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IS Breastfeeding "Easier" than FF? - Page 2

post #21 of 420
To me, formula feeding was much easier.
post #22 of 420
Am I still on Mothering?
post #23 of 420
Guess I should elaborate...

Different things are easier for different people. My good friend can run 5 miles without breaking a sweat but if I tried it....I would be having a heart attack after mile numero uno.

Breastfeeding isn't always easy. But then again, motherhood isn't easy.
post #24 of 420
Quote:
Originally Posted by dubfam View Post
I could also ask DP to give him the bottle which is not an option if you are bfing. {my snip} With Formula, anyone can help out. It doesn't have to be you who feeds the baby every time.
To me, these statements of yours sums up why formula feeding is easier. The mother doesn't have to do it. While breastfeeding, I carried diapers and a change of clothes. I didn't worry about having extra water, formula cans/dispensers, bottles, cooler bags. I didn't leak after the first few weeks. It never took a long time to do it unless the little ones were having growth spurts. The only thing that was time consuming about nursing, for me, was that it was actually ME that had to do it.

And giving a bottle IS an option while breastfeeding. I, however, would choose to pump instead of feeding formula.
post #25 of 420
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by studentmama View Post
Maybe it does seem easier to ff than to breastfeed, but are the long term health consequences worth it? If you look at the total life of a person, instead of just ff at infancy, formula is so far from being easier, in fact it's much more costly.

Just smells like a red herring to me.

No the long term consequences are not worth it at all.

I never implied that they were.

Breast is Best and I said that in my original post. I don;t think that ff being easier is a good reason not to bf.


So if breastfeeding is so much easier, then why do people switch to expensive formulas? What is the motivation for Formula Feeding? (beyond medical reasons)





.
post #26 of 420
Quote:
Originally Posted by dubfam View Post

So if breastfeeding is so much easier, then why do people switch to expensive formulas? What is the motivation for Formula Feeding? (beyond medical reasons)
Because they *think* they have medical reasons. Because they think breastfeeding is weird/gross/just a little uncomfortable. Because they've poorly managed their breastfeeding relationship and have ended up with low supply. Because they think they have to watch their diet too carefully. Because they want more freedom. Because they want their partner to "bond" with the baby more. Etc.Etc.Etc.

Edited to add: And I think one of the big ones is feeling too touched out, even if most people don't put it in those words.
post #27 of 420
I think that most people don't get through the initial hard period of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is often quite difficult for the first few weeks, but is much easier afterward. With my son I had to pump and feed him with a medicine dropper for the first few weeks until he learned how to calm down when hungry long enough to latch. This included staying up and waking him up every 1.5 hours to make sure he was eating enough. Most people would have given up if they had to do this. But, after he learned how to latch he never took longer than 15 minutes to eat unless he was going through a growth spurt. I didn't have to get up in the middle of the night or take anything with me but a diaper on short trips. I did have to pump once a day while I was at school, but I didn't find pumping very difficult, and i *could* have given him formula during that time if I had wanted to.
post #28 of 420
Quote:
Originally Posted by dubfam View Post
No the long term consequences are not worth it at all.

I never implied that they were.

Breast is Best and I said that in my original post. I don;t think that ff being easier is a good reason not to bf.


So if breastfeeding is so much easier, then why do people switch to expensive formulas? What is the motivation for Formula Feeding? (beyond medical reasons)
.
I understand how you stated your first post, but my brain just does not work like that I can not at anytime make a decision, especially one that affects the life of a child and a mother, without always considering the longterm consequences.

The motivation for formula feeding that I have learned from friends who did, is that they felt like a failure at breastfeeding, they thought their baby was not getting enough because baby wanted to feed so frequently, and bascially being uneducated and having very little, if any at all, support to continue breastfeeding.

When everyone from the doctor, to the nurse to the dh to the mil to the mom is telling someone it's the same, it's like choosing between pepsi and coke, it's much easier to go the ff route because 99 out of 100 times, that woman was already sabtogued by introducing ff to early, or bottles, and they are struggling with nursing. Yeah, when you are having breastfeeding problems, it is much easier to do ff than to stick it out and get the bf right, but people have so little support to do that, that most don't.

So the short answer? No info, no support, and the perception that ff is modern and the same as bf.
post #29 of 420
I have never (IRL, I don't know anyone on here, either) met anyone ever who switched to formula b/c it was easier. Because it wasn't "gross", yes, or because they wanted to be able to drink/whatever, yes, b/c of medical issues, yes.
post #30 of 420
BFing is often harder than FF in the beginning. In this culture, it's probably USUALLY harder. It sure wasn't easy for us. I have no doubt it was harder than FF in the beginning.

But after 10 weeks, it suddenly became so easy. Going out, we didn't have to plan a whole bag. We could stay out longer than we planned and not worry a bit. Travel is a breeze. Cranky babies and toddlers and easily soothed with a boob. No dishes, etc. I really think for most mothers, BF is easier than FF after the initial hurdle (for some, of course, it's still harder... pumping is hard, for example).
post #31 of 420
Quote:
I understand how you stated your first post, but my brain just does not work like that I can not at anytime make a decision, especially one that affects the life of a child and a mother, without always considering the longterm consequences
.

right, me neither. it's almost completely irrelevant to me which is easier. "Easier" is subjective. I had to pump and bottlefeed, and yet, I didn't hand off the baby to others to feed, except DH, about once or twice per day.

I don't know that keeping milk in a cooler bag next to the bed is the most sanitary thing in the world. How do you know the correct temperature is being maintained to prevent harmful bacteria growth? Especially if it's only taking two minutes to heat up the bottle with a hot water bag?

until DD was much older, I couldn't give her a bottle and sleep at the same time, or even semi-sleep, like some mothers are able to do while bf'ing.

Going out of the house was a huge one. I cannot imagine anyone thinking it's easier to bring bottles! Not having to stop to pack all that crap every time before you leave?? I would've killed for that! Camping, flying, beach, whatever, you've got perfect temperature, readily available milk at all times. What could be easier than that? Needing a sink to wash bottles and nipples wherever you're going is a total PITA.

An easy breastfeeding experience is easier than the easiest formula feeding experience, IMHO. Of course, formula feeding would have been easier than EP'ing, would be easier than someone who deals with chronic mastitis or other problems, but that's comparing apples to oranges.
post #32 of 420
Quote:
So if breastfeeding is so much easier, then why do people switch to expensive formulas? What is the motivation for Formula Feeding? (beyond medical reasons)
Because they *think* FF is easier, because they're going back to work and don't have adequate time or space to pump, because of familial and societal pressures to do the "normal" thing and bottlefeed, and/or because they don't believe breastfeeding is really better than formula.

and a lot of "medical reasons" are misinformation from LCs and pediatricians. The hospital or doctor gets the baby started on bottles and it's downhill from there. That's the most common reason I see mothers stop bf'ing, bar none.
post #33 of 420
okay, i did forget about the handing them off to others bit...

but i never had that. if i was with my child, i was the one feeding them, pure and simple. therefore, they got the boob. the only one i had help with was my first...and she ended up having to switch to formula.
post #34 of 420
I EP'd for 18 months, (dd couldn't nurse) and I know it would have been easier to ff. But if I didn't have to pump then bottle feed, I think each bfing and ffing have their conveniences and inconveniences.

I would pump last thing before sleeping, and leave the bottle of milk already prepared in the mini-fridge next to my bed. When dd woke, I reached over, grabbed it, and stuck it in her mouth. No need to get up. (I never warmed bottles.) I do that now with toddler formula. It would be nice to not have to take sippy cups with me when I go out, but its really not that big of an inconvienence. Now, when I had to drag the pump everywhere... That sucked!!!!!

But, even with pumping and bottle feeding, I haven't had to take dd to the doctor yet for being sick. Would she have had to go if she was formula fed from day one? Probably. So right there it was worth it for me to EP. This kid just doesn't get sick, even when everyone around her is sick. Neither I or dh had to miss work for her being sick. To me, that is worth just about any inconvenience. She STILL doesn't get sick at 23 months old, and she only gets about 4 oz a day of breastmilk. So, to me, bfing (whether from the tap or from EPing) is so worth any inconvenience.
post #35 of 420
Okay I'll bite.

I became pregnant with our 4th child when #3 was only 4 1/2 months old. My milk supply diminished in such a way I could not just feed him solid food to make up for it. He was given a goat's milk formula much like it sounds like you use. We made it at home, fresh every day.

First, you speak of handing off the baby to someone else to be fed. My DP got up to do a middle of the night feeding exactly ONCE. The entire time DS was bottlefed. The rest of the time, I was out of bed in the middle of the night, bleary eyed, heating a pan of water to warm the bottle, crying baby in my arms, when all I would have needed to do was roll over and latch him onto my breast if I'd still been nursing him. I could have been back to sleep in 30 seconds, and he would have nursed until he was finished and gone back to sleep.

I'm sorry but the whole "passing the baby off to someone else to be fed" thing doesn't fly with me. Breastfeeding is easier, safer, cleaner, cheaper, healthier and better.
post #36 of 420
Disclaimer/Background: I bf DS#1 for 3 days (while in the hospital). After I got home, I switched to formula. I am again pregnant, and again plan to attempt breastfeeding. Thus, the following is not intended to promote FF anymore than the OP was.

Quote:
Originally Posted by natural_mama89 View Post
I think that most people don't get through the initial hard period of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is often quite difficult for the first few weeks, but is much easier afterward.
YES, YES, YES!

I do firmly believe that breastfeeding gets easier the longer you do it. It HAS to--otherwise, why would so many women think it is easier than FF? The first week that I was home, I did continue to try to BF, but it was SO hard. I had no support. The only thing the nurse at the hospital told me was that while I should supplement with a bottle, I should not give it to him; he should associate the breast with me. That's well and good, and makes some sense, but do you know how hard it is for a new mom to just hand her baby over to someone else and watch them feed him?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dubfam View Post
But if it isn't easier then why do women switch to formula when there aren't medical reasons?

Also, it is easier to spend 5 minutes versus 30 feeding your child. Not saying it is better, but it is EASIER which is what I am talking about. Not whether or not it's worth the sacrifice. Of course it's worth it!! ITA with that.
I agree. Even though I fully intend to breastfeed my next child, I don't see it being any easier. My DS (8 mo) is FF. I use drop-ins, so I don't need to sterilize. He has always prefered cold formula, so no warming up. (And what are people talking about "warming" a bottle? Don't you just use warm tap water?) It's easier to hold him while FF than it ever was BF (though, I suppose that's something that comes with practice).

If you're co-sleeping, which I do NOT plan to do (ever), I can possibly see how bfing might be easier, but aside from the mom's at MDC, the average American parent does not co-sleep. That means getting up every 1-2 hours for the forseeable future. It means you can never get a full night of sleep. And I know that most moms on here are okay with whipping it out in public, but I'm a little more shy. I see it being a PITA to try to cover up in public. It was a PITA to try to hide my boob from my ILs and my family.

Again, I'm not saying the hassle isn't worth it. I firmly believe it is, and I intended to BF my next child. I'm just trying to offer an explaination to the OP as to why I, personally, chose to FF.

I think there's a LOT to the first quote though: bf DOES get easier, but only if you stick with it. Not many moms have the support they need to stick with it. And frankly, even with all the support you get on here: it's not quite the same as real-life support.

One more thing: I can't connect it, but I want to throw this in. My hospital was terrible at helping me BF. The nurse immediately labled my nipples as flat and shoved a sheild at me. Then the doc told me to get rid of the shield. Then they told me he'd lost too much weight and I NEEDED to supplement. I don't believe my situation was unique. I think hospitals are terrible at encouraging breastfeeding. And for the average American mom, who doesn't have MDC, who doesn't realize how much better it is to BF, it's pretty hard to force yourself to do something inherently difficult when your doctor doesn't even endorse it.
post #37 of 420
I don't think one is universally easier than other. Some people, who are comfortable nursing wherever they are, may feel breastfeeding is easier. Others, who are not comfortable NIP, may feel FF is easier. There are many times when I've been jealous of my FF friends because they don't have to worry about their supply being affected by missing a feeding, which has been my biggest issue with breastfeeding. That and I've been pumping for 9 months. I can tell you one thing, FF is certainly easier than pumping. So for working moms, FF certainly may be easier.

Bottom line, people are different and consider different things to be easier. I totally agree that women should not be told that breastfeeding is always rainbows and sunshine, especially in the beginning. But you also want to be careful not to discourage.

Also, ITA that most people just don't think there is anything wrong with formula. Most people I know think that BF is just a super added bonus. And only aim to BF for a couple months. Only 1 of my friends continued to nurse her babe to 1 year and she is starting to wean him. But she's a SAHM.
post #38 of 420
Quote:
Originally Posted by dubfam View Post
No.....it is because they are getting the milk much quicker through a bottle. Also, formula is not the equivalent of Kraft. My son drank Fresh, Local Goats milk that was supplemented with flax seed oil etc.
he digested the Goat's milk much easier than my breast milk.
I never said that he fed LESS FREQUENTLY because he didn't. He ate the same amount whether it was Breast Milk or Goats Milk.
actually, and i speak not of goats' milk formula (i do not know if it is true of it), commercial cows' milk formula does in fact sit in the baby's tummy longer as it has much larger amounts of casein protein. the curds from the casein protein in the formula take about four hours to leave baby's tummy, thereby causing less frequent feeding. BM has far less casein protein than cow milk formula and a lot more of a protein known as lactalbumin, which is digested much more efficiently and almost completely absorbed, thereby causing the baby to feed more often. so, they may get full quicker with the flow that BM or formula comes out of a bottle, but then i'd consider getting a slower flow nipple to reduce the icidence of gas or upset tummy.

but, to answer the question at hand... despite dd being born tongue tied and having about 3 weeks of latch problems, moderate jaundice and a 13% weight loss on a baby who was 3 weeks early, i still think BFing is easier. i did have to give and ounce or two of formula at one point when i had no milk to pump in the early days after her birth, and making a bottle at 230 am of that stinky formula, and then having to deal with the spit up and tummy ache each time she had the formula was no picnic. it took a while to master nursing while laying down in our bed. however getting up at night with dd to nurse in those early weeks was bliss once we got the latch and the mechanics of bfing down. it was hard, but soooooo worth it IMO. she turned 5 mos on monday and has not had anything but my mama milk with the exception of the 2 or 3 formula feedings a few days after her birth when my milk would not pump out. as pps have mentioned, it is way easier when travelling, not haveing to carry bottles around, and dd doesn't have to wait for preparation of her meals which makes for a very happy baby.
post #39 of 420
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldFashionedGirl View Post
If you're co-sleeping, which I do NOT plan to do (ever), I can possibly see how bfing might be easier, but aside from the mom's at MDC, the average American parent does not co-sleep.
Actually, I think someone did a study awhile ago that showed that something like 80% of American parents cosleep at least a few times with their infants - it's just not talked about because it's "shameful".


Quote:
I think there's a LOT to the first quote though: bf DOES get easier, but only if you stick with it. Not many moms have the support they need to stick with it. And frankly, even with all the support you get on here: it's not quite the same as real-life support.

One more thing: I can't connect it, but I want to throw this in. My hospital was terrible at helping me BF. The nurse immediately labled my nipples as flat and shoved a sheild at me. Then the doc told me to get rid of the shield. Then they told me he'd lost too much weight and I NEEDED to supplement. I don't believe my situation was unique. I think hospitals are terrible at encouraging breastfeeding. And for the average American mom, who doesn't have MDC, who doesn't realize how much better it is to BF, it's pretty hard to force yourself to do something inherently difficult when your doctor doesn't even endorse it.
I totally agree. Breastfeeding just is not supported like it should be. At all.

OP - I've done both and breastfeeding was easier, hands down no question. But it took a lot of work to get to the point of it being easier.
post #40 of 420
I think that objectively speaking, there are some things that are "easier" about ff. Just not for me. I'm a very forgetful person, so half the time I forget diapers. The thing that usually saves me is that I always have my carrier which has a diaper in the front pocket. Fortunately I cannot ever forget dd's "food" when we're going out because it's attached to me. I'm also very opposed to getting out of bed at night or even completely waking up. So breastfeeding is a lot easier for me in that regard. Have there been times when I wish that someone else could feed her because I was doing something at the moment that she was hungry? Yes, absolutely. But most of the time it's a nice break from what I'm doing.

that said, it is a big sacrifice in many (objective) ways, and I do think that that bfing literature is misleading in this regard. I think that to truly promote breastfeeding, it's important to be honest about it and say that it's worth it anyway. Even if it is sometimes harder or even if it does sometimes hurt or take a while to get used to, I would NEVER trade this experience. I think that focusing on the benefits of bfing such as health and an increased attachment with your child and maternal/baby well-being would be a better and more honest way to approach the issue. It's not always easy, but most good things aren't.
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