VENT: Quitting the pump

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-12-2009
VENT: Quitting the pump
Sun, 07-24-2011 - 1:27pm

I'm calling it quits. Kendrick, like DS1, couldn't get the latch down so I've been EPing for the second time. With DS1 I made it to 5 months and had a deep freeze full so I quit and felt very good about it. This time around it's AWFUL!

At 2 weeks PP I got a bad case of mastitis that took my supply down from 45oz/day to 25. I have managed to get it back up to 30oz/day but I'm attached to the pump 24/7 it seems like. I've even dropped down to 5 pumps a day and it is still stressing me out! Almost every time I pump DS1 starts picking at LO or getting into something he shouldn't which stresses me out. Then every night I put him to bed at 9 and pump right after but LO starts crying about 5 minutes into it and stresses me out. Each time I pump I'm stuck there for 30-40 minutes and that just isn't practical with 2 under 2.
I'm so stressed out with pumping but I'm also stressed out about quitting. I don't want people to think that I'm selfish or that I don't want what's best for my baby. I hate quitting but I can't stay this stressed out and make my family deal with a crazy mommy.

Shew, I feel much better :)


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-12-2006
Sun, 07-24-2011 - 2:30pm
Definitely a stressful situation. I also hate pumping. Have you seen an LC to help with babies latch - clearly direct nursing is much more convenient? Even much older babies can learn to nurse at the breast if that's something you want to do.

If you're comfortable hanging up the horns, then I think it's fine to do just that. If you're not really comfortable with the idea of quitting, then I'd encourage you to look for alternatives ...

30-40 minute pumping sessions sound insane!! 15-20 minutes is far more "normal". Try putting all the parts of your pump that touch milk in the fridge between pumping sessions and then only do a good wash once a day. The fridge keeps bacteria at baby and saves mom a lot of cleaning time. Shorter but more frequent nursing sessions are actually more effective for supply than longer more spaced out nursing / pumping sessions, so just tweaking what you're doing might make things easier.

If you were pumping 45 oz / day, I'm not at all surprised to hear you developed mastitis. This is a MAJOR case of oversupply. Research shows that the average breastfed baby consumes 25 oz of milk a day from about 1-2 weeks old to 6 months ... when milk consumption starts decreasing as solid foods are introduced and begin displacing some of the milk calories.

The full range of milk intake demonstrated by research was 19-30 oz / day (measured at the breast because this is how baby's self regulate their milk intake ... bottles are a different mechanism, and while babies don't need more milk via bottle than they do at the breast, babies very frequently consume more milk via bottle because of the speed of the bottle - brain doesn't register satiety - and the need to suck beyond the 2-3 oz of milk every 2-3 hours of the day that baby actually needs to consume).

30 oz a day is still really great, so you don't have a supply problem (which some moms can have with the pump since it doesn't empty the breast quite as well as a properly nursing baby). If you want to keep up the pumping and / or try to get baby to the breast, you're still in a good spot to do so. Just try tweaking some things to see if it improves your overall situation.

In general, my advice about everything in life ... never quit on your worst day.

That being said, if you are done. You know you're done. You've thought about it and it's not because of a bad day and you're comfortable with your decision and won't regret your decision when it will be difficult to change your mind ... then quit! Don't let the fear of what others think about your decisions, make your decisions for you.

You, your DH and your baby are the only people that really matter in this decision. You should absolutely do what feels right for you and your family.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-26-2004
Sun, 07-24-2011 - 7:15pm
If the latch isn't going to happen NO WAY would i pump either. i hear your distress. Hopefully a lactation specialist can help him latch ???
a href="" target="_blank">Photobucket
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-16-2009
Sun, 07-24-2011 - 11:12pm

*hugs* I can totally understand your frustration! With my first, he actually did latch on for three days... right up until my milk came in.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-12-2009
Wed, 07-27-2011 - 9:26am

thanks ladies! Right now I've cut down to 3 pumps a day and about 20 oz and it's much much easier! I think I will continue to pump since it's easier now and supplement with formula. I've still tried to get him to latch but it's just not going to happen and everytime i try and fail it's just the heartbreak over again so I'm not trying that any more. I'll be happy he gets some breast milk and leave it at that. :)

thanks for listening!


iVillage Member
Registered: 09-15-2010
Sat, 07-30-2011 - 12:01pm
I'm glad that you found something that will work for you and your LO! Pumping at that level isn't worth that much stress.
 BabyFetus Ticker