Am I Taking Breastfeeding Too Seriously?

QUESTION:

"I have three kids, my youngest being 6 weeks old. For my older children, I was never able to breastfeed exclusively and had to supplement with formula. I don’t know if I was lacking support or if I am just more relaxed this time around, but I am exclusively breastfeeding my 6-week-old daughter successfully.

I also have managed to store 250 ounces so far in my freezer. My problem is I am literally not doing anything else. I eat sleep and breathe for my milk supply right now. I have this fear that I won’t have a good enough milk supply and that every little thing will make it drop. I feel like I can’t go anywhere or do anything with my fiancé because I might have to miss a nursing session or pumping session.

I get super annoyed when my fiancé asks to use a bottle from my freezer stash because for whatever reason I feel like I have to save it all. I am only eating foods that I feel will increase my supply and I get really anxious if my baby wants to eat constantly because then I can’t pump to know that I have fully emptied my breast.

When we go grocery shopping, and I nurse her in the carrier, I get anxious because usually she only nurses from one side, and I pump from the other, but then I leave the other full, and I’m afraid that will decrease my supply.

My fiancé already wants me to stop because it’s basically running my life right now. I guess my questions are, does it get less time-consuming? And am I being too dramatic about my milk supply? Is it as delicate as I’m making it out to be? This is my first-time EBF so I don’t want to lose my momentum. Thank you in advance for any advice."

RELATED QUESTION: How can I increase my milk production?

TOP ANSWERS (AS SELECTED BY MODERATOR):

“This doesn’t sound healthy for you mentally. Breastfeeding isn’t that important. Just make sure your baby is fed.”

“My issue with this is that you won’t let your husband use some of the stored milk in a bottle to feed the baby himself. Daddies need that bonding time too… don’t take that away from him.”

“Just know that you shouldn’t keep too much stored away as your milk changes as baby ages so the older milk may not have exactly what the baby needs anymore.”

“A thought: you had the baby six weeks ago. You are dealing with post-birth hormones and trying to fix something that has bothered you with your other children. That’s a lot on your plate! Give yourself some time to relax. If you are feeding your little one when it’s hungry and pumping, you will probably be just fine. Do what you think is correct. Keep feeding and pumping if you want. If you feel like you are stressed about this, maybe relax your standards a bit. Do what seems right to you. Good luck with whatever you choose.”

“Also you are in charge of your breasts. It drives me nuts that women say their husband wants them to stop. It’s natural, it’s natural, it’s good for baby. Stop obsessing, yes, him forcing you to stop entirely. Not his call. Stop when you and baby are ready.”

“I remember feeling this way, that I couldn’t supply enough and I would worry my daughter was starving. I’d recommend reading a book on breastfeeding, eating foods that are known to help supply, and having a consult with a lactation nurse so she can help you through the emotional and physical worries of breastfeeding.”

“You are honestly putting too much stress on yourself and that itself can cause your supply to drop.”

“You will need to start using the frozen supply soon as it doesn’t last forever, and yes it does seem like you are letting feeding run your life, you need to remember your family and partner need you as well.”

“Can I ask why you need to have such a large supply? If you nurse on demand your body will make enough milk for the baby. Try relaxing a bit and reduce a few pumping sessions to get some of your time back for yourself and your partner.”

Have a response to this question? Leave it below to help a mama out! Or leave your own question and get responses from real moms!

READ ALL ANSWERS BELOW:

1 Like

You don’t need to be so worried. Feed when baby is hungry and pump when it’s convenient, but even if you weren’t pumping and were only feeding baby you would still have a supply to feed baby (all other factors aside that might lower supply). Don’t let it run your life and end up ruining your relationship or your enjoyment because all you’re doing is nursing or pumping. Remember to live life too.

1 Like

You will need to start using the frozen supply soon as it doesnt last forever, and yes it does seem like you are letting feeding run your life, you need to remember your family and partner need you aswell

1 Like

This doesn’t sound healthy for you mentally. Breastfeeding isn’t that important. Just make sure your baby is fed.

7 Likes

Calm down mama!
Missing one session isn’t gonna hurt anything as long as it’s not regular. And ya figure most babies eat about 24 oz in 24 hours (not on cluster days) so your 250oz will go a lot farther than you think.
Don’t forget about not only your own well-being but your other family members too

1 Like

Yeah you’re being annoying :joy: if your husband wants you stop and you obviously know its running your life enough to admit to it then you need to chill out. Remember, FED IS BEST. there is nothing wrong with using formula

6 Likes

Just know that you shouldn’t keep too much stored away as your milk changes as baby ages so the older milk may not have exactly what the baby needs anymore

4 Likes

You know what is right, in your heart. :heart: don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You’ve got this mama! :baby:t3:

1 Like

Honestly I was the same way… still am. My baby is 2 and I feel for leaving him what if he needs his milk…

If you get the chance to enjoy your man do so… pump/nurse before you leave and you’ll be fine for a couple hours… I wish I would have listened when people told me this (i lost myself being 1000% dedicated to breastfeeding. I don’t regret feeding him but I regret not giving myself time…

1 Like

My daughters nearly 4 weeks old and i never breast fed and my milk is still there :weary: sounds like your going over board, breast feeding great!! But so is going out with your partner and having a brake, so what if you miss 1 fed, give them some formula for 1 bottle or use the supply in the freezer. Definitely sounds like your obsessing

1 Like

Fed is best, that’s great you wanna breastfeed, but don’t let it take over your life.

A thought: you had the baby six weeks ago. You are dealing with post birth hormones and trying to fix something that has bothered you with your other children. That’s a lot on your plate! Give yourself some time to relax. If you are feeding your little one when it’s hungry and pumping, you will probably be just fine. Do what you think is correct. Keep feeding and pumping if you want. If you feel like you are stressed about this, maybe relax your standards a bit. Do what seems right to you. Good luck with whatever you choose.

4 Likes

I never pumped with my daughter. Just switched sides everytime. She went for 2 years nursing. The baby will be able to demand more milk when she latches on. Let mother nature run her course. Then maybe you can find sometime to enjoy yourself and have less anxiety.

2 Likes

Search out some breastfeeding groups in your area, or even here on Facebook. There is a wealth of knowledge and support for you.

1 Like

Breastfeeding is super good for baby going into cold n flu season. It should also be very easy on you. Yes you will have to stop to bf randomly, but it should make things easier not harder. No need for the constant pump sessions if baby is latching and drinking the you just be the full time source of food. So easy no bottle cleaning, no pump cleaning, nothing but on the go and on demand milk. Make it easier on yourself and family and just go with the flow, literally.

1 Like

Your breast will never be fully drained, even after feeding and pumping. There will always be milk for baby, she may just have to work a bit for it.
You also want to be cautious of getting an oversupply which coms with its own issues, the most common being mastitis.
It is hard those first few weeks and i often found myself stressing about how much i had in the freezer and when was a good time to leave the house. I ended up introducing a bottle as i knew i was going back to work when he was 4.5 months so it would be necessary at that time.
I highly recommend buying haaka. You attach to your opposite breast as baby feeds and it catches your letdown. Once i had one i ended up putting my pump away, i would have enough for 1-2 full feeds (about 300ml) at the end of each day. They are also great kf baby sleeps too long or you feeling engorged. Attach it and it will provide a bit of relief for you.
Your frozen supply is only good for 3 months in a standard freezer and 12 months in a deep freezer. You can still give to bub after but it does lose its nutrients.
Also if you baby is teething or sick your milk will adjust to provide antibodies to baby so while it won’t hurt baby, its good to use the freezer stash.
My partner actually really loved being able to help and feed our son. He would come home from night shift and take baby for a few hours in the morning so i could shower and sleep. He loved the just him baby time and they have an amazing bond even now. Our son is 2 and still loves to sit with his dad on the couch and watch tv or watch him play his video games. If he knows his dad is awake late at night he will always wake up to go and sit with him before falling asleep again.
Is breastfeeding in public something you want to do? There is nothing wrong with going out and stoppping to feed baby somewhere or if you arent comfortable, take some of your frozen milk so baby can have a bottle while out.
Breastfeeding is hard and mentally draining but it doesnt need to run your life. Baby is still new so just keep trying to find a routnine/balance that works for you and your whole family

Also you are in charge of your breasts. It drives me nuts that women say their husband wants them to stop. Its nature, its natural, its good for baby. Stop obsessing, yes, him forcing you to stop entirely. Not his call. Stop when you and baby are ready.

3 Likes

My issue with this is that you won’t let your husband use some of the stored milk in a bottle to feed the baby himself. Daddies need that bonding time too… don’t take that away from him.

7 Likes

I think I had a very similar experience to you.
My baby was premature so I was told to pump in the first few weeks after having her. Shes now 5 1/2 months old and if I skip a pumping session, I get golf ball sized lumps through out my breast. Ive also had mastitis 6 times since my baby was born. I think from missing pumping sessions.
It might be hard but weaning from the pump will give you back some freedom.
I was pumping every 3 hours until my baby was 3 months old. I ended up with a crazy over supply.
I started weaning about 2 months ago . Every 5 days I extend the time until I next pump by 15 minutes.
Now I pump every 5 1/2 hours and im still making an extra 40 oz onto of what my baby needs.
For your own mental health, cut back abit and take a break.

Relax! It’s rare to not produce and even more rare to just stop. Your body will keep up with the baby! I breastfed my first for 18 months and stressed the entire time! I’m going on almost 2 years with number 2 and I just decided not to stress this time and we have been going strong. I am freaking out about getting it to stop though! :scream: