Post # 1
- Wedding: September 2015 - Hotel Ballroom
I am 27 weeks pregnant with baby #1. It is my plan for my baby to have breastmilk for AT LEAST the first six months of their life (my supply permitting). Here where I’m at mentally: for the first few weeks of their life I want to actually breastfeed so we can build that bond and I can experience actual breastfeeding. After that point I want to transition to pumping my milk and having them feed with a bottle. I want to do this because while I still want them to get their breastmilk, I like the idea of having the ‘freedom’ of others feeding the baby and helping me out. Plus, I feel like I’d be able to give them milk longer if others were helping me with feeding…if that makes any sense…
So here is the conflict: My SIL was unable to actually breastfeed due to latching issues, so after about a week she made the decision to exclusively pump. She talks about how it’s totally worth it, and she doesn’t feel like she ‘missed out’ by not actually breastfeeding her daughter. My friend however exclusively breastfed, and went straight from breast to baby food, no bottle in between. She couldn’t IMAGINE putting a bottle in her daughters mouth. So here I am in the middle!
Friendly debate time: Breastfeeding vs pumping…or some sort of combo like I’m thinking. What are the pros and cons of each way? Is ‘nipple confusion’ a real thing? Any helpful advice? All opinions are welcome 🙂
Post # 2
My son had a bottle before he was a week old and never showed any signs of nipple confusion, I believe nipple confusion is a real thing but plenty of babies go back and forth no issue. The nurses at my hospital wouldnt give my kid a pacifier and my ped was like “whatever”. I would pump enough for someone else to occasionally take over night duty but by and large I would much rather breastfeed. Pumping sucks. Assuming you can breastfeed it is so much quicker and there is 0 cleanup. I’m back at work now and pumping twice a day and it is so boring and I’m so tired of cleaning pump parts. I look forward to breastfeeding when I get home because I find it enjoyable. Also, in the middle of the night I just want to feed him, I don’t want to warm up a bottle while he’s screaming.
My advice is not to overthink it because your boobs and your baby are largely going to decide on the path for you without your input.
Post # 3
snowflake8 : I don’t know the answers to all your questions but if you do decide to pump and bottle feed, make sure you give her a bottle within the first few weeks! We waited til 6 weeks or so, my daughter took a bottle once so we thought we were good but then did not give it to her consistently. To this day (11.5 months) she REFUSED a bottle. I ended up breastfeeding way longer than I wanted. Something to keep in mind. I’m sure nipple confusion is a real thing. Need to find a balance that makes everyone happy. 🙂
Post # 4
snowflake8 : I breastfed til nearlyy 12 months and in my opinion, breastfeeding is SO much easier! I pumped so that I could leave an occasional bottle with my husband or we could leave our Dear Daughter with a babysitter. Pumping took ages, you had to deal with bottles, storage, defrosting the frozen milk etc. Breastfeeding – your baby is hungry and you offer your breast. Done. We travelled quite a bit that year on maternity leave so it was especially easier not to deal with storing it etc.
Plus by 6 months your little one will presumably be starting solids so you’ll be on your way to decreasing the nursing. But I’d personally just start with the BF’ing and see how it goes, you can always decide on your way.
Post # 5
Please consult a lactation expert in your area, they will be better equipped to answer your concerns. Your local hospital should have someone on staff that specializes in this.
Post # 6
Why not let each woman do what works for her and contribute to ending the debate rather than prolonging it?
Post # 7
snowflake8 : I’ve done both because I went to work (my child has a milk allergy so I have to breastfeed). Pumping in my opinion is a huge pain and I couldn’t imagine doing it for multiple times a day. With breastfeeding whenever my child was hungry I breastfed. I did keep a small batch of breastmilk frozen in case I went out for a few hours but I found breastfeeding more practical. To maintain your supply you have to pump regularly so it’s the same as if you had a baby suckling, sometimes you have to do it more because at least with me pumping is less efficient than a baby and now your stuck 15 min minimum pumping. Then sterilizing equipment and bottles every day. My son liked only one system so now I had to spend money on milk bag which is an expense I didn’t need when breastfeeding. Defrosting milk is a pain (you can only leave milk in fridge for 24 hours or 2 days I think?) and if the baby is hungry it won’t be happy waiting for milk to be defrosted. I won’t even get into if your milk has too much lipase which makes it then taste soapy after defrosting so that’s another risk!
Post # 8
julies1949 : Exactly. Either way baby gets the benefits of breast milk.
And while I agree that there are benefits to breastfeeding and intend to do so with my children I know that I am limited by my body and the fact I have to go back to work. If all goes well and breastfeeding is cake for me I will be happy, but I will absolutely have to pump when I go back to work. There is nothing wrong with that.
Post # 9
First off, pumping IS breastfeeding, unless you think pumped milk comes from somewhere other than breasts.
I nursed for the first 5 weeks. It was great, and we had a lovely nursing bond, but my baby girl didn’t gain weight, and at 5 weeks old was in the 90% for height and the 5% for weight (not good). We switched to pumping and I pumped for her until she was 6 months old.
While I totally get wanting the freedom that comes with pumping, and enjoyed being able to be away from my baby at times, pumping was a giant PITA. Everything takes twice as long, as you’re pumping, then you can feed the baby, then you have to clean your pumping stuff etc. If I had the option, I would have nursed.
Post # 10
Pumping (in my opinion) is really annoying, takes ages, I personally struggle to extract enough milk when pumping (my baby does a far better job)… and frankly I always found it easier to breastfeed my baby, then go wherever I need to, and then come back before his next feed. Yes it was limiting in the first 4 months of his life, but to be honest I had no energy or desire to go anywhere much during those months anyway. Once he was eating solids I could leave him for up to 4 hours, no problem. My husband would just give him water and solids in between while I was absent.
My advice is to not overthink it and just do what works for you and your baby 🙂
Post # 11
snowflake8 : This is not a “debate” as there is a lot of middle ground here. Most women exclusively pump out of necessity (baby is unable to latch, has painful latch, took a bottle and then refuses the breast, etc) as it is just not as simple and can be quite time consuming. Picture being out with your baby and she gets hungry. You can sit down and nurse her OR you can take out the milk you’d previously pumped (trying to keep it cool the enture time) and then find a place to warm it (as some babies don’t like cold or room temperature milk). Or, you don’t have milk with you so you have to go find a bathroom or somewhere to pump while your hungry baby cries. I think most moms who exclusively breastfeed pump at least some of the time, unless you are with your baby 24/7. That way you can leave your baby with a sitter or with daddy or whomever while you go exercise, go out with friends, or, often, go to work. I think every woman and family just needs to figure out what system works best for them. I breastfed my son until he was 21 months old. I went back to work part-time when he was 4 months old, so I sent him to the babysitter with pumped milk. Also when I’d go out without him. If we were together I’d breastfeed him, it made no sense for ME to feed him a bottle, but to each their own. Again, this is not a debate.
Post # 12
snowflake8 : my son had a horrible time breastfeeding. It was just too hard for him. The biggest mistake I made? Letting it go on for 8 weeks. It’s not just hard for you, it’s hard for the baby sometimes. I exclusively pumped from 8 weeks to 12 weeks. I had to wake up and bottle feed my bundle of joy, then spend another 30 minutes after he went back to sleep pumping. It was exhausting! I just had to stop for my sanity!
The point it, you don’t know how things are going to go so keep an open mind:) it’s okay to exclusively pump if you Cutie pie has a hard time breastfeeding, don’t force it! And if you are so exhausted pumping, maybe consider formula? It’s just good to keep your options open. My Mother-In-Law breastfed all 4 children until they were 2, no issues! I hope you have her luck:)
Post # 13
I have an 11 month old. I LOVE breastfeeding – the bonding, the ease, the comfort it instantly provides. I HATE pumping – the hassle, the parts, the cleaning. Agh. Baby turns one next month and we plan to continue breastfeeding but I am saying adios to that pump the second I can. My son was exclusively Boyfriend or Best Friend for first six months, then he started solids and continues to Boyfriend or Best Friend. Never has had formula. During maternity leave I pumped once daily to build a stash. When I went back to work I continued to pump every 3-4hrs during my 12hr shift. Over the last 2 months I have slowly pump weaned and am down to 1 time per shift.
Post # 14
I would just wait and see what you prefer, and what works for you. I personally HATE pumping. I hate washing all of the parts, I hate washing the bottles, etc. I honestly didn’t feel like the pump gave me any sort of freedom (I had to pump for a year due to working). In fact, I felt that I was either tied to the pump or tied to the baby, and I much prefered the baby. Bascially I always had to pump when the baby was fed a bottle, so I didn’t feel like I had more freedom. If I didn’t pump, I got very sore and my boobs started to leak. That may not be the case for you though; you may not mind pumping. I would just wait and make the decision when the baby is here because it is impossible to know what is going to happen.
Post # 15
- Wedding: September 2009 - Barr Mansion
As someone who struggled with supply and spent a LONG time pumping, my vote is for breastfeeding so long as you have a successful and happy relationship with BFing once baby is born. Pumping sucks and is boring, time-consuming, and a pain in the butt. Nursing, while difficult, is also rewarding, or at least it can be. I agree with those who said to wait and see how you feel once your baby is here. Who knows? Maybe you will go with formula instead, which is also a fine choice. We formula fed exclusively from 4 months out (not by choice), and our baby thrived on it.