Breastfeeding or Bust?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Madeline is 7 months, 2 weeks and a day old today.

I only truly breastfed her for the first couple of weeks. Between my postpartum and her trouble with latching, it just wasn’t working.

But I pumped. For a while, she was eating exclusively breast milk. Then when her needs outgrew my supply we supplemented with formula. But I kept pumping. Every two hours during the day. At night, because she (thankfully) slept, I slept.

I went back to work just before she turned 5 months. At this point she was already eating solid foods along with her bottles. But I wanted to make sure I could keep pumping, and when offered a job, I specifically asked about that.

The place where I work is very accommodating about that. They actually have a dedicated nursing room with a lock, a comfortable seat and a refrigerator. Thanks to a friend of mine, I even have an extra pump that I keep at work so I don’t have to keep dragging one pump back and forth from home to work and back again.

So I have been pumping. But my work days are getting busier with meetings filling my schedule. Accommodating is one thing, but I can’t exactly decline meeting requests by saying “sorry, I need to pump right in the middle of that meeting.”

Anyone who has breastfed or pumped, or is close to someone who has, knows that the golden rule is use it or lose it. The more consistent you are with your feedings/pumping, the more consistent your supply will be. Do it less often and you will find your supply dwindling.

So now, I am not producing as much. And those 12 minutes I spend pumping, when I can, start to feel a little bit like a waste of time. Especially in the evenings when I am home. Instead of pumping for those 12 minutes to get a few drops of breast milk, I could be playing and interacting with my baby. And isn’t that more beneficial for her?

We are going to Mexico for a week at the end of October/beginning of November and I don’t plan on bringing my pump with me then.

So I find myself torn. Is 7.5 months long enough for her to have received breast milk? Is it ok to stop now? Part of me feels really guilty about the idea of stopping and part of me feels really resentful about continuing on, when the results are so minimal.

I make all her food by myself. We don’t feed her processed things. Yet, I can’t get over the idea that if I stop now, I am being a “bad mom” or taking something away from her.

I just don’t know what to do.

Does mommy guilt ever go away? Have you dealt with something similar?

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About llipps

New mom, infertility survivor, marketer, wife, daughter and friend. I struggle to find the balance between being all things to all people and being happy with who I am. I love meeting new people, telling my stories, and hearing yours.
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One Response to Breastfeeding or Bust?

  1. Leanne says:

    No, you just get better at pushing it out of your mind. And better at trusting your own decisions.

    To answer your question – YES, spending quality time with her is more important than locking yourself away trying to do something that just isn’t working anymore.

    Stopping doesn’t make you a bad parent. Honestly, truly.

    I made it 7 days before my Mom was kind enough to give me that same advice. I simply didn’t have any and he couldn’t latch. And he’s FINE. So are all of the babies whose moms can’t breastfeed at all for whatever reason. And even the ones who choose not to for whatever reason.

    Now, stop worrying and go play! 🙂

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