Breast vs Bottle

Little Man was breast fed for 1 year. I hadn't planned to breast feed him at all, but I decided to give it a try and was successful. Minus the 7 weeks that I went back to work, I stayed home with him for 2 years. Staying home made breastfeeding for a year easy. It was enjoyable, but not anything that I was passionate about. My main motivation for it was financial; formula is so expensive.

Ladybug is not getting the same breast treatment. I had to return to work for good with her, so I decided that pumping and working was a pain in the ass too cumbersome. It was especially annoying trying when people would knock on my office door while I was pumping. It messed with me mentally. Then, I would have to do the walk of shame walk down the hall with my breast pump things and bottles of milk to the kitchen. For whatever reason (good or bad) it embarrassed me to carry juice expressed from my body down the hall to the kitchen.

When Ladybug went to daycare, she got all breast milk in her bottles. She didn't do well in the beginning; she drank only 2oz from each bottle. Then I would nurse her in the evenings and in the middle of the night. I slowly weaned her off the total breast milk bottle because I wanted to stop being cowlike pumping at work. No matter what I did, she still didn't take the bottle well, She saved her hunger up to hang off my girls for the middle of the night feedings, so one night I stopped those middle of the night leachings nursing sessions and only gave her bottles. It helped, she started drinking the bottle in its entirety after a few short days, and she started sleeping longer at night (of course as I am writing this I am functioning on little sleep. She got up 3 times last night).

My breasts paid the price for the quick weaning of the midnight feedings. I'm pretty sure you aren't supposed to stop cold turkey, but I couldn't keep getting up 4-5 times in the middle of the night. The girls grew to the size of honeydew melons and were as hard as rocks. They have started to shrink, which will undoubtedly leave me with girls that sag to my belly button. Oh how I long for a breast lift.

And now, the pros and cons of bottle feeding:

Pros:
Anyone can feed her.
The hubs takes one of her middle of the night feedings.
We can go places and visit people even when she needs to eat. I don't have to worry about my modesty and whipping out my boob in front of people.

I can drink Diet Coke without fear of hyping her up with caffiene (I'm drinking one now - the first caffienated beverage I have had since November - watch out...likely to cause hyping on my end).
I can take Excedrin! I had an Excedrin party last week - I heart Excedrin!
She can have overnights with grandparents long before she is one year old (I see an overnight happening during our trip to Cali at Christmas). Grammy, if you're reading this, you can have her anytime you want before then.

Cons:
There are a boat load of bottles and nipples to wash everyday.
Formula is so expensive.
The poops smell horrendous; so horrendous that I have almost puked on a couple of occasions.
The bottles take forever to warm in the middle of the night.

I'll get used to it, but it will take some time for me. As a former breast feeder, this is a whole new world for me. I was never one of those la leche league fanatics looking down my nose at bottle feeders; I have always been of the opinion that you do what works for you, and you should never let anyone make you feel bad for your decision. Often times I would look at those bottle feeding moms with envy - now I am one of them. The truth of it is that both sides have their pros and cons.

5 People Raise Their Wine Glasses to Me:

Rebecca said...

I was a bottle feeder. I tried breast feeding with Benny but it didn't last longer than a month - I got Mastitis, everything hurt, it blew. With Yeva I didn't even bother. I admire you for doing it - I wish I had been able to try longer, but I just couldn't.

One thing I learned from my doctor and did with both kids when the boobs swelled up like watermelons - Chlorotrimeton (the allergy medicine) - it is over the counter and within 4 days your boobs will feel completely back to normal. It dries everything up.

Fratzels said...

Excellent tip! I'll dry that in the hopes of drying these girls out.

One Teacher's Journey said...

your ending is the key! You have to what works for you! Everyone has a different situation, different help at home, different children and temperments, and different levels of frustration. I tried breast feeding with all three and had such different expriences with all. And of course all three children came with differnt life experiences each time. Now that the kids are older, I don't see any of them traumatized or growing a third eye due to my decision on breast or bottle feeding! God wants you to enjoy your children....in whatever way you can do that!

Fratzels said...

Heather, I love that you are blogging! I am going to stay in better touch with you this way.

Totallyscrappy said...

I breastfed all three of my boys and I worked and pumped for two of the boys. I always felt funny walking to the kitchen with little bottles of my body fluids, too.
You are so right... you do what works for you. So much of parenting boils down to that!

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