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To pump or not to pump...that is the question

I have a 12 week old ds that was born at 35 wks and had over a wk in nicu due to fluid in the lungs. He wasn't able to breastfeed so I pumped, and I still do every 4 hours around the clock. Much of the milk I pump is frozen but it will only last me about a month.

I am tired. In fact, I am exhausted. I also have a 19 mo old ds and 7 yr old dd and I feel like I can't keep up! I am a huge advocate for breastmilk and I feel terribly guilty that the though is in my head to even quit pumping before ds is 6 mo old.

I pumped for 6 mo with my 19 mo old but it was easier since I only had one baby. My biggest concern for my baby is illness. My children never get sick when they are on breastmilk but once I switch to formula it never fails that whatever illness is going around, they get it! Having a school age child means germs are constently being brought home!

So, my dilemma is do I stick it out and continue pumping around the clock for 3 more months or do I call it quits and feel less overwhelmed yet guilty.

Any suggestions would be nice.


Asked by wendydays at 10:25 AM on May. 5, 2011 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 18 (4,976 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • I'm a firm believer that breast is best. However, I'm also a realist. I know that motherhood is sooooo flipping hard, especially in the first year with other little ones. Honey, you need to do what works best for YOU. And when you make that decision, there's no need to feel guilt. You're providing your children with the most important thing of all - love.

    Answer by SleepyCupcake at 10:28 AM on May. 5, 2011

  • Why don't you try something less dramatic.. try increasing your pump time during the day to create a demand and hopefully increase supply and eliminate the middle of the night pumping??? YOu can put just one tablespoon of your breast milk in your formula to prolong the benefits without reducing your frozen collection too quickly. I did that for my daughter at 6 mos I was sent to a course for 2 mos so I pumped, froze and shipped. We put a little in each bottle and she got benefits all the way until the first year (and we found some in the freezer after she switched to formula.

    Answer by Camilletnt at 10:33 AM on May. 5, 2011

  • Can you just put baby to breast and feed? And then you can wear baby in a wrap or sling and feed while tending to other stuff. Personally, I would pump or feed from the tap, but, that's just me. kids have survived on formula...but, between the cost and even the time it takes to make it and toting it everywhere and takes up your time too.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 10:52 AM on May. 5, 2011

  • I'll give you another option... try putting him to breast. Never too late as long as mom has her breasts and a live baby. There's a great article on on how to get baby on the breast. A supplemental nursing system will be an ENORMOUS aid to this.

    Answer by gdiamante at 10:56 AM on May. 5, 2011

  • I was also a pumper because my babies would fall asleep every time they breast fed and would cry like crazy when I'd stop. It could take hours to feed them, and once the second baby was here, there was just no way because my older child needed me to do things for him. I supplemented with formula. I had a huge supply of breastmilk because I pumped a lot, but it helped me spread it out longer. I always had a month stored so that when I did stop pumping, there was still a month left of my milk. I could also stretch it with a bottle of formula here & there. Then the baby will still get breast milk every day still. Don't feel guilty because everyone's sanity is at stake! It is so exhausting having a newborn & a toddler!

    Answer by flowrchild77 at 11:05 AM on May. 5, 2011

  • If you are a stay at home mom. Keep pumping. The house can fall apart for a while. If you have friends and family-ask for help. Your seven year old is also old enough to do little things around the house. If you just can't take it anymore, supplement. But don't stop breastfeeding as long as you can produce it. Its so good for him, especially being that he was premature.

    Answer by RNMomO3 at 3:11 PM on May. 5, 2011

  • Pump for as long as you can! If you place the breast milk in the back of the freezer it will have a 3 months shelf life. If you can put it in a deep freezer it can keep up to 6 months. Start taking frengreek seed and then pump every hour or so for a 3-5 days. This can majorly increase your milk supply, allowing you to store more milk away.

    Answer by Motherdragon at 10:36 AM on May. 5, 2011

  • BradenIsMySon- I have NO idea how to breastfeed. I have read Dr. Sears book and can quote all the techniques and positions yet I can never actually apply it to real life. I have tried working with a lactation consultant yet ds never can latch on. I would LOVE to breastfeed!

    Comment by wendydays (original poster) at 10:57 AM on May. 5, 2011

  • Lay back on the bed and lay baby on your chest with his head and body parallel to yours. Position his head over your breast and allow him to try to latch himself on. Google "Breast crawl". Maybe he needs to do it on his own instead of you helping him out.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 11:00 AM on May. 5, 2011