Sunday, September 19, 2010

Stress Over The Breast

I have to reach out to my readers because I'm stressing myself out far too much about this. I never thought the most stressful part of my pregnancy would be used on breastfeeding. (So if you know anyone who is an old pro can you pass this blog along to them, I'll welcome all the help I can get.)

I have overloaded my brain with all things breastfeeding. From regular old fashion breastfeeding, to exclusively pumping. My hopes were set very high or shall I say I was wishful thinking about this whole thing, but was soon brought down to reality and now, once again I've confused myself into a stressful battle over my choice to breast feed baby VJS3.

Vashon was not breastfed at all. I was young, dumb and never really thought about it while pregnant. I thought I'd try it in the hospital and if it didn't work.....then hand me the enfamil. Of course that lack of preparation made it very unsuccessful and I quit before I got started. I had bigger plans for Vayden, but God's plans were bigger so breastfeeding once again was not on my mind.

Third times the charm and I really want to breastfeed baby VJS3, but the more and more I educate myself the more and more I freak myself out.

Here WERE some of my wants and don't wants about breastfeeding. (most are unrealistic, I'm seeing this now)
I want my baby to have my milk, but didn't really care how he got it. Breast or bottle
I want to save money, the cost of formula is CRAZY
I did not want to have a baby attached to my boob 24/7, making it impossible for me to go anywhere or do anything
I want a baby that will take the breast but also take the bottle, so that daddy would have a chance to feed him, and I would have a chance to sleep.
I am aware that it is painful for the 1st few weeks and willing to push through
I don't want him to be totally dependent on me. I have a friend that breastfeeds her baby and the lil girl will hold off on eating (pumped milk from a bottle) until her mom gets home to breastfeed her.
I was hoping to breastfeed and pump for about 7-8 months and store up enough milk in my deep freezer to last me until he was a yr old.

I read great reviews about the Medela Pump in Style double electric breast pump, too bad I made up my mind about pretty much exclusively breastfeeding before I actually read about exclusively breastfeeding. Although this pump is heaven sent to these women most of them hate being constantly attached to a machine and would prefer to just have baby on the breast. So then I got the bright idea that I would breastfeed when I wanted to and pump and (bottle feed) when I wanted to. Umm yea that was shot down pretty quick as I've never heard about nipple confusion, supply and demand, and pumping at night even while the baby is sleep.

Still wishful thinking I begged V$ to buy me this expensive pump. We went back and forth about it and I had my mind made up, that this was the best pump for me. After a few days of tears, he finally agreed and I ordered this pump on sale from I saved $57.00 and was pretty proud of myself. With a 90day return policy and only 98 days left in my pregnancy from order date, I was confident that I made a good buy, but would continue to research and if it wasn't the right pump we could take it back.

I don't even have the pump yet and I'm already talking about returning it. I talked to a friend who is PRO breastfeeding and she basically told me that my hopes were set pretty high in regards to the exclusively pumping with a little bit of baby to breast mixed in. She gave me a small slap in reality and of course freaked me out and got me all worried. But when I asked if I should keep this BIG expensive pump she didn't know what to tell me because she only ever used a pump once with her kids and it was a cheap Manuel.

So I talked to a friend who has 3 under 3 and is going strong breastfeeding her youngest for 8 months now. The longest she's ever gone and she's loving it. I can't imagine how she can even breastfeed with 3 under 3 a teenager and she's in school, but she does it and I figured she'd be my best encouragement. She scared the CRAP out of me, telling me the hard, rough and painful truth with a little added sweetener at the end. I asked her if I should keep the pump and she said yes, but she uses a manual pump. hmmm

I've read great reviews on this pump also by Medela - Harmony it's a manual pump intended for occasional use. This pump is way cheaper and probably fits my needs but pretty much crushes my dreams of storing up enough milk by 7-8 months. I'm ok with that now as I've learned that beast feeding is a daily choice, so aiming for a year although great may be pushing the goal and experience.

Or I could try this one the Medela Single Deluxe Battery/Electric Pump which I've read pretty good reviews on and is cheaper than the double but a little less work than the hand pump.

Here ARE some of my new wants and don't wants in regards to breastfeeding (Some may still be unrealistic)

I want my baby to have my milk for as long as possible

I want to save money.....the cost of formula is CRAZY

I still want a baby that will take a bottle and the breast allowing others to help with feedings, but I'm afraid of what they call nipple confusion.

I want to pump milk, but don't want to be hooked up to a pump every 2-3 hrs

I want a baby not totally dependent on me and my breast.

I'm still aware of the pain and discomfort and I'm still willing to push through it.

I still want to store milk, but maybe in small quantities.

Although, not my first choice I will not beat myself up if breastfeeeding just is not for me.

I want to take a breastfeeding basics class before and after I give birth.

So I come to you guys to help me chose the best pump for me and my needs and wants. We have no plans of having anymore children so whatever we get will not have a chance to be reused. I also come to you guys for advice, words of encouragement, and a few slaps of cold hard truth. Everyone needs some every now and then.



  1. Stephanie - I'm a friend of Carrie Lafollett's. I was inspired by your story from her and hope I can pass on some of my BF experience. I felt much like you with my first baby. I wanted to do it but in a more practical way. I bought the manual pump and after using it a couple days decided to rent one from the hospital for a month to see if I would not only last with the pumping and breast feeding but also if the electric double pump would be for me without shelling out the 200.00. Well, I ended up liking it much better and bit the bullet and purchsed the Medela. I loved it. I waited about a week or two to give the baby a bottle but I never had a problem with nipple confusion. She took whatever she was offered. I did go back to work at 8 weeks and I would pump 3 times a day then feed her from me when I was home. I BF with both my girls for 10 months. I wasn't a champion milk maker and they got formula at times but you just have to try and relax with it. Do what you can. I got the book 'Making more milk' with my second one which I would reccomend reading before the baby as it talks about getting a great start.

    Whatever you decide - you'll do fine. Good luck!!

  2. I breast fed all of my children, my oldest the longest for about 1 1/2 - 2 years, my 2nd 1 year, and my 3rd 1 year. I personally happened to be a "cow" and make a lot of milk, and was able to pump with the Advent brand manual pump. When I went back to work I always had milk in the freezer to give to the baby sitter, and my children would take breast milk from the bottle when I was not there. Never had a problem with nipple confusion. When I would get home they went right to the breast.

    When I first started with my first child it was a learning experience and I did get sore nipples but I stuck it out and it did get better quickly, and just became natural to me. (And each time I passed the formula aisle in the store I was thankful that I breast fed, because like you say, the cost of formula is CRAZY)

    I absolutely loved every minute of breast feeding and plan to do it again. I never felt tied down and actually found it more convenient when going out, as there were not bottles to fix, or bottles to warm because the breast is its own bottle and container, and everything is the right temperature. Breast feeding in public never bothered me as I kept it discreet and kept myself covered. I would practice this at home, so it became easy to do discreetly in public for us. There are great nursing bras (Bravado) and tops out there, as well as cover-ups.

    It is not for everyone, but if you have that strong of a desire I think you should try, because you might always wonder "what if". I think you might stress yourself out a little less if you do not go into it with such high expectations, and just keep in mind that it is something you wish to do for your baby. And if by chance it turns out it is not for you, don't beat yourself up over it. If you ever want to talk about it please feel free to email me.

    You are and will always be an excellent mom Stephanie, breast feeding or not.

  3. I haven't nursed yet either, but my sister in law inspired me with her 2nd child. She just strickly breastfed her first, which led to my niece being attached to her boob 24/7. With my 2nd niece, she decided to do formula and breastfeeding and it worked out great! I'm not sure if she pumped or not, but if my mom was watching her, she was just make up a bottle. She only used formula when she had she saved some on the cost. But it made it easier for her to go out without the baby and not have to worry about the pump either. And my 2nd niece was weened off WAY easier then my first. I'm going to try and do that...formula, breastfeeding...and pumpng. Hope this helps! =)

  4. My two cents! =- )

    I breastfed my first and am breastfeeding my new little one too.

    I LOVE IT!

    Let me tell you first, that you aren't crazy. I think every mommy thinks the things you are when contemplating boob or formula.

    I am only two and a half weeks into this time around and already have over 100 ozs of milk in the freezer.

    Don't let people freak you out about nipple confusion. I have given both girls pacifiers from the start and will introduce (have hubby do it actually) the bottle probably during the third or fourth week. I have to have a baby that will take a bottle because I will be back to work full time at the end of November. My oldest took to the bottle very well, I think the key is to not wait too long to introduce it. And I would have hubby do the introduction because the little ones expect a boob from us! ;- )

    And I would definitely keep your big pump that you ordered. It will be an excellent tool! I use mine a time or two each day right now and it is a life saver. I couldn't imagine not being able to pump to get relief when I've got what feel like boulders attached to my chest! lol!

    Anyway, we can definitely chat more if you would like! You can message me on FB with your # and I'll call you and tell you all about my breastfeeding "experiences" or we could just chat on FB sometime too.

    In summary, YOU SHOULD TOTALLY BREASTFEED! It is a WONDERFUL way to bond with baby and you will look back and treasure that time forever!

    Sara (Carter's mom)

  5. Hello! Mom of 3 sons here! All three were BF for 15 months each. Breasfeeding can be hard and stressful at the beginning. My older son was my hardest. It took literally 6 weeks to get him to latch properly and for it to work out. I was not going to give up. I'm kind of shocked I didn't. It was not easy. BUT after he got it, it was great. I was lucky to have plenty of milk and no pain at all with BF. I am so glad I stayed with it, because it was awesome. I bought the Medela dual pump and used it with all 3 kids and then gave it to a cousin who is using it. You should BF for the first 6 weeks or so before introducing the bottle. I then pumped for my husband to feed the baby. He was waiting to be able to do it for 6 weeks. Most babies do fine if they have the breast for a while before. I think babies love their moms nursing them, so take to both fine. At least all of mine did. If you don't have a lot of time to pump one breast at a time, I would keep the dual pump. It is so much faster and easier.
    My last son did have formula sometimes too. I didn't stress myself out if he was with my parents and wanted more milk. I always had a can of formula on hand in case I was not there and he needed more. I would then just pump when I got home and freeze that milk. I would love to talk more if you want. You can email me at

    I guess the bottom like would be to try not to be too stressed about it. It usually does all work out with a little patience. It isn't the end of the world if they end up having some formula from time to time. Good luck!

  6. Stephanie--I breastfed my first three for 10-12 months. I wanted to do it first for health reasons and then also because the price of formula was outrageous. It is hard at first, you can't give up until you give it 2 or 3 weeks (and I almost did give up with my first). It is totally worth it in the end. I am very active after my pregnancies trying to get back into shape and would wear 2 or sometimes 3 sportsbras to go running, but was able to do it successfully. Timing is the key I guess. It's been so long since then but I plan on breastfeeding again, wouldn't think otherwise. I pump when I can but my supply was never outrageous. I recommend it highly for reasons of the bonding with the baby, the ease, the health reasons, etc. But don't let it stress you out. See what works for you. Everyone is different an dtheir needs are different. Like anything, it isn't easy (to get started), but worth it. But there is nothing wrong with formula feeding. I have been told by doctors that breastfeeding past 6 weeks is not necessary--they get all of their nutrients/benefits by then. I don't know if this is true but you can shoot for trying it for 6 weeks and then anything past that is icing on the cake!

    Just a thought. Hope you aren't too stressed out. Sending hugs.


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