I'm not ready (a bit of a rant)

Jennifer - posted on 10/25/2010 ( 7 moms have responded )

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my son, Holden, will be 12 months old on November 17th. I would LOVE for him to be breastfed until 3 or 4 years old but as some of you may remember, i have had to exclusively pump for him since he was around a month old. exclusive pumping is beyond exhausting and i can easily say that i hate it but i feel as though i would be cheating him if i stop pumping when he turns 1 year. i recently stopped pumping at night because i am a part time student and waking up to pump was really taking its toll on me. since then, my supply throughout the day has been dropping a bit and i've had to use some of our freezer stash (i was saving milk so that he would still have BM after i gave up pumping).



long story short, i'm having a hard time coming to terms with giving this up. i want to...i want to be done with pumping...i don't want to have to worry about it anymore. thinking about how much easier my day would be if i didn't have to pump makes me excited about stopping but this comes into conflict with how much an advocate i am for extended breastfeeding. i really really believe in the importance of breastmilk and i don't want my son to miss out on that. i feel like i would be cheating him. as silly as it sounds, i am offended that at 12 months cow's milk is supposedly sufficient. its a completely different species!



my husband wants me to be done. he's been amazingly supportive, and he thinks i've done an amazing thing for our son but i think he's just as sick of me being hooked up to the pump as i am. this is just hard because i know that if i were actually nursing Holden, there would be no issue. my husband would support me nursing Holden past 1 year, its just this god damned pump thats the problem! i'm struggling with the regret of not working harder to get him to latch on when he was brand new and i just don't know what i should do.



thanks for taking the time to read that :)

7 Comments

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Jessie - posted on 10/25/2010

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You know before I had my son I wasn't much a cook either but I have really enjoyed learning to make new things for our family to eat. and since his birthday we have learned he cant have dairy (that's what I got for introducing cows milk to supplement him when I went back to school. Damn cows. haha. also we just learned a week ago he cant have wheat either. which is most of his favs so I am learning a whole new way of shopping and cooking. it's kinda frustrating and kinda fun to learn something new to benefit my 15 month old at the same time.
Also, I think you are amazing for pumping this long. I HATED pumping and gave it up at 13 months old. I could never get much no matter what I did but always do fine when he nurses from me. now we just nurse a few times a day and soy milk for the rest. If you know you are going to feel guilty, wait another month and re-evaluate. and so on and so on. No matter what you choose you are still a wonderful mother for sure.

Jennifer - posted on 10/25/2010

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thank you all for your support!

mary, he's doing alright but he probably should be eating more real food. i'm not much of a cook and i don't want to feed him the same garbage i tend to eat (way too much pizza and sweets!) :( cutting down on pumping is a slippery slope when it comes to exclusive pumping, it doesn't work the same as when you're nursing. i cut out my middle of the night pumping and not only does my body no longer make milk for that pumping session, but its cut in to my supply throughout the day as well (not really badly, but enough to annoy me).

if i stay in this frame of mind and i decide to stop pumping, i know for sure that i will regret it so i have a lot to figure out.

Mary - posted on 10/25/2010

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I think it's wonderful that you have exclusively pumped for so long. If you decide to give up pumping, don't feel guilty. You have done a wonderful job for your son, and not many people would have had the patience to make it this far. How is your son doing with food intake? Maybe you can cut down on pumping a little bit. It doesn't have to be all or nothing; if you can't pump enough, you can supplement some of his intake with cow's milk (which you would do anyways, babies don't always like to be abruptly switched to cow's milk--breast milk is sweeter). We combo feed, but it's easy because Elyse has a wonderful latch; but I don't have enough breastmilk for daycare any more. She was exclusively BF for her first 14 months though. If you decide to give it up completely, give up the guilt...there's nothing to feel guilty about.

Sandie - posted on 10/25/2010

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for you to have put that much work into making sure he has the best is amazing!! i have only pumped a couple of times, it was waaaay to painful and slow, luckily my little one (17months) has always been happily latched. you shouldnt feel guilty or like youre cheating him, youve given him breastmilk for almost a year! thats awesome, so many ladies dont carry on for that long, youve done an amazing job so far so whatever you decide will work out for both of you. mum knows best!! good luck.

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Wow, you are amazing for doing this for a whole year! Pumping is so time-consuming and BORING. You did brilliantly for keeping this up for a whole year, your son is really lucky to have you! Why don't you just gradually reduce it and see how you get on with that? Find out how much he really needs at this stage, it really mightn't be half as much as you are pumping now. Either way, your little one has been breastfed for a whole year, don't feel guilty if you stop. I don't know if I could have lasted that long by exclusively pumping. More than likely not!

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Either choice you make will not be wrong if it's the one you want. I don't think you are cheating him at ALL! You have given him an amazing gift that many women would have just not put in that effort. I can tell you that if I had had to be a pumping mom.... my kids would've been formula fed. No doubt about it. Good luck w/ your decision and do NOT feel guilty if you choose to quit pumping.

Brooke - posted on 10/25/2010

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I am in the same position; my daughter is a month younger. I have to pump at work and I can NOT wait to be done with that! But I will continue nursing her in the mornings and at night. But I can't help but feel really guilty that I won't be able to breastfeed like she's used to on the weekends, which is all day long. My husband told me if I felt guilty to keep pumping. Yeah right ;) Decisions, decisions...

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