{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Moms who breastfed/pumped, why did you do it and how did you maintain sanity? Esp after reading Cribsheet where she says there may not be any lt benefits, 3 weeks in and I’m ready to give up", "post_id": "61a258516a74b8002609c262", "reply_count": 78, "vote_count": 8, "bowl_id": "58f81646ae9f610010f869be", "bowl_name": "Consulting Moms" }

Moms who breastfed/pumped, why did you do it and how did you maintain sanity? Esp after reading Cribsheet where she says there may not be any lt benefits, 3 weeks in and I’m ready to give up

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I trust in Mother Nature more than I trust anyone else on this planet. If it wasn't worth it, it wouldn't have evolved so. Breastmilk is bespoke to babies, filed with immunity to strengthen and good bacteria to fill your baby's gut. Calories according to needs, nutritionally adjusted constantly based on baby's feedback and health. Just prioritize and commit. The journey is difficult. You'll feel like quitting today, tomorrow, next week, but you won't. You'll eat the cookies. Drink the tea. Throw the pile of dirty clothes on the floor and pass out on the bed exhausted. But you will persist. One day at a time. Because you made a commitment and you want this for your baby. 5 months later and this is me. Still grinding. Still pumping. Still barely surviving. Stay strong momma! 👏 (Assuming you want this. If you don't, that's fine too. Lots of formula fed babies are just fine)

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I tried BF with both my babies and HATED it. They were formula fed from the getgo. Ignore anyone who tries to pressure you otherwise! Like many others said, FED IS BEST. I have a 7.75 yo girl and 17month old boy, both healthy as can be (knock on wood), good appetites, and no food allergies. I'm the type of person that coild have easily resented my kids and husband if pushed myself to breastfeed. To be fair, I never felt a "bond" with baby on the boob when I tried the first few weeks with both of them so maybe it's easier for me to say no. I chose my sleep and mental health so that I could just be regular exhausted and not super zombie exhausted. Some pros to formula feeding: - allows for your partner to do their part! My husband took a nap everyday from 5-8pm for the first few months so that he could take ALL the night feedings (baby would wake up every hour) - gives a better change for your baby to BOND with your partner. It's likely that you'll take on a lot of the emotional and mental load because you're a mother. We are not yet in a society where men and women split child care 50/50 and this gives you the chance to move the needle and set the tone that your partner needs to do shit too - my lower back would hurt everytime I tried to nurse and I know I'm not the only one - more flexibility in feeding will reduce the physical strain on your body - I'm sure there's more but I'm just rattling off the top of my head End of the day, if you enjoy it then do it! If you hate it, PLEASE do not kill yourself over it. Our kids thrive BEST when we are at our emotional and physical finest. Do not forget this!!!!

likeuplifting

BAH1 love everything you said and totally agree! BCG1, expressing milk still takes significant time to and can understand why moms who can directly bf may choose that for the same time commitment.

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I don't believe that. Breastmilk will always be superior to formula BUT, fed is best. Do what works for you and your baby. Breastfeeding is not for everyone.

likeuplifting

I know where M4 is coming from, maybe the delivery could have been better but she did say it “helped me” and used I many times. So she was just sharing her experience. Now in terms of the birth control comment, EBF is a form of birth control and when used alone is a very inefficient, use at your own risk form of birth control. However, when used in conjunction with other forms of birth control (condom, pull and pray, etc.) could work for some women. Regarding the “face value” comment, we are all smart, well educated ladies here who have all had children, girl we know how ovulation works or you better 🤣 My experience was similar to M4 but my sister (same gene pool) had a completely opposite experience so everyone is different. OP asked for experiences of BF mothers, I myself enjoyed BF but also supplemented as needed. I did what worked for my family, mental health and peace of mind. Doesn’t have to be all or nothing

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I think I was vulnerable and the hospital took advantage of that. My baby nearly died (in my mind) because I thought I HAD to breastfeed. Once I gave myself permission to stop, I found pumping much easier to do. It was like breastfeeding was so bad, exclusive pumping was very pleasant in comparison. I kept it up because I still had the hospital lactation consultant’s voice in my head. Sanity is relative. I stopped pumping when DD turned one. I did lose the baby weight from it, which I guess is a pro, but I’m sure if I spent all the hours on pumping (and cleaning pump parts and power pumping and reading about pumping methods) and went to the gym instead, I would’ve lost weight too. If you need permission and an internet stranger will do - then I give you permission to quit!

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I too have a horrible experience with a LC at the hospital. She brought me those cups and asked to pump there after I told her that I don’t have colostrum yet, and asked how to help the baby latch. We tried latching and she said that I should just try later so my baby was there hungry. And after my baby did not pee, I gave up and gave some formula. I felt horrible. I thought I was such a failure. Moreover, a LC said that the first day the baby needs just a bit of milk but a nurse fed him the whole bottle, I was so crazy at that hospital trying to get any help with breastfeeding. Only after 4 weeks of a mix feeding I was able to get approved by insurance to have an at home LC consult who helped me a lot. But the first month was the worst in my life.

uplifting

More power to women who continue to breastfeed but switching to formula was one of the best things I did for myself. I honestly think breastfeeding is BS! If I knew how much it would have impacted me physically and emotionally, I would have never ever even tried. May be pumped out some colostrum the first few days but thats it. Now we formula feed our baby and throw the bottles in the dishwasher and its been amazing

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🤗

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I have two children. My first child I breastfed until 15 months and my second child I am still nursing at 2.5 yo. The first few months are the hardest. Between 4- 6 months solid foods are introduced. Nursing slowly starts to fade out after that. It's a special time for me to bond with my child. I hope to wean her completely by 3 yo but I will miss our special time together. Due to the pandemic, I am always around making it difficult to wean her. I am looking forward to having my body back though.

likesmart

Once you get into a routine about the 4 or 5 month mark is actually great. I also have an adopted child that didn't breastfeed and that was a huge adjustment. I didn't have a magic bullet that would calm and settle him. We also had to work harder to get him to sleep. When he was hungry, it was always so stressful to get the bottle ready with him screaming. Preferred to just whip out the breast and settle him but couldn't.

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Cribsheet conclusions for those who haven’t read. First table is our preconceptions of breastfeeding benefits and second is what the data actually tells us. Really did open my mind.

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I think she says once you factor in all the pumping equipment, lactation consultant, nursing clothing, and more food for mom it’s not noticeably cheaper but agreed if you are totally exclusive and staying at home it is probably a saver. And maybe for baby no 2 also.

helpful

I do it because I like it. My first nursed till 18 months, my second is 6 months now and nursing. For me, the beginning (where you are now) is hardest. It gradually gets easier, especially once they start dropping feeds and weaning. You don’t nurse around the clock forever. I do think there are immunity/antibody benefits. I also like soothing my baby with nursing and I think it’s a bonding thing, too. That said- if you hate it….STOP/DECREASE! It’s not an all or nothing thing. Supplement with formula if you are finding it too demanding, but enjoy it sometimes. Pump & get baby to take a bottle if you just need a break sometimes. Quit all together if that’s what works best for you.

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I hated every second of breastfeeding and just stopped when my son was 4 months. I never produced enough, everyone said to do it, and it was just overwhelming when you’re eating all these lactation cookies and pumping in between breastfeeding to try and increase supply. I was going nuts, alone with baby during COVID and getting an hour of sleep at a time. I just said no more and went to formula. Best decision for my sanity.

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I will say that the first month or so is the absolute hardest. I had so many struggles, including mastitis, and cried and wanted to give up. I always knew the choice to stop was up to me, but wanted to give it a try so stuck with it. Currently at 3 months and it is so easier than before. I am glad I stuck with it for two main reasons: 1. I like the bonding time I get with my baby 2. I personally think its easier / faster than formula to just put baby on my breast when he is hungry.

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Agree with this, the first month is so hard (even with my second baby it was hard) but once you get the hang of it, it’s so worth it. For me, I keep going because it’s the most soothing thing for my babies. Neither one took a pacifier and my daughter refused the bottle. When they were upset as infants, as soon as I held them and gave them the boob, it was like their happy place. I will say though that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Do what you can/ are comfortable with and formula will do the rest. Goodluck mama, reach out to an LC too. A good one can make all the difference in your journey

Loved nursing, HATED pumping - and had terrible issues getting a letdown at work / when traveling. It was inconvenient at my workplace without my own office — and I was so freaking busy I felt like I was always disorganized & rushed, running to a from a pumping space so many bags, crying while washing pump parts in a bathroom sink when I went from 8-10 oz each session to 4, to run into meetings late. That’s what caused the most stress. (WFH / covid-work would have been a much more pleasant experience…) BUT — I held on as long as I could bc I loved the bonding experience and immunity boost. If that bond wasn’t there, fed is best, and I probably wouldn’t have put myself through the hell I did / failures I felt.

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Loved nursing and found it very convenient, I also lost a lot of weight with it (but promptly gained it back after weaning). I was lucky to not have any issues with latch or supply. Pumping whenever I had to do it for more than a bottle here and there (eg, when I returned to work) was terrible. Annoying, have to clean stuff, worrying about getting enough, having to haul equipment and milk around). I cried so many times when we were at about 8 months and my supply couldn’t keep up when I was away from baby. For my second I was fully WFH so I just nursed her directly most times; blocked out 30 mins on my calendar (when they’re older they have a more regular schedule) which worked most of the time and we had the odd pumped bottle for when it didn’t. It was much better. We lasted about a year. The first few weeks are hard in general, someone told me to remember during that time I had one job, which was the baby (and since I was breastfeeding, that was more specifically to feed the baby). That mindset helped me a lot.

Honestly I gave up after like a month and a half. Part of it probably was due to covid (my son was born in April 2020 - at the beginning of the pandemic so many in person breastfeeding support resources were put on hold) but it was also hard on me physically and mentally (and tbh part of the mental health stuff was probably due to covid too - giving birth 3 weeks into a pandemic and being isolated at home with no help). For my own sanity we switched to formula. My son is now almost 20 months and I can say that it was totally the right choice for us.

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I breastfed my first for a year (almost none of that time was “exclusive” - hate that word) because I enjoyed the special bond and the calories burned (being honest!). I struggled with supply issues the whole time so the beginning was tough but once I came to terms with providing a lot of my babies nutrition but not 100% it was great. I pumped what I pumped and daycare always had formula to fall back on. I just read cribsheet actually and am pregnant with my 2nd. Im hoping the supply issues are easier this time around because I’m unwilling to be tied to the pump with my toddler running around and will happily take a 60/40 or whatever approach with formula next time as well.

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My attitude towards BF was “if it works it works, if not then ok.” But I ended up having an oversupply that caused a few rounds of mastitis including a large abscess + medical emergency —- I literally kept going out of fear of what trying to wean would do to my body (aka more mastitis / infection). I ended up BF for a year, and I feel neutral about it. I’m pregnant with #2 and seriously considering formula or combo feeding down the start. I’m glad I could BF after I got vaccinated, and do think that’s a unique benefit for this specific point in time. But it’s not a benefit that outweighs the benefit of your own sanity and mental health.

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I did the combo pretty much from the beginning (supply issues + underweight baby) and it was a life saver. I would never try ebf again.

Sorry you are going through this mama. Breastfeeding gets amazingly easier after week 6 or so. If you can push through to week 6 or max week 8, then you will be in a better position to decide because it won't be this bad. However if it's affecting you go for mixed feed or fully formula. You need to be happy and available for the baby so do what works best

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After the three month mark it feels SO much easier. Never washing bottles or having to pack formula has been amazing. I literally leave the house with two kids in 5 minutes because all they need is mama (or whatever mama can buy for the toddler). I couldn’t do that with my first (low supply) and it’s felt so freeing this time being able to nurse.

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Thank you ladies for all your responses and perspective! It sounds like many of you found bf bonding or convenient which I totally get. I’m mostly pumping tho as baby learns to latch so def bonding with the pump 😬 Will give it a few more weeks before reassessing and hopefully it’ll be more comfortable. What changes in a few weeks, do my boobs just get used to it? For those that gained weight bf, do you know why? Diet, hormones?

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On the weight side, I think it can be hard to pinpoint the exact cause since so much in your life has changed outside of breastfeeding. Lack of sleep and stress and changes in routines can all make it hard or contribute to weight gain. All of this to say, there are many reasons to be as kind to yourself as possible around losing the weight at this stage. I'm finally back at the gym and back on a healthier food routine, but that took 5 months and daycare and a supportive partner and it's definitely not happening with consistency.

I did it for 3 months with my twins and wish I had stopped sooner! Once I did it made things so much easier.

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New mom. So not familiar with Cribsheet, but every MD I’ve encountered (OB/GYN, Pediatrician, Family Practice) has said do it as long as you can. Breast milk is good for the baby’s immune system and in some cases will ease weight loss, reduce PP shedding, and even potentially lower the risk of breast cancer in mom’s future. So there are lots of benefits. At the same time, give yourself some grace. If demand outstrips supply, supplement with formula. If your mental health is suffering from the pumping and nursing grind (bc it is a grind), look into wearable pumps or wean early and move to formula. As we all know in this group, very few things are going to be textbook straightforward for our babies or us as moms. So do what keeps your baby well-nourished and keeps you sane.

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I quit at 3 months and it was the best decision ever for my mental health Next baby I will pump and do formula immediately and stop pumping whenever I’m over it

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