Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11

Thread: Ladies who pump and nurse for long periods...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Bristol, UK
    Posts
    19

    Default Ladies who pump and nurse for long periods...

    Do you worry about your child's development?

    We've been going to baby groups, and other babies my son's age (7 weeks) have longer stretches of time to look around, explore things, to notice other babies and learn the beginnings of play skills. Micah nurses so often for such long times that he misses a lot of that (he has slow weight gain due to feeding problems, lip tie, mild tongue tie and reflux - he feeds little and often and I pump to supplement but he's still gaining very little/slowly as my supply was effected by his ineffective milk transfer, I'm on domperidone and double electric pumping to try to up it at the moment).

    He does have happy alert time, but it's shorter than most babies I meet (both breast and bottle fed), and I can't plan when it'll be. I'd love to take him swimming but I expect he'd get hungry and upset if it took too long to get ready, get in the pool, play, get dry etc.

    I guess I feel a lot of guilt that he's missing some of these experiences. Our lives are very much on hold while I try to encourage better feeding habits and build my supply.

    I'm not sure if the benefits of exclusively breastfeeding outweigh the experiences he's missing development-wise. I thought we had breastfeeding sorted during the first 4/5 weeks and we were going out, enjoying life and nursing in public, now I don't have the confidence to nurse in public as I have to watch him like a hawk to check he's actually swallowing. It feels like we're trapped and he's suffering.

    I know it's hopefully short term, but does anyone else feel this way?

    Even my lactation consultant said that he needs more milk and I could consider formula top ups in the short term. I've got to see if domperidone makes a difference first. Ugh. I was so determined to breastfeed exclusively, but it's stopping me enjoying my baby and I don't think he's benefiting from my stubbornness.

    He feeds (badly, on and off) for an hour at a time, sometimes more, often with less than an hour in between. He takes a bottle (of EBM) BRILLIANTLY, and has less wind afterwards than he gets from nursing. I'm starting to think my obsession with breastfeeding him is actually affecting his development (and my ability to be a good mum) negatively.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    621

    Default Re: Ladies who pump and nurse for long periods...

    I'm no expert, but I think that in our society we put a lot of expectations on early development. Baby swimming, baby videos, baby toys, books, CDs, etc, it's big business, and wasn't necessarily around a couple hundred years ago. Somehow people grew up just fine! I'm not saying that stimulation isn't important or fun for both baby and mom, but right now actual physical growth takes precedence! It sounds like the two of you are working really hard to make breastfeeding work. Can't that be enough for now? There will be lots of time later on for play and whatnot!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,211

    Default Re: Ladies who pump and nurse for long periods...

    7 weeks is still a really little baby. There will be PLENTY of time for you to do all kinds of things with your baby, and breastfeeding is not going to interfere with his development. Your obsession with breastfeeding is GOOD for him because it's what will prevent you from offering substandard nutrition, it's what will let you develop the closest possible relationship with baby (which is much more important for his development at this point than swimming classes!) and so on... the reason you are fighting for this is because you know all the advantages of breastfeeding! I can tell you that my exclusively breastfed babies who are 5 years, 2 1/2 years and 8 months are all developing beautifully. Keep at it!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    239

    Default Re: Ladies who pump and nurse for long periods...

    7 weeks old is sooooo little. http://www.webmd.com/parenting/healt...ant-milestones gives general milestones at that age. The gist of it is they can't do much. They have really limited eyesight. I don't think it makes much difference developmentally whether you take him out. It's important to interact with him, but developmental milestones at 7 weeks are things like realizing that smiling at mom makes her smile back. By the time getting out in the world is important, your son will be a pro at nursing, and it won't be an issue.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: Ladies who pump and nurse for long periods...

    7 weeks is still REALLY REALLY little. Lots of folks talk and write about a "4th trimester" meaning the first 3 months of life outside the womb are still essentially about being close to mom and getting down the basics of eating, digesting, acclimating to the outside world. I know it seems to you that other babies are up to all sorts of things, but all the things you mention are really not that important to a tiny one. What they need is love, comfort, and closeness to mom. If and when you mutually desire to add other things, you can work on that. BF is the best thing you can do right now for your baby's development--physical, immunological, and relational.

    I am more concerned about what the worry is doing to you. Do you have folks you trust who you can talk to in person? Can you think of things that would nurture you in the midst of this tough time? I really enjoyed a book on tape during some rough nursing days. It helped me calm down and enjoy but didn't keep me from doing what I needed to with little guy.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    256

    Default Re: Ladies who pump and nurse for long periods...

    I remember this. I did what you are doing and had to pump because LO had tongue tie, a high palate, and a weak suck. I would do tummy time with her and felt so guilty if I could only get a few minutes in.

    Not to worry, your LO is getting plenty of stimulation. I wish I hadn't worried so much in those early weeks, though you could never have told me that. She didn't even really roll over until she was crawling, but all is fine now at 15 months and she has developed fine--now she's walking, running, climbing. All over the place.

    If you are feeling restless and want to get out with baby, have you tried baby wearing? That is a great way for her to get stimulation. You can go outside for a long walk, talk to her, sing and listen to music. All this is great for her age and some of the other play stuff becomes more fun and critical when she sits up more. I talked to Aimee a ton and she is a chatterbox now... Don't know if that helped or not but her daycare teachers comment in her verbal skills.

    Hang in there mama!
    Lisa

    Mom to Aimee, born 8/22/11
    for 20 months!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,965

    Default Re: Ladies who pump and nurse for long periods...

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*carm3 View Post
    I'm no expert, but I think that in our society we put a lot of expectations on early development. Baby swimming, baby videos, baby toys, books, CDs, etc, it's big business, and wasn't necessarily around a couple hundred years ago. Somehow people grew up just fine!
    x 1000!

    One thing that is really important for a nursing mom to remember is that breastfeeding is nature's way of fostering infant development. Social interaction? Check- baby is interacting with mom, and that is the only thing that is important right now! Physical development? Check- nursing is helping baby develop his oral motor skills and also his whole-body coordination.

    Please don't get sucked into the idea that somehow other moms of 7 week-old babies have their lives organized and are able to plan their outings. At 7 weeks, a lot of moms are just barely managing to brush their teeth and scrape a daily shower! Those other moms, the ones who seem to have it all together- forget about it! They may put on a game face but I promise you that their days are chaotic in all sorts of ways that you aren't seeing.

    I do think YOU need to find a way to escape some of the stress of being a new mommy. I know how hard that is when you are struggling to nurse- BTDT!!!
    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 2009
    Posts
    5,430

    Default Re: Ladies who pump and nurse for long periods...

    I want to preface my post by saying-If you continue to have real concerns about your baby's development, I suggest you see a specialist. Your instincts may well be telling you something.

    But I have seen this concern on here before, that breastfeeding somehow interferes with development, and here are some thought on that:

    We've been going to baby groups, and other babies my son's age (7 weeks) have longer stretches of time to look around, explore things, to notice other babies and learn the beginnings of play skills.
    when i first read this, i thought you were talking about a 7 MONTH old. Look around? A baby this age still probably cannot even see very far, is not really distinguishing colors, and still prefers (close) loving faces to any other stimuli. Play? Ummm....no. A baby's job at this age is to nurse and sleep and grow. They get way more alert and start really smiling and giggling and reacting to things at say, 3-4 or even 5 months. But they still typically prefer their playtime in short bursts even then. A song, a little conversation, some dandling on the knee, a raspberry on the tum, and it's back to the breast or for a nap on mom or dads shoulder.

    It sounds as if you are having a difficult time with milk production and nursing. Add pumping and that is super stressful. Isn't that enough to worry about without driving yourself crazy comparing your baby to other babies you see occasionally at a play group? playgroups, classes, etc etc. at this age serve an important purpose- for moms to socialize and get some adult conversation. Babies get nothing from them and that is fine. Is it possible you are basing your conclusions on incomplete information? Unless you live with these 'more alert' babies, how do you know what their actual habits are? I have been leading LLL meetings for 5 years and at this age, babies I see at meetings are not playing or anything approaching that. They nurse and sleep, or 'sit' on mommas lap. They may focus on faces that are very close, but often will still avert their gaze or not focus. This is NORMAL. If baby cannot focus at 3 or 4 months old or so, talk to your pediatrician.

    I'm not sure if the benefits of exclusively breastfeeding outweigh the experiences he's missing development-wise.
    Breastfeeding is the biologically normal way all baby mammals including humans are and always have been fed. Breastfed children turned adults brought the human race out of caves and created the modern world-agriculture, great buildings, machinery, all the great classics in art and music and literature and philosophy etc, etc, all the great scientific breakthroughs up into the 20th century-created by people who were breastfed! The idea that breastfeeding somehow limits cognitive development is simply not supported by facts or common sense. Every child health organization of repute strongly urges exclusive breastfeeding because only breastfeeding offers the best chance for normal health outcomes! This includes normal cognitive health! This is why breastfeeding is even MORE important for those babies who really do have challenges with cognitive development.

    But here are a few suggestions:

    I suggest, nurse your baby as much as you can, love and kiss and snuggle your baby, talk & sing to baby, and baby wear when you are out and about with baby so baby is up close to eye level with you and everyone when he is awake, rather than down in a stroller looking at nothing but knees. Later on, tell your kids stories, read to them, and limit or get rid of the media screens-ie, TV and computer games. Walla, instant smart kids.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,965

    Default Re: Ladies who pump and nurse for long periods...

    LLLMeg: I can't put it better than that!

    I just want to add something from my personal experience. I had a really hard time nursing my first daughter. It took us literally months before I could latch her on without shrieking in pain. I had to pump, and supplement, and choose between trying to build supply with the pump and caring for my child. Nursing was a never-ending chore for the first few months- she could nurse for an hour and still come off the breast hungry. Did any of that hurt her development? No. She's 6 now, artistic, athletic, and academically advanced. The struggles we had when she was a baby never held her back one bit.
    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!"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,430

    Default Re: Ladies who pump and nurse for long periods...

    Yes I forgot to mention I also had a very difficult time nursing my oldest child. I don’t talk about this much because every mom & every situation is different, and I don’t want to ever sound like “I did this, so why can’t you?” Because that is not how it works, I am well aware. But just so you know I really am speaking from experience…my baby could not latch without nipple shields, I mean, really could not latch at all on one side and on the other side was tearing me apart, and in those days it was recommended mom pump after every single nursing session when using shields. Plus I was told (quite sternly) to nurse every two hours, and baby would not wake up! So every time I nursed it meant waking baby up and nursing and then pumping, all of which took about an hour and a half. So then a 30 minute break and it all started again. This went on for about 5 weeks, then finally he began waking on his own and nursing better so that part got better, but I still used a shield for a couple more weeks, so I still pumped after every session-Then I had terrible oversupply due to all the pumping, but that is another story...The point is, the very last thing I was thinking about for the first three months was how to get baby more play time.

    My son is now nine. We have our challenges; he is too hard on himself and a bit of a perfectionist, but as far as intelligence, creativity, and ability to learn, or physical fitness-no problems there, at all. It would seriously sound like bragging if I said how awesome he is and all the cool stuff he does. So, in our case even the early days being intensely difficult certainly did not harm anything.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •