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Thread: Need encouragement

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    21

    Default Need encouragement

    Hi all,

    I'm having a dark day and need to some support and advice.

    I'm exhausted, and I have to make a change. I can't keep this schedule anymore. My DS was born 8 weeks premature in June, so I have pumped from the beginning. We managed to do some breast feeding for a few wonderful months, but then he was diagnosed with GERD and in spite of a lot of creative breast feeding positions, the bottle was best to keep him upright. With a heavy sigh, I returned full-time to pumping.

    I have pumped 7-8x a day since he was born and I continue to do so. I pump every 3-3 1/2 hours with one 5 1/2 stretch at night. The 5 1/2 hours is up from 5 hours, and it has taken me a month to even get that extra half hour in, and still I have seen a drop in my supply with that one small change.

    He's 9 months old (7 months adjusted) and we've started rice cereal, but my milk is really his food source. I had *so* hoped to breastfeed, even if it was via bottle, until he was 1 year (which is really 14 months for him), but the lack of sleep has me so physically and mentally exhausted, I just can't do it anymore, I've been running on empty for months now, and I am tired too of my nipples still hurting all the time. His daytime naps are only around 30 minutes, so I'm not getting any sleep during the day, and even though he goes 8-9 hours at night, I am not since I am up usually 2ce during that time to pump. I don't think I've slept more than 4 or 4 1/2 hours consecutively since June. The constant pumping has just become too much, and I can't take it anymore.

    So, what do you all advise? Can you help me to see some options? Can I continue to pump and hope my supply doesn't completely disappear if I drop a session or two and supplement a feed or two each day with formula? How do I make the switch to some formula feeds, and how do I find an acceptable formula? And biggest yet, how do I deal with the guilt? This is such a hard decision, and I am so torn up about it, but it has been on my mind for quite some time now, and I can't continue this way.

    I don't have a LLL where I live, and I don't have a lactation consultant available to me, so you all are my link. I thank you in advance for any ideas and help, and thanks for listening!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    5,883

    Default Re: Need encouragement

    Have you tried putting him to the breast? He's at an age where the result may surprise you.

    My LO has had very bad reflux (it's getting better with dietary changes and she is upright more now) and they had recommended pumping and bottlefeeding, but honestly it's to hard to EP and reflux usually lessens by the time babies sit up. Your LO could be sensitive to milk protein and formula would only aggravate reflux if it is due to milk sensitivity.

    I don't have much advice other than to try and reintroduce the breast if possible. Lots of as EP is hard work.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Default Re: Need encouragement

    How much are you getting when you pump now mama? What kind of pump are you using? Are you a SAHM?

    We have almost the EXACT same situation. I EP'd to his due date and he got the hang of BF, then about 8-9 months (6-7 adj) we had to go back to EP'ing! I don't think at that point though I was pumping as much as you are.

    I second the suggestion to keep trying with the BF'ing. Have you ever tried putting him to breast upright on your chest? So basically he would be sitting in your lap facing you and latch on that way. I have seen plenty babies nurse this way as well.
    I'm Hillary
    Wife to Gualberto
    Mom to Nolan
    Born at 32 weeks-3lbs/10oz
    11-25-2007
    Our precious early angel


    Remember, you are not managing an inconvenience; You are raising a human being ~ Kittie Frantz
    Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth ~ Albert Einstein
    First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Looking for more information about vaccines?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    21

    Default Re: Need encouragement

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*sixyearplan View Post
    Have you tried putting him to the breast? He's at an age where the result may surprise you.
    I would love to try this, but haven't had much of any success. We are rarely "allowed" to feed him in our laps, he balks so quickly at the positioning. Most feeds we have to do in a chair.

    Do you have suggestions or ideas on how to re-start?

    Thanks for the reply and the encouragement!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    21

    Default Re: Need encouragement

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*nolies.mama View Post
    How much are you getting when you pump now mama? What kind of pump are you using? Are you a SAHM?

    I second the suggestion to keep trying with the BF'ing. Have you ever tried putting him to breast upright on your chest?
    I am a SAHM, with ultra-supportive DH. That's why I've been able to do as much, for as long, as I have.

    I use a Medela Symphony. My supply is good, thankfully, but it's just enough to keep up with DS and put away a small bag of about 130mL on most days. I average 42 oz/day. I figure once he starts eating more solids I'll be able to go longer between pumps, but I know that once I start doing that the supply will go down. Like I said before, extending my long pump by just half an hour, even though I did it slowly, has affected my supply. Arg.

    Do you have advice on re-starting BFing?

    Thanks for your reply and advice!!!!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Need encouragement

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*cobocolorado View Post
    I am a SAHM, with ultra-supportive DH. That's why I've been able to do as much, for as long, as I have.

    I use a Medela Symphony. My supply is good, thankfully, but it's just enough to keep up with DS and put away a small bag of about 130mL on most days. I average 42 oz/day. I figure once he starts eating more solids I'll be able to go longer between pumps, but I know that once I start doing that the supply will go down. Like I said before, extending my long pump by just half an hour, even though I did it slowly, has affected my supply. Arg.

    Do you have advice on re-starting BFing?

    Thanks for your reply and advice!!!!
    I have to jump off now mama, but I will be back tomorrow to answer you ?'s.
    I'm Hillary
    Wife to Gualberto
    Mom to Nolan
    Born at 32 weeks-3lbs/10oz
    11-25-2007
    Our precious early angel


    Remember, you are not managing an inconvenience; You are raising a human being ~ Kittie Frantz
    Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth ~ Albert Einstein
    First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Looking for more information about vaccines?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    meh....wherever
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    Default Re: Need encouragement

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*cobocolorado View Post
    I am a SAHM, with ultra-supportive DH. That's why I've been able to do as much, for as long, as I have.

    I use a Medela Symphony. My supply is good, thankfully, but it's just enough to keep up with DS and put away a small bag of about 130mL on most days. I average 42 oz/day. I figure once he starts eating more solids I'll be able to go longer between pumps, but I know that once I start doing that the supply will go down. Like I said before, extending my long pump by just half an hour, even though I did it slowly, has affected my supply. Arg.

    Do you have advice on re-starting BFing?

    Thanks for your reply and advice!!!!
    The Symphony is the dual pump right? Hospital grade?

    I would try breastfeeding him sitting upright on your lap. so sit him facing you and he can latch on that way. Or do you cosleep? You could try when he is sleeping/sleepy. Babies can be more likely to nurse that way. Also when you cosleep it would be a good idea to be as skin to skin as possible.

    Other things you can do to try to get him back to the breast are lots and lots of skin to skin. Take baths together and hold him facing you like you want him to latch on, and then see if he does. No pressure, but let him smell you and feel your skin.
    I'm Hillary
    Wife to Gualberto
    Mom to Nolan
    Born at 32 weeks-3lbs/10oz
    11-25-2007
    Our precious early angel


    Remember, you are not managing an inconvenience; You are raising a human being ~ Kittie Frantz
    Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth ~ Albert Einstein
    First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Looking for more information about vaccines?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Swartz Creek, MI
    Posts
    1,776

    Default Re: Need encouragement

    Is baby not interested in eating more solids?

    Are you doing anything to increase your supply? There are some simple things you can add to your diet once you drop a session to maintain your supply like oatmeal, funegreek, and mother's milk tea,
    Married mama with 4 kiddos...2 girls (11 & 6) and 2 boys (21mo & 3mo)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Need encouragement

    colorado -
    I am so impressed with the all out effort that you have performed for so many months! I pumped exclusively for about 6 weeks and was exhausted. Bottles and pumping was much more work than feeding at the breast.

    A happy mom is a happy baby. If you are at wits end, think about what is best for your family as a whole -and that includes yourself. I don't hear you say that you would give up totally on pumping. I hear you say that you need sleep.

    What if you slept 7-8 hours straight at least couple nights a week. Yes less pumping means less milk typically but if you are rested, you might relax more and more milk might let down.

    Hope my thoughts help.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Need encouragement

    Thanks, all, for listening and for your advice. I'm going to try a return to BFing, wish me luck! I'll keep you posted.

    I've also made "peace" with myself about some life changes. You are right, wyestmom1, that a happy mom means a happy baby, and ultimately, that is what is most important. Thanks for the encouragement!

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