In Support of Bottle-Feeding Moms


bottle feeding vs. breast feeding breastfeding bottlefeedingWe all know that breastfeeding is good for babies and good for moms. I've been fortunate enough to have been able to breastfeed my daughter for the past nineteen months (I hope to make it until she's two).

But not everyone is as lucky. Some moms want to breastfeed, but they can't (they don't produce milk, the baby won't latch, it's far too complicated with their job, they're on medication that interferes with their milk, and the list goes on) so they bottle-feed their babies.

I don't pat myself on the back or think I'm somehow a superior mom for breastfeeding, I'm just thankful that it's worked out so well for me.

Especially since things are getting more difficult for bottle-feeding moms.

New research shows that the increased attention to breastfeeding moms (support groups, web advice, and hospital programs, all of which are good things) has resulted in a corresponding lack of information and support for bottle-feeding mothers (which is not a good thing at all).

Babies need to eat. So mothers need information on how to bottle feed—especially since the majority of breastfeeding moms ultimately switch to formula. Moms need to know how to prepare formula, how to sanitize bottles, and they need to know how much and how often to feed their babies.

The researchers emphasize that while breastfeeding should be encouraged, "It is also necessary to ensure that the needs of bottle-feeding mothers are met. Inadequate information and support for mothers who decide to bottle-feed may put the health of their babies at risk.

Mothers who bottle fed their babies, either because they could not breast feed or because they preferred to bottle feed, frequently experienced a range of negative emotions. These included guilt; worry about the impact on their baby and what healthcare professionals might say; uncertainty about how to proceed; a sense of failure; and anger as a result of feeling under pressure to breastfeed."

Do you bottle-feed your baby? Do you feel you got proper instructions from your pediatrician or your hospital on how to do so? Do you feel your friends and family support you?



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ethan... ethans_momma06's a really difficult time right now because society is gradually making a switch back from bottle to breast. There has been such a complete lack of information in the Breast Feeding side that now there NEEDS to be support groups, consultants, etc. Hence why you are now having a percieved lack of information/support for bottle feeding.

I believe that information SHOULD be available, 1-3% of women literally cannot Breastfeed and they should have as much support in feeding their child as any woman.

However, since formula simply cannot meet up to the benefits (health, and otherwise) that have been scientifically proven that breastmilk has- formula needs to stop being pushed. No handing it out first thing, make pediatrcians more knowledgable on breastfeeding, but equally knowledgable on FF.

spamica spamica

I agree that promoting breastfeeding is a good thing but if a person is unwilling or unable to breastfeed, wouldn't it be better for her baby to be PROPERLY bottle-fed? I know it seems like common sense to most people BUT there are common mistakes that people make that can be harmful to a child's health so the information should be available to those who need it.Besides, 1-3% or women is still A LOT of women.

NAldi... NAldinger

Thank you for the support. Unfortunately, I had to end my breastfeeding struggle after 2-weeks due to my infant losing too much weight. I had seen 3 different lactation consultants and even went to the hospital lactation department to find out how much I was expressing and how much my infant was receiving with a naked before and after weigh-in. The results were devastating and my baby was suffering from not getting enough.

As guilty as I felt for being unable to provide a supply for my child, I knew my baby was getting the milk she needed with bottle-feeding. I didn't want to be stubborn and starve my child in the process because "breast is best". I did what my daughter needed that was best for her.

No, I did not receive any information how to bottle-feed in the hospital. My mother had to teach me the bottle process. I'm lucky she was there for me, and my first child.

NAldi... NAldinger

As a follow up to my previous reply... my MIL was unsupportive of me wanting to breastfeed because she "wanted to feed the baby too."  Since I was having trouble expressing, she couldn't feed the baby. My mother and DH were supportive through my determination to breastfeed.

I am now pregnant with #2 due in January 2010 and am hoping for a VBAC and conditioning my mind that I WILL BE ABLE TO BREASTFEED and have a successful VBAC with no complications like my prior emergency c-section. Wish me luck! :)

NHRachel NHRachel

WOW, I'm glad my family and friends aren't as harsh as rozepyle  or ladysavage.  I (like many) tried to breastfeed my DD.  I had plenty of supply and she latched on with gusto.  But for some reason she was not gaining weight well and was actually under the category of "failure to thrive".  I had been advised to supplement with formula during the first month due to jaundice issues and I believe this is the only reason she did not become ill.  I therefore HAD to switch to bottle feeding.  I tried to continue breastfeeding with supplementing a 4-oz bottle after every feeding, but it really became to much.  So I did stop breastfeeding, because I was feeding her twice at every feeding and she was gaining all her calories from the formula.  I don't know why she didn't gain well while nursing, I am only thankful that she did not have some underlying medical problem.  She is now a happy, healthy (and chubby) 9 mo old.

Jaden... JadenConnorMama

I've been beating myself up over this very subject since my darling little girl was born prematurely on 7/2/09.  I want more than anything to be able to breastfeed. For some reason, the milk is just not there. I must be in that "1-3%" statistic, but no one can tell me why.  Yes, we had strikes against us from the beginning-she was premature by a month, started on gavage and bottle feeds in the NICU (this was NECESSARY to make sure she didn't aspirate when feeding, as she had breathing problems).  Add to that the fact that preemies are physioligically not ready to breastfeed (this information from the NICU nurses and my LC), and she's tongue-tied.  She was almost 2 weeks old before I could get her to latch on, and yes I'd been pumping, every 2-3 hours around the clock.  I've been taking loads of fenugreek, more milk plus, oatmeal, drinking gallons of water, tried to force down a beer (but I hate the taste blah), and that awful licorice-tasting tea.  My OB even put me on Reglan for goodness shouldnt take me being on a prescription drug just to produce milk.  She does latch on, although it's very, very painful with her tongue tie.  However, that's not going to stop me, I'll put up with it if I have to. 



Jaden... JadenConnorMama

So did I receive bottle-feeding advice in the hospital? Sort of.  She dropped a pound in her first 6 days, and the NICU nurses and pedi said that yes, BFing is best, however, she HAD to EAT. She MUST continue gaining weight, so for the time being to continue with the bottle, pump, and contact the LC as soon as possible.

What I'd love to see is a support group for women like me.  For now I'll continue to nurse her at every feeding (she'll nurse 15-30 minutes, but as soon as she comes off the breast she's crying because she's hungry, and when I go to try and express any milk, its just NOT there) and supplement with formula.  This is heartbreaking to me, and I'd love to see support, not harsh judgements from women who've never dealt with this situation personally.  I am doing EVERYTHING I can.  And I'll continue on like this, with the idea that hopefully she's at least getting a little bit from me.  Or am I just fooling myself??

hillmom hillmom

I don't see how those who bottle feed need support. Most physical push formula at ever little bump in the breastfeeding road. Though most stuff says "Brest is Best", bottle feeding is far more "normalized" in our culture (look at movies, magazines, baby dolls for crying out loud). True mom's need to know how to properly mix a bottle (including following all the sterilization steps, but wouldn' t it be just as easy to have a breastfeeding specials on hand to help mom solve her nursing issues). But I don't see how they are not getting enough support. I know a lot of FF mom's feel picked on by BF moms... I know some FF moms feel threatened by the BFing research (which is why there cannot be a post about BF research with out a TON of drama). However, I think over all our society is in support of bottle feeding.

toria... toriandgrace

Honestly, if you're not intelligent enough to figure out bottle feeding, should you care for an infant? The internet is filled with great websites with amazing information, libraries allow your to read parenting books for FREE, and almost all pediatricians have a nurse line to answer questions. If you are having trouble BF or FF, research and find the answers. America babies people way too much.

RanaA... RanaAurora

I think if you FAIL at breastfeeding, then yes, you need lots of information on bottle feeding.  But you should NOT get it before - it's the alternative.

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