The Great Breastmilk Crisis of 2019

September 25, 2019

I've hit an odd snag that I can't problem solve my way out of. I haven't solved this issue and almost doubt I will, but I mainly want to write this as encouragement to another mama. I know someone else out there is dealing with this. 

We moved recently. 

While I surely did not see this coming, it knocked my milk supply to absolute nothing. 

I went from pumping 8oz bottles and having to change them out to continue pumping at work. Before school got out for summer I was storing two days worth of milk every single week. Seriously, by Wednesday I had pumped what I needed for the week and everything else was storage. 

Then it all went south. I think stopping pumping during the summer doesn't help, but then the stress summer brought only increased the issue. 

We went camping, to the beach with my parents, Jeremy went to Brazil and we had a hurricane at the same time. Shortly after that we come to Alabama for the first time to meet the church we are now serving at. 

It was busy. 

Some aspects of the stress were positive, seeing your husband finally answer a call to ministry. That's not a negative stress, but it's still a stress. And if you know anything about nursing EVERYTHING on this blessed earth can effect your milk supply. 

We had to learn a new routine, leave the kids sitter that I trust more than anyone, and I had to find a new job. Teacher reciprocity is a pill I'm still procrastinating on and tenure in this state is stressful to think about. My new job added stress I wasn't mentally prepared for. I came from a school where I knew the routine, knew where and when to pump, and I had a principal that supported me in this and made sure I knew where and what to do. 

Since we moved at roughly 3 months left in pumping at work I didn't put up the fight for breastfeeding rights I normally would. I was left with pumping in my room but worse off, a really stressful teaching year. 

I couldn't let down. 

Some days I'd get less than an ounce when I pumped. All due to stress. 

Once, absolutely once, I pumped a full bottle. That's the one in the picture. 

I've taken every supplement known to man, watched my macros, guzzled nursing tea daily, I've just done it all. I can't figure out what else to do. 

So I gave up. 

Elliot will be 11 months old in five days and he wasn't sleeping through the night. On top of that he's more interested in playing with Harrison than nursing. So we night weaned. 

Then I got back to work and pumped Monday. As I made it into the cafeteria to finally sit down and eat I took one bite of food to find the time had passed and the grade level was leaving. 

I couldn't do it anymore y'all. Walking and eating, stressing over pumped milk, hoping no one unlocked the door to my classroom because I didn't have a hiding place for pumping. 

I quit pumping. 

He's taking the milk I had stored before school let out in May to the sitter and after that he's down to just morning and night nursing. 

How does one go from this power pumper who's donating milk to dried up? 


So mama's, don't make yourself crazy. I've gone back and forth with this for a few weeks and finally pulled the plug. Mom's on Call has him scheduled to only nurse twice a day and he's been getting 3 (4 with night) so it was time to quit making myself crazy and pull the plug. 

Hopefully when I have, if I have, a 3rd baby I'll be less stressed. I also think I'll keep up the pumping even during the summer. That seems to be hard to recover from. 

Anyone else? What's been your experience with nursing and pumping under stress?