Post # 1
Breastfeeding didn’t work out for us. My baby was premature (36 weeks) and had a bit of jaundice and he was too sleepy to get it. Ive tried with a nipple shield, I’ve tried different holds, I’ve seen 2 lactation consultants, 2 nurses, and a doctor. He won’t latch on. Sometimes he gets 1-2 good sucks but then he pulls away and screams. I’d estimate he’s gotten 10 or so total good sucks ever. I’ve been pumping and getting enough for 1-2 bottles per day and I just don’t know if it’s worth it. If I’m pumping I can’t hold him and sometimes he’s fussing alone in his crib. If I’m washing pump parts, again, I’m not holding him and sometimes he’s fussing alone in his crib. He’ll be 1month in a few days and he’s growing great on mostly formula. How long would you continue pumping in this situation? Is getting a little bit of breast milk really so much better for him even if it sometimes means he’s fussing some instead of being comforted and getting attention?
Post # 2
Personally I think the benefits of breastfeeding are not more important than the benefits of a healthy, emotionally stable, happy mom – so if pumping is interfering with the latter, then I’d stop. Your baby will be just fine!
Post # 3
you can keep your pump parts in a ziplock bag in the fridge in between pumping and only wash them once a day. Personally I’d be breastfeeding now because of the Corona virus going around, any antibodies in your milk will be beneficial to keep baby healthy
Post # 4
First and formost, your mental health is important. If you feel pumping is getting in the way of you being a good mom by all means you should stop and use formula. Pumping is A LOT of work, and requires most women to pump every 2 hours to maintain a supply.
Like you I had a baby who would not latch well, he continued to lose weight the first 3 weeks until I finally decided to exclusively pump. I took that first weekend to supplement with formula while I got into a good pumping routine. That helped me build up a small stash and kept me ahead of the game.
A couple of things that majorly helped me:
- A good portable pump & hands-free pumping bra. I used the Spectra S1 for the first few months, and then switched to the Baby Buddha because it’s super small and on lanyard I could just hang around my neck. That paired with the hands-free bra were a game-changer. I know some women prefer the Willow, which are just cups that go into your bra.
- Keeping pump parts in a ziplock in the frige between pumps. I would use them throughout the day and then wash them at night. I had 3 sets of parts so at night I would just use a fresh set.
- Utilizing playmats and other things to keep baby entertained. We spent A LOT of time in the nursery when I needed to pump. With the hands-free pumping bra I could prop baby up on a boppy, or lay him on a play mat, and engage him so that I could be pumping and keeping him entertained.
At the end of the day it’s up to you what works best for your family. I was pretty determined to make it work, so I spent some time talking to friends who have exclusively pumped and used some pumping FB groups for rescources on how to make it easier. I have plenty of friends who didn’t enjoy or want to pump and they switched to formula and that was fine for them.
ETA: To add I went a solid 3-4 months of exclusively pumping where my baby wouldn’t latch at all. I’d try every so often and he’s refuse and start to scream. Eventually after around 5 months I got him to latch again, and continued nursing/pumping until a year. Anything is possible!
Post # 5
100% agree! A happy and healthy mamma gives the baby so much more in the long run than any health benefit of breastmilk.
I tried to breastfeed for 1 week, then exclusively pumped for 1 week. It was horrible and I cried over it every day for those 2 weeks, and a few weeks after quitting due to the guilt. I had a lot of issues like you and they had me feeding him pumped milk through a syringe to teach him to latch, which was a traumatizing experience every time and required both me and my husband. I basically gave up on him latching and decided to try to just pump and bottle feed since I had a full supply coming in. But the amount of hours it required was too much for me! Feed him a bottle for 45 minutes, get him burped, changed and settled and hopefully to sleep, then get out and pump for 30 minutes after every feed. And start over in about 30 minutes again. And sure my husband was able to help with feedings but during those 45 minute apart cluster feed nights – no way! I just started pumping less and less each day because I hated doing it and would rather rest when he slept, and my supply dropped. I had a decision to power pump and get it back up, but you literally have to pump after every feed so every 2-3 hours even at night, to keep up with their demand… so I quit. It was tough and I cried a lot and weighed options, but now hes 5 months and I am so glad I quit as early as I did. Rather than stress about it, I can enjoy my time with him as a healthier and happier person. It takes a bit to find the right formula, but now that we have a routine he is doing great and sleeps 8-9 hours a night! Another small perk of formula – breastfed babies don’t usually go that long without eating. Do what is right for you and your family, and don’t let anyone bring you down for that decision!
Post # 6
Honestly, do what is best for you guys. My son also would just not stay on and when pumping, breastfeeding, and supplementing took up every minute of my time and I was crying daily, I stopped. The guilt lasted a while, and now four years later my son is happy and healthy. You know what your options are, you don’t need other opinions, you just need to do what you know will work best for your well being. Your baby will be fine no matter what.
As for the cleaning parts, it is not recommended that you refrigerate instead of cleaning. So I would not bank on that and instead invest in extra parts if you really want to keep going. A hands free pump would also be a way to deal with holding baby while pumping, but they are expensive so I would not do this unless it is super important to you to keep giving breastmilk.
Post # 7
What does your current pumping schedule look like at the moment? At this point in time you realistically need to be pumping at least every 3-4 hours to establish good supply but it’s ok if you’re not at a place where you want to make that effort. You don’t need anybody’s permission to stop pumping so let go of the guilt and do what’s right for your family.
Having said that, with the way Covid-19 is tracking I would be trying to maintain some supply purely for the immunity benefits.
Post # 8
It sounds like you’re looking for someone to give you permission to stop, so go ahead and stop. It doesn’t work out for everyone and that’s fine. Your baby will thrive and be healthy. Do what works for you. It’s ok to stop, really. I wish someone had told me this 1 month in. I ended up pumping for 6 months and my daughter still had constant ear infections that resulted in ear tubes before her first birthday.
Post # 9
Unless Mom has had COVID 19 she will not have antibodies for it.You are correct that in general, the antibodies in a mother’s milk are a good line of defense for baby, but so is her sanity.
Do what’s best for you.
Post # 10
I agree that it sounds like you’re seeking permission to stop
you have my permission to stop … but my permission is meaningless, it’s your choice.
youre not alone in this. I have a friend who’s son was born 2 months prem and no matter what she did he was too little to latch and she couldn’t keep up with expressing. It killed her that she couldn’t do it as she was dead set on breastfeeding. It took her a long time to forgive herself, but she did and her son is perfectly healthy now.
she had her second not too long ago and she put all the ‘lessons’ she learnt trying to feed her son into feeding her daughter and has been able to EBF like she wanted
Post # 11
My friend formula fed first Child. He had no issues with health. Due to pressure from current recommendations, 2nd Child she pumped and breastfed for 2 years and she is the one with multiple food allergies and gets sicker easier. So to me breast is not always best. If you can do it easily while maintaining sanity go ahead, if not formula is still a great alternative
Post # 12
Very much agree with PPs, there’s no right or wrong. Do what will make you happiest! LO will be fine no matter what.
As someone who EP’d for 16+ months and had plenty of moments of frustration, I will say that it gets MUCH much easier once you have a routine down. But it’s completely up to you what to do. Good luck, mama!
Post # 13
I see this so often ‘formual fed baby healthy, breastfed baby not’
these comments are just as unhelpful as ‘breast is best’ likely those issues have zero to do with how they were fed.
to give balance though I’ll say my son (combi fed) is allergic to milk and had serious weight issues as a baby. My daughter who is EBF is a chunker with no allergies.
Post # 14
How often are you pumping? When the baby is that young, it’s very important to pump 7 to 8 times a day or more, just as much as they would be nursing. Otherwise your milk supply will drop off like you’ve seen. If you’re interested in getting your supply back up, Google power pumping and do that once a day. Also keep yourself really really hydrated.
I exclusively pumped for a year, and some of the absolutely critical things were having a Hands-free pumping bra So you can hold the baby at the same time, a Boppy newborn lounger that you can sit next to you on the couch or the coffee table and the baby can feel comforted and supported, and doing the fridge hack that someone else talked about… Storing your pump parts in a Ziploc in the fridge in between pumping and washing once or twice a day.
That said, while I believe breastmilk is important, I also believe that it has been over blown. Ultimately it won’t make THAT much of a difference if you choose to move to formula. If you want additional tips or support, look on Facebook for the group exclusively pumping moms. It was invaluable for me! Good luck mama!
Post # 15
I exclusively breastfed my daughter for 13 months — I was fixated on ensuring not a drop of formula crossed her lips. And my mental health suffered BADLY for it. Finally, my dad who is a Professor of Immunology and Virology sat me down and explained that most of the literature on the benefits of breastfeeding is unscientific and the results overblown. Are there some minor immunity benefits? Sure. Are formula fed babies doomed to a life of allergies and lower IQ? Of course not.
You know what IS worth a lot? Your mental and emotional well being. Your baby needs nothing more than a healthy, happy mom. Do what is right for YOU on this front and it will be what is right for your baby.
Personally, I’m currently pumping around the clock for my 3 month old twins — they are giant, gluttonous babies so I’m only giving them each 1/3 breastmilk. I’m currently pondering stopping for my own sanity. The only thing stopping me from stopping is absurd mom guilt that my daughter got breastmilk and my sons will get much less. Irrational, I know.
Be well mama.