Hi to all you great breastfeeding moms. I am not a MD, yet, not even in medical school. However, I am a full-time RN, taking night courses to get my pre-med sciences in with a two and a half year old. I was like you in that working in maternal child health and always pointing out the importances of breastfeeding was very determined to breastfeed until one year. I pumped until that marker and had always said I wasn't going to be "one of those people" breastfeeding when the child could ask for it. Well, after a year, I stopped pumping but really wanted that great feeling of breastfeeding without the hassle of having to pump. I said I would continue until she was 18 months. She was a lot like your babies in that she still woke up at night to nurse three or so times. Then it was for mostly comfort at night and at nap times. She ate regular food and had whole milk in a sippy cup during the day. I never pushed her too hard to try to wean. When she turned two, she was still nursing, but I was ready for it to end. I increased non-nursing cuddle time and prepared her by saying, "In blank days we'll need to stop "feed you" (her term for it)" Then the next day say the same thing, finally when the day came, I said "Ok you are a big girl so if you need some milk or water just ask" The first few nights she woke up asking for it and I would say remember you are a big girl, would you like milk or water. My husband for the first time would get up to get what she wanted (she still sleeps right next to us in her day bed). For a few days Dad could walk on water, so that hurt my feelings a little, but it was also nice to see. Now she sleeps through the night and is completely weaned, and is waiting for a little brother or sister due in August...we'll see how that goes:)
So I hope things go better for you without so much pressure to pump. Good luck:)
Hi! I am long past the stage of breastfeeding now, but I nursed each of my babies until age 17 months (they either self-weaned at that point or I encouraged it because I was pregnant again). Anyway, if this post is still active, maybe my experiences will be useful to somebody.
I was fortunate to have my kids after I finished training. Mostly I was doing locums in family doctors' offices. Let me tell you, we have it much easier than most women who try to pump at work! A big private office, staff who respect your privacy, a handy refrigerator, and even lots of sterile specimen bottles to do the collecting in! I was fortunate to have only a few night calls when nursing, during which occasionally they would let me use the electric pump in the maternity ward. Wow! Vacuums it all out in 3 minutes! Otherwise, I expressed manually--once I got the hang of it I didn't need a pump.
The real secret to pumping is to wait till you get a good let-down reflex, so waiting till you think of the baby and start to tingle, or even hear another baby cry, makes it easier.
When I first started I supplemented with formula, but especially once my babies were on solids, they didn't seem to want as many bottle feedings during the day. Like other moms have described, instead they took to waking more frequently at night to nurse instead. I've found since (from patients) that this is a pretty common occurrence when the nursing mom goes back to work. And, like the others, husbands get tired of or freaked out by baby in the bed. After the first one, I found it easier to have a fold out couch or something in the baby's room where I could doze off too--that helps with the exhaustion. (And face it, as doctors most of us are never going to get to take an uninterrupted night's sleep for granted anyway.)
Once baby is not only doing well on solids but drinking from a cup (I think that was around 9 months, it's really been a while!) I stopped having to pump at work unless I was gone a really long time. But the most productive pumping of the day would be right after the first feeding when I got home--there would still be lots of milk, and the baby triggers a far better let-down so you can just keep going till you're empty. And since the pumping is mostly done at home,the storage and transportation aren't a problem.
I have 5 children, all nursed for at least 18 months. I am still nursing my 2.8 yr old. I never had to use formula. As long as they needed milk in a bottle I pumped, but by the time they were about 10mnth old they got cows milk by cup and solids when i was at work, and I bf them when i was at home. I am a family physician, so luckily I don't have to stay away at nights. My daughter still wakes 1-2 times a night to nurse, but this is no problem at all as she sleeps right beside us, and I don't have to get out of my bed - she just crawls over, and then I put her back. My husband also loves her sleeping with us. I really recommend finding a sleeping arrangement which involves as little getting up at night as possible. It has been so much easier with this baby than with the others who either slept in their own beds, and i had to get up several times at night, or slept in our bed and kicked us all night! Now we have another bed pushed up to ours, and there is room for everyone, and also room for us!
It is difficult pumping and working, but when they get older you can just go on bf whenever you are at home, and feeding other things when you are at work.