Finding it hard to let go

(16 Posts)
Throughautomaticdoors Mon 19-Sep-16 06:49:04

Dd is nearly 9 months and I've expressed for her since she was born as she was prem and we struggled to establish breast feeding.
She has been having some solids from six months but the milk she has is exclusively breast milk.
The problem is it's so exhausting expressing every 3/4 hours and it means that I haven't slept for longer than three hours in one go since she was born. It's massively impacting on my life in a negative way. In fact it's ruined the time since she was born.
However I'd got it in my head that I would carry on until she was one and I'm finding it very hard to let go of this target. Originally my target was three months, then six months and now it's a year so I have a feeling if I got to twelve months I'd then probably say 18 months was the target.

I need to let go and accept the failure but how?

I think it is hard to stop whatever the situation.

My 11mo is on an extended strike or has given up. I was planning to feed him till he was 2ish. I'm sad about that.

I don't feel like a failure tho.

I always ask myself what I will think if I look back on it in 10years. I suspect you would think it was bloody hard and you did really well - not how crap you didn't get to a random round number

brew

VioletBam Mon 19-Sep-16 06:58:12

It's not a failure. You're looking at it wrongly. You have successfully provided breast milk for 9 months! That's very good for DD and she will be fine without it from this point ESPECIALLY if she has a Mother who is not exhausted and miserable.

Your job is not only to provide nutrition but to be healthy and happy for her sake.

Throughautomaticdoors Mon 19-Sep-16 07:00:23

Do all the benefits of breastfeeding stop when I stop though? Or will there be some longer benefits? Alleged benefits anyway!

divafever99 Mon 19-Sep-16 07:04:07

Op I think you have done fantastic to last so long! I had a lot of difficulties bf dd2 and expressed milk for her. I lasted 6 weeks! It was exhausting, all that sterilising, pumping, then time feeding the baby. Please don't feel guilty, she will be fine.

ICJump Mon 19-Sep-16 07:04:08

You have exclusively express for 9 months that is an amazing achievement. Stopping before you feel is right can feel sad and that is ok. It's Ok to feel sad for not meeting your goals.
You could start stopping slowly by reducing by one expressing session a day per week or . You might find as you step down your happy to continue for longer. Or you might find as you slow down you feel better about your decision.

metimeisforwimps Mon 19-Sep-16 07:35:07

Well it's not a failure! To do what you've done for 9 months is a huge success. Would you find it easier to move to combined feeding so dd you just have to express once a day? Then she would continue to get the benefits of your milk.

Throughautomaticdoors Mon 19-Sep-16 07:39:54

But wil my milk by just stop once I start to wind down? I'd be ok to combi feed but I was worried that once I reduced the expressing the milk would stop.

Dd is still having as much milk as she was pre solids! I was hoping she would drop down so I could freeze some milk and then maybe carry on that way but I get about 900mls a day and she has it all.

0phelia Mon 19-Sep-16 07:49:24

My DS is almost two now, and like you I had the aim of breastfeeding milk only until 1yo.

He got all his teeth quite early and at 9mo decided he really liked using them... especially on me! Really sharp small teeth right on my nappies argh!

I stopped breastfeeding at this point for obvious reasons and moved onto formula. I seem to recall some discomfort as my milk dried up so I pumped and dumped a few times but not for long.

9m of breastmilk is great and very beneficial for both you and your baby. You can move onto formula until 1yo then introduce regular cows milk into the diet.

In fact formula is heavier than bm so your baby may sleep for longer too.

0phelia Mon 19-Sep-16 07:50:00

*nipples not nappies lol

Rubytuesday2980 Mon 19-Sep-16 07:53:11

That is an amazing achievement! Read this article, it will show you how much you have done for her:

www.breastfeedingbasics.com/articles/breastfeeding-benefits-how-they-add-up

You shouldn't stop entirely straight away for the sake of your boobs, it's worth doing some research/finding a local support group to help you through the transition.

ICJump Mon 19-Sep-16 07:55:19

You'll make as much as you remove.
So if you say drop an overnight session you'll decrease by that amount.
It's worth having a chat with counsellor or IBCLC to make a plan of how to do it and how much to combi feed ect.

BertieBotts Mon 19-Sep-16 08:05:41

No! You absolutely can't "undo" the goodness of breastfeeding by stopping smile

FWIW - you could cut out the night pumpings by now and stretch out the daytime ones. That might allow you to continue for a little longer. Or if it interests you, you might be able to look into relactation - getting her back onto the breast directly?

Apparently, supply (at this point) is about the number of pumps in 24h, not the intervals. So you could do your daytime pumping closer together in order to stretch the gap you get at night.

Throughautomaticdoors Mon 19-Sep-16 08:41:53

I have to hope so Bertie because it's been awful! It's been more expensive than formula feeding as I hired a hospital grade pump at £45 for 28 days - I will have nearly bought the bloody thing outright - massively inconvenient and has nearly caused me to have a breakdown from lack of sleep. Please please please let there be some benefit to it!

Bubbinsmakesthree Mon 19-Sep-16 09:07:12

Well you've done amazingly well to keep up expressing for 9 months!

You can't 'undo' the benefits from the breastmilk that your DD has already received, they're banked.

I'm not an expert on expressing but I would have thought you ought to be able to change the timing of your expressing sessions so that you're not having to do it during the night.

If that's not possible, there is nothing wrong with introducing some formula at this stage. Nothing at all. It won't undermine the benefits your DD is getting from breastmilk.

I had huge difficulties feeding DS and he was mix fed from birth. I was absolutely devastated about this at the time. He's now a two year old and to be honest it is an absolute non-issue for me now. In the grand scheme of things you will eventually look back on your parenting decisions and feel that the exact amount of time you managed to express was of very little significance vs the thousands and thousands of other choices you make about raising a child.

BertieBotts Tue 20-Sep-16 16:57:41

Here. Look at all this lovely stuff you've done. NONE of that will be undone. I promise.

www.nct.org.uk/sites/default/files/related_documents/Reasons%20to%20be%20Proud%20FINAL%20WITHOUT%20BLEED.pdf

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