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Thread: Hanging on by a thread with my 9mo

  1. #1

    Default Hanging on by a thread with my 9mo

    Not sure if I can keep nursing my 9mo much longer - but I really hope to!

    We introduced 1 bottle a day at 6mo during the afternoons when LO is with the nanny (I work from home part time & and have a nanny for LO in the afternoons.) I used to have the nanny bring me the babe when she was hungry but when she started to get distracted/fussy at the breast in the afternoons, we introduced a bottle so I could focus on work a little more. She mostly refused the bottle until recently. I avoided pumping because I used to have OALD on one side and pumping over stimulated & made it worse. So I just tried you drop that nursing session. I had never heard of paced feeding so she got regular/fast flow at the time.

    Over the last 2 months she has become more impatient while waiting for my letdown to the point where she cries/refuses/bites me if there is not immediate milk. I started pumping to get the letdown going for her, banishing the bottle and increased number of nursing sessions day & night. She is now nursing ~ every 2 hrs during the day & 2x at night. No pumping for let down at night because I am slightly engorged and she doesn't have to work as hard. But I'm now stuck inside nursing/pumping constantly during the say like she's a newborn & I'm hardly getting any work done! Is there any way to wean from the pump for letdown and encourage her to do the work?

    We have two trips and & a Long haul international flight coming up in a week and the option to pump before nursing her in public is zero..I could buy a manual pump but she's so distractible as it is. I know my supply will suffer when I'm unable to nurse while traveling (plus she'll be loving that bottle!) as any missed pumping/nursing sessions are very noticeable in my supply right away these days. I'm trying to be diligent but wondering if putting in this much work at 9 months is a little crazy and I should just let her move on to the bottle!

    Would love to hear from other mamas with advice!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Hanging on by a thread with my 9mo

    What happens if you don't pump before feeding?
    Have you tried hand expression instead of pumping?
    Also this won't help so much when you're traveling but until then have you tried instant re ward technique using a little bit of expressed milk dripped on nipple rather than pumping milk before nursing?
    If solids have begun, How many times a day does your baby eat solids and does she have any other liquids?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Hanging on by a thread with my 9mo

    If I don't pump before feeding during the day, LO will latch on/off for abt 15-20 seconds but not vigorously. I will switch sides & encourage her & I've tried compressions but I stop when her cries escalate from protest to very upset because I want to avoid her associating the breast with being frustrated.

    I've never tried hand expression...is it possible to encourage a letdown manually?

    When I pump, there is milk for the first 15 or so seconds so I know that during her initial latch, she's getting about a half an ounce. She used to struggle with my over active let down but I think maybe she got used to it and struggles to stay interested before and after letdown.

    We do solids 2x a day. About 30min after she wakes up/nurses and in the evening after her 2nd to last nursing before bedtime. She is getting about a tablespoon of yogurt & fruit/veg at both meals but I do offer a sippy cup or open cup of water which she absolutely loves. She would just sit in the high chair and drink water if I let her.

    I've been trying to pump for shorter times, hoping that she will do a little more work each time to bring a letdown. It worked once so far. Not sure if it's realistic to expect that we could go back to nursing without the help of the pump?

  4. #4
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    10,754

    Default Re: Hanging on by a thread with my 9mo

    I've never tried hand expression...is it possible to encourage a letdown manually?
    of course. breastfeeding has been around a long time and breast pumps are a very new invention. It does take practice and figuring out what works for you. If you cannot find video suggested in the following doc let me know.

    http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...expression.pdf

    If I don't pump before feeding during the day, LO will latch on/off for abt 15-20 seconds but not vigorously. I will switch sides & encourage her & I've tried compressions but I stop when her cries escalate from protest to very upset because I want to avoid her associating the breast with being frustrated
    If baby gets frustrated, can you just leave off nursing until later? What if you don't switch sides? Baby is able to nurse fine at night, so baby knows how to get the milk out. Maybe you are assuming baby needs to nurse more often than baby actually needs to?

    When I pump, there is milk for the first 15 or so seconds so I know that during her initial latch, she's getting about a half an ounce.
    What comes out when you pump has nothing to do with what happens when baby nurses. It may match, but this would basically just be coincidence. Pumping is totally different than nursing, physiologically. And maybe baby only wanted half an ounce at the moment if that really is all baby is getting.

    She used to struggle with my over active let down but I think maybe she got used to it and struggles to stay interested before and after letdown.
    Yes, this is pretty common. Even if a mom never had a particularly fast letdown, letdown tends to slow as baby gets older. Most babies just deal with it. Also it is common for babies around this age to become very distracted, fussy, and less interested in nursing in general This is usually temporary, but sometimes will turn into a nursing strike. But what is unusual is baby requiring that you induce a letdown with the pump before baby will nurse. If this is really what is happening, I think it would be happening because baby has been (inadvertently) taught to expect this.

    Not sure if it's realistic to expect that we could go back to nursing without the help of the pump?
    It may take some work, but I think this is an entirely realistic expectation. Babies do not need this typically. And even your baby does not need it all the time. Letdown has to be triggered whenever a baby nurses, even if you are full. (although it would be faster then, typically) So Your baby knows how to trigger letdown and extract milk and is capable of doing so. baby is 9 months old, I assume baby is a healthy weight and growing normally so it is not like its a dire situation if baby nurses less often here or there while you figure this out. Basically, I am saying if baby wants the milk, baby knows what baby has to do. If baby does NOT want the milk (as much) baby does not need so much milk.

    I am not saying go cold turkey off the pump as you are both so used to this at this point. But I do think it is fine to start having more of the expectation that baby will nurse without you having to trigger a letdown for baby.

    We do solids 2x a day. About 30min after she wakes up/nurses and in the evening after her 2nd to last nursing before bedtime. She is getting about a tablespoon of yogurt & fruit/veg at both meals but I do offer a sippy cup or open cup of water which she absolutely loves. She would just sit in the high chair and drink water if I let her.

    Ok I wanted to be sure there was not some oral issues or baby was being overfed. This amount of solids sounds fine and normal for this age.

    However, you might consider thinking about cutting back on the water and offering to nurse instead. Thirst is a great motivator and breastmilk is very thirst quenching. A baby who nurses as much as your baby does may not need any water, physically. My point is not to withhold water from a thirsty baby, but rather that it is possible you are missing one of the prime motivators in encouraging baby to nurse.

    For lots of great ideas in general for gently encouraging nursing, go to www.kellymom.com and search for the article "Help, my baby won't nurse."
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; December 2nd, 2014 at 03:47 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Hanging on by a thread with my 9mo

    Thanks so much for the advice. I will start practicing hand expression. Seems like a valuable skill to know no matter what.

    Yes, LO will nurse fine throughout the night and normally first thing in the morning. She was typically nursing ~ every 3 hours during the day before things started to go downhill and there are times when she seems very hungry/not so hungry. I just had her at the GP yesterday and she is a healthy weight and developing great. So I know she will be fine.

    In general, I've noticed that she does not nurse as vigorously as she used to (before she really started to love the bottle). She used to push against me with her hands and tug my nipple to trigger the let down - so much that I had to hold on to her for dear life or she would push herself onto the floor! I know that by pumping for the letdown, I've created a bad habit.

    I will plan to wait for hunger cues and stop pushing the pump every 2 hours. Thanks again for the help!

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