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Do you tell moms breastfeeding is easier than formula feeding?

post #1 of 90
Thread Starter 
I don't know if I've ever had ths conversation. Maybe, but if so probably at a La Leche League meeting or something, so with people who would agree with me. And I've never used formula so it would be an uneducated opinion based on what it looks like to me from one side of it. It feels like breastfeeding is easier because I don't have to clean bottles.

Have you ever told anyone this?
post #2 of 90
I can't recall ever having had this conversation, but straight up "breastfeeding is easier than formula feeding" is not what I'd say. The truth is just more complicated: For me, breastfeeding was easier then dealing with formula, once I managed to shed the hospital lactation consultant 's terrible advice, and as long as I was home with a full-term infant. I had a wretched case of oversupply, which was tough to figure out how to manage, and I went back to school when ds was very young, so he went to daycare and I pumped, which took up big chunks of time (my B-school classmates barely knew me), and generated at least as much washing up as formula. Dd was a preemie who couldn't nurse when she was first born, so I did more pumping, and then she needed supplemental calories, and I couldn't be at the hospital enough to do all feeds from the breast, so I kept on pumping... nursing hrr straight from the breast was pretty simple, for us, but I know plenty of people who had trouble for one reason or another. My ability to tolerate the breast pump ran out when dd was 7 months old - I had these awful crying jags every pumping session - and at that point, formula was a godsend. Combination feeding let me keep my emotional grip, and we kept nursing when we were together until she pretty much self weaned at 13 months.

It's complicated, and you have to do what's right for you.
post #3 of 90
I have had this conversation before. Although I've had many an issue breastfeeding, I do think it's easier and def more convenient than formula feeding. I work at a hospital where I have to prepare formula for NICU babies and its a real pain. I also have a girlfriend who formula feeds (person I have had this conversation with). She has to schedule and calculate and monitor and try different formulas, get up and clean/sanitize bottles, etc. She also has to make sure she packs enough formula and needs carry all of it on top of all the other babybag items when she leaves the house. It just seems like such a nuiscence. For me, even though I struggled with latch issues, sore cracked nipples for 6 weeks, painful engorged breasts and over supply, I still find breastfeeding more convenient and easier than dealing with formula. When I leave the house all I need to worry about are diapers. I don't have to sanitize and I don't have to schedule because I can feed on demand. For my friend's formula fed baby, sometimes she needs to put off feeding when the baby is crying, just to keep her on the schedule and not over feed her. I feel like although there are issues with breastfeeding, overall it's kept my life easier.
post #4 of 90

In my experience breastfeeding has been great in the long term, but I suspect formula would have been easier in the first 2 months. I can get help cleaning bottles, but I'm the only one producing breastmilk.  Plus, I had to pump to get supply up, so there was plenty to wash.

post #5 of 90
Yes, I would say that breastfeeding is easier for the aforementioned reasons, barring complications and after you get established, and I may have said that in the past. One thing I've also said is that I was totally unprepared for how painful and difficult it can be when you're getting started with a new baby. I felt completely let down (ha, no pun intended) by all the advice I got from books and lactation consultants that basically told me if there was pain I was doing it wrong and it should be blissful and relaxing. After nursing three children my experience is that it is challenging at the outset, and I could see a new mom giving up on bf if she didn't know to expect some difficulty.
post #6 of 90

Well, I know I am in the minority, but I have chronic low supply/possible IGT, and breastfeeding is NOT easy.  I have never been able to ebf and honestly straight formula feeding would be easier than everything I've done to work on my supply to keep BFing plus supplementing with bottles.  With that said I absolutely feel that it's worth the effort, but I get annoyed when I hear the standard BFing is easier/cheaper arguments.
 

post #7 of 90
I do not tell moms much of anything. Unsolicited advice is not my thing.

I think whether it is "easier" is wholly subjective. Other adjectives might be applicable, but "easier" is a tough one.

Parts of nursing were painful, embarrassing, challenging, and just kind of weird. Parts of it were and are wonderful, empowering, and precious.

I was and am fortunate to have a supportive husband, no supply issues, a fantastic LLL group, and wonderful lactation consultants in the hospital.
post #8 of 90
Nursing can be easier, but not always.

With ds1, it was very difficult for the first 6 mos or so. After that it was a breeze. With ds2, it was easy from the start.
post #9 of 90
If someone asked, I would tell them that I found it easier but I wouldn't just randomly tell another mother that.
post #10 of 90

If asked I've always just said what a positive experience it's been for me.  And I've always joked that there's no need to "pack" food for a baby when I carry it on me 24/7 ;-)  Definitely made for one less thing to worry about bringing with us places. Had I stayed with my previous job once my maternity ended I can say with 100% certainty I wouldn't have made it this far and still be going at 20mos bc they just were not a family oriented place with a chaotic shedule subject to change at any minute - being out in a car all day doesn't lend itself to easy pumping either.  So we're lucky DH does what he does for work and have made it work with me only doing part time. 

post #11 of 90
I say that FOR ME the first 3 weeks were really difficult and painful but after that it has been, for the most part, really wonderful. I refuse to sugarcoat how hard it was starting out though! It hurt like hell!
post #12 of 90

DS never had formula, so I honestly don't know how easy or difficult formula feeding is. If someone was interested though, I would share that breastfeeding was not much of a big deal, easier than I thought it would be. It's been easy enough that I'm still nursing him at 26 months and want to do tandem nursing! love.gif

post #13 of 90

For us, formula would have been easier, but not as rewarding.

 

With IGT, I've dealt with chronic low supply from the get-go. DD also had a posterior tongue tie, which made the first few months really rough. Our breastfeeding relationship included nursing, pumping, bottle feeding, herbs, acupuncture, prescription drugs, blahblahblah. 

 

I imagine that with a full supply, BFing would be a LOT easier- no bottles to sterilize! For those moms who pump, though, BFing is probably more time consuming than FF.

post #14 of 90

In my experience so far I would say it has been easier...  BUT...  I had crappy lactation consultant after birth, and small cracks that were excrutiating considering how tiny they were.  I had tried laying out topless and putting lanolin on in advance and all this stuff to supposedly help toughen them up beforehand, but none of it worked and the lanolin certainly didn't work afterwards.  I would cry and cry while she nursed.  What ended up healing my nipples was my own breastmilk.  Around 7 weeks, they leaked after I got out of the shower and I was busy running around with a wet shirt for a bit, and realised all of the sudden they didn't hurt.  After that I would deliberately leave the milk whenever I had a leak.   I was at home, so it was no big deal.  Within a week and a half or so they were fine and I never had another crack.

 

I used to joke that before birth, I intended to breastfeed for one year.  After birth, I hoped to breastfeed the next feeding, then the next day, then the next week...  Until the big healing around 7-8 weeks.  Then at 11 months, I hoped to make it one more month, then we just kept going.  I saw various stuff that recommended 2 years so I just said if we make it okay, if we don't okay.   She ended up self-weaning after more than 3 1/2 years... 1,337 days to be specific.  Which I fully intend to never let her forget.  <insert evil cackle here>

 

With this baby, I expect to sweat it a lot less and intend to self-wean whenever it works out, but hopefully not longer than it took the first one.

 

The one thing I would want to point out as nicely as possible is that doing what's best for your child's health and life-long well-being is not necessarily about what is easy.  For people who are blessed to be able to provide their children with breastmilk I couldn't relate to saying, "Eh, formula seems easier.  Let's do that."  It probably happens.  I just can't relate to it myself.  There are women who have oversupply who donate and sell breastmilk so formula isn't the only alternative if someone can't breastfeed themselves.  It's a consideration.

post #15 of 90
Yes. Usually. I have both ff for medical reasons and bf. Bf is by far easier, even with thrush, lip ties, colic, and food allergy issues. To me, at least. FF was hard. There was just as much picking out the right formula that didn't make ds vomit like crazy, washing, preparing and feeding bottles, the worse bowel issues and sickness, finding old bottles...did I mention waking up in the middle of the night to make bottles? Most of my life was this: dishes.gif I've had numerous bf struggles, but none equaled that of ff.
post #16 of 90

If a friend of mine and I are discussing it, I will mention how I never had to get up during the night with my babies because they slept in the bed with me and all I had to do was roll over, lift my t-shirt and latch them on, no getting up to get a bottle, or give the baby the bottle.  I tell them how I never had to worry about planning (which I'm terrible at) whenever we were going to go somewhere because there is no need to figure out how many bottles to take, etc when you always have your breasts with you :)  I tell them how non-stinky exclusively breastfed babies poopy diapers are.  There are many perks people just don't talk about, but I think more moms should because there are certainly a lot of people out there saying how "time-consuming" and "hard" nursing is, its nice to present an alternative experience.  I loved nursing and would hate for anyone to not even give it a good go because they think its hard.

post #17 of 90
I think once breastfeeding is well established it is unquestionably easier. But not everyone gets to that place, for one reason or another. Not everyone gets to stay home with their infants, that makes it complicated too.

But I think, as a few have previously stated, that focusing on what's easiest is not the best way to frame the conversation. There are trade-offs in that department. Even if a mom has to go to a lot of extra effort to breastfeed compared to her peers, she may because in her mind that is still easier than dealing with the increased likelyhood illness and allergy that come with formula feeding. ease is relative.
post #18 of 90

Breastfeeding is quite easy--you just pop the kid on the boob. The food is premixed, prewarmed, and its receptacle is always clean. It's super cheap and nutritionally perfect, and it's impossible to overfeed them because their hunger pangs are calibrated to breastmilk. They cry, you feed them: no counting ounces, no looking at the clock, nothing. The first six months before solids, I never had to worry once about what he was eating, not once. And yes, I did tell other parents it was easy.

 

I feel like all parents hear is how hard it is these days. That's all I heard.

post #19 of 90

No. I prefer not to lie to anyone.

 

I say that  pro and cons to everything. The first six weeks of BF were hell for me and if I did not have a good supply, I would have quit . Other than supply I had every problem imaginable.

 

Breastfeeding is harder if one work and really hard if one travels. I had an awesome pump but still, it was a pain. If I had job that required me to travel for 1-2-3-4 weeks, I would not be BF.

 

On other hand, once we got hang of it , it was easier I think because I did not have to shop for formula or warm up bottles at night.

post #20 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichelleZB View Post

Breastfeeding is quite easy--you just pop the kid on the boob. The food is premixed, prewarmed, and its receptacle is always clean. It's super cheap and nutritionally perfect, and it's impossible to overfeed them because their hunger pangs are calibrated to breastmilk. They cry, you feed them: no counting ounces, no looking at the clock, nothing. The first six months before solids, I never had to worry once about what he was eating, not once. And yes, I did tell other parents it was easy.

I feel like all parents hear is how hard it is these days. That's all I heard.

Count your blessings, mama. It is not like that for everybody. I am truly glad that was your experience, though.

I did LOVE the never worrying about what my guy ate, though...but I was lucky to have good supply, a husband who was out of work and made his job to be bringing me water and healthy food and snacks, and being grateful to me for taking such good care of our son.
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