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To feel scared about stopping breastfeeding.

(35 Posts)
Skatingonthinice16 Mon 26-Dec-16 13:30:42

I had to express as for various reasons couldn't feed dd properly myself. She was exclusively breastmilk fed to six months before starting solids. She's now one and I'm still expressing every four hours which is really every three and a half hours as if I express at 2am it takes half an hour and then I have to be up at 6am to do it again. We also can't go out for long unless I express in the car which I don't really like doing. Dh has been massively unsupportive and I'm finding it harder and harder looking after a mobile baby and an older dc and expressing.

I know I have to stop but I'm worried that when I stop dd will get ill more often and not recover from things as quickly. Is it likely to make much difference? Dc1 was only fed for five months but was an altogether healthier baby than dd - he had none of the problems she did at birth.
Did people notice their babies getting ill more often once they'd stopped feeding? Dd won't be going to nursery. It's also such a bad time of year for germs, I'm tempted to keep going until April / may but my mental health has suffered enormously and so has my relationship with dc1.

The expressing has kind of been a crutch though. I feel like it helps dd even if it's probably making no difference. I feel very anxious about stopping.

Should I just accept that it needs to finish now?

coconutpie Mon 26-Dec-16 13:36:06

You need proper real life support, not a thread on AIBU. Contact La Leche League for support and advice.

AyeAmarok Mon 26-Dec-16 13:36:33

Is it likely to make much difference?

No.

It's unlikely to make any difference at this stage. She's got the benefit of the Immunity already in the early weeks.

It's hard though when you have anxiety and this is one of your crutches, but you need to stop sometime, potentially you'll have these feelings no matter when you do it.

Expressing for this long has been a heroic effort on your part flowers

BIgBagofJelly Mon 26-Dec-16 13:42:05

Bloody hell, you've done amazingly well. I'm a massive fan of breastfeeding and carried on until DD was 3 years old but I think it really is a case of diminishing returns at this stage. She's got most of the benefit out of it already and you deserve a break. Pat yourself on the back and give her normal full fat milk.

Skatingonthinice16 Mon 26-Dec-16 13:43:36

It's just they always say they can sometimes recover more quickly from stuff if ill and it's good for hydration etc.
I will feel so guilty if I stop and then she's ill.

Skatingonthinice16 Mon 26-Dec-16 13:44:09

What can LLL do though!? Won't they just say to carry on at all costs?

Gymnopedies Mon 26-Dec-16 13:47:49

Could you start going longer between pumping or not pumping at night?
You have done wonderfully and yes your DD will have benificied a lot. Now at 1 her gut wall should me closed so the immune system molecules can't go directly into her bloodstream (I think it's why they can start drinking cow's milk or other milks).

Gymnopedies Mon 26-Dec-16 13:48:55

Should be not should me

Skatingonthinice16 Mon 26-Dec-16 13:48:58

I was worried supply would drop. I only get about 30oz a day which isn't a massive massive amount and dd drinks it all. 900mls roughly.

AnotherBun Mon 26-Dec-16 13:50:45

Phone the abm or nct helplines. They will help you make a plan for slowly weaning your body off the pumping regime. You've breastfed for a year. It's perfectly OK to stop now - breastmilk is great but you've done your utmost best and you can be proud of yourself

Gymnopedies Mon 26-Dec-16 13:54:51

Also it's OK to worry about weaning, I was worried when I weaned DS too. Take your time OP.
Here is an article on Kelly's mom:
kellymom.com/ages/weaning/wean-how/depression-and-weaning/

MoonriseKingdom Mon 26-Dec-16 13:56:06

That sounds like quite a lot of milk at 1 year old. Does she eat solids well? Is she gaining weight well? Many children would be just getting a morning/ bedtime feed. If you cut out an overnight pumping session it would at least improve your sleeping.

purplefizz26 Mon 26-Dec-16 14:02:30

Revolving your life around pumping and breastfeeding is crazy, it should make life easier not difficult.

Expressing around the clock isn't really necessary at this age. She has the benefit of immunity, she is eating solids and can drink other milks as a drink.

Kids get ill. They just do. You have to accept that breastfeeding or not, they will get colds and bugs etc. You have been lucky if she hasn't been ill. Breastfeeding doesn't stop this things happening, it just makes it a little less likely.

I think as it's making things difficult, (long drives, overnight expressing) it is time to call it a day.

Anotherdayanotherdollar Mon 26-Dec-16 14:02:38

Wow! You have done amazingly well to keep pumping until now star. She really doesn't need that much breast milk at this stage, and certainly needs it less than you need your sleep! Express during the day when it's convenient, give her water or cow's milk (or an alternative if you'd prefer), and give yourself a huge pat on the pat, gold medal, glass of wine and all the other things you deserve for doing as well as you have done.

TooMinty Mon 26-Dec-16 14:04:03

I breastfed both of mine for a year, but I did it the "easy" way - no expressing, hat off to you for pumping for so long! And I didn't feel guilty about transitioning them to cow's milk from a sippy cup after a year and they both did fine on it. You've done a great job, don't feel guilty. Just gradually cut down breast milk feeds by swapping with a cup of milk. And enjoy the extra time you have when you don't have to express.

Trifleorbust Mon 26-Dec-16 14:06:44

She has more than received the benefits of breast milk.

justabigdisco Mon 26-Dec-16 14:09:26

You've done amazingly well. I would suggest stopping the night time pumping - surely you don't need to be doing that at this stage? If you think you're not getting enough for her then start giving her full fat cow's milk for some of the drinks. You can gradually increase the amount of cow's milk she's having while you decrease the pumping. When mine were 1 they were having BF twice a day with a cup of cow's milk in the afternoon.

Gollygeewhizztits Mon 26-Dec-16 14:12:16

I'm still breastfeeding my 2.5 year old and I think breastfeeding is great for those that can do it, but omg give yourself a huge pat on the back and stop if that is what you want. You have been expressing for an extraordinary amount of time. I could never get anything out with a pump so I'm a bit in awe! She can have cow's milk or another type. She'll be absolutely fine.

I haven't had contact with LLL but from what I understand from others who have, I don't think they'd tell you to carry on at all costs. If you do want some other support, perhaps give them a call and see.

You're important too you know. You matter. Breastfeeding is about your baby but it's also about you. Children get ill, that's a fact of life. You have given her a fantastic start and you have done really well, but you're ready to end now and you should not feel guilty about that.

DrunkenUnicorn Mon 26-Dec-16 14:28:28

Op you've done so well for your DD.

You have no reason to feel guilty at all!

Anyone who tells you to feed at all costs is a crap advocate for bf. They should be there to help support you in whatever you decide meets the needs of you and your baby, pointing you in the direction of reliable information if you ask for it.

It sounds like you've done an amazing thing for DD and if you'd like to stop or cut down that is a perfectly valid and reasonable decision (and nobody else's damn business!) and you should be supported in moving forward.

I'm an ex NCT BF peer supporter, having bf three dc for over 3.5 years and counting. Honestly there is no way any reasonable individual could think badly of you. flowers

MotherFuckingChainsaw Mon 26-Dec-16 14:30:56

Worrying about her getting ill is a bit of a rd herring though. She will get ill, she needs to get ill in order to prime her immune system. Your milk has done a great job in kick starting it, but it needs to learn to work on its own too.

I agree if you feel that anxious about stopping it would be worth getting some assistance. I was similar and looking back I think I must have sounded nuts to those around me in how utterly insistent I was. It is such a small part of the overall picture. Important at the beginning, but certainly not vital and declining in importance as they get older.

Good luck and well done for work so far I expressed for a few weeks then managed to feed direct. It is a thousand times harder.

Crunchymum Mon 26-Dec-16 14:33:40

Fuck expressing for a year!! I did it for 8, miserable, soul destroying weeks with DC1.

DC2 thankfully took the breast OK as there is no way I'd have expressed.

Redkite10a Mon 26-Dec-16 14:38:04

I dropped mid morning and mid afternoon BF when i returned to work when DS was 12 months January last year. He was then still having morning, bedtime and 2 night feeds, and then cows milk during the day. I then got pregnant with DD and DS self weaned as my supply dried up by about 18 months.

The bonuses of breastfeeding that I noticed were that even when sick he'd latch on and drink, getting food and liquids into him when sick takes more effort now. He also seems to find ear infections more painful this winter when not BF than last winter when he was. However, he got ill when BF last winter, this winter he's been ill too.

From memory, reducing ear infections is one of the key benefits of longer term breastfeeding - there was a big Lancet review article earlier this year that summarised all the evidence.

You've done amazingly to express as long as you have, based on my experience of the limited benefits of BF I'd see no reason not to start cutting down.

Palegreenstars Mon 26-Dec-16 14:38:34

Wow - amazing that you've got so far with a less supportive partner.

You could try cutting down a feed a week and then keeping one or two for as long as you want. Then you know she's still getting the good stuff but will take the pressure off a bit.

Hellmouth Mon 26-Dec-16 14:43:42

It won't make a blind bit of difference.

DS has always been formula fed. DP, my sister and myself all had horrible, stinking colds. The most he got was the sniffles, and he was only about 3 months at the time.

Womble75 Mon 26-Dec-16 14:47:54

Blimey you've done so well so far! I managed 6 weeks due to a combination of medical and support issues with DD.
For comparison, and it's not a fact in any way shape or form, 2 of my friends gave birth within 2 weeks of me, both breast fed and their babies had more illness in the first year than my formula fed DD who had none. So it's not a given that the immune system will be in any way compromised.
As long as your baby is getting fed and is happy and thriving than whether it's a breast or bottle makes no odds.
I struggled massively in the few weeks when I had to stop with guilt ( I have no idea why) when my mum gave me a strict talking to and reminded me I was exclusively formula fed (was adopted at 6 weeks) and I was fine.
Good luck

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