Feeling guilty about supplementing

Melissa - posted on 05/02/2009 ( 6 moms have responded )

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I have been exclusively nursing my daughter for 7 months. My body has adjusted to how much she needs so I am really on able to pump one extra bottle at night to store. Her father and I are no longer together and on Saturdays he takes her for 24 hours. I usually only have 4 bottles to give him on Saturday and he really needs 6. A few times I just pump and bring more over during the day on Saturday but its just getting to hard to do that....emotionally its hard to have to keep seeing her and leaving her with him and not be able to just be a family! I bought some organic liquid Similac and started to mix it with the breast milk so he has enough bottles. I exclusively breastfeed the rest of the week. I am trying to store away some breast milk in the freezer because she will have to start daycare in a few weeks and I want her to have breast milk then because I hear that breast milk helps babies from getting sick and keeps their immune systems strong. I'd rather her have the breast milk for daycare when she's around other babies then when she is just alone with her daddy. But for some reason I just feel guilty about it. Any advice or suggestions.

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Summer - posted on 03/03/2014

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Towards the end of the first year breast-feeding your milk supply does dwindled but that's usually because solids are introduced. If you exclusively breast-feed and your baby is getting enough at some points then you are producing enough. I was totally paranoid that I wasn't producing enough and turns out I absolutely was!! It's just part of that mommy guilt. Pump pump pump and you and baby will be ok!! When you're pumping for bottles, usually 3 8oz bottles of bm is great! Occasionally my son would want a couple extra ounces but if you have to supplement a few ounces it's ok. Don't beat yourself up!

Belinda - posted on 02/28/2014

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I am in exactly the same situation, my baby is 26 weeks and I've been breastfeeding exclusively. I work full time and pump 15 oz a day for my sweet pea while she is at day care. The problem is that her dad and I have been going through a divorce since she was 4 weeks old and I provide him with 5 oz for each visit Monday Wednesday and Friday and then 15 oz for a 9 hr visit on Sundays. I am having a hard time keeping up and spend hours a day pumping. My milk supply has dropped recently since baby is going with dad more often. I am taking fenugreek and eating oatmeal. I am stressed trying to keep my little one on breast milk and do not want to give her formula but soon she will have an overnite with her dad and there is no way I can provide enough milk for that. I have depleted my freezer stash and am going day to day. Any suggestions??????

Shannon - posted on 05/03/2009

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Oh my gosh.. please do not feel guilty about doing this! My son is 8 months, and on the days I am home, he is EBF... won't even look at a bottle. However, I work 3 or 4 days a week, and the time I am there he usually needs 3 7oz bottles. I can't always pump enough to give him that much, I only am able to pump about 8oz a day, and store it in the freezer on my days off. So, I do each bottle with about 5 oz of mine and top them all with Good Start Natural Cultures. You are doing all you can, and if you continue to stress over it, pumping will be more difficult because your stress level is high. And as Allison said.. try to pump as often as you would nurse on the day she is not with you so thar your supply stays good! Keep up the good work, and you will be fine.. never feel guilty about doing what is best for you and your baby!!

Allison - posted on 05/02/2009

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I'm not a big fan of supplementing for convenience or "nutritional" reasons, but I really think it your case you are doing everything you can to keep your supply up and to give her as much breastmilk as possible. There's not a whole lot you can do when she's away from you for 24 hours or more, so I really think some formula in her case is not a problem. Just make sure you pump a lot while she's gone so you don't cause a drop in your supply.

And I think you're on the right track making sure she gets breastmilk when she's in daycare, as the immunities she gets can help keep her healthy.

Check out http://www.kellymom.com/ - there's a really great article about bottlefeeding breastfed babies and it talks about how to make sure baby isn't getting too much milk during bottle time. This might be a good thing to share with her dad as well as the staff at the daycare she'll be going to. (Let me know if you can't find the article and I can send a direct link).

Elizabeth - posted on 05/02/2009

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You are doing an amazing job! It's crazy that after all you are doing for your daughter that you would feel guilty about needing to supplement - but I felt the SAME way! I nursed/pumped exclusively with my 1st son for a year but have not been able to do it with my 2nd boy because of my work schedule. He is now 9 months and has 1 bottle of formula each day because I just can't keep up. I feel like I have to defend myself when I give the sitter a bottle of formula. Just remind yourself that you are doing everything you can and that your daughter has already received so many benefits and will continue to, regardless of a couple bottles of formula. Nursing and Pumping take so much out of you and if you are a working single mom, you have a LOT on your plate! Feeling guily shows how much you love your daughter and want the best for her. Congrats on being so committed to nursing and good luck!

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My only advice is too keep doing the best you can w/ the pumping and don't feel guilty about whatever you need to do. Your situation is hard enough w/out adding on guilt about how your baby is being fed. She will get health benefits from the breastmilk no matter when she's able to get it. Hang in there!

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