Re: Thinking of weaning at 8 wks
It's so ironic that moms in the caring professions (teaching, healthcare) tend to have the worst times getting adequate time to pump. Here you are taking care of everyone else, so why doesn't someone make it possible for you to take care of YOU?!
We have some moms here who have similar problems with their work environments. The way they seem to make pumping work is with flexibility and creativity. If they can't maintain a perfect schedule of pump breaks, they take pump breaks when they can. Some of them multitask, pumping while they work on charts or other paperwork. A supportive work environment makes a big difference- if you can have someone cover you temporarily while you run out to pump, or you can get HR to cut you a break regarding break time, that's ideal. I know you said your job sometimes has breaks and sometimes doesn't, but if you haven't talked to your work about this, now is the time. They may surprise you, or even be legally required to accommodate you.
If you decide to wean to 2 feedings per day, you can. You will need to slowly replace feedings with bottles of formula, dropping a single feeding and waiting a few days before dropping another feeding. This will give your supply time to adjust downwards and reduce the risk of plugged ducts or mastitis. However, if you decide to wean to 2 feedings per day, there are multiple drawbacks, including:
- Your milk supply will be very low.
- Your baby may decide to stop nursing. Many babies do when primarily bottlefed and when mom's supply is very low, which can make nursing unrewarding.
- If you want to go back to exclusive nursing, it may be difficult. It's usually a lot easier to maintain supply than to rebuild it.
- If your baby weans completely, you will have to mother without being able to resort to nursing. The breast is the ultimate tool for dealing with a cranky, sick, tired, bored, or teething baby.
- Any amount of breastmilk you produce is good for your baby and good for your health. But if you wean partially or completely, you'll lose the health benefits of exclusive breastfeeding. If your baby goes to daycare, he's more likely to get sick, and that could mean more days away from work- which is why it is to your workplace's benefit to allow you time to pump!
Finally, I totally understand that your husband would like to feed the baby. Giving a bottle can be fun. (The first few times. After that it gets boring, IMO.) But it's not worth the cost of having mom wean partially or completely.
ETA: One last thing. If you're thinking that partially weaning to formula would mean that your DH would be able to get up at night and give your baby a bottle, allowing you to sleep, well... I think you should probably forget that. All my formula-feeding mommy friends say some version of the following: "My husband promised he would get up and do some of the nighttime bottles. But who is it standing the the kitchen every morning at 2 am making a bottle? Not him. Not ever."
Last edited by @llli*mommal; February 14th, 2014 at 12:10 PM.
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