Ok I'm curious about many things when it comes to breastfeeding. I know how I've dealt with it all, and how I'm coping now. I can commit the crime of googling all manner of message boards and seeing other women's input. But they never seem to answer my questions directly. And I'm left still curious.

So in this post, I'm going to ramble and babble a bit, you know, to be different, and then I would love as much of your feedback as possible. I want to hear your stories. Comments, emails, texts - I don't mind. Write it down so I can have time to look over them all properly. But I really want to hear from you. Thanks.

Did you supplement your breastfeeding? With what? Why?

How long did you breast feed for? Why did you stop? Why did you go so long? Would you have gone longer?

Do you know how much milk you were producing? Did your supplies ever drop? How do you know? Did your little one start losing weight? Did they gain too much weight?

What did you do to keep up supplies? Did you eat specific foods? Did you drastically change your diet? Did you avoid anything like the plague? Why?

Did you express your milk? Which method worked best for you, hand or pump? Could you see differences in your milk at different times of the day? What sort of differences?

Did you have any problems breastfeeding? Mastitis? Thrush? Low supply? Over supply? "Let-Down" problems? Sore nipples? How did you deal with it all?

Ok, your turn!
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6 Responses

  1. 1. Did not supplement first child. Breastfed for 21 months. Weaned herself. I breastfed that long because we were poor and also because my mother had cancer and was doing chemo and her oncologist thought I should continue to do it for the antibodies since I was her caregiver.

    2. I supplemented and breastfed him for 8-9 weeks. He is adopted. I quit breastfeeding because he had reflux and it affected our bonding. Lots of issues. I used Carnation Good Start after using Similac.

    3. Did not supplement with third child at all. Breastfed 19 months. He bit me and drew blood for the last time. I cut him off. He didn't seem to care.

    4. I breastfed her until she was 16 months old. I started the weaning process and then milk dried up due to pregnancy with no. 5 anyway. I did supplement her. Starting at six months. Two previous bio kids had severe anemia after six months which is why I did it. She also got Carnation Good Start.

    5. Breastfed her until she was 18 months old. I began the weaning process. Went straight to whole milk. Child refused a bottle when I tried to supplement. I was also pumping for six months for another baby.

    Milk supply was not good with one. Excellent with 3, 4, and 5. Okay with 2.

    I always had low milk when I had a period.

  2. Jen Says:

    I breastfed Jay for 6 months. I stopped because I was going back to work, and I'd been trying to express (and bottle feed him previously expressed milk) and it wasn't working for us. I was expressing and Jay wasn't taking the bottle, so I was then having to breastfeed on top...
    I had mastitis 3 times. When Jay was 6 weeks, again was he was about 4 months, then just before I gave up - it was the final straw...
    I found expressing by hand slow and painful (perhaps my technique was off?) I used an Avent handpump for ages. I bought a Mini Medila electric/battery job to try and make expressing quick and easy (for my 40 min lunchbreak at work) and only used it for a week or so in the end. Perhaps I'll get some use this time?
    I totally expressed to start cos I had cracked and bruised nipples, and it was the only way I could continue to breastfeed (Jay wouldn't use nipple shields). Hospital told me not to use my Lanolin (cos it softens your nipples and they keep getting sore) and I was told to rub on some expressed milk and let it air dry instead. Dr advised me to express the first time I had mastitis- God knows why, it was v bad advice...
    When Jay was quite small and we were going out to places it'd be hard to feed him (church wedding etc) I'd give him a defrosted expressed milk in the morning, then express some to take with us, cos it lasts longer at room temperature.
    I then got a real bee in my bonnet about feeding him wherever he wanted, and stopped giving him expressed bottles. Big mistake - it made things harder for us when I tried to get him onto an expressed feed so I could go back to work. We ended up going cold turkey which was distressing for us both, and really painful...
    I use Cow & Gate, and he likes it so much he won't drink cow's milk, so we're now having to buy their toddler formula...
    He always gained weight well and I was lucky enough to have no obvious supply problems, except when Jay was about 4 months old and suddenly wanted to feed every 2 hours. The health visitor suggested baby rice, and he's never looked back.
    Hope this little essay covers most of your questions. Just remember you're a fab Mum, and no-one knows what's right for Isaac better than you do. If you need to supplement him, do it. Yes, your milk is the best thing in the world- but if there's not quite enough there, you're gonna have to top him up... I think the problem is that you're a Mum of 2 under 2, who's rushed off her feet and unable to rest as much as she needs to. I'll prob have the same problem with my no 2 next spring. Every mother of 2+ I know breastfeeds each successive child for less time.
    Good luck. Love you loads. Will come and visit soon, I promise. xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  3. Kelly Says:

    I breastfed Cliff for 9 months and Amanda for 9-10. I would have gone longer but both of them are so busy and were early walkers and kept trying to look around the room with my nipple in their mouths. As they got older they were just to easily distracted with the world around them. I started out BF exclusively and then I supplemented with similac kind of whenever I felt like it. I supplemented with cliff because he had been hospitalized at 2 days from a seizure of unknown cause but speculation was that it was a combo of low blood sugar/jaundice/the large hematoma on his head from birth. I kept up the formula when we went home but only like once a day or I woudl mix it with breast milk. I would always pump when there was formula involved. Amanda hated carnation good start. weirdo.
    I used the avent hand pump for the entire time I BF cliff and it worked great! i was working and using it multiple times a day. I found it to be just fine. With amanda I rented a big fancy pump and hated it. it was a double pump and I was actually not getting it done any faster then the hand pump one side at at time. I don't understand but I think having precise control over the pressure and speed of the pump/handle made a difference for me and I just got used to it. and I loved the portability of the hand pump. My supply with amanda was much less copious but it was always sufficient. I knew because of what i was pumping. I tried fenugreek when it got low (because I was lazy about pumping with her) but I was also too lazy to take it enough to make a big difference. So I just did like 1/2 formula and 1/2 breastmilk during times when I needed it and to make my frozen stores last longer. I always had more milk in the morning.
    I had mastitis 3 times with Cliff and once or twice (mild) with amanda. my nipples were much less sore with amanda but my left was always an issue...probably due to the way I held them or the shape or lord knows what.

    what works for every one is SO vastly different from person to person so you have to let go of your expectations and do what works for you.

    hang in there!!

    I agree with PP...the more kids, the less time breastfeeding, generally speaking. I have a friend with 5 and its gotten gradually less with each one. ANY is better than none. And I freaking breastfed the hell out of cliff ad you should see his babybook where I listed 'illnesses'! Good grief!

    I think if I'd ever had thrush I would have killed myself. sounds totally miserable. thank God we dodged that one.

  4. A Says:

    (1) Did you supplement your breastfeeding? Nope, never.

    (2) How long did you breast feed for? 18 months with C. I stopped because it was the right time for us. C didn't need it any longer. It was more of a comfort thing. Plus, I wanted my body back.

    I went 15 months with F. Same reasons for stopping as above. Neither child had any problem with stopping.

    No, I wouldn't have gone longer with either of them. I was totally 100% satisfied with the way things turned out.

    (3) Do you know how much milk you were producing? A lot. I ended up donating tons of milk while nursing C.

    Did your supplies ever drop? As I started cutting out feedings, my supply started dropping.

    How do you know? Boobs didn't feel as full.

    Did your little one start losing weight? No. Both of them starting lengthening out though. It seems like instead of growing "out" they grew "up."

    Did they gain too much weight? No.

    (4) What did you do to keep up supplies? Nothing.

    Did you eat specific foods? No.

    Did you drastically change your diet? No.

    Did you avoid anything like the plague? I tried not to drink caffeinated drinks.

    (5) Did you express your milk? Yep.

    Which method worked best for you, hand or pump? Pump, all the way, but sometimes I used my hand if i was totally desperate and too lazy to get the pump out.

    Could you see differences in your milk at different times of the day? More milk in the morning.

    (6) Did you have any problems breastfeeding? Mastitis? Thrush? Low supply? Over supply? "Let-Down" problems? Sore nipples? How did you deal with it all? Mastitis one time. It sucked. Antibiotics for 10 days. Clogged ducts all the time. Heating pad & advil. Over supply - i pumped off the extra and donated it. Sore nipples just with C - lansinoh and I let them air dry.

    Hope that helps! :)

  5. A lot of questions :)

    We never supplemented with any of the children, well technically my eldest received a little formula on the hospital (she was in for 4 weeks) but otherwise nope. Im proud of never wasting a penny of it.

    My eldest fed till 3 months before her 3rd birthday and my dd2 till 20 months. I choose to wean my eldest as i was pregnant again and did not want to feed 3 at once . Then my 2nd weaned while i was pregnant , i wish she had carried on much longer. Im a firm believer in feeding till at least there 2nd birthday.

    My milk supply always seemed perfect , not to much and not to little. My eldest had weight gain problems but i don't think it had much to do with my milk (she was over 1) .Only time supply dropped was when pregnant , down to almost nothing.

    I just eat like normal , unfortunately letting myself eat way to much crap though :(

    I expressed a lot with my first , used a single electric pump and had a freezer full of milk . She would sometimes take a bottle of maybe on oz or to but alot got wasted. Only expressed a handful of times with my 2nd and 3rd and neither of them liked bottles. Never got into a routine with it.

    Did you express your milk? Which method worked best for you, hand or pump? Could you see differences in your milk at different times of the day? What sort of differences?

    No problems with feeding at all , im know i have been very lucky with it though