I have been successfully breastfeeding my 7 month old daughter up until now. We've had a few bumps, mostly caused by my stress causing slow let-down and her getting frustrated, however, they've only lasted a day or two and we've gotten through it. But in the past two weeks or so, she's been too distracted to successfully breastfeed without assistance during the day. She is fine for about 10 seconds at the breast, doesn't get full milk, and either bounces off to watch her 2 1/2 year old brother, or starts fussing, which includes pulling my hair, hitting my face, grunting, kicking, etc. This has made breasfeading very unenjoyable. The more she fusses, the more tense I get, and milk letdown gets further away.
What I started doing was pumping to get letdown and then putting her on, however after a week of this, she now seems to expect it and I'm not sure I can continue doing this until my goal of breastfeeding for a year. She was at 6 feedings a day, until I started food about three weeks ago and dropped to 5 feedings. She is not as hungry now that she is getting food, and not as patient with letdown. She still seems fine with the nighttime nursing, as she is tired, but her first thing in the morning feeding is starting to get fussy too. And again, she gets fussy, I get tense. Bad combination. She is sleeping through the night - I pump at 9pm before bed and she gets up around 5. That's our longest stretch and does not seem to be affecting milk supply.
She would not take a bottle up until a few days ago when I got her to do so out of frustration. I pumped full-time for a whole year with her brother, who completely refused to nurse after I returned to work, so I know all about pumping. But I'm hoping not to pump full time with her - it will be tough with my inquisitive toddler who is facinated with the process. I'm almost OK with one or two bottles a day, but REALLY want to keep up the morning and nighttime nursing, and hopefully nap, if I can.
I am looking for some advice to help with the fussyness and speeding up letdown. I have to weigh my desire to breastfeed with also caring for my toddler son, and breastfeeding has become very unenjoyable at this point. It was very relaxing, and I'm hoping I can get there again.