I really support the idea of mums looking after themselves. You've done amazingly to pump non stop and through mastitis! I can sympathise with that - suffering mastitis was one of the hardest times of my life. So you deserve a big pat in the back for pushing through... But it sounds like you just need to give yourself permission to reclaim some normality and time to be a mother, which IMO is better for baby in the long run.
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28-10-2013 12:06 #11Junior Member
- Join Date
- Sep 2013
28-10-2013 12:22 #12
You've done a wonderful job- no way could I have done this! Have you considered mix feeding? Or if breast milk is important to you, have you considered donor milk? Breast feeding isn't all or nothing, there's no reason you can't cut back on your pumping schedule (gradually, to avoid blocked ducts and mastitis) and introduce formula or use donor milk (whichever you like) and if you want to then wean of pumping altogether you can do so knowing you've done an awesome job- any breast milk will benefit bub and you've managed 16 weeks worth- that's fantastic!
28-10-2013 12:49 #13Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2008
Huge hugs OP, it sounds like you're doing an amazing job.
I was lucky enough to be able to breastfeed, but due to having a premature baby (who wasn't a great feeder) and a very changeable milk supply, I also had to pump just to keep it all going.
I was definitely stuck in a cycle of feeding and pumping and I felt like that was all I did (I think because it was!) Feeding took an hour, pumping took at least 30 minutes and I was left with only a maximum of 1 hour out of every 3 to eat/sleep/shower etc. It was horrible and I was absolutely exhausted and quite depressed by the time my supply settled and DD's sucking reflex kicked in (which luckily, was only about 6 weeks in - I never would have made it to 14!)
My advice would be to do what you have to do to maintain your sanity. You have already given your baby a huge head start by pumping for so long, so don't feel guilty about whatever choices you make. I agree that mixed feeding would be worth a try. It would free up your time, allow your DH to share in the feeding and give you a break - it sounds like you need it
28-10-2013 12:56 #14Member
- Join Date
- Nov 2011
I pumped for DD2 for about 6 weeks. I found it really, really hard. I had a very bored 19 month old, my always hungry newborn and my husband was working 12 hour shifts so very little help.
I literally felt like all I was sat on the pump all day long. It was depressing me. I felt like my toddler was being neglected, I found getting out of the house almost impossible. I was so miserable. So after I got mastitis I decided I'd had enough (can't believe you've had mastitis twice- it was awful! Hugs!!)
I'm so glad I stopped. I felt worse about thinking about actually stopping than after I did if that makes sense.
It sounds like you've been doing/ are doing amazingly! If you want to stop then you should and if you do you may even feel relieved like I did. Please don't feel guilty!!
Oh and my dd2 took to formula really well, I just gradually mixed it with her ebm- I think, long time ago now!
Last edited by Miss Salty; 28-10-2013 at 13:10.
28-10-2013 13:45 #15Senior Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2013
oh hun you are doing such an amazing job keeping your baby alive on you milk. You have already given her a great start to life by breastfeeding her.
But you need to think about yourself too.
I eclusively breastfed my babies for 6mths, luckily they were wonderful feeders but i simply couldnt keep up with their demands. They were hungry babies esp DS, who fed 1.5-2hrly round the clock up untill i weaned him onto formula at 6mths old. I was just too tired to be a mummy and care for my baby AND toddler who needed me just as much! I was not enjoying bf anymore and knew i had to make the decision for myself. I also did not vision myself bf long term, 6mths was my goal - 12mths was my limit.
Once ds was completely weaned, the feeling of relief and freedom was unreal and just what i needed. My energy returned pretty much as soon as i started replacing a single feed with formula. I was myself again. I began to enjoy my baby, i saw a real change in DS - he started sleeping better and was generally happier, less fussy and stopped looking at me as if i was just food
Goodluck with it all. Ultimately it is upto you and it is a very personal decision to make. Dont feel you need to have excuses for any decision you make, either. Formula is made for babies, it is there for mum's like us who want so badly to bf, but cant for unforseen reasons.
28-10-2013 13:52 #16
Oh I'm so sorry I know how you feel. I have also had loads of issues feeding my dd. Maybe even comp feeding as suggested above, feeding breast when you can and formula as well. Also I haven't read all the other posts so I'm sorry if I'm repeating myself, but have you tried fenugreek tablets and lactation cookies? (Herbs of gold breastfeeding support are really good) they helped me a lot when I suffered from low supply. I'm also on domperidone as well. Is this an option for you? So when you pump, hopefully your supply will increase. I'm sorry you are going through this. Big hugs xxx
28-10-2013 19:07 #17
No need for me to come back and post my support or words of wisdom, everything I would suggest has been mentioned above, namely:
You are amazing for doing it this far.
Your baby will still be happy, healthy and awesome if you give him formula.
It doesn't have to be 'all or nothing', you can mix feed for a long time with some formula and some EBM.
You're not alone! Lots of women have been where you are, and there would be plenty more out there who have also hated expressing and comped with formula who probably aren't game to admit it (which just adds to the whole 'hating pumping/formula guilt' cycle)
Do what feels right and don't lose a moment sleep over it
29-10-2013 20:16 #18
I could have written the same post! I pumped for 6 weeks before starting to mix feed. Once I started it was like a weight lifted off of me. It really is a monumental task and such a demand on a mum time wise.
You are doing a fantastic job to provide for your child. Don't overthink it, we are our own harshest critics
29-10-2013 20:23 #19
Wow I tried exclusively breast pumping with my first and made it to 6 weeks. I was just so over it and cried for days after I made the decision to stop - my milk stopped really quickly as well to add insult to injury.
I only planned on pumping for this one until 12 weeks (didn't work out for other reasons)
You have done really well - if you do decide you are done try not to feel any guilt...I know easier said than done...
29-10-2013 20:32 #20
It's your hormones that won't let you stop. I think it happens to breast feeding women too, the need to not give up. But once you do it's sooooo awesome. Oh the time you get back!!
I expressed for 1 month and I struggled to get there. I was ready to smash my pump by the end. My sister said after 1 month she was taking the pump away, but she didn't have to, I was happy to let it go. She said "how is it better for the baby to be sitting in a bouncer rather than be cuddling her mum while you express". I agree, better to spend the time enjoying your bubba, they grow SO quickly.
I mixed fed, half a bottle of ebm and half formula. I froze up what was left over and used that once I stopped expressing.
My DD is now the tallest in her care room, and the best talker. She's manipulative which I guess means she smart too. I don't believe formula has hurt her any.
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