1st Trimester

Breast feeding vs. Pumping and bottle feeding.

I am afraid that breastfeeding may bring up my childhood sexual abuse issues so I am considering pumping and bottle feeding. I am feeling guilty that I don't want to deal with any potential issues. Is there really that much of a difference between breast milk directly from the breast vs. Breast milk from a bottle?

Re: Breast feeding vs. Pumping and bottle feeding.

  • The major issue I could foresee would be that you may not produce as much strictly pumping (baby's sucking helps with the milk production). Will you be comfortable supplementing with formula, if not going to formula altogether? You need to do what's best for you to be a good mother to LO, and if pumping makes you feel most comfortable, you should certainly do it. Best of luck!



    kynbar5MynaBird
  • I am sorry about your past experience.

    Being Mom, you get to choose what's best for you and your family. Don't let anyone question or judge you for your choices.

    That being said, exclusively pumping can be (not always) incredibly hard work. Typically, pumping is not as effective as a nursing baby, so you have to be diligent about pumping to keep up your supply.

    Any breastmilk is fantastic! You will find what works best for you and I wish you all the luck.

    Also, seek out a lactation consultant in your area if you need personalized help with anything!
    kynbar5Bluejay3030doozer1345charley15
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  • I'm sorry to hear you had some issues as a child. I definitely think if it something you sincerely worry about, you shouldn't do it until you are 100% comfortable. I see no reason why you couldn't pump and bottle feed - the baby would still get the necessary nutrients from breast milk.
    Do what makes you comfortable.
    image
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  • You make the decision that is right for you...don't worry what anyone else thinks.  Even if you wind up formula feeding, you are still feeding your baby, and that's all that matters.


    That having been said, here is my experience.  I thought I really wanted to pump and bottle feed.  I do not have traumatic issues from my childhood or anything, I just wasn't comfortable with the idea of a baby being attached to my boob all the time.  I also wanted DH to be able to take some of the feedings, I wanted to know exactly how much she was eating, all sorts of stuff.  I ordered a book about exclusively pumping and read it while I was pregnant.  I was going to breastfeed for the first 2-3 weeks to establish supply and then pump.

     

    Fast forward.  Pumping sucks y'all.  I have to do it 3x/day at work now that I'm back, plus usually twice at night (once before I go to bed and once or twice during the night/early morning depending on how long LO sleeps).  IT IS THE WORST.  Especially at night when I'd rather be sleeping.  Breastfeeding, while pretty painful for the first two weeks, is super duper easy...no prep work at all, just stick the kid on there...which is really great at 3am.  Bottle feeding requires cleaning and preparation of all the bottles, making sure your feeding any frozen milk at a time when it's still good, warming up a bottle while your baby is SCREAMING IN ANGER because it's hungry.  Every time you bottle feed you also have to pump to replace it to manage your supply...I wasn't able to pump at all when I was home alone on maternity leave because DD would not let me put her down for the 15 minutes required to do so.  She was high needs.  Right now when I get home from work, after putting DD to bed I spend AN HOUR cleaning bottles and pump parts and preparing them for the following day.  And I also spend an hour of my day at work pumping.  That's two hours out of my day, not even including the 2-3 times a day that I breastfeed (or the 2-3 times a night that I pump at home).

     

    I was lucky that DD is gaining well (she has a huge appetite) and that I have good production, so I never had to pump and bottle feed to make sure she was getting enough.  but seriously...I DID NOT WANT to breastfeed more than a few weeks, and now that I'm actually doing the pumping and bottle feeding that I intended to do, I hate it and love breastfeeding.  Another huge benefit: DD will fall asleep really easily while breastfeeding but won't do so during or after a bottle (key for middle of the night feedings).  breastfeeding also calms her down when she's really upset (after getting shots at the doctor for example) and a bottle won't do that.

     

    This all said, when she's about 6-8 months old I'm probably going to transition to a sippy cup and only actually breastfeed once in the morning and once at night...but at that point between my frozen stash and her transitioning to solid foods, I won't have to pump as often.  But really you won't realize how annoying pumping is until you are IN IT.  I poo-pooed my friends who told me this exact same thing when I told them I was going to exclusively pump.  they were right.

     

    However: if you do decide to exclusively pump, you should look into what your insurance requires to cover rental of a hospital grade pump.  From my research those are better for exclusively pumping because they more closely mirror a baby's sucking, and therefore keep up your supply better than a home model.  My insurance would only cover hospital grade pump rental if I had a prescription from my doctor, though they paid for a home model after a simple confirmation of my pregnancy.  Rentals are somewhere in the $40-80/month region, depending on where you live.

    Me: 35 DH: 35
    Married 5-31-14
    DD1 born 6-21-15
    DD2 born 6-11-17
     
    <a href="http://www.fertilityfriend.com/home/50bdde">My Ovulation Chart</a>
    Buninthe0ven815kimey1potato23
  • delujm0 said:

    You make the decision that is right for you...don't worry what anyone else thinks.  Even if you wind up formula feeding, you are still feeding your baby, and that's all that matters.


    That having been said, here is my experience.  I thought I really wanted to pump and bottle feed.  I do not have traumatic issues from my childhood or anything, I just wasn't comfortable with the idea of a baby being attached to my boob all the time.  I also wanted DH to be able to take some of the feedings, I wanted to know exactly how much she was eating, all sorts of stuff.  I ordered a book about exclusively pumping and read it while I was pregnant.  I was going to breastfeed for the first 2-3 weeks to establish supply and then pump.

     

    Fast forward.  Pumping sucks y'all.  I have to do it 3x/day at work now that I'm back, plus usually twice at night (once before I go to bed and once or twice during the night/early morning depending on how long LO sleeps).  IT IS THE WORST.  Especially at night when I'd rather be sleeping.  Breastfeeding, while pretty painful for the first two weeks, is super duper easy...no prep work at all, just stick the kid on there...which is really great at 3am.  Bottle feeding requires cleaning and preparation of all the bottles, making sure your feeding any frozen milk at a time when it's still good, warming up a bottle while your baby is SCREAMING IN ANGER because it's hungry.  Every time you bottle feed you also have to pump to replace it to manage your supply...I wasn't able to pump at all when I was home alone on maternity leave because DD would not let me put her down for the 15 minutes required to do so.  She was high needs.  Right now when I get home from work, after putting DD to bed I spend AN HOUR cleaning bottles and pump parts and preparing them for the following day.  And I also spend an hour of my day at work pumping.  That's two hours out of my day, not even including the 2-3 times a day that I breastfeed (or the 2-3 times a night that I pump at home).

     

    I was lucky that DD is gaining well (she has a huge appetite) and that I have good production, so I never had to pump and bottle feed to make sure she was getting enough.  but seriously...I DID NOT WANT to breastfeed more than a few weeks, and now that I'm actually doing the pumping and bottle feeding that I intended to do, I hate it and love breastfeeding.  Another huge benefit: DD will fall asleep really easily while breastfeeding but won't do so during or after a bottle (key for middle of the night feedings).  breastfeeding also calms her down when she's really upset (after getting shots at the doctor for example) and a bottle won't do that.

     

    This all said, when she's about 6-8 months old I'm probably going to transition to a sippy cup and only actually breastfeed once in the morning and once at night...but at that point between my frozen stash and her transitioning to solid foods, I won't have to pump as often.  But really you won't realize how annoying pumping is until you are IN IT.  I poo-pooed my friends who told me this exact same thing when I told them I was going to exclusively pump.  they were right.

     

    However: if you do decide to exclusively pump, you should look into what your insurance requires to cover rental of a hospital grade pump.  From my research those are better for exclusively pumping because they more closely mirror a baby's sucking, and therefore keep up your supply better than a home model.  My insurance would only cover hospital grade pump rental if I had a prescription from my doctor, though they paid for a home model after a simple confirmation of my pregnancy.  Rentals are somewhere in the $40-80/month region, depending on where you live.

    While I overall agree with you, to say "breastfeeding is super-duper easy" actually comes off as pretty offensive. I had a horrible time breastfeeding because of supply issues, latching issues, etc., which made BF almost impossible for me and DS. We supplemented early on because he wasn't gaining enough weight and became dehydrated his first week of life. The only way I could get him to latch was by him crying; pumping would have been great, but the pump couldn't drain me well. I have a good friend who had clogged duct issues and mastitis several times while breast feeding; I doubt she would call it easy.

    I respect your experience, but please respect others' who wish that BFing was easy, but couldn't for whatever reason.



    BigboobsmcgeeMynaBird
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  • Apologies if my previous response came off as offensive to those with breastfeeding issues...it would have been better said as "when you have the option to do so, breastfeeding is a lot easier than pumping or bottle feeding at 3am."  I have several friends who have exclusively pumped due to being unable to breastfeed for a variety of reasons, and I'm sure they would not have called breastfeeding easy.  As I said above, I consider myself lucky that DD and I haven't had any issues establishing breastfeeding. 

     

    However, if you are able to breastfeed, OP, you might find that after a few weeks it is far preferable to exclusively pumping.  How you feel about it before the baby is born could easily change (as it did for me).  And attaching a positive association to your breasts might even cause you to start slowly removing the negative association that you currently have because of your previous trauma.  Have you discussed this with a mental health professional, or your OBGYN?  They likely have experience in dealing with similar cases, and could offer you more information about it.

    Me: 35 DH: 35
    Married 5-31-14
    DD1 born 6-21-15
    DD2 born 6-11-17
     
    <a href="http://www.fertilityfriend.com/home/50bdde">My Ovulation Chart</a>
    Buninthe0ven815
  • I'm sorry for your abuse history. That is very sad & no child should have to experience that heartbreak. ((Hugs))

    The only difference I've seen between pump & breast is stimulation to produce more milk. Traditionally, baby is more efficient at draining the breast versus a pump. If you use a hospital grade pump you may be able to simulate the same production.

    There are some women that do not respond to a pump at all. You don't know if you are one of these until you get there.

    I certainly don't want to push you to a situation that could trigger or traumatize you. However, you do not know for sure if BF will produce those negative emotions for you yet.

    My best advice is to see how you feel when you get there. Talk to your OB & la leche league. There are support networks in place that can help.

    Remember, you know your body & limitations best. There is no reason to feel ashamed with self-care measures. Above all baby needs a happy mother to thrive. I hope it works out for you. It's not the end of the world if your baby takes formula. My motto is always-- feed the kid!


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  • Also to echo PP-- pumping can be a very hard, labor intensive method of breast feeding vs. Baby at the breast.

    There is no wrong way to feed your child, IMHO. As long as your pediatrician, therapist (if you have one) & personal GP are working together-- the goal is to build your family bonding in ways that work for everyone.


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  • You have to do what is best for your situation.

    I wanted to breast feed my first, and after a lot of stressful feedings I broke down and was told to try pumping and give her the bottle.  That worked for me.  I pumped and bottle fed both my kids for over a year.  Yes, it is a lot of work, and pumping around the clock for the first few months was hard to get used to, especially with the lack of sleep, but it all worked out in the end and I was happy I was able to do it for so long.

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  • I was an exclusive pumper with DD only because I could never get her to latch, even with the aid of 3 different LC's. I pumped for the first 4 months and eventually could not keep up as a breast feeder would and my supply dried up sooner than if I breast fed. I tried lactation cookies, domperidone, and even tried increasing my pumping sessions. It was very stressful.
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  • I don't have a history of SA but I've never been comfortable with the idea of breastfeeding for myself (due to MH issues I just know I will get mad at some point if I'm the only one who can feed the baby-I'd rather not take that journey while dealing with being a new mom). Even prior to becoming preggo I looked into pumping-thankfully I am Canadian and have a year off for mat leave so pumping at work is not an issue. I'm more worried about supply as my mother never developed milk and her sisters all had very low supplies.

    Ultimately you/we will do what's best for the baby and for ourselves.
    DD: Beatrix Louise aka BeeBop. April 2 2016. H.I.E Warrior <3
    MynaBird
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  • Breastfeeding might not even work at all, pumping or having baby on the breast so maybe wait until baby is here and get some help from a lactation consultant. Try not to overthink this now.

     

  • I have some abuse in my past too. Please don't feel guilty about where you're at with it because you know where you're at and what you can deal with right now. Im sure you know that you can't rush the process so there's no shame in planning around where you're at right now.

    That being said, I would put this in the "deal with it later" basket if you can. You don't need to make any decisions now and maybe talking with a lactation consultant later in your 2nd or 3rd Tri would help - they've seen it all before! They may have some ideas you haven't considered or they may give you some support about your specific concerns about your history. Good luck!
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    MynaBird
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  • I'm sorry about what happened to you.

    Exclusively pumping is a LOT of work. I'm only pumping while at work so LO has breast milk at daycare, and washing the pump parts, bottles, nipples, and lids I use every night is a bit of a pain. If baby is only getting bottled milk, you need to pump a LOT more, plus you need to plan for how much more time it's going to take to pump AND feed your baby separately, and you have that much more to clean. It can absolutely be done- If you are prepared and willing to be patient, because there will be an adjustment period and probably lots of frustration.

    I do think it could be beneficial to at least try breast feeding, but it's totally okay if you don't think it's for you. Remember, if all else fails, there is NOTHING WRONG with giving your baby formula!
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  • I pumped for 6 months because my son was tongue tied and had latching issues. It was very tiring and exhausting, my milk supply started to become low around 5 and a half months of exclusively pumping. I must say it was worth it, but it was a lot of work and effort compared to just straight breast feeding.
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