When I was pregnant with Holly, I originally wanted to bottle feed. That was my plan up until the week before we had Holly. At that point I looked into it a bit more and found that for at least the first 6 weeks its better to breast feed, as your baby gets lots of nutrients, vitamins and antibodies from you. Where as bottle feeding, they would still get the nutrients and vitamins but not the antibodies.
When babies are born, their immune systems are weak as they have never been exposed to the outside world and all he germs that goes along with it. The only thing your baby will be protected against is flu and whooping cough, and that's only if you have had your vaccinations.
Holly was pretty good with breast feeding. When we went to the recovery room she was starving, and took straight away. I know some babies have problems with latching on. This can be sometimes if you have small nipples the baby can latch properly. I would suggest nipple guards. You can get these from Boots or Mother care. All these are, are round plastic guards which make a bigger surface area for you baby to latch too. Midwives might not recommend these. However its whatever works for you and your baby that's important. Mothers instinct will tell you. For the first 2 days Holly fed every hour for 30mins. It is very tiring but the feeling you get from it is amazing. I cant explain the feeling you get from it. People will try tell you about it, but until you do it, you don't understand.
One of the down sides of breast feeding is for the first 2 days all you produce is colostrum. Now this is the important bit. Basically its full of vitamins and antibodies to help boost your baby's body in the first few days of birth. On the 3rd day is the baby blue day lol. Its a very emotional day as your milk first comes through and hormones are flying everywhere and you cry at the drop of a hat! lol.
I breast feed Holly for about 3 weeks straight. But she wasn't putting on as much weight as a normal baby and she wasn't sleeping properly. So it was suggested that we give her 1 bottle feed at night before she went to bed. This helped a lot with her weight and helping her sleep at night as it was heavier in her tummy than breast milk. But the down side of this was that my body thought I didn't need all the milk I was producing so, it started to reduce the amount. I did start to express however eventually after 10 weeks of breast feeding, I had to stop, as my body wasn't producing enough milk for Holly anymore and I had to start full time bottle feeding.
A bit longIi know!! lol but that's my story of why I had to start bottle feeding. I'm not telling anyone that n
they need to breast feed. Its totally up to the the individual and the baby. In my opinion, I would definitely breast feed again, but I would not do the 1 bottle feed a night and I wouldn't express. It all just didn't agree with my body and milk production.
Advantages of breast feeding:
- Transfer of antibodies, vitamins and nutrients
- Bonding with your baby
- It provides a form of contraceptive (Don't rely on this as a birth control though lol)
- Theres no messing about with heating bottles up and needing to wait on them cooling
- It helps you lose your baby weight much quicker (uses up to 500 calories a day)
- Less chances of you baby having diarrhoea or being sick
- Less chance of colic
- Cheaper than buying milk formula
Disadvantages of breast feeding:
- It can be very tiring
- It can be very time consuming
- Some people don't like to breastfeed in public
Advantages of bottle feeding:
- Easy to do in public
- Baby still gets vitamins and nutrients
Disadvantages of bottle feeding:
- Costs a lot to buy regular milk formula (£8-£10 a tub)
- No transfer of antibodies
- Need to make up the cool bottle
- Mum wont lose weight as quickly and might find it hard to lose that baby weight
I know this is a huge post!! however i think its something that first time mums don't really know about. It's not really explained properly to mums what happens and how it happens.
I hope you find this interesting and informative.