Nursing at 5.5 Months

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I love capturing pictures of my milk drunk son even though he’ll kill me for showing his girlfriend these images one day. It is still amazing to me, five and a half months into our routine, that my body makes and provides Rylan’s primary source of food and nutrition on a daily basis. The whole thing is pretty nuts.

When a nursing session goes well I have a hard time thinking about giving this up. My personal goal has always been to make it to six months. That milestone is around the corner and I am really torn on what to do.

I have been “warned,” sarcastically I assume, not to tell other moms about my supply. That’s such a weird piece of advice in my opinion. Aren’t we all supposed to support each other? I have come to realize that I am blessed and I have a lot of guilt about weaning Rylan if my body will physically let me continue nursing and pumping for what could possibly be many more months. But an ample supply is not without its own problems. Ever heard of quality over quantity? Yep, it applies to breast milk so we had to start adding some formula to Rylan’s bottles at daycare. It seems to be helping with the weight gain but we’ll know more at this six month appointment.

Back to nursing and pumping. While nursing is infinitely easier today than during those first few painful and scary terrifying ¬†weeks with a newborn, Rylan is so distracted when I nurse and our serene and special nursing sessions more often than not turn into “battle boob.”

And pumping. Ah, pumping. I have been unapologetic about finding twice a day at work to sneak into my “office” and am grateful for the support I continue to receive. But I am busier than ever and dread the lost time on certain days, even though I bring my laptop along and work through most pumping sessions. It is a time suck no matter how productive you try to remain.

So, here are my questions for the other nursing or pumping moms before me:

  • At times Rylan will only nurse for seven or eight minutes total. Sometimes on one side or via a combination of both. Is this normal? Should I worry about whether or not he is getting enough ounces or trust his ability to self-regulate?
  • When, if at all, do you ¬†see their milk intake decrease based on the fact that they are eating more solids?
  • If you BF and pumped beyond six months, how did you stay motivated — especially with pumping at work?
  • Six months seems to be a common milestone noted in baby books and articles. What are the benefits beyond that time period? Antibodies? All natural?

Thanks for your advice and support!

Comments

  1. Lex,

    One thing that helped me transition past the six months/solids phase was that I weaned myself from pumping, but continued to bf both kids at night and in the morning. I stopped having 2 pump sessions at work and stretched it to 1, nursing when I got home and before I left each day, and again at night. Your body learns to only produce when it’s necessary, so that helped me get over that hurdle. Eventually I didn’t need to pump at all, and for me, that was the hardest part of continuing to bf (the pumping). Instead of quitting cold turkey, I kind of phased out different feedings, eliminating the one after work first, then the morning one, so that it was only just before bed. Then I just stopped when I felt it was right. That’s the best advice: TRUST YOURSELF! :)

    Meg

  2. Michelle Zadra says:

    You are doing so great! I nursed Kennedy for 7.5 months and Brooke into her 11th month, working full time and pumping. However, if I remember correctly (it has been a LOOONG time!) after about six months, I decreased the pumping at work and just breastfed when I was home with them in the evenings and on the weekends. Once they started getting distracted, it became less of a goal. They also drank formula just fine and ate solids just fine, so once they weren’t that into it…I was okay giving it up! You will make the right choice for you…six months is an awesome accomplishment!!

    • Thanks, Michelle! That is such a great milestone with both girls. Everyone is opening up a whole new world of thought for me – the option to pull back on such a strict pumping schedule and nurse in the morning and at night, with maybe one pump each day at work for a few more months. We’re also lucky that the bit of formula he’s getting in his bottles at daycare seems to go down just fine and we’re having a lot of fun introducing solids. Appreciate your advice!

  3. This 6 month period is a hard time, especially for a mother that works out of the office. Your little one is distracted (though this stage passes if you go beyond 6 months), your time is much different since he is at daycare, and to be honest it is awesome when you are done with your nursing journey. I went just over two years with my first and am at 9 months with my second and it is a struggle but I also want to go two years. Why two years? The WHO Code recommended minimum is 2 years with 6 months of EBF http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/exclusive_breastfeeding/en/ You have gone 5.5 months and that is nothing to sneer at. Whatever you choose I know you are aiming to do the best thing for you and your son. For disclosure I work part time and mostly at home with furloughs out of the house for meetings, travel, and to teach yoga. It is much different than a 9-5 person in the office so please do not think I am judging you in any crappy way. Us mamas do have to stick together.

    • Kia – thank you! We follow each other on so many social channels. It would be fun to meet IRL one day too. Wow, two years is incredible! EBF was never on my radar knowing I had to go back into the office outside the home at 12 weeks. That said, Ry has gotten nothing but breast milk (with a little formula starting last month to help with weight gain) and I am excited about that for sure.

      Next Friday will mark Ry’s sixth month and I know in my gut I want to keep going. Hopefully I can pull back a bit on the pumping for my own sanity but still keep a steady supply for him and storage/daycare. Right now I have enough stored for him to go about a month from when I quit.

      Really appreciate you sharing your experience and advice.

  4. Hi Alexis (long time reader, first time commenter)! I just want to add my experience as a first-time mom:

    I’m proud that I was able to give my son breast milk for a solid four months — supplemented with formula and most often pumped from my body. It took hard work, countless medical and lactation consultations, support from my husband, bouts of frustration and tears, but there were moments when my boy looked up at me after being fed from his bottle and smiled so big, and I knew he was getting what he needed.

    I absolutely commend you for whatever you decide to do. Six months is AMAZING. Four months is AMAZING. Two weeks is AMAZING. You are a fantastic mother and I’m so grateful for your friendship, advice, and support. And I’m damn proud of you for hitting this major milestone. Keep going if it feels right. Go with your gut and don’t turn back. You know your body and your baby better than anyone else!

  5. I think that after 6 months after the introduction of solid foods the amount of breast milk intake for the baby will decrease some but you should definitely keep breastfeeding to keep getting all the nutrients and antibodies the breast milk provides. You are doing great and I if you can breastfeed at least to a year then you are hitting a great milestone.

  6. oh gurl. The guilt. LOL It’s neverending. My only consolement (not a word…) here is that it shockingly decreases once you have another one :)

    With Peanut I swear I always had one eye on the clock while nursing. Is it enough? Is it too long? Did I switch timely? With Taylor I don’t even remember to take her off when she’s long done and we’re both just lounging. I haven’t looked at the clock once since the hospital. I don’t time a single thing with her – she’s full, she’s happy, she sleeps, she pees, she poops (sometimes), she continues to grow. her thighs are chunky and she smiles. That’s what I pay attention to with my second. I have no idea what’s normal but I’ll tell ya I had a hard time keeping Peanut on for 5 minutes. 10 was a victory worth celebrating. Taylor will go 5 minutes and be done or 20 and be hungry. My supply dips and rises then dips again. The kid is hungry so we feed her cheerios or baby food. Sometimes she’s not so we play. I swear it gets easier :)

    And for your guilt. Oh good lord do I remember this so vividly. And the determination. Oh the determination. Followed by more guilt.

    You won’t do this. But don’t feel guilty :) go as far as you can and when you don’t want to do it any more stop.

    Way easier said than done.

    But that is what I’m doing with Tay. And I’m SO HAPPY now. no guilt. no supply remorse. no supply obsession.

    I don’t pump after she goes to sleep. i only pump when I absolutely have to (after morning nurse and if I’m at work). I pump less at work.

    I’m in such a happy place with nursing and pumping this time around I cannot begin to explain it. And the only major difference other than “been there done it” is that I have set up 0 goals for myself this time around. I’m just going with it.

  7. I am bookmarking (well, pinning on my ‘secret’ board on Pinterest) this post for when I’m facing a similar milestone. So many great comments on here!

  8. Hello, yes this post is actually fastidious and I have
    learned lot of things from it about blogging. thanks.

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