I've been exclusively pumping and freezing milk for the past 13 months. I also reached 12 months of pumping with my first baby, now 2.5 (not exclusivley). I got severe pneumonia 2 weeks ago and it forced me into a a hospital stay with strong IV drugs (not ok for breastfeeding moms). I was so sick and my milk supply drastically dropped off (from 22oz a day to 4oz) so I stopped pumping 2 weeks ago to give my body chance to recover, although I still have some milk there when I hand express in the shower.
I have been using my frozen stash and can make it through to 14 months. I have 200oz left and another week of steroids to take. This is my last baby and up until my illness I have been making enough milk to still give my 2.5 year old extra milk at bedtime, which is especially satisfying now because she wasn't exclusivley breastfed and want to do as much as I can for my children as this is my last chance.
My plan was to drop a pump every month until I was pumping 1 time a day by 16 months then use my frozen stash until 18 months and then see how I felt.
My dilema is this; I feel very relieved to not have the stress of fitting pumping into my daily schedule anymore with 2 little ones (especially as I'm still in the recovery phase of my illness) but now my stash is coming to an end I'm having mixed feelings about really quitting and am thinking about pumping again once my course of steroids is over. I'm not happy about being forced by circumstance to quit sooner than I wanted and as this is my last time I really wanted to go as long as possible.
I know in reality that the pneumonia was in part because my defence system was low because of lack of sleep wth my baby (she still wakes 2-3 times a night) and the stress I've been putting on myself with the pumping. My family are so pleased to see me stop and would be upset to know I was thinking about continuing because of my health, but part of me wants to finish what I started and reach my goal.
I have been reading these posts to keep me going over the last year, but this is my first post. I know you are all like minded people and understand the dilema I'm in, so any thoughts would be appreicated.
What are the health and nutritional benefits of breastmilk between 12 months and 3 years?
Exhausted but determined momma.