Breastfeeding experts help please

(22 Posts)
PollyIndia Thu 21-Feb-13 16:18:41

I have a week in June where I won't be able to feed my baby - I've known about it for ages - and originally I thought I would stop by then as he will be nearly 9 months. But having hated breastfeeding for the first 7 weeks, I now love it and I don't think I want to give up then if he doesn't want to. I have been back at work for 2 months and expressing and will continue to do so until he is 6 months, then introduce formula for daytime feeds but would love to keep the morning and evening (and nighttime) feeds going.

So my question is, at 8/9 months, do you still get engorgement if your baby doesn't feed for a while? If I expressed 3 times a day, would that maintain my milk supply? Do you think it's possible to do this?

tiktok Thu 21-Feb-13 16:41:53

Polly - who can say? Here's a good guess though : you will need to express, and 3 x a day by 9 mths might not be enough to prevent engorgement if your baby is feeding a lot still day and/or night (and some are). If your plan to keep morning and evening and night feeds going, with a gap in the day when you're at work, then that's still a possible 4-6 feeds.

Your milk supply will not disappear, though, though it will drop after a few days - it's restoreable if your baby co-operates and feeds again as he did before you stopped/suspended breastfeeding.

I'm guessing you are not actually going away for a week? There might be a problem if you were - babies of 9 mths don't like their mothers going away for a week....it's about the most sensitive time in terms of development and understanding of loss (you can read up about it). If you stop feeding completely for a week, this too would upset and confuse your baby - it's one of the reasons why bf should stop gradually.

Is it absolutely essential you stop?

MyNameIsAnAnagram Thu 21-Feb-13 16:52:35

You will probably still get engorged yes, will you be able to pump where you are? If so, pump when you can, for comfort and to keep up supply. I only left mine for 2 days at that age, but noticed no probs in supply, not sure what effect a week will have but I'm sure it won't be irrecoverable. You may find your supply dips a little but plenty of feeding when you get back should sort it out again I think.

PollyIndia Thu 21-Feb-13 17:34:03

I did not know that tiktok. I haven't been reading ahead in my child development book so am only up to month 4. I need to look more into whether I absolutely have to stop for that week. I just wanted to find out my options.

Not planning on being away for the whole week, just 2 nights but for various reasons wasn't sure if I would be able to breastfeed again immediately. Mynameisananagram, yes, I can pump. Good to hear of your experiences, that you noticed no probs in supply after 2 days.

Thanks both

neontetra Thu 21-Feb-13 17:48:44

My dd is 10 months, still bfs a lot evenings and weekends, but I no longer have to express at work (I work full time)as my supply has adjusted. The longest I have been away from dd was about twenty hours, earlier this week - then I only needed to express once, first thing in the morning, as was a little engorged. In your case, though, I would be most worried about your dc deciding to self-wean during the time you are not feeding - I know a couple of friends who said this happened when they spent a few nights away from their dc at about this age. Would you be ok with that? Good luck, hope it works out.

tiktok Thu 21-Feb-13 17:51:24

Polly, the term is 'separation anxiety' and it is perfectly normal and part of a normally-developing baby's life, starting at around eight months.

Why would you want to suspend breastfeeding for a week when you are only away 2 nights?? Is it because you are planning on alcohol or something? Most substances - especially alcohol - don't stay in the breastmilk long. Or if you are needing a hospital procedure, you would normally be perfectly ok to bf immediately after. Obviously you would take medical advice on this.

PollyIndia Thu 21-Feb-13 19:09:57

I feel ashamed to admit it here, but pre baby, I had said Glastonbury would be my first proper night out post baby. So my best mate is going, someone has said they will get me a ticket through work etc and I always thought I would have given up breastfeeding by then. Now I am not so sure, don't think I will want to leave him, don't think I will be ready to stop. Just trying to figure out if I could do both. Yes would be drinking.
I thought separation anxiety came earlier. Maybe it is just too early to be apart from him.

PollyIndia Thu 21-Feb-13 19:11:32

Neonetra, I don't know... I imagine I will be really sad whenever he finally stops breastfeeding...

PollyIndia Thu 21-Feb-13 19:17:49

I think I know the answer already to be honest. Glastonbury 2014 maybe more feasible!

CatR1 Thu 21-Feb-13 19:22:20

Don't feel ashamed, you're trying to do the best for your baby but also have some well deserved me time. A week might be too much for both of you though and it will be a hassle to pump all the time. A night or 2 is probably better, if you can do that. I breastfed for 10 months and found by the 10th month my dd was hardly taking much from me. My dd self weaned at 10 months and although I did feel slightly rejected at the time, looking back it was the easiest way. Good luck.

PollyIndia Thu 21-Feb-13 22:07:50

Thanks CatR1. Maybe I will wait until close to the time and decide when i know how his feeding/sleeping is. I could maybe just go for a night and not go too mental... I have heard Prince is playing, would so love to see him!

Twattybollocks Fri 22-Feb-13 08:30:31

Re the drinking, if you are sober enough to drive you are sober enough to feed. That's what I've always been told

leedy Fri 22-Feb-13 15:08:09

What Twatty said - even if you got absolutely mouldy drunk you'd be grand to feed some time the next day. I'd be more worried about dealing with a tiny with a hangover, and, yeah, the being away from tiny person. FWIW I was definitely able for a proper night out by the time DS1 was that age though didn't do a full overnight until some months later.

I do feel for you - I miss going to Glastonbury but with two littlies and having to travel from Dublin I suspect it will be a couple of years before we get to go again. Fortunately I get the impression it is a festival that is kind to old ravers.... smile

PollyIndia Fri 22-Feb-13 15:18:19

I have the odd drink now, but I was thinking there would be a lot of booze involved if I went, plus I would probably smoke. When I said a week I was rounding up and not sure how long I was thinking of going for. You can go to glastonbury for the full week, not that I would (ever!).

It's one of those things that before you have a baby, you think it will be the perfect time to have your first big weekend out. But once you have a baby, you realise you never quite go out in the same way again, and that you will miss them enormously, they will miss you, you won't want to stop feeding etc. Plus I am single, so it's not like I can leave the baby with his dad - it's down to my parents and I really don't know how that will work.

Leedy, it is definitely kind to old ravers though! In fact, glastonbury is kind to everyone, as long as you don't mind mud and portaloos. It's more of a mix of people than any other festival I think.

As I said, I think I will take the wait and see approach, but this has been really useful in giving me an idea of how I might feel and the practicalities of it. I do know that if I don't go, my mates really won't understand... they all can't wait until I stop breastfeeding as I think they think that means I'll be back out like I used to be. Sadly (or happily!) that's not the case I now realise!

rednellie Fri 22-Feb-13 15:34:27

Or you could take them with you and have a totally different Glasto experience. My DD came for the first time when she was 5 months, then 18 months and I'm probably going to be back there with her (3) and my 12 month old twins. But then I work there and have a nice campsite away from the noise and I approach it in a different way from when I used to go and rave it up. Now, it's all about the Kids Field, Circus and Theatre and camping.

I know what you mean about planning your first big night out, but in the gradn scheme of nursing your baby, foregoing a big night out (or two) is a small small small price to pay. One thing I really have noticed is how fast that time goes - and I only stopped feeding my DD when she was 22months! Don't rush it if you don't have to and don't want to. Even Prince can wait for that. grin

leedy Fri 22-Feb-13 15:41:17

Yeah, I definitely found the ability to go out again sort of slowly crept up on me last time round, so I'm a lot more relaxed about the whole idea with DS2. Though still hoping I'll be able to make the album launch for my own band's album when he's 7 months (I totally will, won't I?).

(also I would totally do the babyful Glasto if I didn't also have to travel so far: I think I might wait until either they're big enough to do more activity stuff or I can leave both of them with grandparents and have at least one night roaming the Green Fields looking for the mythical all night real ale tent etc. etc.)

rednellie Fri 22-Feb-13 15:47:01

Ah yes, whenever I go sans children I'm going to hunting for the secret nightclub to the left of the stone circle. It's there, I know people who've found it...

PollyIndia Fri 22-Feb-13 21:23:11

Rednellie, in the future, I will definitely take him. But not this year - he's too little, and my friends aren't the familycampingcircusfieldsleeping kind. They are the secretnightclubtotheleftofthestonecircle kind! It's true, time does go too fast, and I've been to glastonbury loads, but my baby will only be 8.5 months old once.

Leedy, of course you will be able to make your own album launch party. That's a must!

rednellie Fri 22-Feb-13 21:25:47

Well PollyIndia I will keep an eye out for you in the kids field circa 2014 and maybe, if we get babysitters the stone circle too. grin

TandC Sat 23-Feb-13 10:17:57

Polly, I think your last post says it all '...my baby will only be 8.5 months old once'. Why don't you skip the festival this year and look forward to it next.

shouldIbecrossaboutthis Sun 24-Feb-13 21:54:51

Polly, I remember you from GreenMan, so glad you sorted the feeding now, woop woop! I'm taking my DS with me to Glastonbury, could you do that, then have a no baby Glastonbury in 2014. Best of both worlds! You could camp with us, we are lovely. My DS is 4.5 months and my friends have 11month old, 8 year old and 3 others with 4.5 month olds. That's their ages now.

We are reformed usedtogethammeredoneverytingandnotsleepfortheduration types. But this year we will be in family camping and spending a portion of time in the kidz field where I'm told NCT have bath & bed time. Plus, you do know sub focus, prince and Rolling Stones are playing, right?

shouldIbecrossaboutthis Sun 24-Feb-13 21:58:49

Ps. Not all children get separation anxiety at this age although to be fair to TikTok, most do. Some people think it has to do with when they start becoming more mobile. Also if your baby is used to being away from you due to work or something it might not be so bad; although a week would be quite long even for the most secure child. But you could do Fri-Mon & get your mates to pitch your tent?

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