Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Back to Work Breastfeeding Update

I started back to "work" (student teaching) at the end of August. I've been there for almost 3 weeks now. Unfortunately, the schedule & pumping has caused me to have a drop in my milk supply. I first noticed a big change when my normal 10:30pm pumping session abruptly stopped one day. Couldn't get a thing. Then I noticed that when I pumped at school during lunch, I got less. So now here I am 3 weeks in & I'm having to adapt to do what is best for me & for Isis.

I'm still getting something, so I'm going to continue to pump at school & after school on the days I have to stay late for staff meetings or team planning. I'm not getting enough for full feedings for Isis, though. She eats about 6.5 oz from a bottle if I'm not feeding her & I'm not getting that much. So we are going to start mixing breastmilk with a few oz of formula to get her bottles to 6.5 oz. 

This is a little emotional for me because it just seems like the beginning of the end of breastfeeding, but that had to happen soon anyway. When it comes down to it, after 3 weeks of student teaching, I am even more positive than ever that I am right where I need to be with teaching. On top of that, I have had almost 8 1/2 months of being able to breastfeed Isis exclusively. There are plenty of people who weren't even able to breastfeed as long as I have. I'm going to continue nursing her in the morning & last thing at night. So I'm not totally done. We're just on our way to being done. And I think that's ok. We're both growing up & transitioning into a new phase.

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Sarah P. said...

I completely understand the emotion behind breastfeeding but you did a GREAT job. Pumping at work can be such a nuisance (I stopped when my son was 9 months old because it was just too much) so you're doing awesome. Just remember that getting some milk is better than no milk so you've done an awesome thing by just trying to nurse. Well done!

Liz said...

craig's cousin is a teacher, and she'd nurse her kids during leave and over summertime, but when fall came, she'd keep up with it as long as the supply would last, and then move to formula. but she made it i think around 9 months with each of them (she's got 4).

J. Is A Bird said...

Good on you for making it this far and to keep on trying. I know pumping at work is a PIA.

I pumped at work for 5 months with my first and 9 months with my second, so I have two pieces of advice to keep your supply up.

1. Plenty of water, less caffeine and make sure you're drinking fluids before. during and after pumping.
2. Picture your baby breastfeeding while pumping. The visualization helps with let down and will help with production.

You may already knows these things but I thought it couldn't hurt to pass them on just in case.

Good Luck,


The Planet Pink said...

Hugs Mama. I know it's an emotional place to be. You've done great though! If you are interested in building up your supply, try oatmeal and fenugreek. But honestly at this point, you can probably begin cutting out a bottle feed or two at this point and replace with solid food anyway, so you might not need as much formula as you think. But either way, you did fantastic and you're right, it's not the END end. Cherish your time with her. :-)

Mama Smors said...

awww cameron... im sorry i know that emotions run high when it deals with nursing. ive been there! but 8 and half months is awesome and im so glad that you had this time home with isis. good luck building your supply (if that is what you are shooting for) and enjoy nursing when you are with isis. i am proud of your positive attitude about this, know that other mommies are praying for you!

Jill said...

I ad the same issue when I started pumping. Don't worry, mixing in a little formula isn't the end unless you want it to be. You're just adapting! Good luck!

JoJo said...

That's great that you did it for 8.5 months straight. Even though things have to start changing in terms of your schedule and growing up in general it's still an exciting milestone. She'll be walking and talking before you know it!

adriel, from the mommyhood memos said...

((HUGS)) You've done so well! But, it's not over!

I've taken fenulgeek or whatever it's called before, and wow, it works fast! (It's an herbal supplement.)

I've also heard oatmeal helps. I eat a lot of it and have never really noticed a difference... but I like it so I eat it anyway. :)

Also, I just posted a couple days ago on the babywhisperer forum about Levi suddenly being less interested in nursing at his two day-time feeds (11am & 3pm) and was wondering if he was starting to wean. (No! Not ready!) One lady gave me a really helpful response and said around this age you can actually cut our one day time feed (the 11am one) or give 1/2 feeds at the to middle feeds. She also said if I'm worrying about my supply decreasing, I could try giving him a little bit less for his meals (solids) and see if that encourages nursing more. So... just another thought to consider??

I'd really like to continue until 12 months as well - when he can switch over to cow's milk. So I can understand that you probably have some mixed feelings about this all. But maybe if you try a few tweaks you can figure out how to keep it up. BUT, even if you do need to use some formula, that's OK! Just do what you need to do. (Of course you know that.)

You're an awesome mama and Isis is so lucky to have you! x x x

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