Monday, February 11, 2013

Breastfeeding – The Middle and The End

Once I was able to breastfeed without the physical pain, for the most part things went smoothly.  I didn’t have any other physical issues, none that you hear other women having.  I had some mental issues with it but I’m going to get to those in a different blog post.

I liked the convenience that if we had somewhere to go, we didn’t have to worry about bringing formula as long as I was there. I was the formula.  At first I did not want to feed her in public, covered up of course.  However after I did it a couple times I realized I didn’t really care.  I made sure it was discrete.  I made sure not to drink beer at the same time.

At first I was able to provide 100% of R’s nutrition.  I was producing enough.  Soon I tried to start pumping as well, in order to build up a supply for daycare, and that’s when I realized things weren’t as peachy as I had hoped. I did not produce enough to feed her and pump.  I went in to breastfeeding with the plan to 1)breastfeed for 1 year and 2)not supplement with formula.

In order to be able to provide milk for daycare, we made the decision to start supplementing with formula.   In fact it was my decision.  Husband was great through this whole process. He knew that I wanted to breastfeed.  He felt it was the best option but since it was my body he left the decision to me.  So when I talked to him about supplementing with formula once a day so I could pump, he didn’t argue. He felt it was a good idea. 

I couldn't help it, this one makes me laugh

For several months this went great. I would feed her during the day and then pump at her bedtime feeding, when Husband would give her a bottle.  Then I started back to work.  The way her feedings landed, I wasn’t nursing at all during the week, only pumping.  Soon my production started to drop.  One of the hardest days for me was when I fed her on the weekend, she was super fussy 30 min later.  We couldn’t figure out what was going on, so we gave her a bottle. She drank 8 oz.  She doesn’t drink 8oz at once. That was the first time I realized I could not provide for her and it was hard, very hard.  It got to where we went from providing all her bottles as breastmilk for daycare to only one bottle a day.  That was all I could produce.  I had to stop nursing her 100%, because I couldn’t produce enough for even one day.  So I was pumping 100% even on weekends.  Then I had the flu (or food poisoning) in December and production dropped to only 3-4oz per day.  After dealing with that for a couple of weeks I called her Dr. to see if there was even a benefit to giving her one bottle every other day.   I made the decision to stop.  I made it 1 week shy of 8 months. 

I am happy with my decisions.  It’s hard, I have some guilt, but I’m happy with my decisions.  I feel that I provided R with a very good foundation.  She had almost 8 months of breast milk.  She had 8 months to get the health benefits that are found in breast milk and can’t be duplicated in formula.  For that, I am happy. 

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