Breastfeeding & Pumping

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  • #39220
    FPmommyFPmommy
    Participant

    Is anyone breastfeeding and pumping at the moment? I am just looking for empathetic fellowship. My baby is almost 10 months; my second child. I am pleased to have made it this far, but this is stressful and time consuming! :p My coworkers are fairly supportive, but it is inherently disruptive and decreases my productivity. I am trying to get to a full year. My baby loves nursing and I like nursing her; I am really sick of pumping, and my husband is now making noises about me cutting her off at night when she becomes a year (she still gets up to nurse, usually twice but between once and a bunch of times). How is it for anyone else? (I do some maternity, postpartum and pediatric care, so I also feel pressure to do this or be a hypocrite.)

    #39221
    katherinekatherine
    Participant

    Good job (great job!) for keeping it up this far. I’m in a similar situation, and I must say, some of the comments I received on this website regarding this issue were immensely encouraging. I’m a PM&R resident, and my daughter is now 11 months old. I, too, have the goal of 12 months, and darn it if anything is going to get in the way! 😀 I must say, though,….it truly is a pain in the, mmm, tush. It is a hassle, and stressful, and to be honest, I never liked pumping, but despite all that, I’m still doing it, and I feel proud. It can be especially difficult on busy services e.g. On a consult service, my attending would say, “Okay, do these 2 as quickly as you can, and then page me.” So it’s quite awkward to have to say, “Oh, and I need to pump too,” or not to say it at all and then be thought of as extra inefficient and slow.
    My baby at nighttime sounds exactly like yours, and my husband (an FP resident), is also rumbling about weaning her at night. (The baby has begun to sleep with us for the most part, and he’s not thrilled about it!) Yet, I feel that she still benefits from breast milk at this stage, and as I can’t nurse her during the day, the nighttime nursings are precious. My daughter truly likes to nurse; in fact, I think she is liking it more and more. And my working-Mom guilt leads me think along La Leche terms– allowing her to self-wean. But who knows when THAT would be!!
    I’m not sure how much longer I’m going to go on pumping. After this month, I’ll have made it to 12…
    CONGRATS to you!! You know what, I’m just realizing that the stress, disruption, and time-consumption can be quite irritating in the short term, but the pride at having accomplished the goal will last forever.

    #39222
    GracieThreeGracieThree
    Participant

    Hi – I quit breastfeeding in January when baby was 11 months because husband was also grumbling about time spent pumping/night time wakings/baby in our bed (what is it with them anyhow?? Mine never got up with her, I did!). I stopped pumping at work over a week’s period (just skipped the morning session, then when comfortable, the afternoon) and continued to nurse for about another ten days. Unfortunately for me, nursing only once or twice at night wasn’t enough to keep my milk supply up. BUT – this is not the case for a lot of women! I never had a great supply to begin with, so it was probably just me. So in terms of the pumping, once you make it to whatever mark you desire, you can taper it off and probably still nurse at night.

    Once I did stop making milk, my daughter still woke up to nurse for a few nights, but once she figured out there was nothing there, she stopped waking up as much and started sleeping through the night. As much as I love to sleep, I missed those special night time feedings with her. Sigh… oh well, life goes on and babies grow up, too fast! But I’ll always remember that closeness. There’s nothing like it.

    Great work to you both, from someone who knows how hard it is, and how much you both love your children to put yourself through so much inconvenience with that darned pump! 🙂

    #39223
    mum2aaemum2aae
    Participant

    hi

    I am finishing my residency (exam in 1 month and counting!). I had two children during my residency and breastfed both. I am from Canada where we have a much longer maternity leave, so it was easier for me to breastfeed full time until I returned to work at 7 months and 8 months respectively.

    I pumped with the first one but admit that I didn’t for my second (she didn’t take a bottle). With both, however, I nursed them before I left in the morning and then as soon as I got home. I was lucky because my milk supply allowed me to continue this schedule for many months. My first nursed until 11 months and the second until 15 months.

    They both gradually weaned themselves, although I had visions of breastfeeding my second until she went to high school, as she was very enthusiastic. But even as she began to eat more and more solids during the day, her enthusiasm for nursing at night diminished. I must admit, by then I was pleased not to be getting up at night. We were both ready to move on when she weaned herself.

    We have a BIG family bed and that continues even though the nursing hasn’t. And both my girls are very cuddly and I like to think it is because they were breastfed and loved the feeling of being close to me. I know I loved it!
    I especially loved nursing as soon as I got home because if forced me to sit down, relax and hold my baby close. It was the last nursing time we stopped.

    I am so impressed with women who can maintain the pumping while being on busy rotations. 😀 It takes a lot of organization, energy and commitment to maintain what you have all done – fantastic I say!

    It’s tough to juggle such important responsibilities – young children, marriage, patients. But a consult can usually wait a few minutes, and impatient staff people just about always can. They won’t remember that we were somewhat less efficient or occasionally a little distracted, but WE will remember that we did what we could to give our babies a great start in life, and our kids will hopefully use our examples some day with their own babies.

    That being said – please don’t be too hard on yourselves if circumstances mean that your breast feeding schedule changes. You’ve done better than about 80% of women in North America manage, and with pretty impressive obstacles. Hang in there.

    Sorry this is so long – I tend to wax on when reminiscing about breastfeeding. Thanks for the opportunity – now back to studying … 🙂

    Cheers

    #39224
    pkmaglepkmagle
    Participant

    So happy to see your message after that painful one about malpractice suits!
    I found that breastfeeding and providing breast milk for the babysitter was one the most gratifying experiences of my life. We physicians really have this easier than many moms who work–despite what it feels like at the time. I am a FP, in rural practice, doing obstetrics through geriatrics. I was doing the whole wad while pregnant, six weeks maternity leave with my first, two weeks for my second. I breastfed until my children stopped–18 months for my first, 13 for my second. I pumped, but have to admit that they both had some formula after 5 months of age. My degree helped me to convince my sitter that breast milk was fine for my baby, in spite of the fact that it looked funny in the bottle to her. After all, I am one of only 4 physicians in the county! My job was flexible enough to be able to feed my daughter during my working day.
    Exhausting? Yes! Was it worth it? Absolutely!
    It’s easier, and more relaxing than dealing with formula 🙂

    #39225
    FPmommyFPmommy
    Participant

    Thank you to all who wrote back!! (I can only access this at work for the time being.) It is helpful to know that others have been there and managed it and loved it. I am still OK with it and hanging in there enjoying being THE SOURCE, but stressed by it and tired, too. My husband is still grumpy about it. I am planning to print everything out for him to read. I still plan to pump until a year (and a smidge more because she was early by almost a month). I hope I, and my husband, can deal with it. At least my older child thinks it is normal now. Thanks again. LW

    #39226
    snssns
    Participant

    Make sure you check out La Leche League’s website:
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/

    They now have a discussion board for breastfeeding and working mothers.

    My baby is 19 months old and still breastfeeding. Good luck.

    #39227
    tiredmdtiredmd
    Participant

    I too am nursing my 6 month old, and pumping at work is the worst–lack of private room, patients waiting, nurses upset, but I always feel so much better after I pump. LET THEM WAIT–it only takes me 7-8 mins.

    Also, I was on call last night, and had an OB in labor. It broke my heart to leave my baby (who also nurses on and off all night long) to cry next to my husband. He was able to console her. I am cursing my luck at having a long laboring patient, but what I really need to focus on is getting my baby to sleep through the night–any hints, besides letting her sequentially cry?

    My nanny is always yelling at me to not nurse her at all at night, but I am always so sleep deprived, I give in.

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

    Originally posted by FPmommy:
    Thank you to all who wrote back!! (I can only access this at work for the time being.) It is helpful to know that others have been there and managed it and loved it. I am still OK with it and hanging in there enjoying being THE SOURCE, but stressed by it and tired, too. My husband is still grumpy about it. I am planning to print everything out for him to read. I still plan to pump until a year (and a smidge more because she was early by almost a month). I hope I, and my husband, can deal with it. At least my older child thinks it is normal now. Thanks again. LW

    #39228
    psychpsych
    Participant

    Just to provide another view: I breastfed 10 months the first time, 9 months with my second. I was more flexible the second time around and added formula around 5 months because I was too tired to pump as much as I did with my first. I don’t see any big differences in the bonding with either child, and it made a big difference in terms of my energy level and my availability to my family. I stopped the second time due to Boards (I had to leave the kids for 3 days) but realized I was really ready to stop anyway and my daughter was doing great. SO I think you just have to do what works for you and your family, but an awake mommy (who breastfeeds and/or uses formula) is a big plus in my book!

    #39229
    FPmommyFPmommy
    Participant

    I am still breastfeeding my now 11-month-old and pumping when away from her. It is still hard work. I sympathize with tiredmd. I am tired, too. My baby still gets up multiple (usually 3)times a night. I have let her cry at the beginning of the night to learn the skill of going to sleep by herself, and she does that fine, but still gets up. I think it is because she prefers to nurse at night when I am fully accessible and when nothing else interesting is going on. She has always preferred nursing to the bottle in any case. I am going to stop pumping on November 1, and I am afraid that she will want to nurse even more at night, which is NOT what I want to have happen. I am not sure how to limit her somewhat, however. For tiredmd: most of the 6 month old babies at breast-feeding support group were nursing some at night. I think they probably need it some, especially before they start solids. It sounds like your nanny is really giving you a hard time and maybe your baby needs it some. I am sure by now, though, it is a choice on my daughter’s part. I would actually be really happy if she just got up once. I think my whole family would benefit if I were a bit less exhausted. Any ideas would be welcome. Hang in there tiredmd – LW

    #39230
    rydysrydys
    Participant

    Thumbs up to everyone who is pumping and nursing! It is hard work, but the benefits are amazing. I’m pumping and nursing my 9 month old, also with a goal of one year. I nursed my oldest until he was 13 months, but my second quit after 8 months. This time around, as a resident, is much much harder. I’m finding it difficult to keep up my milk supply. When I’m home she seems to get enough, but when I’m away I have to pump very often and even then don’t get as much as she drank. I’ve even tried pumping hourly for a few days to see if that would increase my supply, but it didn’t help. Any suggestions?

    Also–on the topic of sleep, I found that after “ferberizing” my children not only did I feel better getting a good night’s sleep, but they felt better, too and were happier during the day. I don’t think that it’s natural for an older baby to wake up repeatedly during the night (think about how you feel doing it!) and that is what pushed me to let my kids cry.

    #39231
    FPmommyFPmommy
    Participant

    Well, it is now after Nov 1st, and I have made it to my goal. I am trying to figure out how to decrease but not wean. Right now I am still pumping once a day, and then once after my baby goes to bed to make sure my evening supply stays strong. My intention is to decrease to no daytime pumping over the next week. I hope it works OK. For tiredmd and rydys: it felt a lot less stressful when I got closer to knowing I didn’t have to keep it up to the nth degree. Good luck hanging in there! I hope tiredmd, rydys and any others out there are doing OK. My baby is not getting up so much now, and I didn’t really do anything. (It may get worse again when she is not sick and is teething more.) I can tell that she is not as nursing-oriented as she was when she was younger, but I hope we can nurse some a bit longer, in a way that is more convenient. To those who have done it: What happens on the weekend when you are nursing part time on the weekdays? Do they nurse like crazy or did you give them bottles of whole milk or what?

    #39232
    FPmommyFPmommy
    Participant

    Oops – I meant to add this and got interrupted 🙂 🙂 :p 🙂

    #39233
    elisemomof3elisemomof3
    Participant

    Hello ladies. I’m not a doc (yet) but I have three kids so I thought I might input a little here. I had terrible problems with my daughters waking up every 1.5 hours clear until 10 months of age! On my second daughters 10 month checkup, the ped took one look at the bags under my eyes and asked me how the baby was sleeping! I told her the situation and she took out her prescription pad and wrote down the name of a book. She said read this book and she’ll be sleeping “like a baby” :p in a week. The book is called “how to solve your child’s sleep problems” and it is a MIRACLE!!!! Little one was sleeping through the night by day 4 of the program and the bags under my eyes slowly went away 😀 . The program is designed to condition your child to learn to sleep without you. They associate you with sleep and you just break the habit. A relatively low trauma method (better than the letting them cry all night until they fall asleep exhausted method). I breastfed each of my 3 daughters until nearly 2 years old and loved every day of it.

    Buy the book, read it, sleep better, love being a mom more. And be a happier, less tired doc.

    By the way, I highly respect your commitment to breastfeeding your babies. Many moms don’t even try because they think it is too much of a hassle. I think the general better health of the little ones is worth the effort. :goodvibes:

    Yours,
    Elise 😀
    Med 1, mom of three, Ohio State U. COM

    #39234
    GracieThreeGracieThree
    Participant

    Originally posted by FPmommy:
    To those who have done it: What happens on the weekend when you are nursing part time on the weekdays? Do they nurse like crazy or did you give them bottles of whole milk or what?[/QB]

    Hi – on the weekends I would give my daughter a bottle of formula either straight or mixed with some of my pumped milk, then nurse her at the usual times I did on days I was working (which was all but three days a month, some months!). I did try to let her nurse all she wanted on the weekends initially, but it became frustrating for her (no milk there!) and me (no time to get anything done!). So I just gave her a bottle of formula. I switched to whole milk when she was about 14 mos, again by mixing it half-and-half with formula, gradually going to straight milk. She had no problem with any of this, I might add. I worried and worried about how she might take me giving her a bottle of formula, then changing formula to milk, and stopping nursing altogether… but the fact is, she did beautifully. I worried myself to death and she didn’t bat an eyelash. Thank God babies are so adaptable.

    Congrats on making it to your goal!!! :goodvibes: You are a wonderful mom to your sweet baby!! Good work FPMommy, from an IMMommy!! 🙂

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