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post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Sometimes I just want to scream and cry. I have been teaching my son to breast feed for the past 3 and a half months. He is 4 and a half months old. Today I want to give up. Because he is so fussy I had to carry around my pump and pump at other people's homes during Christmas. I think that the stress made me sick.

We cannot go out lots due to RSV season. I have to stay close due to frequent pumping sessions. Sometimes my production is only one meal away from him being hungry. This causes me stress.

So my question is: How long were you able to pump for your preemie? Were you only pumping or doing both, breast feeding and pumping? Did your milk production decrease or did you decide to stop at that time?

Thanks in advance for your responses.
post #2 of 10
With my 29wkr I pumped exclusively throughout his 9wk NICU stay. After an additional 4-6wks at home he was nursing exclusively. I returned to work and school shortly thereafter and then only pumped for him to have a bottle while I was gone.

My 25wkr never learned to nurse. I think there was maybe one feed where we thought she nursed well enough that we didn't give her any milk through her feeding tube and a couple other times where we only gave her half of her normal feed through her feeding tube. I pumped for her 17mos and it was pure hell. I'd do it again in a heartbeat but it was not enjoyable at all. She had extremely high caloric needs and I could barely keep up even being on Reglan and then on Domperidone for about a year. I made a conscious choice to stop pumping after 17mos and weaned off of the pump because she was approved for donor milk from the insurance company.
post #3 of 10
I pumped for five months. I would have done it for longer but my mum had a car accident and the stress from running between a daughter in the NICU and a mother in the ortho ward really killed my supply. By the time DD came home there was no way I could have done what was required to increase my supply
post #4 of 10
I pumped for 4 months, until my DD was able to breastfeed. It sucks, I know. I totally sympathize with you and totally understand what you are going through. You can only be away from your pump for 2-3 hours, and then your supply begins to tank and you think you have nothing else. Not to mention everyone around you keeps telling you to just make things easier and switch to formula. Ultimately, you have to decide what is best for you and your baby. Remember, too, that stress affects your supply!! It's like this vicious, self-perpetuating cycle! Moms who pump deserve a special award in heaven!! No one truly understands the sacrifice you make to pump.

When my DD came home, she was almost exclusively fed EBM in a bottle. Breastfeeding just wasn't going so great. I truly wanted her to be a breastfeeder, but there came a point when I almost threw in the towel. It was just too stressful. Then, because she was so colicky, we began to co-sleep. I'd also offer her the breast when she was worked up because that made her calm. Well, those two things made her switch to the breast!! It totally freaked me out because now there was no accurate way to measure how much she was taking in. And, you know after being in the NICU, everything is about measuring! I hired my own lactation consultant (one not associated with the hospital) and she helped us totally transition to the breast. However, I like to say that none of this was really my doing. My DD was so determined to breastfeed, so I feel like I am blessed.

Just realize you have to make the right decisions for you and your baby. In the end, no matter how many times I entertained the idea to stop pumping, it just never felt "right" to me. You have to decide what is right for you and your family and what makes you and your baby happy. It's not easy. But, then again, if it was easy, everyone would be blessed with preemies! :
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the responses and kind encouragement. My son was finally learning to breastfeed but then I got sick. Sometimes he would eat so little that my production would go down. He seemed to latch on well an hour after I pumped but not when I needed him to.

I want to give him what is best for him but sometimes it is very difficult. On the 14th of January it will be 5 months of pumping. But sometimes I can be a little stubborn and do not know when to give up. I was hoping to make it to 6 months and then maybe 6 months corrected (10 weeks after). I have not given him formula yet.

It is nice to know that I am not the only crazy one who does this.
post #6 of 10
Keep in mind that most women who exclusively pump only manage 2 or 3 months so you're doing excellently! Have you tried a nipple shield? I know they're generally frowned upon, but a lot of LC's suggest them for premmie mama's and they can be helpful. My DD's mouth was too small to latch effectively (she couldn't even use wide necked bottles) a nipple shield helped us in the beginning.
post #7 of 10
I pumped exclusively for my twins (29 weeks) for 18 months because we just were never able to get them on the breast effectively. I never had any supply issues, despite the pumping. I found this thread very very helpful - a group of MDC EPers. Haven't posted on there in ages, but the group is still going strong. http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=462944
post #8 of 10
I've been pumping for 8 weeks so far... I definitely can empathize because the pumping thing is getting really old! My supply went from getting 5-6 oz per side per pumping session to now getting about 2-3 oz per side... Hopefully it stops there and doesn't diminish any more... I hate having to drag a pump along wherever I go, and I know exactly how you feel about having to pump at other people's houses. And not to mention having to wake up at night to pump... a pump just doesn't encourage you to wake up like a baby does! My DD is still in the NICU and probably will be for at least another month, and has never even gotten to eat from a bottle or try to breastfeed. She's had tube feeds started and stopped at least 5 or 6 times for various reasons; she's actually not being fed right now and they aren't going to try again for at least a couple of days. And she wasn't a preemie! Hang in there, and I hope you will get to breastfeed exclusively soon!
post #9 of 10
I pumped for more than 5 months and used a nipple shield for all attempts at nursing. Just this week, JT has started nursing with no nipple shield. Yippee. I pumped after he nursed this morning and was completely empty. (I can usually pump 6 - 7 ozs) I think he has finally gotten it! : He will be 6 months on Jan 17th. Even though you are pumping, just keep offering the breast periodically. You are doing a great job.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Kodus to those who pumped, especially the mothers who managed over a year and a half or more. Sometimes I want to throw my pump out the window.

I started breastfeeding with the shield. That is how my son learned in the Special Care Nursery. I kept on using it but he got bigger and learned how to latch on. When he eats he poops and makes noises and squirms. Sometimes he may be beyond hungry so he screams and will not latch on.

Someday this will be behind me but it is difficult to persevere through it.
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