Thanks for the ladies. I know it could be worse.
Thanks for the ladies. I know it could be worse.
I am Lea (middle name)
Mama to Dominic born on 3/23/09
Wife to G 4/27/07
We're blessed to have been for 3 years and counting! Proud to with our squirmy worm
"My home is not a place, it is people."
-Lois McMaster Bujold
Congratulations on continuing to BF through the struggle ... I know it's hard a lot of mom's decide it's too much and just give up the first sign of trouble!! Give yourself credit (and a break) and don't be too hard on yourself.
I have a 9 mo son who I have been BF'ing since birth. I, too, wanted to EBF and at times my supply got low. The first few months I put tons in the freezer, and just used it on the lower supply days (busy at work, during my period, etc). Then, one day I looked in the freezer and realized I had a few (of like 50) bags left!!! Not only was I pumping like crazy already, (3 x day at work + after morning feeding at home and after bedtime feeding at home), now I totally kicked it into overdrive!! I was drinking mother's milk tea, pumping every 2 hours on the weekends, and I managed to get through it!
True confession: when my son was 6 months old, I was happy to give him juice because it meant he might drink a little less milk so I could save more. Looking back, I should have realized sooner that I should have just supplemented if I needed to because it's way better than trying to fill a baby up on juice. I only gave it to him once a day, and it was 50/50 dilluted, but that's what I was thinking.
I was so proud of myself ... EBF'ing ... and I was telling everyone I knew about it!! Then I got a new job and was told I had to go to Tucson for a week!! So with about a month's notice, I was able to freeze 3 days worth of milk from hardly any saved up. I was freaking out, crying, going nuts on my husband, and realized that I would HAVE to supplement while I was gone. Feeling defeated, like a horrible mother, and everything else that goes along with it, I decided that if I was going to have to supplement, I wanted to make sure before I left that he took the formula ok. So I gave him his *first* bottle of formula ... and you know what? He survived. Didn't even know it was anything different, actually. No change in attitude, poops, or fussiness at all.
After I gave it to him, I felt an overwhelming sense of relief, in many ways. I was relieved that he took it ok and relieved that all this tremendous amount of stress was just alleviated so easily. I was pumping like a mad woman up until then. Seriously, I would pump until blood started coming out of my nipples sometimes ... for more than 30 min at a time. My husband always went to bed before I did, and I would stay up as late as my body allowed just to make more milk to pump before I went down. I tried waking up at 2 am to pump, but working full-time w/ 4 kids, it just exhausted me!!
After I gave him the formula, my husband asked me if we get to cuddle in bed at night again (I would always come to bed when he was sleeping)... I realized I was giving up a lot just to BF my son!! Not only that, but it was stressing me out sooooo much and making me feel like a bad mom, when really I am a GREAT mom for keeping up this long!!
I made it through my Tucson trip, my LO only needed like 2 formula bottles, and I managed to bring back tons and tons for the freezer with me. I am still BF'ing, but if my supply gets low ... or I decide I just want to go to bed instead of stay up late to pump, I will! And my baby will be just fine!
Read these forums, they will help a LOT! Also, invest in a good pump.
Here's my sad story about buying a Madela PIS ... I actually got a GAP credit card because they sell them online at the GAP so I could buy some decent nursing clothes and a PIS pump. Sad, but true. I am soooo glad I got one because I could be done pumping in 10 minutes and get 90 - 95% of my milk out. I always go longer, thinking I will get more, but usually do not.
Holy smokes this is a long post ... sorry!! I just wanted to share my thoughts and experiences. Read these posts, you can learn a lot about how to increase your milk. While BM is always superior, formula is a nutritionally complete alternative if needed. Hang in there - it gets easier!!
Last edited by @llli*busymom; August 16th, 2009 at 08:31 PM.
I agree w/ the pp's, but I really wanted to reply to say HANG IN THERE!!! I have seen so many mom's give up too soon, but you will know what's right for you and your LO when you make the list w/ your hubby.
But the thing I know is that the STRESS will decrease your milk. I, at one time, (I've back to work almost 2 mos) was just barely making enough milk for her the next day and really panicked. My supply got lower the more I worried about it. I have a very stressful job, and I'm SUPER busy, so it's really hard to get 3x/day in. But - I made it clear to my staff... I take my breaks at 9:30, 12:30 & 3:30. I've been PRETTY good about sticking to that schedule. At most, I've been an hour late, but I try NOT to miss one. I know I have to keep the schedule to keep my supply up. BUT - also - I stopped stressing about my output. I stopped measuring each pump session, and comparing it to other pump sessions.... I noticed, the more relaxed I was, I still produce enough, and now, thanks to pumping on the weekends too - MORE than enough for her during the week.
So - again, HANG IN THERE!!!! Keep us posted as to how it goes!