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Thread: please tell me i'm not a bad mother :(

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    66

    Default please tell me i'm not a bad mother :(

    i only work a few nights a week.... i'm gone anywhere from 2-4 hours. i only worry about leaving a bottle for my lo if i'm gonna be gone more than 2. i've heard a lot of women say they pump before their lo nurses in the morning, and there is enough for them to have breakfast.... i haven't tried this yet cause i wake when she does and if i make her wait there is lots of screaming involved and i've had supply issues until recently and fear there won't be enough for her if i pump. so i'm having a hard time pumping enough to leave for her and have been thinking it would just be easier to leave a bottle of formula. i had to supplement a lot until about a month ago and have been ecstatic to be away from formula and have all sorts of guilt about her even having one drop to begin with. i can't believe i'm leaning towards this, its just easier. in the big picture i know its not the end of the world, i know lots of kids raised on formula alone, i myself was a supplemented baby and i know it doesn't kill ya. am i a terrible mother if i give her the occassional bottle of formula?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    196

    Default Re: please tell me i'm not a bad mother :(

    Hi! I just had some ideas for you in order to avoid the formula

    #1: When you say you are worried there "won't be enough for her" if you pump before she eats in the morning do you mean for her to nurse immediately after you pump?

    If that is what you are concerned about, DON'T BE! I've pumped before nursing a lot and my DD always gets it out! You will always be able to produce milk for your baby when they nurse, but it doesn't always work in reverse (pumping right after nursing I get maybe half an ounce, pump before nursing I get 5-6 ounces).

    Does that make sense?

    #2: On the nights you don't work, you could pump after your little one has gone to bed. This can be hit or miss for some women, as some report a drop in supply in the evening. It works for me. It is worth a try!

    #3: You could pump on the weekends to try and stock up for the week, especially during nap time.

    GOOD LUCK!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Default Re: please tell me i'm not a bad mother :(

    I know that I personally prefer to give breastmilk as opposed to formula. However, I do have a family to take care of and two other kids with tons of activities and a dh. I only work a few days a month but when I do it is 12 hours straight usually. I decided long ago that if I had to work and I do so that we can pay bills so that I can stay home most of the time, I am not going to stress myself if I have to give him some formula. My main focus while I am away from him it to try to pump whenever I can but it is usually limited to 15 min every 4 hours. Sometimes I get alot, sometimes I don't. But I know that I am stimulating things to keep supply up. A lot of times when I work I get stuck in recovery and can't get a break. There are also some times when I know I'm tired that DH may give a bottle in the middle of the night and let me sleep.

    I think we do what works for our family and sometimes it just isn't ideal to always be able to breastfeed when we need to work or take care of other kids. I try to never feel guilty about a decision that is good for our whole family. Little A doesn't know the difference as long as his belly is full.
    We all know that Breast is Best, but do what you feel is best for your child based on the situation.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Default Re: please tell me i'm not a bad mother :(

    You are certainly NOT a bad mother no matter what decision you make. You are obviously trying very hard to provide what you feel is best for your baby and your family. It probably took a lot of hard work to get to the point of exclusive nursing in the first place, and you deserve to feel good about accomplishing that! Since it sounds like you don't really want to have to give formula, though, here are some ideas. Some mothers find it works well to pump about an hour after the first morning feeding (you said you work in the evening so I'm guessing that would fit in your schedule ok?). Or, if there is a time of day that your baby tends to nurse less frequently, you could pump then. If you pump at a regular time each day, your body will start to see that as another feeding and make more milk at that time. You may not get much at first, but after awhile it should improve. Since you aren't going to be gone for very long periods of time, you probably won't really need a whole lot of milk.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    855

    Default Re: please tell me i'm not a bad mother :(

    You are Not a bad mom. I had to supplement my baby after nursing for the first 8 weeks after birth to fill her up. I never had enough milk to pump with and when i had to be gone, i left her a bottle of formula. She was fine with only nursing until about 2 weeks ago when it just didn't seem to be satisfying her. I began supplementing with formula 1-2 times a day with my Lact-Aide nursing system again. She now refuses any kind of bottle. I felt like a bad mom when i had to start supplementing her after birth, but then i realized that the health and happiness of my baby is what makes me a good mom, so if i can give her that, I am okay. Breast is best, but millions of babies turn out just fine with formula. You shouldn't feel bad for taking good care of your baby

  6. #6
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    Aug 2006
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    Default Re: please tell me i'm not a bad mother :(

    First of all, feeling guilty never helped anyone and you should definitely let go of that. I just want to tell you what's worked for me, if you decide to keep pumping. I also am away from my daughter two nights a week. Her last feeding on those nights is a bottle of breastmilk. She usually eats and then goes to sleep around 6:30pm and I get home at 9:00pm one night and 8:00pm the other. I just pump as soon as I get home. Since I missed a feeding, my supply is higher and I usually am able to get the next bottle this way. By pumping I also make sure my supply stays high, despite the missed feeding. Sometimes she wakes up to eat again before I go to bed, but never before 10:30pm or so, so I usually pump both breasts. If I am afraid that I may not have enough if she wakes up I pump just the one I would have used for the missed feeding, which is usually quite full by that time. When you pump make sure you stay with it long enough to get multiple let-downs. If you pump at the same time every night your body will be conditioned to let down more easily. You could even pump when you are at work if you're away longer. But the nights that I do it I am away 4 to 5 hours and I haven't had a problem waiting to pump until I get home. In fact, I think it helps increase the amount I get so I can have enough for the next bottle. Hope that helps, but remember, if you decide to use formula don't sweat it. Your baby has already benefited from the breastmilk you've given her, and breastfeeding is only one component of good parenting. Good luck!

  7. #7
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    Aug 2006
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    Default Re: please tell me i'm not a bad mother :(

    Oh, I also wanted to respond to a previous post that suggested pumping right before a feeding. I have never tried this myself but I have had to feed my LO an hour or so after pumping and it has been a little problematic. I think this is because she has gotten used to the immediate gratification of a bottle plus an overactive letdown, so when my breasts are a little emptier (still plenty of milk, but she has to work harder for it), she tends to tantrum a bit until the first let-down. I am not sure how your LO is, but just wanted to suggest caution. And I could be totally wrong about the reason for her fussiness, but it has happened like that on more than one occasion.

  8. #8
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    Jun 2006
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    Oregon
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    Default Re: please tell me i'm not a bad mother :(

    Hugs to you!

    You've gotten some great advice from previous posters about how to easily pump enough for your little one. Another tip I might add would be to nurse right before you leave your baby and again right when you return. 2-4 hours really isn't that long to be separated from your baby. And in my opinion wouldn't warrant risking going down the slippery slope of formula supplementing for. Every time you supplement you are telling your body to make less milk. If you are already concerned about your supply not being adequate, supplementing is a sure way to make it even worse ... and worse and worse. Because it tends to be a vicious cycle. I'm sorry if this sounds harsh ... but it really is the truth many times. You interfere with your body's ability to create supply on demand. Not only do you miss the feeding that the actual bottle of formula is replacing, but it may affect the next one or even two nursings by making the baby less hungry and less apt to nurse as well. Your breasts receive the message to make less milk ... your confidence will be affected too as your supply fades. It's an awful downhill slide I've seen so many moms succumb to. And it really sounds like you don't want to use formula ... that you are having a hard time with it. That is where my message is coming from ... not meaning to say it's the end of the world if you supplement, but your post sounds like you would really like to avoid doing so if possible.

    If you are afraid pumping before nursing won't leave enough for your little one when she nurses next, you could always try single pumping for a bit and see how that works for you. Then she has one breast that will have a faster flow when she nurses next.

    I hope something here helps you ... there are a lot of good tips to pumping more above from previous posters! I hope you find a solution that works for you and your little one soon.

    Mama to Adeline Brett, breastfed for 4.5 years (12/14/05) and little Eliza June, new tiny sprite in my arms and still learning the ropes (7/18/10)

    Family Blog • If I'm here I'm nursing and typing one handed ... forgive the typos!
    And I'm not a newbie at all ... I'm trying to get my old user ID working from back in the day ... paint-the-moon

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    66

    Default Re: please tell me i'm not a bad mother :(

    thanks everyone.. i'm gonna try the pumping in the morning thing before she eats i guess. i would let her go the full 4 hrs just waiting for me, but i fear she will be a nightmare for her daddy... he tells me she screams bloody murder for 20 min stretches when i'm not there and this breaks my heart cause she never cries when i'm home, only fusses a bit here and there. my ibclc told me 4 hrs. should be ok too causes she's just about 3 months old now and should be able to go that long. but truthfully the only time she goes more than an hour an a half between feedings, is when she's sleeping. all great advice tho, that i will surely keep in mind... i truely do want to avoid the formula, just wish i didn't hate that darn pump so much!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    117

    Default Re: please tell me i'm not a bad mother :(

    i know this has already been suggested but it really worked for me so i wanted to mention it again and that is to pump whenever you can and just save it up for a bottle.
    in the early weeks i would pump after i nursed and then combine about 3 pumping in order to offer a bottle(instead of supplementing formula as was suggested by her doctor.)

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