View Poll Results: How you should I/would you pump exclusively?
For as long as I physically could 113 65.70%
Until one year of age 42 24.42%
I'd let go of it now and stop pumping 9 5.23%
other 8 4.65%
Voters: 172. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-15-2009, 08:37 PM   #1
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I need advice about pumping. MAJOR UPDATE!!!!

I guess I don't know if this should be in breastfeeding support or weaning support. Maybe because I don't want to wean, but I know that I won't ever be able to breastfeed either.

Here's the back-story. My baby has severe GERD and has SILENT (so he shows NO sign of the aspiration) micro and frank aspirations on thin liquids. He stopped breathing a few times in the first two weeks (due to all of the milk and acid in his lungs) but the doctors at Children's were able to diagnose and treat him. He was put on Prevacid, which has done wonders in controlling his acid and I have been pumping breast milk and thickening it with Simply Thick to keep him from aspirating for almost a year now. He is still using a newborn nipple with the thickened milk in order to control the flow.

Fast forward to now. He just had an endoscopy and a laryngoscopy and the doctors said that he will probably be able to drink normal thin liquids by age four or five. He has nothing physically wrong, it is strictly coordination. I have kept up hope that he would be able to nurse until now and am still pumping even though I have given up on the idea of actually nursing.

It's been almost a year and I'm wondering what I should do next. My supply is having trouble, I only produce about 12-16 oz a day (and it takes about an hour and a half to get that). It's often difficult to find time to pump because my husband travels a lot. On the other hand the thought of formula is hard to take (please, no one take offense at that, I mean no disrespect to anyone) and I really want my little guy to have what's best. Also, some studies have shown that babies on a thickened diet are more prone to obesity and formula can also increase those odds. I should also mention that the poor guy only has two little teeth and can't eat super well. I'm really proud of myself for pumping exclusively for my baby for almost a year now but I am truly exhausted. Please tell me what you think whether it be to continue pumping or to give up the ghost. The thought of quitting makes me so sad, because it's like accepting that I really will never get to nurse him, even though in my head I know that that is true either way. If you've read this, thank you. I know I've been kind of rambling. I just really don't know what to do. I mean, how long should I continue pumping? We did CLW with DS1, so I feel completely unprepared for this (the idea of "weaning", I would never have been prepared for aspirations). I really expected to have no problems nursing and expected to be nursing for awhile. Anyway, please weigh in. Let me know what you think or any ideas you ight have.

Oh my God! Thank you all so much for your support! I really wanted to share my amazing news with you all! I was able to continue pumping until he was one year, one week old. At that time, I still had milk but could not get it out with a pump. On the 18th of March Oliver had a Swallow Study and was deemed, miraculously, COMPLETELY SAFE FOR ALL THIN LIQUIDS AND FOODS!!!! I still had a small amount of milk and we have been able to nurse ever since. He nurses at night a few times and during the day, when he isn't too busy. He is so rediculously happy about getting to nurse and drink from a cup and getting to have a real bath. It is amazing to me to not be afraid and to get to nurse my baby. Thank you all for your kind words. They gave me much needed strength and I am so glad that my milk held out and I now have a normal supply! What a blessing!

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Last edited by ashersmomoo; 03-24-2009 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 02-15-2009, 08:49 PM   #2
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Re: I need advice about pumping.

that must be so hard for you, having clw your first and not been able to nurse your second at all. it breaks my heart.

but seriously, you have my total respect and admiration for having pumped for him this long. pumping and bottle feeding is a *COMMITMENT*. it says a LOT about you for having done that for him. totally selfless, as pumping is not the warm, recipricol (sp) relationship nursing is.

its ok if you stop. and, its ok to keep going. but only you know what you can handle. don't stop until you are sure though, you want to have no regrets. he'll benefit as long as he's getting your milk, but you have given him the best for his most important growing time. perhaps you want to get him through the winter and consider it then?

either way, you are awesome and wonderful for having pumped this long for him. good luck with your decision.
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Old 02-15-2009, 09:10 PM   #3
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Re: I need advice about pumping.

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Originally Posted by titania View Post
that must be so hard for you, having clw your first and not been able to nurse your second at all. it breaks my heart.

but seriously, you have my total respect and admiration for having pumped for him this long. pumping and bottle feeding is a *COMMITMENT*. it says a LOT about you for having done that for him. totally selfless, as pumping is not the warm, recipricol (sp) relationship nursing is.

its ok if you stop. and, its ok to keep going. but only you know what you can handle. don't stop until you are sure though, you want to have no regrets. he'll benefit as long as he's getting your milk, but you have given him the best for his most important growing time. perhaps you want to get him through the winter and consider it then?

either way, you are awesome and wonderful for having pumped this long for him. good luck with your decision.
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Old 02-15-2009, 09:20 PM   #4
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Re: I need advice about pumping.

since he is a year now can't he go to whole milk, rice, or soy and add thickener. And agreed, you should feel great and proud for keeping with the pumping. He may be to old to switch to formula because he wont like it unless thickener helps with taste, maybe you could do half formula half breast for awhile, just mix them together.
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Old 02-15-2009, 09:24 PM   #5
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Re: I need advice about pumping.

I agree with the 2 pp.
I think if you are having a hard time pumping and you are READY to be done then be done.. but if you are still wanting to pump.. even if it is only 12 oz a day.. its still 12oz.. ya know?!
My twins were nursing and ff until just about 2 weeks ago.. I thought I was ready for them to be done but now that they dont want to nurse I miss it.. alot. They weaned themselves.. mostly due to getting cold after cold after cold.. and now I want them to still nurse and they dont want me!! It makes me so sad... so I kinda know how you feel!
Hugs mama and good job doing it this long!!
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Old 02-15-2009, 09:30 PM   #6
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Re: I need advice about pumping.

Oh mama! I totally understand the not wanting to feed him formula thing (again, no disrespect to formula mamas). I'm the same way. You have done a wonderful job so far!!! I really don't know if I could pump exclusively for a year. Honestly, if I were in your shoes, I would keep at it. Just because I feel that my milk is the best for my LO. Good luck with whichever route you choose.
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Old 02-15-2009, 09:35 PM   #7
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Re: I need advice about pumping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by titania View Post
that must be so hard for you, having clw your first and not been able to nurse your second at all. it breaks my heart.

but seriously, you have my total respect and admiration for having pumped for him this long. pumping and bottle feeding is a *COMMITMENT*. it says a LOT about you for having done that for him. totally selfless, as pumping is not the warm, recipricol (sp) relationship nursing is.

its ok if you stop. and, its ok to keep going. but only you know what you can handle. don't stop until you are sure though, you want to have no regrets. he'll benefit as long as he's getting your milk, but you have given him the best for his most important growing time. perhaps you want to get him through the winter and consider it then?

either way, you are awesome and wonderful for having pumped this long for him. good luck with your decision.
Absolutely agree!
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Old 02-15-2009, 09:38 PM   #8
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Re: I need advice about pumping.

If you are starting to hate the pump then it very may well be time to stop. If you are dreading/stressing over your pump time and your amount your getting it prob won't help your supply KWIM? I exclusively pumped for my LO but I had a large store of milk I was able to stop at 6 months and make it to 12. If you do quit be prepared to miss your pump a little (as silly as it sounds). Its become part of your routine you may feel a little lost for a while.
As a PP mentioned if he's at a year he should be able to start whole milk (unless Dr's orders otherwise). We switched DD to whole milk and she was fine with it, although we did use an entirely diff cup.
I say pump if you still want to give a little extra breast milk but do NOT feel guilty about quitting the pump routine. You have made a year which is a HUGE effort and is not taken lightly (from one EP'r to another)! Your LO is getting older so he is gearing up to be able to handle other forms of food and beverages. Good luck in your decision!
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Old 02-15-2009, 09:39 PM   #9
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Re: I need advice about pumping.

I voted pump for as long as you can. IMO formula would only likely aggravate GERD and his other issues.
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Old 02-15-2009, 09:46 PM   #10
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Re: I need advice about pumping.

You've done such an amazing job!!! I exclusively pumped for 4 months from 6 months to 10 months with DS#1 and it is so, so hard. In the end, I did stop at 10 months even though I felt the same way you do. My supply was lower than yours because I just couldn't get the sessions in like I needed to. (we moved during that time also) I agree that only you can decide if you are ready to stop or not, but it is okay if you decide to stop at a year, or even now. I was very torn like you when I stopped, but it did become clear that it was the best thing for us. I think when the time is right for you to stop, even though you will still be sad and very torn, you'll know. Great Job!
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