Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Breastfeeding predicament

I’m in a predicament, because I am so damn stubborn.

When I felt like breastfeeding was established, I set myself a goal of 6 months. We booked a vacation for March, when Alexander will be 10 months old. Perfect, I thought, he’ll be weaned by then.

Now I cringe.

I can’t wean him at six months. That’s only two and a half months away! The thought of weaning makes me hurt inside. I’ve been given this gift – of breastfeeding going relatively smoothly – and I just can’t stop doing it without a good reason.

So now I’m in a predicament. Our vacation is four nights and we’ll be away from Alex for about seven days total. The internet indicates a 10 month old needs 20-25 ounces of breast milk each day. I’m being generous and estimating he’ll need 30 ounces a day.

This means, if I want to keep him on exclusively breast milk while I’m on vacation, I need 210 ounces in the freezer.


Right now I have 120 ounces. If I don’t use any of it (yeah right), and if I can pump 4 oz every weekend and freeze it, then I can do it. But those are big Ifs.

Another big issue: I’m already adding a fourth pumping session in the evenings at home just to get what I feel he needs for the day, because I come up .75 oz total short at work. (I should stop, right? A quarter of an ounce less in each bottle isn’t going to leave him hungry, RIGHT?)

My plan for vacation means I literally won’t be able to go a day without pumping between now and March (gahhh). It also leaves no flexibility for me to have extra breast milk to mix with oatmeal, etc.

I know what you’re thinking. GIVE HIM FORMULA WHILE YOU’RE GONE. It does seem simple. But I’m so stubborn that if there’s a way to keep him exclusively on breast milk, then I’m going to do it, damnit.

I could use some input. Feel free to tell me I’m crazy.


Anonymous said...

Actually he really won't need 30oz of breast milk at that age because he will be eating baby foods by then. Once my 11 month starting eating baby foods the BM got cut back.

TurtleMama said...

Ha - that's what I was thinking :) March is a long time away though. Do you have a deep freeze? Breastmilk in a refrigerator freezer is good for 3-4 months. I would say just do the best you can, but don't totally stress out about it. 10 months is pretty close to 1 year at which time most babies transition off formula to whole milk. THat's great you are going to keep breastfeeding as long as you can - it is such a gift for both mama and baby! where are you going on your vacation?

Anonymous said...

would you feel better if instead of giving him formula the whole time you were gone, you started to give him one formula bottle a day? That would give you room to build up a stash for when your away as well as continue to have him be mostly breast fed the whole time. You probably wouldn't have to start doing that for a few months either to be able to save up enough breast milk by March.

Stacy said...

First of all, if you like breastfeeding, definitely stick with it! What you could do is pump during a feeding and give him a bottle of formula so you could add the pumped milk to your stash. I go to a breastfeeding support group and one of the girls is doing that to get a stockpile. Also, by 10 months he will be eating food so he could even drink a little juice or water....My son never took a bottle, and I went back to work at 10 months, so he would just drink water from a sippy cup at the babysitters. Then when would I would pick him up he would eat a ton at night. He might change his eating habits when u are gone.

Also, another option would be to just take him with you on vacation....if that is possible

MaryMargaret said...

You are NOT crazy. I don't have any helpful advice, because giving formula wouldn't be an option for me unless it was absolutely necessary, either. I definitely don't think you should rush weaning if you guys are both enjoying breastfeeding. And I completely get being so anal about how much you pump vs how much he needs. Our babies are taking 70mLs and 85mLs per feeding- why not just give them both 3 oz and be done with it? Because I'm stupidly OCD, that's why. Good luck with the vacation dilemma!

Jem said...

No advice except be good to yourself!

BMar said...

I pump once in the middle of the night, you might try that. Also not to scare you but have you given him frozen milk yet? I had to pitch 100 oz bc of a lipase issue and Brett wouldn't drink:(

BreAnna said...

You can do it! And if you don't have enough for your goal by March, look into the milk sharing programs I mentioned on Twitter. Chances are you could find a mama you trust to donate enough to make up for any shortage. I think it's great that you are working so hard to EBF A, like you said it is a gift that you've been able to do so without many issues.

jules said...

have you checked You could see if there's someone in your area who could donate a few ounces to hold you over. I've donated to two different families through there myself (one with twins) and it worked out great :)