Thursday, October 28, 2010

Breastfeeding Is Officially OVER!

I fought tooth and nail against what was going on inside my body so that I can start breastfeeding, well pumping, for the girls. I wrote about that experience in an earlier posting, Who Said a 2lb. Baby Can't Breastfeed?!?! I still believe breast milk is the best nutrition for a baby, but my battle with it is over.

Up until Mimi came home I was the pumping master, every 3 hours like clock work. Drank water like camel and ate all kinds of milk producing foods (oatmeal, broccoli, peanuts, and chocolate). I still didn't make enough milk for both of them, so they were getting half breast milk, half formula. I didn't like the idea, but they had to eat. When Mimi came home I tried to jump to breastfeeding her every feeding. That didn't work. I had to work up to it, so I fed her half and half and continued to pump. Taking care of an infant without help, bottle feeding her, pumping, cooking, and laundry, it was a mess. Mimi was terrible during her feedings! She was gassy, in pain, and textbook GERD. The doctor put her on anti-acid medication for the GERD and I  tried 3 different formulas before I tried Similac Alimentum. Mimi was doing ok, but something was still off, she was still having a hard time eating. She wasn't getting enough to eat when I breastfed her for an hour or more. It just wasn't working. I was getting so frustrated, I was scared Mimi wasn't gaining weight or getting the nutrition she needed. I started to bottle feed her more, but pumping was becoming less frequent. One day I didn't have any thawed breast milk and gave her a bottle of full formula. She was a completely different baby!! That's when I started to give her just formula. Her feedings became peaceful, less frustrating, and I could feel that we were bonding instead of fighting.

I wish I could have continued breastfeeding, but there are a lot of things that didn't go my way from pregnancy to delivery to living in NY for 5 months instead of vacationing for 2. I guess that's what you call God's plan. You want and plan one thing, but His plans are so much better than ours. What's comforting is that I know He has my life in His hands and I couldn't trust anyone more than God to lead me and guide me. I know that He will provide for me and my family as He has done these 3 months my husband has been unable to work his normal job. I'm glad I was able to give my girls breast milk for the first 3 months of life. I have to do what I can with what I have. Maybe I'll pick it up again when I finally get back home.


  1. I would REALLY urge you to continue to put them to your breast, even if it is for non-nourishing sucking. Pumping never expresses as much milk as actually breastfeeding. I would imagine that a preemie newborn should probably be put to the breast every 60 - 90 minutes for about 20 mins on each breast (which essentially means you have about 30 minutes of free time for every 2-hour block). It is intense, but it is SO worth it! If there is any chance you can continue to stimulate any milk, I'd definitely encourage you to continue. The benefits are endless. Breastfeeding is an act of confidence. You have to believe your child is getting what she needs, both in terms of quantity and quality. It's a matter of faith. You can also always weigh Akira before and after feedings to make sure that she is gaining. I was afraid at first, too, that Lydia was not getting enough milk. That is the reason why my mom gave up (thought she wasn't feeding me enough) but I had to believe that it was working. I had to believe that my body was designed to do what it was meant to do. Have faith that you can do it! :-)

  2. I don't think that what you experienced was simply a result of you not making enough milk. You said Mimi had really bad reflux. I felt like I was reading my own story of what I went through recently with my baby (minus the prematurity). He was having really bad reflux, feedings were TORTURE for both of us. He would take an hour or more to eat and still be fussy afterward. I realized a lot of it was caused by food sensitivities (which also contributes to reflux). When we tried Alimentum it was like I had a new baby! I was finally able to bond with him because I wasn't so stressed out and frustrated all the time. Yes, generally breast is best, but when there are problems with feeding that you are not able to resolve and that are affecting the baby's weight, your mental and physical health, and your relationship with the baby then I'd say formula may be the best option. If you're anything like me then, even though you know it was an okay decision, you still question yourself. Don't feel guilty. Enjoy the fact that your baby is happier and gaining weight and that you can bond together during peaceful feedings!
    Sorry that was so long.
    Anyway, I'm following from the weekend hop. Glad I found you! I'd love it you stopped by my blog at