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Thread: Last day

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    12

    Default Last day

    Today is my last day breast feeding. I made it one month but have made the decision to stop. At this time it is what is best for us as a family. LO will be one month tomorrow. I just wanted to thank you all for your support when I asked questions. That said, I have one last question. Any tips for easing breast pain as I let my milk dry up?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19,895

    Default Re: Last day

    Mama, I am so sorry that breastfeeding has been such a struggle for you. I went back and looked at your older posts and clearly you haven't enjoyed the experience.

    When a mama comes to the conclusion to wean at such an early age, I feel like it's my duty to suggest a few things to her that might enable her to continue without making her sacrifice her happiness and sanity. I'm not trying to push you into breastfeeding longer, and I really don't want this to come across as pushing. But often mamas think that breastfeeding is all or nothing, and it's not. So here are some alternatives that might enable you to continue:
    - Combine breast and bottle. Nurse the baby when it's convenient and enjoyable for you, give formula or (preferably) pumped milk when it's not. There are some intricacies to navigate, but combination feeding works for a lot of moms! And if you keep baby on the breast at least part time, and that can mean as little as 1-2 nursing sessions per day, you will have the option to return to nursing more or even nursing full-time if that is something you someday decide you want. Since breastmilk has health benefits to baby even in small amounts, and producing breastmilk has health benefits to mom even in small amounts, there are good medical reasons to continue to breastfeed part-time.
    - Take a little break from breastfeeding. Just pump and bottle-feed for a few days. That way you maintain your milk supply, just in case you decide you want to un-wean. And many mamas do- we have so many women come through this forum saying that they gave up breastfeeding and now want to restart. It's a lot easier to restart if you have milk.
    - Wean slowly. This is what you need to be doing right now, since weaning cold turkey is a health risk to you. When a mom weans a young baby cold turkey, the very least she can expect is some very uncomfortable engorgement. But she is also at risk for nasty things like plugged ducts and mastitis. So the best way to minimize discomfort and risk as you wean is to go slow: drop one feeding, replace it with a bottle, wait a couple of days for supply to regulate downwards, and then drop another feeding. A couple of things that may help you as you go through this process are herbal teas (peppermint and sage are supposed to be good for reducing supply), and cold cabbage leaves tucked into your bra (good for reducing discomfort from engorgement). If weaning slowly and the herbal remedies above don't help, discuss your issues with your midwife or doctor. There are some medications which can help dry up milk.

    If at any time you feel like you need more help with this process, please let us know. We love to encourage moms to nurse longer, but we know that's not workable for every woman and we'll help you with weaning if that's what you really need. And regardless of when you wean, this is a great forum and we hope you'll stick around!
    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!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Last day

    Thanks for the tips. I am also going to talk to the pediatrician about it tomorrow. I am having some guilt over this decision. Not because I feel like a bad mom for choosing to no longer breast feed, but because it did come naturally and has been easy with no medical issues and I have read so many stories on here of people who desperately want to breast feed but are having medical issues. For me the issues are emotional and mental, I need to make this change for us both.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
    Posts
    1,885

    Default Re: Last day

    Mama, emotional and mental issues are just as important and valid as medical ones.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6,564

    Default Re: Last day

    Hey mama - I just went and read your other thread at 3 weeks. I would just like to gently ask you how things will get better if you switch to formula? If your only issue is that you can not get a break from your baby - could you pump for one feeding and leave the house that way?
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: Last day

    I never really thought about giving up on breastfeeding, but I found it to be much more difficult than I expected, so I understand how people can't take it, especially in those first months where you're hormonal and maybe haven't gotten dressed in a few days. I had many a night in tears, searching the internet for support or ideas to make things better. I also didn't want to nurse in public, so I originally took bottles when I had to go out, even if it was formula, and pumped to make up for it at home. Then I bought a nursing cover, which helped me to nurse a little in public (still needed my nursing pillow, which made it hard) and kept me social when guests came over or I went home to see my family (no one has ever breastfed in my extended family, so no support!). Now if I'm going out to the store or something, I just nurse her in the car and don't care who walks by, since my baby now thinks the cover is her toy. She also takes a lot less time to nurse. It used to be 45 minutes to an hour, and around 8 weeks she cut down to 20. Now it's 10-15 minutes if that. All this to say, don't feel you have to do anything you don't want to do, but if you want to keep nursing just figure out what works best for you, even if it's not what is considered the "breastfeeding ideal." Is there a breastfeeding group or other new moms group in your area you could hang out with? I went to a new moms group at the hospital, and that helped a lot. It was sometimes my only outing, and they encouraged me to breastfeed with my cover on, even sitting behind a chair if I wanted to have some privacy. I know some moms whose babies have formula while they're at work and then they breastfeed while home, so there are alternatives to the all-or-nothing approach if that's what you're looking for.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Last day

    I have never been against formula feeding, but as a first time mom I wanted to at least give breast feeding a try. I took the class at the hospital, read the books, etc in preparation. Even spent more money than most do on a years worth of formula on breast feeding 'supplies' (electric double pump, nursing bras, nursing covers, etc). Now that I've tried I realize it's not for me. Maybe I'm being selfish, part of me wants my body back and to no longer have to watch everything I eat and drink out of fear of how LO will react. Also, now that I've given this a shot I don't think I can keep it up when I return to work in a few weeks (has nothing to with my company being supportive or not, but more to do with travel and that I need work to be my time away from LO, hard to do that when pumping every few hours).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
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    1,885

    Default Re: Last day

    Good for you for giving it a shot, and for giving your daughter a wonderful gift of a month's worth of milk! You can be proud of that.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Shakedown St.
    Posts
    1,176

    Default Re: Last day

    I am sorry that you're having such a difficult go of it.

    While you wean, definitely consider combo feeding as mommal suggested. You will need to drop one feeding at a time for health reasons, so if you find a formula/nursing pattern that works during the process - go with it!

    If not, know that you gave it your best and be proud of that! Some breast milk is way better than none!
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19,895

    Default Re: Last day

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*sms24 View Post
    Maybe I'm being selfish, part of me wants my body back and to no longer have to watch everything I eat and drink out of fear of how LO will react.
    Just FYI, most nursing moms don't need to do anything to change their diets. A lot of moms feel like they must eat super-healthy or they will put the baby at risk, but you can truly live on doughnuts and soda and still produce healthy milk for baby.

    Do you have a weaning plan at this point, mama? My biggest concern is that you're going to try to wean too fast and then end up making yourself uncomfortable or, heaven forbid, sick.
    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!"

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