I need some encouragement

[deleted account] ( 6 moms have responded )

I've been breastfeeding Norah for 4 months now. I've been working for 2. For the past 2 months i've been pumping religiously 3 (sometimes 4) times a day. She's eating about 20 oz while I'm at work. I'm drinking Mother's Milk tea, eating oatmeal, breastfeeding on nights and weekends, getting up with her in the middle of the night when i have to get up at 5:30 for work...

it's wearing me down and sometimes i can't keep up. i know breast milk is the best thing and i really really want to BF until she is 1 year. i feel like a failure if i can't pump 20 oz in a day. yesterday my husband gave her a couple oz of formula because i worked late and he ran out of BM. i know formula is not the end of the world, but it made me cry. i was so happy that she was sleeping 6 hours on breast milk alone. but now she's waking more often again, but it's hard to pump even more extra BM to have my husband help at night. not only do i not want to give her formula, we can't afford it, and i don't qualify for wic.

*sigh* i just want some support and encouragement. thanks for reading.

6 Comments

View replies by

Elizabeth - posted on 12/22/2009

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I think you are such an AMAZINGLY dedicated mom. I love your determination! I pumped exclusively for son when is was in the NICU and it was just so hard (I know not the same situation) A friend of mine exclusively pumped for 16 months for her daughter and she had some issue with supply but managed. She used Goats Rue, ate oatmeal every morning, gatorade, MMT and blessed thistle. But her saving grace was the Goats Rue, it is used to produce lactation in adoptive mothers. I even used this a couple months back due to some supply issues. She also power pumped (if you look it up you can get the info sorry I cant really explain it)

You can get through this, you are a very determined mom. Is there a way you hubby can bring her at your lunch time so you guys can nurse. I know many moms whom do this and it works out great, not only do they get to feed their LO but get some baby time in that they miss while they are at work. I wish you all the luck!

Geralyn - posted on 12/22/2009

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Hi Jamie, it is very hard to work and BF. And starting at 4 months, she'll go through growth spurts, where she will wake up more frequently at night and seek out more during the day to BF. Pumping is a challenge, too, because you can't pump as much as they would suck.

I can tell you what I did, but my son was older, about 8-9 months. Maybe some variation of this would help in your situation. I worked close to home. My son was just starting with solids (although he was resistant to solids initially - he hated the cereals and the purees....). I would come home to spend a little time with him and nurse. Then, for the time that I was not there, my hubby would work on solids and he started to take water out of a bottle with a rubbery straw. [He flat out rejected all sippy cups and baby bottles.] I woud nurse hime from the time I got home until I left for work the next day.

For reasons in addition to BF'ing, I co-sleep with my son. He has always been a pretty good sleeper, and he would just half-wake to nurse then drift off again. He may have night nursed about 2-5 times a night, but it would only be for about one let down (so about 5 minutes?). I am not sure what your thoughts are about co-sleeping, but with the growth spurts ahead, nursing on demand at night allowed for my son to drift right back to sleep but he got what he needed.

After you introduce solids at about 6 months (recommended age), you could actually work it out where she was getting quite a few calories/nutrients by evening and night nursing, but during the day would have breast milk, water and solids.

Whatever you decide to do, the more breast milk the better for her.... Believe me, I was just lucky that I could slip away from work to breastfeed. Not many work arrangements (distance from house, being able to take breaks) are that easy....

Nicole - posted on 12/22/2009

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I had to go back to work when my wee one was just four weeks >:(. I have been in your same boat- baby nurses more amma pumps less. Your body will adapt and yield more for the pump. I feel your pain about not sleeping- I would sometimes go into work without any sleep at all. Keep going! Heh in about two months, you can introduce solids. As much as I am for total baby led weaning, it could ease your pump burden a lot. Try pumping on one side and nursing baby on the other. This is how I manage the night feeds and the need to pump. Keep up the good work!

Cherie - posted on 12/22/2009

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I'm sorry I don't have any experience with that, but you are doing an awesome job, and congrats for keeping it up so long, and being so committed!

Cherie - posted on 12/22/2009

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I'm sorry I don't have any experience with that, but you are doing an awesome job, and congrats for keeping it up so long, and being so committed!

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