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I feel like I'm failing at Breastfeeding....Help

My son will be 2 months this Thursday.... I've been doing my best to strictly breastfeed. Sometimes though I have to leave him, and I try pumping and I just can seem to get enough. I'm only pumping like 3oz a session. When I'm actually just feeding him he seems to eat enough, so why can't I pump enough. It's hard on me because I have to work so pumping is a must I think, and it seems like I cant hardly get any out of the left boob as I do the right. I drink lots of water, I've been eating much healthier. What is wrong. I feel stressed out, sad, I just want to cry I'm so frustrated, and the idea of quitting or giving him formula just makes me feel horrible and guilty. I really want to stick with the breastfeeding.. I'm feeling so discouraged

by on Jun. 15, 2013 at 6:27 PM
Replies (41-45):
by on Jun. 16, 2013 at 7:20 PM
3oz is great! Some mamas get more some mamas get less one trick I use while pumping and away from baby is to take along one of her shirts and look at pictures of her it seems to boost my let down and I can usually get 4oz per side per pump session when away from home and she is 8 months old :)

Your doing awesome mama! Keep up the amazing work! And remember your superpower is making milk for your nursling :) that is by far the most amazing thing ever :)
by Member on Jun. 16, 2013 at 7:44 PM

oh it is rare that he sleeps through the night, I just think sleeping through the night is something to be encouraged :)

Quoting gdiamante:

Steph, we're just going to have to disagree. And I will keep my fingers crossed that you are one of the rare exceptions who never sees a problem.

(But since you mentioned sleeping through the night, gop throw salt ver your shoulder. Publishing usually mens it will change soon! **grin**)

by Leanne on Jun. 16, 2013 at 8:57 PM
1 mom liked this
Imo, if you can pump that much, and maintain that output for the first year and it's working for you, that's great. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. If you're like me, however, and have to fight for every oz, knowing about this rule is a lifesaver. I was SO daunted with my first wondering how in he'll i was going to leave the 4-6 oz bottles babies seemed to take when it took me so long to just pump an oz or two. Knowing 6oz is enough for an entire 8 hour day for my daughter takes a lot of pressure off. Yea, she makes up for it later on, and that's ok with me! I'd rather she nurse several times a night than get formula. Sleeping through has always been a second or third year goal in our family! :) If a mom prefers to give formula if she can't pump enough, that's totally fine and completely her choice, we just give the best advice to maintain the breastfeeding relationship in here.
Quoting Steph_G.:

1. I feed on demand, so yes my son might go all night without eating, but I don't force him too.  Anyway it is good for him to sleep through the night, and I don't want him to eat little all day and then have to try and make it up in the middle of the night.

2. I weighed him every thursday at 10am,so yes I realize that every feeding isn't 5 oz, but at 10am he likes to eat 5 oz and at 10am I am at work

3. I don't think I could explain to my 3 yo that we are having a buffet for dinner so ignore your hunger now because you can eat later. This is why at Thanksgiving dinner she only eats a small plate, it's us as adults that think it makes sense to skip meals so that we can over indulge at one meal, so I don't know why my 7 week old should be able to rationalize this.

If this works for you great, but I didn't see the need to say a baby should not have more than 3 oz in a bottle ever. Just feed him slowly and don't force him to finish the bottle, but if he eats 5 oz then he eats 5 oz.

Quoting shortyali:

 Some babies sleep thruogh the night and go that long without nursing.  That isnt starving.  My DS2 nurses last at 5am and only takes 3ozs total between that time and when I get home around 2pm.  He is far from starved.  However, if you teach a person that they have to eat a large pizza at every sitting and have them do this every day for 3 meals a day for a few months, then one day drop them down to the normal slice or 2, they will think they are starving when in all reality its not.  Its just getting them used to whats size appropriate.

The weighing that you did, if you did it over 24 hours, you will notice that at some nursing sessions baby may take .5oz, where other times baby will take 6 or more ounces.  So going by the one that you did, if at that feeding baby only took 1oz, then you would be basing his eating off that 1 oz.

I look at bottles as if its Thanksgiving day.  You eat a very tiny, lite breakfast and maybe a snack if you eat dinner later.  Then once dinner is on the table, you eat all you want.  Bottles are breakfast and maybe that snack but when mom gets home, dinner is on the table.

Quoting Steph_G.:

I work full time, it feels wrong to say that when I am gone from 7am to 6pm that he should just eat as little as possible and "famine" while he waits on me.

Quoting gdiamante:

The idea is first, that bottles are only to be given when mom's not present, and second, that the bottle is merely a tide-over and NOT to fill him up. Baby should be HUNGRY when mom gets home. The breast is feast. The bottle is supposed to be famine. This is supply protection.  If you give five ounce bottles constantly you will eventually run into problems because then he'll nurse less at the breast, thus slowing supply.

Think of the bottle as the slice of toast you have when running out the door, and the breast as the Denny's Grand Slam. You want baby to take less at the bottle so he continues to stimulate your supply.

Quoting Steph_G.:

why would you so emphatically say that baby shouldn't get more than 3 ounces? My son is 7 weeks old and he consistently eats 4-5 ounces at the breast. (I've had him weighed before and after eating at a breast feeding support group every week), why when giving him a bottle would I force him to stop at 3 ounces?


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by on Jun. 17, 2013 at 9:13 AM

Oh yes, Claire gets way more than when I pump!  Actually, I can pump, then nurse her and she will be satisfied!  When I have to be away and have to pump I have to massage and use a warm washcloth first then pump, it helps but doesn't increase my output by a ton.  I only pump occasionally if I have a direct sales event or a drs appt so it is not all that often (once or twice a month).

by on Jun. 17, 2013 at 4:04 PM

So I JUST was dealing with this myself... I finally got my supply up and a nice sized stash in the freezer. A couple of things that helped me: 1.Eating food that helps milk supply (my husband made me some oatmeal cookies with fenugreek, brewer's yeast, and flax meal- the next day I had doubled my output). Oats help a lot, as does drinking a TON of water. 2.pumping all. the. time.- When I feed my daughter in the morning I will pump first, then feed on one side and pump on the other. The first day I did this she was frustrated and I hardly pumped anything, but after a couple of days I would get 5-6oz before even leaving for work. 3.On your days off pump once or twice, or have what I call a "pump-a-thon" Where you pump on one side, or on both after every feeding. I usually do this the day before I go back to work, then on that first day I pump so much more. 4.lean forward and massage your breasts when you pump (husband laughs at this because I look like I'm milking myself- well, I guess I am.) 5.Take a supplement or drink milkmaid tea if you're still struggling. Pumping is hard! I joke that I have a parttime job as a dairy cow- hopefully these suggestions work as well for you as they have for me, though!

Edit after I read some of the other comments: My husband came to the realization that he could soothe her in other ways besides feeding. He was able to cut out a whole feeding by playing with her and getting her to sleep without feeding. Not all babies are like that- my son was not so easy and would eat a lot more in a sitting. Try to get whoever is watching her to experiment- I just tell my husband and daycare that if she's HUNGRY feed her- but see if you can stop after 3 or 4oz, some days it works... the other day she had a 7 oz bottle haha... as long as they're not being starved its totally worth a shot

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