My 4 1/2 Mo Old Is Weaning Himself

Updated on June 06, 2008
K.C. asks from Queen Creek, AZ
95 answers

I have a 4 1/2 mo old boy. Since he was born I did not make enough milk and was told to supplement with formula. I work full time and have a long commute, so I don't get a lot of time with either of my boys during the week. Now today at lunch I just went to breastfeed my baby and he wanted nothing to do with it. My mom says he was too hungry and was being lazy wanting a bottle instead. I'm not ready to stop. There was plenty of milk (I squirted myself in the face LOL) but he was crying very bad. I couldn't stand it I gave him a bottle and wept myself. I feel like such a bad mother because I have to work full time and I'm not able to stay home and give him the time he deserves.
It seems like most moms on here are stay at home. I feel so terrible that I'm not able to be at home as well.
I need a little encouragement, I feel just horrible.

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So What Happened?

Holly Cow!!!!! I never imagined I would have so many people respond! You go through life and meet many people that are just not genuine and only take, here so many people that I don't even know can make me feel good and GIVE me good feelings. Thank you all. I am still trying to bf. He eats in the middle of the night and in the morning. Yesterday he also ate at lunch. He is teething early, so maybe that's part of it. He also seems like he wants to hurry up and nurse so he can just see me at lunch. I think he likes to play and laugh with me more (maybe - yeah,I'm going to go with that thought) he stops feeding to smile, laugh, and touch. I can't express my thanks to everyone. You are all wonderful and as I read I cried, only this time I cried because I can feel your genuine empathy through your words. I'm glad I have this site for support. Thank you again to each and everyone of you.

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D.F.

answers from Phoenix on

You are doing a great job, don't get down on yourself. Have you considered a home business...it is the only way to have both an income and stay at home during the day. It is something to think about and if you want, check out my website. People are wonderful when you say you have a home business so you can stay home with your children. It's amazing how they want to help. I am with the Shaklee company and it's fantastic. They have green products that I love and I enjoy letting everyone know about it. I hope you find something that can bring you the best of everything!

Best Wishes!

www.shaklee.net/denise_friedl

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A.H.

answers from Phoenix on

This sounds like a nursing strike. Don't give up. There's lot of tips out there. Try webistes like www.drjaygordon.com or http://drjacknewman.com/index.php?option=com_content&...
for info. The second one even has video clips for parent education. It also has a link labeled "handouts." Those are informational articles on a wide variety of topics.

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C.H.

answers from Nashville on

Hi, I myself went through this with my little guy. He is now 15 months old. I also have a 17 year old (I know, HUGE gap!) and was able to breast feed him perfectly until he was almost 10 months old. I definitely wanted to do the same with this baby but he had other plans. From his birth he was never interested in breast feeding. Like you, I tried everything but had to supplement with formula. This was especially hard for me because I never once fed my other son formula! I kept hoping my baby would eventually take to breast feeding but he never did. By 3 1/2 months he completely weaned himself off of the breast. It was very hard because I felt so rejected. I finally had to realize he was only an infant and his needs at that time really are primal; he wasn't rejecting me in an emotional sense. For whatever reason he just didn't want to breast feed. I finally realized that my pushing him to continue to breast feed was actually harder on both of us than stopping, and I finally did. He seemed much happier and I no longer felt rejected or like I had failed. Just realize it is not your fault and that you have done nothing wrong. For whatever reason breast feeding isn't going to continue with your baby and that's okay. You were able to give him the benefits of breast milk for as long as you could and that's wonderful! Be proud of yourself for the time that you have been able to breast feed him and just hold him close and cuddle with him while you bottle feed. He will love you just as much whether you feed him from a bottle or your breast. You are his world and he'll love you no matter what!

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J.C.

answers from Tucson on

Relax! :) I am very fortunate to be a stay at home mom, but it does take a lot of sacrifices! Don't feel bad if you're not able to do it. I'm lucky that my husband has an above average paying job. I was a teacher before I had my son and as everybody knows, teachers don't make anything! We decided that by the time we paid for daycare it would be like I was working for nothing! You can't beat yourself up if you have to work. Your kids won't know the difference and I'm sure you spend as much time as you can with them when you're not working!

As for the breastfeeding thing! My son was only nursed (except when the awful nurse in the hospital FORCED me to give him bottles!) and he occasionally did the same thing yours did . He can feel your tension! You need to relax and just try again later. What kind of bottles are you using? I was told Second Nature is supposed to be more like the breast and it makes the baby work harder to get the milk so it simulates breast feeding a little more and is supposed to keep the baby from getting lazy and preferring the bottle over the breast. Also, if it's possible, try to only breast feed him and let someone else give him the bottle. That way he only associates you with the breast! I read a great book called So That's What They're For! by Janet Tamaro and it was very helpful! It's kind of a candid book about breastfeeding and it's very funny with lots of great info. Have you tried to get your milk supply up by pumping when you're not with your son? Don't use one of the cheap pumps- get an Ameda (I have the Purely Yours) or the Medela. They work and last much better! Pumping will increase your supply if you do it often enough and then you can supplement with that instead/or with the formula. I also used Fenugreek (bought it at GNC) when my milk supply would get low. When my period came back I would notice that I wasn't producing as much as I would during the rest of the month and when I took the Fenugreek it helped a lot. I checked with the La Leche League and they say it's fine to take it. My son ended up nursing over a year, but there were times, especially in the first several months that I was sure he was weaning himself! I would freak out, cry, and worry that nursing was over and then my husband would calm me down and I would try again later and my son took it w/o problem! I hope this helps!

Little about me: I'm a SAHM. I have an almost 3yr old son who is the absolute joy of my life and I'm expecting another boy in 2 mos. I've been married to my wonderful husband for almost 6 yrs.

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P.M.

answers from Phoenix on

On that paticular day, your baby may have been reacting to something you ate (the taste of the milk) or something on your skin (the way you smelled due to a new body care product or laundry soap.)

And your MIL may very well be right about a combination of greediness and laziness. Nursing can be work, which is why it's so good for jaw development.

Remember -- no baby ever starved in a few hours, which is probably how long it will take for your son to realize that he's not getting a bottle. But you'll need to get tough soon, because it WILL get harder to nurse him if you let several days go by.

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S.G.

answers from Phoenix on

Dear K.,
Here is a suggestion you may not know about.
If you son is being "Lazy" or perfers the baby bollte nipple for suckling, you can place a baby bottle nipple over your ow breast and let him nure. I t stays on like magic due to the suction created and your son does ot have to exert as much enegy to nurse. This is also helpful if you have Sore Nipples too.
I had two preemies who wee too weak to nurse and had to "teach" them - they were original garvage feed 9 with a tube in their noses) and than intorduced to a preemie nipple - I had to move their tiny jaws up and down over the nipple to allow some of the nilk to dribbe down their tiny throats. Later when they got strength of sucking on the nipple, I placed the preemie nipple over my breast. After a few weeks , I pregressed from the preemie nipple to regular nipples to a breast shield to bar breast. This too 8 weeks.
You may also want to start your flow so that there is the taste of your milk on your breast before your offer him your breast.
By the way sometimes your milk will taste differently depending on what you have eaten or your hormones may have changes. -- taste a few drops and see - it should be sweet...A baby first sense of taste us sweet- the tip of the tongue. The old timers would also say put a drop or tow of sugar water on your nipple and than offer it to him.
Hope this helps, but remember when you are upset, you baby senses too . You need to be relazed and comffy for the flow to be natural.
Good Luck and Have a Blesed Day.
S.

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A.B.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi K. - you really shouldn't feel guilty about not being able to be home more. I am also a stepmother of two girls (17 and 8) and my first daughter is also 4 1/2 months. I currently only work part time but am getting ready to return to school full time and am already feeling guilty about not being able to spend more time with my daughter. You should remember that your son's eating habbits have nothing to do with his connection to you. He's probably just more comfortable with the bottle. NO matter how he gets his food or how much time you're able to spend with him, he will always love you more than anyone!! Hope you feel better soon.

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A.S.

answers from Tucson on

It could be a dozen reasons. He could be teething (I know 4.5 mos seems a little early but it's not uncommon). He could have just wanted to see you with both eyes instead of just one. ;) He could have had a stuffy nose, which can make it tougher to nurse. Many kids get more distractable between 4 and 6 months. I had to go into a nice, quiet, semi-dark room to get my kids to nurse at that age because they'd much rather be able to see what's going on around them. You might try that.

Lots of babies (even exclusively breastfed) go on a "nursing strike" for a few days, but unless they are at least 9 months old it is unlikely that they are really trying to wean, check out: http://www.storknet.com/cubbies/breast/AS-nursingstrike.htm

I've always worked full time. My kids are 7 and 4 now. It is not always easy (but then, staying at home isn't necessarily easy either!) I nursed both of them until they were over a year, I also pumped for [email protected]____.com up the good work! You will figure out what is best for you and your family!

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K.F.

answers from Phoenix on

I am a stay at home mom and when my daughter was 5 months old she weaned herself as well so it doesn't just happen to working moms. Don't feel bad it doesn't mean he loves you any less some kids just prefer the bottle. I hope this helps!

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A.N.

answers from Phoenix on

I was just the opposite, I wanted to breastfeed my daughter but didn't have any milk ever. I felt like I was a bad mother that I couldn't even provide that for her. It was hard she didn't want the bottle either. I worked full time too and came to realize that the time I did spend with her was the highlight of mine and her day. One on one with her and me. Even though they are so little they unconditionally love us and don't judge us like we do ourselves. PLEASE don't feel bad. My little baby girl is now 29 and her younger sister is 26 and they have blessed me with 5 grandkids! You are a great mom!!! God Bless you all A.

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J.B.

answers from Tucson on

My heart goes out to you. At least you've been able to nurse him this long. I see you're frustrated about not being able to be home with him. Have you considered the possibility of working from home? I've been involved with a wonderful company for the last 6 years that has enabled me to build a great income while staying at home with my boys. If you'd like some info, e-mail me privately at [email protected]____.com a great day!
J.

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J.M.

answers from Phoenix on

Dear K., I am a mom who has had to work while my kids were small - please try not to feel guilty about it! I know it is better if we could stay home, but it just doesn't always work out that way. You have to be able to support your family too I am sure. My daughter stopped nursing when she was 2 - 3 months old I believe and she was fine. If you are still producing you could nurse him when you are home with him, or even pump to use in a bottle. (The bottle is much easier for them as I'm sure you know.)

You are not a bad mother! The fact that you care tells me that is the case. Spend as much time as you can with them when you are at home!
Take care and God bless - J.

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J.S.

answers from Albuquerque on

Don't feel horrible!!!! I have had two children - ten years apart - and with my first I went to work after two months and she weaned herself at five months even though I was pumping and I dried up pretty quickly. My second daughter I was able to stay at home for eight months and the exact same thing happened - she weaned herself at about five months so I pumped for awhile but still dried up within 6 weeks. The important thing to remember is that you are not a bad mother - sometimes parenting means working to provide for your children and you just make the most of what time you have left in the day. It's okay to cry about it - I did both times - but then just look at them and remember what joy they bring to your life - hold them and give them their bottle and don't try to fight it. You'll both be happier! Remember that babies really feel momma stress so just relax and know that you are doing the best you can for your baby and that's all anyone can do.

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S.M.

answers from Phoenix on

My daughter did the same thing at about six months. I was trying to feed during my lunch time but it wasn't the right time for her. She needed to eat sooner and it seemed that we were supplementing more and more often. Don't feel bad or guilty, at least you had four months with him. You are doing your best. If you wanted to, you could pump and have your sitter feed him that or mix that witht he formula so you would know that he was still getting some breast milk.

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C.B.

answers from Phoenix on

Hang in there. We have all grown and been through this. I am a working mom. Working only forces you to be more time efficient. It forces us to use our time home more wisely so the children get our full attention. You are so NOT alone. You are totally NOT a bad mother by working. NOT at all - just be sure to spend quality time with your boys when you get too. When they are awake and you are home, you play and NOT do laundry, call a friend, etc. I do all of that stuff when they are asleep. It takes more of an effort for us to juggle time, but it can be rewarding. Your boys are learning that their mom works to take good care of them, and that she is a strong independent woman. Hang in there. You are doing great!

I pumped and bottle fed both girls for different reasons for each. Its more work, but at least they are getting the nutrition of breast milk. I rented a hospital grade pump for the second child and noticed that I kept and maintained a better milk supply than with the ones, even Medela, from the store. I rented mine from the OB section of the local hospital for $25/month.

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J.F.

answers from Madison on

I felt for you when I read your posting. My first child refused to breastfeed at all. I was working full time and at the beginning I cried a lot because I felt like a failure. I talked to a great nurse who told me that it was okay if he didn't want to breast feed. So, I pumped my milk for him for 3 months, that was as long as I could produce milk. I never produced enough for him. I also did this for my 2nd child because she also wouldn't breast feed.

I have 3 children ages 7 1/2, 4, and 2 (2 boys and 1 girl). I became a stay at home mom after my first turned 3. I have a lot of respect for my friends that work full time while beeing a mom. Keep at it and know that your kids just need to know they are loved.

Good luck to you.

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S.L.

answers from Albuquerque on

Hi K.:
First of all don't be so hard on yourself. Your mother was probably right. I know when my son was nursing there were times when he would latch on for hours and there were times when he just didn't want it. He is now a healthy content 13 year old young man. Give yourself and the baby a chance. Be happy and cherrish the time that you do get to sit and nurse and be with him. Even if he does not want to nurse, you still have that precious time with him. Be proud of yourself, your a working mom. That is tough now a days. I give credit to every working mother out there, because I am a stay at home mom, and its tough , but you working moms have it double as tough. You will have plenty of time with your son . Don't feel bad. Remember K., you both are learning about each other he is still very young, he will adapt, and so will you. Good Luck
S.

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D.D.

answers from Flagstaff on

Sorry for the delayed response but I really know how hard it is to wean when you're not ready. I am a stay at home mom but only because when my youngest was 3 months old I was diagnosed with a brain tumor and bam bam bam I had actions to be taken immediately and my poor baby boy had to learn there was no momma with no milk one day of one weekend, talk about hard. When I did finally get to see him after my brain surgery he didn't even want to look at me! I was devastated!!! But pretty soon he wanted his momma and I was sooo glad to hold my beautiful baby that I had missed so much although I couldn't hold him alone for abut 3 months after my surgery. So yes it might seem we are all stay at home moms but if it wasn't for my 11 brain surgeries back to back in 3 yrs. and continual health problems, I go see my neurosurgeon this Thursday the 20th (no fun) I would rather be healthy and working at home jumping, running & playing with my now 6 yr. old daughter and 4 yr. old son. I am currently 28 yrs old. Hold your head proud mom because at least you did breastfeed a lot of moms won't even attempt it because it's too much of a hassle. With all of my love, D.

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M.S.

answers from Albuquerque on

Hi K.,
Your post hits a personal note for me; I have a 9-month old who had a stint in the NICU when he was born (they gave him a bottle-ugh) and as a result never really adopted breastfeeding like I had so hoped. I also work and go to school so establishing breastfeeding proved to be tricky Anyway, I've been pumping since he was born and, although not in the way I had pictured, have been able to give him mostly breastmilk.
Throughout the past nine months, I've been beating myself up over not being able to breastfeed in the literal sense. There seems to be such a stigma against moms who don't breastfeed or don't breastfeed for long, but I think it's important to remember that we all "mother" in different ways. For some of us that means having a baby attached to our breast 8 hours a day. For others, it doesn't and that's fine too.
Not that I'm encouraging you to give up, but instead to try to realize that your way of mothering-even if this consists of being gone at work for much of the day (and giving your child a bottle)-isn't inferior to those who are home all the time.
That said, you may try contacting a lactation consultant or browsing the La Leche League website for tips on keeping your little one interested in the breast.
Hope this helps. Good luck.

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A.K.

answers from Phoenix on

K. -

I also work full time and have an infant as well as a 5 year old. I breast fed for 6 weeks with my first child but only formula fed with my new baby. Be assured that your baby is getting what he needs nutritionally and if you hold him and spend time with him all that you can he is also getting the emotional support that he requires from you. You will likely hear that you have to try harder to breast feed for your baby's well being but that is simply NOT TRUE! Both of my boys are very healthy and ahead developmentally. It sounds like breast feeding has become an emotional thing for you, which is very common with mothers who breastfeed. You are absolutely NOT endangering your child in any way by simply bottle feeding him. Being a full time working mother can be very distressing but know that you are doing what you need to do for yourself and your family. Personally, I could not be a stay-at-home mother....I need that separation and adult interaction. You are a good mother and your child loves you just as much as he would if you were with him 24/7...I promise!

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G.M.

answers from Albuquerque on

K., Hang in there girl! I know exactly how you feel. With my first daughter I tried so hard to do everything I thought was right for her. I was going to school full time...going through a divorce and working to support she and I. I had moved back in with my Dad and step-mom and had about a 2 hour commute each day. I didn't want to give up breastfeeding. It was the only thing I felt I was doing...just for that bonding..:) My step-mom watched her during the day and so she had to bottle feed her. I pumped and pumped...but I was so exhausted that I finally let her use formula. Then she didn't want breastmilk anymore. I refused to give up....I was a swim instructor...so needless to say....breastfeeding mothers+ water...= murky water. It was humiliating and made me so sad. I would be so engorged by the time I left work for the drive home that once I got down the road a bit...I would just put a towel in my lap and let it all hang out as I drove. I would leak and weap and leak and weap. Finally after about 2 months of that...I decided that I was doing the best I could and I needed to stop beating myself up. Breastfeeding is the absolute best....but when you are a working mother...struggling...you just have to let some things go. Spend that time cuddling or reading to your baby...maybe instead of fighting to get him to breastfeed. I am sorry and my prayers are with you. Hang in there.
G.

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K.N.

answers from Flagstaff on

HI K.,
Hang in there working mama. I know exactly the feeling. I was a single mom for 11 1/2 years and had to work a lot as well. As a health care professional and a mother of a boy and a step mom to 3 others I would offer you a little encouragement. Don't give up, do the best you can. Keep offering him regular feedings, pump breast milk and give it to him in a bottle if that is what he wants. As a doctor of alternative medicine please do not feed your baby any kind of formula with soy in it. I have read frightening research about the serious physical ramifications of soy for infants, children and all adults. I have several options if you are interested in them. Please keep doing the best you can. He will pick up on your stess. Just love him with your entire being and he will know that. It is normal to have regret about our busy schedules etc and I can tell your children are a priority. Is it possible to strategize with your wonderful husband so you can work less for the next 8 months or so? It may be worth the financial change. This may destress both you and your sweet baby. I know as a single mom I made it, went to school full time and worked. You can do it. Sometimes when we sit with our feelings and needs (for ex. feelings of regret because we have a need to connect with our kids) then strategies for getting those needs met sometimes pop out of no where, when we least expect it. I'm still not a stay at home mom, and I do the best I can and give my son everything I can. Most of all he has grown up knowing that I love him unconditionally.
A second thought, you might consider finding an advanced craniosacral therapist who is familiar and trained working with infants. This can help him physically and emotionally. Sometimes I've seen babies stop nursing and cry and fuss because they feel emotional stress as well as structural stress. When certain bones are not aligned it can cause disharmony in the entire being. There is certainly a body-mind connection. Many Blessings to you!!!!
K. McGary [email protected]____.com

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M.U.

answers from Phoenix on

K., it would be great if we could all be stay-at-home moms...but the fact of life is, we can't. I have worked full time since both my kids were infants. In fact, I was a single mom when my kids were 6 months old and 22 months old. I wasn't one of those moms who was really "into" nursing anyway -- so it never bothered me to bottle feed. I'm not sure if it's a bonding thing that you feel you're missing or the nutrition or what. I read one of the responses from another lady and her advice to not beat yourself up is right on!! Feeling guilty will only add to the aggravation and frustration you're already feeling. I do caution, however, to withhold food until he takes the breast -- you're not around full time and, therefore, he'll HAVE to bottle feed. So you can't expect him to jump back and forth. But so much more important than any breast milk (I am a true believer that bottle fed babies are every bit as healthy as breast fed babies) is your love for him and the QUALITY of time you spend with him. Don't feel rejected (I know it can sometimes feel that way) but realize that babies don't have grown-up emotions. They don't feel happy or sad or angry or frustrated. They know only hunger and, basically, discomfort. And that's why they cry. (I learned that from "The Baby Whisperer" when I felt like my daughter "hated" me because of the way she looked at me!) Know that your son just wants to be around you. He wants to be held by you. If you can pump, do so and give him that via bottle if you feel the nutrition is better. Just being with him will build a wonderful bond between mother and son. And keep plugging; perhaps one of these days you'll be able to stay home. I'm working on it and getting there!!!

M.

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T.M.

answers from Stationed Overseas on

K.,
I went through the same thing. I'm in the military, and at the time my daughter was born, I was working 12hr shifts plus 2hrs for exercising. I wanted nothing more than to spend time with my new baby and nurse her. The Army gives us great pumps, but I was away so often that I thought the best thing to do was to pump and feed her my breast milk with a bottle. I never realized all that pumping would just lower my production and I could not get her to feed from me without a bottle. I fought the pump for 6 months before I finally lost the battle. Before that, I was only able to get an oz. or so out. I did everything possible to increase my supply and was able to increase that an oz, but it still wasn't enough. I had to supplement with formula. Stick with it if that's what you feel is best. Pump and give it to him with a bottle if possible. My pediatrician said it was better than nothing. He still gets all the good stuff from you, you just might need to increase his calories with formula.
You aren't alone though. I know many woman that fought this. My daughter is happy, healthy and incredibly smart so I don't worry about it anymore. Your son will be fine and you are a wonderful mother for wanting this so badly for him.
Goodluck

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E.S.

answers from Albuquerque on

K., you are absolutely being too hard on yourself! :) The most important thing you can do for your kiddos if give them your best every opportunity that you have. If your best means working and coming home and loving on them than that is what you need to do every chance you get. There is no one 'right' way to mother a child, so don't get hung up on unattainable stereotypes. If at the end of the day when you lay your head down you know in your heart you gave your kiddos everything you had to give than it was a good day. :)

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K.T.

answers from Phoenix on

Don't feel bad. There is nothing wrong with giving your baby a bottle. Have you tried pumping and giving him your breast milk that way? He will get all the nutrition with the ease of a bottle.

K.

P.S. I am working full-time, too. :) It is tough!

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M.S.

answers from Phoenix on

Don't be so hard on yourself...I am also a full time working mom with an almost 2yr old and an almost 7 yr old...Just do the best you can and don't compare yourself or your baby to others because that can make things harder(I know this from experience)...also just knowing that your son is getting the nutrients he needs from a bottle should put you a little more at ease...Be ENCOURAGED!!! Don't get down on yourself. Enjoy being with your son even if you can't nurse him, just being with him and having that time (anytime) will lift you up...and don't feel terrible about not being able to stay home...just think of this as a season in your life and the next season...you will beable to stay home with your son. I hope this helps...from one working mom to another...BE ENCOURAGED!!

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R.S.

answers from Indianapolis on

I too turned 30 in October and have a 6 month old. I just stopped breastfeeding because it was my personal goal to do it for 6 months, but I was reassured when he kept getting fussy at the breast this past month. Perhaps I didn't have sufficient milk supply any longer. Sometimes babies wean themselves and that is perfectly normal. It almost makes me feel better as a mother to know its more of a joint decision. Since you are working full time, can you pump while at work? This way, you can still give him a bottle of breastmilk if you have it to provide. Do not feel horrible. You are an awesome mother who is providing for her son!

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K.M.

answers from Flagstaff on

I am so sorry. I only work part time but miss my girls while I am gone. They are so happy to see me when I get home that it makes me feel so wonderful. I am sure your little guy loves to be with you too. Don't take this as a rejection, he wouldn't know how to do that. . . Just make sure and love him and cuddle him just as much while you feed him, even if it is from the bottle and he will be fine. I am sure you are doing a wonderful job, especially helping to support your family. As sad as it may be that he doesn't want to nurse any longer, be happy that he is healthy and happy.

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A.R.

answers from Phoenix on

Don't be so hard on yourself.
How was the feeding set up, were u both in a calm environment, were u rushed? he may have gotton so used to the bottle feedings that he wants it NOW. BF takes time?. If this does not work for him anymore, pump and that way he still gets your breastmilk? It sounds like u are overwhelmed. Good Luck

A., mom of 3 and a Registered nurse

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V.A.

answers from Phoenix on

Working or staying home is a personal decision every woman has to make. While there has always been contention between working and stay-at-home moms both are equally important roles. In a perfect world, mothers would stay home. But, alas, we don't live in a perfect world. Neither side should judge the other. We are all mothers (with children or without) and therefore need to support each other in our decisions. Don't feel bad about working if it's what you want to do. Perhaps you feel guilty because you want to stay home. You need to make the best decision for your family.

Suze Orman has found that a when both parents work the difference in what the second income brings in (after ALL expenses) is only about $100/month. If yours is more than that then great!! If you aren't seeing the financial impact you were looking for then redo your budget and see what you can give up to stay home (if that's what you want.)

As for the weaning - babies will wean when they are ready. It's not your fault. Some of my boys have loved to nurse and the others not so much. The benefit of his weaning now (even though you don't feel ready) is that you will have more freedom (less convenience but more freedom,) your breasts will go back to their regular size so you should be able to fit in your old bras again and maybe more importantly, your hormones should regulate back to normal levels (unless you are on the pill.)

Best wishes on whatever you decide works best for you.

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J.D.

answers from Phoenix on

K.,

I quit my job to stay at home after I had my daughter who is now almost 3 and I experienced the same thing with her weaning herself at 6 months. I wasn't ready to stop either, but let's be honest, we don't get to choose these things sometimes. Sometimes we just have to accept not getting what we want. My sister also experienced early weaning with her daughter and she was staying at home, too. What I am saying is, don't blame it on working, it could just be that he wants to wean now and is ok with the bottle. It is hard to be away from you kids when you work full time (I have done that also and was working full time while breast feeding my son). If you really want a change, talk to your husband about it. Can you get a job that is closer? Or find something part-time, go part-time at you currrent job? We do miss my income, but I wouldn't trade this time with my children for anything. Talk to a financial planner or people you know who quit working to see what they did to accomodate going to one income. There are also some work at home opportunities you may want to look into. I started a Mary Kay business about a year ago and you can't beat the flexibility! Whatever you decide, decide to not feel horrible. There are goihg to be more challenges you face that you don't have control over as a parent. The thing is to know the difference between things you need to do something about and things you don't. Babies don't choose to be "lazy" by the way, they just do what they do to get their needs met. Don't get distacted from knowing it's your job to meet his needs and if he thinks he needs a bottle, you're not going to change his mind, just give him one and be happy that he is happy! Let us know what happens!

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B.M.

answers from Phoenix on

My heart breaks for you, K., that you are beating yourself up over this. First of all, I want to tell you that you are NOT a bad mother because you work outside of the home. I have worked outside of the home since my oldest son was 10 weeks old, and he has been in a wonderful daycare facility. I feel as though I am a better mom because I work (I just mean me personally... not that being a SAHM is a bad thing). It helps me to keep more of my own identity, instead of being completely consumed with my children.

I would also encourage you to try to continue to breast feed, if you can. But if he continues to refuse, and it's stressing you out, formula isn't the worst thing in the world. It's awesome that you have kept up with it for 4 months, despite having supply issues, which is more than a lot of women would do. One suggestion is to try to switch him to slow-flow bottle nipples, if you suspect that he is getting lazy, which is entirely possible. They work a little more like the breast in that they have to work a little harder to get the reward. Hang in there. You are a good mom!

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S.K.

answers from Albuquerque on

Not being able to breastfeed does NOT make you a horrible mother. I know at this stage with your baby it is a very special thing you can do for him that no one else can, but in the grand scheme of things it's pretty minor. Since you do work, time with your children is at a premium and you should enjoy every bit you get and not waste any of it feeling guilty or beating yourself up. I have always worked and my youngest is 13 and I am just now able to work at home instead of outside the home, so I understand the guilt feelings. Cherish every moment because they pass faster than you will ever believe.

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L.B.

answers from Phoenix on

K.,
First of all, don't compare yourself to other mothers. Everyone has a different situation in which they are living so don't beat yourself up about what others may think. You have more important things (your family) to think about. I understand about the nursing issues. My story is a little different but after nursing two babies my third was such a trial. For the first five weeks I was in agony physically and emotionally because my daughter could eat from a bottle and not from me. I started to get to the point where I was feeling rejected by my own baby. Anyway, pumping milk wasn't really an option because I had 3 kids under 3 and no access to a good breast pump to keep my milk up. I decided to put her on formula but would have breastfed her if she would have taken it from me. It took me a while to feel completely settled with it because I felt like I was letting her down. Please don't feel that way no matter what you decide to do!! It was hard for me to get out of that cycle of feeling that way. Perhaps you could pump for your son as often as you can so that at least he is getting the best nutrition from you. Most work places have policies about letting women pump their milk, actually I think it's the law that they have to let you. I would recommend an electric one. They are expensive but you can find them used and they are the most efficient, especially timewise. Don't let yourself get down, just keep looking for support around you until you find it. I was able to find support from members of my family who had similar issues that I never would have known had I not asked. Good luck with your family and have a good day!

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L.A.

answers from Albuquerque on

K. I know how you feel! I work full time and have three children. An 8yr old, 6 yr old, and a 23 month old. I was fortunate to get 2 months of maternity leave for each child, but I did return to work after each child. I breastfed my first child for about 4 months and then she went full time on the bottle. My second, I breastfed for maybe a month! And my last child was breastfed in the hospital and gave him the bottle when I brought him home. I had very guilty feelings everytime I had to return to work, but a very wise man once told me that you work to help provide for your children and that you should never feel guilty about that. Because I work, we do have the little extra to be able to splurge if we want to. Remember the time you do spend with your child should be quailty not quantity! My children are growing very fast and they love me just as much as I love them. Hang in there! You both will be fine.

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A.A.

answers from Flagstaff on

you should not feel so bad. Plenty of stay at home moms have the same problems with feedings. I work part time but both of my daughters weaned themselves at 8 months. There is nothing you can do about it. when they decide to quit, they decide to quit. A friend of mine, who stayed home, tried to breast feed and was never able to succeed. Don't feel bad.

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C.C.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi K.,

You shouldn't feel bad that you have to work. I'm a divorce parent and I work full time as well. It gets tough I know, I have friend who are stay at home moms and at times they tell me that I'm lucky because I get to work, get out of the house and talk to adults. While their home; cleaning, taking care of the kids, making lunch and snacks, etc. The grass might look greener on the other side but we both know it's not true. Your doing a great job and keep up the great work.

Thanks,
C.

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T.M.

answers from Phoenix on

If you could stay at home, would you?

T.
www.tesabartell.myarbonne.com

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D.K.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi K.,

I just wanted to encourage you. I am a 40 year old SAHM but I was working part time so I understand how difficult it is to leave your son. I also had a long commute. (One day it took 2 hours to get home after work.)

Lots of moms bottle feed so you are doing the best you can and have to do what you have to do to make sure he is getting fed.

I am not sure what you do for work but I decided to start a home based business so I can stay home with my daughter. I would love to tell you about it. It sounds like you would much rather be home with your son rather than working a full time job.

If you would like to talk sometime, please give me a call. I am always looking for people to partner in this business with me. If you know anyone else who might be looking for extra income or a way to be a SAHM please pass them my number. ###-###-####.

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L.G.

answers from Phoenix on

I am so sorry your having such a hard time. I totally understand. I was in the same boat as you. I had twin boys and went back to work when they were 4 months old. Luckily my mom was watching them, but between my commute to PHX and back to mesa, I think I saw them about 2 hours aday when they were awake. It sucked. I cried everyday on my way to work. I don't think it ever gets completely easy to leave them, but it does get better. Unfortunately, its part of our lives, juggling work and being a good mommy.
I dont have any insight as to the weaning, maybe you should call your dr and see if there is anything you can do to keep that from happening??

Dont feel bad about working, your doing what you need to do to provide for your family. I ended up taking a huge paycut and finding a job that was much closer to home, had flexible hours so I can be with them when I need to. It was a hard adjustment money wise, but I am much happier and get to see my boys alot more.

Anyways, hang in there, just know there are others of us that are going thru the same thing and we do understand how hard it is.

xoxo
L.

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N.K.

answers from Phoenix on

K.,
If you have to work, you have to work. It is great that you are making such a srong effort to still breast feed. As far as your little guy weaning himself, with most babies I've known who are suplimented, they eventually do prefer bottle to mom because they don't have to work as hard on the bottle, so do you use slowflow nipples? if not you may want to switch. If he has to work harder for his bottle he may not prefer it to you.

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E.J.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi K., I see you have gotten many responses and I wanted to be another to say don't feel terrible for doing what needs to be done for your family as a whole. There is a bit of guilt in what ever choices we make, but the part we all need to remember is if we had done or had the option to do things differently there is always the wondering if that was "the right and best thing". With the nursing, I would say do it as often as he wants, maybe he feels a bit of stress from you and that may deter him from nursing. It is crazy how intuitive babies and kids are! All babies are definitly different, some wean very young and I think that may be from a low milk supply, maybe try giving him a bottle to stop the hunger and then breastfeed. I know my mom couldn't produce enough for any of her three kids, she said she tried but I guess we were a bit lazy and wanted the immediate no work milk. Maybe try a quite darker room where he is not stimmulated.
Sorry that my thoughts were all over the place, many of these lovely ladies on here write like they could write books for a living, a wonderful quality that I lack!! But I hope maybe something could help or at least a little encouragement. And always remember do not beat yourself up for doing the very best for you and your family you are doing an awesome job!!

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S.G.

answers from Tucson on

I totally feel for you. I remember every time I left my son my heart felt as if it would tear out of my chest, you want to give them so much and be there for every minute. Unfortunately with the way the world is today, most of us are dependent on two incomes, damn it. Men totally don't get how we feel, there is a maternal tug to be together with your baby. I had my son at 30 - now he's 15 and I still feel guilty, sad, etc for all the time i missed with him by going to work. But what are the options. Just so you know, I've seen the kids of stay at home moms, and working moms grow up over the years and I can't honestly say that one group is more adapted, brighter or anything than the other. Just make sure that every moment together is special, hold him when you're together, like no one else can and let him know that he is the most important part of your life. He will understand the sacrifice you need to make to keep the family going.

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J.F.

answers from Phoenix on

I work part-time and understand your pain. My 1st child refused to nurse at all after receiving a bottle in the hospital one day after he was born. He would scream his head off until I gave him a bottle. I was also unsuccessful with my other 2 children as well. I made until they were 4 and 6 weeks old respectively, and then had to supplement - I never had enough milk. I know your guilt and your pain. Just know that making it 4 months was a HUGE accomplishment and he is going to be just fine no matter what!!! Hugs!

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R.A.

answers from Phoenix on

Don't feel too bad about having to work. I mean we don't usually choose to go to jobs we don't usually like, for one reason or another, we have to. With my first, I had to go back to work after just 6 weeks! Have you considered pumping? that way your baby get the benefits of breastmilk, and the "convenience" of a bottle.
and remember, the focus isn't on how little time you have to spend with your little ones, but what you do with the time you have. My oldest isn't with me anymore and I worked a LOT when he was here. But I still made sure that since I didn't have a huge quantity of time, I made sure it was quality time. hope this helps you some.

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T.C.

answers from Phoenix on

You don't need to feel guilty K.. As a mom of teenagers I can tell you that most kids grow up to be well functioning adults whether they had a SAHM or not. I see many well adjusted teenagers who have working parents.

They key is to not spoil them because you are working. Sometimes working moms want all of their time with their kids to be "happy" time so they avoid some of the necessary disciplining that all kids require. If your child senses this guilt, he will likely manipulate you with it as they get older.

I have been a SAHM but know lots of successful moms who are not.

I only breastfed my boys for the first 2 or 3 months. They don't have asthmas, allergies, or anything some will scare you with when you are deciding about breastfeeding. I was sad to wean my boys, that is normal, but it had to be done. (I was working when they were very small.)

T. C.
Spa Girlfriend Parties
www.spaescapescottsdale.com

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C.H.

answers from Flagstaff on

I just want to ask if your son was teething; because sometimes they don't want to suck too hard if their gums hurt. There may be other factors too. I would keep trying to offer the breast to him. I do know how you feel though. I haven't been able to breastfeed my boys. I've had to pump and still had to supplement a major part of their diet, but the pumping made me feel like I was doing the best for my babies. And when my milk dried up way too soon, I felt bad again, but once I had the support & understanding of friends and family, I felt better and did what I could to bond with all 3 of my boys. Just hang in there

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N.P.

answers from Phoenix on

Don't be so hard on yourself. He's getting the nutrition he needs. Just make the most of your time w/them. I find that when I find my self getting aggitated w/ my children or worrying to much, just to focus on them and that they deserve the quality time I can give them. Also, maybe you could pump and he could have a bottle or two of breast milk. That may relieve some of your guilt. I hope you feel better.

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S.D.

answers from Phoenix on

I wish I could give you some great advice but I myself feel the same way everyday that I am at work. I feel like a barely seem my children during the week and hardly feel like a mother at all some days. All I can tell you is that everyone on this site isn't a stay-at-home mom...at least I am not! So your not alone. Just wanted you to know that! I am so sorry you are going through this. I swear companies out there do not make it easy on working mothers ar all. I am still on the look out for a company that has working mothers in mind when doing their scheduling.... thats would be SO NICE!!! Hope things go easier for you. Take care!

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N.B.

answers from Phoenix on

Please don't be so hard on yourself, you are not a bad mother for working so hard to benefit your family.
Your mom could possibly be right, there were times with my two kids, when infants, were so overly tired and/or hungry that they wouldn't settle down to nurse. That can be frustrating for sure, I can understand how you feel.
Try not to be so discouraged! Keep at it!
I have two children (2 and 3 yrs old, girl and boy) I have struggled through that balance of working and going to school fulltime while breastfeeding and spending quality time... it can be even more discouraging if you compare yourself to the mothers who have the situation to stay at home- but not all of us do and that doesn't completely put us at a disadvantage. Its a matter of perspective.
Look at your situation and decide whether you're doing all that you can do. It sounds like you are and your boys (especially the baby) are blessed to have a mother who craves time with them- because they can at least count on the time that when you are there will be of substance and love. You sound like a wonderful mother who puts her family first and has heart.
Hang in there-
another hard working mom who wants the best for her kids,
N.

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J.N.

answers from Phoenix on

K., please don't beat yourself up. With the way our economy is today, any woman that doesn't have to work to supplement the family income should feel blessed! I had to return to work about 5 wks after my daughter was born. I completely cherished our breast-feeding bonding time, but within about a week after returning to work, she wouldn't accept the breast anymore. :( I was devastated! The truth is, it is easier for babies to bottle feed. I wouldn't call it lazy, but smart! Who wants to have to work for their food? I know this is a difficult time for you, but you can still have bonding time with your son while he is bottle-feeding. He still needs to be held and will still stare lovingly into your eyes. You are NOT a bad mother for working. You are helping to provide for your family. That makes you a GREAT mommy! Best of luck to you.

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L.S.

answers from Tucson on

You are a great mom because you care so much. You have already given your boy the most important part of breastfeeding which is the colostrum, the first milk that comes in just after birth. That sets him up with a strong immune system for the rest of his life. To have made it through 4-1/2 months of breastfeeding in your difficult working circumstances is extraordinary. If you can continue one or two feedings a day by breast, perhaps in the evening when he is tired and needs to snuggle, that will be excellent.

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T.W.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi K.,
I had a similiar problem... so what I did was not give him a full bottle, then he was still hungry when he was done then I offered him me! Good luck

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A.D.

answers from Tucson on

K., don't give up! I had to work with my first and I pumped. it took awhile to get the hang of it, I had to keep a schedule and listen to relaxing music and look at pics of baby. I never could pump huge quantity but I did it regularly and kept my supply. Do not assume your baby is weaning himself, maybe he was more intersting in his surroundings, had gas, or you ate something that made the milk taste off. It helps your emotional state to continue, you get a hormonal buzz that helps you deal with the stress of leaving him. There are some moms who stay home but are not very good at it, be the best you can with the time you have. it really is quality versus quantity! A.

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A.H.

answers from Phoenix on

Hang in there! Breastfeeding problems are not uncommon. So much so that there a people who specialize in breastfeeding education, called lactation counselors. You should check with your obstetrician or hospital or the web to find one near you. And stop beating yourself up because you work. I am a single, working mom who has sucessfully raised 3 teenagers. Like you, I breastfed all my children (my twins until they were 6 months, my son until 1 yo). You ARE a good mother as manifested by your desire to do the provide the best nutrition (breast milk) for your child.
Peace,
A.

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L.B.

answers from Santa Fe on

Oh, i'm sorry you're feeling horrible! It's so tough being a mom isn't it?? Don't feel guilty about working; it's just a necessity in this day and age. I'm only working part time now, but we're barely getting by, so i'm going to have to start working more soon. I think as long as you're really present with your son when you're with him, and really let him know you love him then that's the important thing. And don't worry, i'm sure he'll come back to nursing. He was probably just fussy or teething or something. My son is 5 and a half months, also born right around my 30th birthday! I'm just amazed at how unpredictable he is, and most troubling behaviors are gone in a few days. well, good luck, and don't worry, i can tell that you're a great mom from your post!
best, L.

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T.S.

answers from Phoenix on

This has got to be very hard, but one option is to pump and allow him the "lazy" way of the bottle,but at lest it is your milk. I have had friends who had to do this for various reasons. Good luck!

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J.M.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi my name is J. and my son is 5 months. I am lucky that I am a stay at home mom right now. Money is oh so tight so I am going to have to go back. I have a 5 yr old son and a 15 year old daughter and they need things too, so I am going to have to find work. If you can make it without working or going to part time you should try. I know people say it all the time about how fast time goes, but like I said my baby girls is wanting my car keys. Now about your question.I know when I start to give him a bottle, he is not going to want to nurse any more and I am gonna be so sad. Think of it as drinking a shake for every meal were you have to suck and work for it and it takes about 30 min to complete or a cup of juice that you can drink and be full in about 5 mins and no work really on your part to get the juice out. As much as you love the shake, you are gonna pick the easy way.He loves you, but food is after all yummy. If you can pump, at least you know those fat legs are from you and only you. Hope this helps

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T.V.

answers from Phoenix on

K.,
I'm sorry that you feel this way. I don't know how you feel since I am a stay at home mom but I do know that it is not how much time you spend with your children, but how you spend time with your children. My mother was a stay at home mother and never spent any time with us and my sister is the same way with her children.
I had the same problem with breast feeding too. I didn't get any milk at all for both of my children. I cried a lot. However, my son just turned 5 and we are so close. My daughter is 1 and she follows me around all the time. I just spend as much time with them and tell them every day how important they are to me.
Don't give up or feel like you're doing anything wrong. Just love him!

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M.P.

answers from Albuquerque on

Wow you have received a lot of respornses already but wanted to give my advice. I know how hard it is to work all day long and then get home and only have a little time to be with your little one. I get maybe 3 hours max before my daughter goes to bed and in that time it is about eating and getting ready for bed. I work full time and pump part time. I have 2 times set aside that I pump here at work and then feed her when I am around. My suggestion is that if he will not breastfeed at least you can still pump and give him the nurishment that way. Maybe he is too excited about watching everything else that is going on around him and when he is eating he can not do that. If I am around people my daughter will eat and then if something happens she stops looks around then starts again and then stops and this will keep going on and on unless I stop and put my breast away. She realized that unless she kept eating than she would not get any. But you can try feeding him in a quite place where there are no distractions and see if that helps. Or is he just rejecting the breast? Well I hope some of this helps. Remember you are not the only one that is a working mom. There are a lot of us out here and we are doing what is best for our families and that is all we can do. Stick with the breastfeeding as long as you can.

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T.M.

answers from Phoenix on

I am also new to the site, work full time, breast feed my son and feel like a minority on this site. I understand your struggle and deal with it on a daily basis. I have a 3 year old daughter and my a 10 10 month old son and every day when I drop them off at daycare, I have to remind myself that at home I couldn't provide them with same type of social interactions that they are getting at daycare. My sister-in-law is a stay at home mom with a 3 year old and when the girls are together you can see the difference in not only their social skills but in their speech development. If you are like me and have to work to be able to provide basic necessities and some extras, you can't dwell on what you are missing but focus on the time you do have with them and make that time special. If your son is truly weaning himself, let him do it, fighting him will only make you both frustrated. Switch the snuggle time you had nursing him, to snuggle time while reading a book or playing with a new toy. Both of you will enjoy that time much better than trying to fight with him to nurse. Enjoy your little boy, soon enough he will be a little toddler.

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J.C.

answers from Phoenix on

I am a SAHM spending every waking min. w my daughter who's the exact same age (and I turned 30 3 days b4 she was born) and she weaned herself last week! Please don't take it wrong cuz u arent doing anything wrong- he's gonna do what he wants when he wants and its just the sign of a headstrong little man! He has had benefits of breastfeeding (through the wintertime) and thats something you just wont have to help him through later. Yay for us! We still have bonding time at feedings. No way I could love her any less or want anything but the best!

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L.T.

answers from Albuquerque on

Perhaps you were too full and your baby couldn't latch on correctly and that can happen too. I am a mother of 4 children ages 2-10 years. I returned to work full-time after having them and continued to breastfeed while working. My employer allowed me to take 30 min. breaks at 10am and 3pm to breastfeed my babies and of course I breastfed during my lunch break. Perhaps you can use a breastpump at 10am, lunch time and 3pm to keep your supply going. And when you are away from him, he can drink the breastmilk that was pumped from a bottle instead of formula.
And when you are home breastfeed about every 2 hours depending on your baby's feeding schedule. Perhaps you were too full and your baby couldn't latch on correctly and that can happen too. Also, relax while you are breastfeeding. Your baby can feel when you are tense and will not want to breastfeed. Drink lots of water because this helps the flow of milk.

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M.B.

answers from Albuquerque on

HI K.!

I know how you feel. I worked with my first one. WHen he turned 6 weeks I went back to work. I know how you feel and am so sorry. It is a tough thing. Sometimes babies will take a break from breastfeeding. Just keep offering it to him. I am sure he will get back on track. I would love to work with you on building a business to be able to work from home. Let me know! Mail me at [email protected]____.com and I can give tyou more information! Hang in there I am sure things will work out.

M.

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J.H.

answers from Tucson on

Hi K.,
I just want to let you know that you are not the only full time working mother out there! I have struggled with working full time ever since I had my little boy. But, since we need my income to make ends meet, I have to work. So, I try to make the best of my situation. I try to spend as much time as possible with my son (he just turned two years old). I also breastfed him when he was little, and had to use a breast pump a couple of times a day at work so that he had plenty of breast milk at home. Are you able to use a breast pump at work? If you can pump and store the breast milk, that would be the best for him. That way you don't have to stop breastfeeding him. Please don't feel bad about having to work, just remember you are doing what is best for your family! I hope everything works out for you and your precious baby boy!

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C.J.

answers from Albuquerque on

I know it is extremely hard K., and I know you are doing the best you can. Spend good quality time with them on the weekend and just know that you are doing the best for them and their future!

I think spending an evening away from the children and your home with your husband can help stress also. Knowing that the two of you are happy, loving, and content, will give your boys the greatest sense of security! (not saying anything is wrong)

I hope your children have a great daycare provider. Record a story, or just talk to your baby and send the tape to daycare with him! He will love hearing your voice!

I wish you the best K.!

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J.M.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi K..

Don't feel bad about the weaning from breast feeding or working full time. I bottle fed my 10 month old girl since I had a hard time with her latching on and producing enough breast milk. She's done fine with the formula. It also made it easier for me when I returned to work 8 weeks after giving birth. Please don't be so tough on yourself. You're trying your best to accomodate his needs and that's what counts. Bottle feeding is great. The formula provides the nutrients the baby needs and is just as good as breast milk. As for staying at home not being an option, trust me - there are plenty of us working full-time and taking our little ones to daycare. Sometimes staying at home is not an option due to financial situations. You're child will love you just as much even though you may not be with him all day long. The time you are with him though, make it count. Enjoy your baby!

About me: I have a lovely 10 mo. old baby girl. She's my first child. I am 35. I am a 1st grade teacher.

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P.B.

answers from Flagstaff on

i went through that myself, like you i have a long commute and work full-time. I bought a breast pump, milk bags for storage, an insulted bag and a couple of ice packs. wal-mart has all the equipment, expensive but worth it. My baby still drank breastmilk, just from a bottle. I would freeze them and defrost a couple at least an hour before she was ready to feed. the key is to save one pumping in one baggie and never mix milk throughout the day. Until feeding time, mixing the baggies into one bottle. It work wonders. I only breastfed her the 3 months I was on maternity leave; but yet she still drank breastmilk. Oh, and pump often to keep the milk supply coming in. Remember, your doing this for your baby. Hope this helps. Do some research on the internet.

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A.C.

answers from Phoenix on

My advice would be to contact a lactation consultant or someone from La Leche League ASAP. They are invaluable resources. Looking back at my daughter's feeding issues and my milk supply issues, I wish with all my heart that we had just bitten the bullet and hired a lactation consultant. We figured we would have saved over $1000 in formula costs in six months if we had gotten help with nursing while help was still possible. I ended up trying to re-lactate later, which was unsuccessful.

I know how terrible the guilt and sadness can be, as I went through the loss of the nursing relationship with my daughter when she was just a couple of months old. I went through months of grieving, which to be honest, no one in my family understood. I truly hope that things work out well for you and your son in this area. In the meantime, remind yourself that you are doing the best that you can given the circumstances. Remind yourself, too, that your "goodness" as a mother and your value as a woman does not come from a successful nursing relationship. You really are doing the best you can.

I don't know if it's possible for you or not, but have you considered making a desperate plea to your pediatrician for a medical excuse from work so that you can keep up the nursing? Given the proper paperwork from the Human Resources department at your work, as well as documentation from your son's pediatrician, you may be able to file for Family Medical Leave of Absence (which would be unpaid but would protect your job) or short-term disability.

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P.F.

answers from Albuquerque on

I know exactly what you mean about feeling guilty for not being at home. I was a working mother too when my oldest daughter was born. She was home during the day with my husband and my mother-in-law who was living with us at the time. I would be gone all day and when I would come home in evening and want to hold and be with my baby,, she didn't want me! I would get her from my husband, and she would start screaming and crying. I would just go in the bathroom sit on the tub and cry. It is extreemly difficult to be a working mother, and stay at home moms really do not understand the guilt that we feel. We are not going to work to get away from our family, we are working to help support our families in a way that stay at home moms do not have to. Unfortunately instead of being praised for taking an active role in the overall support of our families, we are criticized and made to feel like we are somehow not as good as parents. That is bogus.
I am now a stay at home mother and have been for the past 3 years since my youngest daughter was born. I can tell you first hand there is no difference in the way my oldest daughter has turned out or on how my youngest daughter is turning out due to my being a stay at home mom. They both are very well adjusted. As long as kids have someone around that they know cares about them, they are fine. My mother was also a working mom when we were little and we did not feel any less loved by her because of it.
As far as breastfeeding goes,,your mother may be right. My daughters had a hard time latching on sometimes, so the docter gave me a plastic nipple that fit over my breast. The nipple part is just like a bottle so it fits in their mouth easier and they don't have to try as hard to succle on it. I would ask your doctor for one and see if that helps. Other than that, even though you are not ready for your son to wein off of you yet, it may be a blessing in disguise. At least you won't have to worry about him not wanting a bottle when you are not able to breast feed. And the main point of breastfeeding is to make sure that your son is getting the proper nutrition from you, so either way, you are doing what is best for your baby. I would continue to pump, offer him your breast first, and if he says no, give him the bottle. As long as you are holding him close to you before, during and after, he will still feel all the love you want him to.

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J.A.

answers from Phoenix on

Dear K.,

You are a great mother and you should stop beating yourself up. There are many great mothers who have to work outside the home.

I was 35 years old when I had my twins. I still had to work to make ends meet and when the twins were 7 months old I found myself pregnant again. This was not exactly planned! I too wanted to breastfeed. I only made it 6 weeks with the twins because one of the twins became very fussy and had colic. We were in a new city with no family around and I knew very few people. I went through so many emotions, I only wish I had had a friend or someone to tell me it's okay, not the end of the world if you only breastfeed for 6 weeks!

When baby #3 came, the twins were just 15 months old. I breastfed her for 6 months but it was difficult to find the time for bonding since I had two toddlers running around while I tried to have time with her. I had wanted to breastfeed longer but I was so worn out I couldn't handle it. My twins are now 9 and the youngest 8. They are happy, healthy well behaved, wonderful children I thank God for every day, and they have no memory of a stressed out mother who felt she didn't breast feed them long enough!

There are so many ways to love our children and be good moms. You love your boys -- YOU are a great Mom! Keep loving your boys! It will take them farther in life than all the breast milk you could provide!

So my advice -- don't spend another minute of your precious life God gave you feeling horrible -- take that little gift in the form of a baby boy and keep loving him and if you have to stop breastfeeding, know that it is not the end of the world and you are not a bad mother.

Take care and have a wonderful day!!

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S.P.

answers from Albuquerque on

Hi K., your message was heartbreaking to read bacause I from one mother to another I can emphasize with how hard this is on you. I think these situations have a way of working themselves out one way or another. Not every mom has the luxury of staying home with thier babies but thank god this doesn't determine whether or not they are a good mother. Plenty of amazing ,high functioning, and much loved kids have come from homes where both parents work, and plenty of neglected kids have come from homes where a parent doesn't work. Just make sure that baby always knows how much he is loved. Take Care.

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N.M.

answers from Phoenix on

Don't beat yourself up, I too had the same situation. Just remember that you gave it your best and most importantly he got the first couple months and that seems to be the most important. Also try and remember that you are teaching your children differant things about life when you have to work. They will always know that you are providing for them. Just give them the attention they need when they are with you and they will love you even more for it. You are teaching them resposibility, dedication and commitment. It doesn't get any better than that! Just remember to love those babies and yourself!

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C.S.

answers from Phoenix on

First, K., quit beating yourself up! You have been giving your son your milk when and how you are able to. Feel good about that! Sit for a moment and let that soak in and through you. You have provided milk for him!

Continue to offer him your breast. After a long day at work, and commute, you must be exhausted. Take some time to relax before you "dive in". Take some deep breaths. Then sit in a quiet place, alone if possible, and hold your son. Talk to him, smile to him, love him. Then offer your breast. Getting uptight about it will only evoke his resistance further. Let him come to understand that that is "his time". It cant be forced.

Babies do unpredictable things all the time. This may have been a phase and it, too, will pass.

I also encourage you to get in touch with La Leche League. They are a wonderful source of information, encouragement, and support. They are an International organization that supports breastfeeding. There is no charge. They have local leaders and even meetings on a monthly basis. They were my salvation any time I had a breastfeeding problem. If one leader doesnt resonate with you, try others.

I find as a nanny that when the baby (he is 6 mon now) is crying and resisting (he is only bottle fed now, and many times he "fights" the bottle), I hold him close, and begin humming softly in his ear. It always amazes me how effective it is. It calms him and he drinks.

So even all bottle fed babies behave like they don't want to drink, even when they are hungry. If he were mine, and it was nursing time, I would do the above and wait until he is ready to nurse. I would not offer the bottle instead. I believe he will eventually nurse if that is all that is there. Instinctively he has to know it is good for him. That is my thought.

I hope this is helpful, K., and please treat yourself well. You are loving your son and doing all you can. Appreciate that about yourself.

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R.C.

answers from Anchorage on

I also had to return to work when my daughter was only 3 months old. I had the long commute and tried to keep up the pumping on breaks and work. My husband communted with me, so I would even try pumping in the car to make enough for my daughter to eat the next day. It became a chore to pump rather than a pleasure to nurse, as I was not really nursing. It was a hard decision to quit nursing, but it was also a mixed blessing to have my baby on a bottle exclusively. My husband was also allowed to bond more with her because he became a part of the feeding times too.

My daughter is almost 2 now, and doing great. We found other ways to bond and spend quality time together as a family. The key to quality time is being together with no other outside distractions while you are home.

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M.O.

answers from Albuquerque on

Oh K., I am so sorry that you're going through all this with your little baby. It's so hard to be a mommy and try to do everything right. You just can't be perfect all the time. It sounds like you're doing the best you can, and that's really all you can ask of yourself. I am a SAHM, but really the only reason I am able to do that is because of my business. Good luck and hang it there!
~M. O.
PS I love my boys too!!!

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D.C.

answers from Phoenix on

Oh my goodness....don't feel so bad. I understand wanting to nurse your baby as long as possible. I had to go back to work at 3 months with my first daughter and I am finally a stay at home mommy with my second. I was able to go 10 months with my first because I pumped at work. I have a friend that only pumped for her baby. The baby wouldn;t latch on to her so she pumped and pumped and pumped....for an entire year. i still don't knopw how she kept from drying up.....she is very busty....maybe that is why. She was a pumping nazi though. She was very regular and the supply kept up . So her baby never had formula. So if you are worried about him not having any more breast milk you might want to try that. If you are just sad that he doesn't want to nurse from your breast anymore than I would say just keep trying. If he is very upset, let him have a little bottle and then when he starts at it real good switch him quickly to your breast.....kind of fool him. But you have to do it before he gets to full on formula. Babies usually prefer there mommy over a bottle. But he has found out that the bottle is a quick fix for his empty tummy and mommy is to slow.......maybe...just a thought. Good luck to you.

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H.L.

answers from Phoenix on

I was in your shoes when I had my first baby. I was working full time and nursing, she didn't even last 4mo, after 2 she refused to nurse, my son stopped at 5 mo even though I was staying home by then.
I know exactly how you feel but ya know what every family is different just because you have to work and can't nurse doesn't make you a horrible mom. When you are home just give him as much attention as possible. He knows that you aren't an aweful mom.

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K.H.

answers from Phoenix on

K.,

You're not a "bad" mom if you don't breastfeed. There are many happy healthy babies who are NEVER breast fed. I tried
to breast feed both of my kids but it only lasted about 6 weeks each for different reasons and they are great young men now. I was also a single mom for about 6 years when they were young and I had a regualr job and my children went to daycare. Today most families need 2 incomes to make ends meet and save for the future. I have now had the good fortune to have a business that I operate from my home. My main goal is to not only have an income for my family but to show other moms how to supplement their incomes from home too. I love what I do!

www.GreenKidzRUs.com

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J.E.

answers from Phoenix on

I'm a labor nurse and please don't punish yourself for this. Maybe when you are at home you could feed more often so he isn't so mad at feeding times. I don't beleive in the whole nipple confusion. If your not ready than don't give in. Do you get to pump at work so that he isn't getting a different taste?
I noticed you said you couldn't stay at home with your kids. Why not? Have you ever thought about a home based business? I have tons of friends who do different home based businesses so that they can stay home with their kids. If you would like some info about the things my friends do I would love to share. YOu could do it too!
J.

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C.M.

answers from Phoenix on

At this age, sometimes they are becoming more social and are easily distracted and since they do have to "focus" in order to breastfeed, they are more willing to take a bottle. Don't assume he is trying to wean, maybe it is just a phase. Maybe there is a quieter place at the daycare (or where he stays) that you can sit with him, or maybe even carry him to the car so that it can be just the two of you. When you nurse at home, and he is calm and doing a good job, you can sing a certain song that can be your nursing song - and sing that at the daycare to calm him down. There is no magic way to make more breastmilk, but do make sure you are drinking enough water and taking in enough calories. One of the many advantages of breastfeeding is that it is always available, and my 4 month old will sometimes eat every two hours and sometimes every 5. The bottom line is to not give up because you had one bad feeding. They often react to stress you are feeling - he may sense you are in a hurry to get back to work. I am very blessed to be home with my 3rd and 4th child, but I worked for the first two and I remember going back to work with full breasts (and no time to pump) when my son wouldn't nurse. Hang in there. In the next few months, you'll be introducing food, and the need to nurse round the clock will become less stressful, and you can do it when you are home together, and pump at work if you're able. Good Luck.

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J.B.

answers from Albuquerque on

K.,
I have two children. My oldest, Rachel 4 1/2 years, wanted nothing to do with nursing either. I went to a consultant and tried all kinds of methods to get her to nurse to no avail. When she was born she was jaundice and had to have formula to supplement also and was in the hospital a few extra days. Anyway, I didn't give up. I pumped and bottle fed her. I supplemented for 2 weeks with formula and then had enough milk to just feed her breast milk. I ended up pumping for an entire year and had enough frozen breast milk to feed her another 4 months. So, don't give up. If you want your son to have breast milk, you still can even if he won't nurse. Then, when my son came along, he nursed with no problem at all.

I think my daughter just never could get with the program. I feel great though that I stuck with it and that she was able to have the breast milk anyway. I am also a working mom and went back to work when she was 6 weeks old. I had no choice. I pumped before I went to work, 3 times at work (mid morning, lunch and mid afternoon), when I got home and before I went to bed. In the early months while she still ate in the middle of the night, I bottle fed her then pumped and then went back to sleep. Once she stopped feeding in the middle of the night, I stopped that pumping session. It was tough for a while, but once the nighttime ones went away, the rest was pretty easy.

-J.

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A.P.

answers from Tucson on

K.~ If it helps when my son was 4 months or so, I was in the same boat. Every time I would try to get him to nurse he'd scream and not take it, so I ended up weaning him pretty quickly after that. I was working full time and trying to pump (my commute is about an hour too). If you still want to give him as much breastmilk as possible just try pumping. You won't get as much out and you'll eventually dry up, but at least you are trying. I know exactly how you feel though about not being able to be a stay at home mom. I wish I could also, but its just not in the cards for a few years yet, and I'm not sure it will ever be. Just realize that you are doing the best you can and that whatever time you do have with your children I'm sure they will treasure it. My mom was also a working mother, and even though she'd be gone for 24 hour shifts at a time, I still remember her as being a great mom who loved us very much.

PS. I also got prego with my second right about the time my son started refusing the breast ;), and now I have a 16 month old and a 2 1/2 month old!

Good luck! A..

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M.C.

answers from Tucson on

K.,
Over the years I have worked full time at points and I have been a SAH. Both have always had their challenges. My best advice to you is take a deep breath. If working outside the home right now is a necessity then do not feel guilty about doing so because you are providing for you children. The interesting thing about nursing is that most often we do it because it is a matter of bonding with our child and making sure that they have the nutrition that they need. Your son has already gotten what his body needs and when we become stressed over the nursing process then the bonding issue gets skewed. You can still be close to your son without nursing and he will have what he needs from you because you are relaxed and happy when you are with him. It is impossible to be a bad mother if you are doing the things that you do out of love for your child. If for some reason you do not have to work full time to meet your families obligations then see what you can do to lighten your work schedule, but I am guessing that as in most families it is a necessity right now (even if it is just to earn enough money to fill the gas tank) When you are on your way home take time in the car to re group and get focussed from your day. Do some breathing/relaxation exercises or pray if your faith allows, but take that time to center your heart and then you will be able to give the boys all the attention they need. the great thing about boys is that they just adore their mom's I have teenage boys now that I homeschool and regardless of what my husband and I had to do to keep food on the table 10 yrs ago we are the closest of buds. I also want to remind you that in your thirties things just start to get better. Our husbands really hit their stride in their careers and we get to restructure things about half way through it. You are going to do a fabulous job. It's hard enough to deal with all those who are going to doubt us for us, don't doubt yourself. Only you and your husband know what is necessary for your family and what is not.

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D.K.

answers from Phoenix on

Pump!!! My first 2 girls were premies and the only thing I could do is pump they were too little to latch on. You will need a good one.. hospital grade (rent it). You can pump until he's alot older and it will also make you feel good that you can work and still give your son the best. I too work and have worked through all my girls on my 4th and i am still breastfeeding and pumping. My girls are 13yrs, 3 1/2, 22 mos and 5 1/2 months. and working is my me time. The most important thing to remember is you have given your son the best for 4 1/2 months and even if you do have to stop You did better than nothing at all. Hope this helps a little

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L.R.

answers from Phoenix on

#1 The guilt you are feeling: babies can sense our negative emotions and it can stress them out. If you "have to" work or you "want to" work, you are working and you've got to let go of the guilt, as your little one gets older they will figure out ways to use your guilt against you and manipulate you into doing all sorts of things. Stop feeling terrible and have a healthy outlook, let it go...

#2 What kind of bottles are you using? You want the effort it takes to get their food to be the same for breast and bottle. "Avent" brand is great for that and I'm sure there are other choices out there.

#3 Balance seems to get the better of everyone, and it's probably hardest if your working. Lean on those you love and trust, that is what they are there for.

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H.L.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi K., First, be kind to yourself and know you are doing the best that you know how. :) I also have a little baby boy who will be 4 months on the 19th! He is exclusively nursing, although I pump breastmilk for him if I am going to leave him with my husband for more than a couple hours. This seems to be working well. But, I remember when my daughter (now 28 months old) was born, we had a very rough start to nursing (I also "didn't produce enough" and her doctor told me to put her on formula. Crying in the office I told him I would pump and feed, so I could measure what she was getting, even though I wasn't able to pump hardly anything to begin with). I just persisted and insisted that I feed her milk, and after 2 weeks of pumping every 2-3 hours and taking Mother's Milk tea, alfalfa capsules, brewer's yeast capsules, and fennel greek capsules, AND offering her the breast throughout it all (so she wouldn't "forget"), she gained all her weight back and I was finally producing a lot of milk! Of course it was easier because I could be at home to pump, but my best friend was able to pump every 3 hours while working full time and also increased her milk supply this way and nursed her baby until she was 1 year. I actually ended up nursing my daughter for 19 months (the last few months she was down to just a couple nursings a day) and I have to tell you that every minute of crying and agony in those first few months were soooooo worth it. Truly, I just want to encourage you to keep at it! If he seems to just want the bottle, at least use pumped breast milk. He will be better nourished and your body will reap the many rewards as well (lower risk of breast cancer, burning calories, release of 'good feeling' hormones, THOUSANDS of dollars saved in formula, and convenience of always having ready, warm, sanitary, fresh food available for your baby). I know how tough it is in the beginning, but don't lose hope! Do you have a breast pump? If not I recommend Medela Pump in Style. It is worth the investment when you consider the cost of formula (statistically (1500-4000 dollars a year). Or if another less expensive brand works for you, great! :) Anyway, as you can see I am very passionate about this subject, but it is just too important to ignore. Plus, I personally know how hard it can be in the beginning. Well, one last word of advice: Maybe, next time try to feed him when he getting hungry but not starving. If he still refuses, give him some from the bottle (if you have a slow-flow nipple that'd be best), then after a minute or so, give him the breast. If he cries at that point try walking around to calm him down and when he is calm try the breast again, even squirt some milk on his mouth then. Forgive me for being so wordy! Best wishes and good luck! Your body was made for this! You can do it!!!!! :)By the way, Congrats on your baby!!Sincerely, H. H

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S.N.

answers from Phoenix on

Don't give up on breastfeeding - he might have just had a bad day. Pumping and giving breastmilk by bottle is a way you can feel you are giving the best nutrition for your baby, even if you cannot be home with him you can know that whoever is home with him is feeding him your milk. By the way, have you tried taking fenugreek for increasing your milk production? It is pretty rare that mom's cannot produce enough milk...just remember any breastfeeding you do is great.

I am a working mom with a 5 and 2-1/2 year old and I pumped milk at work for both kids during their first year...it can be done it just take 15 minutes 2 times during your day at work. This also keeps up milk production.

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D.T.

answers from Phoenix on

go to mothering.com and click on the "discuss" tab and then find the breastfeeding forums (there are a few, including one for women who are having problems). you can do this. and for your next baby, remember it is truly rare for women not to make enough milk (you don't see this happen in any other species). it really boils down to women not getting enough support and being given bad advice. it sometimes can take a week or more for your milk to come in BUT you are still making colustrum at that time which is what your baby needs and lives off of until your milk comes in. your baby is supposed to lose some weight after they are first born. that is normal for a breastfeed baby (and thus normal for a baby!).

also, the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding through two years of age. So even though a lot of your responses say to just give your baby a bottle, the best thing for him really is breastmilk (as much as you can give him). i am so proud of you for choosing to breastfeed. good luck!

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A.P.

answers from Phoenix on

my son did this and even if I gave him a bottle sometimes I would still always offer breast, which he went back to the next feeding

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G.B.

answers from Phoenix on

Hang in there is all I can say. I did not work full time, but I did work part-time and I know what its like to try to breast feed and work. I did a lot of pumping and a lot of agonizing too. We had some ups and downs, but I ended up breastfeeding her in some capacity past 1 year. All I can say is keep trying. You don't know if he stopped because he is teething or sensed some stress on your part. I found pumping to be a good alternative great when she was fussy (albeit VERY frustrating)so that I could still give her the milk without giving up. In some cases, babies just quit and you can't make them, but at his age, I would suspect your just having one of those breastfeeding bumps in the road.

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S.C.

answers from Las Cruces on

K.-
Please don't feel bad. Every mom is different. I worked for a long time with my first two. I stay at home now, but I am also going to school. I am hoping to go back to work. I have a 15 year old girl, a 13 year old boy and a 6 year old girl. The baby who is now in Kindergarden wants me to go back to work because she really loves her daycare center. That hurts a lot because she would rather be there than at home with me. But that just means that they are great with the kids. I was told that when you supplement they can get very used to the bottle and they will start wanting the bottle more. But don't hurt over that. My youngest was born without a Thyroid. She has been on medicine since she was 5 days old. I ended up having to stop breast feeding, because her medicine only came in a pill form and I didn't know how to get the medicine into my breast milk without pumping and giving a bottle. So I had to quite and it was so devastating to me. But sometimes you have to do things to benefit your children. You can find other ways to have personal time with your boys. You can make sure that you bath them and tuck them into bed. Which I am sure you do, but start a tradition by reading a book every night to them or start teaching them little songs that you know and maybe think up dances that you can do to them. You just have to be inventive with life throws you a curve.
I hope that this helps you.
S. C

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K.B.

answers from Tucson on

K.,
DO NOT FEEL GUILTY!!! I was a stay at home mom. I spent nearly all of my time with my daughters. Baby enrichment activities up the ying yang. I had plenty of milk, enough to donate to a milk bank. I pumped and stored milk for those times that I was not at home. I bought a special bottle that simulated the breast. I had hoped to nurse until they were a year old. It did not make any difference at all. Both my daughters stopped nursing at nine months. With the oldest I asked for advise from Nursing Mothers Counsel, La Lache League, friends and any other source I could find. I followed all the advise. My daughter would have none of it. After THREE DAYS of her not nursing and not getting any liquid except for what was in her food, I gave up. If this was a contest of wills, then she won. Babies are individual people. They all have their own ideas of what they want. Love your son for who he is and don't worry about breast feeding. Just know that you gave him 4 1/2 months of breast milk. Be good to yourself.
K

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S.G.

answers from Tucson on

Hi K.,

Don't beat yourself up - there are many women in your shoes. I had to return to work when my 2nd child was only 5 weeks old and it was really hard. I had my 4th son in October, and luckily I can work from home now, but I can relate to the guilt of having to leave a little one to work. I can also relate to the issue of milk production, and it's really too bad you were advised to supplement so early because it only makes production issues worse. But, that said, it sounds like you are producing ok now, yes? Are you pumping when you are at work? (I never had any luck with that myself.) If you can pump and give him a bottle of your milk when he won't take the breast, that's great - you can feel good that he's getting all the benefits of your milk. And if that doesn't work and he ends up on formula entirely, you know what - he'll be just fine. The most important thing is that he is loved and nurtured, and if you are worrying about this now, you obviously care enough to make sure he is nurtured even when you can't be with him.
Motherhood is hard, especially when you have to juggle work with it. Be kind to yourself, do the best you can, and just concentrate on loving your kids - they'll know.
Best wishes,
S.

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