Confused about whether to breastfeed

Hi, I'm only 10 weeks pregnant right now but I'm starting to feel the pressure already about breastfeeding. Although I want the baby to have my milk, I'm not that inclined to be tied into constantly breastfeeding as I feel that would stop my husband from being able to bond properly. All of my sisters children were bottle fed and they've done really well, and it was so nice for her hubby to be able to give the babies their feed too - plus it let my sister rest! What have your experiences been?

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  • I personally didn't feel like I wanted to breastfeed but kept an open mind and gave it a try. I fed my son for 3 days but after great difficulty switched to bottles. I just found that it wasn't for me/us and I was feeling distraught. It was certainly a huge advantage that my husband/family could also share in the feeding.

    I am expecting my 2nd baby and have decided to bottle feed from day 1.

    I am in no way against breastfeeding but it just didn't work for us.

    Good luck with whatever you feel is best for you and your baby xx

  • I struggled with breastfeeding but persisted with it and eventually managed ok because I wanted the best health benefits for baby. I had to give bottle as well to start off due to having breastfeeding problems, so my baby actually used to have both no problem ... Although I then got bit lazy with giving bottles as breast got a lot easier... And now she won't take a bottle, but if I continued a daily bottle I'm sure it would have been ok. I must say being able to breast feed in the middle of the night rather than make a bottle is quite nice. But eventually it's your choice ... However baby can bond with daddy in other ways it doesn't have to be with feeds.

  • Congratulations on your pregnancy!

    I have 3 children and I breastfed the first exclusively with no problems, until she was about 6 months but my 2nd and 3rd we're not satisfied by my milk and they were constantly feeding. I was a mess and the pressure to breastfeed is immense. With my 2nd the midwife would phone me up late at night about it. Eventually With both babies I began to express and use formula too and then went over to formula. Do what you feel is best and don't be made to feel like you are a bad mum if you choose not to breastfeed. Since found out I am hypothyroid and that affects milk production. My 2nd lost lots of weight and I just thought enough is enough. My 3rd was constantly feeding too.

  • Hello, congratulations on your pregnancy! My baby is now 5 months and I have exclusively breast fed. It was my decision to breastfeed. My experience is that breastfeeding is not the easiest in the world, but is highly rewarding. It took a while for things to settle down (milk flow , latching on etc.)but we managed just fine. I got support from a local group that offers support to breastfeeding Mums and it was the best thing for me. I had someone to talk to at times of uncertainly and tiredness. The beginning can be hard, but it does get better. To help with the milk flow I used a breast pump, which meant Dad could feed baby when I was tired or when we had guests at home. So I didn't feel tied down. Other good point is that going out is easy, one can breast feed without worrying about mixing feeds and taking bottles. There is a lot of information out there and the NHS website is really good. It gives good info if one is unsure. There are many others ways apart from feeding which can help Dad to bond with baby (changing diapers, bath time, or just cuddling and being there!) One major things is that I felt breast feeding is easier if one feels confident about their decision and confident within themselves. Its a very personal decision and I'm sure you will do what is best for you.If you decide to bottle feed then I would suggest you feed your baby the first milk (colostrum) which is highly beneficial for your baby and cannot be replaced by bottle milk. It will help your baby in the long run. Good Luck!!

  • Thanks everyone! Feeling a lot better informed now. It's early days yet, but I'm inclined to give it a try and see how we get on. If it's not for us, then at least I'll know for sure. Xx

  • Please give breastfeeding serious consideration. I'm sure you know this already, but the health benefits to you and your baby are enormous.

    It's also a wonderful bond between you and your baby. And the feeling of pride when you see your baby growing big and strong on your milk is wonderful.

    As for being 'tied into constantly breastfeeding', it's really not like that. I actively want to breastfeed my baby, and after the newborn stage where you will be feeding them all the time anyway, they don't feed constantly. And there is this perception that breastfeeding is restrictive, whereas it's actually the opposite. It's so liberating. Once established, breastfeeding is so easy that, dare I say it, you will feel sorry for bottle feeding mums! All those bottles, powders, water etc, having a baby screaming at you while they're waiting for a bottle to be made. None of that with breastfeeding. Baby's hungry? Boob, job done :)

    And of course your family can help with the feeding, mine do. You can express your milk any time, but if you really don't want to do that then they can always use formula. You don't have to exclusively use one or the other.

    If you want to talk more please pm me :) I would love for you and your baby to have ths benefits of breastfeeding.

    Hope this helps :) xx

  • Hi VRT102....I'm confused why would you 'feel sorry for bottle feeding mums'?! This is exactly the type of comment which puts mothers under unnecessary pressure.

    Please do take care to be mindful when making comments so as not to insult mothers who choose (or are unable) to breastfeed their babies).

    No matter how we feed our babies they will grow into healthy children with mothers who love them.

  • I agree that there is so much pressure to breastfeed. I couldn't due to my then newborn being cared for on a different ward and then in a different hospital 1.5 hours away. By the time we were reunited, it was impossible. I tired everything under the sun: breastfeeding counsellors, health visitors, midwives, nipple shields... I even spent a whole day in bed doing skin to skin. I finally gave up as it was never going to happen for me. I ended up pumping exclusively (6 to 8 times a day) for months, which had a terrible effect on my body and being able to get out and about. In the end, I decided that a happy mum is the best thing for a happy baby. I reluctantly gave up pumping because of the huge pressure. I did feel that all the healthcare professionals kept saying well done for pumping exclusively but didn't ask how I was feeling. But all the people who actually knew me and cared about me said stop pumping! Stopping pumping was the best thing I ever did as I was able to take my little one out and actually enjoy what was left of my maternity leave. I did have a particularly traumatic birth though so I am nowhere near what you'd consider a 'normal case'!!! In the end, trust your instincts and do what is best for you and your family. If I have another child, I will pump, but only twice a day and give the baby mixed feeds. Formula is a life saver, especially for those who can't breastfeed.

  • P.s. I meant to add that there are ways to quickly make up a formula feed in the middle of the night - you can get liquid formula (it's expensive but useful when time is tight!). Just keep a thermos flask of boiled water in the room with you so you can heat the liquid formula up in a couple of minutes while you change baby's nappy x

  • I was honest and said what I feel, and what so many other mums feel. I have spoken to many other breastfeeding mums and they have said the same thing. Breastfeeding IS convenient, fact.

    My opinion does not insult or put unnecessary pressure on anybody. What is putting pressure on mums is comments like yours: silencing other people's right to an opinion or stating a fact, in case it may insult.

    If somebody chooses to be offended by other people's comments then they've got far worse things to worry about than what I have said.

    And far more pressure will be put on by health care professionals than I ever would.

    Please do take care to be mindful when attempting to silence other people. The health benefits of breastfeeding are well known which is why there is 'pressure' to do it, in the same way there is 'pressure' to give children healthy diets. And I in no way insinuated that a bottle fed child wouldn't be loved.

    Unbelievable, Dublin.

  • Unfortunately it is sad... I was almost looked down upon by my health visitor/midwife because I supplemented with formula cuz baby lost lots of weight. I'm am healthcare professional and despite knowing I was doing what was best for baby I had enormous guilt feelings and felt like a failure.

    My advice honestly is try breastfeeding if you want to, it might be hard to start off and you have to persist a bit. If you manage great it will be a great thing to share with baby and so convenient, but if It doesn't don't feel pressurised to trudge on as yo have a choice. It's probably worth attending a course, there was one organised by my hospital which was v helpful.

  • This is such a shame. The sad thing is even on a forum such as this misinterpretation causes mothers to attack other mothers. I had mistakenly thought that no matter how we choose to feed our babies mothers can always be united in their love for their children - I guess I was wrong. Wondering1982 I wish you every success with your pregnancy ๐Ÿ˜Š xx

  • You are not wrong- we are united in our love for our children. And once again, you are the one causing division by implying we aren't.

    You should let mothers voice their opinions and celebrate differences in views without accusing people of being offensive. Nobody else here has said anything divisive- only you. Oh the irony.

    Ultimately, this lovely mummy to be WILL do it her way, no matter what any of us say. And so she should, I applaud her for that. But what everybody here has given her are different experiences and views so that she can make a balanced, informed choice. I hope she does try breastfeeding and it works for her, I really do. But her and her baby will be happy regardless- nobody has implied they won't.

    Wondering- congratulations on your happy pregnancy! Don't let people hijack your search for information...there's some great advice here which will be useful. Again, if you'd like to talk more about the realities pf breastfeeding then feel free to PM me โ˜บ have a happy and healthy pregnancy! Xx

  • As a bottle feeding mum who has been stuck in town shopping for longer than expected without an extra bottle (rookie mistake) & a hungry new born I totally understand your original comment- .it only happened once but I can still hear that cry as we made our way back to the car!! Breast feeding would have saved me (as would an extra bottle you could argue). I didn't stick at breast feeding for as long as I'd have liked. Not due to any complications, just not prepared for what to expect & I didnt seek help in the right places- made it very stressful

    My daughter is a happy, healthy 2year old but i definitely wish I'd tried a bit harder.

    I've never felt pressure from anyone or felt judged either way.

  • Thanks Cheeky for understanding what I was saying :)

    Hope you and your LG are doing well.

    My LG is 17m now and we're doing a combination of bf and whole milk. She's getting quite aggressive at tearing at my shirt now! But it's so handy when we're out to be able to feed her still.

  • I have breastfed my two sons for 6 months ( the younger one gave up on his own). With both of them being big and chunky boys I thought it was about time to stop. I will breastfeed my third (who is round the corner) but intend to stop at around the same time (unless he's not ready to be weaned) but would never go past the 12 months as I know it drains nutrients from mothers body and children become 'hands on' to get the boob out anytime they feel like it and that's dreading to me. As much as I'm pro-breastfeeding, I don't understand toddler breastfeeding.

  • Your comment upset and insulted me and made me feel awful about 'only' managing to exclusively breast feed twins for two months.

  • Upset and insulted? I'm sorry you feel this way but I said nothing offensive or insulting. I voiced a feeling which many people share and stated facts about breastfeeding.

    Please don't choose to be offended by other people's opinions and feelings. They have every right to voice them, and if you don't like it then maybe it's best to ignore them.

    But don't feel bad! You managed to breastfeed twins for two months! That's brilliant and you should be proud.

  • Hi there. Congratulations. My baby was six weeks early and was too little to latch and we did combination for three weeks before moving to exclusively formula. My baby is now four months old and very healthy and happy and all is going well. Like you, I felt incredibly pressured about breastfeeding. Well-meaning comments from others like "feeling sorry for" women who don't breastfeed are quite frustrating to hear and do a lot of damage.

  • Everyone needs to decide for themselves but bear in mind that your baby gets a lot from your milk that formula can't provide, he/she gets a lot immunity through your milk. If you can't breast feed then formula is an excellent substitute but I wouldn't dismiss it from day 1.

    My first child I had huge problems, I suffer from eczema as well, and was bleeding from day 2. I developed mastitis four times before I had to stop breast feeding, but I felt the time we had was really special, it's a great time just the two of you.

    With my second feeding was difficult to start off with as well but I'm now only just introducing formula at 10 months. It's time now, I need my body back!

    Formula definitely has its advantages, just bear in mind that you can also pump breast milk and your husband can feed the little one that way. And personally I found breast feeding the easier (even lazier!) option. Formula: remember to keep buying it (and it's not cheap), make sure your child is ok with the one you bought and not, unlike my son, you try out four different once with a constipated screaming baby for days on end... You need to plan it, especially when hour or, need to keep on top of the right size teats and when to swap to a bigger one (not difficult of course but still need to keep buying different sizes, something I did not know in advance), the constant sterilising..!, then planning days/trips out, when do you prepare the bottles when you're not supposed to have it mixed up for more than two hours before using it, then your baby might only drink it when it's warm and you have no where to warm up etc etc

    I stuck with breastfeeding a lot longer as I could just leave the house and feed whenever and wherever without planning and thinking about it. The sterilising is already doing my head in again now, just two weeks in. Oh and night time. Breast feed: boob out, done. Formula: get up, boil kettle, make formula, get the right temperature...

    There's also a mixed feeding which might work for you?

    All the best!

  • Please do what is right for you. However read thoroughly well. the pros and cons of both breast Vs bottle, WHO recommendations e.t.c. I have 4 and have BF both with no pressure from anyone and have done what is best for my babies not for me, not for my husband e.t.c. I feel and think that every one should do what they think is right for their situation but be best informed by reading and taking on all suggestions without being too sensitive. By the end you will choose for yourself.

  • Ladies, I certainly didn't mean to spark any arguments. I am aware that health professionals will probably put pressure on me and wanted to have looked into it before such conversations occurred. I am deeply grateful for this forum. Being 10 1/2 weeks is very lonely, you can't talk freely to people as most don't know, and a lot of stuff is too far off to talk about, yet you still worry about it. Plus I'm feeling tired and nauseous ALL THE TIME. It's so nice to be able to chat to ladies like yourselves anonymously and not be made to feel like I'm asking silly questions. I really appreciate your advice and will consider it ALL. xx

  • Hi Wondering1982,

    I was quite glad that you posted this today as I'm 32+3 weeks along with twins and like you, have been thinking and wondering what to do, so reading experiences of others has been helpful.

    Breastfeeding was mentioned at my booking in appointment but since then, there has been no mention of it until I asked for myself, so I haven't felt any pressure either way. Just today I went to a breastfeeding class to see for myself if it would suit. Well, it was a bit of an eye opener for me and all I can say to you is to go along to a class and just see if it's for you. For me, with twins I feel it may be too much of a challenge to exclusively bf, so I'm going to think about the other options. I will try combination feed with bf/expressing and failing that, I have no issue with going with formula. It's not as if you can let the baby go hungry. I already have an electric pump and I also got the Tommee Tippee perfect prep machine, which cuts out the kettle boiling for the formula make up - anyone going for formula should take a look at this to save time. I've just decided that I'm going to be under enough pressure as it is, so whatever works is whatever I'm going to go with.

    Best of luck with the rest of your pregnancy, try not to worry too much right now about feeding, you have plenty of time to decide and there is no right or wrong way to do it. x

  • I managed 8 weeks breastfeeding my twins and felt pretty good about that. When confronted with some of the opinions in the comments above it does upset me and make me feel like a failure though- like I'm not as good a mum as some of those posting above (cannot stand 'competitive parenting').

    Tlove, having recently been where you are my advice would be to pump as much as you can, as well as getting them on the breast to try to keep your supply up. Get baking lactation cookies (my husband got very good at making them), eat Brewers Yeast with cheese on toast (it tastes foul and cheese on toast is about the only thing that masks it), drink nursing tea and some mums swear drinking Gatorade helps their supply. Some doctors can prescribe Motillium to up supply too- mine did and it did make a noticeable difference. If you do pump exclusively rather than getting them to do the work on your boobs then your supply may run out sooner than you'd like which is very annoying and you might end up hooked up to the pump for hours and hours to maintain supply (I did as once mine tried formula they decided they liked it better and didn't want to do the work on the breast anymore!!)

    If you do start making up formula bottles then ask your doctor/midwife/health visitor if they can recommend any probiotic drops to add to the feed to help with the good bacteria in their tummies.

    If possible get yourself a twin pillow for them to rest in too. My mum made me one for us that was a life saver as I could bottle feed both in it at the same time. If you want more details then send me a PM and I'll show you some pics of it.

    Good luck and congratulations- you are about to enter the most exhausting and wonderful period of your life. Welcome to the world of twins! (Normal rules do not apply) xxx

  • Thanks Kernishp, I will pm you later today when I get a chance. I think I know the pillow you're talking about as they had one at class but you need a second person with you and it felt strange just doing it with dolls, let alone real babies! But I will message you, thanks for that.

  • P.S. I'd be delighted with 8 weeks bf the twins, I think that's a great achievement so don't beat yourself up over it. I'd say most mothers of twins don't even try. Feeding is one of those topics that tends to get out of control with strong opinions flying around, take no notice. I'm honestly just going to go with the flow on it and to hell with anyone who judges either way. Twins will be hard work as it is.

  • Congratulations!!!

    I'm 8 weeks pregnant with my second , I tryed to breastfeed my son but it just would not happen , I had support from midwives on the ward and at home but ended up bottle feeding , I felt awful as "breast is best" and all that , obviously every mum wants best for their baby , being a 1st time mum where everything is quite scary it realy effected me , health visitor assured me and said its not for everyone , and that formula milk has to meet criteria it still has the stuff your baby needs , my little boy is now nearly 3 he is a smart little chap with a huge personality , he has been poorly twice , once with a sickness bug and a cold ... And he attends nursery so I think that's quite an achievement lol . With baby number 2 I'm going in open minded if it happens great! If not that's fine too! I ruined the start of my experience with my little boy worrying so much, it doesn't define you as a mother , just go with the flow and see what works best when they arrive ๐Ÿค—

  • I quite agree. I'm lucky, my sister was unable to breastfeed and all 3 of her children are happy, healthy and intelligent, and seeing that has made me realise it's not the massive issue its made out to be at times. Not to mention neither myself or my sister were breast fed and we're both happy successful people. So if I can, great but if not I'm not going to stress about it. Either way my baby will be loved and fed and that's really what's important. Xx

  • I breastfeed my son and personally, I didn't consider doing any different, unless for some reason I wasn't able to. It took a while for us to get there but it became the easiest thing in the world. It's much easier than making bottles. I wanted my son to have the healthiest start but I wasn't breastfed an I am not doing too badly!

  • Apart from all the things mentioned, a huge advantage of breastfeeding for moms (that came as a great surprise for me as I didn't know anything about babies and being a mom) is that you loose all the baby weight and more with no effort at all ;-) I breastfed for 18 months my son (exclusively for the first 6), and by around 11 months I was 4 kg below my pre-pregnancy weight and eating lots (including tons of chocolates and cakes, hehe).

  • I heard that too - And the other thing they said in the class I went to is it prevents ovulation, so it's 98% effective as birth control. Not sure I'd rely solely on that to prevent pregnancy though!!

  • I wish I had lost weight breastfeeding!!! I was so hungry all the time so I ate loads and ended up putting on nearly 6kg!!! Am very envious of your weight loss ๐Ÿ˜Š.

  • I'm sorry Kernishp, I didn't mean to brag about it at all, I thought it was something general :-( did you also breastfeed for a long time? It took me about 11 months I think.

  • You weren't bragging- I'm just jealous ๐Ÿ˜. I managed 8 weeks exclusively breast feeding twins then had to top up with formula as they weren't gaining enough weight. I was pumping too and noticed that if I ate salad then I made 'skimmed' milk but if I ate cr*p then I made 'full fat' which was obviously better and a lot more fun- so I ate a lot of cr*p ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚. My two preferred taking from a bottle instead of doing the work on my boobs so my supply eventually dried up.

  • That's really impressive that you managed to bf twins exclusively for 8 weeks and then expressed for them, it must have been a lot of work! I'm pregnant again (25 weeks) and eating lots of cr*p as well, hehe, so I hope the bf works again and that it helps me loose all the weight I'm putting on, last time I gained 20kg :-S

  • Breastfeeding is tricky to promote without offending non-breast feeders.

    My best advice to a mum-to-be is to do a course, read about how to do it too and go and meet your local Breastfeeding support group. That way no matter what you decide you will have options and support will be available.

    I wish I went to see my local group sooner after my son was born. They solved all the issues I had really quickly.

    I ended up doing extended Breastfeeding. But I actually found that people were generally more anti-Breastfeeding in the area I live, so the group was great for moral support as well as practical.

    Hope the rest of your pregnancy goes well!

  • Neither of my two babies would latch on for love nor money. I tried for weeks with both. I expressed milk for them - for 6 months with the first and 4 months with the 2nd. I had loads of milk - it was ridiculous and literally squirted out so seemed daft to waste it! However, expressing full time is the worst of both worlds - double the time spent on food for baby (time pumping and then bottle feeding) and still have all the bottles to sterilise. If you can, I'd recommend breastfeeding for pure easiness. I wish I'd been able to. Once baby has got the hang of it (2-3 weeks) you can start introducing an expressed bottle once a day for dad/grandparents etc to give. Honestly, it's just easier to breastfeed. And of course breastmilk is better for baby. I'm not going to lie: my kids are 9 and 10 (don't ask why I'm here!) and you can't tell who was breastfed in their class and who was not. Bottle fed babies grown up just fine but it's scientifically proven that breast is best. Bottle feeding is hassle: buying all the bottles, steriliser, milk, washing the bottles, packing the bottles to go out etc etc. Even if you just breastfeed for a few weeks/months then switch to bottle you'll be giving he/she a good start. If you do breastfeed but think you want to express a bottle or 2 a day, then don't bother buying a pump until after you've had the baby. If you've got loads of milk a hand pump will be fine (I found it better as I could do longer, slower pumps and drew out more that way - literally squirting) but if you've not got so much milk an electric one could be better. You'll be able to experiment in the hospital. Just put a bit of money aside and send you're fella to Boots when you know what suits you! Good luck!

  • Whilst a few mums are very lucky and are able to breastfeed without any problems, the vast majority find it very difficult in the early weeks. I think a problem is that sometimes people mistake offers of support for pressure (granted this isn't always the case though). I gave birth to my boy 5 months after my sister had her first, and after seeing her battle mastitis and bleeding nipples and weeks of excruciating pain before feeding settled down, I was prepared to go through the same. And I did and it was hell for 6 weeks, but I expected this and was prepared for it and I was SO determined to breastfeed, so everytime anyone mentioned breastfeeding I leapt at it and asked for more help. I think if I hadn't been 100% committed to it, this would have made me feel pressured. But it wasn't pressure, it was just people offering to help me. We got through those tough early weeks (incidentally both our babies were tongue tied which would have made it worse for us initially - I don't want to put you off!). My boy is now 18months old and still breastfeeding and we both love it - its such a special bonding time for us. And I see mums having to deal with a screaming baby whilst they frantically make up a bottle and it makes me so glad as whipping a boob out is so much easier! Its always there, always at the right temp, and it adapts to your baby's needs so many a time I've had a cold or tummy bug and my little boy didn't catch it thanks to my milk. Plus you save around ยฃ500 in the first year which I'm not going to stick my nose up at! If you decide its not for you for whatever reason, then just be happy with your decision and don't think twice about it, there's no point being offended everytime someone states a positive opinion on breastfeeding as the only person you'll hurt is yourself and its a waste of energy. Best of luck to you! Ps I'm 11 weeks pregnant with number 2 now so due a similar time to you! :-)

  • havent read all the comments and certainly don't want to offend or upset anyone x my opinion, if you want to breastfeed you can. My baby was premature and couldnt latch on despite my trying for 5 months (she was also tongue tied which didn't help). I was determined to do it so ebf by expressing for 14 months, only stopping when I needed to take some medication not safe if breastfeeding. Yes it ties you to needing to be home or near a plug socket every few hours but it is so worth it for your babies health. It is the absolute best start in life for your baby, no one can argue with that. Nothing can beat it. Yes it is or can be hard but it is for such a short period of your life, your baby deserves for you to at least give it a good Go. To make things a bit harder for me My husband is in the forces and 80% of the time I'm home alone, if there are two of you often around it will help. I do not want to upset anyone but have a look at the ingredients in a bottle of baby formula, nothing artificial ever beats nature.


  • I breastfed my son for two weeks before I stopped. I felt so pressured to do it I even started pumping after the two weeks. For some people it is a gorgeous natural experience but for me I hated it. I prefer holding my baby close with a bottle and being able to have a bath and leave the hubby with bottle. I swapped to formula around 6weeks as I couldn't produce enough. I hated being covered in milk and made me feel sticky and sweaty. I tried again with my second but lasted two nights I couldn't produce and to be honest I only tried as I felt I had to. I just went straight to formula I didn't want to pump. I'm pregnant again and before my hormones kick in or I get pushed into it I'm making it clear to my midwife I am not doing it. I will bottle feed from the beginning. You need to make a decision which is right for you.. For me I really hated it and wasn't comfortable or enjoyable I preferred cuddles together in bath and holding baby as I bottle fed to bond.

  • I breastfed for 2 years. The first 4 months were hard and I didn't really want to go past 1 year but forced weaning was more distressing to him (I went back to work 40hrs a week when he was a year) than continuing was to me. As a mother and a health professional I know why midwives and health professionals promote breastfeeding, for the same reason we promote healthy eating, reducing alcohol intake, not smoking. Facts are facts and breastfeeding is better for baby. But be prepared for the huge amount of negativity from society at large. Formula feeding friends don't want to hear about any difficulties you've had, especially if they tried and quit - forever more you'll be treated as if, if you succeed its because it was easy for you. You'll be bombarded by advertising and free samples for formula. Even 'supportive' people will ask when you plan to stop almost before you've started. I was terrified to admit I was having difficulty because every one of my friends and family when they admitted to struggling was convinced by well meaning others that they couldn't do it and formula was the best option and every one of them struggles with that even years on. Breastfeeding, once you get the hang of it, is physically easier but socially it's extremely stressful. Get good support and get it early, surround yourself with people who will help, not offer you a bottle when it gets hard and believe in yourself and your body and your baby.

    I did all the feeding and my hubby and son are extremely close because they got lots of skin to skin, playing and bonding at plenty of other times, how you feed is irrelevant to how they will bond.

  • I would have to suggest that you do what you want to do. It's a very personal decision, and one that you should not feel pressured into one way, or another.

    From my experience - I exclusively breastfed my eldest son and he never had any formula. I put myself under a great deal of pressure to ensure he only ever had my milk because that was what I thought I had to do and in truth I enjoyed his first year less than I should have done. I had problems and it was hard in the beginning, and he was also a big hungry baby but after the first 6-8 weeks it got easier - you will NOT succeed at breastfeeding unless you ARE 100% determined to succeed at it though. However I NEVER had anything but positivity from other mums, health professionals and my family. No one ever made me feel anything other than comfortable. All of that said I did not enjoy it all, I didn't feel that it was precious or that it made me bond with my son any more than I would have anyway.

    With that in mind with sons 2 & 3 I exclusively formula fed from day one, I never tried breast feeding. I never had a single comment from a health professional or a friend or a family member that made me feel anything other than confident and supportive in my decision, I never felt pressured or guilty or anything other than confident in my choice. Maybe I was lucky but in truth, I believe if you have the courage of your convictions and you make your choice no one is out to make you feel bad about it.

    I personally preferred formula feeding, I found it less stressful and a happier, relaxed mum is just as important as breast milk is, if not more so.

    I have an 8 year old, a 2 year old and a 1 year old - not one person would be able to look at any of them, or their medical history, and know how they were fed! In the long run, it is really not going to make any difference to your children!

  • I LOVE BREASTFEEDING!!!! The first 2 days wasn't nice as I got blisters but the midwife recommended lansinoh hpa lanolin nipple cream and it got better almost instantly.

    It's so easy (lazy mum award here!). I don't have to take extra paraphernalia when we go out, just nappies, a change of clothes, and maybe a toy or two. I don't even have to get out of bed for night feeds as my 4 1/2 month old sleeps in a cot next to our bed we lie on our sides facing each other and he goes at it. I've even been guilty of falling asleep mid feed before it's so comfy!

    Also major kudos to the mummy who bf her twins for 8 weeks, that's amazing high five!

    It's completely about what works for you and your baby. If you have an awful time of it please don't struggle on because some snooty health visitor says you should. Remember happy mummy, happy baby.

    If you do decide to give it a go (highly recommended) get as much help as you can whilst you're in the ward, even if it's going swimmingly, to try out new positions and find what works best for you both. If you have any troubles I believe you're better seeing a breastfeeding specialist (try the nct) the midwives are great but remember they have a lot of experience in delivery, not what comes after.

    I have a friend who persevered despite being in a lot of pain, she tried all sorts of things until 2 months in she saw a breastfeeding specialist who said she should just bend her wrist slightly to move the baby's head back. She never had a problem again and bf both of her children until they were over 1! Good luck and congratulations.

  • I breastfed both of mine exclusively and there's only 13 1/2 months between them. I took the decision early on that i would breast feed, and purposely didn't buy bottles/equipment so that i couldn't give up if it was tough at first. With my first, it was easy - she latched on, she fed, oh boy did she feed! My second was tongue tied, was treated in hospital the day he was born, and struggled to latch on a bit. I found, to begin with (first couple of days), that stripping both of us off and climbing into bed, skin to skin helped immensely. i loved it, and if ever i was going to have more children would do it again.

    However, that's not to say it's for everyone. All i would say, is, if you are thinking about it, give it a go.... there's something truly magical about 3am, Sitting in bed, just baby and you awake, feeling them so close.... a bottle can never truly give you that feeling.

    Good luck xxxxx

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