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In Support of Bottle-Feeding Moms

by Suzanne Murray on July 27, 2009 at 7:02 AM

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?

Filed Under: breastfeeding

Comments

109
  • lcervant
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    lcervant

    July 27, 2009 at 7:25 AM

    Wow! First time I read something like this. Always see so many articles focusing on breast feeding issues. I tried breastfeeding the first month. It just didn't work out--I never got the "letdown'. My baby wouldn't latch on & that girl would really yell with hunger because my breast milk was just not sufficient.  It seems I put alot of pressure on myself. My husband, who is a pediatrician, was sooo supportive about whatever decision I wanted to make. He knew I really stressed about the whole breast feeding issue. I remember taking the breastfeeding class & they never really discussed the option for bottle feeding and what it entailed.


  • okigirl
    -- Nonmember comment from

    okigirl

    July 27, 2009 at 8:46 AM
    I recently delivered my 3rd baby and am much less tortured by my decision to formula feed this time as I have never been able to exclusively breastfeed successfully. However I have been very disappointed at the difficulty at finding good helpful information on formula feeding (i.e., how much to feed a newborn, what changes to look for in bm for form-fed babies etc). It seems that all of the articles out there are geared mainly towards breastfeeding mothers and that the formula feeding information is secondary. It's off-putting when you can sense the judgmental tone from these sources. I wanted only to breast feed my babies - but when one realizes you just can't, there is no proper support waiting for that windfall of emotions. It's as if the world expects all women should be just as able as the next to breastfeed. It's just not the reality. I wonder what the statistics are on those not able to breastfeed (for physical or circumstantial reasons) - is it really that much of a minority out there that we don't warrant good, reliable, supportive information?
  • rozepyle
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    rozepyle

    July 27, 2009 at 8:57 AM
    no mothers dont need any info on how to "bottle feed" they need support BREASTFEEDING only 1-3 % of women actually CANT breastfeed that being said half the people that claim they couldnt actually could they either didnt want to or had no support (still not a valid excuse to me because lots of us didnt have any support at all but still breastfed......) instead of encouraging FORMULA why not encourage DONATED MILK a much healthier and safer alternative to formula and BREASTFEEDING EDUCATION this post is ridiculous, anyone can shove some powder in a bottle with water and shake it... really not that hard or worth having a large discussion over.
  • ladys...
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    ladysavage

    July 27, 2009 at 9:08 AM

    Sorry, but I do not think it's okay to dole out info to pregnant women about bottle feeding.

    There are already too many adverts on TV making bottle feeding seem "normal" - which biologically it IS NOT, and many mothers do not realise that. We do not need even more reason for mothers to jump on the "Oh I just couldn't breastfeed, didn't work for me..." bandwagon.


  • amw529
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    amw529

    July 27, 2009 at 9:15 AM

    Yes I do bottle feed, my baby would not latch on.  I don't feel particularly guilty about it, and I really don't listen to those who feel compelled to judge my life and my son's life.  Granted, I feel supported by my pediatrician and my family so I have a support structure, but I agree with those who say there's not much complication to sterilizing bottles (you only have to do that when you buy them the first time - then just washing with hot water is fine) and mixing formula - it is just powder and water... :)


  • babyb...
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    babyboomboom

    July 27, 2009 at 10:02 AM

    Yes, I bottlefed.  Because of my health issues it was better for me and my son if I didn't breastfeed him.  As for the woman who said "use donated milk", it will be a cold day in hell before I let someone else breastfeed my kid.  That is basically what they are doing.  They are pumping for my son.  If he really needed it, like if he had severe health problems then I can understand but I'm not letting someone else breastfeed my kid because THEY think it is best.  My son is just as happy, healthy and loved as a breastfed child.  Who cares if a childis breastfed or bottlefed at least they are fed.


  • babyb...
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    babyboomboom

    July 27, 2009 at 10:03 AM

    To anyone who needs some tips on bottle feeding:  Unless you have well water it is not necessary to sterilize bottles every time, however if you have  a dishwasher the water gets so hot that it sterilizes them anyway so you don't need to boil them after they come out of the dishwasher.  You do not need to use bottled water unless your tap water is not drinkable.  Instructions on how to prepare formula are on the package. 

    Most of the time it is about 1 scoop of powdered formula to 2oz water.  I usually put in the water first then the powder because if you do it the other way around it can clump up.  Sometimes I would stick a butter knife in the bottle to mix it around and get the clumps out.  If you use concentrated formula it is usually 1oz formula to 1oz water.  They are both liquid so just mix together.  If you use ready-to-feed you just open the bottle of formula and pour it in the baby bottle.  If you use concentrated or ready-to-feed be sure to shake the can (like OJ) before opening.  Refrigerate concentrated and ready-to-feed formula after you make the baby bottle.


  • babyb...
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    babyboomboom

    July 27, 2009 at 10:03 AM

    Only your pediatrician can tell you exactly how much formula your child should have.  But the rule of thumb if the child is not eating ANY solids is to take your baby's weight and multiply it by 2.5oz.  That is how much they should have in a 24hr period.  However this is just an estimate.  Some babies drink less and some drink more.  Always check with your pediatrician.

    Putting rice cereal in a baby bottle does NOT make them sleep longer.  All it does it trick their body into thinking they are fuller for longer.  It does however help reflux and your pediatrician might tell you to do this to thicken up their formula.  However there are formulas make specifically for reflux babies.

    Always be sure to cuddle baby and hold baby when you feed him/her.  They need the attention and love just as much as breastfed babies.  Never prop a bottle because the baby can choke on the formula.


  • babyb...
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    babyboomboom

    July 27, 2009 at 10:03 AM

    Burping is a must because gas is no fun for anyone.  You should burp every 2-3oz to prevent gas.  There are 3 different ways to burp a baby.  1)  Take a burp cloth or small rag and put it over your shoulder.  Sit upright and hold the baby against your chest.  Their chin should rest against your shoulder as you support their head/neck.  With your other hand gently pat or rub baby's back.  Sometimes rocking can help burping.  2)  Hold your baby sitting up in your lap or across your knee.  Support baby's head and chest with one hand by cradling baby's chin in the palm of your hand resting the heel of your hand on baby's chest.  Use the other hand to gently rub/pat baby's back.  3)  Lay baby on your lap on his/her belly.  Support babies head and be sure it is higher than his/her belly.  Gently rub/pat his/her back. 

    If you keep baby upright(in a bouncy seat, or holding baby or at an incline for about 10-15min after feeding this might help prevent the milk from coming back up.  Especially for a reflux baby.  Baby will spit up some formula but it's not necessarily vomit unless it is a lot of formula coming up, smells sour, or is a long time after a feeding.  If baby seems to spit up a lot talk to your pediatrician.  This may be acid reflux.


  • Xandr...
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    Xandriasmommy

    July 27, 2009 at 10:37 AM

    rosepyle, that isn't always the best. whatever you eat goes into your milk, who would want some stranger eating who knows what feeding your child. I had to bottle feed because my milk did not come in.

    On the other hand, I do think women should have help when they bottle feed. For so long my daughter was miserable I didn't realize it was reflux and I never told my pedi that she spit up a lot i would just say yeah, because I thought it was normal. She also had a cough, which I had mentioned but we never could figure out what it was. Well it turned out that reflux left untreated can make the babies cough because a little gets into the lungs.

    I never had a problem with figureing out how much to feed my daughter. I always made 2 oz in the beginning and when she started to regularly eat more then I went up to 4 oz. She was one that usually ate less and was still taking only 4-4oz bottles when she was 9 months old


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