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The beginning of an end?

June 14, 2008 6:17 pm
Posted by: heather

I was going to write this post on Thursday at work but unfortunately we had no power (boy do I have a clean desk now!). The story is a little different now but I think it still is worth telling even just for those with younger kids who might go through similar things.

Jace has always been a very good nurser. Once we got past some initial latch issues, he slurped away happily. Actually, he always slurped happily, it was me who wasn’t happy in the beginning! We are now down to eating 5 times a day. When he first wakes up, when he goes to bed and 3 bottles at daycare. I have been typically pumping 2 times a day at work and while at first I was keeping up, Jace soon out drank me and we were supplementing with a little formula mixed with breastmilk.

I have been getting really tired of pumping lately and my supply has been dwindling but it has been my goal to try to make it to one year. It is very frustrating to sit there in my closet at work and pump for 15 minutes only to get half what I used to get. Then the other day Jace started to get frustrated in the evenings because he would nurse and still be hungry since I had so little milk and I would have to give him a bottle anyways. I decided that I would experiment and cut down to once a day at work to see if that gave me a bigger supply in the evenings. My long term plan was to switch him to regular milk during the day after one year but still nurse in the mornings and evenings for a little while longer to ease the transition and because we both still seem to be enjoying it. Wednesday I did just that but when it came time to go to bed, Jace flat out refused to nurse and just wanted a bottle (instant gratification). I was crushed. Was this the beginning of an end? Was he starting to wean on his own? What was going to happen to my well thought out plan?

Since we had no power at work on Thursday, I only got to pump once anyway since I had to come home for lunch to pump (the advantage of living 1 1/2 miles from work). Thursday night we tried again and Jace actually latched on and was patient enough to wait for my letdown. And by the end he seemed perfectly satiated so I guess my plan worked out after all. We shall see how it goes but for now he is getting more formula at daycare and I only have to visit my closet once a day which feels very freeing.

5 Responses to “The beginning of an end?”

Kiri wrote a comment on June 15, 2008

You’ll have to see how it pans out, but I found I had less milk around Aunt Flo, could that be it?

Jen wrote a comment on June 15, 2008

La Leche League has a bunch of suggestions for just this problem, maybe one of them might be helpful? http://www.llli.org/FAQ/pumpwork.html

heather wrote a comment on June 15, 2008

It has been headed down hill for weeks so it definitely isn’t Aunt Flo. I am actually okay with it as it is. I was not mentally ready for him to wean yet but I am fine with cutting back the pumping. I was going to do that in a couple of weeks anyways. The majority of Jace’s liquid sustenance for the last 11 months has been breastmilk and I am proud of how well we have done. I wasn’t sure I could make it 6 months let alone this long. I know breastmilk is bestmilk but a little formula won’t hurt him and it is just as important to have a happy mom. And this mom was getting sick of pumping so much and refused to jump through hoops to get her supply back up at this stage of the game. Do the best you can do and Everything in moderation.

Holly Stephens wrote a comment on June 15, 2008

I am impressed you pumped 3x/day for so long! I barely had the patience to pump once a day when I was subbing last October. I have read, re: milk supply, that it’s not _how long_ the baby nurses or how long you pump per time, but how many times per day, that will raise or lower your supply. I found that to be true for me, so I would imagine that pumping fewer times at work will diminish your supply rather than boost it.

However, while I know breast is best, I think at 11 months you’ve done your job! I wanted to hold onto the first-thing-in-the-a.m. feeding as well as the before-bed one sort of indefinitely, but my supply at night must have been low (which it is definitely supposed to be–you’re supposed to have the most first thing in the a.m.) or he just wasn’t interested, so we were down to only in the a.m. by 13 months. Then, he wasn’t interested in that one either, so we were completely done at 13.5 months. I was a little sad, and once a day never seemed like a burden, but I didn’t get post-weaning blues like I’ve heard others sometimes get. (Be forewarned, just FYI.) Good luck figuring it all out.

Saru wrote a comment on June 15, 2008

Ryan is only half Jace’s age, but we’ve been going through something similar. Because of my supply issues, I nurse Ryan at morning and night but he gets formula during the day at daycare. In the mornings he happily nurses, but in the evenings he’s hit or miss. Some nights he does it just fine, other times he gets frustrated after a couple of minutes and demands the instant gratification of the bottle. And half of the time I have to give him a couple of ounces of formula cause he’s still hungry after he eats. I don’t have any words of wisdom, just wanted ou to know I feel your pain!

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(C) Steve and Heather Leibman, 2007.