IS Breastfeeding "Easier" than FF? - Page 14 - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-08-2007, 04:20 PM
 
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Aimee

Mama to Boy (2) and Girl (5)
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Old 10-08-2007, 04:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by *Aimee* View Post

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.
OMG women need to stay out of other women's business!!! Seriously... I don't think I'd have the quick response time to tell that woman off, but would have wished I said something good...

Don't worry, you know more know, you have more resources now, my first as bf and ff and bfing stopped at 11 weeks. I've been there. I went to a private practice IBCLC when I was pregnant with my 2nd child. I put someone in my corner ahead of time and I'm so glad I did. I could call her anytime and she knew exactly what to say to 1) calm me down and 2) encourage me with wise advice.
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Old 10-08-2007, 04:44 PM
 
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This probably isn't the right place for this, but the entire time I've read this thread, two thoughts have been running thru my mind.

1.) Why is it, when I started thinking about bfing my last son, but was unsure about how long I was comfortable doing so, everyone on here said, "Don't worry about committing to two years right away. Start with three months. If you don't want to do it any more after that, then stop. If you're okay with it still, continue to do it for another three months. Any amount of time that you bf is better than none."

But then this entire thread and others I've seen do nothing but bash mothers who don't bf "long enough."

Why? Isn't this a double standard, to say nothing of hypocritical?

2.) Why is it, when a bfing mom can do something else at same time as nursing, it's b/c bfing is "so easy," but when I ffing mom says she can hold a baby and the bottle w/ one hand and do something else with the other, it's b/c she's ignoring her child, doesn't want to bond, and is too lazy to give 100% attention to her child?

Okay. End of rant.

I just with the bfing community on here was a little more understanding and compassionate, and a little less hypocritical and "my way or the highway."
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Old 10-08-2007, 05:07 PM
 
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Don't worry, you know more know, you have more resources now, my first as bf and ff and bfing stopped at 11 weeks. I've been there. I went to a private practice IBCLC when I was pregnant with my 2nd child. I put someone in my corner ahead of time and I'm so glad I did. I could call her anytime and she knew exactly what to say to 1) calm me down and 2) encourage me with wise advice.
Thank you! thats exactly what I want to hear.
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Old 10-08-2007, 06:35 PM
 
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But then this entire thread and others I've seen do nothing but bash mothers who don't bf "long enough."
Could you quote where in this thread mothers are being "bashed" for not breastfeeding long enough? I must have missed it. I answered this thread with my honest opinion that breastfeeding is easier than formula feeding (I've done both)--I don't see how you can characterize this "entire thread" that way.
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Old 10-08-2007, 06:43 PM
 
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Could you quote where in this thread mothers are being "bashed" for not breastfeeding long enough? I must have missed it. I answered this thread with my honest opinion that breastfeeding is easier than formula feeding (I've done both)--I don't see how you can characterize this "entire thread" that way.
I will go thru the thread and look (since it's 20 pages, give me some time!).

I did not intend to characterize the thread on the whole as a bashing thread. But there were several posts in which mothers were bashed for not bfing "long enough."
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Old 10-08-2007, 06:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by OldFashionedGirl View Post
I did not intend to characterize the thread on the whole as a bashing thread. But there were several posts in which mothers were bashed for not bfing "long enough."
There were also several posts where it was said that ff was only "easier" because you got to hand the baby off to other people, implying that people who think it's easier are just not sufficiently attached to their babies.
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Old 10-08-2007, 07:58 PM
 
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There were also several posts where it was said that ff was only "easier" because you got to hand the baby off to other people, implying that people who think it's easier are just not sufficiently attached to their babies.
Actually, being able to have others feed your baby is something that makes ff easier.

I think sometimes people see judgment where none is intended.
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Old 10-09-2007, 03:07 AM
 
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I think sometimes people see judgment where none is intended.
And sometimes the judgment is intended:

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Originally Posted by courtenay_e View Post
Why do most moms in our society think that bottle feeding is easier? What I've found from informal surveying is that it's because basically it means that you can leave your child with the bottle with whomever you'd like. With a breastfed baby, you're "forced" to bring the baby with you, or come back to feed the baby when the BABY wants, NOT when the mother wants. And in our selfish, self centered society, leaving a baby with grandma to go do whatever is soooo much better than breastfeeding, even if it means all the hassle of bottle making, cleaning, etc.
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Old 10-09-2007, 02:06 PM
 
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From a Judgment stance --
Please don't look at every bottle and think FF, lazy mom, selfish mom, or whatever.
I know personally a mom w a baby who will not nurse after traumatic birth, she pumps for this baby. Her bottles are bm.
I personally have had bm in bottles fortified w/formula for more calories for my FTT baby and now due to circumstances beyond my control my baby at 8 mo old is on prescription formula.
The 2 of us might be the rarity, but really, you do not know by looking at a mom if she is providing bm in a bottle, has a medically needy child, or has had breast reduction surgery and can't produce milk, or a mom who is undergoing chemo therapy or other medically dangerous for baby thing --

you just don't know and I have to think HOW DARE ANYONE JUDGE ANOTHER - let alone without knowing them.
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Old 10-09-2007, 08:47 PM
 
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I formula fed my first son and I'm exclusively BFing my second one. I can tell you wholeheartedly how much easier BFing is. I don't miss the bottle sterilizing/cleaning, the stained clothes, the waking up in the middle of the night for bottle preparation, the constipation (or the pain of looking at my son struggle with it), the running to the store for some formula, etc, etc.,

Go ahead and convince yourself otherwise. But, it's just not easier.
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Old 10-09-2007, 08:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tanya1976 View Post
I formula fed my first son and I'm exclusively BFing my second one. I can tell you wholeheartedly how much easier BFing is. I don't miss the bottle sterilizing/cleaning, the stained clothes, the waking up in the middle of the night for bottle preparation, the constipation (or the pain of looking at my son struggle with it), the running to the store for some formula, etc, etc.,

Go ahead and convince yourself otherwise. But, it's just not easier.
For you it is. But several on here have said it was not for them.

Saying that FF is easier is not saying it's better.
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Old 10-09-2007, 09:13 PM
 
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For you it is. But several on here have said it was not for them.

Saying that FF is easier is not saying it's better.
Well, yeah. But, I'm considering the fact that I've done both and when comparing the two, BFing came out as both easier and better. Sure, FF is easier for some (e.g. those who tried bfing, but couldn't do it b/c of medical reasons), but other than that, I can't be convinced that FFing is easier.

I was simply responding to one post I read that said that many bfing moms only say bfing is easier b/c they don't know FFing. Well, I did and I just put in my two cents.
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Old 10-09-2007, 09:26 PM
 
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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.
That's horrible. I worry about someone saying this to me too. Little do they know.:

4 kids under 10
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Old 10-10-2007, 12:49 PM
 
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I've always felt that it was easier because my boobs are attached, always with me. I could leave the house with a diaper and wipes that fit in my purse, no need to carry a big bag.

The time actually spent nursing was a repreive from life...it forced me and the baby to stop, slow down and enjoy the moment.
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Old 10-10-2007, 12:58 PM
 
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I've always felt that it was easier because my boobs are attached, always with me. I could leave the house with a diaper and wipes that fit in my purse, no need to carry a big bag.

The time actually spent nursing was a repreive from life...it forced me and the baby to stop, slow down and enjoy the moment.
I really enjoyed this about nursing my son. Especially our evening bedtime routine, the end of the day would just melt away the stress.
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Old 10-11-2007, 02:57 PM
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I have only read the OP, so forgive if I repeat...

I think it's different for different people. My nine month old has always been a speed-nurser (well, after the first month or so), so for her, I've spent WAY less time breastfeeding her than I would have formula-feeding her. It's also been easier to parent both kids simultaneously while BF than it would formula-feeding--because I don't have to get up and leave anyone while I mix or warm or wash a bottle. I can just whip it out and turn pages of a picture book with my free hand. And I can't even imagine how much more complicated going places with the kids would be if I had to worry about lugging formula along. I was reluctant enough to introduce solids because THEY'RE such a pain! Heck, just not having to go to the store to BUY formula, that ALONE, is a gigantic "convenience" bonus in favor of breastfeeding.

That said, BFing certainly can have its inconveniences, especially if you are separated from baby. I work and I often have evening events, and I must tell you it is a collosal pain in the rear to orchestrate the supply of fresh and frozen breastmilk and to try to figure out how and where to pump if I'm anywhere other than my own desk in my own office. But for ME, those inconveniences were not as great as the formula inconveniences. Add to that the fact that breastmilk is FREE and indubitably the best thing for baby's health--and also that I had no insurmountable problems establishing a good nursing relationship with either child--and it was a no-brainer for me. Breastmilk: it's the bargain of all time.
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Old 10-11-2007, 04:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tanya1976 View Post
Go ahead and convince yourself otherwise. But, it's just not easier.
Did your formula experience involve scabbed and bleeding nipples, a baby who was still below his birthweight at his 2-week checkup, feedings every 90 minutes around the clock, and sleep deprivation so bad you were hallucinating?

Yeah, neither did mine.
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Old 10-11-2007, 04:57 PM
 
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I think that if breastfeeding is going well, it is easier. Spoken by someone for whom breastfeeding did not work. My baby had a congenital enzyme deficiency that is extremely rare and would have died on my breastmilk. To this day we are working with that in his diet. It was anightmare, and the stress, projectile vomiting, screaming, and pain he was in was not worth it. Formula feeding the prescription formula was much much easier.

I'd much rather wash bottles and deal with the occasional curdled one you find under the couch than hear my baby screaming in pain or watching his weight drop off the charts. That was my experience.

I am very happy for women who are able to breastfeed without problems, and my heart goes out to women who are learning to breastfeed and are told it's easy. For most women it isn't easy, especially at first even with help, even with lactation consultants & counselors, even with a supportive DH.

I think probably more people would continue breastfeeding if others around them would be aware of how difficult it can be, and be supportive instead of insisting its easy and more convenient.

I think it is easier and more convenient if you have a 4 month old that knows what he/she is doing, and you have plenty of milk. Breastfeeding a newborn, especially your first newborn is not easy at all.

(I didn't read this entire thread, and probably won't be back to it, so I won't be reading any followup replies. I'm sure there are many who won't agree with my thoughts on this, but if you have something to say to me specifically, please PM me. Thanks!)
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Old 10-11-2007, 06:19 PM
 
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I can remember doing my registry for my first child and, what I call, the call of nipples was so intimidating. Choosing just the right one for a possibly selective child was nerve racking. I choose to BF though and I new I had just the right nipples for that! My second needed a pacifier though to keep her satified, and finding the right one for that was not an easy task. Overall I think BF is less intimidating, I don't have to worry about my milk sitting out and spoiling (unless you pump), and I can feed my second child with a free hand to read to my first born!
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Old 10-11-2007, 06:54 PM
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I think probably more people would continue breastfeeding if others around them would be aware of how difficult it can be, and be supportive instead of insisting its easy and more convenient.
I see what you're saying, but on the other hand it's important not to psych people out ahead of time. There are those who would never try to BF at all if all they heard was how difficult it can be.

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I think it is easier and more convenient if you have a 4 month old that knows what he/she is doing, and you have plenty of milk.
Absolutely. No question. Breastfeeding is easy once you get over the hump. I think there is hardly a mom out there who hasn't had at least a moment of difficulty, a moment of thinking, "What if I can't do this?" But in my experience that is true of almost every aspect of parenting, not just breastfeeding.
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Old 10-19-2007, 03:28 PM
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I think when BF goes well, it is probably the easiest. Certainly the cheapest!

I had to FF but I did not find it hard at all, possibly because BF was such a failure for me. Bottles go into the dishwasher; formula mixed in a batch daily takes about 1 min. It really is nothing to pour a bottle and baby is done in a few minutes. Our pediatrician said we could stop boiling water at 3 mos. of age, so at that point we could use tepid water from the tap to make a bottle.

When we traveled, I carried bottles of water along with premeasured formula in those little travel-thingies made for powder. Again, no problem. I was already carrying snacks for myself and my toddler. So no added inconvenience there.

Of course, that doesn't make it better by any stretch. But you already know that.
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Old 10-19-2007, 06:29 PM
 
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I find it appalling that our cultures perception of BF versus FF is that FF is easier and just about as good. If not for that perception I feel many more women would BF. If Woman had the idea that they could get help and support and that it really is worth the initial trouble.

I am a bit sensitive about this right now, because I have a close friend who chose to FF with her second baby because with her first she had no support in the hospital when she tried and she was afraid that she was starving her baby. This time around I believe she was afraid of the same disaster and felt ff would be easier especially because her husband takes care of the babies and she works. Just before her baby was born she explained that she felt that her babe would be better off drinking formula than having a stressed out mother. I feel bad now because I didn't try to convince her to BF for various reasons and I feel she is missing out on a special closeness that I have with my DS. Her baby wont let her feed her or rock her to sleep now because she is used to the father doing those things.

Based on watching my friends FF for the past 8 months while BFing my DS I would say BF is way easier even if we only compare whether or not a baby has to cry hungrily waiting for their food.
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Old 10-19-2007, 06:53 PM
 
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I don't see how preparing anything and then washing it afterwards, etc. is easier than Simply putting a hungry baby to your breast instantly satifying him. I mean really, i can't see how that could even be considered not the simplest thing ever!

Also, I think I can stand the "sacrifice" of the extra 30 minutes it takes to feed and nourish my child with my milk that is made for him and sustains him and give him the BEST possible start in life.

In regards to night time, my LO is right beside me in bed and as soon as he stirs= Boom! Breast in mouth and we are both back to sleep in a few minutes. No Big Deal!

I don't need anything when I go anywhere besides a few dipes. Wow, I really just can't believe that anyone would think that ff could possibly be easier.
I mean, unless you have medical problems that prevent bf, I think maybe saying it is easier might justify for making excuses. Sorry, but that is my opinion.
Exactly.
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Old 11-08-2007, 02:18 PM
 
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I think BF was more difficult at the beginning. Once we got the hang of things it was completely easy. Even with pumping while I was at work.
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Old 11-08-2007, 04:50 PM
 
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I think that bf is much easier, once you are in the swing of things which can be anywhere between a few days to a few months...but way worth sticking it out and muddling through, if that is what it takes. With my first child it took maybe a week or two before I was comfortable with latch and things...and probably not "smooth" for another couple of weeks...but it was still wonderful the whole time because of my commitment to it...not because I didn't have sore nipples or awkward fumblings at the breast or latch issues. I did not expect that it would be "easy"....I didn't even consider that aspect of feeding. I read a lot of material and don't feel that any of it misled me to think that bf would be "easy". I had to use formula for my 4th child because, like a pp, I got pregnant earlier than planned and lost my milk supply totally by the time she was 10 months old. We used formula until she was about 14 months old. It would've been sooooooo much easier to bf her!!! I still feel sad about it, but am very grateful for formula when there is a need for it. With my 5th baby, I had cracked and bleeding nipples for weeks because I allowed her to latch on incorrectly the first day or two. It was so painful I had to go into my room and close the door so that I could cry and not have my kids see me. It hurt. I knew it would get easier, however. And once my nipples healed, it was a breeze. Well worth the pain.

I think that ff is socially easier....for many reasons. One of which being moms not feeling comfortable nursing in public and therefore sequestering themselves in the ladies room or car or just not going out when they want, etc. Another reason being that bottles are the cultural norm which we are exposed to at every turn; on t.v., in magazines, in books, on baby shower invites; basically everywhere! Yet another reason it is socially easier is because we are pulled by the cultural norm of babies being "managed" and needing to be "independent" and able to "self soothe" and all that junk....and ff fits in with those expectations better than bf. Also, I agree with the pp who stated that one reason ff may be viewed as "easier" is because our culture does care about instant gratification and results...bf can and usually does take a few months (sometimes more) before it is smooth and really easy and it usually does require holding the baby longer than if you were giving him/her a bottle.

For the women on the thread who have felt judged: It sounds like most of you have used formula in the way it should be used...when you have to because bf is not an option. Please don't feel judged because so many of us are total lactavists and "push" breastfeeding....I think breastfeeding would be a way more positive experience for more women if more women were "out there" with their knowledge of and experience with breastfeeding! Since you know that you made an informed decision that was what was best for your particular situation, please don't let yourself feel judged by what are most likely good intentions by another mamma who is just trying to help. I think most mom's don't want to make other moms feel badly....they just want to help.

There is a BIG lack of "push" and support for breastfeeding in our culture. Most women who do not choose to bf (for whatever reason) do so because of our culture, not because they are not "good" moms or whatever. I think all of us here at MDC know that and have stated that on many occasions. Even though not all moms here on MDC and elsewhere bf (for whatever reason) it's still okay and GOOD to push for and advocate for breastfeeding!!

Heidi : Married for 15 years, expecting our 8th baby in July!

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Old 11-08-2007, 05:21 PM
 
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I haven't read many of the replies but I think there is a difference between "easier" and more convenient. BF is definitely, IME, more convenient long-term than FF. I just stuck a few diapers/wipes in my bag and we were always good to go. However, BF is more difficult in terms of getting the hang of it in the beginning, less sleep, worrying about BF in public, etc.

That being said, I LOVED BF my son (BF for 3 years) and I am a little sad when I think back that I stopped BF my first (back advice from ped.+inexperienced momma) and it seems easy NOW...didn't seem easy the first 6 weeks or so.
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Old 11-08-2007, 08:38 PM
 
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It depends!

I think breastfeeding is easier for SAHMs and in general it is quick and easy just to pop the boobie out. But, I think for WOHMs who have to pump it really gets dificult. I know one thing - formula is EXPENSIVE!!!!!!!!!!

eta- also I HATE even just washing a few botttles a week - I can't imagine if I was only using bottles...oh and formula is stinky
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Old 11-09-2007, 12:31 AM
 
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I was simply responding to one post I read that said that many bfing moms only say bfing is easier b/c they don't know FFing. Well, I did and I just put in my two cents.
As did I. I have FF and breastfed and I think FF is easier. Not better. Easier. It is different for all women.
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Old 02-20-2008, 10:25 PM
 
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I think that, all things being equal (no problems with bf):

- in the early days, breastfeeding is harder, because it's more time-consuming, but it's easier, because you can use it to comfort a newborn more easily than a bottle or paci

- after 3 months (give or take a little), breastfeeding is MUCH easier in the daytime, because you can go anywhere, not pack much, not look for water fountains or bring a cooler, etc.

- at nighttime, formula feeding is hands-down easier. Because someone else can do it for you. :-P

Add pumping to the equation, and bf is much harder than FF. You do twice as much work and clean just as many bottles.

FWIW, when DS was younger and needed to eat at night, we had to FF in addition to BF at night (my supply is crappy). We had a simple routine; we never sterilized or washed bottles at night (hello, dishwasher?), we never went down to the kitchen or measured powder. We put several bottles with pre-measured water on the nightstand, had a container for pre-measured formula powder, and just dumped the powder in one quick motion into the water, capped, and shook. The "FFing is soooo much work" argument dates back to an era when moms were still told to sterilize bottles before using them, every time.

Now that DS is 18 mos, we rarely give bottles at night, and he just comfort nurses back to sleep. And dude, there are quite a few nights that I am awake for the fourth time, staring over at my slumbering DH, and missing the days when we took turns giving formula bottles at night!

Breastfeeding for me has been much harder, but also more satisfying.

Rebecca, mama to M (08/06) and E (04/09)
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