Breast Feeding or Formula??

  • Okay this is my first baby and I am 22 weeks and still havn't decided if I want to breast feed or use formula. I don't think any female in my family has ever breast fed. I know that they say breast feeding a baby is the healthier choice, but I am still unsure on what I want to do. Can someone please help me?? Give me some opinions on what you all think. Thank you


  • Brittany-

    I'm so glad that you brought your dilema to the board.  I think that it's really important that you think this over, and what a perfect thing you have done so far as asking for others thoughts and experiences and you look toward making a decision.


    I want to start by telling you that you don't have to make a decision about this now, it may be that as your pregnancy progresses the right answer will come to you. It may help you to start making a pros and cons list.  You could take two pieces of paper and as you gather information and have more thoughts about this you could add those facts and thoughts to the positive or the negative papers.  I want to offer toward the pros list that breastfeeding your baby-even just for a few days-offers him/her a huge jumpstart on immunity.  Amazingly it takes only a few ml of breastmilk to give your baby really important nutrients that help him/her build a strong immune system.  Thus-you don't have to sign up to breast feed for a year to reap the benefits, even a few hours or days can give your baby huge benefits.  Another pro of breast feeding is that it aides in solid attachment between mom and baby.  Many women remark that this time together is some of the strongest bonding time that they even get with their child.  The third thing that i want to just mention is that if you don't want to actually breast feed you can pump and then let baby drink that "expressed breast milk" from a bottle if you are more comfortable with this.  I think that time spend feeding in any manner is good for attachment.  Now what are some of the cons (or negatives) that you can think about in regard to breastfeeding?  It can be time consuming, it also links you to a schedule where you have to stop to breastfeed or stop to pump.  This can be a hinderance to some women.  

    I hope that this gives you a start.  I want to encourage you to continue to read and to ask questions and build your lists from there.

    Keep us posted!


  • brittany, i myself am a new mom just had my first son almost a month ago. i had planned on breast feeding and in the end it didnt end up working out. right after i had my son at the hospital i wasnt getting barely anything out which they say is normal cuz breast milk takes a few days to come in after having the baby. but at the hospital the ended up having to give him formula cuz he was hungry. so untill my breast milk came in i have to bottle feed him with formula. well once you feed a baby with a bottle and then try to breast feed him its extremely hard cuz of the nipple difference. so i tried pumping and honestly it was to time consuming. and i tried putting something the hospital gave me to put on my nipple to help him attach but it was still time consuming and to be honest people told me that i would enjoy it cuz its a bond but honestly i didnt like it at all. so i kept with formula feeding. but i would agree with jess on making a pro and con list. and really take everything into consideration, such as if you are going to be working you have to make sure you have time to pump. good luck with your baby and hopefully your able to make a decision. ~danielle

  • I agree with Jess_Baby do not have to make this decision today. Instead, spend the next several months talking with other moms who breastfeed and those who use formula, read some articles about both, and discuss it with your doctor. In the end I know you will make the decision that is best for you and your baby. Good luck and welcome to Strong Moms! Let us know what you decide to do!

  • Brittany,

    You can make the best decision you think you can right now, and having a plan is a good thing.   But just like they say about a "birth plan" you need to be flexible.  Your body and your baby may have other ideas of the ideal solution.  I myself had planned to breastfeed only because I also had heard it was the best thing for my son.  (Now 7 weeks old.)  I planned to pump so that my husband could help with the feedings and even picked out bottles that were similar to breast feeding so that there would be less confusion.  I thought I had everything planned out.  Then I had my baby - and a lot of complications.  He had already learned to latch on to the breast on day 1, but on day 3 (I had a c-section) he was not getting anything out of the breast.  I insisted they not give him a bottle because I wanted to breastfeed. So instead they used a syringe to feed him.  I had a lot of complications from my surgery and was unable to feed him quite a bit in the hospital and then he got used to the syringe.  I did use their pump while there and continued to try to get my milk in, but from pain and infections, it was very slow and my baby was hungry, so we had to keep supplementing which made me more depressed because I was moving away from my plan.  When we got home, I continued trying to breast feed and we were not getting ANY sleep.  He would lay down for maybe 5 - 10 minutes at night before crying for food again.  What we didn't know, but later found out was that my milk production was so slow, he was starving.  He lost a lot of weight his first week - more than is normal.  Finally a pediatrician told me I had to supplement with formula.  I cried as I left the doctor's office, but it was tears of relief.  My plan to breastfeed because I felt it was best for my son, was not the best after all.  Not for him, not for me, and not for my husband.  Having someone else tell me I didn't have to breast feed alone gave me the freedom to consider another alternative that was best for everyone.  We have been doing both now for 5 1/2 weeks and it is going great.  He gets the best of both worlds.  My immune system and breast milk that is tailored to his needs, and the nutrition that he needs to fill up his tummy and help him grow.  He decides how much breast versus bottle that he wants and it gives me the freedom to let others feed him, give him a bottle when out shopping, etc...  I'm not saying this is the right decision for you, but just know that all the planning you do in advance doesn't always mean you can't change your mind later.

  • Everyone has given you some different advice but I'd like to encourage you, that if you consider breast feeding, you might benefit from joining Le Leche League. This is a group of women who gather to support each other in breastfeeding and it can be really awesome to have someone who knows what you are going through. A lot of people make really good mommy-friends in the groups too! If no one in your family has breast fed, it'll be all the more helpful to call someone when you have questions. Google the name of the group to find a meeting place in your town and give the number a call! Good luck!

  • Perhaps you can talk to some mothers who have successfully breastfed.  Maybe you can go to a mother's support group at your local hospital or a La Leche League meeting.

  • Brittany, actually in my opinion...Breastfeed is a good idea and it helps you save time and increase your bonding time with your baby.It can give your baby the important nutrients that he/she needs to gain a strong immune system.  But you also need to discipline yourself on the food you eat and also you should take good care of yourself as what you feel might affect the baby as well. But before that you also need to know first if what suites to your baby, if he/she is more comfortable with breast milk or with formula.

  • Can you explain a bit more about what you mean when you refer to what the baby is "more comfortable" with?

  • breast feeding is alot of responsibility. im 18 and a part time high school student and a part time collage student. i have to bummp once while at school the school provides with a area to pump as everywhere dose. being a student mom an having homework i dont have time to run to the kitchen to make a bottle, its alot easyer to let my son latch on. breast feeding helps me bond with my baby sence im gone 8 hours of the day it helps me asure him mommy is back an always will be back. .. not that formula is bad or anything i still use it. formula comes in handy its my plan B i always have similac with me. just in case i dont get to pummp enought to last him through the day he is supplemented. i tried good start and enfamil my son just would not take it. i would perfer sililac over any formula. Big Smile

  • APmomma....

    I discuss the benefit of breastfeeding but sometimes some babies are not comfortable with breast milk that why they should know first whats best for their babies.




  • Like everyone has said before this is not a decision you have to make right now.  I do agree that the best decisions are informed ones.  There are so many resources out there today.  I took a breastfeeding course offered by my local hospital, where they went over all the benefits of breast milk for the baby, and all the benefits to the mothers body from nursing, good positions to nurse in, how to get the baby to latch and so on.  Also after you have the baby there will be a lactation consultanst at the hospital to help you.  I am a big supporter of breast feeding and I do believe that "breast is best", but I also acknowledge that it is not for everyone.  The best advice would be to decide if it is something you really want to do, and then give it a shot.  If it doesn't work out atleast you tried.  One thing that many people don't know about breast milk is why it is so perfect for your baby.  Your nipples actually get information from your newborn, about the babies nutrition and what it needs, and then your body produces exactly what the baby needs.  Another thing to consider is the price of formula.  It can cost you anywhere from $1000 to $5000 for the first year, so if you are trying to save some money, nursing is the way to go.  Hope this is helpful!

  • Hi Brittany,

    Congratulationsfirst of all.  I am a first time mom myself and also went through the enxiety of breast feeding vs formula.  I was surrounded by people who insisted on breast feeding so I was dead set on breastfeeding myself until I found out I had a medical condition that suppressed my milk product.  I was not producing enough milk to keep up with my little one's demand.  I was rather disappointed since I was a firm believer that mother's milk was the best for my little guy.  I did everything including lactation consultation, pumping after nursing 10-12 times a day, taking supplements, but not much help.

    Our doctor told us it was okay to supplement as formula now adays are so advanced that it was rather close to breast milk.  I still nurse my baby every chance I get, immediately followed by formula. 

    Breast feeding is a challenge.  If you are set on breast feeding, hand in there.  However, if for some reason it doesn't work out, don't feel bad at all since it is different for everyone.  You can still experience the bonding moments with your little on when you hold the baby in your  arms and give  the baby a bottle.  Good luck!

  • Brittany-

    You posted this a week or so ago and so I wanted to check in with you and see how things are going and if you have any further questions.  Please let us know how we can help!

    Take care,


  • Breastfeeding has been shown to have more health benefits than formula/bottle feeding. Talk with your doctor. Also there are brestfeeding coaches out there, I am lucky to have friend who has been one for years, so if you are having a hard time with breast feeding they can help. Sometimes it takes a few days for your child to "latch" on, and if they dont you can allways pump. Most hospitals and med supply places have pumps you can rent since they are pretty expensive.

    I am definetly one for breast feeding. This is my first child and I am really hoping to be able to breast feed, my personal feelings is that it is what we were meant to do. Babies are supposed to nurse, its more natural and allows for you to bond. Though it may not be easy at first I do not plan on giving up just because its the easy way out. I think it will be the best start for our child. Good luck with your decision!!