Baby Hints & Tips

Exhausted with exclusive expressing

exhausted-expressingI have had to express fulltime since day 2 of my dd birth (currently 8w old). I have a good pump and decent supply but the whole process is becoming very exhausting. I feel I am missing out on spending time with her, I can not relax and just enjoy being with her and hold her because I am constantly thinking about having to express next (6 in 24h). I do want to keep going and I take it week by week for now but the wanting to give up and go to formula is getting stronger, but I don’t want to stop and then regret my decision. So my question is have you stopped expressing and been happy with your decision or have you looked back and wished you had kept going? And have you found it has allowed you more time to spend with bub (and a little extra sleep )? I would love to hear from mums that have BEEN in this situation.

  • I did and never regretted it. More sleep, happier bub, less stress. I was very happy with my decision. But remember only you can decide. Ingrid
  • I was in the exact same situation. It took up so much time, and like you, took time away from special time with my baby. People will make you feel so guilty for switching to formula. I was in tears at times from the hurtful things people said but in the end what matters is that your baby is fed and full. Switching to formula was the best thing ever. She was so content, I was less stressed and we had a lot more time together. Linda
  • Keep up the good work!! Keep reminding yourself: you won’t always have to express every 4 hours. I can proudly say I expressed for 14 months. It was hard, time consuming and at times exhausting but I never gave up. I knew it was the best thing for her and I’m fairly chuffed with my effort. As time goes on it won’t take as long to express either. I found a double electric pump helped immensely- I could eat/ drink at the same time! Perfect for lunch breaks at work. You can lay bub next to you and sing/ talk to her while expressing so you’re still spending time with her. Jade
  • I had to exclusively express for 4 months with my daughter. She was born with lots of health issues and wouldn’t feed by mouth so she was tube fed. It is very very daunting. After a while it just became a part of my every day life. At 4 months old she started breastfeeding and we still are at 1 year old. And just in time. I ran out of milk and was going to start formula but decided to give breastfeeding a go and she latched. You do what you think is best for both you and bub. A happy mum makes a happy baby. Paige
  • Due to flat nipples I was having to use a nipple shield to feed my DD from day 1. After about 2 weeks I found she was becoming very windy, was constantly unsettled and was not drinking enough as she had to work hard for the milk. So I decided to exclusively pump for every feed.. I brought a pump and when that wasn’t quick enough I hired a hospital grade pump from the ABA.. I felt that I was constantly hooked to a breast pump, I could not go out as I had to express for the next feed and found that I was unable to build a stock pile up in the fridge. The entire experience was getting me down. That’s when I decided to switch to formula. It was the best decision that I made!!! dD calmed down, stopped being windy and started to sleep longer periods…Don’t feel guilty.. There is so much influence on breast is best but if it is effecting the mental state of the mother then best is NOT best. Every situation different. Formula is not going to damage the baby.. Good luck and follow your instincts. Samantha
  • I’ve been exactly where your at with my 11mth old. I was told some really amazing advice. The fact that you have given your baby even 6 weeks of breast milk is an amazing start. And sure the longer you go the better for bub. Physically. However. Bub also needs to bond with you. The way i saw it was i gave my lil man 4 mnths of feed and my urge to swap to formula got really strong but so did my guilt of “quitting”. Eventually i figured my lil man is not going to notice the difference of what is in his bottle… But he will notice me being there more. Dee
  • I have been expressing & bottle feeding bub since she was 3wks old, she is now just over 6months old. At around 3months I was realllly over it… felt it was taking time, difficult to fit around what I wanted to do etc etc, was just becoming a pain.. but I didn’t quite feel ready to stop ( I had originally hoped to breastfeed til at LEAST 6months if not more, since that didn’t work, kind of wanted to give her breast milk that long) anyway, I stuck with it and it got easier again and haven’t felt that way the last few months. In a good routine and still able to manage. Nicole
  • I never regreted going onto formula as I felt exactly what you are feeling. It gave me more time to enjoy bubs and in turn we connected so much more. I was a complete mess before switching to formula. Look we all want to breastfeed but if it is taking away that special time between you and bubs it’s not worth it because you can’t get that time back! Do what you think is right, go with your gut…A happy mum is a happy bub!!!!! Melissa
  • I exclusively express for my 4 month old and have done so since birth. You are not alone when you say that it is exhausting. I have certainly had my ups and downs emotionally about continuing with expressing. It is time consuming and certainly does impact on time spent with baby. I look forward to the day I no longer have to pump BUT for the time being, I have a good supply and my baby is thriving and settled on EBM. I have come to the conclusion that while ever I have milk I will give it to bub. I feel guilty about weaning…..If you had told me 4 months ago that I would still be expressing for my baby I don’t think I would have believed you. I think for me, the whole process has somehow gotten easier…maybe I am more relaxed about it, bub sleeps through now so I have stopped pumping overnight and still have a good supply. I also continue with pumping because I am very aware that I am one of the lucky ones, I have a good supply and have been able to maintain it without resorting to drugs etc. Good luck. Hang on there if you can but don’t beat yourself up if you cant. I am a midwife of 14 years but I have developed a whole new appreciation for the exclusively expressing mum! Sarah
  • Expressed for 14 weeks with my first.. Felt exactly the same as you – completely exhausted! Switched to formula – happy baby and very happy Mumma. Enjoyed every minute of my baby and we all slept and everything seemed to fall into place.She is almost 4 – perfectly healthy and you cannot tell the difference between her and the breastfed kids!! Breast is sometimes NOT always best. Do what is right for you and your baby.. Megan
  • I was in the same situation. I found that I was more upset and frustrated trying to express. I was exhausted and every time I was expressing I was crying. I also couldn’t keep up with her feeds even though I was pumping ahead. I was slowly detaching from her because I was so upset, I would pump for an hour on my right and only get 30mls yet on my left I could get 90ml in 15-20 mins. I talked to my midwives and they said if you feel that it’s more of a job and it’s hurting you emotionally than either mix feed or formula feed. At the end of the day you should be happy too. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to breast feed. You don’t walk into a room and say oh that kid was formula fed and that kid was breast fed. Yes breastfeeding has it’s benefits but do what works for you Hun. Keep your chin up and don’t let others make you feel guilty or upset that you formula feed because your doing the best job you can and your being a great mum. Krystal
  • I gave up at 2 weeks. I was expressing every 3hrs and still wasn’t getting more than a few drops. Was told to keep going, it’s best for her, take drugs it will come in eventually etc etc etc…. But expressing, using bottles of formula, storage, washing etc… I hated every minute. I hated feeding my daughter, i could never relax and I resented her and pretty much everything. And my goodness I do NOT regret it for a minute. Bit different because I still had no milk when I gave up but it felt like a weight had been lifted. And my daughter at 17wks is the happiest bub. Personally, breast is best…. But formula is just as good. You cannot tell at 21 which kids were breastfed or not!! Michelle
  • That was me all over with my first!! I stopped expressing at 8 weeks and didn’t look back!! It sucked because I had a huge supply but the time I got back for my baby and myself definately outweighed the guilt I felt for stopping. If you are happy, your baby is too! No matter how they’re fed! Kaylene
  • I hear you totally. I pushed through and went for 7 months. BUT, looking back now, I’m not sure that it was the right thing to do. The constant stress and pressure you’re describing – always thinking of next pump, always stressing that there was enough milk… The lesson I have learned is that your own mental health and wellbeing should be put first. If you are beside yourself expressing and it’s damaging your feelings of closeness with your baby then please pat yourself on the back, knowing you are an absolute hero for going as long as you have, and start the formula. Even if you mixed feed – care for yourself and in turn that really is the best way to care for your baby. Good job mumma xx Meneesha
  • There’s many mental issues women face in breastfeeding, it’s not always about supply problems. I found it weird and uncomfortable, I was bullied about it in hospital and had my babies head shoved repeatedly into my sore and bleeding boobs… also often women are not the primary carers and therefore cannot be attached to the baby at all times, so pumping is the solution. Also, for some with inverted or flat nipples it can be the only way it actually works. Michelle
  • My baby is 14 wks and I believe I expressed for the last time this morn. I breast fed my son til 14 months so I’m disappointed that I didn’t feed for as long this time- but I am at peace with the decision to stop- we started introducing formula at 8 wks and is was gradual- my supply dropped as we supplemented. I don’t think the expressing increased my supply like actual feeding did. At the end of the day I feel More relaxed and like I have a lot more time without constantly thinking about expressing. I can also go places without having to worry about getting home to express. Do what you feel ok with. Annelie
  • Your doing a great job. It’s not easy trying to express and feed. I’ve been doing the same. My boy is 8 weeks today. I’ve been expressing since week 2 due to latching issues and split nipples from it. First I had a madela swing but was taking over an hour to express both boobs in the end. I then got mastitis and my milk supply dropped to just enough express for next feed. I purchased the madela double swing then with the expressing bra which has made it easier to do things while expressing. Took weleda nursing tea to bring back my supply. I have a huge supply now 4 feeds ahead of him. I only express 2 times at night and 2-3 times during the day. That hasn’t affected my supply at all but gives me more time with my baby. I saw a lactation consultant this week and turns out my boy has a tongue tie which is why he couldn’t latch. Once he has a little procedure to snip his tongue tie I will try breastfeeding again. I can totally understand the giving up. I have felt that heaps too. Only you can decide what to do but remember that you are incredibly strong to go for 8 weeks. No one really knows how hard that is unless they have done it themselves. Good luck with your decision either way. Sharon
  • I also expressed and bottle fed. It made me so upset to think about stopping as I had wanted to breastfeed so badly. I ended up deciding to stop at 5 months as my supply was dropping and it was so much better. I could actually enjoy spending time with my bub, could take her out without having to worry about expressing and was so much more relaxed and happy. Next bub is due in September and if breastfeeding doesn’t work this time I will not be expressing for as long as I did. Jacqui
  • I expressed for the first 8 weeks due to latching issues … I felt like a cow and then after having mastitis milk supply dropped and had to go to formula. My boy is now a healthy and strong 11 month old. You are doing the best you can yes breast milk is good for babies but so is formula. Once I had stopped expressing I was able to enjoy my little one rather than sitting in an armchair attached to a machine .. You do what is not only best for baby but what is best for you. Yes I look back and wish that he was able to actually take the breast but there is nothing you can do to change that.. Good luck you will know what is right for both you and bubs. Sarah
  • I exclusively express (since week 2) trust me it does get better! After the 12 week mark you can start dropping pumps.. At 5.5 months I am doing 4 pumps a day and in the next wesk will be dropping to 3. If you do decide to keep going start by dropping the middle of the night pumps and you will feel so much better! Also buy a hands free bra. If you do decide to stop you have done what’s best for you and your family. Tarin
  • I exclusively expressed from day 6 when my milk finally came in it definitely is exhausting and ur doing an amazing job. I made it to 6 months and after the 12 wk/3 months mark it gets so much easier, less pumps, bubba gets better at playing etc. I do still feel occasional guilt that I didn’t keep going to 12 months but it’s very taxing as it is my lo has just finished the breast milk I had frozen at 9 months, since 6 months she had half formula, half breast milk. An option is to slowly add formula bottles in to take the pressure off you a little. Feel free to pm me if you have any q’s, it can be a lonely road at times. Erin
  • I assume that your LO had attachment issues, hence the expressing. Have you seen a lactation consultant about it? They might help. Sorry can’t give better help. Beth
  • I exclusively expressed for 12 weeks with my little one, then transitioned to formula over an additional 4 weeks. Stopped in the end because she slept thru the night from 8 weeks, but I was having to get up a couple of times to express…seemed crazy! I tried to go thru the night, but ended up with mastitis. I never looked back once we went to formula, although I gradually replaced the bm over about a month. I definitely got more time with her. I found I rarely got to feed & snuggle because hubby was doing that, while I was stuck on the breast pump. My daughter loved the formula just as much as my milk (much to my initial irritation!) so transitioning was easy. Whatever you decide, congratulations on making 8 weeks! Not many people understand how much extra work it is to exclusively pump. Tracy
  • I expressed for the first couple weeks as my girl had trouble latching, I now breast feed when I’m at home, express when we go out & I also use formula twice a day for top ups. I don’t keep to a routine with expressing… If I don’t have time, I don’t worry about it… If I need extra sleep at night, I grab a bottle of expressed milk, feed her, then back to sleep… I only express at night if I start to get uncomfortable. Just do what you and your body feels comfortable doing. It’s your decision at the end of the day! Good luck! Stef
  • I know you wanted to hear from mums who have been in your situation so I hope you don’t mind me butting in! My situation was different to yours but i used formula. I knew even before I got pregnant that I would not be able to breastfeed so my son was a formula baby right from the start & he is a happy healthy smart & honestly the most gorgeous toddler ever! While all we tend to hear about is breast is best there are some advantages to formula & because of my situation I liked to remind myself of them. It’s less stressful so you have more time & energy to focus on your bub and dad can get in & bond with baby during feeding – and you can get some rest at the same time! It’s nice to be able to know exactly how much your baby is having each feed. My advise is to do what’s right for your family & enjoy your baby:) Aster
  • I exclusively expressed for my daughter till she was 11 weeks old. She wouldn’t attach properly as she was premmie so I tried this. But you’re right it’s exhausting – esp when you need to do it after feeding in the middle of the night & my girl was never a great sleeper! I kept doing it until I got mastitis, after the 3rd round of mastitis (I didn’t use antibiotics first 2 times as I didn’t want give my baby an upset stomach) & being in such excruciating pain I decided to spot as I wasn’t getting any sleep and couldn’t rest when she was as I had to express & that took up to an hour etc and as I kept getting mastitis I thought enough is enough. I tried hard to do it but I couldn’t go on. I slowly introduced her to formula, was hard to find one that suited her and once I found aptamil gold plus I realised it was a good move. She got breast milk for the first few months & that was a hard slog but it benefited her I hope so I didn’t feel guilty changing her to formula as it was too hard for me. Sure I wanted her bf till 12 months but unfortunately we all can’t do it for that long so I’m happy with the time I was able to express. Good luck – do what’s best for you & baby & not what society pressures you to do. X Jessica
  • I was in that situation, I wanted to BF so desperately before I had my lo but when he came along with complications he wasn’t able to try BF for the first week and a half. Once we started he wasn’t able to feed regularly enough to get the hang of it because he was too weak so was nasal gastric fed for half of feeds, so I continued to express and bottle feed, try BF and tube feed. I also had a good supply but I felt exhausted with expressing and bottle feeding, tube etc.. I felt that I was always so tired from the process as by the time I nappy changed, bottle fed and then expressed I was back to the start again. So I really understand how you are feeling, I felt an overwhelming pressure from the health nurse dietitian etc… To BF or express feed. But the most amount of guilt came from myself I was feeling so ashamed and upset at myself that I wasn’t trying my best, but I luckily had my sister mum of 2 who BF both her bubs say to me. If breast feeding is easy and a bonding experience for you and your bubs then yeh she’s pro BF but if your stressed and bubs is unsettled and your missing out on time with him I’m pro your and his mental health more. And once I thought that I was able to make the best decision I made for US and I haven’t looked back, I continued to express for a week longer to increase storage. I had enough milk for him to make it to 3 months with my freezer storage, and then I put him on formula. So here’s my advice mumma, be kind to yourself, have a fresh mind when your making any decisions, do what’s right for you and your baby, never let anyone make you feel less of a great mum for what you decide, and try and find a support person you can talk to about your feelings (I’m happy to talk if you need someone). I immediately felt I had more time to share with my gorgeous little guy and was thankful I made the decision just for consistency and some mental/physical rest. Thinking of you your doing a great job xoxoxo Natasha
  • I exclusively expressed for one of my twins. I managed about 8wks with him before deciding to move him to formula feeds. I had been ebf his twin brother as well and made the very difficult decision to also move him to formula a few weeks later as my mental health was suffering from the pressure I was putting on myself to bf them. At the time, moving to formula was the right thing to do for all of us. Yes, looking back I did regret not pushing through and continuing to express for him and ebf his twin but at the time I couldn’t do it anymore (mentally not physically). One thing I can see now with the benefit of hindsight (and having had another baby) is that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can easily continue to express and also offer some formula feeds if that will help with your exhaustion. All too often we beat ourselves up about what we ‘should’ be doing but in the end you must do what is right for you at that specific moment in time. Even just giving one formula feed a day may be enough to ease that pressure on yourself. Good luck and remember to celebrate the fact that you have manage to express for every feed for 8 weeks. Expressing is much more work than people realise. Stand tall and be proud of your achievement. If you decide that formula is the way to go or a mix of both ebm and formula then do it. A happy mum = happy baby. As long as their belly is full and they have lots of cuddles and feel loved then that is all a baby wants. Nicole
  • I struggled to bf for 6 months but persisted with mixed bf and expressing and bottle feeding. At 6 months my son finally got it and we fed well for 2 months. Then at 8 months he refused the breast completely and I exclusively expressed for 4 months. By the end of it I was exhausted and over it. Part of me is really proud that I made it to 12 months and another part of me thinks I was crazy for continuing. Could you maybe do mix feeding to give yourself a bit if a break? Mel
  • I did same, my LO had expressed breast milk till just over a month. I worked myself up so much that I couldn’t breast feed her, and didn’t help that the hospital is so against formula. I tried breast feeding and when I finally decided to just express it made me so much happier to have made the decision, then same as you expressing was becoming too much. A few people told me what a great job I was doing with expressing, as it is a lot more work, and to have not just given up when I was unable to breast feed normally, I have still given her a great start to her life. It was a very hard decision to stop but the best one for both of us. Formula has made everyone happier it is ur decision and don’t let anyone make you feel bad, you are doing a great job having gone this far, and those people who have made it to 6 months, all I can say is wow you are amazing haha Victoria
  • I pumped for my first for 6 months, it gets easier. I would have three bottle in the fridge. And I would feed a bottle, pump a bottle. And any extra milk went into the freezer. Tho it would only take me 10 mins to full a bottle and that was with a hand pump. Jasmine
  • Bub was expressed fed from the start. I too found it very tiring and had little time to do anything else. At 6 weeks hubby made the call to exclusively formula feed. I struggled for a long time with the thought if it and thought I would be letting my son down. It is the best decision we made, our boy started sleeping straight through and has been a very healthy, happy little guy. He is now 1 and loves his formula feeds. Jayme
  • I have with my first child I expressed till he was 5mths old because of mummy guilt and because he had medical issues from birth so double guilt it is hard with him I totally regretted giving up on it and also grateful I did. With my second I only breast feed for 4 weeks and switched to formula and haven’t regretted it since I’m enjoying my little one this time where as before alls I could think about was expressing next and how exhausting it all was. Kelly
  • I did everything I could to breastfed for as long as possible. I was sad to give up, but I expressed every three hours for months. I didn’t have the time and went partly to formula. It’s sad not to be able to parent the way we want to, but you have to do the best parenting you can. If you’ve done your best and now it’s time to move on, then reward yourself for doing your best and look at the positives of moving forward. Kylie
  • I had this as my daughter refused to bf from 3 months. I expressed every feed for just over a month and felt the same way as you. It felt like that was all I was doing. Once she hit 4 months I switched her over to formula and I felt so much better and she slept better so it was a win win, And I was able to spend all my time with her instead of expressing or sterilising or washing etc. I do believe you have to make whatever decision is best for you. Cara
  • I dont regret stopping. Best thing I ever did. I can enjoy my daughter which is more important. My supply also was very poor so it was the best decision for us. Do whats best for you and bubba. For me, I enjoy being a mum now. I love the extra sleep and my partner can feed bub for me so I can sleep/get out and do the shopping etc. Cause pumping/breastfeeding was a huge pain in the backside for me and formula was best for us. Caitlin
  • i was in the same situation and was tossing up whether to switch to formula or not (despite negative opinions) and i ended up just doing itwhen she was 3 and a half months and i was SO much more relaxed, my daughter seemed happier l, it was easier and more convenient and we both got a lot more sleep. sometimes i think about if i should have kept breastfeedong but i remember how stressed it was making me! i would recommend doing it if its stressing you out. Jade
  • Me and my partner got to the point of being tired and fighting all the time but i didnt want to stop breast feeding so i mix feed still tired but the 3 of us are a little happier. Hayley
  • Oh dear lord I hear you! My girl (now 22months) never managed to latch so I expressed. Not only was I exhausted from expressing, what with the actual act of, plus all the washing and sterilising, keeping up with rotating stock, storing it, then everything else a patent needs to do, but I started to feel really disconnected from my baby, as I also had issues with everyone else feeding her. At 8 weeks I decided to switch to formula, and I never looked back. I cried the whole day before I switched, grappling with the decision (am I being a bad, selfish mother?), but it all worked out for the best as I finally managed to relax and enjoy her fully. Maybe if you wanted you could try mix feeding, slowing down on your expressing and see how you go? You can always get the big supply back if you decide it’s not for you:) I wish you the very best, and hope you find peace of mind with whatever you decide is best for you and your babe. Trace
  • I expressed from when bub was 5 weeks due to infections as it was too painful to feed him. After a few weeks I started introducing formula for a few feeds as my supply dropped. I wound up expressing until my milk dried up when he was 3 months. He’s now almost 6 months and thriving. I do at times miss feeding him but ultimately we are all much happier now I’m not expressing round the clock and I’m happy knowing he got breast milk for at least his first few months. Just do what’s right for you. I’ve had a few people tell me I should be breastfeeding, but for my son and I it didn’t work out. If I have another bub in the future I will happily try again though. Expressing is hard work and you’ve done a fantastic job to keep it up as long you have! If you want to make the switch maybe just do it gradually to give yourself a bit more time with bub. Beth
  • I was the same I pushed my self an kept going then finally gave up when she was 4 months. I felt a little guilty but it was so much easier I was happier an less stressed so the good out weighed the bad. Lauren
  • I know EXACTLY how you feel. I expressed from a few days old til 5 months, but the last 2 months were a daily battle of if I was going to continue. I thought I’d regret it heaps as there is such a push to breastfeed and I know that it is better. But as of the day I stopped, it has been a lot easier. DD is now 15 months and I haven’t regretted it. I get so much more time to bond with her and my husband. What you have done is already amazing so be content in either decision. I have bub #2 due next week and I’d do it all again if I had to. But there are thousands of babies who never get breast milk and they are fine. Feel free to pm me if you need. Alicia
  • I exclusively expressed for 3 months. Ultimately I felt the same as you. I was exhausted and felt like I wasn’t enjoying my baby. I would be so tired after expressing that hubby was doing all the actual feedings when he was home. I decided to switch to formula. I don’t regret my decision at all. I loved the snuggles I got during feeding time, I got more sleep and my baby thrived. I found it much easier to bond with babe after I switched to formula bc pumping wasn’t constantly on my mind. Olivia
  • I had different problems with each of my babies with breast feeding but it was affecting me mentally and emotionally. The day I decided to go formula was the best ever. To me mental health is so important and my relationship with my babies was suffering because of breastfeeding. But of a no brainer for me! But you have to decide not to let anyone make you feel guilty for that x Lisa
  • Totally hear you. Felt like I was missing out and I also a 3yr old that I felt I was neglecting cause was I always about too or breast feed my baby. Stuck it out till 4 months and now am mix feeding. Best thing I ever did. No more lumps no more blocked ducts more time to do things. Best decision I ever made. Chauie
  • I have never been in your situation however as a Mummy of 6 who is currently ebf but has ff as well. Please please please do what feels right for you. Do Not feel the slightest guilt for ff. A baby needs love and food no matter whether formula or breast. As long as you are both happy and healthy that is all that matters. There is no reason you can’t do both. To free up some time to just soak in your beautiful baby Best wishes. Kellie
  • I have been exclusively pumping for 3 months for my 6 months old. she’s had latching issues from birth then started losing weight at 3 months. I saw an amazing LC and found out she had a posterior tongue tie (the one that cannot be snipped) Yes it is exhausting, yes you do constantly have to think about having to express. It is hard to leave home and when we do go out I either take a pump with me or rush home early. I am not going to formula yet but regardless of what I do you have to do do what feels right. a happy mum is above all THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR. Exclusively pumping is yard yakka and you have done an amazing job. personally for me the first month was hard and juggling baby and my 3 yr old was incredible exhausting and stressful. since then things have gotten easier and I have a few suggestions that may help 1.Get a dual pump that is hospital grade (takes 15 mins to pump both sides) 2. pump as soon as your baby is put down to sleep so it doesn’t cut into your bonding time 3. if these things still aren’t helping your state of mind cut down to 3 pumps a day and if it is still causing your stress keep dropping feeds till your little one is on all formula. The choice yours and you and do it slowly. follow your gut. Mary
  • I had this idea when I was pregnant that I would express milk and feed her that way but it all got too hard and I was too lazy to do it all the time. She is 10 months now and I started to wean her onto soy formula. I’m still pumping now though because I’m not totally sold on this formula fed thing. So at present she’s mix fed while I’m trying to get my supply back up. Formula does seem to be the easier way though! Esp. At 2am! Carly
  • I EBF early on after I found BF too painful (split nipple) and I liked knowing the exact quantity DD was receiving. Initially I had at least 1.5 feeds available at the end of any one feed, so there was not the urgency of “having” to pump before the next feed. Then DD awoke early in the cycle screaming – and the Nurse (I was still in hospital after the c-section) told me she was hungry and (with my permission) gave her my whole stash. Once she was asleep I started to pump, I split the other nipple so the milk had blood in it. Thinking I had always had plenty I simply threw it down the sink – then I barely got any, from either side. I started “chasing the dragon” as I called it – and the less I was getting the more stressed I was becoming. Bub went on 100% formula the next day (having never had it before). The anxiety lifted. I didn’t have to worry when I knew a feed was due, other people could have her visit or stay without me needing to have enough. I have never looked back. I am currently 20 weeks with #2 and while I may express for the first few days bub will have formula from the first day. Whatever works for you, I found expressing to be the best of both worlds for her, and the worse of it for me – I was leaking and panicking and still didn’t get the skin contact or her “looking up at me” while she fed. You can always mix feed – express 2-3 feeds and have formula on the others that way there’s less pressure/time needed to express, while bub still gets breast milk – it may also allow you to reintroduce breast feeds after a few days if formula is not working for you. For me, I knew my baby was being well fed and I was far less stressed, which was better for everyone (including my husband) – but bub was only 8 days old when I switched, it wasn’t a routine I was well adjusted to anyway. Trust your instincts. I have never been able to look at a child, of any age, and know how they were being fed – just whether or not they were loved and being well looked after.Good luck – and Mummy, you’re doing a good job. Sarah
  • I expressed for twin boys until they were 5 months old. We were on a plane and they went nuts, didn’t want to suck anything, so I took my top off, hubby put a blankie over me and I forced my boys onto my boobs (might have been to smother the screaming, come to think of it). They both latched on! My life changed! It was soooo easy from that day on. What kept me going, was the possibility that they might latch the next day or the next or the next. If I didn’t have that, I would’ve gone to formula without a doubt!!! Anrie
  • My bub was 2 months early and I expressed every 3 hours then took it to the hospital and tube fed her. It was an exhausting process that I managed to keep up for a month and a half. I had a poor milk supply so she was topped up with formula as well. I really wanted to breast feed her which I did do for the last 3 weeks but she was still topped up with tube feeds but in the end after many tears we went to formula which actually turned out to be so much better. She’s thriving and the stress is all gone so feeding times are happy and case free. Kelly
  • In my personal experience I struggled with breast feeding and expressing so much and I really didn’t enjoy any of it and it made me uncomfortable and stressed! I persisted for a month or more with my first 2 children before going to formula, which I found such a more relaxed and enjoyable experience I then went straight to formula with my third and fourth children and have not regretted it at all! For me it was the best decision I made You’ve done an amazing job persisting as long as you can and the most important thing is for you to enjoy your bub and both to be happy and content. Sarah
  • I have ebf for 5 months . At first I felt like it took me away from my son , but now he is older I put him in his jolly jumper or play mat next to me and we chat and sing and I take him for a walk in a sling to have that closeness . I don’t regret giving him the best start I could – I also joined a Facebook page ‘ milk meg ‘ for encouragement . Xxx it’s hard but worth it in my mind. Kirsty
  • I struggled to stop pumping and kept pushing the date back. When I finally stopped and realised formula is great and so is spending time with my bub I was so happy I did it. If I could go back I would of stopped sooner. If you feel you want to stop then you should. Happy mum happy bub! Karina
  • I expressed exclusively for 5 1/2 months. I would have my lo on the pillow on the bed beside me while I expressed, I’d sometimes play music on my phone and sing to her, sometimes if she was unsettled it was not unknown for me to dance while expressing haha! Is your pump an electric double pump? This is what I had and it took 15 mins to express my milk, doing both sides at the same time was a god send! I did feel guilt after stopping but it was getting harder to do with the 4 hr drives we had to make. I say don’t give up persevere! You’ll get there. But in saying that formula is not bad for your bub. Robyn
  • I express fed my son until he was 6 months, only breastfed for top ups and night feeds to relieve the pressure. I feel your pain, expressing is so time consuming, when you’ve finished it’s like you wash the pump only to start all over again. I decided to push through and so glad I did, everything in the world is so processed and artificial now days but I gave my son the very best start I could. Either way, You’ve already done an amazing job. My advise is express for as long as you physically can, it’s a pain in the bum but is so rewarding. This time round I have purchased a double pump so it will take half the time. Mel
  • I’m breast feeding my 11 week old son but do formula of a night before bed and sleeps all night but thru the I have to get up and express coz I’m to full but u should do what’s best for u and ur baby. Jess
  • Expressing is HARD work! I did it for 5 months but never again. Formula was fine. I didn’t regret my decision & YES HEAPS more time for you & bubs. Spend 15 minutes once a night cleaning bottles & preparing them in advance saves you endless hours of pumping. Store them in your fridge & grab them out as you need them! Best of luck. Juliette
  • I have done the same, with my 2 kids. I could never get them attached properly. I cried when i couldnt feed my 1st, but my sister calmed me, and of course formula us fine. I expressed with my 1st for 3wks, and then dried up, she had surgery and i lost supply with stress. The 2nd i got 2 7wks, and was exhausted, she was also lactose intolerant. She was feeding 2hrly alot, so i was attached 2 my pump constantly, expressing onight as well. Hubby did help when he could, but it was all 2 much. It is a v personnel choice, and i did feel judged at times bottle feeding in public, but bugger them! I think u have done an amazing job expressing this long, follow ur heart, and ur sanity! Gd luck oxox ps so nice 2 read so many have expressed/bottle fed, i felt quite isolated for awhile. Merridee
  • I was breastfeeding my done til about the same time as you as I totally agree it was exhausting and I never felt like I was bonding with him coz he kept nuzzling me for more food. I has to change to formula due to a medical thing that I had to do that made breast milk bad. I still kept pumping and dumping for the month during treatment. I tried to go back but ended up with low supply. Baby was perfectly happy for the month that I was bottle feeding him and sleeping like a dream and I for cuddles without the whinging and grunting!! In the long run we were both happy and he is incredibly settled. Do what’s best for both you and bubs. Happy mum = happy baby. Sarah
  • My daughter had attachment issues, so for the first week of her life I expressed and cup fed her. It was exhausting, I missed out on my son and I missed out on enjoying time with her. So I gave up. And regretted it immediately. She is now 4 weeks old and I am working with a lactation consultant who is helping me build my supply back up after spending the last two weeks getting my daughters tongue and lip issues sorted to help her attach. It is still frustrating, it is still exhausting expressing every two hours to rebuild my supply, but I want to do it now because of the regret I felt. BUT in saying that, I did enjoy that week of formula feeding where I got extra sleep, I felt relaxed, I had time to spend with my older son and I could cuddle my newborn without her screaming and crying and looking for milk. At the end of the day you need to do what feels right to you. There’s no right or wrong answer, as long as you are happy your baby will be happy. She won’t care whether she gets breast milk or formula, as long as she’s fed she will be satisfied. So do what you feel is best for your situation, good luck, and kudos to you for getting as far as you have. You should be super proud of yourself! Tegan
  • I expressed as my DD wouldn’t latch. I only managed to go to 6 weeks as it was so time consuming and I didn’t have a good supply either! I have not regretted going to formula at all! I don’t think I connected well with my bubs very well to begin with because I was so stressed out about expressing and not being able to feed her! Changing to formula was the best thing for all of us!! Jess
  • I expressed for my 1st son (who was prem and reflux) for 6 & 1/2 months and regretted stopping as he was/is constantly ill. With our 2nd son I was determined to breastfeed but lip and tongue tie and high palette made this impossible. I expressed until 13 months and weaned 3 weeks ago. Hardest decision to make and so didficult to let go but it has been great to get my life and body back and my sanity. We are still using a little frozen EBM and 95% formula. He is doing fine. You have to do what works for you and your family. If you can continue – brilliant but there is nothing wrong with weaning either. Breast is best IMO but a happy mum and baby is just as important. Some breastmilk is better than none at all and you have done so well to persist as long as you have. It DOES get easier with pumping especially as you drop to a smaller number of pumps per day. I found 4ppd to be quite manageable around work. If you PM me I can have you added to the exclusive pumpers page – great for support and advice or just to vent. Goodluck with your decision! Tracey
  • I exclusively expressed for the first 3mo for my 2nd (mix fed until he was 5mo) because he was unable to feed from me and despite specialist help it just wasn’t going to happen. It was exhausting as I also have a toddler. I do not regret stopping (and I am so proud I made it that far) because it was impacting on the time I could spend with my boys. Whatever decision you make be proud of what you have achieved so far. Good luck. Julie
  • I think I do regret my whole breast feeding/expressing experience. I gave up after 10 weeks and went to formula for exactly your reasons. Breast feeding hurt so I switched to expressing, and then just felt like a cow. In the long run bub became a better sleeper with the formula, and has been ever since. I started by night time formula only. Then gave up. At the end of the day. Happy mum, happy bub. Anthea
  • My daughter rejected breastfeeding at 8.5 weeks. I tired everything to get her back on and wasn’t ready to give up so I expressed for another 12 weeks (until she was 20 weeks) I got sick twice with a cold/flu and she did as well the 2nd time. It took so much time and in the end was really getting me down so I introduced a formula bottle at 16 weeks, my supply started to decrease and at 20 weeks she was on all formula. She was happier and so was I. I still feel guilty sometimes now (she is 2) but I know I did the best I could. You need to do what feels right for you and bub and not let anyone make you feel bad. You have done an amazing job – only people who have exclusively expressed can understand! Amelia
  • I had a major lack of supply due to retained products and I had to breast feed her, formula feed her, then express every feed from week 1. She was slow to eat too. Took 45 min-1hr to breast feed. 40 mins to bottle feed. 30 mins to express. I felt chained to the chair. I hardly ever left it. I became super depressed as I couldn’t even take her for a walk . I didn’t have time to eat, and could rarely fit in a potty break. At 10 weeks, I decided ultimately to stop breast feeding and expressing. I wanted to switch medications to a non breastfeeding one as well so that helped me make my decision. I never looked back. I never regretted it. She’s a happy kid. She wasn’t sick more often. And I was happier. I was able to leave the chair and get out for a change in scenery. Best decision I made, and I wouldn’t hesitate to make it again. Melissa
  • I have only just stopped expressing after doing it for 4.5 months, not by choice, my milk went sour so I had not other option but to give my bub formula as she wS constantly vomiting. at first I felt sad and guilty but now after her being on formula for a week full time, I’m definately not exhausted, we don’t have to rush home so I can express again if we go for a walk etc and I can actually finally enjoy my dd, who is nearly 6 months old. Ultimately the choice is yours to make and just know you have done so well to go this long, a lot of people give up at the first signs of struggle, I know I did for about a week but I persevered and kept expressing, good luck. Jazmin
  • I admire you for persisting for 8 weeks. It is a time consuming exercise where at times I thought I was just sitting on the lounge feeding or expressing. And that was my day everyday! I changed to formula and never looked back. Baby thrived and transitioned fine. I did feel guilty however I had so much more time on my hands to actually play and nurse my baby that the guilt soon went away. Don’t be hard on yourself you’ve given your baby a fantastic start. Good luck. Cobie
  • I expressed for 7 weeks with my son and I know how you feel! Very stressful trying to endure I had enough milk for him- when I game him formula I mix fed for a few weeks and noticed he was actually much more satisfied on the formula so he is now 12 weeks old and fully on formula- I thought I would regret it but it was the best decision I made as I can relax and enjoy my time with him. Amy
  • I expressed with my ds for the first 7 weeks, I also had a toddler to look after as well. It was just too time consuming. I was happy to swap to formula. I was glad I did it for so long. He is so happy & healthy, slepts great. I did what was best for us. I don’t regret it. Stef
  • I expressed with bub 1 and put on formula from 6 weeks. I have a very healthy 4yr old and never had a regret. Bub 2 breastfed from birth til 10 weeks then onto formula and no worries with him either all the best. Anne-Maree
  • I have been in this position and decided what was best for the baby was a less stressed out mum do what you feel is right for you. Ebony
  • I have a 10 week old baby & stopped expressing at 6 weeks old. I too was extremely exhausted, plus my supply was decreasing & I got mastitis I had a whole new baby & able to spend lots more time with my newborn… even with a 21 month old. Expressing is hard work. You’ve given your little one a great start… don’t beat yourself up if you decided to stop. I regretted my decision purely because it’s ‘frowned upon’ these days. If only Mother’s stuck together. Good luck Jodie
  • It is so stressful, advice, go formula! Your bub is 8 weeks now. You’ve done such a good job, a weight was lifted off my shoulders after I made the decision similar time actually. You will find the routine will fall into place and the stress will go away. Best of luck! ( oh and my bub started sleeping 10-12 hours at that age too ) bonus! Michaela
  • My bub was prem and a csection so I had to pump every 2 hours round the clock just to bring my milk in, after a month it started dropping off and bub wasn’t putting on much weight so I had to formula feed him while I went back to pumping. I had a day break while I formula fed him and I couldn’t stop crying I was so happy as I felt more bonded with him and wasnt stressed. It was doing my head it having to feed then pump etc. I don’t regret it for one second! I have enjoyed being a mum so much more since I removed that stress. Everyone is different and you have to do what’s right for you and bub xxx Jennifer
  • You need to always do what is best for you and your baby, it really is no one else’s decision. I exclusively expressed and it is a huge commitment but there were many positives, you knew exactly how much milk bub was getting at each feed so baby is often so much more settled so you need to weigh everything up but you will make the best decision and the most important thing is be proud of your decision, no time for any regrets – always be comfortable with your decision. Jacqueline
  • I had issues breastfeeding simailar to yours I pushed through till she was four months. Now she is 12 months I look back I wish I had stopped earlier so.I.could have enjoyed her as a little baby more. They are only that small once and it goes so quick. You need to do what will make you and your baby happy. Your happiness counts as well. Just remember formula these days is just as good as breast milk. Sarah
  • I exclusively expressed from 2wk till 4months. It was a long and tense few months. By 12 weeks I was dredding it but had the whole “breast is best” mentality. My fiance could see it was stressful and spoke to me about changing to formula. I wouldve in hindsight changed then. Instead I continued on with what Itthought was best for another 5 weeks. Only to land myself further down the road of pnd, worn out and just over it. I then decided that as solids were being introduced I might aswell make the change to formula too. I still occasionally find myself questioning my decision but it has by far made a great improvement to the quality of my relationship with my son. I find our bond is now stronger and I feel like I made the right choice a little too late. I dont regret it. If I couldve bf till 12mths would’ve been ideal but when you are expressing all feeds its damn hard. I must also add that my lo hasnt really even noticed a difference. He transitioned over very well. Whatever you decide…… YOU ARE A GREAT MUM DOING THE BEST YOU KNOW HOW! Thats all that really matters. Bub is fed either way. Good luck. Melissa
  • Oh I have BEEN there!i feel your pain. I exclusively expressed for 8 weeks as bubs never latched well. I stopped expressing as it was Xmas time and I chose to do it as a gift to myself and bubs. I was so terribly sleep deprived and consumed by the expressing and ultimately I realised the benefits of the breast milk vs the time I couldn’t spend with him cause I was attached to the pump so often (and it’s effects on my mental health!) it became clear the pumping just didn’t suit our situation. Don’t get me wrong the decision came with a lot of guilt and I am still envious of mums that can breast feed. But looking back I am so glad that I chose to stop , I had so much more time to be the mum I wanted to be. Sounds really superficial, but the only downside of stopping was the weight gain I had after (but really for all the benefits this was nothing). Kristy
  • I was in the exact same boat and it is definitely very tough going. Good on you for persisting this far! Do not feel guilty at all whatever your decision you have done an unbelievable job. The reason I couldn’t was my son couldn’t latch on properly for some reason but that seemed to resolve itself around the 10 week mark and I like you was also about to stop. Luckily he took to breastfeeding fine from then – so in my case I’m glad I hung in there but I don’t know your reason and all I can say is well done for your persistence so far and whatever you do will be fine. In some respects if you change to formula now you might find it easier down the track as my son is now 14 months and trying to wean him off me has been absolute hell! I take my hat off to you xx Elisa
  • My Bub is 20 weeks and I pump. I top up with one formula a day because I don’t quite make enough. I pump 5 times a day and each session lasts for about 20 minutes… I demand feed with a bottle so there’s no set routine for when he eats. Sometimes he lays beside me and I feed him while I’m expressing. I really wanted to breastfeed too and was disappointed that I couldn’t. This is the next best thing. Also, every bit of breast milk is doing them good so if you want you could drop it down to just a couple of feeds a day. Whatever you decide to do just remember that you are an awesome mum! You’ve done a great job to pump for this long! Good luck. Fleur
  • Not sure of reasoning for expressing but if possible you could try breastfeeding again. Ur supply would well & truly be there now so worth a try. If not i would swap to formula. I mixed fed my 1st until 8wks including bf, expressing/bottle feeding & formula feeding. It was exhausting & i felt so much better once he was on formula. He was happier & therefore i was. I also got sleep as he started sleeping through from 7pm-7am! My 2nd is ebf & i cant get her off! (Shes 12months). Each baby is different & although i was disappointed i couldn’t bf my 1st, formula feeding was best suited to him & he went from a frustrated screaming & grumpy baby to a happy smily chilled out baby! Goodluck hun! Rachael
  • I expressed from the day my bub was born and kept trying to breastfeed over a 6 month period but she never took it properly! At 6 months I gave up as it was such a struggle and like you mentioned, SO time consuming! It took over my life! I had days like you also where I considered giving up but then felt guilty as “what else did I have to do”, “I should keep trying to breastfeed.” I think we torture ourselves so much at times! I don’t regret stopping at 6 months and my little girl was born 6 weeks prem and is 100% healthy. Looking back on the whole situation I could’ve stopped so much earlier and I don’t think I would’ve felt any worse. I didn’t notice any changes whatsoever in switching from breast milk to formula but there were huge changes for me! Hope that helps! Hollie
  • I have exclusively expressed for since bubs was born and she is now 4 months old. It is a lot harder and sometimes gets me down. But I’ve worked it into our schedule and use it as time with her. I have a recliner feeding chair and prop her up with pillows facing me and we chat, play with a toy or read a book. Sometimes I sit on the floor and express and let her play on her jungle gym Matt. Somedays it’s hard but my advice is try not to see it as a burden but as a special time to spend one on one when you aren’t distracted. For night feeds when she feeds I express and I express one side while I feed her from a bottle and express the other while I burp her a bit of a juggling act but once you get it it’s great. Good luck and stick in there if you want too. Karina
  • I was expressing for my 2nd son after 2weeks…. But I trained my boobs to produce enough milk for alll the feeds and only expressed 9 am 3pm and 9 pm I think I got just over one feed per boob. And I was alway 2 litres ahead it’s was great lol how I did it was I expressed at 9 am and I held off expressing again until 3pm but when I did express at 3pm… I expressed every single drop and kept going to get another let down! It was about a 45 minute expressing session at the start! Natalie
  • I was doing exactly the same! expressing every feed then bottle feeding – I hated it and only lasted 4 weeks (I felt like a cow!). there is no way I regret my decision to change to formula. I was constantly thinking about the next express, how much milk I had in the fridge, storing it, thawing it, spilling it (ahh, don’t spill my milk) it was endless! I was so much happier and so was my baby when I changed, it was like a weight off my shoulders. I was also struggling with pnd and this just felt like one less thing I had to worry about. feel free to pm me if you want. Good luck – its your decision. Deb
  • I have been here with both of my two and it was hard. I ended up stopping due to being absolutely exhausted. I felt so much better once I made the decision. I won’t lie every now and then I felt guilty like I was causing them to miss out, but I would have rather that they experience a happy mum. Raechele
  • Yes I did this for awhile with my first but I couldn’t keep it up. Good on you for being able to do it for so long! I went onto formula very quickly I was so exhausted. I’m glad for the decisions I made and yes I got a lot more sleep! Gina
  • I feel so much for you as was also in same situation It is so tiring and I think contributed to my severe pnd along with the paediatrician changing my medicine to increase milk supply from motilium to another one linked to pnd. No matter what I did I didn’t have enough milk so would feed bm first then formula and eventually had to give up at 9 months when only producing about 10 ml (from memory) per day on 18 motilium! Even then I was riddled with guilt and devastated but am ok now. To be honest no matter what you do bub will be perfect but what about a happy medium and doing 1/2 of each? You can NEVER get the early days back so follow your heart. I sure wish I had made a different choice now . It is a really tough situation and choice . 3 months seems to be a good time when a lot cut back so maybe find a date you could do the same and be happy with then wind back ? Good luck and enjoy your darling xo Donna
  • I exclusively expressed for 4 months it was extremely exhausting physically and mentally I had mastitis 3 times in both sides — but I kept feeling guilty so would carry on. My supply was fantastic but each time I was down with mastitis I was left with a smaller and smaller supply. In the end the dr and I thought it would be best to dry up my milk with tablets (to avoid mastitis AGAIN) and I never once looked back! Michelle
  • Did exactly what you are doing with child no.1 for a little over 2 weeks. I was a wreck. Tired and exhausted. Switched him to formula and started to get rest and enjoy my new baby. Do what’s best but that’s my experience. Angela
  • With my first I expressed for 8 weeks. He was premmie so had issues latching on initially. I found the whole experience exhausting and being sleep deprived and emotional just made me a mess. I was devastated changing to formula but got over that almost immediately as I relaxed. My baby reacted to this and relaxed too, he thrived. From that point on I began to enjoy my angel and enjoy being a mum! Tracey
  • After feeding issues with baby #2 I had to switch to expressing for her, I was never lucky enough to be able to exclusively express as I had supply issues and have never been able to express very much. I was pumping every 2hours to try and get enough but after a couple of weeks I became so stressed and overtired I switchedy girl to formula. I was absolutely heartbroken at first. And felt like a complete failure, but I have a wonderful partner and great family who just kept reminding me that I did as best as I could and baby seems to be doing better on formula. Only gained 180g in a month on just breastmilk, which worried my plunket nurse, and in the first 10 days of mix feeding with expressed milk and formula, my girl gained 380g. Christine
  • I was in the Same situation and changed my bub at 2.5 weeks and I havnt looked back she would only wake once at 3am and then has slept through since 5 weeks! She’s very happy and content and can go to her daddy for feeds or stay with her nanny and Aunty which they all absolutely love. A lot of pressure is put onto mums to BF and not a lot of support to FF but my baby and I are happy and to me that’s all that maters. We are using s26 normal as the gold had her struggling to go to the toilet with the high iron intake xxx goodluck Xxx Carly
  • I exclusively expressed with my 1st for 8wks. He never latched despite seeing 2 different LC’s, by 8wks I was exhausted & over having to do both bottles & take the pump with me anytime I went out. I weaned him to formula gradually cos I had heaps of milk frozen & was much happier in myself. Do whatever makes you feel best, happy mum = happy baby. Erin
  • Have you tried a double pump for expressing? I’m in week 8 of expressing for my 8 week old twins and I’m not finding it too straining largely due to having a hospital grade pump which pumps both breasts at once. It only takes about 8 mins every three hours and I stretch it out overnight without too much detriment to my supply. In saying that, I had to give up expressing with my singleton at 4 months when I returned to work and it was impossible to express frequently enough to keep up supply. I never regretted switching to formula then. Whatever makes you and bub happy is best. Tanya
  • I exclusively expressed for the first 3 weeks, so good on you mummy for lasting this long, because it is one of the toughest things trying to keep your milk supply up because I found it started to dwindle only exclusively expressing. We switched to formula and have never looked back. Bub is happy and healthy, sleeping better and in turn, I have more time to just sit and gaze at him, and extra sleep of a night! Debbie
  • Exactly the same as sian.. expressed for my premmie baby right up til 7 weeks..when my milk dried up after mastitis 2 times and eating lactation cookies constantly. . Same thing happened with my first but at 6 weeks..I didn’t have lactation cookies then though… this time I tried everything.. but in the end between stressing that she came early..stressing with trying to organise everything..dealing with my 2 yr old..and everything else…I was exhausted..getting uo every 2-4 hrs..expressing and that taking an hr each go.. and then general duties.. I was a wreck.. now I know what she is having.. she has it regularly and I sleep when my older one goes down usually until the midnight feed. Ash
  • I exclusively pumped for my twins for 5 months. I stopped then because my supply was dropping and nothing was helping it increase. I can say that the day I packed that pump away I never wanted to see it again lol. I was exhausted. Formula for them from then on. Hyley
  • I breast fed but mainly expressed. I stopped because it was taking so much time away from my baby. The moment I stopped I never looked back! Liz
  • I had no choice with my last bub as I have older children. It was time consuming and I was not able to get much done at all. I however resorted to formula feeds as a top up and expressed milk for my bub when I needed to. Bub put on heaps of weight and it never affected him badly. Kim
  • I kept going till 8 months and even then when I stopped I regretted it. I just felt that formula wasn’t as nutritious as breast milk. Bubs is fine though and going the formula route was definitely easier. Anyone can do it and I had more time for me and bubs. If u decide to keep expressing I would suggest getting a hands free bra and a double electric pump. Tracey
  • I’ve been expressing full-time since birth for nearly 5 months now…if u have a decent supply of backups in the fridge you can spend quality time with ur bub and only express when he’s sleeping or when you’re free…I found that it was much easier for me to express when I can, rather than try to follow a 4 hourly schedule. Angie
  • I expressed for 14 months with my first.. I was determined to make it a full year, but thought about stopping a lot. My pump was my bestfriend and I hated it at the same time. I was only able to pump to 6 months with my second before my milk dried up. Went right to formula with no issues. Much easier but much more expensive. Dana
  • Pumping is hard work and exhausting and I can understand why you resent it. Maybe if the constant expressing is getting you down you could mix feed if you feel that would take off the pressure? Best of both? I expressed when my son was in NICU and he had multiple surgeries so expressed through those. I stopped at 7 months because it was all too much and by the time he was 3 months I couldn’t get very much milk when I was expressing. I did feel guilty at the time of stopping but in time I saw that it was better for me and my relationship with my baby. It’s your body, your baby. Good luck. X Verlie
  • I exclusively expressed for 3 months but with a toddler as well it was so hard and time consuming. I found I wasn’t spending enough quality time with either child so I stopped. I was much happier and relaxed and feel I am a better mum now that I have stopped. You need to do what’s best for you as well – as it does reflect onto bub if you are constantly distracted/busy and exhausted. Good luck with your decision. Renee
  • I could bf a little but my supply was so small i had to pump in between feeds so that i would have enough to give my son at the next. Even then i often had to give him formula as well. I felt like a cow…and it would take me an hour to pump enough to give him. I made the decision when he was 6 weeks old to move exclusively to formula and haven’t looked back. I found i could spend more time playing with him and still felt bonded to him…i didn’t lose that closeness and I didn’t miss having to pump constantly. I had more energy…he slept longer. He is now a happy and very healthy 13 month old. I was really happy with my decision. Kristin
  • I exclusively expressed for 6 weeks. It’s exhausting and very time consuming. My goal was to eventually breastfeed so I’m glad I kept trying. It really depends if that’s your goal or not as to when to switch to formula. I saw a lactation consultant weekly. Sharon Armstrong @ Embrace Life North Lakes if you are in Brisbane. Kylie
  • Yes I switched and it made life soo much easier! Bub is happier I am less stressed and less tired and bub is much more content and sleeping better. Sami
  • I expressed for 8 weeks and it was exhausting. I struggled with breastfeeding and getting my LO to latch on properly. I was determined to get her yo breastfeed and saw a private lactation consultant who was amazing. If u’re in Perth shaughn leach is her name and worth a visit. Had I not seen her I would’ve given up and gone to formula. All the best, do what’s best for u and bub. Dominique
  • I used to express for daytime feeds and found it tiring, plus I didn’t seem to get much. Once I decided to switch to formula I was happier. I didn’t feel as pressured and I could just enjoy the time with my baby. It’s quick and easy and your baby will get the nutrients they need from it and you may be happier because you won’t have the pump attached to you all day. Do what you feel is right for you. Maria
  • I expressed for my preemie twins for 12 months. I beat myself up over this same decision but once the decision was made a huge weight was lifted and no looking back! I wish I changed sooner so I wasn’t so stressed and had more time enjoying my bubs. do what is right for you and your bub good luck. Kieran
  • Switch to formula so much easier, I was in the exacts me poison as you were when I has my first bub 2 years ago, I just have up and switched to formula and honestly it felt like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders I felt so much better and bub was much happier too. From that day on he slet through the night , he was 8 weeks old . Kristal
  • I was in the exact same situation. I decided at 6 weeks my baby was missing out in having all of me as I was exhausted and all I could think about expressing. I set myself the goal if I couldn’t breastfeed I would try for 6 weeks and if still wasn’t going to work for me it was time for formula. I am happy with my decision and yes sometimes feel very sad I didn’t breastfeed but my baby ended up with a less exhausted happier mum and that was more important. Good luck with your decision. There is no wrong choice! Megan
  • My bub had 2 lip ties so I was expressing for awhile too. It just got too hard with having another child and a step child to look after. I occasionally think what if. But 99% don’t regret as it allowed me to sleep and care for 3 children and go back to work and not worry about expressing. It goes so quick as next minute they are on solids so its not something I think about a lot now. shes 7m and thriving. Do what works for you. Good luck. X Meg
  • I’ve been in your situation with my first. I cannot physical attached bubs. So pumped and fed for 3 months. It was completely stressful thinking about pumping all the time and having enough etc, especially being out and about as I never had any in storage. I had hardly any sleep or ate and lost soooo much weight. Now I have bubs number 2 who is 4.5 months, prior to having her id made the decision to NOT express as I’ve got a toddler and myself to look after. So I put her on formula at 3 weeks old. Everyone happy all round! Even second time round my mummy guilt made me feel sick thinking I had to go to formula. But knew I had to feed my baby some way or another and physically not being able to put her to my breasts to feed wasn’t going to happen. Once I got into the swing of things and a few feeds, I was right. Now at 4.5 months we’re all going great and my baby is just perfect. Pm me if you need support! Sarah
  • My 5th child is 15 weeks old and EBF. All the others were too, they never would suck from a bottle even when I went back to work. This time I don’t have as much milk, I have enough to feed him but no extra. I was expressing for a few weeks, and I would express for 2 hrs over the day and only get 20 mls. It was a waste if time when I had do much else to do. Last night I gave him a bottle as an extra feed, and he slept for 8 hrs. Previously he fed twice over night. I don’t think I will regret stopping expressing because there is more value in my time off the pump, and he is still getting all the benefits of every other breastfeeding. Good Luck! Michelle
  • I stopped expressing at 3 weeks, bubs is now 6 weeks. I kind of regret it knowing that of course breast is best but I also have a 3 yo and I was just not getting enough rest and being stressed all the time was really getting me down. So in one respect I’m glad I stopped because I do have more time for bub and I’m alot more relaxed. Whatever you decide remember not to feel guilty! You have done a great job and whatever you decide is the right decision for you. Goodluck. Samantha
  • I don’t feel I get as much from expressing as my son gets from feeding. ill express till I get nothing but if I pit bub on he stimulates it and gets more. have you tried laying off expresding and just feeding him? Tracey
  • I have one child I had to bottle feed and one I am lucky enough to be bf – you just do what is right for you! If you can maybe try to drop a couple of express bottles and swap out for formula – see if it is any nicer for you but never let it become an obstacle for spending important time with your child!! Fiona
  • I pumped exclusively for my sweetie for 2 months. It was exhausting & I felt exactly the same, like I was connected more to the pump and less time bonding with my daughter. After 2 months I don’t regret switching to formula at all, I gave my sweetie the best start in life I could by expressing exclusively. Not only have I been able to spend more time with sweetie and get more sleep, but I have also not had to stress about mastitis and when to pump and what not. Don’t feel guilty if you decide to switch to formula. You’ve given your bub colostrum, that stuff is like liquid gold. Catherine
  • I did it for 3.5mths (2 of which she was in NICU) i had a shit pump n was over it (even expressed when i was out shopping).. It sucked and i never regretted it. Jackie
  • Yip exact same only at 3 weeks and having a 20 month old to deal with was horrendous, all I did was express… Feed… Even during the night. I stopped and felt awful for stopping but within a few days my whole mood was better as I was more relaxed and felt like I had time to do more with the kids. Also the change to formula had my little one sleeping through the night!! She slept for 6 hours the first 3 nights and now sleeps 8-9 hours! It’s brilliant. We are all well rested and actually wish I had stopped sooner and not lost the precious time we have with them as newborns. Anne
  • I don’t have the experience or opinion you are after but I just wanted to say what a tough choice and good luck! Katrina
  • I expressed for 4mthd. I’m glad I did, but I was also glad to give it up. In the end I gave it up because it was negatively affecting other aspects of my health. Bella
  • I expressed for 2-3 weeks when bub was about 2-3 weeks old due to poor latch/ tongue tie, severely damaged nipples and can totally understand where you’re coming from! It’s exhausting and depressing! I bit the bullet for a few weeks and after 10weeks of breastfeeding/expressing hell We got through it all and I gave up the pump and went to exclusively breastfeeding, resulting in DS not wanting to take a bottle at all because I never wanted to pump again cos I was so over it!! He’s now nearly 11months and still breastfeeding. Still never had/won’t take a bottle. One extreme to the next. Don’t feel guilty about whatever you decide to do. As long as the baby is being fed in some way and getting a whole lot of love and you are happy, you are doing the right thing!! Elisa
  • This sounds exactly like me! My son is 7 weeks old now and I stopped exclusively expressing last week. I hated doing and forced myself through. I wanted to give up after a couple of days and in would always say ‘this is it’ and end up feeling guilty the next day and expressing. I gradually dropped a feed until it was once a day and supplemented with formula. Then last week I just stopped. The dayv after in had this horrible guilty feeling/relief from knowing I’m not going to express. It’s been a week and I’m less stressed and not sitting here counting down the hours until I have to pump again. I haven’t seen any change in bub now that he is exclusively FF. It’s worked really well for me. Cassi
  • I had to stop breastfeeding with my daughter when she was 3 weeks but continued expressing for the next 11 months. It is very exhausting, time consuming and I felt like I was attached to a pump ALL the time but it gets better and when you don’t have to express so much when they start solids and drop bottles it is great and doesn’t feel so consuming. I nearly stopped a few times and had formula ready. At the end of the day you have to do what you and bub are happy with. Good luck. Belinda
  • I made it to 12 weeks with my girl, changed her then so could gain weight. got her on formula and her little legs are chunky, very happy with my choice although I some times think i would have liked to express a bit longer. Emily
  • I expressed the first two months with my prem and then still a bit for a few months after. Have you thought about mix feeding so doing one bottle formula and miss that express and then your not having to so often. It’s very time consuming and hard when your feeding bubs then still expressing. You could give it a go and if it doesn’t work out just do what works best for both of you, even if it means formula. Meaghan
  • When it starts to become too much stop.8 weeks is pretty good.Nothing wrong with formula.At least someone else can take a feed and you will have more energy. Kate
  • Due to lack of milk I bf/ expressed my 1st for the 2 weeks and 2nd for 3 weeks. They had to go on formula after that and we didn’t look back. As long as they are getting enough fed and they are settled that is the main aim. I must admit being a nurse myself I was surprised at how many people had an opinion on our choice. My answer always was happy mum, happy bub! Trust your instincts, you are The Mum and you know your little one the best. Good luck with what ever choice you make. Diana
  • Making the decision to stop bf was a really hard one but once it was made and I started the progress I’ve never regretted making the switch to formula. I bf my dd and I was exhausted. I was so much happier and so was she once she was formula fed. Even after I dropped one feed I was less stressed and had a bit more energy. Every feed I dropped and replaced with formula confirmed and reassured me it was the best decision for both of us. My sister was in similar situation too and she told me she regretted not switching easier because she missed out on so much time with her baby. her biggest regret was missed time. Just remember if you drop one pump you can still change your mind, you just have to build your supply again or you could mix feed. Amy
  • You are amazing for going as long as you have! My lil guy is 5 months and I have managed one/two breastfeeds a day (which can still be painful for me) and expressed the rest. We are going to the dr to see if he has a lip tie. I had never noticed it until yesterday. I am probably going to keep going for a little while longer. If you are feeling upset about considering stopping that’s okay and totally a normal feeling to have! Everyone feels that way. I was able to cut back how many pumps I do a day and keep the same supply (might be worth a try). The best thing for bubby is mummy to be happy. Good luck. Julie
  • I have been where you are also. I expressed for the first 9 weeks as bub would attach properly. I got to a point where I needed to either breast feed without pumping or switch to formula. I was lucky enough ds mouth had grown big enough to successfully latch in this time and I continued to bf without pumping after that. You need to do what is right for you and your family. Helana
  • I exclusively expressed from 2 weeks and like u I got to the point where I was exhausted and wasn’t enjoying bub. But getting him breast milk was important to me. My goal was to get to 12 weeks but I only made it to 8. I decided that I would no longer express overnight and just did it during the day and if I was out I didn’t worry about it and if I needed to he would have formula if I didn’t have any milk expressed. My milk dried up relatively quickly doing this (although I didn’t have a great supply in the first place) I was upset at first but because of how I did it I was ok like I didn’t just stop I did what I could to keep it going but without exhausting myself and then nature ran it’s course. He is 4 months now and I don’t regret it at all. I am proud of the effort I put in to get him breast milk for the first 8 weeks! It was so nice to feed him overnight and go straight back to bed! Don’t send urself crazy. U have given him breast milk for 8 weeks and that is something u shud be proud of! Well done! Mia
  • Totally understand what your going through! I did the same!! Expressing every 4 hours and through the night! Feeding them a bottle then you have to express! Plus the washing and sterilising! Good on you! I felt exactly the same though, so much time and I didn’t really feel good about it. Yes she was getting the best stuff! But I wasn’t really happy, it took until about 15 weeks to finally switch to formula, yes I felt guilty, but gosh I had a weight of my shoulders all of a sudden! Then the guilt quickly went away ! You have to enjoy your time! Mum has to be happy and so does bub! I only hope next time this baby just feeds!! Marissa
  • Best thing I ever did was put my baby on formula. She was an ok feeder, after having her tongue tie snipped, though she only put on 200g in 8 weeks … I tried mix feeding her but both her and I found formula a lot easier which meant I could relax and enjoy being a mum! She’s absolutely perfect now and hitting and exceeding targets. Claire
  • I stopped breastfeeding my son at 11months due to low supply, at first I loved formula but then found it was harder and more time consuming. I miss breastfeeding but once they get to full cream it’s so much easier. It really is your own choice and sanity. Good luck. Mel
  • I was much like you expressing from birth. It is extremely exhausting and all I felt like I was doing was feed baby express feed baby express. Wake up to express when baby is asleep. I stopped (mainly because of a lactose issue with my son) at 4weeks and felt terribly guilty. Since then I have a much happier baby, an amazing bond and a thriving young man. I do look bk and say what if but from then to what we have now is way better I’m more relaxed and baby is better for it. I do hope with my next baby to be able to breastfeed and not have a lactose issue but I now no longer feel guilty for changing to formula (found a great mums group with mix of feeding bubs) you are doing a great job do what is best for you and your baby and if that means quality time and bonding change ( I formula fed at night to start the transition and cut down on expressing overnight) all the best x Prudence
  • We couldn’t get a good latch so I expressed. My partner would feed the baby while I pumped which worked until he had to return to work (he had six weeks off) I decided after that to stop expressing and move on to formula. It did make everything easier for us and enable me to have more time to enjoy my son. It’s a personal decision. Formula is not the end of the world. Katie
  • I exclusively expressed and fed my little one for about 3 weeks. My husband took the pump off me and told me no more! The stress was not worth it. I now have a very happy 18 month old who thrived off formula! Sarah
  • I have expressed fed one bub, bf the other the. Switched to to formula with both at some point. I dot regret doing it, I hated the whole bf concept to be perfectly honest, I I loved that they got my milk but just hated the experience of it all… And I have to say it made NO difference to sleep at all, (mind you they both were and are amazing sleepers) Courtney
  • I hand expressed from 3days old until 7.5 months. I used a pump occasionally in the early days but found it to be faster amd easier to hand express. I would vary the times so sometimes 2/3/4 hrs being expressing depending on how i.was feeling. But wouldn’t latch and i didnt want to use formula. All i can say is be sure with your decision and when you look back if you stop remember that ypu tried and that if you stop it is to spend more quality time with bub. If you are unsure maybe mix feed to relieve some pressure you are putting on yourself:) a happy mum is a happy bub. Alana
  • I expressed for 4 months. I really wanted to make it to 6 months but like you i felt like i was missing out on time with my daughter. So hard deciding between more time, or the best nutrients. But do what your head and heart tell you. Good luck with your decision x Kristy
  • Seriously Hun any amount of time on breast milk is amazing! You have done so well. I would go formula now is I was u. Time goes too quick you don’t want to miss out on a second that u could be with your little one. It’s totally up to you though. If u happen to regret it though just make sure u try harder with the next kid. I can’t imagine u regretting it though. All the best. Zoe
  • Completely understand where ur coming from. I had to exclusively pump for 8wks also due to issues with tongue/lip tie. My situation may be different as we were able to finally rectify our attachment issues after laser treatment & re commenced ebf, 6 months now & still going strong. I have been in the mindset of feeling like pumping comsumes your life & you have done an absolutely amazing job of pumping that long! Whatever you decide you can be reassured you’ve done an amazing thing for your baby. I’m so glad I persevered but I also could see that there was an attachment problem I could fix which gave me hope, if I didn’t have that I’m not sure I could’ve do e it much longer. Goodluck! There is no bad choice, you’ve already done brilliantly! Xx Tammy
  • I expressed feed my baby until 8wks, she had colic so I was finding it extremely hard to express on time and find my boobs were hurting and leaking a lot so I decided to stop to give myself more time to look after her and get sleep when I could. I don’t regret giving it up as such but I do miss giving her MY milk! But I do get to spend all my time playing with her and looking after her rather than expressing all the time! I hope this helps. Amy
  • Well done for persisting for so long . I was exclusively expressing and found it exhausting. I now mix feed and everyone is happy. My lactation consultant told me it was quality not quantity and the antibodies become concentrated when the supply builds up. This made me feel so much better about my decision. I do even amounts of breast and formula. Good luck’ Heather
  • Due to supply issues I expressed from day 5 and he was fine although I then moved onto formula as he wasn’t getting enough and I couldn’t pump enough. I went to formula at night which helped him sleep better because he was fuller and then went over to full formula and never looked back. Yes I would have liked to continue to bf for a while but it didn’t work out so you just have to do what’s best for you =o) good luck Hun you’re doing a great job! Nikky
  • I had to express for my bub from birth last year, she was born at 35 weeks with no sucking reflex. I felt the same feeling as you & I also have 2 teens I felt I was neglecting I managed to exclusively express until 10 weeks & had 2 weeks worth in the freezer, I started by cutting out a night express so I could get extra sleep & used formula for that feed & gradually stopped that way until my milk supply stopped. I found it very difficult in the end when It was just me & bub home & she needed picking up while I was expressing. I didn’t regret stopping at all I was proud I managed to express exclusively as long as I did. Sherrie
  • It really is exhausting and stressfull. My first was premmie and I did it for 4-nearly 5 months. It was time and I didn’t regret it. Once I got ‘over it’ everything became sooo much easier and u can just enjoy bub! Nija
  • With my first I lasted till 4 mths and with my second till 7mths. Both never latched so full time expressed. I only got 400ml a day with my second. I was hard and I got so run down trying to pump look after a toddler and a little one. I still regret giving up but I don’t regret the extra time I have to spend with my kids. Melissa
  • Is there anyway you can try breastfeeding again instead of pumping? My 5 week old can’t latch as I have flat nipples so I use a nipple shield and it was a life saver! I also pump twice a day so my partner can give him a bottle and have that bonding time. Maybe speak to a lactation consultant. If I was you I wouldn’t stop until you were really sure of your decision. Celestee
  • My first child I put on formula after 4 weeks and second child after 4 months I felt so guilty and regretted stopping but had to due to health reasons. Child #3 I’ve wanted to stop so many times and we have just reached 19 months and still going strong it gets easier. Felicity
  • I have very much been in your situation! I expressed from day 1 (not by choice, my daughter was prem).. And for 10 months.. Everyone said I will not maintain this as it is exhausting and ‘double handling’ I was determined to do it though, but for me I cut back on expressing to 3 times a day (morning, lunch and before bed) then eventually twice a day (morning and night) but I had an excellent supply and could maintain this schedule. My OB recommended giving my daughter formula of a night and once she reached 10 months she had formula more often, I felt better that I had given her a decent start with my breastmilk and now I could start to have a more ‘normal’ life again. I feel your pain though, it’s hard work, not everyone can do it. Sarah
  • I expressed exclusively for all four of my kids and what you are feeling, exhaustion and dwindling supply were all part of my decision to switch to formula every time. My older kids are now 13yo and 11yo. They are both bright, healthy, slim, active a wonderful kids. My third child passed away but due to complex congenital heart disease, nothing breast feeding could prevent. My youngest is 2yo, healthy, slim, active and has already started to teach herself to recognise numbers, her entire alphabet, shapes and colours. Best of all, I am close to all of them and I love being their Mum! I don’t regret changing to formula. Yes, it was a decision I agonized over and I felt very guilty with my eldest which took away some of my enjoyment of her babyhood, but I realised when my second came along that at least giving him that initial colostrum and breast milk for those first 6 weeks or do had started him off well. Make your decision and try not to regret it. You are making the decision that is best for you and your baby at this time and hindsight will only bring unwarranted regret. Believe in yourself as Mum and do what you believe is right. No matter what you choose there will always be someone who will pick holes in your parenting … Just don’t let that person be you. Kyra
  • I pretty much exclusively pumped for my first born. I just couldn’t get the hang of bf but still wanted him to have my milk. I did it for about 3 months and like you was exhausted with the whole process and just wanted to enjoy him more. I ended up stopping and personally didn’t regret it as I was much happier. Jessica
  • LOTS of mums choose to go to formula as it works best for EVERYONE!!! Your schedule is stressful, and that’s not good for you or bubba..l don’t feel pressure from others to keep going when you can make a choice that works for your whole family much better. Good luck! Georgie
  • I exclusively express fed my bub for 8 weeks using a hand pump. It became exhausting as you say, and having to excuse myself to go empty was meaning I missed out on socialisation ( it’s easier to put bub on the breast in public than pull out a pump and start squirting lol ) she did well on formula. Having said that I wish I had got a better pump and persevered for longer. Charli
  • Whatever you decide know that you have given your baby the best for as Long as you Have. It is ok to do both, but if you are going to stop expressing, do so slowly over a few weeks, decreasing how often you express , so as to wean slowly, for your emotions, and to ease the full and engorged feeling of your breasts. You have done really well. Pat on the back. Xxx Fiona
  • Dd was early. I expressed for the 3 weeks she was in special care. I then expressed until 4 months as well as BF. Occasionally formula top up. She was a struggle to keep on the boob by 6 months & so we switched to formula. Joanna
  • I was so over expressing to and switched to formula and think it’s great. Bub is full within 10 minutes and I have the rest of the time to play with him. I also get a lot of sleep. He is 4 months old now and he sleeps 12 hours. Kristin
  • I found the only pumps that were really good were the big ones they have in the hospitals. Small ones took way too long but while my son was in hospital the big ones took no time at all. You can hire them or ask your local hospital if you can try one out and see if it works well for you. I say do what is best for you and bub. I had to express to keep my supply up because my son would hardly feed from me and was mix fed from one month. I eventually had to stop because my pump for some reason was enlarging my nipples after being completely fine for 3 months and they cracked and they were bleeding. Anyway I had to end up completely stopping and putting him fully on formula. At the time I found that the best choice for both of us. Do what ever you think is best for both of you. No one here can make that decision for you. While I felt sad for quiting it was a great relief for me and my son is very healthly and turning 3 in July. Aileen
  • Whichever decision you make you can do both, so you wean from expressing slowly, so emotionally it will be better for you. You have done a great job, however long you have expressed for. Xxxx. Fiona
  • Gave it up never looked back!! You do what u feel is right for you and your Bubba!! Xxx Missy

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