Breastfeeding from a Bottle


There was an interesting discussion, "I Pump—So What?", going on in the Breastfeeding Moms group about breastfeeding exclusively from a bottle. (It's a private group that you have to join.) For various reasons (health, work, comfort), a lot of women express milk and then feed their babies from a bottle rather than nursing them. Some of the women that give their babies breast milk this way, felt they were being criticized by other breastfeeding moms.

But according to "Breast-free Breastfeeding," a recent article on, feeding baby breast milk from a bottle is growing in popularity. More and more moms are feeding their babies breast milk exclusively, but never "straight from the tap," so to speak. And moms who pump are trying to do what they think is the best thing for their babies (as we all are), but they often get very little support.

"Women who have only nursed their children can have a hard time understanding exclusive pumping, which many see as an overly mechanized chore to achieve a natural end," writes Kate Tuttle. "Others, including husbands and relatives, urge these women to use formula rather than embark on a grueling pumping schedule. Even doctors may be less supportive of pumpers, who nevertheless feel they're making a medically responsible choice."

Ruth Lawrence, M.D., one of the doctors interviewed, says, "I would opt for breast milk in a bottle rather than no breast milk at all." But then she goes on to list some of the reasons "drinking pumped breast milk from a bottle is considerably different from nursing." You can take a look at the article if you're interested.

Are you a breast-free breastfeeder? What's your take?



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Squir... Squirrell34

There is a CafeMom group to help support EP'ing moms (Exclusively Pumping).
Pumping has its own challenges, from milk storage to proper pump maintenance & care, to finding time to do it!!

ohmandy ohmandy

my son is in daycare now so he gets some pumped milk, but typically gets it straight from the tap.  I couldnt imagine exclusively pumping... it is VERY hard work.  I would support anyone who chose to do this, but would also encourage them trying to give the breast because there are benefits over pumping, however, pumping is WAY better than resorting to formula... unfortunately i feel our society looks negatively upon nursing, esp past newborn... but i have just begun thinking about it when nursing my one year old in public.  doesnt stop me, but im more concious of it.

degsyuna degsyuna

I just started working two weeks ago, so now I pump at work, breastfeed at home.  Pumping isn't convenient, esp because I have to do it in a bathroom stall, but I have a good pump so it's not terribly uncomfortable.  My daughter's 9 months old so I won't have to do it a lot longer, but I'm glad to have the option since she won't take formula.

I think the arguments between breastfeeding, bottlefeeding with breastmilk, and bottlefeeding with formula are all just plain silly.  The nutritional differences between the options are really pretty small, and you can have a happy, healthy, smart child no matter what they ate as babies.

Cassi... Cassidhes_Mom

I started out wanting to breastfeed but we had issues with latch and my pediatrician and an LC convinced me to supplement and pump because she was losing weight. That ended up spiraling out of control until I was pumping rather than breastfeeding for most feedings and as time went on, she was refusing the breast more and more. Now, at 8.5 months, she screams if I put her anywhere near my naked breasts :P

I'm the group ownder of Exclusively Pumping Mommies and also a huge supporter of breastfeeding. We have women in our group who are pumping for a variety of reasons, and while most of us would agree breast is best, we are doing the best we can. There is not enough support for breastfeeding OR pumping in today's society. EPing is such a hard choice for a lot of women: it's stressful, it's time-consuming, and it can be painful. We very often get judged by both breastfeeding AND formula feeding mommies. Our families and friends often don't understand or support us as well. If anyone that reads this is in this position, or knows someone who is, stop by our group. That's what we're here for.

babyk... babykojohnville

i do both,.before i go out of the house, i pumped milk,, my son dont like to formula milk he always spit it out... he loves and i like most is nursing him... i feel so much bonding with my him.. and i am very much sure that in that way i let him feel the love i have for him

maggi... maggiemom2000

I commend those moms who exclusively pump.  I just hope that the moms who choose make an educated choice:

For example, your milk has the highest level of antibodies when your baby takes it directly from your breast, and is second-best when it is freshly pumped. Your body actually responds to your baby’s saliva to make milk that is just right for him.  Freezing destroys even more antibodies.

When breastfeeding directly babies also benefit from appropriate jaw, teeth and speech development as well as overall facial development. This means that people who were bottle fed may experience more trips to doctors and dentists. Several studies have shown breastfeeding to enhance speech development and speech clarity.One study showed that overbites (malocclusion) requiring orthodontia could be cut in half if infants were breastfed for one year.

Breastfeeding directly is also less time consuming (no parts to wash, no pumping time etc). When baby is hungry or needs to be comforted you simply put your baby to the breast. When exclusively bottle feeding breastmilk, you must attend to preparing a bottle first.

Skin on skin contact with your baby is an important part of their development. When you are breastfeeding you have to be in skin on skin contact with your baby.

Finally, it is important to know that many moms who are exclusively pumping for their babies seems to have a harder time maintaining a full milk supply beyond 6 months of age.

saras... sarasotamomtobe

I pumped pretty much exclusively for my 9 month old until she was 6 1/2 months.  I chose to breastfeed but Kinsey had different ideas and would not latch on.  So, from the bottle she received it.  I had a few people look down their nose at it but honestly those types of people are not what I want or need in my life.  You live your life and I will live mine.

aeneva aeneva

Breastmilk is best and I personally commend any woman who exclusively pumps because it is grueling work.  I returned to work with my 2nd so I pumped while at work, but I very much prefered right from the tap at home and in public with LO because of the convenience.  most women I know who exclusively pump do it because of latch problems early on, but none simply because they want to.  They have no other choice if they want their LO to get breastmilk.

mamad... mamadee1971

I've fes both my kids breastmilk through a bottle, but the prescribed meds I had to take, dried up my milk supply, so now my son is on formula, but my daughter is 23 months and she eat regular food.


I don't understand that people act like exclusively pumping is a choice! What would be our benefit from choosing to do this?! Breastfeeding is less work, less time consuming, much nicer on your breasts, less expensive.... I appreciate the support and acknowledgement of difficulty from some of the posters. I, as well as most EPers, agree that breast is best. That is why we are working our butts off to get our babies breastmilk. I understand that there are anatomical differences, but I don't see pumping as the second best option. Anyways...I'm done being offended. I hope everyone has bigger concerns with being a good mother than where your baby's milk comes from.

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