Breast and bottle...what to Do...

Updated on October 29, 2008
C.M. asks from Charleston, SC
28 answers

i was breast feeding my daughter for the first week, but stopped. The pain was nothing like I remembered. With my son there was actually no pain that I can recall. So, anyway, she's on the Good Start and we are both happier.. SHe seems full. She was feeding for 20 minutes around the clock literally. I was exhausted and my husband was just worried about both of us. No one was sleeping and it was just an emotional time altogether... but, my question is how many of you have continued to breastfeed by pumping as well as formula feed? I mean I'm still producing milk and though it's not that much, I really don't feel right just letting it go to waste...?....

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B.R.

answers from Atlanta on

If you have it, give it to her. Don't waste it. If only a little, give that before the Good Start. Or pump enough for one full feeding and give at end or beginning of day.

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D.V.

answers from Atlanta on

Hello, Both of my girls received breast milk only for the 1st 6 months. But neither of them ever latched on so I pumped. It is a lot of hard work but i also enjoyed the freedom of having a bottle.

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S.M.

answers from Atlanta on

I did both. When I went back to work I had to give them some formula but I was still pumping. Both of mine got breast milk for a little over 3 months of there life. you can mix it with the formula or give it to her frist then the formula that way she is not getting as much formula during a feeding. Good luck.

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P.

answers from Spartanburg on

I had an awful nursing experience, even with the lactation consulant's help, but I still wanted to give breast milk. We still did a few nursing sessions (the morning when she was hungry, my breasts were full and it ended quickly) but mostly I pumped for 6 months. It's also time consuming, but I learned how to pump one side while bottle feeding with the other arm.
I loved Good Start (once we got past the milk allergy) to suppliment. You're doing fine to give formula. It's better to be happy and healthy than to worry about nursing. If you're up to it, keep pumping. It'll save some money on the formula.

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T.M.

answers from Atlanta on

I wouldn't give up on trying to breast feed again. I had major pain issues with my first daughter and just kept trying anyway enduring the pain. Finally, we got past all that and I went on breast feeding and pumping for a year.

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L.C.

answers from Atlanta on

Hi C.,

I had a hard time nursing my first son and for about 9 weeks pumped and did a bottle. It was laborious and very time consuming. I felt good doing it so he was getting breast milk, but just know it is a big time commitment. If you're willing to do it, that's great and certainly beneficial to your child. However, your child is also fine with formula. Don't have any guilt feelings about that.

If you are asking about pumping and keeping her on formula, you can always donate your breastmilk. I know it may sound weird. But hospitals and other places (google search it) take donated milk. It's a great way to help those that don't have the option!

L.

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M.A.

answers from Charleston on

If pumping doesn't hurt as much as breastfeeding, it's a wonderful way to feed your child! Go ahead and add some breastmilk to the formula. Maybe you'll try breastfeeding in a few days/weeks, and this will certainly keep up the supply! But it really doesn't matter how your baby gets the breastmilk. Every little bit helps. Way to go!
M.

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A.G.

answers from Spartanburg on

It is a great idea to keep pumping as well as formula feeding. Any amount of breast milk will give her the antibodies she needs to fight off illness, and the DHA to help brain development. i would encourage you to pump for as long as you are able, if it is not dragging you down emotionally.

It doesn't have to be an intense thing, either. With a good pump, a few times every 24 hours is all you need to do to get a little bit of milk. Maybe first thing in the morning, at lunch, and before bed.

Some things to make it easier would be to get an extra set of cones and bottles, so you have more than 2 and don't have to wash more than once a day. Have a lactation consultant make sure the cones are the right diameter, everyone's nipples are a different size and the cones come in many different styles, even padded ones.

use good-quality freezer bags like lansinoh, and freeze in small amounts. Make sure you know how to properly store milk in the fridge.

Just a couple of thoughts about the pain: my sons had tongue-tie, which can be extraordinarily painful for the mom. you may just want to have the pediatrician look at her tongue to make sure that's not a problem, my first could hardly bottle-feed because of his. Second, also have the pediatrician or your ob/gyn check your nipples to make sure you don't have thrush, something that would need to be addressed whether or not you breastfeed.

Most of all, enjoy your baby! This is a precious time, and I'm sure you are doing a great job meeting her needs. It goes by so fast, treasure every moment!

A.

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S.P.

answers from Charleston on

Have you seen a lactation consultant? There is a great lady at the Summerville Medical Center that will show you some great tips on how to fix whatever the specific diffuculties are you are having. If you have successfully breastfed your first child there should be a quick fix to what is going on with your daughter. Her name is Tillie Phillips and her number is ###-###-####. If Summerville isn't convenient for you there are lactation consultants at every local hospital. Many women leave the hospital/birthing center and think nursing is going fine but have problems later on. There is a minimal cost for the visit, usually no more than $30 or $40 for the hour. As for pumping, if you do choose that as an exclusive method, make sure you have a quality pump, Medela or Avent are the better ones. You can also rent them from your local health department if you're on WIC or from hospitals. The less expensive pumps are really no good. I pumped for my first daughter for 10 months and wouldn't have been able to do it without my Medela Pump N Style breast pump. The important thing with pumping mostly or exclusively is to do it on a regular basis, every 2-4 hours around the clock just like your baby would feed. If she is sleeping through the night in the next few days/weeks, then make sure you get up at least once to pump in the middle of the night to keep your flow going. Your body will produce as much milk as you are expecting it to, once there are large gaps in stimulation, the milk production will slow down and eventually stop. Hope this advice helps! Breastmilk is the most valuable for the first 6-8 weeks to help build up their little systems. Best of luck!

S. Pruitt

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K.H.

answers from Charleston on

OMG...you sound like me!! I breastfed my daughter for the first six weeks of her life, and stopped. It was painful, exhausting, and when I tried to pump, I would get out about 4 oz. in an hour!!! My daughter also wanted to eat about every hour, so after she ate, i would pump, then she would wake up again to eat!! After a trip to the pediatrician office and about 2 days of guilt, I switched her to formula, the Nestle Good Start, and felt this amazing sense of relief. Before, I was dreading feeding her...she seemed hungry all the time and cried A LOT!... but then I began loving to feed her bottles. After the first formula bottle, she slept for 4 hours and hardly made a peep. I couldn't believe it. I am a nurse and I know all about why breast milk is best...but it isn't best when it exhausts you and stresses you to the point that you don't enjoy it. Formulas now are so enriched that if you and your child are happier and she seems full, go for it. In fact, I just read an article at work about how breast fed infants have higher vitamin D deficiencies than formula fed infants (usually the articles are doting about breastfeeding)....My child was bottle fed from week 6 on and has never had any health problems, ear problems, weight problems, etc. and is a thriving, smart three year old. She was never overweight...in fact, she is 30 pounds at age 3 and eats fruits and veggies as snacks. I continued to try to pump, but 4 oz in one hour...just wasn't worth it when it stressed me out so much. It took me about 3 months to completely dry up....good luck and don't feel guilty if you decide to stop. Your child will grow and thrive and be just fine on formula feeding.

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L.Z.

answers from Atlanta on

Pain that severe indicates a thrush infection or a bad latch. I'd see an IBCLC and get her back to the breast properly.

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J.D.

answers from Charleston on

Hi! I use both formula and breastmilk. I cannot produce enough to satisfy my twins EVEN with medication(same problem with my last set) so I give them a 'snack' of breastmilk before I feed them formula. You could pump and give them a little before the formula. That way they are still getting your antibodies. I did that for the first four months of my first set and they were ALWAYS healthy. They are 2 now and have only had minor colds and one stomach virus. Good luck in whatever you decide. It's your decision, so don't let anyone guilt you into doing anything you're not comfortable with!

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A.H.

answers from Atlanta on

I had a hard time getting started with breastfeeding and also had pain as well. I pumped most of the time for the first week or so and then began using a nipple shield to start breast feeding again. The nipple shield helped so much. I didn't have any pain any more and was able to breast feed for 8 months. If you want to try again, I would recommend using the shield.

I used the Avent Duo pump. I highly recommend the product line. You pump right into the bottle you give your baby and can adjust the pumping speed easily. This system made going back to work so much easier.

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A.A.

answers from Atlanta on

You can do both. There's no reason that you can't unless your schedule doesn't permit it. My sisters, niece and I all breastfed and it is the best thing to give baby the first 6-8 months of their life. Pumping just allows you to freeze some milk or store it in the fridge if baby is at the sitters. As long as you are producing milk, you can use it. Some moms even donate their unused breast milk, which is such an altruistic thing to do. You're doing your best I'm sure. I'll pray for you. Happy Mothering!!

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E.W.

answers from Columbia on

I went back to work 5 weeks after having my daughter, and from that time until she was 6 months old, I almost exclusively fed her pumped milk from a bottle. Breast feeding was logistically impossible, and I too had a lot of pain. I would pump on about the same schedule that she was eating, and if I had extra milk just store it in bags in the freezer.

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S.M.

answers from Atlanta on

You know, with both my kids, it hurt a LOT at first, even though the lactation consultant said the latch was fine. It gradually, VERY gradually went away. I'm convinced now that I was super-tender due to the hormones, because when I became pregnant with my second child, it SUDDENLY started hurting again whenever my first one nursed. (That was actually the first sign of pregnancy - it was too soon to take any tests.) So the pain may be something that disappears on it's own (although definitely try a lacation consultant before throwing in the towel)

As far as pumping, you can pump and bottle feed indefinitely, if you're willing to do it often enough. But
are you up to doing that for 12 months ot more? The main thing is that the hassle of all the bottles, plus cleaning the all the pump parts four or five times every day. And you don't get any of the "convenience" benefits of nursing (like not having to go downstairs, get a bottle, warm it up while your baby is crying. Or being able to travel - or even just spend an afternoon out of the house - without hauling a ton of stuff.) So, the upshot is that you probably stop a LOT sooner than you would if your were nursing because it will be harder.

If you've nursed another baby, then you know that you *can* do it and how it *should* feel, and so you've already got a big advantage that new moms don't have. If you live in Atlanta, I can recommend a lactation consultant, Dr. Kute ###-###-#### (She's also my pediatrician.) Also, Northside hospital has a lactation consultant named Sandy (don't know the last name), but she's wonderful.

Plus, if you were able to nurse your son, you wouldn't want your daughter to feel second-best. My friend Wayne was breastfed and his two younger siblings were not. And Wayne ended up with a PhD in computer science while neither of his siblings went beyond high school. And whether that had much of a factor or not, his mother feels guilty about it 40 years later.

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D.W.

answers from Charleston on

Hey!

Yes, I pumped and used formula with both of my kids and they (now 5 & 3) are both doing great. We also used Good Start. I pumped for about 10 weeks in both cases and they each had some kind of breast milk daily for about three months because of it. They are healthy as horses and doing great.
Good luck!
D.

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C.B.

answers from Columbia on

Hi! so sorry you had a painful begining, breastfeeding is a lot of work, if your still interseted a LLL counsler could be a great help. Pumping is also a easy alternative and Medela makes the best pumps, I would strongly suggest trying both brestmilk and formula since she is an infant and breastmilk is so much healthier. There are also "milk" banks were you can donate milk you do not use so other mom's who may not be able to nurse due to a medical condition can give their infants this option,and you will be reimbursed for your time and efforts if you are a donor. I'm a R.N. at a local hospital and hope you had enough support from your dr. and labor/delivery team...so many Mama's do not get the information they need to have sucsess with nursing at first Good luck!

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C.A.

answers from Spartanburg on

I pumped and used formula to suppliment all 3 of my girls. I pumped for 5 weeks with the 1st one until my milk dried up, pumped 10 months with my 2nd and pumped 6 weeks with my almost 7 month old. I could have pumped longer with the last one, but I was exhausted and it was harder since I had 2 other children to take care of. Hang in there. My 7 month old is on Good Start also and seems to be doing well on it. Good Luck!

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J.S.

answers from Atlanta on

Absolutely give her all you can pump. Give her the good stuff mixed in or straight in how ever many bottles you have. Try to watch her before you feed her, listen to what she is telling you, it may not be hunger. She may want comfort or change of position. If she cannot be soothed, at least you have extended the 20 minutes a little. If she keeps up the problems, you may want to think about a milk sensitivity. It is hard to get around with formula, but I can help if you get there. Give me a email if you want. Good luck, hang in there! It is only a season of time. J.

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C.D.

answers from Myrtle Beach on

My son was unable to breast feed, so I pumped and mixed it with formula at feedings. I was only able to keep it up for the first 6 weeks, it got to a point where I was spending more time pumping than with my son. Its your decision don't let anyone pressure you. If you are that sore you might have thrush and not realize it you may want to let your doctor check you.

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D.W.

answers from Charleston on

I breastfeed still (15 months) and pumped during work. I never needed so supplement with formula.

If breastfeeding was hurting, then either something was going on with her latch, or you had thrush or possibly a blocked milk duct.

If breastfeeding is really something that you want to do, call Le Leche League. We have some great groups here in Charleston, and some great lactation consultants. http://www.lllusa.org/SC/
They can help you increase your supply and work out any latching issues.

Good luck and best wishes.

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H.R.

answers from Myrtle Beach on

For my first 2 kids I had problems with latching ( so I thought), so I pumped for a year. My oldest was just breastmilk and my second was both breast and formula. If you still have milk don't let it go to waste, put it in a bottle. I figured out the third time around that babies just need to suck and this will help mom in the long run. I lost my weight alot quicker. Anyway I am happy breast feeding with this baby but it really doesn't matter as long as they are getting some breast milk. Glad you found something you comfortable with, but if you have breast milk left, why not give it to her! Take care, H.

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M.F.

answers from Athens on

Hey C.!

My twins were premature which made it nearly impossible to start breast feeding like a normal mom while they were in the hospital. Instead, I pumped on a schedule as if I were breast feeding. My girls got either all breast milk (depending on how much I had) or they got half milk, half formula. The formula was a great help for those days that I just didn't seem to pump as much for one reason or the other. And I also knew they were getting all of the vitamins they needed from my milk but with the formula, I didn't worry about eating anything speical to ensure the vitamin was there. This was a huge stress relief for me. I did this for 6 months and both of my kids are VERY healthy!! Knock on wood, we have had our share of colds but nothing major. No ear infections, no flu episodes, nothing!! I honestly recommend it!! Pumping is not pretty but it does make life so much easier!! It can be scheduled and is so easy to do. I hope you the best.

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S.W.

answers from Atlanta on

I pumped and bottle fed my daughter breast milk exclusively for the first 6 months. I had better luck breastfeeding with my son, but there came a time where we switched to formula and I continued to pump what milk I had until I no longer produced it. I agree.. why let it go to waste. The more she gets, the better, right?

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T.C.

answers from Spartanburg on

With my first child, my milk was delayed and we had to start supplementing with formula...Oh My how I cried when I had to give him that first bottle. I felt like a failure! I overcame that and realized that I could nurse him as well as formula feed him. He transitioned well between the two. He nursed in the AM, had formula during the day, and nursed again at night. I pumped at work, froze the milk, and used formula in between. The pediatrician suggested keeping him on the same number of breast feedings per day to avoid stomach issues. We did not have any problems.
When my daughter came along, I was able to nurse her exclusively for 6 months, then started supplementing with her as well. No problems there either.
Out youngest was a premie. I was unable to nurse him for the first wile. I pumped religiously and was determined that my baby would get at least 1 bottle of breastmilk!!! eventually I was able to nurse him and we kept him on formula due to growth issues. He did fine as well.
If you feel strongly about it, freeze your pumped milk and offer him two to three bottles a day. Offer him the same number of breastmilk bottles per day, everyday. That way you can have his stomach adjusted to both without diffuculty hopefully.

Good luck to you.

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N.L.

answers from Atlanta on

my sister in law exclusively pumped and fed for 8 months before she lost her milk.

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A.P.

answers from Atlanta on

Like another poster, I had a lot of pain despite a good latch. I would check for thrush, but I didn't have that, and the pain lasted for about 8 weeks. I think it was all horomonal. I would definitely pump to keep your milk supply and to offer the antibodies to your baby during cold/flu season. Then, if the pain subsides, you could always give nursing a try again.

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