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I’m Not Ready…

November 21, 2010

…to give up nursing 😦 .   My collection average this week has been 4 ounces a day.  Four measly ounces.  From 3 20-minute pumping sessions.

I don’t think there is any way to increase supply this late in the game.  Plus, I know, for a fact, that my prolactin levels are very low– as in– smack-dab-middle of the non-lactating normal range.

I feel like I’m letting him down.

I know I’m not.  I know I gave it my best and I’m going to keep on pumping and trying to eek out every ounce until he is at least a year.  But still… it makes me so sad to have to give him a bottle in the evening instead of nursing him.

I guess I should be proud of making it this far.  I’ve never had that much milk, it always seemed like I had just enough.  And that is good.

Oh and weird thing:  so oxytocin is responsible for letting your milk down, right?  And that’s a general feel-good, feel-lovey hormone, no?  Back right after LPK was born, all it took was me looking at him to let down (haha, I don’t miss those days), but now the only times it happens (spontaneously) is when I’m upset.  Like when I’m having an argument with someone and/or about to cry.  Or if I have bad dreams.  Is that strange?  I guess it’s still a strong emotion and that can influence hormone production…hmmm…

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 24, 2010 12:04 am

    Oh! This post made my heart ache for you 😦 You’re the second person I’ve known recently to have what felt like a premature weaning. A friend just had to wean her 13 month old because she was pregnant with their second, and having complications with the pregnancy; I know it was pretty devastating for her, but the good news is that at the age her son (and incidentally, LPK as well) is at, it’s actually an emotionally easier time to wean. They’re busy, exploring the world, into everything, and not as interested in slowing down to nurse (whereas now my daughter is back at the “I just want to nurse and nurse and nurse!” phase that tends to come back around, during which it would be much harder to wean). That being said – I’d definitely say just keep going as long as you feel you can. Even if he’s not getting much out, if you still enjoy having a nursling and he still enjoys nursing, then there’s nothing wrong with nursing just for comfort’s sake.

    Definitely don’t feel like a failure! The deck is stacked against working moms who have to try to keep their milk supply up via pumping. I think any mom who manages to pump at all while working is doing something amazing, because it’s a pretty huge hassle! You’ve been sacrificing for his needs in an admirable way, and not your fault if your body is no longer cooperating with your efforts.

    One thing that you *could* try, if it was possible to fit it into your work day, is doing shorter pumping sessions at more frequent intervals. You’d have to Google it – I don’t know the exact details – but I know something new some people have had good success with is very short, like five minute, pumping sessions at more frequent intervals. Something about how the vast majority (maybe 80%?) of the milk in the breast being removed in the first 5-10 minutes, making it more efficient to pump ten minutes every two hours, then 20 minutes every four hours. However, I know that doesn’t necessarily fit in with most workdays 😛

    Regardless. My prayers are with you! God doesn’t judge moms on their milk supply; neither should you judge yourself on something out of your control.

    • December 5, 2010 1:28 pm

      Thanks so much for the kind words 🙂

      Unfortunately, despite having THE most understanding boss, it’s just not technically feasible to increase my pumping intervals. Mostly because, beside the ten minutes of pumping, it’s at least another ten for set up and clean-up or the pumping gear. And my projects at work are very time sensitive– so it’s difficult to get those available lumps of time.

      I’m really really sad about the situation. But, LPK doesn’t seem to notice at all. I guess that’s a small blessing, it would be so much worse if he were begging to nurse and I had nothing to give.

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