There was an interesting discussion, "I Pumpâ€”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 Babble.com, 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?