I’m feeling all sorts of awful about our breastfeeding relationship at this point in time. The past few days have been out of whack, and have thrown me off.
Normally, i wake up at 3:30am, to make hubby’s lunch & coffee, and then i pump. At that time in the morning, i can pump 3, 4, even 5 OUNCES. For me, that’s a lot. I know for many mamas, it’s not, but for me, that’s a LOT!
Recently, as of maybe the last week or two, when i get up, the baby wakes up, and starts screaming. He’s angry that i’ve left the bed. He wants to cuddle, & it’s the only way he’ll go back to sleep. Or, more specifically, he wants to nurse back to sleep. Trust me, i like it, but when it replaces my pumping session — the ONLY pumping session of the day that actually gives me VOLUME to store in the fridge, it hurts my fridge stash a LOT. At any given time, i have about 30 ounces in the fridge. Since my pumping output has always been about 10 ounces a day (not ALWAYS, but i worked it up to that), i always give him 10 ounces of pumped breastmilk a day. I figured, as long as i pumped that much each day, i could keep up.
At one point, i was up to 12 or 13 ounces, which was SO GREAT. One day, i even pumped 15 ounces! I thought, how great, i can either give him MORE each day, or i can store more!
But that didn’t last long. Enter, 6 month old baby. Crying when i try to get out of bed to pump. So i’ve been getting back in bed, and nursing him to sleep. And of course, when i’m nursing him back to sleep at 4am, i fall back asleep myself. And then we sleep until 7, or later. I get up and try to pump ASAP — and get an ounce. Or like today — ONE EIGHTH of an ounce. WHAT THE HELL.
Here it is, 7pm, and i’ve got a whole 6 ounces pumped.
A logical me, thinks to myself, great! If i didn’t pump my normal amount, and he just nursed, than he must’ve ATE IT! AWESOME!
But then he screams. Hungry. Wants his full formula bottle. So it’s not like the nursing replaced formula, or a bottle. All it did was take away from what i would later SEE HIM EAT in a bottle.
After going through so much in 6 months, so many weight checks, weight losses… I physically need to SEE it go in him, via a bottle, or else to me, he didn’t eat. (I know, this thought process doesn’t make all that much sense, but in my head it does.) So even though i love these nursing sessions, they aren’t helping me any.
And in the afternoons, he’s nursing again. He’s nursing around noon, and will only take a nap if i lay on the couch with him. So i end up nursing him, skipping pumping sessions, and by the time i’m pumping in the evening, i’m getting NEXT TO NOTHING.
I’m not sure what to do. I can’t keep up with his 10 ounces a day if i’m only getting ~6. And he still wants the bottles. If i don’t have the milk, he has to get formula. 😦
So my question is, if i continue to pump, what kind of pumping schedule is best to MAXIMIZE my supply right now? Pump every 2 hours? Pump at the same time every day? I try so hard, and sometimes, life gets in the way, and i only manage to pump 4 times.
I also think i need to get up more in the night to pump. Worst case scenario, i take him in the living room, put on some Sesame St, possibly hold a bottle for him while i pump while he watches tv, and then we go back to bed. But this will assure a zombie-like mama every day.
So now what? What do i do now? I’m not ready to give up. But seeing myself pump SIX LOUSY OUNCES each day is literally KILLING ME. S