Solely expressing to bottle feed baby?


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Apr 10, 2005
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Does anyone solely express breastmilk to feed their little one? I am trying to keep breastfeeding but I am really struggling with it and was wondering if I expressed milk then my DH could give her a feed? Also by bottle feeding the expressed milk I like the idea of being able to see how many ounzes she has had as with the breastfeeding it's all on demand.

I know my little girl isn't even a wk old yet but I am considering going over to formula but have a bit of a guilt complex (I'm not sure why - my husband and his siblings were all bottle fed and are all healthy, I think it's just because there is a pressure to keep with the breastfeeding and I feel like i'm letting everyone down).

Any advice very welcome


Oliva 6 days old
I think expressing breast milk is an excellent idea. I have been expressing and formula feeding for the last 4 weeks and it has gone really well. I have stopped today becuase my milk has all but dried up but that's my own fault becuase I didn't express enough. It's the best of both worlds if you ask me :D
Hi Kim

Thanks for your reply - do you mind me asking you some questions that I have?
How did Rubie find taking a bottle instead of boob? Was she confused? My midwife told me not to express before 6 wks (this was when I asked her if I could express for DH to feed her when I thought perhaps I'd go and meet a friend)
How long did your milk last when you expressed?
Was Rubie confused by formula and milk? Does she settle/sleep longer/better after either breast milk or formula?

Thanks Kim

Olivia 6 days old
It can be a struggle to breastfeed at first, but it does get better and easier.
If you want to express go for it, but also if you stuck with it a while longer you could see and improvement really soon, one week is still very early days.
Expressing can be hard too and it can be more worrying if you can't get the milk out easily.
How did Rubie find taking a bottle instead of boob? she took the bottle straight away no problem
Was she confused? not at all, more relieved to be getting a good fill!
My midwife told me not to express before 6 wks (this was when I asked her if I could express for DH to feed her when I thought perhaps I'd go and meet a friend)
How long did your milk last when you expressed? i started expressing on 18jan and have given up today but it's my own fault I was lazy with it, I would go out all day and not express, but I regret it now. when i first started expressing i would still breast feed at night and it was fine but then i realised she would sleep for longer on firmula so i took the easy option :oops:
Was Rubie confused by formula and milk? she never shows any sign that she can tell the difference
Does she settle/sleep longer/better after either breast milk or formula? she settles better and sleeps longer on formula but is more sick

I'm not proud of the fact that I have given up breast feeding. I know I should have persevered and I wish I had, but on the flip side I have enjoyed my baby a lot more since switching to formula and we are both happier so there are 2 sides to it. i had trouble bonding with her and hated breast feeding, so it was best for us.
I have found expressing difficut (get bout an ounce out :( ) but everyone is different. the reason you are told to wait till 6 weeks is so your body gets used to how much milk your baby needs and expressing can interefere with this, byut if you are solely expressing I can't see this being a problem. also there is meant to be a risk of teat confusion as a baby uses different sucking techniques with a nipple and a teat, but personally have not had any difficulties using both a bottle and a breast. I have also been using both formula and breast milk. Seren is mainly breastfed but has a bottle of formula at night as I found that she didn't seem to be satisfied and it also gave my nipples a break.She first used a bottle at 4 days old and was fine, no probs. You don't mention what problems you are experiencing, I had sore and cracked nipples and it took a week for my milk to arrive. I found it so tough and wanted to give up but set myself little targets like doing it for a week, two weeks, a month etc. And it is true what they say, it does get easier, I am still having a few issues but am actually enjoying feeeding her and I never thought I would say that. They don't tell you the true story of what breastfeeding is like, just make it sound that all you have to do is put tummy to mummy and nipple to nose and there you go!! It is harder not knowing how much they have taken but if they come off the breast or fall asleep and don't want anymore, have plenty of wet nappies and seem happy and alert then they are getting all they need. However at the end of the day, if you are not enjoying BFing then you have the right to feed your baby how you want, and don't feel guilty. You have given your LO the best start.

I know you asked Kim the questions but thought I would put how I have found formula and bfing. Breast milk can be kept in the fridge for 24 hrs, and frozen for 3 months. I have found no difference between how Seren sleeps or settles after formula or breast milk, breast milk is digested quicker so she does need a feed sooner but she has slept seven hours after breast feeding also.

Good luck with it hun xx
It can be a struggle to breastfeed at first, but it does get better and easier. .
If you want to express go for it, but also if you stuck with it a while longer you could see and improvement really soon, one week is still very early days..

I think the hormones and sleep deprivation is taking it's toll on me and I'm desperate to find a way to give relieve some of the pressure I'm feeling hence looking at possible routes to try to get as much breast milk to little one. I will try and breast feed for a while longer (DH and I have kind of agreed to assess it again when his paternity leave ends a wk Monday). I don't feel I know much about expressing only/mixing formula with breast milk to know if it'll help us or not.

Kim - thanks for your reply, I do agree that what works best for you and your family is the best thing to do. Like you I have this guilt feeling for thinking about going over to formula (after the milk dries up from expressing) but I need to weigh up the benefits to us as a family.

Thanks ladies , it's really great to be able to get other people's experiences.
Olivia 6 days old

I had a rough time in the beginning as well as the nurses didnt really help me in the hospital.
Kiara wasnt latching proper then for the first week she wouldnt barely eat off the right side but by two weeks everything straightenedotu and she feeds great now, when your breast become engorged i was ready to quite cuz it hurt so bad but the nurse came and expressed my breasts now i have a pump but the feedings have gone so well that i havent used it for weeks.
It does get better so if your wanting to continue breast feeding i would cuz it'll get easier for you, but if you wanna express go for it.
Hey :D

I expressed mostly before Ella was even 2 weeks old as I had mastitis and didn't want her near me for a bit. Then I slowly started getting her more back onto the breast and things started to get better. The MW said not to express, but the HV was fine with it. Do whatever you think is going to make you happy - Ella was always more unsettled if she could tell that I was stressed out.

Ella has never had confusion between a bottle and the nipple and takes both fine. Maybe if you had a break from having her on your breast for a bit then you'll start feeling a bit more positive again. Plus DH can help with the nightfeeds and take a bit off of you for a few days so you can recover.

Whatever decision you make is your decision and you are doing it for the best reason, so don't let anyone make you feel guilty about it.
Hi Beanie
You don't mention what problems you are experiencing,
Olivia doesn't always latch on very well and gets really frantic and impatient and I find it really painful breastfeeding. The constant feeding is meaning that I'm up all night and all day - it can take an hour sometimes for her to feed then by the time I've winded and changed her it seems like 5 mins until the next feed. I do realise my problems probably aren't as bad as some but I really am struggling with being the sole feeder.

Also, I'm really nervous about feeding in public - where do you all do it when you're out?

What formula do you all use?

Saulino - my breasts are also engorged and very lumpy so I have expressed some milk off to make them more comfortable. I do love looking down at my wee girl when she's feeding. It is encouraging when you say it gets better

Olivia 6 days old
The engorged lumpy boobies do go!

I quite miss my rock hard firm breasts and fantastic cleavage now ;)

I found b/f painful until Ella got bigger and so did her mouth iykwim. I couldn't quite get enough boob in there and she ended up tugging on the nipple, causing blisters, cracks etc.

What helped was a great MW that came out at 8.40pm one night and helped me to position Ella right. Have you spoken to you MW?
Rosieroo - I forgot that you were expressing for Ella for a while, did you find it affected your milk supply? I do think that I'm going to try and express a wee bit (might actually do it tonight cos they're rock solid and painful and if it keeps for 24 hours in the fridge we can try it tomorrow as tonight would be too stressful)

What bottles do you use?

p.s did you get my pm? :oops:

Olivia 6 days old
I use tommee tippee bottles and aptimal formula. I will try and find the number for the NCT as they have a helpline and can arrange for a breast feeding counseller to come and visit you or can tell you what support is available in your area x
Ladies - you've really helped to make me feel more positive tonight, perhaps I will make a good mummy after all.

Beanie, thanks for NCT info - I called them when my milk came in, I couldn't move they were so solid (I usually have small breasts, not sure if this makes a difference but the solid lumps went right under my arms :shock: I couldn't raise my arms for the searing pain). Apparently they don't come out in my area? I've just found some info on a breastfeeding clinic in me area on Wednesdays - I think I'll go there next wk.

Rosieroo- my midwife does take time to show me positioning when she visits but when it comes to me positioning the baby when MW has gone I can't get it right . So glad to hear the lumpiness goes :)

Olivia 6 days old
Lucy said:
perhaps I will make a good mummy after all.

no perhaps about it hun :) . i found the bfing clinic good as it helped build my confidence x
Lauz -

I did this, it's worked really well, though you have to pump religiously or your milk will go down. And it is doubly tiring for you when you express AND feed because you literally express, feed, sterilise, every time and it can be a bit of a chore. DH can help you though so that's a good one.

I agree with Sue that it can become a chore if you are expressing, feeding and sterilising. Plus you will have to make sure that you express a bit in the night if DH is doing the feed to make sure your supply doesn't dip. But it honestly did help me having a bit of a break from having her on me and I started to miss it within a day. Then I had more confidence to put her back on.
You have the mini medula though don't you? I used to take it to bed with me on battery then it was really portable to move about. When DH put Ella back down he'd take the milk and decant it into a bottle or storage container for the fridge.
It does get easier and less painful as your nipples get used to feeding. It doesn't hurt so much at all now, sometimes I'd be crying and feel sick whenever she woke up. But now it's a lot lot better :)
I use Mam teats (I think they are called that) as they are a lot flatter like she makes my nip during a feed :lol:
Sorry Rosieroo - i've asked you this before, which parts of the medula can you sterilise? So I could decant into a bottle and keep it in the fridge and warm it when needed? What do you use to freeze breastmilk? I think I saw some sterile bags in Boots ages ago - would that be suitable?

Thanks for your replies

Olivia 1 wk
I tried to do this but it really isn't working out now. You need to be committed to do this every day and not use forumla if you start. It is very time consuming, especially with the sterilizing which has to be done every time.

Good luck and I hope you make a better job of it than I did.

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