IS Breastfeeding "Easier" than FF? - Page 13 - Mothering Forums

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#361 of 420 Old 10-03-2007, 06:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by leewd View Post
pookel - I've heard it too. . . .

I will clarify by giving examples:

I went to a certain BF site which will remain nameless (not MDC) to ask for advise once upon a time. I did not read their "mission statement" very closely. I was simply reading the posts and thought I had found a wonderful and supportive group of BF moms. When I asked advice, it became clear very quickly that my WOH was a problem for them. When they said "EBF" they meant Exclusively Breatfed at the BREAST. My pumping while at work was not good enough!

I have mentioned my sisters supply issues, and I've gotten the same snarky and militant comments time and again that imply that if she had REALLY wanted to BF, she could have. . . Lip service is always given to the "medical exceptions" where FF becomes necessary, but when a particular case is mentioned, the more "militant" types will give you 10 reasons why that particular situation should not have resulted in FF (i.e. "She should have read Dr. Hale's book and changed meds." "She should have tried what I did and it would have worked." "She could have just . . . .")

These people mean well! I realize they are trying hard to educate, but sometimes we need to add a dash of kindness toward our fellow women.
This really is what I am trying to hammer home. Unfortunately we humans judge. It's what we do, but I think it's important to seperate our judgements from education(easier said than done, right?). Why oh why do women say these things to each other?????????????

Sorry, I needed to use a lot of questions marks because I don't understand how being cruel to one another is going to help someone breastfeed, especially after the fact. Can't we all look at our own situations and think of things we would have done different. Hindsight is always 20/20.

Just using your sisters situation as an example, yes, it's easy to trouble shoot from the end result of what she shoulda, coulda, woulda, but in reality, all these things should have been dealt with the appropriate information and knowledgable staff from the get-go. I know we can sit here and say folks should read this or that, but really, where is the medical communities responsibility in all this. you trust that your doctor/cnm/nurse is going to give you the right info, unfortunately most times they don't. It really is such a frustrating situation. But it really also goes back to the barriers I discussed earlier.

Personally I think it is such a waste of time to worry about semantics of what is really easier, because frankly, it is going to be different for everyone, and also to worry about super judgemnetal moms. Breastfeeding is probably the least thing I get judged for, but I am not going to up and change my parenting because someone else doesn't like it or is terribly rude to me.

It really goes back to the beginning and what can we do to ensure that women start of with the best start to make sure they can succeed in breastfeeding. I feel like time is far better spent at breaking down the barriers to ensure a good start more than anything else.
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#362 of 420 Old 10-03-2007, 09:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by pookel View Post
See, for me it was the opposite. It was so much more stressful and hard to try to breastfeed, when I wanted so desperately for it to work and it wasn't. Giving him formula made me hate myself, but it was EASY.

When I was pregnant, the #1 message drilled into me by breastfeeding advocates and their literature was that you have to plan on breastfeeding, 100%. You have to be completely determined. Well ... maybe that works for other people. For me, it meant that when I gave that first bottle, I felt like a failure, and why did it even matter what I did from that point? I'd already failed. It's like trying to diet by forbidding yourself any sweets at all, and then you cave in and eat one bowl of ice cream and you just give up the diet altogether.

This is why, if I could recommend one book to new mothers, it would be "So That's What They're For!" That is the only breastfeeding book with a message that worked for me - keep trying. Even if you're not sure you can keep doing it, just try to make it for the first few weeks. Then see if you can make it another day. THAT is how to keep women breastfeeding.
This is such a great post!! This is almost exactly how I felt when things weren't working. Once I started giving formula I felt like it was all over. And I hated myself for it.


Student Mama you made some excellent points, and I really like your post where you break down the reasons that women may find BFing difficult/would rather FF.
Especially the bad advice from docs etc...I have heard so many stories of Docs ruining a BFing relationship before it even starts...like "The baby has jaundice...Give him/her Formula"

Someone else pointed out earlier on this thread that things might change if Docs could be held liable for sabotaging BFing relationships. Imagine being able to sue for the cost of formula etc...

I don;t know if that would work, but it sounds like an interesting idea.
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#363 of 420 Old 10-03-2007, 09:58 PM
 
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I see that this is an old thread but thought I'd share my sister's story as quickly as possible. She is a single mother and I told her BF would be easier because she wouldn't have to get up in the middle of the night and leave the baby crying while she made bottles. None of her friends (and apparently none of the nurses in the hospital where she delivered and I was her support person) ever successfully BF. There is one LC in the whole town and she only works M-F 9-5. No LLL group either.

Long story short, baby was tongue-tied (not clipped til the 6th day at which point her nipples were obliterated from improper latch), she has almost completely flat nipples and gigantic breasts, and she had a c-section with an incision that got infected. She also got mastitis.

Not exactly a situation set up to facilitate easy BF. She pumped and bottle fed exclusively for the first 3 wks or so. She transitioned him to a nipple shield and now is exclusively BF. It was a long, horrible road, and has it been easier than FF? Well, it wasn't then, but it will be now. And even she agrees it was worth it.

I believe that 99% of people can BF WITH the right support. You need someone cheering you on every step of the way and not judging you. You need information. You need resources. No it is not easier in the beginning than FF for everyone. In the long run I think it probably is for many. I hope this story helped someone who is going through similar circumstances. My sister is my hero!
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#364 of 420 Old 10-03-2007, 11:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pookel View Post
While you're in the driver's seat and they're in the back seat? How? :
No, you're next to them, just as you have to be when giving a bottle in the carseat.
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#365 of 420 Old 10-03-2007, 11:14 PM
 
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YES YES YES it's easier. I did both and I KNOW it is.

Unassisted birthing, atheist, poly, bi WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids Wes (14) Seth (7) Pandora Moonlilly (2) and Nevermore Stargazer (11/2012)  Married to awesome SAH DH.

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#366 of 420 Old 10-03-2007, 11:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by aiea View Post
How is it unsafe? I am always seat-belted and the carseat is strapped in as it should be.
I am not an expert, but I know that infant carseats are designed to flip up and form a protective cocoon around the baby in the event of an accident. If you are leaning on the seat to breastfeed the baby, you're in the way of that, and the seat can't function as it's supposed to.

I don't know the details of what happens in a wreck if you're breastfeeding, but I know that it's something you should not try if you want to be safe.
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#367 of 420 Old 10-03-2007, 11:35 PM
 
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Which helps even less, since you don't have the baby there to actually try what you're reading about.
Are you serious?: So it doesn't help to PREPARE to get your hands on every bit of information out there and ask otheres of their BFing experience...... Hell I had an unplanned C-Section and was in such a horrible emotional state I had just failed at my birth and many here say that is a less than ideal situation to inatiate a BF relationship....

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I'll give you one example. Some people have said that if a woman can't or won't breastfeed, she shouldn't have children. How cruel is that?
Know what 200 years ago that would have been true..... if you had a baby and were unsucessful at bfing and no one aroud you had milk your babe might not have survived......
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#368 of 420 Old 10-04-2007, 12:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pookel View Post
I am not an expert, but I know that infant carseats are designed to flip up and form a protective cocoon around the baby in the event of an accident. If you are leaning on the seat to breastfeed the baby, you're in the way of that, and the seat can't function as it's supposed to.

I don't know the details of what happens in a wreck if you're breastfeeding, but I know that it's something you should not try if you want to be safe.
I wish I could remember where I read this, but what I read was that the "cocoon" effect was not exactly by design. It was something that happened, and freaked people out when it did happen (baby getting flung towards rear seat back), and then they realized it protected baby and then it was called cocooning and said it was by design.

Other countries actually tether their infant seats specifically to stop this cocoon effect. So, it is possible for a seat to be safe(r) held down (by a tether) and NOT cocoon.

But, I don't know if what I read was true or not. And I don't know how this translates to the crash effect of mom breastfeeding baby in infant seat.

Tofie ~ mama to DD1, DD2 and Pookie v3 debuting December 2011
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#369 of 420 Old 10-04-2007, 12:34 AM
 
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Are you serious?: So it doesn't help to PREPARE to get your hands on every bit of information out there and ask otheres of their BFing experience......
Oh, sure, it's better than nothing. But it really doesn't compare to actual experience and in-person advice.
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#370 of 420 Old 10-04-2007, 06:27 AM
 
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My DH enjoyed feeding DS and enjoyed being able to help out in the middle of the night after so many months of watching me do it all on my own. Every man is different...I know lots of guys who really do WANT to help out.
Well, my DH usually does help out a lot. But he needs his sleep more than I do since he can't just take a nap while the kids do.
He helps out with non-bf stuff like giving Becky some applesauce, washing the dishes, vacuuming, going grocery shopping, etc. Also, he watches the kids on Saturday morning so that I can sleep in (or just daydream in bed).

My DH and I found that giving bottles isn't actually that much fun (and it's not a hormone-rush like BF is, for sure!) so he isn't that keen on it.

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I believe that 99% of people can BF WITH the right support. You need someone cheering you on every step of the way and not judging you. You need information. You need resources.
Absolutely! My DH and midwife were fantastic. I remember calling the midwife at 7 pm about four days after giving birth. My DS was screaming his head off hysterically in the background. I was so upset and was about to send my DH to buy some formula but he convinced me to call her beforehand. I cried into the phone, "I keep feeding him but he just screams and screams and screams. I think he's starving to death!" She just laughed and was like, "If he was starving he wouldn't have the energy to scream for hours every night. He's fine. If he starts acting weak or lethargic, call me again." She was right. It turned out to be his personality. He still throws tantrums every night before bedtime. And when my milk finally came in it just POURED.

Some of the things that are supposedly "easier" about FF I actually find rather strange. My cousin asked me once how much my son was eating. I said, "I don't know. Enough." She was totally shocked that I didn't know how much he was eating. She suggested I at least weigh him before and after every meal and keep a journal. She asked how I knew he was finished eating and I said, "He lets go and seems content." That just blew her mind! :
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#371 of 420 Old 10-04-2007, 03:06 PM
 
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Some of the things that are supposedly "easier" about FF I actually find rather strange. My cousin asked me once how much my son was eating. I said, "I don't know. Enough." She was totally shocked that I didn't know how much he was eating. She suggested I at least weigh him before and after every meal and keep a journal. She asked how I knew he was finished eating and I said, "He lets go and seems content." That just blew her mind! :
OK, that's just weird. When my son was bottlefed, I never kept track of what he was eating anymore than I did with breastfeeding. It was just, "oh, hey, he's rooting, mix up a bottle for him." Just because you're using bottles is no reason to keep a schedule!
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#372 of 420 Old 10-04-2007, 03:31 PM
 
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OK, that's just weird. When my son was bottlefed, I never kept track of what he was eating anymore than I did with breastfeeding. It was just, "oh, hey, he's rooting, mix up a bottle for him." Just because you're using bottles is no reason to keep a schedule!
Here too. We supplement with formula. He eats until he is full. That doesn't mean the bottle is necessarily empty. I have no idea how much he eats either.

4 kids under 10
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#373 of 420 Old 10-04-2007, 04:06 PM
 
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OK, that's just weird. When my son was bottlefed, I never kept track of what he was eating anymore than I did with breastfeeding. It was just, "oh, hey, he's rooting, mix up a bottle for him." Just because you're using bottles is no reason to keep a schedule!
Ditto. It always kills me when my WIC forms ask how many bottles he has each day. The last time, I seriously had to keep a running total of the ounces he ate from midnight to midnight just to have any idea. I just want to hold him up and be like, "Does he LOOK underfed to you?!"
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#374 of 420 Old 10-04-2007, 04:14 PM
 
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I used to estimate how much we were supplementing by checking how long the can of formula lasted, and then dividing the number of ounces it makes by the days.
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#375 of 420 Old 10-04-2007, 04:16 PM
 
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On forms I just use math, the docs asked me how much my bf baby ate, I'm like "I dont' know" when he's hungry. Well is that every 3 hours, every 4, what? Well, yes, sometimes 3, sometimes 4, sometimes 30 minutes, sometimes 5 hours or more at night...

Bottle math is easy -- 4oz every 4 hours = 24 oz. It gives them a good enough answer for a baby and then more for an older baby, then about this or less for a baby eating solids.
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#376 of 420 Old 10-04-2007, 04:32 PM
 
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i think that breastfeeding makes it easier for me to feed my son than all the prep work involved with formula. i also think it's made mothering easier because i can see that i am capable of giving him everything he needs which makes me feel so proud and confident.
i do see how breastfeeding makes his feeding all on me, so i can understand how people would see formula as being easier in that respect. it's easier to hand the baby off to someone else, or prop up their bottle and go do something else BUT that is not best for the baby either. this is why to me breastfeeding is so much more than just feeding, it's mothering, nurturing, bonding. my baby knows i am always there for him because i have always been.
i don't think that the criteria for evaluating parenting choices should be what's 'easier'. being a good parent is hard. it means giving things up sometimes (like time away from your baby to do your own thing), but i think knowing i am parenting with all of my heart and doing what i know is best for my baby.
bottom line, i think breastfeeding is easier if than formula feeding if you plan on administering every bottle and cleaning it up. if you're passing your baby off to someone else to feed/care for while you go out to have fun, then i can understand saying formula is easier.
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#377 of 420 Old 10-04-2007, 06:09 PM
 
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i also think it's made mothering easier because i can see that i am capable of giving him everything he needs which makes me feel so proud and confident.
This is exactly why those of us who find ourselves "needing" formula feel so inadequate and like failures. I truly feel like a failure "again" meaning I didn't get it right for my first and I screwed up w my 4th. I feel I am too blame for my lack of supply issues, even though my low prolactin levels are genuinely hormone related as is my hypothyroidism which is likely a good reason for poor milk supply, medically I'm a mess after 4 children and this 4th really depleted my body of too much.

BTW -WELCOME, you sure did pick a hot button topic for your first post. And I am so very happy to see a mom bfing with ease and making those nurturing bonds and connections. We are not all so fortunate in the bfing dept.
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#378 of 420 Old 10-04-2007, 07:39 PM
 
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Ditto. It always kills me when my WIC forms ask how many bottles he has each day. The last time, I seriously had to keep a running total of the ounces he ate from midnight to midnight just to have any idea. I just want to hold him up and be like, "Does he LOOK underfed to you?!"
The reason they are asking is actually two-fold, they do want to make sure baby is getting enough, but they also want to make sure baby is not getting overfed(this relates only to ff babbies). There is a problem where babies are eating too much formula and the nutrition counselor teaches the parents how to do paced feeding. This relates to ff babies only. What happens is that the nipple is so hard, that it stimulates the sucking relex in the baby so they may overeat even if they are full.
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#379 of 420 Old 10-04-2007, 11:45 PM
 
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Sleep nursing is where it is AT.
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#380 of 420 Old 10-06-2007, 10:18 PM
 
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[QUOTE=Electra375;9350913]This is exactly why those of us who find ourselves "needing" formula feel so inadequate and like failures.

i'm so sorry if what i said made you feel bad! truly, no one who loves their baby and is trying their best (as we all are!) should ever feel like a failure! i think these feelings are common because we put so much pressure on ourselves to get everything right.
my comment came from my experience during first few months of mothering. i had severe baby blues and breastfeeding was the only thing that i felt gave me confidence and made things 'easier' for me.
i will be more careful with how i word things.
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#381 of 420 Old 10-07-2007, 12:39 AM
 
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I haven't read all the pages of replies, so I'll just answer the original question.

For me, I have twins and BF'ing is SOOOO much easier. I had to give bottles-formula and pumping. I had lots of problems getting one of the boys to latch, we had a rocky start. So, the first few months were probably more difficult than FF'ing. But once we got things settled, BF'ing was a lot easier then FF'ing.
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#382 of 420 Old 10-07-2007, 01:11 AM
 
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Oh, no, I think you make a valid point and come from a great place being a new mom and having the satisfaction. It is just that same feeling of "yes, I've made it work" that brings joy also is the main cause of those negative feelings when it does not work out as planned.
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#383 of 420 Old 10-07-2007, 01:50 AM
 
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I'm afraid I haven't read this whole thread yet, but by page 4 I wanted to say thanks to all that say BF is easier. I've lately been admiring how easy it seems for other moms to just pop a bottle in their baby's mouth out in public, and my nipples are getting a new kind of sore from my DS's new little teeth. I am proud to have established breastfeeding, and even though he is Mr. Distractability and it is hard sometimes, thanks for reminding me why we do all this.

Oh, and I have no idea about ff, I think that is one thing that has kept me from actually trying it - I just don't want to learn a whole new system!
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#384 of 420 Old 10-07-2007, 02:09 AM
 
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BFing is certainly easier when it comes easy and cheaper when you don't need a pump, Domperidone, fenugreek, teas, etc just to keep going...

I just placed my first order on-line for formula. I haven't needed to buy any in large quantity until now since I was supplying mostly bm and fortifying. The time has come where I'm tapped out of bm.

The LOs specialty formula is roughly $9 per day. At least he is 8 plus months old and we won't hopefully have to keep him on this one. For now, yes, but I'm hoping he out grows this protein intolerance thing soon. Or at the very least tolerate something I can buy at the store.+
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#385 of 420 Old 10-07-2007, 10:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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to you Electra375

I know this is hard.
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#386 of 420 Old 10-07-2007, 01:19 PM
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There is no clear cut answer to this question, as everyone's unique circumstances dictate what their experience will be. I have only EBF and do not plan to give formula, but for us it certainly wasn't cheap or easy in the beginning. DS was severely tongue-tied and couldn't latch on well without causing me to scream in pain every time. This meant spending quite a bit out-of-pocket for a procedure that caused him pain within his first week of being on the planet.

I also had to buy a pump, not cheap, and will have to continue to buy storage bags, etc.. just trying to make a point that bf isn't always free or easy.

Its impossible for me to speculate wheather or not ff would've been easier for us, but I don't care to make assumptions, so I won't.

I think its presumptuous for me to try to assume either is universally always going to be easier/harder.
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#387 of 420 Old 10-07-2007, 02:13 PM
 
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I formula fed my first, breastfed my second. I don't know how many times I fell asleep trying to hold that damned bottle in the right position at night. I'd fall asleep and the bottle would slip out of her mouth and she'd scream. Repeat at least 4 times per night time feeding. Also, she'd scream her fool head off waiting for me to warm that bottle up. By the time the bottle was sufficiently warm she was wide awake from all of the screaming and waiting (2 min is along time to a hungry baby). She also smelled bad all of the time, bleck, like formula. Needing hands free to hold a bottle made it hard too. Washing bottles, nipples, etc. Running out of formula at inconvenient times. Taking several tries to find a formula that she could tollerate. Always having to take a diaper bag everywhere....as opposed to shoving a diaper and a ziplock with a wet washcloth in my purse.

Then with my son, I just rolled over and stuck it in his mouth when he started to stir. No crying necessary. No diaperbag necessary for short outtings, just a diaper and a washcloth in my purse. The baby never had to scream to eat. It was ready as soon as he was.

The first 2 weeks were tough, but after that breastfeeding was much easier than formula feeding.

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#388 of 420 Old 10-07-2007, 11:19 PM
 
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I think in a normal situation it is easier, but complications and obstacles or even a child's personality can make it difficult. For me, whipping it out and latching the baby on is much simpler than measuring formula, adding a certain amount of water, screwing on a lid, shaking, feeding baby, then washing the bottle and putting it away. Likewise it's easier in public to just breastfeed than to make a bottle, pack the baby bag with plenty, wash the bottles after use... At night, no fetching & making bottles, then sitting up and holding the bottle, and laying baby back down. I can just lay on my side, give baby the boob, and drift back to sleep.

I can see though how formula feeding could be easier for someone having problems breastfeeding, for a working mother or someone who must be frequently seperated from a child, or for someone with a baby that wants to nurse ALL the time. I think breastfeeding is worth it even when it's a hassle, but I can understand how some situations would make formula feeding easier.

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#389 of 420 Old 10-08-2007, 08:46 AM
 
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Myth Exposed - Formula Powders do not instantly disolve for feeding, especially Similac.
I use Elecare, it does not disolve. I make a batch up ahead of time and pour into bottles from the fridge.
I used a long time ago Isomil and I recall the same thing, it was supper annoying.
I've used and hope to switch over to Alimentum and it is the same, if not worse than Elecare, clumps that do not disovle. I'll likely just buy the liquid, more expensive, less "doing" stuff.

My breast tingle, even Raynards shooting pains, not enough to feed baby, a few drops are left.
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#390 of 420 Old 10-08-2007, 03:05 PM
 
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omg I cant believe I just read this entire thread!

When I was pregnant I had to work long grueling hours on my feet. I was so tired by the time I got home I had the energy to read a little. I read What to Expect and the Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy (I know I know, I had no MDC then and these were given to me). I was signed up to take the BF class at the hospital, and then my son was born 4 weeks early. He was jaundiced but the hospital said it wasnt a big deal and just take him home. They said we were BF great! YAY!

Well he would nurse for 45 min on each side. When a friend came to visit she said that my son looked horrible and to take him to the doctor immediately. Well his jaundice was worse and he was actually too weak to eat, had lost a ton of weight, and had to be rehospitalized. They never gave me an option to feed him formula, they just did it. I pumped and they mixed it with the formula. After we left the hospital I went back to BF without formula. Two weeks later he'd lost more weight, I kept asking his ped and my OB for help, the OB said he knew nothing about BF. The ped said he'd call CPS if I didnt supplement since my baby was starving. I took their formula but still only BF. After losing weight again, I broke down and gave him the formula. He gained 28 oz in one week. He eventually refused my breast, and at 3 months he was only FF. FINALLY a friend mentioned LLL. No, I'd never heard of them. The lactation consultants in the hospital didnt mention them, and wouldnt help me unless I went in. I couldnt because I gave birth in another city and had no way to get there. I called LLL and they helped me attempt relactation. Twice. It didnt work. I seriously contemplated suicide. I was reading so much stuff about how I shouldnt be allowed to have my son because I was too lazy to BF, about how I was dumb for not preparing, how selfish I was.

The HARDEST thing for me about FF was when a woman stopped me in Target to say "you know, babies who are FF die of SIDS more often and are sick more often, maybe you should have thought of that before you made your choice", when I was buying formula. The hardest thing for me was when I was unable to make anymore milk and had nothing to mix with the formula, watching my son double up in pain after he ate every meal, screaming because his tummy hurt. Until we went thru a million different formulas to find one that made him not scream. Or how rude other mothers are to me when they find out he's FF. How every time DS gets sick (not very often) my MIL brings up how its probably because I gave up and fed him formula. The disappointment and guilt and judgment are the hardest things about FF.

I'm so scared with this baby something will happen and I'll fail this time too, I'm trying to be more prepared, but I'm still really scared. BF was so hard for us that its hard to say which was easiest, but under normal circumstances I think BF would be far easier.
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