Boobs: The Obligatory Breastfeeding Post

First, I just want to say: yes, I’m still alive and kickin’ over here. I have really been slack lately about posting on the ol’ blog. I think it’s actually a good thing, though, because I’ve been really productive at work and in my personal life for a change. ;) Anyway, I promised to share how I’m doing with breastfeeding and my thoughts on all of that. Today is as good a day as any to get all of this off of my chest. Pun not intended, but it totally rocks.

Okay. Here goes nothing… I’m ending my relationship with my pump. I will soon be feeding Maddux formula only, and I plan to slowly reduce the amount of breast milk he receives each day.

I don’t know why sharing the fact that I’m quitting breastfeeding is so hard for me. Well, that’s a lie. I do know why. I feel like a failure. A quitter. A fake.

But I’m not. Maddux will get breast milk up until his 6 month birthday. SIX MONTHS of anything is a pretty big commitment. I worked HARD to do this for six months. Working full time and pumping is no easy task. Yes, some women can do it for a year (or longer) and have no trouble at all. I’m not one of those women. Physically, I do believe I could keep it up for another year. I have a decent supply, haven’t had any issues with using the pump, and I haven’t had too hard of a time keeping up with Maddux’s changing needs. There were some rough patches with keeping my supply up, but I tried my best to keep it going. I was pretty darn successful. So, physically, I was right on track to being able to make it a while longer.

Mentally, though, I am shot. I never was able to relax. My mind was constantly on my pump. If I was at work and couldn’t pump, I would freak out. If Ryne and I left Maddux with my mom and tried to go to dinner, I would track the minutes like a maniac. I would literally melt down and have full blown panic attacks. I wasn’t connecting the dots, but Ryne was. He knew it was the pumping and breastfeeding that was causing me to feel such extreme stress, anxiety, and guilt.

I had fully intended a week ago to be writing about how I plan to supplement breast milk with formula. I thought that by decreasing the amount of pressure I felt to pump and produce for my child, that I would feel less stressed.

It didn’t work. If anything, I felt increasing pressure to only have to use one or two bottles of formula each day. I had turned it into an even more important “battle” in my head.

So, to make a long story short, I am beginning to transition fully to formula. It’s what is best for my family and myself. I don’t feel that I’m being selfish anymore. I felt that way when I first starting considering it, but now I realize it is exactly what I need to do! I don’t really know how to end this post, except to say that I’m already starting to feel a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders. I’m happier. My child is happier. It’s good.

 

**I just want to add that no matter what or how you choose to feed your child, your LOVE matters most. I felt pressure to breastfeed (from myself only!), but that doesn’t mean breastfeeding is right for everyone. Formula isn’t right for everyone either. Only YOU know what will work for you and your child. Don’t let anyone tell you differently! We all judge and compare ourselves to each other as mothers, and it has got to stop! Anyway, that’s my PSA for today. :)**

 

Comments

  1. says

    Love it! Totally agree that love is what matters most and being there for your kids….. Brooklyn is still ALL ABOUT THE BOOB! We have been trying to incorporate veggies, fruits, and cereals but she barely gets in a spoonful at each feeding and then keeps going for the boob…then proceeds to chug it down haha! Our journey starts with trying to feed….ahhh…always something!

  2. says

    I can’t tell you how much I needed to read this post. I’m currently pumping right now (you are welcome for that visual) and you are spot-on about everything. Pumping is SO much work and makes feeding a two-fold process (pumping and bottle feeding). Like you said, your mind becomes OBSESSED with “when is the next time I need to pump? Can I have a cup of coffee? How long can I be gone for? Where will I pump when I’m at(enter the name of any place that isn’t home).” It is a hard thing to do and for me, dictates my life. I’ve had major issues with supply and have tried everything (power pumping, oatmeal, tea, etc.) and I can barely keep up with her feedings. I’ve beat myself up so much about it and I think we are our own worst enemies when it comes to the pressure of “breast milk only.” We’ve started to supplement and she is now half formula and half BM. I am drying up and will be switching to formula exclusively and like you…it took a while to come to terms with that being OKAY. Bottom line is that I gave her the best head start that I could (I think I’ll only make it to 4 months so you’ve got me beat!). I’m excited to live a life free of pumping and be able to actually ENJOY hanging out with her instead of worrying about pumping every 2 hours. Thank you very much for this post and I’m happy that you’ve found acceptance in the change and I’m definitely going to follow your lead. Great, great, great job for doing it for six months and working full time– you are a rock star and should be proud of yourself!

    Sorry this is so long, but I was SO excited to read this, haha!

  3. Amy@ahealthyandhappyheart says

    We struggled with breast feeding and I decided to pump, but I ended up drying up pretty quickly so we switched to formula… Yes I felt guilty and cried (because I felt like a failure) but I was a hot mess .. I cared too much about pumping, breast feeding, that I was not being the best wife and mom, that’s when I knew it was time to switch to formula… And you know what.. My baby, my husband, and myself are so happy!! Good for you keeping it up so long, Maddux is lucking to have you!!

  4. says

    Girl you got to do what’s best for YOU and your family. Everyone’s circumstances are completely different. You aren’t a failure, selfish, or any other negative thought that has crossed your brain. The fact that you even think those things shows you are a MOM and you care and love as much as anyone. Motherhood is about figuring out how to best suite the needs of your family and a happy/relaxed mom is high on that priority list. XOXO. Can’t wait until we run together in FEB!
    Madeline @ Food Fitness and Family recently posted..How to Juice Using a Food ProcessorMy Profile

  5. says

    You have to do what’s right for you and just so you know, I think you’re superwoman! For pumping all that time! power to ya!! I still don’t know how you even went back to work so soon after having Maddux – that alone makes you a rockstar!!! Glad you proudly wrote this post because no one should ever have the right to say that’s wrong for you doing…even from yourself girl!!!
    char eats greens recently posted..thursday thingsMy Profile

  6. says

    Don’t feel bad! Honestly, when I have kids someday, I don’t plan on breastfeeding at all. The thought of it just doesn’t appeal to me, and as a type A personality, I know that I would have constant anxiety about it. I know when I blog about this (hopefully the blog will still be around then), I’ll probably get a bunch of criticism, but why put yourself through something if it just doesn’t feel right? You have to do what it right for you and your baby!
    Emily @ Perfection Isn’t Happy recently posted..Friday ThingsMy Profile

    • Brenda says

      Be sure to read a book on breastfeeding before completely writing it off. There are a TON of benefits- even to just doing it one week. Plus, it may not appeal to you now, but when you’ve got all those mama hormones running through you, you may have a change of heart.

  7. says

    I read your blog daily and I love your honesty. Breastfeeding is so personal – I was only able to do 6 weeks (low supply) and I totally get your feelings about guilt and stress and pumping…my sister just had a baby and her breastmilk is flowing like the gosh darn nile river and I WAS SO JEALOUS – then I had to remind myself that everyone is different, everyone will have opinions and it’s so important to remember this is YOUR journey, no one else’s :)

  8. Brenda says

    Great job making it 6 months! We started supplementing when my son was 9 months, and the stress relief was immediate. I had supply issues when I began pumping back at work after summer break and it felt so good not worrying about getting those 9 ounces everyday! The amount I get done at school these days is ridiculous without spending an hour pumping!

    Are you going to still nurse at night and in the morning? I found that was a good way to wean and avoid engorgement. At 14 months, we are down to one feeding a day(morning). I was actually planning to totally stop this morning because I’ve had such low supply, but my son vomited over night (the first time ever) and it was the only thing that could console him.

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