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Pumping Problems

So we’ve hit our 5 month exclusive breastfeeding milestone and it seems this will be the end of it.

PrincessIce went to the day mother for the first time on Wednesday. I was dreading being apart from her. I cried in the morning when she left. I called around 9am and heard she was refusing a bottle (she had taken a bottle from Rudi before). I was very upset and was inconsolable until I called again later to be told she had eventually had her milk and a nap.

It quickly became apparent that she was drinking more milk than I was able to pump for her. She is drinking on average 360 ml per day and I am only managing to pump between 200 – 240 ml per day. The day mother has run out of frozen reserves and by tomorrow we will have to supplement with formula. I am so disappointed. I wanted to do at least 6 months exclusive, but that doesn’t seem to be possible.

I’ve tried everything possible to yield more pumping, including hand expressing, Eglynol, power pumping, watching videos of her and picturing waterfalls of milk, to no avail. I won’t be able to pump with as much gusto when I get back to work either, so it will just have to be what it is. I by no means plan to stop. I’ll pump whatever I can and send it with her. Whatever breast milk she gets is a blessing.

Before PrincessIce went to the day mother I went there to show her a YouTube video on paced bottle feeding, which mimics breastfeeding to ensure your baby doesn’t start preferring the easy flow of the bottle and rejecting the breast. Both Rudi and myself have repeatedly stressed the importance of this to her, but I’m doubtful that she is doing it all the time. I am just trying to protect our breastfeeding relationship. I don’t think any mother in her 30 years of caring for children has ever asked her to do something like this. Despite her watching the video which explains the reasons for paced bottle feeding very well, I don’t think she understands why we are making a big deal about it. We all but got into a fight about it this morning, leaving me in tears again. I don’t think she believes babies get lazy when bottle fed. I don’t think she thinks it makes a difference. She has told me she feeds her to sleep while laying down in the cot, as she wakes up if you put her down if she falls asleep in her arms.  She said it’s easy for me to lay next to her and feed her to sleep, she has other things to do and can’t hold her while she sleeps. Fair enough. Otherwise she insists she is pacing her feeds. I will just have to take her word for it.

The truth is I won’t find a place for PrincessIce to stay where she’ll get the same individual attention that she does now. We are also paying a very reasonable rate.

I’ll just have to suck it up and hope PrincessIce will continue to love our breastfeeding time together. I have decided that I want to breastfeed her at the very least through winter and then take it from there. Let’s hope it lasts that long.

I’m having a dismal pumping day so far again today. I’m not enjoying my bit of alone time before I go back to work next week at all. Breastfeeding and just providing milk for my baby is so very hard. I sometimes wish I had oversupply issues as they might have been easier to deal with. That also would of allowed me to be a breast milk donor which is something I would of loved to do. Instead, I will do my best with what I’ve been given.

My precious