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Think I'm ready to give up pumping, but feeling guilty

(16 Posts)
WhizzPopBang Tue 11-Mar-14 12:44:55

DD will turn six months this week, and I've been pumping milk for her since birth. She didn't latch after being born a little early by c section for medical reasons. We exclusively pumped for four months, then combination fed for the last two months, gradually increasing the proportion of formula. For the last few weeks I've been pumping three times a day which gives just two BM feeds as my supply has dwindled, and I feel like I'd like to stop pumping completely but feel quite emotional and guilty about it! I guess I shouldn't feel bad, but the pumping is starting to be a chore, especially for so little milk.

tiktok Tue 11-Mar-14 12:53:39

Give yourself a HUGE medal, Whizz.

Yes, your feelings will be mixed - it's about starting a new chapter in your life and it's all tied up with challenging early months in which you were a hero and when your baby was tinier and more vulnerable than she is now.

Try to work out what the 'guilt' is about - how about re-framing it as 'sad', which removes the (totally redundant) self-blame thing?

You could totally go cold turkey now. One way of making it easier is to plan a lovely day (now the weather's better) where you leave your pump behind you for hours and hours, and you do something which you could not otherwise do with your baby smile

MyNameIsAnAnagram Tue 11-Mar-14 12:54:03

Don't feel bad you've done a fantastic job!

lolalotta Tue 11-Mar-14 12:56:28

Wow, you have done really really well! I pumped for a week in hospital while my DD was having/ recovering from an operation and that was hard enough!!! Well done you is what I say! grin

WhizzPopBang Tue 11-Mar-14 13:19:07

Thank you! Such kind comments, and that's a lovely point tiktok, about being able to do more things with my baby when not spending time pumping - I slightly can't wait for that day! I think the guilt is that while there's milk there, I should be giving it to her, and that I'd be deliberately ending my supply by giving up, which feels like I'm depriving her... But she's had the most important months of BM from and having more time for her (& me) would be great now she's a bit bigger smile

tiktok Tue 11-Mar-14 13:38:51

Whenever you stop, either pumping or breastfeeding direct, there is always milk there for a time (it varies how long, but it can be months or even years smile).

It never turns off like a tap.

So if we are talking logic, I've knocked a hole in that one for ya smile !

But we're not really talking logic...

WhizzPopBang Tue 11-Mar-14 14:19:28

Haha, no definitely no logic here! Actually I didn't know that - I find that quite comforting though, knowing that it's not quite as final as just stopping (though I know it wouldn't exactly be a breeze to get things started again, feels nice to know there's a tiny window for changing ones mind!)

foolserrand Tue 11-Mar-14 14:24:28

That is an amazing accomplishment! Please never feel guilty for trying so hard. So many people would have given up after a month of pumping tops. You've done really, really great.

Superworm Tue 11-Mar-14 21:42:01

Wow - I'm impressed!! What an amazing achievement and wonderful thing to do. I'm a big BFing advocate but serious doubt I would be able to sustain expressing for even a fraction of that time.

Honestly, you have done fantastically. Nothing to feel guilty about at all smile

Edgarallan Wed 12-Mar-14 15:05:05

I am in a very similar situation with my DC 6m. Had a massive surge of hormones following topping BF and felt awful but 2w on feeling much better. Be good to yourself you have done so well to keep going all this time xxx

WhizzPopBang Wed 12-Mar-14 18:39:11

Thanks - you're not the only person to have warned me about the hormone surge after stopping - good to know in advance that there could be a rough patch!

cosmicnoodle Fri 14-Mar-14 09:19:06

Wow you've done great! I only managed a month as my little one wanted to be held all the time so it was impossible to pump in the day whilst my husband was at work! You've done a fab job and at the end of the day your little one will still be getting all she needs!

orangemouth281 Fri 14-Mar-14 12:34:36

I am 5 weeks into exclusive pumping and you have inspired me to keep going, if I get anywhere near 6 months I will be very happy. You shouldn't feel guilty at all, it is very hard work and you have done amazingly well.

WhizzPopBang Fri 14-Mar-14 20:01:34

So with your support I've been making my emotional peace with the decision to work towards stopping, thank you! Down to two pumps a day, think I'll find it easier to wind down gradually than go cold turkey. Was thinking of nice ways to use the time I'll have - making yummy weaning food, doing nice things together (inspired by tiktok's post).

orange good luck - you can do it! I found the first four months were fine, only after that did I start getting a bit sick of it. I found nursing tea really helped my supply.

Yogurtcake Sat 15-Mar-14 03:34:49

You should be proud of yourself!
My story is so similar and I really had a hard time pumping literally "all the time" for my baby. I moved to another country when he was 4 months old and it was even harder to continue. I tried my best to wait until he was 6 months , I pumped maybe twice during the night when he was asleep and early in the morning and I started solids when he was five months old. I have to say the whole thing from the beginning was really challenging and tiring.
I read on some blog that the babies take their needs from the breastmilk when they are 4 months old. Dont have any negative feelings about urself if u stopped now. u've already done a great job!

orangemouth281 Sat 15-Mar-14 05:33:45

Thanks Whizz, I didn't know there was such a thing as nursing tea so will look into that.

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