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#1 of 200 Old 11-01-2008, 09:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was at the Florida La Leche League Parenting Conference last weekend, and Diane Weissinger was there and spoke at several sessions (author of 'Watch Your Language' and her website www.normalfed.com). At a session entitled Watch Your Language (excellent!) she started out with this question:

If you had to choose one or the other, would you choose to give your baby your breastmilk out of a bottle, or feed your baby formula from your breasts?

She said that absolutely she would choose to feed formula from her breasts.

It kind of threw me. I was expecting her to choose breastmilk from a bottle. What would you do? And what an interesting question.
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#2 of 200 Old 11-01-2008, 09:54 PM
 
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Just wanted to pop in and say, what an interesting question. I'm not ready to answer it, though. I need to think on that one for a while. I guess it all boils down to what's important to you, the immunities and stuff offered in BM, or the physical closeness associated with BFing. Hmmm... I may be leaning towards formula from my breasts. DD2 is still going strong at nearly 3yo, and I know it's for the closeness rather than nutrition, so I wouldn't want to miss out on that.

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#3 of 200 Old 11-01-2008, 09:57 PM
 
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Breastmilk from the bottle! That is surprising to me too. There is no replacement for breastmilk for so many many health reasons, but I think you can do other things to have that special closeness with your baby, skin-to-skin contact, baby wearing & co-sleeping among other things.
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#4 of 200 Old 11-01-2008, 09:59 PM
 
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No question for me -- breastmilk from a bottle.

I ff DS, first by bottle and later by feeding tube. I had some darn good reasons for doing so, but I really worried, and still worry, about the longterm effects of him not getting breastmilk.

On the other hand, we were able to find many other ways to get the closeness we needed -- from him only being fed in my arms with me focused on him (eye contact, talking, touching his face), to co-sleeping, bathing together, holding him all the time etc . . . I didn't have, and still don't have any concerns about our early attachment.

So, if I could go back and change either what he was fed, or how he was fed (well, I'd change the feeding tube if I could, but that wasn't asked) I'd get the breastmilk without hesitation.
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#5 of 200 Old 11-01-2008, 11:18 PM
 
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If I had been asked this question when DDs were under 12 months, I would have definitely chosen BM in a bottle, but now that DD2 is nearly 3, the moments of BFing are a rare moment of focused closeness in a toddler's get-up-and-go world. And really, my breast is my ONLY parenting tool. Hurt yourself? Nurse. Mad at someone? Nurse. Tired? Nurse.

So yeah, younger babes I'd go with BM in a bottle, but for toddlers and preschoolers I'd go formula in the breast.

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#6 of 200 Old 11-01-2008, 11:19 PM
 
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Breast milk out of a bottle. Dad's manage to bond just fine with their babies and not breastfeed them. I don't see why that wouldn't be any different for me. The nutrition for my baby is so, so much more important to me than any warm fuzzy feelings I may get from nursing my son. Not to say I don't enjoy nursing, but if it came down to a choice of the two I'd absolutely choose the health benefits.

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#7 of 200 Old 11-01-2008, 11:31 PM
 
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I saw her speak at a different conference and it really got me thinking too.

Some moms can't feed at the breast (baby can't transfer, etc), and end up pumping and bottle feeding. This means that baby gets all the great nutrition and immune boosting properties of milk.

Some moms can't provide all baby's nutrition from the breast, and end up supplementing at the breast, and as milk banks are not available in many places, this is often with formula. This baby receives all the brain growing and emotional and oral development that comes with breastfeeding.

The decision is not something I wouldn't wish on any mom - but Diane Weissinger's answer made me realise that breastfeeding is so much more than mother's milk. Intellectually I already knew this - but her answer helped me to realise it emotionally, and to grow in the way that I support both moms who exclusively pump, and moms with low supply.
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#8 of 200 Old 11-02-2008, 12:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthernPixie View Post
I was at the Florida La Leche League Parenting Conference last weekend, and Diane Weissinger was there and spoke at several sessions (author of 'Watch Your Language' and her website www.normalfed.com). At a session entitled Watch Your Language (excellent!) she started out with this question:

If you had to choose one or the other, would you choose to give your baby your breastmilk out of a bottle, or feed your baby formula from your breasts?

She said that absolutely she would choose to feed formula from her breasts.

It kind of threw me. I was expecting her to choose breastmilk from a bottle. What would you do? And what an interesting question.

i would choose formula from my breasts. i love, love, love nursing

of course, luckily, that's not really a choice i have to make, since my breasts don't make formula

low supply moms who use an SNS to supplement at the breast DO actually do this, though!

dissertating wife of Boo, mama of one "mookie" lovin' 2 year old girl! intactlact:: CTA until 7/10 FF 1501dc
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#9 of 200 Old 11-02-2008, 12:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ramama View Post
If I had been asked this question when DDs were under 12 months, I would have definitely chosen BM in a bottle, but now that DD2 is nearly 3, the moments of BFing are a rare moment of focused closeness in a toddler's get-up-and-go world. And really, my breast is my ONLY parenting tool. Hurt yourself? Nurse. Mad at someone? Nurse. Tired? Nurse.

So yeah, younger babes I'd go with BM in a bottle, but for toddlers and preschoolers I'd go formula in the breast.
yeah, i actually agree with this, i think. for a little baby, i'd choose the benefits of the breastmilk. with a toddler, i would HAVE to go with the nursing. i love it, and it's such a great tool to have in my tantrum-calming toolbox!

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#10 of 200 Old 11-02-2008, 12:35 AM
 
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Breastmilk from a bottle, no question. In fact, that's what I DID choose with my oldest (for a while at least). Breastmilk is far superior to formula, but there are plenty of other ways to bond with and comfort a child that are just as good as popping a nipple in their mouth. Granted, they do require more work.
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#11 of 200 Old 11-02-2008, 12:36 AM
 
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interesting question. I think I would choose formula from my breasts too. I've given my ds a bottle of formula on occasion when he was a baby and I don't think formula is evil. But nursing is so much more than feeding and I think it helps with the child's psychological and emotional well-being, not to mention the special bond mom/child.

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#12 of 200 Old 11-02-2008, 01:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthernPixie View Post
I was at the Florida La Leche League Parenting Conference last weekend, and Diane Weissinger was there and spoke at several sessions (author of 'Watch Your Language' and her website www.normalfed.com). At a session entitled Watch Your Language (excellent!) she started out with this question:

If you had to choose one or the other, would you choose to give your baby your breastmilk out of a bottle, or feed your baby formula from your breasts?

She said that absolutely she would choose to feed formula from her breasts.

It kind of threw me. I was expecting her to choose breastmilk from a bottle. What would you do? And what an interesting question.
I'm failing to see how this is even a question in people's minds. How can you continually tout the superiority of breast milk and then say something like that? It seem a little hypocritical to me. Formula is formula no matter where it comes from. Breastmilk does lose some immune elements with handlinig and storage but if you pump and feed mindfully there is little difference.

This gets a big fat from me.

respectfully,
Sandstress
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#13 of 200 Old 11-02-2008, 01:07 AM
 
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I love nursing, but for me, it is essentially a means to give my child breastmilk.

I even tried to reintroduce it to my long weaned older DD. To which she replied "Ick, that's boobie milk!" Oh well.
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#14 of 200 Old 11-02-2008, 01:21 AM
 
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Breastmilk from a bottle, hands down. I do realize the importance of bonding through breastfeeding (as well as jaw development and some other important factors), but I hear over and over on this board about formula damaging the virgin gut, leading to a greater incidence of illness over time, etc., so I'm with Sandstress in being quite surprised at some of the answers I'm reading.

As someone else said, I feel fortunate to not have to make this decision.

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#15 of 200 Old 11-02-2008, 01:37 AM
 
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Wow...what a great question! Im so torn. It really points out how breastmilk from the breasts is more than just for nutrition...but thats not to say that moms who had to pump and bottle feed, their kids didn't get that love and attention that fed at teh breast babies get!

I'm still geeking out over this in my head! I think I'd have to go with breast milk in a bottle, but I LOVE mothering my kids at the breast! It really makes me appreciate how lucky I am to be able to. I am totally telling all my friends to come and answer this one! ha!
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#16 of 200 Old 11-02-2008, 02:08 AM
 
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Hmmm....as a little baby, BM from a bottle...but I sooooo love nursing my toddler!
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#17 of 200 Old 11-02-2008, 03:00 AM
 
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pumped milk from a bottle, no question. i exclusively pumped before my son latched, and although i don't really pump anymore, if i know he and i are going to be away from each other for a night or two like we've had to with family emergencies over the past year, i feel so much better knowing he is still getting mama's milk.

i only had to pump for 2.5mths exclusively while he learned to latch since my son was born without a developed sucking reflex, but i think that women who exclusively pump for the long term are amazing. it's a huge commitment. and a question like that somehow rubs me the wrong way - like somehow pumped milk could even be put in the same league as formula.

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#18 of 200 Old 11-02-2008, 04:10 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandstress View Post
I'm failing to see how this is even a question in people's minds. How can you continually tout the superiority of breast milk and then say something like that? It seem a little hypocritical to me. Formula is formula no matter where it comes from. Breastmilk does lose some immune elements with handlinig and storage but if you pump and feed mindfully there is little difference.

This gets a big fat from me.

respectfully,
Sandstress
:

I'm just not understanding how a lactivist could choose formula and still be a lactivist. Giving a child/baby breast milk is about giving them the best most optimal nutrition that is available.

This is taken from the "breastfeeding boards: what are we about" sticky:

"It must be clear that although we certainly do not encourage formula use we do support mothers who are doing the best they can for their children."

P.S. I have a feeling this thread is going to get locked.
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#19 of 200 Old 11-02-2008, 05:30 AM
 
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I would so choose the breastmilk in a bottle. I really kind of resented nursing my dd the first 6 months of her life. Breastfeeding really bothered me and didn't help me bond with her much at all back then. I continued to breastfeed because I wanted her to have breastmilk. Obviously breastfeeding is about more than just breastmilk but while there are many ways to bond with a baby, no formula is like breastmilk.

I do however think it's great when moms who need to supplement choose to do so at the breast when possible.
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#20 of 200 Old 11-02-2008, 06:25 AM
 
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I'm really, really surprised that anyone would choose formula from their breasts over breastmilk from a bottle. To me, this reinforces two stereotypes -- that bf'ing moms don't think bottlefeeding moms can possibly bond with their babies as well as if they nursed (which I don't think is true), and that some women breastfeed toddlers only for their own satisfaction, not any health benefits to the child. Now, I know that this is not true in the majority of cases but answers like these help to perpetuate those stereotypes, IMO.

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#21 of 200 Old 11-02-2008, 09:03 AM
 
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interesting question. I had to think about it for about 10 seconds though.

when choosing to bf a mother is not choosing between a blue shirt and a red shirt. she is choosing between upping the risks of many diseases and illnesses that her child is more likely to contract because of being fed ABM. sometimes nursing is a pain in the butt, but overall the health benefits are WAY more important that my discomfort at certain points.
I would obviously chose from a bottle in a heartbeat, the risks of ffing scare me too much quite frankly.
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#22 of 200 Old 11-02-2008, 10:03 AM
 
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Originally Posted by gingerbane View Post
Giving a child/baby breast milk is about giving them the best most optimal nutrition that is available.
This is what I thought before I listened to Diane's talk - which is why I think this hypothetical dilemma is such a good thing to think about. It made me think about things differently (although not change my mind about what I would pick. )

Breastmilk is optimal nutrition and immune support, but breastfeeding is more than breastmilk - something that I had brushed off as obvious but not so important. To hear a well respected LC and die-hard lactivist explain that she personally considers the feeding at the breast part of breastfeeding to be so important that she would chose that over breastmilk really got me thinking.

I think many healthcare professionals are fast to say "oh well, the latch isn't working - just pump and bottle feed" when they could be saying "I will recommend an LC to work with you after we clip the tongue-tie to get your baby to the breast." (or whatever the situation) I know that not all babies who don't latch, and not all moms who EP, would fit into a situation where better support would have resulted in feeding-at-the-breast, but some would. And by supporting them and advocating for them we can make sure that babies and moms don't loose out on the feeding at the breast part of breastfeeding.

Diane's statement also helped me to communicate the importance of supplementing at the breast when possible. Just hearing the story about 'what Diane would chose' was so inspiring for a low supply friend of mine. She continues to feed at the breast and her baby is over a year old now. With test weights the LC told her that she was transfering about 15 mL/feed maximum, so most of baby's nutrition came from formula. But all feedings came from the breast, which tempered the anger and dismay she felt at her body for not making enough milk.

The question (or Diane's answer) is not a plug for formula at all! It just uses shock to highlight how breastfeeding is more than breastmilk.
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#23 of 200 Old 11-02-2008, 11:57 AM
 
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I wholeheartedly agree that breastfeeding is more than breastmilk.

However given the choice, it would be BM in a bottle all the way. Because formula is a back up when BM cannot be had, it is always a second choice nutritionally and my main commitment is to my child's health.

I feel that babe can get skin to skin contact which is the most vital part of the bonding breastfeeding experience without actually having a nipple in their mouth.

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#24 of 200 Old 11-02-2008, 12:17 PM
 
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Breast milk in a bottle, hands down! I EP for my dd (now 3 years old!) and she is still held most of the time when she has her milk. I breastfeed my ds (11 months) straight from the tap. I bond with them just the same. As long as you hold the baby and interact and not bottle prop or pass off every feeding, I really don't see how you are missing out on a special relationship. When my dd was an infant, we bottle fed breast milk on demand, just as I bf ds from the tap now. It really is not much different. I am glad she is still getting all of the amazing benefits from my milk!
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#25 of 200 Old 11-02-2008, 02:11 PM
 
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breastmilk from a bottle.
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#26 of 200 Old 11-02-2008, 03:09 PM
 
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I would WANT to choose formula from my breasts because I love nursing. But I would feel obligated to choose breastmilk from a bottle since there isn't any formula that can match the health of breastmilk and there are other ways to connect with baby even though I would terribly grieve the nursing bond.

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#27 of 200 Old 11-02-2008, 03:58 PM
 
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I chose formula from my breasts not because I love nursing (it's just something I have to do), but because I believe that physical contact and bonding are vital elements for a child's well-being. For me it was amazing to see what nursing meant to my ds when he was 2 or 3.
If science is able to recreate the exact same formula as breastmilk sometime in the future, then nursing would (maybe) become pointless. But when I think of nursing as being something primal and sacred that only a mother can do for her child, I can't see breastfeeding becoming obsolete.
...I don't know if I'm making too much sense

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#28 of 200 Old 11-02-2008, 05:25 PM
 
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bm from a bottle 100%! yea the bonding is great but you can still have a magnificant bond with your bb even if its through a bottle.

kinda shocked people would say formula through breast, thats odd to me. but hey to each their own i guess.
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#29 of 200 Old 11-02-2008, 05:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandstress View Post

This gets a big fat from me.
Breastmilk from a bottle here...and none of my children have ever had a bottle, btw.

I have to say there are thousands of components in human breastmilk, it is a living biological fluid with immunological and biological properties for the optimum physiological growth for a human. The impact it has on humans long term is well documents from a physical health standpoint.

Formula is a dead, manufactured food product with maybe 30 something ingredients...and anyone who does the research will find that formula fed infants are at much greater risk of short term and long term illness/disorders.

There is so much literature and research out there.

There really is NO comparison.

I'm pretty freaked out that someone from LLL would say that.

(speaking as a scientist and someone who has been quite active in LLL herself)

And, I've met some great moms who were not able to breastfeed...however provided breastmilk for their children and in all other respects were about as AP as you get.

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#30 of 200 Old 11-02-2008, 08:08 PM
 
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Breastmilk from a bottle without question. And I do think this is a great question. I LOVE nursing, but do think the health benefits are the paramount concern.
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