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Trying so hard to make it one year!

I breastfed my oldest son for ten months. I only stopped because I was young and he started biting and I just quit because I didn’t want him to bite me. Stupid, I know. Fourteen years later I had my second child and I have been determined to breastfeed LA for a year, a full year. I have told my husband if he starts biting and I can’t get him to stop I will pump at least til the one year mark. I have been very determined all along.

Today I am having a moment (these moments are coming all too often lately). I really want to breastfeed for a full year but let me tell you, it has been a struggle since he was about 4 months old, he is now 8 months old. I had been getting JUST enough when I pump at work. Let me clarify, when I would pump in the morning at home and three times at work, I would get JUST enough for him the next day while I was at work. When I say JUST enough, I am talking right down to the very ounce of what he needed is what I had been pumping. And then….my period returned at six months. My supply hasn’t been the same since. Early on I had 120 ounces in the freezer. We’ve gone through all of that but 20 ounces and I can’t even tell you the last time I was able to put some in the freezer. I used to pump 5 ounces in the morning, now I get three. I used to pump 4-5 ounces total from both sides on each break at work. Now I get three. I have tried adding a pumping session before bed and I don’t even get 1/2 of an ounce.

What else have I tried? I have tried eating oatmeal every morning, I drink the mother’s milk tea, I tried Motherlove more milk plus, I have tried pumping longer at each session. I just don’t know what else to do and at this rate it doesn’t feel like I will be able to make it four more months. I am very saddened by this, I never had this problem with my oldest son and I don’t know what to do. We want to have another baby soon and it worries me that I won’t be able to nurse the next time.

Again, I am having a moment today. I am feeling horrible about it and I just needed to vent. If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them. 🙁

Where I've been...
Eight months have passed...

Comments

  1. Michelle says:

    Well, hang in there! I know it is really frustrating! Are you nursing him at all besides the pumping? A baby can get milk out of you better than a pump and it might help get the milk production back up. I was never good at pumping and since I don’t work, never even did it with my second. In fact the pump broke the first week after she was born and just never bought another one. It sounds like you don’t have that luxury since you work. I wouldn’t worry about nursing your next one, because what you’re going through now will have nothing to do with your next one. Once you have the baby, your milk will come in for THAT baby and it will hopefully be what THEY need. And, don’t feel so horrible if you don’t make it the full year. You’ve done more for your baby already, just by starting. Sounds like you’ve given them a very, very good start!!!

  2. Donna J. says:

    I BF my first until 10 1/2 months and stopped when I had to take morphine at an ER visit. I realized after that i could have continued to BF (even if I had just stopped for a day or two), but was pressured by others to just stop.

    Now I’m expecting again and really hope to make it past a year.

    With my first, taking fenugreek and blessed thistle did seem to help. I was told to take enough fenugreek until you smell like maple syrup – and I did! Luckily it was a good smell, lol.

  3. Mama on a Green Mission says:

    Thanks ladies! Michelle, yes, I nurse him when I am with him. I nurse him in the morning before I take him to daycare, I nurse him 2 at night. I also nurse him all day on Wed, Sat and Sun.

  4. You can still make it to a year!! With my 3 I could NEVER pump more than an ounce at a session. (My oldest son will be 14 next month and my youngest is 6 months.) I HAD to supplement while I was at work but I continued to nurse all of them while I was with them. The older 2 I nursed way past a year and stopped pumping at all after 1 year. It’s not easy but you are doing great!! Hang in there!!

  5. Siv Maria says:

    Hi, I am your latest follower from Thurdays blog hop. You have an interesting blog, hope you come and visit mine.

  6. stacythemagnificentmommy says:

    im not a good pumper, either! i found this lactation cookie recipe helped(it has bewer’s yeast in it in addition to the oatmeal- i skipped the flax) and fenugreek capsules helped, too. make sure to drink lots of water and relax! =)
    http://crazygreenmommy.blogspot.com/2010/11/housepoets-lactation-cookies-recipe.html

  7. I can just say, good for you, for being so determined! All the best making it to your goal! 🙂 Thanks for following our blog, we’re following right back (Helpful Daddy)!

  8. Jayme - Teachable Moments says:

    You have won the stylish blogger award! If you wish to accept it, see my blog for details. If not, no worries! Just know that I appreciate and enjoy your blog.

  9. Sorry to hear you are having a tough time. I don’t have a solution, but maybe some of the other Breastfeeding Hop ladies can lend support? (1 exclusively pumps, another struggles with supply issues) This week’s topic is on weaning (any thoughts, concerns etc).. you could link this up and hop about for some hugs 🙂

    http://www.darcyandbrian.com/?p=1231

  10. Oh April, I am sorry you’re struggling! I have breastfed/pumped after going back to work twice, and it is HARD! I too tried everything under the sun to boost my supply, and nothing made much of a difference. I ended up having to supplement both times, but I still continued nursing/pumping too! I made sure each bottle had both formula and breastmilk in it so my babies still got the familiar taste of breastmilk. Goodness, I don’t even work now and have had a hard time with supply, especially after my period returned too. I know it’s still so heartbreaking when things don’t go as you planned, but try to remember how AWESOME it is you have made it this far and what a great start you have given LA–and can keep giving him, even if it’s not all he needs! And this has NO bearing on whether or not you will be able to BF your next baby–you will!

  11. I don’t think it’s such a bad idea to supplement with formula.. Then it takes pressure off of you!! You’re an amazing mom no matter how long you breastfeed, the fact is you are and it’s so awesome!! Best wishes, keep your head high, we’re all pulling for you!!!

  12. Mummy Kim says:

    Hey Mama! First of all be proud of yourself. You are working so hard to do the best for your babies and have already accomplished so much. Many many people would never have made it as far as you have. I know that this fact alone probably provides little comfort but its true and you deserve to hear it. You are wonderful!

    I attend a weekly breastfeeding group in my town and from that group I can convey the following thoughts/suggestions:
    – As others have mentioned, fenugreek and blessed thistle there is also domperidone if you wanted to go a more aggressive route
    – speed pumping – pump as often as possible in short bursts for a couple of days
    – pump for maximum 15 mins each side, if the milk stops flowing before you reach 15 mins (i.e. at 10 mins) pump for an additional 2 mins
    – keep a picture of your baby with you when you pump, helps get the ‘love’ following and more milk, I have also heard that resenting your pump can lead to less milk so ‘love your pump’
    – your milk supply is highest at 2am, to get the most ‘bang for your buck’ you may need to look at increasing middle of the night feedings, dream feeds, or pumping to really have an impact on supply
    – if your baby only takes one side at the first feed in the morning consider pumping the other side or pumping both sides after he is done
    – try doing breast compression while pumping
    – try breast massage and/or nipple stimulation

    Helpful websites:
    http://drjacknewman.com
    http://www.lowmilksupply.org
    http://www.llli.org

    Good luck!!!!

  13. I wouldn’t worry too much about your milk supply. Like others have said supplement it. I had to with both of my kiddos. With my ds (17), I pumped lots of milk but he drank so much it still wasn’t enough! He ended up weaning himself around 13 months. With dd (3 – yes I have 14 yrs btwn mine too!) I was never able to get enough from the start. I was lucky if I got a total of 2 oz from BOTH breasts. I would pump 2x while at work and then go nurse her at lunch. She had to be weaned at 10 months because I was pg and with my uterus almost rupturing with her and it not being a year after my c-section, the Dr (a female) advised me to wean her. She didn’t seem to mind at all! LOL Unfortunately we lost that baby at 30wks and now have an angel girl watching over us. We are TTC (have been for 2 yrs) but have had no luck which is getting frustrating! As long as you are breastfeeding while you are with him, you aren’t going to just dry up! I went a whole 4 days with only pumping w/ ds and I never dried up! BTW you are lucky to have not gottena period! I have always started 6wks after giving birth and I’ve BF exclusively btwb 8-12 wks with both kids!

  14. Jennifer says:

    Even if you don’t make it you tried and gave it everything you had! That’s more than can be said for many others. I breastfed but from early on I had to supplement a few ounces a day because I just never quite had enough. I had to look at the positive side of how much I was giving him not the negative of how short I was falling. Don’t give up but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t make it.

  15. Ms. Ward says:

    Thank you for this post! I’m in a similar boat. I was able to breastfeed my eldest son for a year until I went back to work full time. And now I’m home with my six month old son. I don’t pump nearly as much as I should since he just nurses from me, but am struggling with my supply lessening recently.

    What I’ve tried to keep in perspective is just how much I’ve already done to positively support my youngest. Breastfeeding any amount of time is worth it. It is not a failure if you have to supplement with formula.

    Really, I’m just echoing what has already been said, but more than anything, I wanted to thank you for posting this. Your post and the comments by your readers helped remind me that I’m not alone – and neither are you!

  16. Mummies nummies says:

    I hear you on the issues part! You should read my bfing story on my blog…. just search my story and you should find it. http://www.mummiesnummies.com.

    Have you tried lactation cookies? I am about to do a giveaway with milkincookies.com in a few days. They are super yummy and work! You could also make your own at home. Just google lactation cookies.

    Have you tired pumping more often instead of longer? Maybe every 2 hrs during the day? Sometimes pumping does not produce as much as a nursing baby. Is he nursing when you are home?

    I can ask my readers for some tips…you should come on by our fb page….we have some wonderful mummies!

    Good luck and hey congrats!!

  17. Mummies nummies says:

    Here is the link to my story….it is helpful to know you are not alone!http://www.mummiesnummies.com/2011/02/my-story.html?m=1

  18. Little Tiny Love says:

    I have a similar issue. I can only really pump in the mornings, and I pump one side while he nurses the other. If I try to do it with out him I get about 20mLs, with I get between 1 and 2 ounces. Eating oatmeal cookies helped a ton, I was able to get 2.5 ounces every morning about a week after starting to eat them daily. I’m lucky I work from home and nurse him all day but all of his supplements are usually formula. Its not the best thing to hear, but even if you don’t *exclusively* breastfeed, doesn’t mean you aren’t breastfeeding. Even if he only gets breastmilk when you are home that’s still good for him. Maybe that could be a goal for AFTER you meet your 1 year mark 😉

    I was told by someone who works for a vitamin shop that the amount of laction aiding herbs in teh Mother’s ilk Tea wont do you any good unless you drink 6 cups at least a day. Yikes. I recently was given a recipe for waffles and pancakes that is rumored to help, I’ll blog about how it goes. I’m trying it this weekend I hope.

    Hang in there!

  19. Opal Stevens says:

    I’m your newest follower 😀

    opalstevens.blogspot.com

  20. kmogilevski says:

    I think it’s great that you were able to make it 8 months! What an accomplishment!

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