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I will probably be leaving this board in the next month

Forum: Breastfeeding


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September 12th, 2008, 09:13 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,501
Well, my work schedule, my body's refusal to respond well to the pump (manual OR electric), and fenugreek's ineffectiveness will most likely cause my supply to dwindle and slowly dry up over the next month or so. My work schedule varies, and I often find myself not able to pump for 5-6 hours (due to back-to-back meetings, teaching classes far from my office, students showing up for advising, etc.), and as much as I've tried in terms of pumping, my boobs just seem to go on a semi-strike and I never get much out (neither with the double electric PIS, nor with a manual). Add to that LO's growth spurts (a KILLER one at 3 months, and now apparently another one at 4 months). And my supply is very obviously dwindling. I've been stressing over it a lot. Stressing over not being able to pump much, and then getting annoyed and frustrated with the pump (to the point of wanting to throw it on the floor, step on it, and break it into pieces - and I'm sure that's not helping the output - LOL!), stressing over not having enough milk for LO, stressing over having to nurse every hour at night, stressing over being inadequate because my body isn't able to do what it's supposed to do, etc. Add to that full-time work, taking care of the house, serious sleep deprivation, etc. Oh, and fenugreek, oatmeal, and any other remedy I've tried isn't working either.
SO... to make a long story short... I've finally come to terms with the fact that my baby will soon be a formula baby. I'll be keeping the morning, evening and overnight nursing feedings as long as possible, but I'm already seeing a decrease in the evenings, so around 7:30 or 8pm we have to supplement because my milk factory is empty and LO is still hungry. But hopefully I can continue to nurse for his middle-of-the-night and morning feedings for a while. As much as I used to hate getting up in the middle of the night to nurse, I treasure it now because I know it won't last long.
So I guess I will soon be saying goodbye to this board, but I just wanted to say that I appreciate all the advice and support you all have given me for the past 4 months.

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September 12th, 2008, 09:21 PM
LaLa's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 11,576
Just a little tip - try adding blessed thistle to the fenugreek and if in 2 weeks, still no increase in milk then ask your dr about reglan. Also - try pumping in the car - i had to resorrt to it many times while driving home, to meetings, you name it Its nice to put some music on - dont worry about how much you get out - just the fact that its stimulation.

its tough, but you will find peace with what you decide to do. Its not easy but its so worth it even just hte time youve had. I would just really encourage you to exhaust all options so you dont look back and wonder what if - especially if you have another one & discover that "thing" that works for you that you decided not to try this time.


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September 12th, 2008, 09:37 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Michigan
Posts: 26,401
Just a little tip - try adding blessed thistle to the fenugreek and if in 2 weeks, still no increase in milk then ask your dr about reglan. Also - try pumping in the car - i had to resorrt to it many times while driving home, to meetings, you name it Its nice to put some music on - dont worry about how much you get out - just the fact that its stimulation.[/b]
Ditto! The most important factor in keeping your supply up when your baby is young, is stimulation. Whether he's nursing or your pumping, it's all stimulating your body to produce more milk. Not pumping or nursing for 5-6 hours is going to have the biggest effect on your supply. So if you can squeeze in a few minute pumping session at any point in there, then you should have better luck with your supply. Supplements or oatmeal are great to give you an extra boost, but they can't take the place of your baby or your pump.
Andrea, mom to 3 beautiful girls - Abigail (8) Annabelle (6) and Alexis (3)

Expecting baby #4 in April - It's a BOY!

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September 12th, 2008, 10:37 PM
Kalia20's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: ontario canada
Posts: 5,890
I agree to try to exhaust all options so you won't have a "what if" in the back of your mind. You are doing an AMAZING job at trying so hard with your baby, remember that Im hoping that with you coming to terms with this, that you will relax some and be able to get a bit more of a supply up. No matter what, you are doing a great job

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September 13th, 2008, 09:00 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,501
I was posting as an FYI, and I guess maybe to myself, too - as a way to slowly say goodbye to this part of mommyhood. Whenever people tell me "Try more", "Don't stop", "Exhaust all your options", I start stressing - I start feeling inadequate, like a bad mom for stopping nursing, like I'm not doing enough, not trying enough. I don't want that stress anymore, which is why I'm saying goodbye to the BF board.

I have tried everything you all suggested, and there have been days when I just have not had the chance to pump even 5 minutes over the course of 5-6 hours (unless I wanted to stand and do it in front of my students - uhm, no). That's just the nature of my job and my life right now.


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September 15th, 2008, 09:53 PM
beck12's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 12,330
Whatever you decide is of course your decision. Maybe you won't even read this as you said you are leaving & I am not sure if you mean now or when...I don't know...but I was about where you are when my LO was about that age & I really wanted to at least tell you a few things about my story. I typically would go 5-6 hr before being able to pump at work (sometimes longer) & I was on & off having to supplement with formula on his daytime bottles. I tried lots of things to increase supply & fenugreek never did me much good either. I did find that oatmeal cookies & mother's milk tea did eventually seem to be the right combo for me & my supply started to come back up as long as I diligently stuck to it. (Later I didn't need that when my supply was better established). My other supply issue was that around this time I developed Mastitius from not pumping for 10 hrs (stupid - but long story - I was on the road & lost a pump part & couldn't get it to work so I thought "I'd be okay") - so then after that nasty bout, by Af started & that hurt my supply too. You are right - the more you stress - the harder it is to do ANYTHING - much less pump. I just allowed myself to feel good about ANY BM I was able to get & have faith that my body could do this - as women have since the dawn of time & quit stressing over it. Some days I would be lucky to get an ounce from each breast (well actually on one side I usually did 1.5 oz & the other side .5 oz). But anyway - deciding to give up on stressing really turned things around for me. I still had to sometimes supplement during the day while I was at work, but if I did - so be it - he was still being nursed & given BM whenever I could & whatever he needed after that was what happened. The thing is - that now, at 18 months I am still nursing & so glad to have made it through - and I can hardly imagine it was really that hard - but all I need to do is stop for a moment & think about it & I remember a number of really bawling phone calls I made, or posts here & I remember it really was like a whole different world then..

The thing that really bums me out about hearing you say this is it for you is one thing....I am not even sure you have made it to the good part of nursing yet. I know I hadn't by 4 months (and many moms don't at that point) - I had only dealt with all the hardest parts & hadn't yet been able to truly enjoy it. If you decide to let it go now - you will literally have only done the hard work & not really reaped the real payoff yet. Breastfeeding is tough - really tough. Personally I don't know a single woman that hasn't wanted to give up numerous times in those first 4-6 months. I also don't know a single woman that pushed through past that point that isn't glad she did. Once your supply is established, and you have more of a "typical" routine worked out - it is amazing how awesome it can be - before then - I felt like every day was a struggle. I am sure you do too!

I also want you to remember that the more you supplement the less milk you will have. This is not such a big deal when it comes to bottles when you aren't home, but it is a MUCH bigger deal when it comes to bottles while you are home. Your body will only make whatever you ask it to make. So if yesterday he took a total of say 36 oz, but today you felt he was hungry & gave him a 4 oz bottle 4 times, within a couple of days your body will reduce to an output f 20 oz per day. (not that this is accurate for you or him or a baby that age - just throwing out an example). The good news is though - that if you remove those bottles one by one, your body can also rebound & come back to where he needs it to be. Also - around this age many women stop feeling let-down which can fool them into believing they are making less - its just an adjustment that is natural for many women sometime between now & 8 months or so - some continue to feel it always, some never feel it in the first place, but many notice it diminishing in sensitivity (or completely going away) sometime near where you are now.

Whatever you decide - of course is your choice. No one wants you to feel bad or pressured or stressed - exactly the opposite. We are only here to help women succeed & feel supported & lifted up. The only way I can try to describe why we are all so supportive of continuing is this: it is like when I want Dh to take a bite of something that I think tastes amazing (like chocolate cheesecake) & I may seem pushy to him when trying to get him to take a bite and explaining how great it is & how he MUST try it...but then when he sinks his teeth in, he realizes I was just being enthusiastic, not trying to make him eat brussel sprouts or anything. I don't know how else to explain it. (I really wish I did because I know that was a BAD metaphor) I am only enthusiastic because I KNOW how it is to feel like "it isn't working" or that "it isn't worth all this"...and stressing about it only makes that worse for EVERYONE. I simply want you to understand & feel that you aren't alone - that I have felt what you are describing (as have many of us) & that it is okay to not be 100% in love with breastfeedingand all the work & struggle & effort it takes sometimes. There are some women that don't struggle as much as others - but many of us have to really fight to make it work in those early months. The good news is though that the "fight" doesn't last that long & if you were willing to hang in there a few more months, I am pretty certain you would see a HUGE improvement sooner than you think.

I wish you & Alonzo the best no matter what & hope that you find whatever brings you the most peace.

Much love~
B - Crazy momma to my two boys
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