Breastfeeding

Breastmilk bottles vs. Breastfeeding

My LO will be 4 weeks Sunday. She's eating, pooping/peeing, and gaining well but I'm debating switching to exclusively pumping and giving her breastmilk bottles instead of breastfeeding. My reasons:

1) it's faster

2) she spits up LESS with the bottle (anyone know why???) while after breastfeeding she will sometimes spit up as much as an ounce to an ounce and a 1/2... and then of course ends up hungry again 20 minutes later.

3) she sleeps better after a bottle -- after breastfeeding she seems to have a lot of gas/trouble getting comfortable and consistently wakes up an hour later hungry again. After a bottle, I can get a 2 hour sleep out of her.

4) She just seems to enjoy the bottle more...

5) Dad can help more

She only gets a bottle at night before bed (daddy gives) and one in the middle of the night from me, which we just introduced this week, and we have not given any formula at all. Any suggestions or experience with this? I'm of course exhausted and frustrated and although I kinow breastfeeding is best, I think this might be a good route for all parties involved...

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Re: Breastmilk bottles vs. Breastfeeding

  • Pumping may be faster now but in a short while your LO will get much more efficient at eating and pumping will take a lot more time (as well as then you have to clean the pump parts and bottles).  At about 3.5-4 months DS would eat 20 min max, now it's maybe 10 min per nursing session and 10 min would be a long one.

    It's typically harder to maintain or increase your supply with EP.

    This decision is up to you, but personally I would much rather BF then pump.

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  • DS is more gassy with BFing, and spits up more too. I think his problem is sucking in a lot of air due to my overactive letdown and his lip tie.  I give him gripe water a couple of times a day, and that seems to help.
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  • I say go for it if that's what you'd rather do. 

    I had mixed feelings on this as well, but have been nursing exclusively while at home and then pumping when I'm at the office. (Sometimes I even pumped after she nursed in order to try and stock-pile extra breastmilk for freezing (helps later down the road when you travel, want a night out/off, or don't want to supplement formula!). She's 4 1/2 months old, and I CAN say that it gets easier to nurse the older they get. I'd much rather get up in the middle of the night to breastfeed rather than hook myself up to the pump. It gets so old using the pump and I'd rather it be the baby! Lol. 

    Also, keep in mind that a baby can pull more milk from you than a pump, so if need be, go ahead and nurse. It also helps to keep the 'supply and demand in control', since a baby pulls what they need and a pump only pulls so much.

     Good luck!  

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  • Pumping made me want to jump off a cliff.  I can't imagine a world where pumping instead of breastfeeding would be easier FOR ME.  

    I know other women do it, but your baby is only 4 wks old.  Things could get much easier for you.  The decision is totally yours but a 4 wk old baby does NOT breastfeed the same way as a 4 month old.  Life with a breastfeeding baby (for ME) was super easy in the later months and I never in a million years would have exclusively pumped.  You lift your shirt, feed the baby and move along!

    Also I pumped at work for 13 months or so and despised pumping so I definitely know what it's like to do both.  That is just my take on it!

    Plus you know all the bonding and stuff you get w/breastfeeding is much nicer later on.  Good luck either way!

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  • 1) It's faster... now. Babies get faster. Pumps don't. Also factor in the time to deal with the bottles and cleaning pump parts, and the inconvenience of pumping at night vs. breastfeeding. Try side-lying feeding if you haven't. It's amazing.

    2) I'd try laid-back positioning to see if you can get baby sucking less air at the breast, and make sure to burp every few minutes (for sure between sides).

    3) If you want to offer a bottle before you go to bed, that might work for you. 

    4) Really? What makes you say that? I can tell you my toddler now has utter glee for breastfeeding I never see for a sippy cup.

    5) I preferred to breastfeed while Dad helped ME more. There are a million things for Dad to do other than breastfeed. He's welcome to as many diapers, baths, cuddles and as much housework as he can handle. 

  • image tokenhoser:

    1) It's faster... now. Babies get faster. Pumps don't. Also factor in the time to deal with the bottles and cleaning pump parts, and the inconvenience of pumping at night vs. breastfeeding. Try side-lying feeding if you haven't. It's amazing.

    2) I'd try laid-back positioning to see if you can get baby sucking less air at the breast, and make sure to burp every few minutes (for sure between sides).

    3) If you want to offer a bottle before you go to bed, that might work for you. 

    4) Really? What makes you say that? I can tell you my toddler now has utter glee for breastfeeding I never see for a sippy cup.

    5) I preferred to breastfeed while Dad helped ME more. There are a million things for Dad to do other than breastfeed. He's welcome to as many diapers, baths, cuddles and as much housework as he can handle. 

    Agree with all of this.  I would encourage you to stick with it a bit longer before you make the decision to change.  Things change a lot between one and two months.

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  • image mexicolombiana:

    Pumping made me want to jump off a cliff.  I can't imagine a world where pumping instead of breastfeeding would be easier FOR ME.  

    I know other women do it, but your baby is only 4 wks old.  Things could get much easier for you.  The decision is totally yours but a 4 wk old baby does NOT breastfeed the same way as a 4 month old.  Life with a breastfeeding baby (for ME) was super easy in the later months and I never in a million years would have exclusively pumped.  You lift your shirt, feed the baby and move along!

    Also I pumped at work for 13 months or so and despised pumping so I definitely know what it's like to do both.  That is just my take on it!

    Plus you know all the bonding and stuff you get w/breastfeeding is much nicer later on.  Good luck either way!

    All of this.

    Of course, you have to do what is best for you and your family, but I'd stick with nursing a bit longer.  So many things can change in such a short amount of time.  GL!

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  • pinkyppinkyp
    Second Anniversary 10 Comments
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    In the beginning it was so hard for me that I wanted to change to EP many times since the kid wanted to nurse every hour and it took 30-45 mins each time.

    But I just kept doing because pumping was so awkward for me. After the 6 week grow spurt, it got a lot easier. Kid only eats every 2 hours now, and it takes only 15-20 mins. Pumping at work is so bad I'm counting each week till 50 weeks.

     Also, now I really enjoy the time nursing. The baby sucks with eyes closed, so very peaceful and content. The tiny hands touching my skin is the best feeling.

  • My LC told me that it takes at least 6 weeks for breastfeeding to become established. I personally would give yourself and your LO more time before making the decision to exclusively pump. I would much rather bf my 4 month old now than hook myself up to my pump. My supply has regulated itself out (use to have oversupply/overactive letdown) and O is much happier now.
  • Also- I am a major fan of trying not to make big parenting decisions when you are deep in the trenches.
  • 1) Right now, yes, it's faster. In 2-4 weeks, it most likely won't be.  I need to pump for 20 minutes still, sometimes longer. My LO eats in 5.  At 10 weeks, my LO ate in 15 minutes.

    2) Maybe you have an overactive letdown? Do you burp more often with the bottle?

    3) If you're only giving bottles at night, this could be a timing thing...

    4) What makes you say that?

    5) Not really. You still have to pump every time dad gives a bottle.  This makes it twice as much work!!!  

    One option would be to pump for some feedings and BF for others, and start doing more BF when LO gets more efficient.

    Oh, and another thing to think about - while nursing in public is fairly easy, pumping in public is a bit trickier, to say the least.  You can nurse easily at a restaurant, in a car,  on a park bench, while walking in a carrier once LO is 3+mo with enough head control (so while shopping etc), etc.  You can pump in your car, or maybe a bathroom (ew), the feeding room at BRU or ladies lounge at Nordstroms, maybe, but it'd still be awkward around other moms.  Far more limited.  And since you need to pump around when baby eats a bottle, it's not really practical to just bring a bottle and pump at home.

    I considered EP when my LO was a few weeks old.  I am so glad for all of the women who encouraged me to keep trying to make BF work for us.  I have been pumping at work for almost 9 months now and I hate it, whereas I cherish the time I am able to BF my LO. I'm also fairly certain we would not have made it this far without her to stimulate my supply (it's higher on Mondays than Fridays) without the closeness of BFing to get me through the tougher weeks of pumping.

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  • I wanted to add that if you do have a forceful letdown, the baby isn't always happy at the breast and people who haven't dealt with it don't always understand.  They often cry and don't want to comfort suck.  IF that is your problem, look at kellymom.com and llli.org for really good information.
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  • SkyBeeSkyBee
    2500 Comments Fourth Anniversary 25 Love Its
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    image ILoveRunning:
    image tokenhoser:

    1) It's faster... now. Babies get faster. Pumps don't. Also factor in the time to deal with the bottles and cleaning pump parts, and the inconvenience of pumping at night vs. breastfeeding. Try side-lying feeding if you haven't. It's amazing.

    2) I'd try laid-back positioning to see if you can get baby sucking less air at the breast, and make sure to burp every few minutes (for sure between sides).

    3) If you want to offer a bottle before you go to bed, that might work for you. 

    4) Really? What makes you say that? I can tell you my toddler now has utter glee for breastfeeding I never see for a sippy cup.

    5) I preferred to breastfeed while Dad helped ME more. There are a million things for Dad to do other than breastfeed. He's welcome to as many diapers, baths, cuddles and as much housework as he can handle. 

    Agree with all of this.  I would encourage you to stick with it a bit longer before you make the decision to change.  Things change a lot between one and two months.

    this! Last week I thought I wanted to either EP or quit, this week, I am thinking I can do this and pumping takes a TON more time for me!
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  • image tokenhoser:
    1 It's faster... now. Babies get faster. Pumps don't. Also factor in the time to deal with the bottles and cleaning pump parts, and the inconvenience of pumping at night vs. breastfeeding. Try sidelying feeding if you haven't. It's amazing.2 I'd try laidback positioning to see if you can get baby sucking less air at the breast, and make sure to burp every few minutes for sure between sides.3 If you want to offer a bottle before you go to bed, that might work for you.nbsp;4 Really? What makes you say that? I can tell you my toddler now has utter glee for breastfeeding I never see for a sippy cup.5 I preferred to breastfeed while Dad helped ME more. There are a million things for Dad to do other than breastfeed. He's welcome to as many diapers, baths, cuddles and as much housework as he can handle.nbsp;


    Exactly all of this .. Well I don't have toddler but my son is 5months old now and we do a bottle before bed and I pump because he would get so fussy with the breast in the evening around 6 or so weeks but even now he sometimes keeps fussing after he spits out the bottle and just wants the comfort of the breast for a minute even if he doesn't eat much.

    I totally see where it would've been faster in the early days, my son used to nurse for an hour for the MOTN feeding, and pumping takes about 25 min. NOW he nurses in less than 15 and pumping still takes 2530 plus set up and take down time.

    Getting the hang of side lying nursing was a life saver for us and really saved me in the MOTN when I was exhausted.

    I would personally at least keep trying to BF during the day maybe pump at night while H gives a bottle before you make the decision to pump full time.
    Good luck !!!
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  • Thanks for all the responses.

    To answer the questions everyone asked...

    1) Pumping takes me about 10 minutes... 15 max. My ladies are pretty efficient :) while breastfeeding is still taking 45 min - 1 hour bc she keeps falling asleep. I put her down, 5 min pass, then she's up and hungry, rooting, again and so on and so forth. In the the middle of hte night, when I also then have to wait for her to be in a deep sleep, I'm often in the nursery with her for 2 hours at a time and only getting 45 min of sleep before I'm back up again.

    2) The more I look into her gag reflexes and grunting on her back, the more I think she has either reflux or some GI problem... topic for the doc on Tuesday!

    3) No questions from this one i dont think..

    4) She's more "eager" with the bottle is how I would describe it. She stays awake during the feeding and, again, is done within 20 minutes, while BF takes 45-1 hour. And finishes seemingly more satisfied.

    I am not making any decisions or changes until 6 weeks, at least. Hopefully things get a little easier by then!

    BabyFruit Ticker
  • image tokenhoser:

    1) It's faster... now. Babies get faster. Pumps don't. Also factor in the time to deal with the bottles and cleaning pump parts, and the inconvenience of pumping at night vs. breastfeeding. Try side-lying feeding if you haven't. It's amazing.

    2) I'd try laid-back positioning to see if you can get baby sucking less air at the breast, and make sure to burp every few minutes (for sure between sides).

    3) If you want to offer a bottle before you go to bed, that might work for you. 

    4) Really? What makes you say that? I can tell you my toddler now has utter glee for breastfeeding I never see for a sippy cup.

    5) I preferred to breastfeed while Dad helped ME more. There are a million things for Dad to do other than breastfeed. He's welcome to as many diapers, baths, cuddles and as much housework as he can handle. 

     I totally agree, especially #5.  My DH stepped up to the plate and helped so much.

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