and share all feeds with dad 50:50. But it's not as simple as that.

  • I tried to breastfeed because I was told the numerous reasons why it is proven best for baby and I wanted those benefits for her.  It didn't work out here,  we're now formula feeding,  9 months on I wouldn't say I'm ok with it. I would rather be breastfeeding but when I chose to stop it was best for my own state of mind and therefore Es.

    As I say we FF and all the benefits of FF you mention I can argue against.  Getting up in the middle of the night when your home alone with a baby is absolutely awful, I hate sterilising bottles and formula is expensive too. At Es peak we'd be spending £70ish a month on it. No one else does feed the baby here. My H works aways a lot,  I've no family here.  I've stressed myself out so much about different types of formula, teats, bottles etc etc I wish things were different. But then we didn't do a lot of BF so I know I'm comparing like I've the harder option without experiencing. I'm told its absolutely exhausting, tbut worthwhile.

    Next time I'll do the same, be desperate to feed,  pile a load of pressure on myself even though E is thriving on formula (after a lot of battles), I would like to BF the next and I'll be more prepared to work on any issues to avoid FF. Not because I don't think formula is great,  I mean as long as the baby is fed I'm fine. I do however have this instinct in me to feed.  E latched to take colostrum but if the next didn't id hand express and feed that way as again,  I'm  told its so full of goodness. That said, I don't judge anyone who isn't fussed either. Breastfeeding IMO is only best if it works for mom and baby.  

  • I'm not a mum yet, but I've seen this debate reduce good mothers to absolute tears.  Mu SIL is very vocally pro-bf, which is all well and good, but not always in a good way.  My sister tried her absolute best to bf her son and it just did not work.  My SIL proceeded to make her feel horrible about having to turn to formula, as if she was doing it for selfish reasons.  Yes, BFing is best, but not everyone is successful, and maybe persevering works in some cases, but making someone feel bad if they're trying to do the best thing for their baby is just horrible.  Sorry, this rant is aimed entirely at my SIL, and I can't very well say anything to her face, as I've not been there myself.

    I'm only just newly pregnant, and while I'm going to try BF, I'm not going to feel absolutely horrible if it doesn't work out, and I just have this feeling like I'll end up mix feeding.  

  • I think its awful that people are made to feel bad for using formula. Yes the content of breastmilk is best but for some people formula works best. Borh mum and baby need to be happy!

  • If this thread stays polite and sensible i'll be amazed...

    I planned to BF and fed P exclusively for 6 months. It was bloody hard going at the beginning but i'm glad we were able to keep going, in no small part due to a fantastic local BFing clinic. BFing is scientifically proven as better for baby, it's free and bottles are a pain in the bum (i bottled fed from 7months to 12 months so have done both, yes you get into the swing of bottles but it's still more hassle than getting a boob out).

    Modern formula is fantastic and there are millions of healthy formula fed babies. No one should be made to feel bad if they aren't successful at feeding. However, i am always surprised by people not wanting to atleast attempt it given the above advantages.

  • I completely now see what people are saying RE how long it takes to prepare bottles and the like! I didn't think of that - i.e. the baby squealing whilst you were trying to faff with a bottle. I think when I get my BFP I'll definitely try to BF, but you never know if its going to work out or not clearly.

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