Friday, January 4, 2013

Breastfeeding, Weaning, Back to Work: The Plan Revised

well paid stay at home mom is my dream job

OMG it's January 2013 and i'm really trying to look at the situation of going back to work 'glass half full.' But really who am i kidding? i not only have to work, but i have to miss out on the life of my growing baby boy, as well as reliving this feeling of sadness, longing, and dread every week once my days off are over. Womp womp...(i wonder if i'll feel different after going back to work, say in a month? everyone says the break is something to look forward to!)

True to my astrological sign, im a big over thinker and consequently a big worrier. This breastfeeding + working mom who doesnt want to pump at work issue continues to plague me. Ive come to the conclusion that it's because I am not ready to give up breastfeeding. So there i have it, a 2013 project of finding a way to 

  • breastfeed
  • maintain my supply
  • promote adequate rest for Max (im sure there will be some CIO in this process as no one likes change! especially a baby!)
  • meet his needs for nutrition
  • keep mom and baby are happy and healthy
  • understand that babies find a way to adapt
my first plan. Now revised.

When Max was 10.5 months old, i started him on goats milk through his straw cup(s). That lasted less than a week as he basically told me he hated it through his body language and actions when the straw came close to his mouth (ie. literally slapped the cup off my hands). I tasted the goat's milk myself and initially it tasted ok, i didn't smell anything funky like how other's described, but i was really repulsed by the after taste that lasted 1/2 a day in my mouth despite multiple teeth brushings. I honestly can't describe the after taste in any other words but 'goaty,' so im sorry Max for putting you through that!

When Max turned 11 months, I introduced him to whole milk, an ounce or less at a time. He accepted it at first but now at 11.5 months, he isnt exactly in love with the stuff (he's in love with water and breastmilk). My mom freaked a bit when i told her about the milk. Translated in english, she said that i need to 'mix the milk with water at first so as to not shock his stomach.' ok, i didn't really understand what she meant by the 'shock' business but because i was introducing this dairy product a bit early, i didn't see anything wrong with listening to her advice. Just now at 11.5 months, ive bee giving full whole milk without the added H2O at different times of day.

As of December 31st, i decided to drop his mid afternoon feed cold turkey prior to his nap and replace it with milk.  Our schedule was
  • decrease stimulation in the afternoon --> come to me when ready for nap --> breastfeed and be drowsy from the experience --> out like a light, but not falling asleep at the breast
When i asked the advice of other mom's, i got the notion that when they 'dropped a feed and replaced it with whole milk' it was as easy as that. But for Max, this of course did not happen. Max hasnt used the bottle since he was a newborn, and although he was all accepting the first day
  • decrease stimulation --> come to me when ready for a nap --> bottle fed cows milk, drowsy --> out like a light without bottle in mouth
Our current routine lately is this
  • meal with milk (could be breakfast and lunch with same milk in the cup as he doesnt drink but takes sips) --> decrease stimulation --> on/off coming to me ready for a nap for 15-45 minutes, sometimes with a lot of whining, but definitely a lot of refusing of milk from bottle, sippy cup, and straw cup just before sleeping time to woo him to sleep
Am i doing something wrong here? my goal is to cut off the association of fluids ---> sleep. by the way he acts, i get the impression that he doesn't really NEED that afternoon feed and that he's whining because he's just not ready to go to sleep and I'm lulling him to where he doesnt want to go. So, he does sleep i just need to watch for cues and not rely on the good ol' faster-route-boob to get him there. At some part of the day, he gets an entire 1-2oz of whole milk, but the rest of the days fluids are water. For a non-breastfeeding baby, according to the 'Toddler's First Steps' book by HealthCanada, 500cc of whole milk is an expectation, but im sure that this isn't the case for a part time breastfeeding baby.

Finally, my goal is to continue to breastfeed twice a day. DEFINTELY when i'm on my days off - wakeup and bedtime. But when i'm working
  • day shift --> dream feed before going to work, which may result in him waking up early (too bad for husband)
  • day shift --> dream feed after getting home and showering, hopefully he goes back to sleep right away
  • night shift --> feed before going to work, he must eat dinner first before this happens (which means everyone eats dinner earlier)
  • night shift --> feed once i get home after shower, and if he wakes up before i come home, then ill offer the breast regardless
  • husband will be offering a cup of whole milk before bed (at dinner, post dinner, bed time) and at wakeup time
  • i will pump if there's a missed feed, i dont care if im pumping for 10 minutes, i just want something to stimulate the brain that breastmilk is still needed
  • starting January 7th, husband is to practice this once-twice a week. Put Max to bed with no breastfeed and me nowhere in sight (this is the key to husband's success)
  • goal is to breastfeed until Max tell's me he is done
if anyone has feedback, please let me know!

3 comments:

  1. It sounds like you might have a few 'evenings out' coming up with your new plan!! I am betting that Max will adapt very nicely to having someone else do his night routine too. It's so good for dads to be able to get involved this way.

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  2. i had my first date with Gene today. Tied in going to the dentist (12pm) with a lunch date at 1pm. We dropped Max off at my mom's, well Gene dropped him off while i stayed in the car so he doesn't see me leave. After almost 2.5 hours, we picked him up and my mom said he didn't even cry! I think this is the beginning of a new normal!

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