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Thread: Working mom, still bf--is it normal to feel so exhausted?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    9

    Default Working mom, still bf--is it normal to feel so exhausted?

    Since my baby was born, I have been doing my best to follow LLL recommendations, and I've always been given positive feedback at my LLL meetings and from other bf moms. I have the WAB book and the Feed Yourself, Feed Your Family books, which have taught me a lot about staying healthy for baby. Baby is 6 months old and I'd like to continue bf until 9 or 10 months. Is it normal to feel so exhausted after pumping all day long? I feel guilty that I sometimes want to stop pumping b/c I'm so tired, but then when I get home and nurse my baby, that frustration goes away.

    Since I started taking baby to daycare, I feel like I've had to argue my way on how I want my baby's feedings to go. For example, they insisted that he was still hungry even after giving him 5 ounces and they feed him every 3 hours. Now, they are feeding him 7 ounces a feeding because they say that he looks like he's still hungry after 5oz.

    Then this weekend we started him on oatmeal cereal, spoon-fed from a bowl. He took only a little bit at a time, and we only gave him 1 teaspoon. Today I left 1 teaspoon and they noted on his daily report that he ate it all. However, this weekend when we fed him, he only ate a few spoonfuls, so I'm wondering how he ate all of it. Did they force-feed him?! It hurts me to even think if that's the case. When his teacher saw that I only had 1 tsp, she just said that it wasn't enough and that it wouldn't fill him up. But I responded that we want to start off slow. Afterall, this oatmeal cereal isn't supposed to supplement a feeding, is it? I thought introducing solids at 6 months was supposed to complement the feeding. I know there aren't any hard and fast rules while you're bf, but every time I disagree with ds's teacher, they look at me as if I'm crazy or something just because I'm not following the conventions of putting rice cereal in a bottle and feeding my baby. They are insistent that when a baby is full then he/she will sleep longer. BUT this is NOT the case with my little one. He just doesn't nap well, but he sleeps through the night, so I guess as long as he sleeps then he is okay. Ok, do you sense my frustration? This message is way too long, but if someone out there has any reassuring words--I appreciate it.
    Last edited by @llli*amor.maternal; February 11th, 2013 at 08:55 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,957

    Default Re: Working mom, still bf--is it normal to feel so exhausted

    I was going to go to bed and then I saw your post. OMG, it makes me so mad on your behalf! I'm a SAHM so I can't say I've had your experience, but I know that if my baby and I were being treated like you and your baby are, I would be SO FLIPPIN' ANGRY!!!

    First of all, 5 oz at a feeding is OVERFEEDING, plain and simple. And 7 oz at a time is gross overfeeding. It sounds like the daycare workers are either used to formula-fed babies (who tend to eat much larger amounts than breastfed ones) or they are using food as a way to get the babies to lie around in a "food coma" instead of having to interact with them and soothe them in ways that don't involve the bottle. You don't say how long you are at work or how many bottles your baby takes during the workday, but it doesn't surprise me that you are exhausted trying to provide what must be massive quantities of milk.

    Second, I am incensed at the possibility that the daycare force-fed your child. They probably didn't have to, though- babies may take solids from people who aren't mom better than they take them from mom. When babies see their moms, they often want milk (food AND cuddles, hurray!) rather than cereal from a spoon. Still, you are correct: until 1 year, breastmilk (or formula) alone should be the baby's majority source of nutrition. Solids are for fun with new tastes, textures, and motor skills, and they are to complement breastmilk (or formula) in the baby's diet, not replace it. So if you say you want to start slow, and not follow a VERY outdated convention, then you have every right to expect that your wishes will be followed.
    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
    Oct 2012
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    2,209

    Default Re: Working mom, still bf--is it normal to feel so exhausted

    Baby should NEVER get a 7 oz bottle. A 5 oz bottle is pushing it. A normal feed is 2-3 oz, maybe 4. And absolutely no rice cereal from the bottle unless prescribed by your pediatrician - not sure they even DO that anymore but your daycare should definitely NOT be doing it. Can you talk to whoever is in charge?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Nashville, TN
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    525

    Default Re: Working mom, still bf--is it normal to feel so exhausted

    I wanted to address exhaustion and say YES! I'm a full time working mom whose mornings consist of nursing, snuggling and playing with baby, then working and pumping all day long, then coming home to nurse, snuggle and play with baby till bedtime. Whether a working mom or a SAHM who has to keep baby occupied most of the day, who wouldn't be exhausted. Add to that the stress of your daycare situation and I'm sure you feel wiped. I'm not an expert but I read a lot and I agree with PPs on the overfeeding. Kelly Mom is a great resource. http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/pumping/milkcalc/

    My advice: 1. since this is your baby and your money you must let daycare know you're in charge and what the guidelines are for your kid. You will surely be served by being calm and nice, but be clear. 2. Take care of yourself. Hydrate hydrate hydrate while you work and don't snack on junk. The better I eat the better I feel. I'm still struggling to fit exercise in (which is a huge shift - I ran a 1/2 marathon right before finding out I was pregnant) so I set my goals low: 20 min a day of something. I pull up the Exercise programming within Xfinity Comcast on demand and pick a different workout a day. I try to do yoga 1X / week. 3. I know it's easier said than done but if you're not satisfied after speaking to daycare pursue a change. Nanny sharing can be a good option if having your own nanny isn't feasible. We did opt for our own nanny whom we found through care.com but I spent weeks screening profiles, and doing phone interviews and doing in person interviews for those who seemed strong. It was a lot of work on weekends while also trying to spend time with my kiddo but it paid off. We have a smart, loving amazing nanny who really understands breast milk feeding and attachment parenting. These were focal areas when interviewing. You have to be bold with your questions. If they won't answer something or don't have the experience, move on. It's your kid.

    Hope some of this is helpful. Private message me if you want.
    1st time mom over 40 to Alex(andra) b: 7/14/12

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    24

    Default Re: Working mom, still bf--is it normal to feel so exhausted

    I just wanted to second the advice given above.

    As a first time mother just six months ago, I found the constant commentary overwhelming at times. People telling me what to do and how to do it constantly. A nurse in the hospital actually told me to be "more aggressive" with my newborn because we "had" to get her on a three hour nursing schedule immediately so I could "get my life back". My decision to nurse on demand went out the window and I totally caved to this ignorant woman. I'll never get those first few days with my daughter back, but I quickly learned to stand up for the kinds of decisions I've made, especially when it comes to breastfeeding.

    You absolutely need to sit down with whoever is in charge and explain how much the baby should be eating. Pumping is exhausting and if your baby is eating too much when he's away from you, he isn't going to eat enough when he's with you, which sets up a vicious cycle. I just struggled through it and had to be really clear with my various care providers that milk is not a replacement for other kinds of soothing. It can be especially hard if you, like me, have a somewhat high needs baby. My daughter had to be held or carried at all times until recently, which meant people tended to give her lots more milk than she needed. If that's the case with your son, you may want to look into other daycares that have a lower staff-infant ratio or those that are familiar with babywearing and other ways to soothe infants. We opted for a part-time nanny and staggered our work schedules so we could afford it. We also found our nanny on care.com, and I was careful in the interview process to weed out people who questioned my choices or who made me feel ignorant or incompetent (unfortunately, some people who work with babies for a living seem to think questioning your parenting style makes them look more competent). We're doing baby-led weaning (no cereals or purees) and I explained the process to our nanny and she has been nothing but great with it. It's absolutely worth it to find a care provider who supports your decisions. Daycares can be found, but it can be tougher and may require more of a commute.

    At any rate, I just wanted to offer support because I've been there with the looks and implicit judgment and it made me so sad that I fell for it, even for a short period of time. Trust yourself! You're doing a great job. Stand up for yourself and your son and it will get better.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Working mom, still bf--is it normal to feel so exhausted

    Thank you all for your encouraging words. I think you all are right--I need to be stronger and speak up for my baby. And, yes, I agree whether you're a SAHM or working, being a mom is a tough job. My sister said it best: "breastfeeding is a job in itself!" but it is so worth having that connection with my baby. I'm going to do everything I can to make sure my voice is heard. @lilymama: I'm definitely seeing that these women who care for babies at the day care have been doing it for so long that they feel they know everything about how to care for them. And, yes, they are competent, but all children are different, and like debbers said, I'm paying so I should expect them to follow my guidelines. Thanks, again, everyone. I appreciate all of your caring words with all my heart <3.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Working mom, still bf--is it normal to feel so exhausted

    My daughter is 6 months old and I'm a first-time, working mom also. I'm a nurse on a busy hospital unit...pumping is exhausting, to say the least. You would think my pump breaks would give me more opportunities to relax during the day, but it really just adds to the craziness of the work day. And on my days off I don't have much energy for other things. I'm just now getting back on the exercise wagon after really not working out at all (other than walks) since my baby's birth. Working, breastfeeding and everything else that goes with raising a baby is way tougher than I thought it would be. I just do my best to get as much sleep as possible, even if that means going to bed at 8:00 at night. Good luck and all the best.

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