Am I Being Selfish???? - Phoenix,AZ

Updated on September 01, 2011
J.G. asks from Phoenix, AZ
21 answers

Hi moms. I am a 1st time mother of a 4 month old little boy. I have been breastfeeding since day 1, I went back to work after 7 weeks & have been pumping ever since. My son has gone thru what I understand to be as a strike a couple times, where he doesnt want anything to do with the breastfeeding. That usually will last a couple days & then were "back on". My milk production has slowed the past month so I have been taking fenugreek & blessed thistle, 2 capsules of each 3x's a day. It seemed to have increased a little bit, but not much. When I pump, Im getting anywhere from 1-3oz per session, when I used to get at least 4oz. I have come to accept the fact that the only time he really wants to nurse is early in the morning & right before bedtime. He will nurse a little bit when I get home from work, but I usually have to give him a bottle shortly afterwards. I send 2 frozen pumped milk to the sitters & the other feedings are formula. My problem is, if you call it a problem, is it is really hard to pump 3-4 times a day at work and there are times when I only pump 1-2 times. I generally bring the pump back & forth from home to work, for the feedings he doesnt want at home. I love the bonding time that we do have when he nurses, but am I being selfish by thinking its a pain in the butt to pump at work? Because of this, I am thinking of no longer nursing. Are there any other working moms that feel the same way? How did you feel afterwards, did you have any regrets? Anything that I should do to prepare myself & my son for no more nursing feedings? I have been told that I have done really well pumping as long as I have.

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So What Happened?

Thank you for all your wonderful advice & support. I feel so much better with my decision to stop pumping. I hadnt even thought about being able to still nurse when I am home. I will be doing that as long as I possibly can, since Im just not ready to loose that bonding time!! :)

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answers from Dover on

You know, I felt the exact same way as you & I can tell you what I did which I know is not popular with exclusive BF moms, but it worked for us. I breastfed from the time I got home from work until the time I went back to work in the morning & in the daytimes when my kids were at the sitter's they got only formula. In the beginning I had some trouble with being too full, but my body adjusted really quickly. Like I said, I know it's not terribly popular, but it worked for us really well for several months with both kids. Best of luck to you!!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

If i had to pump most of my milk i dont think id last long either, I probably would have stopped when a cup was possible.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Norfolk on

Pumping at work is so incredibly hard and stressful--you've done a good job so far but if it's causing you stress I would just switch him to formula. It is not poison like a lot of moms will have you think it is. It is a healthy alternative to breastfeeding and you will be much happier and I can almost guarantee that your baby will not grow up and say "man, i sure wish my mom breastfed me longer!".

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Naples on

No! You aren't selfish at all. We're women, not superheroes. It's not our fault we don't have paid maternity leave to facilitate breastfeeding for 4 months, 6 months, 1 year etc. like every other developed country. Pumping at work is NOT the easy-breezy solution some people make it out to be. I commend you for doing it this long!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Erie on

I don't think you are being selfish for not wanting to continue pumping. But, I do think there is an alternative to weaning altogether.
I have known moms who only nurse while at home and formula feed while they are at work. Your body adjusts to this and only makes milk when it's time to breastfeed.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

I second Talkstotrees. Last few months of nursing all three of my kids were nap and bed time, sometimes comfort. In between they had formula. And I didn't work. You do what feels right for you.

So no, you are not selfish, you are a wonderful caring conscientious mommy!


4 moms found this helpful


answers from Syracuse on

No, you're not being selfish at all! Give yourself some credit for nursing him his first 4 months. I did what you did as well...I started out pumping 3-4 X at work and then gradually pumped less and less until it was only once at work, by 6-7 months I stopped pumping and just nursed him in the morning, after work and in the evening. If he was still hungry (which he always was) I just gave him formula. By 10 months he weaned himself. I had no regrets at all, he was a very happy and healthy baby and still is.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

You are not being selfish...Breastfeeding is difficult even under the most favorable circumstances. You and only you must decides what's best for your son and yourself. Formula has come a long way and no he won't get sick and die and lose brain cells and get fat if he doesn't continue to nurse. Best wishes on your decision. You'll know :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Biloxi on

My son was breast and bottle as I got sick when he was one week old and he had to go to formula. I pumped to keep up milk production, and when I was cleared to nurse, resumed. When I returned to work he became like your baby and would nurse in the morning, after work, and at bedtime - and that was it. Any other time of the day he would refuse the breast, but take a bottle.

At three months he self weaned and refused to nurse at all. I did not force it, and went ahead and switched him to formula and bottles as pumping at work to produce that much milk was not an option (also my output had changed to accommodate his morning and evening only schedule).

You know what, J.? He was a happy, healthy baby, and now, 15 years later, I don't think it made much difference in his development.

You have done really well pumping for this long. If you want to stop, do so without any guilt. I found that snuggling and cuddling him while giving him a bottle kept that "nursing" bond between us.

God Bless

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

You can only do what you are capable of so no you are not being selfish. :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

For a breastfeeding relationship to work, it has to work for both of you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dayton on

Well, I can't answer that Q for you. It is a personal decision. I was fortunate enough that I was able to only go back to work PT w/ my DD-gone 4 hrs. a day.
Pumping was not something I was very successful w/ either. And my boss thought it was disgusting.

I just wanted to say that even if you do decide to give him formula during the day you can still nurse him. You don't have to quit altogether.
Your body can and will adjust to morning and night feedings.

Just a thought.

ETA: Didn't mean to repeat Talkstotrees. She was too fast for me. ;)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

I was a stay at home mom and due to issues with feeding I had to pump all the time I couldn't do it past 7 weeks. and I stayed home with a two year old I don't blame you. You really have to have your heart in it to make it work...I learned this with my third one. And I mean gung ho about it way before you even deliver. Don't beat yourself up over are doing your best.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kalamazoo on

You're doing an amazing job! It's so hard to balance working and breastfeeding. And dragging a pump and all its parts back and forth to work is such a pain - I went back to work after my first, so I know what you're talking about. One thing I noticed was that the more my child nursed, the more milk I produced. I also had a hard time getting my milk going with my second baby, so I finally just pumped every two hours around the clock for a 24 hr period (and drank so much water!), which seemed to kick start things by really increasing the milk production. I hate recommending something that means less sleep, but it might work. Otherwise, have you considered just keeping the morning and evening nursing sessions? (and give formula for the others) I didn't do this, so I don't know how it well it works, but maybe someone else out there has - seems it would let you ditch the hassle, but keep the closeness. Good luck!


answers from New York on

I never got the hang of pumping. EVER. I was lucky to be a SAHM but I tried pumping cuz my daughter refused to take a bottle of formula if I went out and she cried and cried when I went out. IF I were you I would keep trying to nurse at home a while longer but just send formula to the sitters. My generation survived without breastfeeding, my adopted son is very healthy and never breast fed whatever you decide will be fine!



answers from Chicago on

Pumping is a royal pain in the arse. That said, I did it for 9 months with my first. I did not make enough for 3 and lots of guilt trips there and we did supplement. There were pumps at work and there was a room setup for that. At this job, I had to use an executive rest room and carry mine back and forth for my 3 yr old. I pumped for a year and I also had issues with decreased supply. I was so glad it was over. I plan to bf again but not looking forward to pumping at work. I will do it as long as I can but may stop at 6 months because it can be really hard.



answers from Phoenix on

I believe that your body will adjust if you were to drop the pumping and only nursed at home. Maybe the lactation consultant from the hospital would have additional insight how how best to accomplish that with the least discomfort. And yes, you are a trooper for sticking with it so long!!!!


answers from Chicago on

I would try only pumping at work and only bfing at home if you are wanting to continue; as well sending enough to the sitter for the day of breastmilk. He will get it if you do not offer a bottle at home.


answers from Dallas on

First of all, I don't think you are selfish. I would like to give you a trick that worked for me, and a lot of people I've talked too. I nursed my son for a long time, but only pumped at work for the first year, after that he just nursed when I was at home, but he was never formula fed. I only pumped one time/day at work, however, when I got home I would nurse him and on the other breast I would pump as he was nursing, my milk came out so good when I did it that way. I would pump and breastfeed him again at night or right before I went to work in the morning.

I hated pumping, I loved breastfeeding my children... my first two kids I wasn't able to nurse that long because of work, my last one, I nursed for 3 years, just after the first year it was just at morning and night, it was our time...

Good luck and you are not selfish!



answers from Phoenix on

I did it for 6 months, got really sick & dehydrated & decided it was time to stop. I think if I had been able to stay home or had a great supply, it would've been different for me. I found it to be stressful more than anything, honestly. All I thought about was pumping & nursing & producing enough & it just got to be too much. I don't regret the time I nursed, but I wish the circumstances had been different. You have done a great job, so don't feel bad. Personally, I found that nursing did nothing to make DD healthier - she still got really sick multiple times when she was a baby/toddler.


answers from Tampa on

Pumping is hard... but it's doable. Most states have mandates now which support breastfeeding/pumping Moms at their jobs.

Stress, dehydration and feeling sad being away from baby all make pumping harder. Pumping is not the way you should gauge your milk supply... you can be as full as a cow and still only pump 2 oz. Machines are only 25% effective for expressing milk while a baby's suckling will get 100%.

I'd encourage you to continue for one more month with pumping. Pump more often and only 10 minutes per breast per pumping session. Drink more water, eat oatmeal 3 times a week and only nurse (NO BOTTLES) while at home with baby. He is only 4 months old, not 6-10 months. If he is hungry, he will nurse.

Even if after trying another month of pumping doesn't work... why would you wean him? You could supplement with formula while at daycare and nurse while at home with him... most working breastfeeding Moms I know do this.

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