28 October 2010

Bottle or breast?

Celoteh Aku MamaGlam at 2:15 PM
Cerita ni: 

Posted by: Brigitte Rozario @

Both the bottle and breast offer conveniences and drawbacks for breastfeeding mums. Feeding straight from the breast means you don't have to deal with bottles or sterilisers; all you need is you and your baby. However, that also means you can't go far from your baby.

The bottle, on the other hand, offers freedom for the mum who can express her milk and store it for someone else to feed baby later.

Which is better?

Heidi Shamsuddin

Mum of three Heidi Shamsuddin says:

“All three of my children were breastfed for the first six months or so. When my eldest daughter was six months old, I had to go back to work so I expressed the milk and filled it in the bottle for her. But she refused to take it. She would actually wait until I came back from work. So she would not feed from 8am till about 7pm. Thankfully, this didn't go on for long because shortly after that she went to the child minder who introduced her to formula milk. She liked the formula from the bottle but she just didn't like my milk from the bottle. It was the same with my second child – he too wouldn't take my expressed milk from the bottle.

For the third child, I found it difficult to continue breastfeeding because I had started a business. It was very difficult to stay home and continue breastfeeding him. By about three months I had to go back to work so I would breastfeed him when I was home but supplement that with formula from the bottle.

I did try giving him my milk from the bottle but it didn't work. For some reason, all my children preferred my milk at the source.

I prefer breastfeeding to bottle feeding because it's easy – you don't have to sterilise anything; if you go out you don't have to carry any bottles. The down side is you are very much tied to your baby especially when your baby is very young and is feeding every two to three hours. That means, if you need to go out you only have the two or three hours to go out and then you have to come back home for the next feed. It's quite a strain and that's why it's difficult for working mothers.

It's a bit difficult when you're breastfeeding in public the first time. You're very conscious but by the third child you won't care anymore. Whether you get looks from those around you depends on where you are. If you're in a family-friendly cafe, then you wouldn't. You would choose where you breastfeed, after all - find more private places. For example, if you walk into a cafe, you would head to a corner to breastfeed.

Breastfeeding works better for the mother for the early stage when you have to have baby near you anyway and you have to be there. But, eventually when the baby is bigger I think the bottle is more convenient because then other people can feed the baby, too. The onus is not just on the mother.”

Juliana Benedict with daughter Ellie

Juliana Benedict, mother of an infant, says:

“Due to a difficult delivery, the hospital started my baby off on formula without consulting me in advance. When I returned home, she was already on 3 ounces of milk per feed which was what she was getting at the hospital nursery. Although I tried to breastfeed for 40 minutes each time, she was still crying for more. I then decided to top up each feed with formula milk.

A total switch was only done when Ellie was 2 months plus. I had gone back to work and way before that I had not been producing much. She used to fuss and cry at my breast when I tried to breastfeed her when I came home from work.

I would have preferred to breastfeed her exclusively if it was possible. It gave us the opportunity to bond and be close. In addition, breastfeeding is definitely more convenient - no bottles, formula, hot water, boiled water, etc.

My mum had encouraged me to breastfeed, and so did most people I knew.

I even bought a breast pump three days after I returned from the hospital. If I could have produced more milk, I would have continued to breastfeed regardless if I was going back to work or not.

In my opinion, breastfeeding is better for both the mother and baby. Unfortunately, we didn't have much of an option. However, we're still doing fine with the bottle. Ellie is healthy and thriving well.”

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