Turmoil over Ending Breastfeeding!

Updated on March 30, 2011
L.W. asks from Springfield, TN
42 answers

I hope my question does not seem rambling - I have such mixed emotions! I have an 8-month old girl who has been exclusively fed with breast milk. I'm a full time working mom, so I pump during the day (and night) since she is sleeping through - so she is already proficient with the bottle.

My supply is starting to drop, and I'm already breaking into my deep freezer supply - one full bag every two days or so. I have very little support from my hubby and family - not as much as they have been discouraging, but not very encouraging at all. For example - asking me how long I'm going to keep this up, etc. - Hubby is not empathetic with my schedule of carrying the pump around, washing pump parts, etc. - It seems that this is more of a burden to him than me. HA!!! I don't want to open up the blackhole of hubby bashing - because it's not like that. He has said he won't say a word either way about how long I want to continue nursing.

BUT... I really am tiring of this... The taking of breaks during my workday to pump... Worrying about pumping when my schedule is hectic, and can I find a PLACE to pump? I could write a hilarious book on places that I've pumped! LOL I really would like to get a good night's sleep... So here is the question. I've done this for 8 months... I have probably a couple of months supply in the freezer. So if she has breast milk for 10 months, do I need to feel guilty if I quit now? I go back and forth about this DAILY, and I'd like to make a decision, but I just have a hard time dealing with the guilt. What more will she gain if I nurse until her first birthday? And here's my other concern... Will she even drink formula??

Thanks so much for your experience and wisdom... I'm really looking for support here... Please no breastfeeding lectures please!!!

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answers from Dallas on

I breastfed my daughter until she was 8 months old and am also a full time working mom. Honestly, it was more emotional for me than her. She didn't even seem to be phased by not breastfeeding anymore. I have to say after a few days it was actually a relief to have my body back.

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answers from Los Angeles on

OK... Why are you putting yourself through this? You have done a great job providing for your baby! I know how difficult it is being a working mom and finding time to pump at work. Your dedication to your baby should not be watered down by unnecessary guilt. No wonder your supply is dwindling, you're stressing yourself out!

They say that breastfeeding your baby till they are 6 months will protect them from illnesses after that it's just for the nutrition. Sure, breastmilk is the best food and the easiest for the baby to digest, but the true benefit is during the first 6 months.

Don't throw yourself into a steaming vat of guilt. You did a great job. Besides, what do you think is more important to your babies health? Two extra months of breastmilk? Or a healthier, more rested and relaxed mommy?

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I experienced something very similar, concerning the support from family, especially my husband. I pumped at work until my baby was 14 month old and by 19 months I finally caved and weaned.

I felt terrible for months after that. I know for many people 19 months is already "extended" breastfeeding, but I could tell that my daughter missed it (she became seriously addicted to the binky) and I missed it too. For a while I was very resentful towards my DH for his whole attitude about it. I am over it now, but I still wish i had stood up for what I believed in. I will never get that time back.

It does sound like you do not want to wean, but rather reduce your pumping obligations. I can totally relate, because I hated pumping and was so happy once I was done with that.

You know, you don't have to give it all or nothing. You could wean to just pumping once or twice a day and stop at night. Use up your freezer supply and supplement with formula if you have to, but you can still nurse when you are with your baby - if that is what you want. Even if she only gets a little breastmilk, it is still very beneficial and you can keep your nursing relationship.

Just don't give in to what you think others think you should do... whatever you decide, it should be something you will be happy about.
Good luck.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Augusta on

Why not nurse your daughter when you are home, drop the pumping, and hopefully have some time to relax? Ultimately you will probably notice your supply will drop when you are not pumping, but it will help you to extend your breastfeeding experience without feeling guilty or stressed out about it. Many women are able to nurse busy older toddlers who feed once or twice a day and do not have to pump to maintain supply.

Unlike what some posters have said, there is no point where breastmilk stops being beneficial compared to cow's milk or formula. It is always better-- but a happy, healthy, well rested mom is more important:)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Well, you could supplement during the day when she's away and continue to nurse at night and weekends. I know people who do that as a compromise. I also like the idea of 50/50 so she gets some of your milk til 12 months if it's stretched with formula. Sounds like you have a better stash than I ever did. :)

I would also look at your total nursing picture and see if she needs more or if what you can provide is adequate and maybe another jar of peas is in order. Remember that milk changes and formula doesn't, so while you might give a formula fed baby 8 ounces, you might only need 4 for a breastfed baby.

Stress can be a big factor, as does non-support from others. If you continue, try to use your pumping time to relax. I used to take a cup of tea (often Mother's Milk Tea) into my pumping space with my iPod and try to chill for the 15 minutes or so. I know it can be tough to find time to pump when people don't always understand. My boss once told me to meet her at 9 so we could drive to a customer site and at 8:50 came pounding on the door wanting to know when I'd be done. Sigh. I also used to use my hands-free pumping thing, my battery pack and my sweater on backwards during part of my commute to get another pumping session in after a long day. Just offering ideas and sympathy.

You'll figure it out. Hang in there.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

You've done a great job. I loved breast feeding and I think it is the optimal choice so I certainnly tend to want to encourage you to keep going. However, I worked too, and I did a lot of formula supplementation (and pumped), so I understand the need to be flexible.

I guess I would encourage you to not view this as an all or nothing decision. You could reduce how much you give breast milk. For instance, you could keep a morning and bedtime feeding sessions and switch to formula during the day. In 3 months or so, your daughter will be relying on solids so much and getting ready to switch to cow's milk sometimes... so you are close to that kind of situation anyhow (fewer feedings of breast milk). Drop some feeding sof breast milk and that way you get the joy of nursing and reduce the stress of pumping.

Ultimately it is up to you. Don't let anyone make you feel bad one way or the other. But don't shortchange your yourself or daughter out of frustration. See if there is a workaround to keep giving her the milk and sharing the cuddles, but ease up on your workload.

FYI - I nursed my first daughter (exclusively for 8 months and about 80% breastmilk until 13 months pumping at work). I nursed my second daughter for 18 months (about 95% breastmilk because I had an easier work schedule and rarely had to pump). Every situation is different.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pocatello on

I am NOT going to tell you what to do. I breastfed SOME until my daughter was about 21 months old... and quit because I was/am pregnant. My "plan" had been to keep going until her 2nd birthday.

The benefits of breastfeeding really peak at about 1 year, so if you could keep breastfeeding some (even if you stop pumping and just have one night-time regular nursing) you'll still be providing her with those benefits, as well as the unique bonding experience of nursing- which you might miss pretty soon after you quit.

Most people still can keep up a small supply, even if they only do one feeding a day. Don't quit if it will make you feel guilty.

As far as formula goes- some babies really don't like it when they are used to breastmilk. If she qon't take the formula... chances are the doctor will have you feed her Vitamin D whole milk instead.... but he might insist on formula if she is under 1 year old.

My doctor had us feed my daughter whole milk after she turned one- in addition to breastmilk. The major upside to whole milk- it is SO much cheaper than formula. Of course, you will still want to supplement with vitamins.

Do what is right for your family- but keep in mind, breastfeeding is NOT "all or nothing"- you can have a whole range from "exclusive" to just one feeding a day. (BTW- I didn't have to pump at all to have enough supply for one feeding)... Second, give yourself a big pat on the back for lasting this long! Whether is is two weeks, 6 months, or a year (or more)... breastfeeding is no small task and it is a wonderful thing you did for your daughter!

for benefits of extended breastfeeding read this here:

there are plenty of great reasons to hold out,. just a little longer if you are on the fence!

Good Luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Don't feel bad! I think guilt is just another 'side effect' of being a mom. We worry about every little thing that has to do with our precious little ones and then feel guilty about all the decisions we have to make regarding these types of things! You have done great by getting her to 10 months! (with your stash I mean)

I got mine to 8 months and my supply started to dwindle. I had stopped pumping at night when he was just 3 months old so I don't know how you have hung on to that one! But just knock that pumping out first may help you push through and maybe try using that suppliment that increases your milk production. Cut back to 4 pumpings per day if you can. My dr didn't have any problems with that supplement but of course I can't remember the name of it right now.

You will have to slowly ween yourself off too, so take the time to get used to the idea. Another idea would be that once you have busted into the stash, start adding formula to the breast milk to stretch the stash out more. While it won't be 100% you, it is good transition and some weight off your shoulders.

This would also give you time to make sure that your LO doesn't have any problems with certain kinds of formula just in case she has to take that for a month or two before you can switch over to milk completely (my Ped suggests 1 yr for milk but that is up to your Ped and you). In two more months (10 months) you will start switching to more people food anyway and should be cutting back on the bottles.... My Ped and many friends told me, and I found this to be true, that the cheap Parents Choice from Walmart has the same formulation as many of the more expensive stuff so if your child's system will tolerate it (some are allergic to different types) go for it!!

Finally- how long WERE you going to do this? Did you have a time point in your mind? My husband was very pro breastfeeding but they really can't comprehend how much time and energy it really takes. And as for others who have an opinion, you will find that as your child grows, there is always someone who wants to tell you something that they 'know more than you' about. From potty training, pacifiers, medications, toddler beds... tell them thanks for the advice or just smile and walk away. This is your child and you are just being a good mom for worrying about giving him everything you can!!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

No matter what you will have a little sadness over weaning. You will also have people who swear you need to BF until your baby is a toddler. You have done an AMAZING job and at this point your little one would benefit more from having a well rested and happy mama than a couple more months of breast milk. Most of her diet will be coming from real foods by 10 months anyway. Do NOT feel guilty, I am speaking from 3 kids worth of experience when I say in 5 years you will laugh at yourself for even giving this decision so much of your energy :) I promise. Hugs to you and great job!! Now quit pumpin and go get some sleep and pedicure on your lunch hour :)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Nashville on

I think 10 months is really good! A lot more than most babies get. Good for you. to make it last longer you can always add it 1/2 to formula. I did that a bit when I needed to run errands. I nursed till 12 mos but found I could not go anywhere without my kids and I did not have enough to pump much more than a few ounces so I mixed the nursed milk with formula instead of water. It went a lot farther and they were still getting the nutrients they needed plus some that the formula had too! It also sweetens the formula taste since nursed milk is so sweet.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Richmond on

Don't feel guilty!! I know it's hard... I've done this 3 times ;) You have to realize that breastfeeding for 10 days or 10 months... you've given your child a wonderful gift, and any amount of time is great!! It sounds like you're done, emotionally and physically, if you're even questioning it. Cut back on your pump sessions and see how you feel. If you're relieved that you have a little extra free time, cut back more. If you freak out... maybe you're not ready. Next time your baby goes to the pediatrician, ask about formula. If you have the okay, start with one formula bottle per day (maybe before bedtime)... Baby steps :) Good luck and best wishes with whatever you decide! You've done a fantastic job already :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Memphis on

I tell ya, husband support is so vital to feeling like you can keep breastfeeding/pumping, and therefore being able to!

What your daughter gains with breastmilk is a lot of things, actually, including the perfect food, as well as your immunities. And these things don't stop when the baby turns 1 y/o, so I think it'd be great if you could keep it up even longer. The more breastmilk and the less formula, the better.

That said, I know that pumping can be a drain (no pun intended). ;-) I'm a SAHM, but I pumped for a friend's adopted baby for a few weeks, so I know some of what has to happen -- and I didn't even have to figure out work and "dropping off the baby" schedules, so kudos to you for making it work this long!

*Must* you make a decision? Can you just keep pumping, accepting that you're getting lower production but still keeping on as you have been, or perhaps dropping one pumping session per day, and just see how long it lasts?

You sound like your mind is already made up, and you just want people to agree with you and say, "It's all good." I'm not going to try arguing you out of your decision, although I still give a vote of "keep on pumping."

It sounds like at some point your daughter will get formula, unless you can keep up with exclusive breastmilk until she's a year old, when straight cow's milk won't hurt her stomach (or ignore the milk and formula, and just switch to table food, water, and occasional juice). If you want her to take it, you can probably add it in slowly -- say, start off with 1/2 oz or 1 oz of formula per bottle of breastmilk, and gradually increase the proportion. That way, she gets used to the different taste and consistency slowly, and will be more likely to take 100% formula.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

You are so close to the year mark... why introduce formula now? You can start taking fenugreek with blessed thistle combined to help with milk production... and you need to have a serious chat with husband being more supportive, understanding and helpful in other ways. SERIOUSLY. This sounds like a big issue you'd need to address with him regardless of what you ultimately do.

Having a supportive family is nice, but not necessary to achieving your goals. You can do this! Just take each day by day. I'm not sure about Tennessee laws about pumping laws or pumping at work laws - but you can look them up and arm yourself with them if you continue to have issues at work with finding the time and location to pump. I think only Alabama and Mississippi are the only 2 states that have NO breastfeeding laws.

I was a single Mother working full time with part time college and pumping/nursing exclusively for 10 months before I ever introduced solids. I met the man I married when she was 3 y/o... and she weaned herself at 4.5 y/o and now I'm pregnant with #2. I'm not saying you should nurse as long as mine did - but I definitely think you should make a bigger effort to reach a year since you've persevered so far.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Congratulations to u! What a wonderful job u are doing! It is hard what u are doing, even though we know what we r doing is best it doesn't take away the stress! Instead of stopping cold turkey how about just slowly slowing down. Which pumping time is most stressful? If u pump twice at work just pump once. Then gradually slow down the pumping at home. Not sure if you are nursing her or not but if so those feedings could be the last to go. Gradually stopping helped me deal with the guilt. And good for you for having so much in the freezer! Wow! Your amazing. One finally thing.....the first year is the hardest and your almost there. Good luck! And let us know what u decide.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Fayetteville on

I just want to say Good Job! You've done more than many other moms would dare daydream of. If you're ready to stop, it's ok. Experts say that nursing up to the sixth month secures a healthy baby. Ten months is great! AND you're working and pumping? Wow! You're obviously a dedicated mama and put your baby's well being before your own comfort. One day you'll look back on these crazy first months and laugh. Your daughter will thank you for doing all that you could and be proud of you! There's no shame in tapering off now.

If you write that book, I'd buy a few copies for baby shower gifts! Sounds hilarious!

May God bless you richly!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I breastfed my son for a long, long time. But I was laid off just before having him so I didn't have a job to go back to. My hats off to you and all those moms who pump at work!! Pumping didn't really work well for me, even at home so I really admire that you did it so long with the stress of work. You can continue breastfeeding your daughter, you will just need to do it before you go to work and when you come home, then again before bed. That, in addition to what you have in the freezer should help alleviate any guilt. You are a great mom and your breasts will adjust. Your supply is dropping because your daughter is starting to eat food and you are getting stressed out. Even if you nurse one time a day, you will be giving your daughter lots of immune support.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

First of all, congrats on getting to the 8 month mark - that's huge!!!! Chances are, your daughter has gotten all the benefits she can from your milk by now. The only advantage I see of you continuing to pump is a) you continue to burn lots of calories ;) b) Your saving money on formula c) She'll get your antibodies if you get sick or if she gets sick; in other words, you can help her get healthy faster if she were to face some kind of virus right now. I think that's about it!

I worked full time and nursed until my son was 14 months old. I debated when to stop nursing for a long time and it was a difficult decision for me but it different for me - a) my husband helped a LOT! He was responsible for washing all the pumpy supplies b) My frozen milk had spoiled. I apparently produce some kind of enzyme that eats away the fat in the milk and makes it taste bitter, so I couldn't count on that c) I have my own office, so I never had a problem with finding a place to pump; finding the time for it was another issue and d) I loved nursing my son to sleep and on weekends. You haven't mentioned if you are just pumping or nurse as well, but I loved the closeness of his body to mine and knowing that I could comfort him and get him to sleep within minutes by nursing him.

With that being said and given how much I loved nursing and actually came to enjoy pumping (I became a phenomenal multi-tasker!), I had promised myself that if it were to get too hard or inconvenient, I would stop. Hence, given the challenges you are describing, I would be totally fine stopping. With regards to formula, introduce it into your BM very slowly. One day mix 1/4 formula with 3/4 BM; do that for a few days then have it be half and half and so on, until she's fully accustomed to the formula. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I think you are awesome for being a working pumping mom. I don't think you should feel guilty AT ALL if you decide to stop. To answer your question about what more she will gain, she will continue to get antibodies from your BM. She will continue to snuggle with mom which is a nice way to connect when mom has been gone working all day. You have to pick what is right for you. Hope that didn't seem like a lecture since I was trying to answer your question!

I would personally try to stock up enough milk to make it through a year so you can skip the expense of formula completely and then "hang up the horns." Once you hit a year, you can switch to whole milk. I nursed my kids for about 2 years a piece. But if I'd been a pumping mom I don't think I would have made it past a year (or possibly to a year). Pumping is hard work! Good luck and again, well done with pumping and nursing Mommy!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

One thing you could do is check the La Leche League website (llli.org) to check for a breastfeeding support group in your area. Sometimes it just takes meeting face to face with other moms to figure out what to do or come up with solutions you never even thought of before.

Maybe you could also stop pumping at night to give yourself better rest. Continue pumping at the other times. Some breastmilk is still better than none at all and you could continue to give her your milk even past a year. Does she still take milk directly from the breast? Then you could continue to doing that, but just give up the pumping as she gets older.

Good luck! And congrats on nursing as long as you have! Go you!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Youngstown on

I feel you. I am a SAHM and I bf. My son will turn one at the end of this month I too am done nursing him. My story is different though. My baby NEVER accepted a bottle and doesn't sleep at night and up until a couple weeks ago nursed every 3 hours! I hated pumping it was a big pain to me(especialy since he refused a bottle so what was the point) and hated bringing the pump upstairs or downstairs so I can't even imagine myself bringing to work and using it in odd unrlelaxing places..what a good mom you are! My husband is not indifferent he wants me to continue nursing our baby so we bicker back and forth I wish he was indifferent like yours! Your daughter will be fine with formula for a couple months! Nothing wrong with formula my 2 older boys were formula fed and they are both smart, healthy,and strong. She may drink the formula try it before you stop nursing though. If she won't take it right away then try maybe mixing it with bm and adding more and more formula each time. As I am reading your post I am in awe that you wake yourself up in the middle of the night to pump even though she sleeps! You have amazed me today..I would never do that! Good for you and don't let anyone make you feel guilty about weening you did a great job and now it's time to be done...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Knoxville on

L.!! Stop breastfeeding/pumping. It is okay!!!! My daughter wanted to quit breastfeeding around 10 months - either wouldn't nurse or was extremely distracted and the whole session would just feel like a battle. I wanted to nurse her to a year, but at the same time, felt like she was done and I needed to take that cue from her. Despite that, it was really hard to stop because I felt SO guilty for not making it to a year. But once I finally told myself, "it is ok for me to stop - she is going to be just fine!!" and the decision was made, all the guilt and stress was gone. It is okay to stop early. It does not make you a bad mom and your daughter will be just fine!!!! You and your body and feelings are part of this equation also so don't discount yourself. You have done a lot of work to make it to the point that you are so give yourself a lot of credit!

No idea about formula - it will depend on your daughter. I limped by on the breastmilk I had stored in the freezer and formula until a week before my daughter's first birthday and then switched to whole milk (which, thank heaven, she loved.) She did not like formula, but I mixed it in with her food and she would eat it.

Best of luck with your decision. No matter what you decide, just know that your daughter will turn out fine. You are a good mom!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

Pat yourself on the back! You have done a great job already so you do what works for you. I have been and still am where you are. I nursed my son until 11 months while working full time and pumping. I got my period back when he was around 6 months and my supply decreased more each month after that. At 8 months, after using alot of my stash, I started giving him one bottle of formula at daycare, the rest breastmilk, at 9 months we were up to 2 bottles of formula, and by the time he was approaching 11 months I was barely covering a bottle by pumping so I decided enough was enough and that was when I stopped. The same thing happened with my DD - period back at 6 months, supply started dropping. This time I made heroic efforts to keep my supply up since I knew what was going on (was totally clueless with my son). I tried extra pumping, pumping overnight a few nights in a row, fenugreek. The extra pumping really hasn't helped (apparently my body does not understand supply and demand) but I have had a little sucess with the fenugreek. Not the bountiful supply a lot of women seem to get but my supply hasn't dropped much more. My DD just turned 11 months and she is getting 1 bottle of formula at daycare and the rest is breastmilk. I am ahead of where I was with my DS so I consider that a win. LOL.

Maybe you can make some concessions without stopping completely. Stop pumping overnight. Let yourself get some rest. Space out some of your daytime pumping. Try the fenugreek (I have to use blessed thistle as well - fenugreek alone did nothing). I don't see anything wrong with supplementing with some formula after you use your stash. She will still get benefits of some breastmilk and she will increase her consumption of other foods in the coming months anyway. Neither my DD or DS had any issues taking a bottle of formula and they switched back and forth easily. Hopefully it would be the same for you. Good luck and no guilt! Whatever you decide, you have done great!

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answers from Stockton on

At 9 months of age - you can just switch her from breastmilk to whole milk. I had to do that with my 3rd because my supply went down, and I am now dealing with that with my 4th. She is 7 1/2 months right now, and my supply in my freezer is already dwindled down. I am hoping that I can hold out just a few more weeks so that I don't have to use formula. I think that you are doing great. You may cut out the middle of the night pumping and then feed her in the morning and pump right after to get everything out. It may actually help your supply, I know that sounds crazy, but I think you should try it. If you want to increase your supply, you can also try the mother's milk tea, or fenugreek. I have both so that I can just take a pill when I can't make hot tea, and they do actually help.

Either way, I think that you have done a great job and that you should not feel guilty whatever it is that you decide to do. Good Luck!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Des Moines on

Hi there

Well done for getting to 8 months that is awesome for your little one :) My little girl is 7 months and I am still going but she is getting less and less interested at being at the breast! Why dont you try a slow approach like drop the night time pumping if she is sleeping through then there is no need your supply will adjust. After a month or so of this then try introducing 1 formula feed during the day this is currently where I;m at and as long as you do it slowly your supply should adjust (as long as you are eating well and not too stressed at work). If this goes well then you should be getting close to one year anyway and then slowly move to just one feed a day to none. If you go slow it will be easy on you and baby :)
All the best L.

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answers from Huntington on

What you are experiencing is completely normal, or at least is almost exactly mirrors what I went through. People who do not have to work don't have any idea what extra steps we take to breastfeed, so pat yourself on the back!!!

Let go of your guilt and do what you think is best. I got to a point when I decided to stop pumping at work and supplement with formula. (you might want to mix to get her used to the taste) I still nursed all the other times during the day. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. This allowed me to keep nursing longer and he was OK switching back and forth. With my daughter, I never supplemented, but stopped sooner.

Good luck!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

You've done an amazing, job, pat yourself on the back a few times for that (and have a glass of wine and get a pedicure, haha). Yes you can definitely stop anytime and feel great about it. Your baby will be almost a year old when your supply runs out. What I would do is use a healthy, cleaner organic formula like earth's best (not sweetened by anything scary either), and give her some breast milk every day too. Then stash some of the breast milk in case she gets sick, so you can give her exclusively breast milk for a few days.

Great job and enjoy your summer sans pumping! Also that's hilarious that your husband finds it cumbersome that you pump - wouldn't you liked to have him be the one pumping for awhile! Love it.

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answers from Wheeling on

First of all, congratulations of continuing to breastfeed this long, especially while working full time! Many moms get fed up with the inconvenience and give up so be proud of yourself and the wonderful gift you have given your baby!
Now then, I also breastfed exclusively for 7-8 months and then my son self weaned. I was ridden with guilt! I so wanted to go the full year. I had also had a bit of a reserve in the freezer and I just started pumping exclusively and bottle feeding him. It was exhausting and like you, my milk started to dry up. I called my lactation consultant in tears because I wanted to breastfeed but was exhausted with the pumping and never actually getting to breast feed him. I continued until 10 months when my supply in the freezer was gone and my milk would not sustain his appetite. She told me that while it is great to go the full year, the most benefits happen before 6 months. She said that after 6 months the baby's immune system takes over fighting sickness and the antibodies in the breast milk are not AS important. She said that I should be proud of what I did and drop the guilt. So I am passing on her advice to you.

Be proud of what you have done, especially without the support you should be getting from your hubby and family.

As for formula, she will probably be fine. Just maybe start mixing the two and gradually go to straight formula. Like at first 3 parts BM to 1 part Formula and gradually increase Formula and reduce BM. Mine never seemed to notice a difference in the two. He just wanted the milk, whatever it was =)

Good luck!

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answers from Lincoln on

No guilt!!! You've breastfed for quite awhile giving her some great antibodies. You could start slowly introducing formula to her 1 oz f/5 oz bm. and then gradually increasing it week by week. until your bm is gone and she's all formula. by then she'll be on whole milk anyways! As far as eliminating pumping sessions maybe 1 night time first (if you're more sleep deprived than behind on work!) then the next week also take out a day time. My oldest daughter had some formula starting around 9 months (a bottle or 2 a day...cold turkey no mixing!) w/o any problems. My youngest wouldn't have a thing to do with formula! (or much with a bottle either!). If your daughter won't take it from a bottle she might from a tippy. And there's lots of different kinds of those too! Good luck! and happy weaning!

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answers from Memphis on

Honey do not feel guilty. You have done far more than most working mothers are able to do. I worked when my 1st 2 were born and only breast fed them for 6 weeks. The 3rd child I nursed 18 months, the 4th 3 months due to me getting sick and the 5th for about 6 weeks due to severe mastitis. ALL of them are perfectly normal and developed just fine. So don't beat yourself up ok? You've given her a great head start.

Baby needs a healthy, happy, alert Mommy. :)

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answers from Detroit on

I give you credit for doing it this long. I HATED pumping, so I just didn't do it. I am a SAHM, so i was lucky to not really have to, but everyone kind of gave me a hard time becuase my dd would not take a bottle.

anyway, good for you. if your milk is running out, why not just try mixing breastmilk with formula for a while. that will help your supply last longer. also, instead of stopping completely, you might just try nursing her when you normally would, and just quit pumping and using the frozen stuff when you are away. if your milk runs out totally, your daughter will probably have transitioned to formula. also, if she is a good eater, your dr. will probably approve her to switch to milk a month or so early...

ps...there is one benefit to you body naturally drying up - you'll avoid all the pain that comes with weaning!

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answers from Spokane on

I am a SAHM and nursed both my kids for 19 months - neither of them took a bottle, so it was quick and easy to nurse. Even under these circumstances breastfeeding was sometimes a challenge. I think you have done an AMAZING job, if you are pumping and bottle feeding - that is a LOT of work! The comments from your husband may be coming from the place that he sees you struggling/stressing, or it seems like it's more work than it's worth, and he would just like to see you get a break. Don't feel guilty, I've had friends who stopped nursing at 10 months for various reasons and their babies were fine. You may want to ease into formula slowly, one bottle per day for a while. And remember, pretty soon after that she'll be on cow's milk anyway. You've done the best you can for your daughter, and you will continue to do the best you can for her for years to come - two months of breastmilk vs. formula is so minor in the grand scheme of things.

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answers from Dallas on

I had to start giving my son formula at about this age because I had health problems - I continued to nurse him at home, but just didnt have enough milk for daycare. I felt a little disappointed, but not really sad or guilty.

I am definitely a fan of breastfeeding - as much and as long as possible, but I dont think it would be anything to feel guilty about if you gave up the pump or even breastfeeding completely.

Think about this - you pump probably about three times a day for 30 minutes (including set up and take down) - 90 minutes total a day. You spend 30 minutes a day washing, storing, packing pump accessories and freezing milk. You probably also nurse your baby 3 -4 times a day, even on a work day, so add another 90 minutes for that - you are spending THREE TO FOUR hours every day on nursing and pumping, in addition to working a full time job.

I live in Texas, and will NEVER forget trying to lug a breast pump, baby in carseat, laptop, purse and diaper bag in from the car, in a suit in heels and pantyhose in 100 degree weather.

What's up with husbands and the breast pump? My husband was very unhelpful and unsympathetic abut it as well! He should have been delighted about the extra hours of sleep he got and the $$$ that pump saved in formula.

Good luck! You have a lucky baby!

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answers from Charlotte on

You need to do what is right for you and not JUST what is right for your daughter. I am very much an advocate of breast-feeding, but be at peace when it is time to move on to weening. My oldest had a extremely difficult time nursing (where even my midwife suggested to just pump, stop struggling and just love and enjoy my baby.) I couldn't pump anymore after several months and I tortured myself over giving formula. So much wasted energy! My son is a teenager now and is highly gifted. I didn't rob him of what he needed to thrive! Good luck!



answers from Johnson City on

First off, great job for nursing as long as you have! I too breastfed, and understand the challenges that come along with it. I'm sorry you don't have much support from your husband or extended family. Oftentimes, that can cause women to stop nursing prematurely. Luckily, I was fortunate enough to be able to breastfeed my son for 14 months, at which point he weaned himself. I understand about your supply dwindling, and I don't mean to lecture at all - but the more you are able to pump and nurse, the longer you will be able to keep your supply up. Have you tried fenugreek? It has been found that fenugreek can increase a nursing mother's milk supply within 24 to 72 hours after first taking the herb. I strongly recommend it.

If you do choose to wean her early, please do not start her on cow's milk at her current age. Many children (even at 1-year-old) don't have mature enough digestive systems to tolerate it. By giving your child cows milk before 1 year of age, you may increase her chances of developing iron deficiency anemia which is a low number of red blood cells. Iron deficiency in infants can harm brain and nerve development.

My advice is this: hang in there... I know you're tired, and I know you're ready to give it up - but think of all the benefits your daughter is getting from your milk. Her immune system is stronger, and she's less likely to form allergies than formula fed babies. Also, introducing formula at such a late age, may not go as well as you hope. For your daughters sake, continue for as long as physically possible. I promise, it seems like forever now, but the first year goes by so fast! Best of luck to you!



answers from Dallas on

Nothing to feel guilty about...congrats on making it this long. You put in a lot of time and energy into the feeding and pumping and that is to be commended. But if it is causing you stress, just use up your stored supply, quit pumping, nurse am and pm only until you dry up. I had to stop at 6 weeks and my DD is fine, better than fine actually. Thriving on the formula. I do know breast milk is best but I also know that formula is good enough. Good luck!



answers from Raleigh on

I was a determined stay-at-home mom that I would breast feed my child until one year. Well, surprise, she dumped me at 10 months. Refused the breast one day! She would drink breast milk from the bottle but never again from the breast. This was odd because she had always refused the bottle regardless of whether there was breast milk or formula in there. So, I pumped for three weeks, but I didn't have a good supply by then since she had started solids at 6 months. After three weeks, I just quit pumping and put formula in the bottle and she just loved it.
So, what I'm saying is that you have done a fantastic job, and don't worry about it - my child is now 11 and is healty, intelligent and rarely gets sick!


answers from Norfolk on

I think you will be just fine supplementing with some formula--it sounds like you and your family are stressing out way too much about this. I just started last night trying to supplement with some formula with my 6 month old (mostly I just need to be able to get a break from her because i can't get anything out with a pump and have literally NEVER been away from her because I have to feed her every 2 hours still). The only formula she will take is Baby's Only Organic dairy formula (http://www.naturesone.com/dairy/)--it tastes better than the other kinds we've tried. It smells like vanilla ice cream and she actually sucked it down! Good luck with whatever you decide--she will be perfectly healthy and brilliant if she gets a little formula too!


answers from Los Angeles on

I couldn't nurse my first after 6 weeks. Now thats guilt. You have nothing to feel guilty about. You did a really good job. If you are feeling ready to quit, quit. She got so much more breast milk than a lot of babies. To ease into quitting, maybe you can feed morning and night time.



answers from Cincinnati on

I BF my little girl until I went back to work when she was 3 months...the Supply and demand were not matching and I had to dip into my deep freezer at 4.5 months. I wanted to continue but mother nature obviously had other plans. You are fine...You gave your LO a GREAT starts but if you are ready then go ahead and suppliment with formula..maybe do a 1/2 1/2 mixture of BM and formula that way you can stretch it out to 1 year if you want. Formula is not poison and its ok for them to have it..its made for babies.
Good luck



answers from Washington DC on

Wow, you are awesome. Maybe you could just make it easy on both of you and slow down. Skip the pumping and nurse just in the morning and/or bedtime and enjoy your time together. Maybe you could start her on formula by mixing it with some breastmilk and slowly ween her of it. Good luck and you have done a great job!



answers from Charlotte on




answers from Jacksonville on

I completely understand where your coming from except that you lasted longer than I did. My supply decreased as soon as I went back to work. Once I realized that I was only pumping enough at work to give him one bottle, I decided it was time to stop. I stopped breastfeeding at 41/2 months. It was very emotional for me, but my son really didn't care. Good luck.

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