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Friday, June 18, 2010

Trouble with Eating and Pumping

My girls who have been great eaters have now turned into horrible eaters over the last few weeks. Riley was my best eater girl and now she eats a bite or two of what we give her (and we give her several options) and then she just throws everything off her tray on the floor. I don't know what changed but both girls are eating less and refusing to eat the usual things that they normally love. Addison is eating a little better than Riley which is funny as the roles have changed. I don't know if this is a phase or they are looking for more food choices but I am worried that they are not getting enough food and just relying on being able to drink milk to fill up. The girls even love to eat what we are eating and I will give them a few bites and think we are on to something and as quickly as I turn around, the food is going on the floor again. Anyone have any advice for this, leave me a comment. We will try anything.

On to my next problem, I don't think I will make my 18 month pumping goal. I have suffered from a chronic thrush infection that comes and goes but it is usually around longer than it disappears. I have tried every remedy out there and I just can't give my nipples any relief. My left nipple is constantly cracked and bleeding. In an effort to shed my last 10 pounds, I joined the gym at work and started jogging on the treadmill. Now this is very uncomfortable when you are still lactating and even more uncomfortable when you have sore cracking nipples that rub on your sports bra when you run.

I feel like I have sacrificed a lot for my girls by pumping and giving them the best even though I wasn't able to breastfeed them much. I thought that dropping down to 2 pumps would make things easier and I would be able to coast to my 18 month goal, but now I realize that pumping just gets harder and harder each day. The pain is unreal and the time commitment takes its toll. I'm hoping I can start pumping for less time each session to mimic a baby that is weaning and I can stop pumping sooner rather than later.

I'm not 100% sure I am going to try to quit, but in my tired pain induced state, I can't see the reason to continue.


  1. I don't have any suggestions for eating because we haven't gotten there yet but Amy you are amazing to make it to 14 months for breast feeding. Your girls are doing so good because you have made the sacrifice for them! Don't let yourself feel like you didn't do a good job. There aren't many MoM's that would be able to pump, work full time, finish school and be a fantastic mommy to her babies!

  2. It may be a phase - they were a little over a year when it happened but there was a good week they didn't want much of anything. Sometimes we get better results if they see it come off our plate but doesn't work all the time. I don't feel too bad if they're drinking enough milk.

    Good luck on the pumping decision -either way you've done so well up unto this point but no good if you're in pain.

  3. I totally agree with Kari, you've done an AMAZING job to make it this far with breastfeeding. I breastfed my girls to 12 months and then switched completely to whole milk and though it was a struggle, it was what was best for us. Breastfeeding twins is HARD and you've made a world of difference for them. You just have to do what is best for you and the girls without feeling pressure or guilt.

    As for eating, my girls are 15 months and we have had several bouts of picky eating. It kind of comes and goes. We go through spurts where they are great eaters and other days when nothing at all (even the usual favorites) will make it into their mouths. I just keep offering them things and then after awhile the meal is over and they've eaten what they've eaten. It always seems to pick back up the next day or a few days later. It seems like it usually comes when they're overtired, teething or not feeling very well.

    Good luck to you and your BEAUTIFUL girls!!

  4. You don't have any reason to feel badly - you've done an amazing thing going this long! While breastmilk is always a bonus, at this point, the girls really don't NEED it to thrive, and you would in no way be depriving them. I think you do have to take care of yourself! I'm sorry you are having so many issues with your nipples - did you ever try Newman's Nipple Cream? That was the best for me - I had to get it mixed at the apothecary, but the combo anti-fungal/antibacterial/cortisone cream was the ONLY thing that worked for me, and I lived on it the entire time I pumped.

    As for the food - unfortunately, I believe it is normal. We're struggling with that with Micah, and I wish I could tell you it gets better - it is getting worse for us. My formerly wonderful eater who would eat anything doesn't eat much. I was told that toddlers eat much less than babies.

    The few tips I was given - limit how much milk every day, and try to give food FIRST before milk. I was told to aim for 16 ozs of milk, and absolutely no more than 24. If he was not eating much, I was told to stick with the 16, try to get him to eat other things (and yogurt/cheese for other sources of calcium) and not aim for 24 ozs. We usually give him 18-20 ozs a day, but every once in a while he gets more.

    I try to get him 2 good meals a day. If he doesn't eat much at a meal, I try to give him a heartier snack (like yogurt or cheese). Some days, he'll have a huge breakfast - eggs, cheese, cereal, fruit, and other days (like today) he'll have 3 bites of banana and a handful of cereal. I try and give him 2 kinds of protein a day, and he eats lots of fruit. I give him those veggie pouches a few times a week, and other than that - I just hope he eats!

    Try not to let it frustrate you - just keep exposing them to options and they'll eat if they are hungry! - Tkeys

  5. I follow your blog b/c your story is VERY similar to what I went through with my twin girls. They were born at 31 weeks and were in the hospital for 4.5 weeks. My girls are now 14 months old (1 year adjusted last week) and they LOVE LOVE LOVE milk also. I agree with the post above about limiting their milk to 16-18 oz a day to get them to eat more. I no longer give the girls an afternoon bottle...they have an 8 oz bottle in the morning and before bed (of whole milk). They had a hard time giving up their afternoon bottle but I do offer them some milk in a sippy but they dont always drink that much (we are struggling with giving up bottles to switch over to sippy cups!). I would have to say with the eating just start offering them a lot of different varieties. My girls love ALL kinds of foods and they do get bored with the same old stuff so I have to constantly switch around what I am giving them and that seems to help. They are definitely becoming a little more picky and throw stuff off of their trays but I continue to offer them a variety of stuff and they seem to like to try new things.

    As for the pumping....all I can say is BEEN there with the thrush! I had a couple month bout of thrush when the girls were first born and the only thing that got rid of it finally for me was Newmans Nipple Ointment (explained in the above post) and Diflucan together. That was finally what did it for me! I was able to breastfeed the girls once my thrush was finally gone and once they were strictly on the breast and I was only pumping once at night the thrush never came back. I have heard that pumping actually makes the thrush worse...which is so disheartening and that is why I really worked hard at getting the girls on the breast at that point. You have done SO incredibly well with your pumping and do not for a second feel guilty about quitting. I had a really hard time when I weaned the girls a few months back b/c I missed breastfeeding but they were weaning themselves so it was time to stop. I slowly started nursing them less and less and for about a week I would nurse them only once a day to help with the engorgement and then finally I just stopped. I still havent completely dried up yet but I hear it takes a while. Good luck with it. You have done a great job!