March 2013 Moms

time to quit?

So I need some real help/advise from the ones who have "been there". I have been really torn lately about continuing pumping. For those that don't know I have had to supplement with formula since DD was born, because of her sugars initially. Then when my milk came in it wasn't long before I could not maintain her appetite. Until the last two weeks she was getting equal portions of pumped milk and formula through the day. At least two weeks ago her appetite increased and she is now getting less than 40% milk a day. I am still producing the same 12 oz a day that she is consuming, but that is it (she consumes anywhere from 28-34 oz a day). I know many of you who quit nursing/pumping did so because of milk production issues, but of the ones who simply made the choice to quit, how did you decide it was time to be done? I just really can't make up my mind and am bashing myself for even thinking of quitting since there are so many women who have/had more issues than me in providing bm to their LOs. TIA I really don't have anyone in my personal life that can give me this kind of input.

BFP #1 7/6/2012, EDD 3/13/2013, Delivered 3/14/2013

BFP #2 1/7/2014: EDD:9/14 MC: 1/9/2014 (confirmed via blood work)

BFP #3 7/5/2014: EDD 3/11/2015 MC: 7/15/2014

BFP #4 11/7/2014: EDD 7/17/2015~~Please be my RAINBOW!

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Re: time to quit?

  • The decision to quit has to be made by you. I don't really think anyone can answer that question for you. Do you find pumping miserable and feel your quality of life is being affected? If so maybe you should think about quitting. Don't worry about other people. Everyone will ALWAYS have an opinion. There are people who breast feed, there are people who formula feed. In the end if you love your baby and provide a safe, nurturing environment whether they are getting formula or BM you are doing a great job.
  • I pumped for 10 to 11 months for my now-2-year-old twins.  At the time, I felt like I was accomplishing something important.  But here is why I am really responding to your post: in retrospect, I should have quit pumping much sooner.  Maybe I was doing something important by pumping for that length of time, but there are a lot of other factors that I should have considered.  For example, how much time did my babies lose with their momma because I was busy pumping and couldn't cuddle them close?  How many other parts of my life were suffering because of the time spent pumping?  Along with other problems, I know that I paid a few bills late (maybe I would have had more time to deal with important matters like that?) and lost quality time with DH.  Everything in our lives was based in large part on my pumping schedule.  I had to leave 2 wedding receptions and countless family events so that I could go and pump, and other outings were planned around pumping.  

    Now that I have perspective, I can see that there are other factors that should have trumped my desire to provide breast milk. 

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  • Like the PP said, its up to you.   I've done it both ways:  I pumped for DS 12-18 oz per day until he was 8 months old, the rest he got was formula.  I swore up and down that I'd never pump again and if I couldn't BF again, I'd go right to formula.  Same situation with DD, I pumped and worked at trying to get her to nurse, I gave her until she was at least 2 months old, I had been pumping so she got exclusive BM, and stopped pumping when she was 3 months old, and she had 50% freezer stash, 50% formula until she was 4 months, now she just gets formula. 

    I wish I would have stopped pumping earlier with my son, but it seemed like the right thing to do at the time.

    But you should stop feeling guilty no matter what you do :)

    "Grow old and be bold and know that you are the magic of my song" -Stephen Leonard

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  • DS2 was jaundice and needed formula at the beginning. Since he refuses to nurse I ep. I don't want to repeat everything that was said. I was told not to quit on a bad day. I'm not saying you should or should not. You have to decide. I think you will feel better about it if you end on a positive note.
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  • I was doing like you, he was probably getting more formula but a good bit of BM. I hated pumping. Hated it. I kept doing it because I liked supplying milk and it was helping with PP weight loss selfish, I know, but honest. I ended up getting the flu and my supply completely tanked. I tried pumping for a few days afterwards but only was getting 1 to 2 ounces a day. Sooooo not worth it for me.

    Now that's all said and done, I miss it but I'm so thankful to be free from the pump and have that time to spend with my boys. I remember how miserable I was pumping and focus on that.

    FWIW, I have ZERO problems with formula or formula feeding. My first son was exclusively formula fed. I just personally liked providing my own milk but I'm aware that that doesn't come without a price [pumping and the time commitment]. I guess all in all I'm really happy with where I'm at. If I ever get sad about not pumping I just remember that a year from now this won't even be an issue in the slightest.


  • I have been exclusively pumping from the start because LO wouldn't latch.  For a while (until about 7 weeks) I was producing enough for her, but maxed out at about 24 oz a day.  I was too stressed out producing barely enough at that point and not having anything frozen, so we started supplementing with formula and have been giving her 50/50 ever since.

    I've contemplated quitting quite a bit myself now, especially after returning to work.  It's getting kind of old carting my pump back and forth, washing the bottles, and then having to wake up an hour early to pump, etc.

    I *almost* quit last week, but thought really hard about it and found reasons to keep going.  Some of them are selfish, others are not.  Whatever you decide - ultimately it is up to you, and you've already done so well by giving your LO breastmilk for 4 months!

    My reasons for continuing, despite wanting to quit are these - hopefully they help you make your decision:

    - I am losing weight like crazy from breastfeeding, and want to keep that advantage as long as possible.  I've been slightly over weight my entire life, and am taking this opportunity to hopefully get into the "healthy" BMI range for the first time ever! (15 lbs to go...)

    - If I keep pumping at LEAST through this winter, hopefully LO won't have as many issues with the cold/flu as she might otherwise. She is really demanding when she is healthy (such a stubborn, independent baby!) so we don't want her to get sick!

    - Formula is expensive, and with only one income now, we could use as much money as we can.  Only spending $30/month on formula is a huge help.  Doubling that cost would be really noticeable in our budget.

    - I feel like I gave up too easily on breastfeeding, so continuing to push myself to pump makes me feel better and not regretful about my "failed" attempt.

    - I made it a goal for myself to freeze enough milk so I could eventually donate it to another mother who really needs it.  So the longer I pump, the more likely it is I can do that.

  • I know no one can make this decision but me. I know I can't be alone in these feelings, that's why I was reaching out. I really appreciate what everyone has said. It really does make me feel better seeing how other people are continuing or seeing what they gained by quitting.

    As of right now, pumping has not been a real burden to me. When I am home pumping DD is usually sleeping or in her swing right in front of me, so I am not missing total quality time with her. My "defeated attitude" comes mostly from not being able to produce at least half of what she needs.

    I think I am going to keep going until I can only produce 5 oz or under in a day, or it becomes a strain on my relationships with DH or DD.

    Thanks again for "listening" and sharing your experiences. I'm just having a bad emotional day I guess.

    BFP #1 7/6/2012, EDD 3/13/2013, Delivered 3/14/2013

    BFP #2 1/7/2014: EDD:9/14 MC: 1/9/2014 (confirmed via blood work)

    BFP #3 7/5/2014: EDD 3/11/2015 MC: 7/15/2014

    BFP #4 11/7/2014: EDD 7/17/2015~~Please be my RAINBOW!

    My Chart

    image image image

    All are Welcome!

  • I went back to work and it was physcially draining to try and take care of LO, travel for work, and pumping all the time. I could not continue to spend the time and she seemed to be doing fine on formula. I felt bad for the first few days, but it turned out to get a great decision. Its a personal decision and you have to do what is best for you and your family.
  • snok83snok83
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Comments 5 Love Its

    I am in the process of stopping pumping.  I attempted to BF but gave up b/c of latch issues/weight loss.  I have been pumping for the past 3 months not really have an end date in mind.   Just telling myself I would keep it up as long as I could but that I wasn't going to beat myself up when I decide to quit. 

    Well, that time has come for me to quit.  I return to work in August (work in a school).  This year, I travel to 3 different schools each week.  So I don't want the hassel of dragging my pump and finding spots at each school to pump.  I only have an office in 1 of the schools.  I honestly want the freedom and not having my life revolve around a pumping schedule.  I do feel a bit guilty quitting as I know I have a good supply and could continue.  However, I know in the end I will be alot less stressed and can finally enjoy my time with my daughter not stressing over the pump. 

  • OP, have you tried to see if any supplements or dietary changes would help with supply? Whenever I notice my supply is dipping a little low, I drink some fenugreek mother's milk tea, try to get a couple of servings of oatmeal and drink a beer in a day. I always notice a positive response with my milk following that. Just a suggestion, and that beer helps with other things too, haha!
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