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« Snot | Main | You a entering a pump-free zone »

Comments

Gretchen

I found that with both of my DDs, that around the one year mark, I really did not have to pump any longer (not that I was getting much at that point anyway) but was still successful in BFing morning and night until 18mo. Good luck!

alecia

I applaud you for continuing to pump for so long - what an accomplishment!

My older son refused the breast at age 6 months and by 6 weeks after that my milk was nearly gone, even with tons of pumping (I nursed exclusively the first 3 months, both pumped & nursed from 3-6 mo., and pumped exclusively from 6-7 months).

I think the most important part for me was accepting that I had done as much as I could and that he and I would both be happier if I wasn't struggling emotionally (and physically) anymore. There just came a point where I knew that continuing to obsess over the one ounce I could pump was damaging my joy, not only with him, but also the rest of my life since pumping takes so much time and energy.

For me, I also had to acknowledge and let go of some lingering resentment toward my son. It was hard for me to admit, but even though he was only a baby I was angry at him for not wanting to nurse - or at least so frustrated that it felt like anger. I didn't want to be angry with myself or with him anymore and I realized that letting go of pumping was, for me, the way to let go of those feelings.

It also just took time to, as you said, mourn the nursing relationship that could have been and the milk that I was providing, even by pumping. It was definitely a process - hang in there!

You have given NG almost a year of breastmilk and that is a wonderful gift to her! Now maybe the best gift to her is to let go of your breastfeeding/pumping relationship and all the bad/troubling feelings surrounding it. Maybe it will help to think of it that way - that by retrieving some of yourself you are able to NG a happier mom.

Best wishes!

Jodi

I just decided, rather arbitrarily to stop BFing my DS - he turned 1 last month and I am returning to work in a few weeks, and we were down to 2x/day - and I had a killer migraine, so I decided to stop. He is fine with it, but I keep thinking, maybe just once more... I did not have this debate with my DD - we just tapered our way until we were done - and like you, with my DD I was DONE - I was kind of releived to not have that, dare I say, burden to deal with. My DS takes a cup of anything without problem whereas my DD wouldn't go near anything that was not me. Anyway, I understand being done - and the guilt of being done and enjoying being done... she will grow up everyday, and you will know you did what you could - every bit helps, as long as it isn't making mom crazy...

christy

I pumped exclusively until my daughter was 6 months old. After deciding to stop, I did feel guilty and horrible. Fortunately, this feeling was fleeting. My daughter will be a year tomorrow, and I no longer feel bad about my decision. She is a healthy, happy little girl. In fact, when I look at her smiling face, I am pretty proud of myself.

Lyrehca

Am in the midst of exclusively pumping for my eight-week-old (for eight weeks now) and I wonder how long I'll stick with it. I subscribed to a yahoo group called PumpMoms and there are lots of posts about when to stop (HUTH or "hanging up the horns," they call it). Might be worth subscribing just to read old posts about it. A near year is a great accomplishment!

rockmama

I heard some incredibly stupid woman in a chat room once say to someone who was pumping, "Oh, you've taken the EASY way out!" Having had much pumping drama myself, I very much wanted someone to invent a way of punching someone in the face through the computer.

When I finally made the decision to give up pumping (MUCH sooner than you did- you've been a total superstar to do it so long!) I felt so much better- not worrying about the dwindling amount of milk I was getting from both breasts. Although I got a lot of guilt from health visitors (not particularly necessary, as I was feeling guilty enough on my own) I felt much more at peace and 10 times less stressed. My little girl is happy and healthy. I gave her as much as I could for as long as I could and I felt she was probably better off with a less stressed Mommy than an ounce of breastmilk a day.

Whatever you decide to do, be at peace with it. You're obviously a fantastic mother.

elizabeth

Deciding to stop pumpimg or breastfeeding is an emotional decision no matter when you do it. My goal was to make it until a year... When I achieved my goal instead of feeling proud of all the "goodness" I'd given my little one I felt guilty for not nursing until 18 months. Be proud of all you have done! :)

aliza at babyfruit

Thank you, everyone, for sharing your thoughts and experiences. This is so helpful. The last two days, I've gone without pumping until right before bedtime and then just "had to pump." NG is still getting over a cold so I figured it would be helpful to her. And the boobs were aching so it would be helpful to me. But I'm slowly feeling like it is time. I'll just let it happen when it happens. Thanks again!

Eva

I EP'd for 8.5 months. For about the two weeks it took me to wean I was a wreck, very guilty and weepy and sad, but soon after my last pump, I was totally happy to be done. And I had to stop--I was just getting miserable pumping. Always worrying about my supply, working hard for little. Now I'm just proud of how hard I worked and glad that period is passed. Life is much easier sans pumping.

I am really amazed by what you have done--it's incredible. Treat yourself when you finish (I got a great bra). And be proud!

vanna

it's such a hard decision to finally come to... i started reading blogs when i was debating the time to huth, and i found this one from julie:

No one ever said on her deathbed, "I wish I'd spent more time with my tit in a plastic cone."

http://www.alittlepregnant.com/alittlepregnant/2005/04/no_one_ever_sai.html

i don't think it'll help you feel better about any decision you make, but it may help to know so many of us go through this!

Karin

I do not know how to help you as I haven't had that kind of a problem. But I really hope that everything will be alright soon again and I enjoyed reading your blog ;)

Megan

I don't have children, so I can't relate personally, but my sister, who is so healthy and natural, it's almost crazy, can. She dried up, despite the best of efforts (trust me, we know every remedy out there), at 3 months with both boys. It crushed her emotionally the first time. But she has 2 of the most healthy boys I've ever seen. 8 and 6, and only one has ever had an ear infection, and as soon as she got him off dairy, that stopped.
My point is, bf is only one piece of the puzzle. Don't feel guilty. You've already done more than most. As long as you are paying attention to what else she gets, all will be well. (and i'm sure you are).
:)

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