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Will a 5 day BF-ing break make my supply go away?

(10 Posts)
yumcha888 Sat 30-Jul-11 12:30:10

Hi everyone,

I have to leave my DS for 5 days (he'll be 5.5 months old) and am a bit concerned that my milk supply will stop. I'll be taking a pump with me but have never got much out when expressing. DS is mainly BF-ed with the odd bottle here and there but I don't feel ready to stop BF-ing just yet.

What do you think? Will my milk dry up?

threefeethighandrising Sat 30-Jul-11 12:38:10

I have no idea but I would be concerned. If it's absolutely necessary then I would make sure I pumped lots. Can you try using a different type of pump? Perhaps you will have more success?

Sorry if this is a stupid question but do you really have to be away for so long? I had an evening out when DS was 5 months, planned before he was born. I thought by 5 months it would be easy. But I found even that that hard to do, logistically!

5 days is a long time. Is there any chance you can move it or shorten the time away at all?

yumcha888 Sat 30-Jul-11 12:48:04

Thanks for posting threefeethigh. I really don't want to be away from my DS sad It's for the wedding of my DH's best friend (DH is the best man) and the damned wedding is in Croatia. We were going to take DS with us and leave him with a babysitter for a couple of hours during the reception but they decided to have the reception on a boat and I'm worried that if the babysitter calls us with an emergency we'll be stuck in the Med with no way to get back. Also, I wasn't that hapoy with leaving DS with a stranger for half a day. Anyway, we decided to leave him with my mum (who he sees every week).

Do you think we should just take him with us and I should skip the reception? (totally socially unacceptable amongst this group of Italians but if it has to be done....)

threefeethighandrising Sat 30-Jul-11 12:58:26

"Do you think we should just take him with us and I should skip the reception? (totally socially unacceptable amongst this group of Italians but if it has to be done....)"

Yes that's exactly what I would do. That sounds like an excellent solution.
I did wonder if you were having an operation or something, but for people to ask you to be away from such a young baby for so long just for a wedding is completely unacceptable IMO.

Sod them if don't understand! What a horrible position they have put you in!

I would have found it very difficult to be away from my DS for so long at such a short age, and I think he would have been absolutely distraught to be without me for 5 days.

Also it's not just issue of the separation. BFing is just so beneficial to your DC, if there is a risk your milk will dry up then it's just not worth it at all IMO.

theyoungvisiter Sat 30-Jul-11 13:05:20

I agree - this is a HUGE ask from your friends - they couldn't have thought of a less child-friendly set up if they tried could they?!

There is a risk that your milk supply might dry up and you will probably be extremely uncomfortable and engorged, even with pumping. Personally I just wouldn't have been able to leave my kids for that long at that age - I just couldn't have done it. Everyone's different, and I'm in no way criticising people who are happy to do that - but if you aren't able to, your friends should respect that.

If you don't want to miss the reception, is there no way you can take him along? I've taken babies of varying ages to weddings and IMO it's only when they get to 18 months+ that they start to be a problem. A 5 month old is still delightfully portable and will probably just snooze on your breast or in his pram all evening.

Or alternatively, maybe your mum would fancy a holiday in Croatia too? Hey presto - babysitter on site grin

threefeethighandrising Sat 30-Jul-11 13:16:01

I would be polite but firm with them and just say that it is impossible. Don't let them make you do something you don't want to! Explain that if you have to come to the reception it means stopping BFing and that is basically asking you to put their wedding party before the health of your child.

Here are some of the benefits of BFing - I expect you may well know many of them but if the wedding party complain they complain I'd email them this!

Benefits for the baby:

Breastfeeding children

* have fewer allergies
* are smart - Extensive research on the relationship between cognitive achievement (IQ scores, grades in school) and breastfeeding has shown the greatest gains for those children breastfed the longest.
* have less chance of diarrhoea and vomiting
*have fewer chest and ear infections
* have less chance of being constipated
* have less likelihood of becoming obese and therefore developing type 2 diabetes and other illnesses later in life
* have less chance of developing eczema

Benefits for the mother:

* Extended nursing delays the return of fertility in some women by suppressing ovulation
* Breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer. Studies have found a significant inverse association between duration of lactation and breast cancer risk.
* Breastfeeding reduces the risk of ovarian cancer
* Breastfeeding reduces the risk of uterine cancer
* Breastfeeding reduces the risk of endometrial cancer
* Breastfeeding protects against osteoporosis. During lactation a mother may experience decreases of bone mineral. A nursing mom's bone mineral density may be reduced in the whole body by 1 to 2 percent while she is still nursing. This is gained back, and bone mineral density may actually increase, when the baby is weaned from the breast. This is not dependent on additional calcium supplementation in the mother's diet.
* Breastfeeding reduces the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
* Breastfeeding has been shown to decrease insulin requirements in diabetic women
* Breastfeeding moms tend to lose weight easier (References).

And if they're not sympathetic to your needs after reading all of that then they're opinions aren't worth listening to IMO!

(Sources www.kellymom.com/bf/bfextended/ebf-benefits.html and www.nhs.uk/Planners/breastfeeding/Pages/health-benefits-for-baby.aspx)

Hope that helps smile

threefeethighandrising Sat 30-Jul-11 13:18:19

"Or alternatively, maybe your mum would fancy a holiday in Croatia too? Hey presto - babysitter on site" Ooh yes that's a great idea!

tiktok Sat 30-Jul-11 13:23:12

This is really more than breastfeeding - babies of 5 mths need their mums however they are fed....you can't expect a baby this young, or his mother, to be happy being separated for that length of time without a great deal of sadness on both sides, and bewilderment on the baby's side.

Hope you get something sorted that keeps everyone happy smile

yumcha888 Sat 30-Jul-11 13:26:09

Blimey, thanks guys!! I'm always worried that I'm being unreasonable and making a big deal out of being a mum (I'm the first one of my friends to have kids and I think they just don't get it....yet!). DH is with the groom now so am about to send him an sms to get him to ask if there is somewhere on the boat for DS to sleep otherwise I might just stay in the hotel with him.

Thanks again - nice to know I'm not just being an over bearing mum!

theyoungvisiter Sat 30-Jul-11 13:33:08

Don't worry - you are not being precious at all. It's completely normal not to want to leave such a tiny baby regardless of feeding, as Tiktok says. Bfing just makes it even more complicated.

And the brilliant thing is he'll be fine wherever he sleeps as long as he's got you and his pram - babies that age don't need a special place to sleep. I went to a wedding when DS1 was 4.5 months old and he slept the entire night in his pram at the side of the dancefloor with all the flashing lights and everything! It was amazing - I would never have thought it - but just something about the loud music and warmth and human company made him feel totally secure. He sat with us through the dinner, then I put him down in his pram while they were serving coffee, and he slept straight through the coffee, speeches and disco until 2am when we took him home.

It's the perfect age for that kind of thing - it's when they get a bit older and can run around that they are not so wedding-friendly grin

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