× Women Physicians

Breastfeeding & Pumping

17 years 3 months ago #23942 by FPmommy
Is anyone breastfeeding and pumping at the moment? I am just looking for empathetic fellowship. My baby is almost 10 months; my second child. I am pleased to have made it this far, but this is stressful and time consuming! :p My coworkers are fairly supportive, but it is inherently disruptive and decreases my productivity. I am trying to get to a full year. My baby loves nursing and I like nursing her; I am really sick of pumping, and my husband is now making noises about me cutting her off at night when she becomes a year (she still gets up to nurse, usually twice but between once and a bunch of times). How is it for anyone else? (I do some maternity, postpartum and pediatric care, so I also feel pressure to do this or be a hypocrite.)

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17 years 3 months ago #23943 by katherine
Good job (great job!) for keeping it up this far. I'm in a similar situation, and I must say, some of the comments I received on this website regarding this issue were immensely encouraging. I'm a PM&R resident, and my daughter is now 11 months old. I, too, have the goal of 12 months, and darn it if anything is going to get in the way! :D I must say, though,....it truly is a pain in the, mmm, tush. It is a hassle, and stressful, and to be honest, I never liked pumping, but despite all that, I'm still doing it, and I feel proud. It can be especially difficult on busy services e.g. On a consult service, my attending would say, "Okay, do these 2 as quickly as you can, and then page me." So it's quite awkward to have to say, "Oh, and I need to pump too," or not to say it at all and then be thought of as extra inefficient and slow.
My baby at nighttime sounds exactly like yours, and my husband (an FP resident), is also rumbling about weaning her at night. (The baby has begun to sleep with us for the most part, and he's not thrilled about it!) Yet, I feel that she still benefits from breast milk at this stage, and as I can't nurse her during the day, the nighttime nursings are precious. My daughter truly likes to nurse; in fact, I think she is liking it more and more. And my working-Mom guilt leads me think along La Leche terms-- allowing her to self-wean. But who knows when THAT would be!!
I'm not sure how much longer I'm going to go on pumping. After this month, I'll have made it to 12...
CONGRATS to you!! You know what, I'm just realizing that the stress, disruption, and time-consumption can be quite irritating in the short term, but the pride at having accomplished the goal will last forever.

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17 years 3 months ago #23944 by GracieThree
Hi - I quit breastfeeding in January when baby was 11 months because husband was also grumbling about time spent pumping/night time wakings/baby in our bed (what is it with them anyhow?? Mine never got up with her, I did!). I stopped pumping at work over a week's period (just skipped the morning session, then when comfortable, the afternoon) and continued to nurse for about another ten days. Unfortunately for me, nursing only once or twice at night wasn't enough to keep my milk supply up. BUT - this is not the case for a lot of women! I never had a great supply to begin with, so it was probably just me. So in terms of the pumping, once you make it to whatever mark you desire, you can taper it off and probably still nurse at night.

Once I did stop making milk, my daughter still woke up to nurse for a few nights, but once she figured out there was nothing there, she stopped waking up as much and started sleeping through the night. As much as I love to sleep, I missed those special night time feedings with her. Sigh... oh well, life goes on and babies grow up, too fast! But I'll always remember that closeness. There's nothing like it.

Great work to you both, from someone who knows how hard it is, and how much you both love your children to put yourself through so much inconvenience with that darned pump! :)

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17 years 3 months ago #23945 by mum2aae

I am finishing my residency (exam in 1 month and counting!). I had two children during my residency and breastfed both. I am from Canada where we have a much longer maternity leave, so it was easier for me to breastfeed full time until I returned to work at 7 months and 8 months respectively.

I pumped with the first one but admit that I didn't for my second (she didn't take a bottle). With both, however, I nursed them before I left in the morning and then as soon as I got home. I was lucky because my milk supply allowed me to continue this schedule for many months. My first nursed until 11 months and the second until 15 months.

They both gradually weaned themselves, although I had visions of breastfeeding my second until she went to high school, as she was very enthusiastic. But even as she began to eat more and more solids during the day, her enthusiasm for nursing at night diminished. I must admit, by then I was pleased not to be getting up at night. We were both ready to move on when she weaned herself.

We have a BIG family bed and that continues even though the nursing hasn't. And both my girls are very cuddly and I like to think it is because they were breastfed and loved the feeling of being close to me. I know I loved it!
I especially loved nursing as soon as I got home because if forced me to sit down, relax and hold my baby close. It was the last nursing time we stopped.

I am so impressed with women who can maintain the pumping while being on busy rotations. :D It takes a lot of organization, energy and commitment to maintain what you have all done - fantastic I say!

It's tough to juggle such important responsibilities - young children, marriage, patients. But a consult can usually wait a few minutes, and impatient staff people just about always can. They won't remember that we were somewhat less efficient or occasionally a little distracted, but WE will remember that we did what we could to give our babies a great start in life, and our kids will hopefully use our examples some day with their own babies.

That being said - please don't be too hard on yourselves if circumstances mean that your breast feeding schedule changes. You've done better than about 80% of women in North America manage, and with pretty impressive obstacles. Hang in there.

Sorry this is so long - I tend to wax on when reminiscing about breastfeeding. Thanks for the opportunity - now back to studying ... :)


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17 years 3 months ago #23946 by pkmagle
So happy to see your message after that painful one about malpractice suits!
I found that breastfeeding and providing breast milk for the babysitter was one the most gratifying experiences of my life. We physicians really have this easier than many moms who work--despite what it feels like at the time. I am a FP, in rural practice, doing obstetrics through geriatrics. I was doing the whole wad while pregnant, six weeks maternity leave with my first, two weeks for my second. I breastfed until my children stopped--18 months for my first, 13 for my second. I pumped, but have to admit that they both had some formula after 5 months of age. My degree helped me to convince my sitter that breast milk was fine for my baby, in spite of the fact that it looked funny in the bottle to her. After all, I am one of only 4 physicians in the county! My job was flexible enough to be able to feed my daughter during my working day.
Exhausting? Yes! Was it worth it? Absolutely!
It's easier, and more relaxing than dealing with formula :)

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17 years 2 months ago #23947 by FPmommy
Thank you to all who wrote back!! (I can only access this at work for the time being.) It is helpful to know that others have been there and managed it and loved it. I am still OK with it and hanging in there enjoying being THE SOURCE, but stressed by it and tired, too. My husband is still grumpy about it. I am planning to print everything out for him to read. I still plan to pump until a year (and a smidge more because she was early by almost a month). I hope I, and my husband, can deal with it. At least my older child thinks it is normal now. Thanks again. LW

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