breastfeeding to bottle feeding with breast milk

Breastfeeding does not always work out, this is a place to discuss your situation and feelings
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breastfeeding to bottle feeding with breast milk

Post by shellyb » Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:27 am

My son was born a month early and did not have the sucking reflex as was tube feed then bottle feed in the nursery at the hospital, every second feed we would try breast feed an then bottle and if that did not work be he was tube feed, an i expressed each feed to keep my supply up, he now is home and i have found bottle feeding with my breast milk is easier and my partner is loving it as he gets to feed and spend time with his son.
I feel bad that I am not breast feeding but at least he has my milk, Should i keep trying to breast feed or leave him happy to take the bottle.
I feel a bad parent if i dont breast feed.

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Post by Nedsmum » Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:18 am

Have a bit of a search on our forum here for 'exclusively expressing' - you'll find quite a group of mums who do that, for various reasons.

The main difference for me between breastfeeding directly, and bottle feeding would be convenience. Is your partner going to be home for long with the baby ? It might seem nice if they are on 'paternity' leave, but when they go back to work, and you are stuck juggling a bottles, breastpumo and a hungry screaming baby then the convenience factor will become a big one...

Did you plan to breastfeed for long ? Sustaining enough expressing sessions (including at least once overnight) in the long term is a very big commitment...the temptation to use powdered milk products will become much bigger as you go do you feel about that ?

As your baby hits their 'due' date and then again at 6-8 weeks they usually wake up and become a lot more demanding. Keeping up with that demand can be harder when you are expressing - for a directly breastfeeding mum they just keep putting the baby back on the breast a lot - and that gets through the 'appetite increase' phases - because the baby is driving the demand.

It really is a conscious choice to make - and bringing the baby back to the breast is something that will be easier now when they are very little, and much harder the longer you leave it - but it really is a will probably take a few weeks of really dedicated work, though, and to also rebuild your confidence that you can do it without bottles.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with offering the breast before every bottle... and seeing how it goes. You could also phone the breastfeeding hotline and talk through your options and some tricks/techniques that might make things easier...

Even if you decide to stick to the expressing and bottles, there are heaps of tips and tricks that the breastfeeding counsellors on the helpline can give you to streamline your expressing and maximise your milk supply...
Breastmilk - the ultimate 'brain food'!!!

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Post by A+D » Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:40 pm

I second looking up the exclusively expressing thread. I am on my second shot of exclusively expressing, and I have to say it is really hard work and draining, but it is what I have to do to give my children breast milk. They have all been premature, and have poor sucking, which you have experienced. I desperately wanted to BF all my children, but it hasn't worked out for us, however, there are plenty of other people with premature babies that have succeeded in BFing.

If you want to BF, I would recommend ditching the bottles straight away, as all of mine have developed a preference for the bottle, even though I have been really careful to follow all the suggestions for minimising this. There are other things your DH can do to bond with the baby, like bathing, massage, cuddles and playing. It is really up to you, but if you do decide to express, you are certainly not being a bad parent, it is if anything double the work, as you do get the worst bits of both BF and bottle feeding - lots of washing, having to get home to pump every three hours, have to feed then express overnight.

I don't want to discourage you from continuing to express, but if you decide to go that route, make sure you are well informed before you make the decision. If you decide to BF, make sure you call the helpline, and if at all possible see an LC to help you getting the baby on the breast. It is so hard with a little tiny mouth! I need to go and express!, so that is all I will write now, I wish you the best of luck in making your decision and with whatever path you decide to take.
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Post by fellare » Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:42 pm

I so agree with you, bottles of expressed milk seem so easy and hubs loves it too. I didn't need to do it for any reason other than sleep and sanity and a couple of times cause he was so sleepy. It doesn't hurt like breastfeeding sometimes does, there is no painful letdown with pumping, pumping is way quicker for me as well.

no things have settled, though and the breastfeeding goes much much easier (still not quicker than pumping and still a painful letdown, though), I love it. the stares into my eyes when feeding are delightful and the little feet kicking my tummy, the hand patting my breast, it's like falling in love every single time. and hubs can bond in many many ways, they shower together, cuddle, bounce, walk, and potty. he loves it and is not missing feeding him.

I would hate to make a bottle at 5am as well, rolling over to put him on my breast is enough of a wake up.

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