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Thread: Should I continue if I'm only producing 2 oz/day?

  1. #1
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    Aug 2008
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    Default Should I continue if I'm only producing 2 oz/day?

    I haven't posted here in a while. Actually, my last post was about 5 months ago about DH imposing a deadline of 1 yr on nursing. Here I am at 15 months still nursing! DH gave up the fight and finally realized I was doing the best thing for our son.

    DS is 15 months old. He has lots of food allergies, but about 6 weeks ago, we were able to successfully add soy into his diet. Anyway, since introducing soy, I've cut back alot on nursing and would only nurse in the middle of the night and 1-2 other times during the day. DH and I went away for 4 days, and all I was able to pump was 2.5 oz/24 hours. I pumped twice a day.

    The other issue is that I've been struggling with some depression for at least 6 months. I've started taking St. John's Wort, which is helping, but I've read it crosses into breastmilk. I checked it out on Kellymom and it says that it's preferable to take an actual prescribed antidepressant, but that in the few studies that were done with St. John's Wort, there weren't any adverse effects on the baby. I know it's irrational, but I refuse to take a prescribed antidepressant. My mother has severe mental illness, scizophrenia, OCD, etc. I haven't seen her in 5 years and she doesn't even know I have children. She started with antidepressants many years ago and it just progressed from there. In my mind, taking an antidepressant would be the first step in becoming my mother. I just won't do it.

    Anyway, I'm sure I could increase pumping and nursing and get a bit more of a supply going. Do you think it's worth it? Also, with all his allergies, I have to follow a pretty restricted diet. His allergies are milk, eggs, peanuts, beef and watermelon.

    Sometimes I wish I could be like my friends and blissfully not do any research and think that formula is "good enough" and that everything will work out. But I'm not. I stress A LOT about his nutrition and put in a huge effort every day to be sure he's getting enough fat and protien with his allergies.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Should I continue if I'm only producing 2 oz/day?

    Hi mamatofaith,

    Congrats on going past a year I don't have any advice on the to pump or not to pump issue, but I wanted to say something about the antidepressant issue. My mother has schizophrenia as well, and I know it is a hard road to be on. It is so scary to see your mom that way and to fear that you will become her. I am not sure how old you are, but my guess is that you are beyond the age for onset. I used to be terrified that I would wake up one day in a prison of my mind. It has unfortunately struck many of my family members. I know that you say that your mother started with antidepressants and it just progressed from there. My guess is that she was depressed because of her other mental health issues. I don't think that you are going to turn into her just because you are/have been depressed. If the St. John's Wort works for you, then stick with it. But maybe you could also try going to therapy and talking it out with a professional. That is what helped me get over my fear of becoming my mother. I know this isn't the response you were looking for, I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Should I continue if I'm only producing 2 oz/day?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommy2lilah View Post
    Hi mamatofaith,

    Congrats on going past a year I don't have any advice on the to pump or not to pump issue, but I wanted to say something about the antidepressant issue. My mother has schizophrenia as well, and I know it is a hard road to be on. It is so scary to see your mom that way and to fear that you will become her. I am not sure how old you are, but my guess is that you are beyond the age for onset. I used to be terrified that I would wake up one day in a prison of my mind. It has unfortunately struck many of my family members. I know that you say that your mother started with antidepressants and it just progressed from there. My guess is that she was depressed because of her other mental health issues. I don't think that you are going to turn into her just because you are/have been depressed. If the St. John's Wort works for you, then stick with it. But maybe you could also try going to therapy and talking it out with a professional. That is what helped me get over my fear of becoming my mother. I know this isn't the response you were looking for, I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone.
    Actually, that was exactly the response I needed. Thank you. I have tears streaming down my face right now.

    I'm 30. I never felt any inkling of depression until about 6 months ago. I think it's a combination of the life change of being a SAHM in a rural area, having a DS with so many allergies (which stresses me out alot), and him not sleeping well at night. Plus some marriage problems that come and go.

    From talking to family members, I've learned that my mom started with depression in her early 20's. Then when she accidentally got pregnant with me (her second) she was extremely depressed. After my youngest sister was born (her fourth) she developed PP psychosis and was hospitalized for about a month. She was on antidepressants after that. She was still able to function, and she raised us normally. The only difference was that her personality was pretty blah. Every few years they would increase her dose or add new meds when her paranoia would start creeping through, and by the time I graduated college, she was on antidepressants, antianxiety, and a schizophrenic drug although she wasn't diagnosed as being schizophrenic. She stopped taking her meds in 2003 and about 6 weeks later, she was completely lost to her own mind. Her voice is different and she even has an accent now.

    I'm just so scared about becoming her. I don't have any paranoia, but I do feel some depression.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Should I continue if I'm only producing 2 oz/day?

    I imagine that when your baby starts sleeping better that you will feel less depressed. All kinds of things will probably get better, along with your relationship with your husband. It is hard when those babies are waking up so much at night, but I just tell myself that soon I won't be able to remember it very well. I have a hard time remembering the stress of those early days of breastfeeding when I was crying every single day by 3 pm.

    Depression is not schizophrenia, nor is it paranoia. Generally, schizophrenia will manifest in women by the time they are around 25 or so and in men it usually manifests earlier. I am glad that your mother was able to keep it together when you were younger. Mine was not, and it was very odd at times. With her personality being pretty blah, as you say, it sounds to me like it had started for her before then or around that time. People with schizophrenia do not have the ability to have appropriate emotional responses to things and that in turn seems to cause them to seem to have no emotion. My mom's voice changes too. It's weird. When she's hospitalized and on meds, she sounds one way and when she is off the meds she sounds another. I have made my peace with it and send her pictures of Lilah and try to visit her when I make it to her part of the country every couple of years. I feel bad for her because she is not able to participate in life the way she should. But it is her right to not take the medications and I can't do anything about it. Maybe it's easier for me to believe that I won't become the way my mom is/was because it was so extreme.

    Can you go for counseling? I know it was so great for me to have a professional tell me that just because of x,y, and z, it didn't mean that I was going to become extremely mentally ill and withdraw from life.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Should I continue if I'm only producing 2 oz/day?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommy2lilah View Post
    I imagine that when your baby starts sleeping better that you will feel less depressed. All kinds of things will probably get better, along with your relationship with your husband. It is hard when those babies are waking up so much at night, but I just tell myself that soon I won't be able to remember it very well. I have a hard time remembering the stress of those early days of breastfeeding when I was crying every single day by 3 pm.

    Depression is not schizophrenia, nor is it paranoia. Generally, schizophrenia will manifest in women by the time they are around 25 or so and in men it usually manifests earlier. I am glad that your mother was able to keep it together when you were younger. Mine was not, and it was very odd at times. With her personality being pretty blah, as you say, it sounds to me like it had started for her before then or around that time. People with schizophrenia do not have the ability to have appropriate emotional responses to things and that in turn seems to cause them to seem to have no emotion. My mom's voice changes too. It's weird. When she's hospitalized and on meds, she sounds one way and when she is off the meds she sounds another. I have made my peace with it and send her pictures of Lilah and try to visit her when I make it to her part of the country every couple of years. I feel bad for her because she is not able to participate in life the way she should. But it is her right to not take the medications and I can't do anything about it. Maybe it's easier for me to believe that I won't become the way my mom is/was because it was so extreme.

    Can you go for counseling? I know it was so great for me to have a professional tell me that just because of x,y, and z, it didn't mean that I was going to become extremely mentally ill and withdraw from life.
    It's nice that you're able to visit with your mom. My mom always had an obsession for babies and I'm afraid for her to know my kids. Plus, in her mind my husband is a very bad person. When I make attempts to be in touch with her, she starts making up stories about him and filing false police reports to try and get him out of the picture. I'm afraid what she'll do if she finds out about the kids. Although I think she must know about them because she periodically stalks me.

    I've been to counseling with my family. We all went together for a while for the benefit of my youngest sister who was most affected by my mother.

    We've tried over and over again to get her hospitalized, but it's an impossible task in NJ. Basically, nothing can be forced upon her until she tries to kill herself or someone else. It's sad, but it's going to come to that eventually.

    Thank you for chiming in. It's been helpful for me to hear from someone in the same situation.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Should I continue if I'm only producing 2 oz/day?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mamatofaith View Post
    We've tried over and over again to get her hospitalized, but it's an impossible task in NJ. Basically, nothing can be forced upon her until she tries to kill herself or someone else. It's sad, but it's going to come to that eventually.
    I totally hear you. It's the same way everywhere. And my mom was really big on filing police reports for a while too. She may still do it, but now they are taken with a grain of salt. I live 2000 miles away from her, so I'm not too worried about that. My mom was obsessed with babies too - she thinks that myself and all my siblings were replaced at one point - and I was nervous about her meeting Lilah. I don't know that they will meet again, but it was important to me for them to meet. I have a two year old nephew that lives about 50 miles from her that she has never met. And she may never meet him. My brother is very uncomfortable about it, and living so close, I can understand it.

    I'm glad you have siblings you can talk to about it. It would be lonely to have nobody who understood what you are going through.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Should I continue if I'm only producing 2 oz/day?

    About the pumping, I have always read that how much you pump doesn't equate to what you actually produce for your LO. You usually pump much less than what they are getting from you. And nursing provides so much more than just milk. It provides him comfort and love too so even if you aren't producing much milk and you are comfortable with it you may want to continue just for the emotional benefits.

    to you for your struggles with mental health and your mom. My mom is Borderline Personality Disorder and not taking any meds. It's really hard. She's not allowed to be alone with my kids and isn't allowed to be left alone with me either, DH is always close by when she visits. Thankfully she lives out of town so visits are few. But I hear ya on the fear of becoming your mom. My mom's first symptoms were panic attacks and though her disease existed before the panic attacks started it really seemed like after that things went down hill quick. Now I have been having panic attacks and I'm terrified it means that I will slide down some slippery slope too. Thankfully I have been assured by my therapist that I do not have BPD but still, it weighs on my mind heavily.
    Jen - mom to 3
    DD who I FF
    I survived 10 painful mastitis infections and managed to nurse DS1 till he was 3 years and 7 months
    and now DS2 4 years now working on gentle weaning and


    "Pride is one of the seven deadly sins; but it can not be the pride of a mother in her children, for that is a compound of two cardinal virtues - faith and hope." Charles Dickens

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Should I continue if I'm only producing 2 oz/day?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*proudmamaof3 View Post
    About the pumping, I have always read that how much you pump doesn't equate to what you actually produce for your LO. You usually pump much less than what they are getting from you. And nursing provides so much more than just milk. It provides him comfort and love too so even if you aren't producing much milk and you are comfortable with it you may want to continue just for the emotional benefits.

    to you for your struggles with mental health and your mom. My mom is Borderline Personality Disorder and not taking any meds. It's really hard. She's not allowed to be alone with my kids and isn't allowed to be left alone with me either, DH is always close by when she visits. Thankfully she lives out of town so visits are few. But I hear ya on the fear of becoming your mom. My mom's first symptoms were panic attacks and though her disease existed before the panic attacks started it really seemed like after that things went down hill quick. Now I have been having panic attacks and I'm terrified it means that I will slide down some slippery slope too. Thankfully I have been assured by my therapist that I do not have BPD but still, it weighs on my mind heavily.
    Thank you for posting. Wow, I guess severe mental illness is more common than I thought. Although I'm sad that so many lives are affected, it's nice to know that I'm not alone.

    So, you think it's worth it even if he's not getting much? I'm leaning towards continuing, I guess I'm just looking for some reassurance that in spite of the St. John's Wort, it's still the best thing for him.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Should I continue if I'm only producing 2 oz/day?

    If he's mostly nursing at night, could you take it in the morning and then it would be out of your system by the time he nurses? I don't know if it's something you have to take more than once a day...
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

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