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Thread: Why not pump & bottle feed?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Question Why not pump & bottle feed?

    I know I will get a lot of feedback from this question, but in thinking about it, wouldn't it just be easier on me as a first time Mom to pump my breastmilk and bottle feed? That way baby still gets her nutritious milk and not formula and I don't have to be concerned with proper latch-on. And my husband could feed her a bottle or her grandmother so we can have lives too... I am not going back to work and will be home with the baby, but doesn't this make it a little easier? Baby is 8 days old and the breastfeeding has been the hardest part of this whole thing....


  2. #2

    Default Re: Why not pump & bottle feed?

    Hi good question, I had wondered that when i first started BF'ing. I think it has something to do with the supply issue and the time consumption I mean then you have to feed and pump instead of just feed. But thats just my opinion Im sure one of these smart ladies will jump in with the answers your looking for.
    Newly Pregnant momma to My little Miss Gracie with a little sibling on the way.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Default Re: Why not pump & bottle feed?

    Well you did open up Pandora's Box my dear....

    COngrats on your LO!! I will say the first 2 weeks are the HARDEST!! So at 8 days you may be feeling pretty overwhelmed and burnt out...it gets better, I promise.

    I don't have too much time to get into all the details...but others will...

    Nothing draws milk from the breast like a baby's suction...no pump, hospital grade or otherwise will ever compare!

    A baby sucks to stimulate supply, so if she needs more milk, she will suck and suck more and more, therefore increasing your supply...watch for this over the next few days!! You will feel like you are not making enough milk...YOU ARE!!

    Pumping means, not only the time pumping (which is your time spent nursing) but washing bottles, sterilizing bottles, sterilizing pump parts and then warming milk with tap water, waiting for tap water to warm, freezing milk, labeling milk, rotating milk in freezer, Extra pumping because supply needs to go up and pump does not stimulate as well as LO mouth.

    I would highly recommend that you wait until your LO is AT LEAST 4 weeks old before introducing any bottles.

    Keep in mind that nursing takes practice for you and LO...I promise it gets easier and you are doing the best thing possible for your LO!! Not only that, but it is a beautiful way for a mother to bond with her baby.

    Good Luck. HTH

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Default Re: Why not pump & bottle feed?

    IMO, no it's not easier. I had my twins 6 weeks early and I had to pump every 3 hours. It was a pain to pump, clean the parts and bottles. It's just more hassle. I now BF but I still pump and it's easier to BF than pump

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Default Re: Why not pump & bottle feed?

    The beginning was the most frustrating for us!! I also thought the same thing at one point because we were having such a hard time. I realized that it would be easier if I just BF as opposed to pump and bottle feed for a few reasons:
    1) Pumping takes time...time I really don't have
    2) Thawing breast milk takes time...again no time available with screaming from hunger LO.
    3) Cost. BF is essentially free. While you would have to buy and replace bottles/nipples as well as purchase things like storage bags etc.
    4) I love the time that I get to spend nursing my LO now. I admit I didn't at first, but now wouldn't trade it for the world. Plus it's something only I can give him (probably a bit selfish but hey...I'm no saint )
    5) To much to cart around, bottle, ice packs, etc. my bobbies weigh quite enough without adding to what I have to carry

    That was just my experience, hope you find what works for you.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: Why not pump & bottle feed?

    There are SO many reasons why this is not a good idea! I can understand the attraction at first, but once you take this step it could really be a disaster. First, like Kristen said it will probably negatively affect your milk supply, especially so early when it is still being established and your LO's needs change daily.
    Second, if you give your LO bottles all the time now, it is likely that she will develop nipple preference and might very well refuse YOUR nipples if you want to BF her.
    You will lose all the convenience of BFing. When you go somewhere, you will have to bring a cooler with a bottle of BM and find a place to warm it. When your baby wakes and is hungry in the night, you will have to warm up a bottle of BM.
    And there will always be the stress of worrying about having enough milk for the next day etc. I have done a lot of pumping and been through that-it is not fun.
    Here's the main thing: BFing in the early days is REALLY HARD for almost everybody, and for almost everybody it gets much easier within a few weeks. Although pumping may seem easier now, it will complicate things and make BFing much more difficult in the near future.
    Sorry to sound preachy, I've just BTDT. I had a really tough time at first BFing both of my LOs! It gets so much easier! I've saved a ton of money and I truly believe my children are a lot healthier because of it.
    Good luck! Hang in there and come here for support!

    ETA: In a few weeks you can add in a bottle here and there to get a break/give others a chance to feed her, but it is best to wait to establish your supply and avoid nipple confusion problems.
    Last edited by mollyb; November 29th, 2006 at 04:32 PM.


    Loving mama to JP (DS, 1/03 ~ nursed 6 mos), EL (DD1, 9/05 ~ nursed 4 yrs), EJ (DD2, 3/08 ~ nursed 3 yrs 9 mos), and
    JM (DD3, 6/12 ~ currently nursing), all born naturally
    Devoted wife to SAHD P, my hero
    A few of my favorite things that I've discovered on the forum: co-sleeping, baby-wearing, tandem nursing, baby-led solids, cloth diapering, APing, selective vaccination...the list goes on

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Default Re: Why not pump & bottle feed?

    The PP are so correct--pumping and bottle feeding would actually take MORE time, not less in the long run. Yes, someone else could feed your baby, but the cleaning of all the bottles and pumping are very time consuming. Think of it this way, if it's just you at home most of the day, why would you want to take the time to feed your baby a bottle (let's say it takes 15-20 minutes), then have to turn around and pump (another 15-20 minutes!), when you could just breastfeed and have it take half the time? If you're pumping, you still have to pump just as often as you would have otherwise--to have enough supply, you wouldn't be able to skip pumping sessions.

    I can see why you might feel like you need a break. That first month is difficult. However, it really does get much easier as time goes on, and you will be glad you stuck it out! Hang in there!


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Re: Why not pump & bottle feed?

    i've been doing just that very thing! bf has been very hard for us to "get". i'm a first time mom as well. i wish we could just bf. BUT it is nice that i know just how much he's getting, my hubby/mom/sister can feed.....having to feed and then go pump is a drag....but at least he's getting bm. i just can't handle all the fussing and struggling that happens when trying to bf. i'm very patient, but i'd rather just give him a bottle. i have fridge full of milk, what's all the cryin' for?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Default Re: Why not pump & bottle feed?

    I know people who have done just that, due to baby not latching and etc. It worked out fine for them and it could for you too, if it comes to that.

    But I wouldn't personally recommend it. I had a hard time with the breastfeeding early on due to pain, cracking, bleeding etc... but it got better and I got used to the 'weirdness' of nursing, and learned to like the bonding time and etc. It did NOT feel like "the most natural thing in the world" to me early on, but I do feel SO much better about it now and I definitely "get it" now. Pumping, on the other hand, I don't like much at all. It's definitely odd to be milked mechanically like a cow and even though I am used to it now (I work full time so I have to pump a couple times a day) I REALLY prefer nursing my warm, sweet baby to having to strap on those horns and milk myself!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Re: Why not pump & bottle feed?

    I had to pump exclusively for the first few weeks of my ds' life. I HATED it. It's much more rewarding to nurse a sweet lil baby. If you are exclusively pumping, it is so hard to go out. You have to find a private place to pump and an electric outlet. With bf, you only need a chair. I would definately bf in front of others, but for sure not pump.

    Plus, the exclusive pumping caused MAJOR problems for my supply.

    I would encourage you to hang in there. It should be getting better soon.

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