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Thread: HELP - weaning but not by choice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    35

    Unhappy HELP - weaning but not by choice

    I feel like my world is crashing around me. My DD is 8 months and has been ebf. She has been doing great on solids and everything was going pretty good until.....

    We got sick about 8 weeks ago and my milk supply went WAY down. I was into my freezer stash and wiped it most of the way out while I tried to get my supply back. I worked with my LC for about 5 weeks to try to get my supply back. We went down many roads to increasing supply - Fenugreek, Oatmeal, even Reglan and a commercial pump.... She was nursing 4x day and I was pumping 5. Try as I might, my supply never really came all the way back. I got sick again early last week and what supply I'd been able to improve went down again.

    Now, we're on a trip out of town for 10 days and I'm all but dry. I still nurse her when she tries and then when she gets mad, I switch to a bottle. I'm having to give her formula which is making me insane. I broke down at Walmart and started bawling today when I was getting her formula. DH thinks I'm stupid and doesn't "get" why it's a big deal.

    DD is not drinking much at all and it's 100+ where we are. She won't drink much water, she won't drink much juice, and she only had about 8oz formula today. I know that's not enough. I don't have any idea what IS enough, but I know 8oz isn't.

    Now we're having a really hard time getting to sleep at night. She's not happy that she can't nurse to almost sleep. She gets to the almost drowsy point and then starts hitting and pushing my boobs trying to make them give her more. She ends up getting mad/upset and ends up wide awake. She won't take the bottle.

    She's never had a problem taking the bottle at daycare. But it's always been momma milk. She seems to like the formula alright. I tried samples of powder yesterday and she wasn't taking much so I got ready mixed today cause I think it's supposed to taste better.

    What do I do? How do I help her with this sudden transition? Do I keep feeding her when she insists and at night?

    Please help me help her do this - we don't have much choice.

    I'm freaking out but trying not to cry when she does try to nurse. I had no idea this was going to be so hard.

    Thanks for any help you can give me. If you can find my sanity too, that would be great too....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: HELP - weaning but not by choice

    I am sorry to hear you having such a hard time. I think 24oz of formula is recommended a day but since she is older than 6 months if she eats other foods well she would probably be ok with less. I would keep letting her nurse maybe your supply could come back. Have you heard of Domepidone. Its a med that you can get on the internet and sometimes you docotor might be able to prescribe it. It can really help increase you supply. I breastfed my twins for 9 months and then dried up probably due to alot of reasons they transitioned well to formula and were always good eaters but I totally get the freakin out part. I felt the same way. It's normal to feel a grief and a loss when something doesn't work out the way you had planned. Even if you are weaning, just know that you did a great job and do feel guilty it sounds like you gave it your all.
    Did this for 9months with Kailey and Hailey
    who are now 8.

    weaned Dane somewhere around 3.5 no longer he likes to sleep with his sisters He's now 5

    Now I am , , My baby Cruz who is almost 6 months and my last baby

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,006

    Default Re: HELP - weaning but not by choice

    Mama, you do not need to wean! You have hit a rough patch- a very rough patch- but that doesn't mean you have to wean. I suggest letting your LO nurse as often and for as long as possible, including at night. A nursing baby is the fastest way to increase supply, since your baby is probably a lot better at getting milk from the breast than the pump is. I would continue to top up with formula, using SMALL amounts and switching back to the breast for more sucking after the baby seems less hungry. If you have time, add in some pumping after you nurse. You were pumping 5 x per day, and while that's great I suggest aiming for around 8 times a day. You want to mimic a newborn's feeding pattern using the pump.

    Now, if you do the above, I think there's an excellent chance you'll resurrect your supply. But what if I'm wrong ()? In that case, you still don't need to wean. Just continue to nurse on demand and top up with formula. You will continue to make as much milk as your baby takes, and that amount, be it small or large, will always be beneficial to both you and your baby. And at a year you can drop the formula and just nurse- by a year old many babies are taking breastmilk as a supplement to their diet of solids, rather than as their main source of nutrition.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    51

    Default Re: HELP - weaning but not by choice

    First ~hugs~ I cried too the first time I had to give my LO formula. In my case my supply came in really, really late because of a failed induction that led to a c-section. It took two weeks of constant pumping and nursing to wean off of formula but we did it. I would agree with mommal's advice and would suggest you let your LO suckle overnight if you can handle co-sleeping like that. Also, try hand expressing after every pump session for about 5 minutes, you'll probably get another oz or two and that does wonders for supply as well. I watched a lot of on-line videos on how to do it because I just couldn't figure it out on my own and I've never been blessed with an active let-down (probably a good thing), but really, hand expression has my supply increasing daily without any additional pump sessions. It works, and some research shows that mothers who hand express and pump for their premies increase their milk supply 8x more than women that pump alone.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    35

    Default Re: HELP - weaning but not by choice

    Ok, ladies.... I'm about out of my mind.... I took some of the advise here and added 1-2 pumping sessions a day. I was doing up to 7 pump sessions a day. I also tried hand expression, but I guess I didn't really get the hang of it because after doing it for over a week, I can't seem to get more than a few more drops in a matter of 3 or 4 minutes. I even went back to my PIS from my Freedom at the recommendation from the LC.

    So, I was making 16-19 oz a day. I'm now down to 4-6oz. The LC said not to stress. She's almost 9 months and has been eating solids pretty good since about 5 months. The LC said to make sure she's getting lots of calcium rich foods and to offer her other liquids if she won't do the formula like she "should." She even suggested that between 9 - 10 months we may be able to switch her to cow's milk? (No allergies in the family and she does fine with cheeses/yogurts now, I guess?)

    Here's my dilemma. She wants to nurse BADLY! I know I need to be able to nurse her when she goes to bed or she won't fall asleep. Because of this, when we get home from work (5:30 or so), I won't nurse her - I just pumped on the way home, so there's not much milk anyways. I don't nurse her during our early evenings anymore either. I wait until I put her down for the night and feed her then.

    She has become clingy and impossible. If I put her down from the time we get home until the time we lay down, she screams. She'll get distracted with Daddy and forget about me for a few min at a time, but... .if she sees me, she starts screaming. If we sit down and play, all she's really doing is trying to eat me - my knees, toes, elbow, neck, arm, boob, you name it. All she does is cry as she eats me. It breaks my heart. I'm afraid to nurse her when she wants to nurse (all the time) because I won't have enough milk to put her down for bed. I think I may have to start. I can't be curled up in a ball on the floor bawling every night when she begs to nurse like this.... <sigh>

    I really want to be able to continue nursing her through her first birthday and beyond. I didn't think that baby time would mean so much to me, but it does. I think she feels the same way.

    I feel as if I've exhausted my options to increase my milk again. She's getting about 1/2 formula at daycare and I'm ok with that now. The DCP mixes milk and formula so she'll drink it easier. She suggests keeping the mix going as long as we can. I don't have enough milk left to mix it at home - and she wants nothing but me when I get home. I can't even get her to drink pear juice out of my water bottle.... (usually her favorite!).

    Any suggestions? How do I make this as easy on us as I can? I'm ready to jump out the window at this point! <crying as I type>

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    SoCal
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    Default Re: HELP - weaning but not by choice

    As mommal said, nursing is a better way to increase supply than pumping. I would nurse on demand when you get home AND at night, your supply will catch up. Do you also drink a ton of water eat oatmeal, take fenugreek, etc?
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

    Watch Your Language

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,006

    Default Re: HELP - weaning but not by choice

    Oh Mama, I am sorry you haven't had good results yet. Not everyone is going to get good results from pumping, or get them as fast as hoped. Okay, so now what? Well, I suggest pushing the formula and solids, and continuing to pump your little heart out. Hopefully the pumping will get you where you want to be, or closer to where you want to be. In the US, recommendations are generally to delay cow's milk until 1 year, if only because formula is so much closer to breastmilk in composition (in terms of fats and sugars), and that is important for development.

    Now, on to the mothering challenge you're facing. It sounds like you're making evenings harder for yourself because you are trying to "save" your milk for bedtime. What I would do is just nurse as much as possible from the moment you pick your LO up from daycare until the moment you put her down for bed. She's better at getting milk out than the pump is, and if she is nursing in part to reconnect with you after a long day, she just isn't going to understand why you're avoiding nursing. If you must, nurse as much as possible and then if bedtime comes and baby isn't getting enough milk to go to sleep, then you might be stuck supplementing with a bit of formula. But it's got to be worth the price of a peaceful evening! And in addition, I doubt you're going to need the supplement.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Landof2toddlers, Oregon
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    Default Re: HELP - weaning but not by choice

    you are in such a tough place
    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    Now, on to the mothering challenge you're facing. It sounds like you're making evenings harder for yourself because you are trying to "save" your milk for bedtime. What I would do is just nurse as much as possible from the moment you pick your LO up from daycare until the moment you put her down for bed. She's better at getting milk out than the pump is, and if she is nursing in part to reconnect with you after a long day, she just isn't going to understand why you're avoiding nursing. If you must, nurse as much as possible and then if bedtime comes and baby isn't getting enough milk to go to sleep, then you might be stuck supplementing with a bit of formula. But it's got to be worth the price of a peaceful evening! And in addition, I doubt you're going to need the supplement.
    I agree totally. I had to formula and bf my son and he actually continued nursing after I got home/during the night after my milk was all gone. He needed to reconnect. My milk was all gone because I was pregnant (any chance of that for you?)
    proud but exhausted working mammy to two high needs babies

    • my surprise baby: the one and only D-Man born 3 weeks late (5/5/08) at 9 lbs 14 oz and 21.5 inches, and
    • the shock H-Girl born about a week late (10/7/09) at 8lbs 15oz and 20.75 inches.


    If I am here I am covered in baby (probably two) and fighting for control of the keyboard.

    Family beds are awesome

    Wondering if you have PPD? Take the screening and see your doctor. You deserve to feel better.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: HELP - weaning but not by choice

    I am doing tons of water and oatmeal... My allergist asked me to stop the Fenugreek. I did Reglan and when the deep depression hit, I stopped that too. I'm down to pumping and nursing and nursing and pumping. <sigh>

    No chance we're pregnant either. We were thinking about BEING pregnant in a few more months, but we have to resort to IVF to get there. Natural pregnancies are just not possible for us.

    Thanks, ladies. I will try to just nurse her little heart out!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Landof2toddlers, Oregon
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    Default Re: HELP - weaning but not by choice

    you have had a hard road and are doing an amazing job. Not every breastfeeding "success story" is ebf for a full year. Some of us need to change how we define success and I know from experience how difficult that is. You have worked so hard and your baby is getting breastmilk. Do you know how few babies are getting breastmilk at that age? So very few. And your baby is one of those lucky few. Focus on that as much as you can.

    How is your depression doing now you are off the reglan? If you are not all the way bag try and find some time too look after yourself.
    proud but exhausted working mammy to two high needs babies

    • my surprise baby: the one and only D-Man born 3 weeks late (5/5/08) at 9 lbs 14 oz and 21.5 inches, and
    • the shock H-Girl born about a week late (10/7/09) at 8lbs 15oz and 20.75 inches.


    If I am here I am covered in baby (probably two) and fighting for control of the keyboard.

    Family beds are awesome

    Wondering if you have PPD? Take the screening and see your doctor. You deserve to feel better.

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