In a previous post I wrote about exclusively pumping for Monster as she will not directly latch to feed. Exclusively pumping from what I have been told is much harder and time consuming than breast feeding. I have nothing to compare it to, it is all I know.
I made the decision to EP two weeks after Monster was born. I was already pumping because she had been in NICU. I was getting frustrated with nipple shields, her screaming, and not knowing if she was actually eating anything. My goal was 6 months. I figured it was a good goal. Doctors and breastfeeding experts say that the first 6 months are the most important for breast milk. This has to do with open gut. This is the same reason why you are not supposed to start any food before 6 months.
At the end of November, I was hit with the either the flu or food poisoning and so were 4 of my mommy friends.
It was horrible!!!
I was so sick, and because I wasn’t feeling well, I didn’t pump much. Sleep was much more important at this point and I never fully recovered from this. I had to pull breast milk from my freezer. I had to start supplementing with formula once a day. I power pumped, ate oatmeal, drank a TON of water, tried herbs, and finally had to resort to medication. My doctor gave me a prescription for Domperidone. After a few days my supply had gone back up.
Six months came and a good friend asked if I was going to stop pumping. I told her that I felt like a bad mom because I needed to supplement for a few weeks and felt that I gyped Monster of breast milk. I told her I was going to take it 1 day at a time and that I was going to wean at 9 months.
At 9 months, I was pumping twice a day. Once after breakfast before morning nap, and then again after bedtime. (This is a run-on sentence and I don’t full understand it)>>>>This was nothing. I was keeping up with Monsters bottles she got 2 bottles of formula a day and 3 bottles of breast milk. I was also able to freeze a little milk. I figured I could keep this up until 1 year.
One of the side effects of domperidone is weight gain or lack of being able to lose weight. It also makes you so hungry.
At the beginning of August I was really bothered by the way I was looking. I had lost half of the weight I gained when I was pregnant but was still holding onto 35 pounds. I decided that after my pills were done I was finished with pumping. That day came. But, I continued to pump.
At this point I was pumping one bottle a day and Monster was getting 3-4 bottles of formula. As breastfeeding Mom’s know, when you wean from feeding there are hormonal changes.
I was moody, I was crying, sensitive and hot (always hot). This lasted a few days and luckily went away before I went to my sister in law’s Bachelorette Party. I kept up with pumping when I was away at the party but the morning I came home I missed my morning pump. By that evening I needed to pump. The next day I pumped once and did this for a few days. Then went two days between pumping and now I am done.
By this time, I had 49 bottles frozen in a friend’s freezer. We have started to wean to cow’s milk. Monster has 4 bottles in a day. Her bottles now are 2/3’s formula and 1/3 cow’s milk except for her middle-of-the-night bottle which is just formula.
Monster will have breast milk beyond her first birthday.
I had the option to either give her all breast milk for 10 days or 1 bottle of breast milk a day for 49 days. The second option allows her those extra antibodies for a little longer which in my opinion makes more sense. If we decide to have another baby I’ll be curious to see what I decide to do.