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IS Breastfeeding "Easier" than FF? - Page 3

post #41 of 420
It's easier because with formula, you can pass on the responsibility of feeding your baby.
If you're the type however who is VERY hands-on, FF is very hard. What with all the disassembling, cleaning, sterilizing, making sure you have enough in your diaper bag, having another bag to carry the empty bottles (for longer trips), finding a good supply of clean water (if you're not in the US), making sure the formula can isn't contaminated, dealing with spoiling and waste issues and the list goes on...
My first 3 months breastfeeding was very, very hard. But all breastfeeding benefits aside, I will still choose to breastfeed my future children just for the convenience.
post #42 of 420
I don't think that the ability to drop your baby and a few bottles off with someone else and go somewhere because you're not the source of food is relevant if we're comparing attachment parents who bf and attachment parents who formula feed. That argument only makes sense if you're a mainstreamer and view detaching from your baby as a boon. If I had had to ff, I would still have kept her with me and held her for every feeding.

Also, if it takes 5 minutes to feed a baby a bottle, that's 5 minutes you're sitting there holding a bottle in your hand, even if the baby's in the sling. If it takes 40 minutes for a baby to nurse, that's 40 minutes of having a baby latched onto your nipple and in a sling with both your hands free, as opposed to all the other time of the day with a baby in a sling and not attached to your nipple, with both hands free. I could do the same things while nursing an infant that I could while napping an infant or just hanging out having happy babywearing time.
post #43 of 420
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 am not sure why some women switch if not for medical reasons. However, I would think that the emphasis our society places on ffing is huge part of it. I mean we live in a society that moves so fast and expects immediate gratification. This could also be the reason someone would think it is "easier" for a 5 minute feeding than taking 30 minutes to breastfeed. Is 30 minutes really that long compared to a lifetime of health and security that I believe results from the bond/attachment that is a result of bfing?
post #44 of 420
I haven't FF, but I am a WOHM who pumped at work and gave DD bottles while I was gone.

BFing started out rough for me, between latch issues and a baby who was losing too much weight. The first month was horrible, the second was a bit better. By the 3rd month, we were rollin'. FF would have probably been a zillion times easier. . .well maybe. Because for some reason, DD wouldn't latch on a bottle or pacifier either. . .she had some problems with her mouth and tongue. So we may have had to syringe feed her anyway.

After overcoming the initial few months, things got much much easier. My DD was an efficient eater. . .5 minutes max, once every 3 hrs. It really took me no more than a few minutes to get her fed, wherever we are. I didn't have to worry about taking bottles with me and all the associated supplies. And I'm very grateful for that. I had to make 3 bottles a day (Playtex Drop-Ins too) for her while I was at work and that was a huge PITA. I cannot fathom preparing 8-12 bottles a day. Yikes.

So for me, BFing was definitely harder at first. But after we got it nailed, it was easy peasy.

As far as the "someone to feed baby" argument, that didn't apply to me. My DH never got up in the middle of the night, even with the best of intentions. He did feed her on his days off while I was at work or if I had to be gone for the house for longer than 3 hours. But while I was home? No, I was gone from my baby for 9+ hrs already and there was no way I'd hand her off to be fed by someone else if I was perfectly capable of doing it myself.
post #45 of 420
Hmm, well with my son I started with breastfeeding, but he never had a decent latch. That plus my need to have a breast biopsy done lead us to wean at 2 months.

Back then, breastfeeding was NOT easier. I'd struggle to get him to latch, he'd NEVER latch on the left, only the right. I'd feed him, pump the left, try to feed it to him in a bottle, he'd never eat it, I'd end up throwing it away, making formula, then washing TWO bottles and my pump. Not to mention the screaming and fussing and drama that went on...

Yeah it sucked, when we did just go to forumla it "felt" easier. Sure it WAS easier...we were skipping several steps. Was it cheaper? No. Was it healthier? Oh HECK NO! It was then we discovered my son's dairy issue (cannot at all consume) and his bowel narrowing and kidney issues, etc.

With my daughter I managed to breastfeed exclusive after we got her home (NICU stay, she was fed bottles, mostly my EBM, but some special preemie formula too). Easier isn't the right word for breastfeeding...it's even more than easier...it's the easiest!

Sure, every so often I'll get busy and get grumpy about having to get "out of my groove" to sit down and nurse her (she will only nurse in a sling if desperate...she's a wee bit stubborn )...but in all fairness it isn't really that much time out of my day, and I enjoy the time once I get over my grumpiness at being interrupted.

As for nighttime...my husband and I agree, this is WAY easier than dealing with the screaming and crying until we can heat a bottle, 2 minutes or not, that 2 minutes at 3 am is rough to listen to your little one cry. It feels like forever, and sometimes it takes longer than 2 minutes. Not to mention it usually involves ALL of us being awake instead of me waking up enough to get her latched before falling back asleep (half the time she isn't even fully awake yet).

Not to mention the air they swallow while crying. Causing gas, causing MORE issues....ugh at least that's how it was with my son...

No...breastfeeding is the easiest, so long as you are present to take care of the baby. When you're pumping all the time (especially round the clock) and washing bottles and pump parts, warming milk, etc....well maybe it isn't "easier" then (it is still healthier AND cheaper), but it sure is worth the effort.

So, I disagree with you, breastfeeding IS easier so long as it happens the way it is intended (baby at breast). When we start adding frequent maternal absences or frequent b ottle usage...well then it isn't really any easier...though it is still cheaper and healthier for the baby.

BTW, sometimes there are many reasons a mom may be away from her baby, they include NICU/PICU other hospital stays, or working, or several other reasons which do not make a mom NOT an attachment parent.
post #46 of 420
I EP'd for 18 months
You are my new breastfeeding goddess.

I had to pump for the first two weeks when DS wasn't latching, then another two weeks just on one side where we couldn't get the hang of it, and that WIPED ME OUT. But by the time DS was 6 weeks old, I couldn't imagine having to get up at night to sterilize bottles, to have to wake up all the way to feed, etc.
I think that for most women (those that don't have big hurdles, anyway), BF is easier, once you get past the milk establishment phase (mine stayed on non-stop for 2 weeks, I had to sleep upright in a Lazy Boy holding him on a Boppy).
BTW, my BFF is weaning her DD at 9mo (she fed her boys for 8 and 4 months), and she says it's bc she "just can't do it anymore" bc she can't take the time to sit down with two other kids to look after. I can't really sympathize bc I have just the one, and for 8 months (he's 9mo), he's seen BF as a sprint: he just takes little 5 minute nips here and there. Plus, it ALWAYS WORKS for soothing . always. I don't know how I'll parent when he stops nursing, I guess I'll have to read a book or something
post #47 of 420
"I EP'd for 18 months"



You are my new breastfeeding goddess.
(sorry, I just saw the quote function too late)

I had to pump for the first two weeks when DS wasn't latching, then another two weeks just on one side where we couldn't get the hang of it, and that WIPED ME OUT. But by the time DS was 6 weeks old, I couldn't imagine having to get up at night to sterilize bottles, to have to wake up all the way to feed, etc.
I think that for most women (those that don't have big hurdles, anyway), BF is easier, once you get past the milk establishment phase (mine stayed on non-stop for 2 weeks, I had to sleep upright in a Lazy Boy holding him on a Boppy).
BTW, my BFF is weaning her DD at 9mo (she fed her boys for 8 and 4 months), and she says it's bc she "just can't do it anymore" bc she can't take the time to sit down with two other kids to look after. I can't really sympathize bc I have just the one, and for 8 months (he's 9mo), he's seen BF as a sprint: he just takes little 5 minute nips here and there. Plus, it ALWAYS WORKS for soothing . always. I don't know how I'll parent when he stops nursing, I guess I'll have to read a book or something
post #48 of 420
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crwilson View Post
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.
This makes sense to me. Especially the bold (mine)

And it makes sense what others are saying about later on. Once my DS was at the age that we only did a couple bottles a day it would have been MUCH easier to breastfeed. But for me since my only experience is breastfeeding until he was 5 months old the formula was much easier than bfing had been.

We have been lucky that DS is very healthy and never gets sick, but I wonder if that is because I breastfed for 5 months. And also we did the Goat's Milk (healthier and cheaper!) instead of commercial formula.


This is really interesting and I am glad that people aren't getting upset. It is nice when we can talk about things without being rude
post #49 of 420
Maybe it depends on the child. When I babysat my cousin's FF baby for a couple of days overnight, it was exhausting to say the least. Getting up at night whenever she was hungry, making her bottle, waiting for it to warm if it was cold, waiting until she was done feeding. Washing the bottles, nipples, nipple rings. Having no idea whether the bottles were clean enough, and if it was powdered formula i was worried about the water. With my DS I just roll over, give him what he wants and we both fall asleep together. I don't have to worry about bottles when we're out or contamination. BFing is also easier on my mind because I know it's best thing for my son.
post #50 of 420
Thread Starter 
I also could not sleep will bfing...I my breasts were a size H and we had to get out of bed to nurse.
So for me FFing meant that I could stay in bed.
post #51 of 420
I would give my right arm to be able to BF my SN babe.

I still mix formula every single night and have been for a very very long time. I may have to do this for the rest of his childhood..


BF is infinitely easier. Once you hit day 10 or 14, BF is absolutely easier.

FF is a PITA. Carrying bottles, and yada yada. Making sure you have enough formula , plus the money! We have spent thousands on formula in the last yr or two.

BF is easier.
post #52 of 420
Sidelying nursing is a Godsend!
Of course, we only learned how to do it nearly a year after. But still...
Most (all, actually) of my friends who eventually formula-fed did so for the ff reasons:
(1) medical for baby - baby not gaining enough wait, almost FTT
(2) discouraged by so-called experts - their OB/Gyn, Pediatrician
(3) had the wrong info - milk did not come right after birth, ergo, they do not have milk; FF while waiting for milk to come in, caused nipple confusion, mixed fed some more, supply dried up
(4) work - no time/place to pump at work or just too cumbersome to do so (i think this is where FF might be easier)
(5) too painful

Save for the few people I know whose reasons were 4 and 5, I do not believe I know of anyone else who chose to FF because it was easier (maybe my mom though... ). I think a lot had to do with lack of information that eventually led to the ceasing of a breastfeeding relationship between mom and child.
post #53 of 420
I breastfeed my son, and it's insanely easy. I just feed him, and that's that. We had thrush at a few weeks old, but that's the only problem we've had.

I didn't conquer side lying nursing for a long time (like 11 months ), so I got up for every night time feeding and sat in a chair. But....there was no thinking involved--unlike trying to fumble for a bottle, even if served cold. I never really fully woke up for those feedings.

I still can't do hands free nursing--I have to hold my breast for him to latch well. But, honestly, it's like 5 minutes every 3 hours. I can deal with that.

I'm not a big NIP kinda gal. We cover in public, I nurse in the car sometimes, and I try to time outings in between his feedings. I would still say it's easier than having to remember to bring formula and bottles along on any outing.

My dh probably wouldn't be getting up to do feedings, even if I was a ff. He only changes about 1 diaper a week. He much prefers to play. And, like a pp said, I liked being the only one that could feed my son--it was special time for me and him. I wouldn't have liked seeing my MIL give him a bottle, for example.
post #54 of 420
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyS View Post
I liked being the only one that could feed my son--it was special time for me and him. I wouldn't have liked seeing my MIL give him a bottle, for example.
ITA with that. I didn't have a good emotional response to other ppl giving Owen a bottle. It was a while before I would even be in the same room. It just felt wrong!
I just assumed that not all women feel that way, and wasn't really factoring that in. But ff can definitely be very emotionally difficult, eps if you have really tried for a bfing relationship.
But I don;t really see that as being the mainstream experience. I think that a lot of women don't even know what they are missing to be able to feel bad, yk?

I think that literature saying bfing is the easiest thing ever is setting women up for failure. With everyone always talking about how simple it is, no wonder women think they can't breastfeed when they are having a minor problem. They are hearing everywhere they turn that bfing is so easy and natural. So when it isn't easy and natural for them, they think there is something wrong with THEM. Esp if they have doc telling them that etc...

That is my whole point in this. I think that we need to be honest and say that breastfeeding is not always easier.
post #55 of 420
BFing is way easier, when I compare my experiences with those of my sister, who FF both of her kids.

FF would be easier than pumping, I concede. I hate pumping and have struggled with it off and on since I went back to work. I can't say that if DD didn't catagorically reject formula, I wouldn't have relied on it more in lieu of pumped breastmilk while I was at work. As it is now, she has still gets the occasional bottle of goat's or cow's milk when my pumping efforts fall short.

But even pumped milk is easer to handle than formula for the simple fact that it doesn't spoil as easy.
post #56 of 420
I think breastfeeding is easier for some if you consider my experience. Never had any infections or nipple issues with #1. (#2 still too young to count but am knocking wood that good luck repeats) I had to supplement with formula when she was a newbie and hated all the bottle cleaning and formula is expensive. I hated pumping breastmilk so I stopped.

So, if you are not pumping, no bottles to purchase, baby nurses quickly, and you have no infection/nipple issues then breastfeeding is easier, cheaper, and more convenient.

I think it would be more appropriate for the breastfeeding literature to talk about how it is cheaper than formula, more convenient than formula, and sometimes easier. Not always. Certainly, if baby takes a long time to nurse or you have infection/nipple issues or you don't always enjoy being the only one to feed your baby, it is not easier. And, if you have to spend a lot of time and money dealing with infections or supply issues, it is not easier.

But, for me, it was.
post #57 of 420
It may only take two minutes to give a bottle of formula at night, but I can feed my baby in my sleep (literally).

beat that :
post #58 of 420
BFing was definitely easier for me than FFing would have been. I only had pain for about 3 days (and lots of things are painful 3 days after delivery!). I didn't have any serious supply issues. I didn't leak past the first month. I didn't need to bring any extra stuff to feed the baby when we were out - I had an easy time NIPing (no spraying, a fairly content latcher, etc). I had no issues with getting rid of bottles at age one. Plus we are a happy co-sleeping bunch so nighttime nursing with minimal awake time was the only way I could have survived this first year.

The only time when it would have been easier FOR ME to FF is because I'm a working mom. Pumping was not fun. I wasn't about to risk my supply and supplement with formula just because it'd be easier but that was the only time in my experience that I felt that BFing was the more difficult choice.
post #59 of 420
BFing def does get easier but in the beginning it can be incredibly difficult...and ff can seem easier...i think when people say "easier" they are thinking day to day life...not long term consequences...i also dont see how anyone who hasnt done both can truly answer which one is easier (or seemed easier to them)..
post #60 of 420
Quote:
Originally Posted by dubfam View Post
I think that literature saying bfing is the easiest thing ever is setting women up for failure.
That's a very good point. When I was having problems the 1st three months, I felt like such a failure as a mom. It was not until I started attending LLL that I realized that it was a fairly common occurrence to have difficulties.
And even though it might be easiER than FF, it doesn't necessarily mean it is indeed EASY.
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