The last few days have been so emotionally and physically draining for me. My milk supply has been dwindling despite my Herculean efforts to maintain it.
A little history on me: I am a mom of two beautiful boys Doran Jr. & Aiden. I also work full time as a Social Worker providing parenting advice/counseling to a caseload of 150 NYC mothers who are raising their children in poverty. I have a loving and committed boyfriend who is an amazing father and despite it sounding like a cliche, he is my best friend. I am the oldest of three girls raised by an extremely resilient single mother. My family is very small but from there is where I draw all of the strength and motivation to do all that I do.
It is at times like these where I question how far I can push myself. How strong are my beliefs and dedication to my son? Should I give in???
Baby Aiden will be 6 months the 18th of this month. I have been exclusively breastfeeding him since birth. Since I work full time he is at daycare pretty much all day since he was almost 3months old. I have not really had any issues with my supply until about 2 weeks ago. Aiden is a chubby little guy who certainly eats a lot. He has been consuming about 16-20oz per day at daycare for the last couple of months. I pump 3x at work for about 20 minutes minimum. Sometimes more but always atleast 20 minutes. 2 weeks ago I started only pumping out 8 ounces and I started to freak out. I am doing all of the right things that are topically recommended in order to maintain and boost a healthy breast milk supply. I have been nursing on demand, co-sleeping, pumping in between feedings, sleeping (at least 7-8 hours/night even when it means that I neglect chores like the laundry and dishes), drinking a minimum of 68oz of water a day, skin to skin contact, warm baths, and I’ve even tried galactagouges. I’ve been drinking 3-5 cups of Mothers Milk Tea, taking fenugreek pills, More Milk Plus pills, and lastly I just backed a huge batch of lactation cookies. The cookies are as delicious as they are healthy but I have not really noticed much of an improvement. Today I was able to pump 10.25oz. Which is up 2oz from last week but still about 8oz short of what Aiden needs for tomorrow at daycare. He will have all breast milk tomorrow since I still have 16oz left of frozen Milk. But after I use that up, my precious stash that was over 120oz when I started work on 8/21/12 will be gone.
Now what do I do? What can I do? If this continues I will be forced to give Aiden formula and for me that’s a huge No No!!! I was able to exclusively breastfeed my 2 year old Doran until he was 10 months old and then had to supplement with formula. But that was because unbeknownst to me, I was pregnant with Aiden and the hormonal changes in the pregnancy caused my milk to lower. I still breastfed Doran until he was one though.
Now my poor baby Aiden. I know I am a great mother but I can’t help but feel that I have failed him. He deserves nothing but the best and that is my breast milk but I can’t do it. I don’t know what else to try. I dont know what to do! I feel like balling up and just crying but I know that’ll only make me more stress this causing me to have even less milk.
Mommas of the world, what do you recommend?
3 thoughts on “To quit or not to quit??”
Have you thought of renting a hospital grade pump for a month or so? They are supposedly much better. If you can get through the next few months his need will go down as you are introducing more nutrition through food. Stay strong, it is definitely tough!
That is certainly an idea I had not thought of. I am going to research my options and see what I can obtain and where. Thank you Jessica!
Hey, I can’t offer any advice (adoptive mama here), but I’ve watched friends have difficulty breastfeeding and my heart really goes out to the struggle it is for many women. It can be really, really challenging. I wish there was a little more support for moms who really try and then just can’t keep going rather than judgement. Hang in there! At least your little guy is close to eating solid foods?