Can someone please tell me that this is ok? long. — The Bump
Breastfeeding

Can someone please tell me that this is ok? long.

I had very high hopes of nursing DS. I very much wanted it. He had troubles nursing in the hospital (wouldn't latch, fell asleep constantly). He got his first bottle of expressed milk on day 3 in the hospital (it was the first measurable amount that he ate since birth). We had an extended hospital stay with nurses who could not help with BFing. And thus began my EPing adventure.

DS exclusively ate BM until solids at 6 months. He has never had formula, which is something I am very proud of. I had amazing supply until 6 months (40 oz per day), and then it dropped suddenly. I just cannot wake up at night to pump (I turn off my alarm which is across the room and don't even remember it). I think that is the culprit, and after increasing my time at each session and adding more sessions during the day my supply can't even keep up. 

The only reason why I haven't quit EPing yet is because I am scared that I will regret it. I am thrilled that I made it this far. I am thinking of quiting around the nine month mark in Dec to avoid having to pump on christmas vacation. That's almost a year and my stash can probably make it to 10 months. 

I really wanted 12 months, but pumping is too much. I hate it. I feels so strange. I travel every weekend to school 4 hours away and it is a PITA to pump in the bathroom where I stay overnight. 

DS has slowed down in gaining weight and I am worried that it will be a real concern at his coming up appointment.  I can't help but feel like it is my milk.  I try my best to eat healthy for him and take my vitamins. As much as I hate to admit it, I feel like he would do better on formula since my milk is what he mostly eats and this kid hasn't switched clothing sizes since 3 months old. I know that this is probably irrational of me to feel. 

It just does not fit into my life, but I hate to give it up. I feel like I will have failed DS and that it would be selfish of me to quit. I feel so conflicted.

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Re: Can someone please tell me that this is ok? long.

  • You've done an amazing job thus far and should not feel guilty.  As moms, I think we place too much pressure on ourselves.  Don't feel bad if you quit now.  Honestly, 2 months (or 3) from your goal of 12 months is arbitrary in my opinion.  If it doesn't work for you / your family, and is making you miserable and stressed out all the time - it's not worth it.  Now, if you had been nursing for only 2 months or so, I'd say don't give up and stick it out.  However, you've been doing this long enough to know what's right/good for you.  Make your decision and don't feel guilty about it.  You're not "failing" your son and you're not selfish. 
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  • It is ok!  You have done a great job of giving your ds breastmilk, and have gone way longer than most people.  Breastfeeding is a personal thing, you have to do what works best for you and your baby.
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  • I also think you have done a great job -- and if your baby is 8 months now, he's going to start getting more and more of his calories from solids. I think you'll be seeing a massive change over the next two months in that dept.

    good luck! i currently supplement about 6 oz a day with formula, so i figure if i bf for a year 3/4 time, that's the equivalent of 9 months of bf.

  • You've done a great job Momma! Could you start weaning slowly, and maybe it would carry you to the 1 year mark? Either way, you have done a great thing for your child, and 10 months of breastmilk is amazing. I've been pumping for 6 weeks and I know how taxing it is. 10 months is a really great thing.
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  • I only hope to make it that long!  My main goal is to make it to 6 or 7 months and then see how it is going.  I have a deep freeze that is literally full, so I am starting to rotate my stash now, but I think it has got 3 1/2 or 4 months worth of 6oz bottles of BM, enough for 5 a day.  Right now she is eating 5oz bottles 5 times a day.  If I make it to the 7 month mark, I am going to start just using my freezer stash I think, or cut way back on pumping.  The last 2 weeks, I have had a hard time getting up to pump before she eats, so I have had to pump after she eats, and I do worry that this will hurt my supply.  So... today I got my butt up to pump before she normally eats. 
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  • I've been EPing for the exact same amount of time as you have (DS born March 21) and so I feel like I sort of understand your frustration! Pumping for this long has been a difficult road, hasn't it? I think you should give yourself a pat on the back for making it this far - you've already done more than most mothers would! Don't feel guilty if you stop. You've given your son the best nutrition available for the most important part of his growth and development. I'm thinking that I too am nearing the end of my tolerance for pumping!
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