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A breastfeeding post. Yes, again.

My supply has taken a nosedive in the past few days.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m sick (even though I haven’t taken any medicine at all for it), or because I’ve started wearing regular bras again (weird…but it’s the only thing I can think of that’s been different) or because I was stressed at the end of the week (but that stress is gone, so I should see a return to normal and I’m not).   

On Friday, I was down about 3 oz for the day.  Saturday, I was down about 5.  Today, I’m down about 5 oz. or so, too.  Not cool, ladies.  Not. Cool.

Dan says the decline in production is because I’m thinking about the fact that production is down while I’m pumping.  Maybe.  I try to read or watch TV or blog or surf the internet to keep my mind off of pumping while I’m pumping, but maybe there’s something going on in the back of my mind of which I am unaware.  (Stupid subconscious!)  

Anyway, the thought of stopping has entered my mind.  If I stop breastfeeding, I want it to be on MY terms, you know? and not because my supply tanked and I couldn’t keep up and had to stop.  I don’t want to be robbed of this the same way I feel I was robbed of nursing (because aside from reverse cycling, there was no way for me to keep up with nursing Joshua). 

I keep telling myself that I’ve made it to my goal of six months, and it’ll probably be almost seven months before he’s totally on formula, but I just have this overwhelming sense of guilt about thinking about quitting. 

I don’t know what to do.

On the one hand, I’m ready to have my body back, plain and simple.  On the other hand, being a mom is about selflessness.  I know that I’m doing the best thing possible for him.  

Any words of wisdom out there in the interwebz?

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Mighty M

Friday 9th of October 2009

Ah, this is tough. Same thing happened to me with my daughter. I eventually stopped pumping entirely at work and switched to formula. I just didn't have enough for her. I nursed her at home when I was with her. I eventually just pretty much "ran out" and she kind of self weaned around 10 months. Whatever you do don't feel bad - you've done a great job going 6 months! Pumping is hard enough when you have a good supply, but when you don't it just becomes stressful - you will SO enjoy not pumping anymore whenever you get there! ;-)

Eliza Welch

Monday 5th of October 2009

My milk supply tanked right around 6 months, too. I noticed it was very significant when I didn't pump at night. In retrospect, I'm glad I stopped when I did. It was the best decision for our family.

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Sunday 4th of October 2009

I don't know if this helps or not, but when I was just starting out in the hospital, the lactation consultant told me that I would make more milk if I thought about my baby, looked at pictures of her, held something that smelled like her, etc. I call it "baby porn" because it seems similar to a man looking at Playboy so that he can produce some sperm! Good luck!! You could always try slowly introducing formula by mixing half breastmilk, half formula. If you can handle that, then slowly stop. The thing is, you will have to stop at some point. Unless you want to be one of those weirdo's that breastfeeds a 12 year old. And you will feel guilty whenever that day comes. So do what you have to do, but you will either feel guilty now or feel guilty later. It's a tough decision. Good luck!!

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