I Broke Up With Breastfeeding and It Made Me a Better Mom

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It’s time for me to get real with you all, so I have a confession to make: I broke up with breastfeeding. Yup, me and breastfeeding are no longer a thang. And you know what? I couldn’t be happier. It’s even made me a better mom.

I know. Gasp. I’m sure the “breast is best” crusade is probably ready to come after me, but hold up and just let me explain.

If you have followed along through my pregnancy and Blake’s birth, you know that I had a very serious breastfeeding plan in mind. In fact, I was heart-set on making it work. You watched me share the products I was using to keep things going, special bras that helped make it a hands free experience for me when pumping, and even my favorite Boppy breastfeeding pillow (which I still love), but there was a lot more going on behind the scenes.

The truth is that breastfeeding started consuming my life. I know that it is a commitment and I had prepared myself for that, but the stress of it all began to overwhelm me, take me away from everything else in my life, made me behind on work (work that my family and I need done to survive) and disconnected me from my husband and son. It got to be too much and Chris and I finally decided that enough is enough.

First and foremost, I started at a disadvantage. Having a breast reduction when I was 17, I knew that there was a possibility that I only had so many milk ducts intact, so I knew that I would be supplementing to begin with, and I was okay with that. I didn’t breastfeed Branden because honestly, the doctor’s I had at that time discouraged me from doing so, so I didn’t even try. (Looking back, I do wish that I would have.) But I wanted to at least try this time, and my midwife was super encouraging. As soon as I got home from the hospital with baby Blake, I had supplements ready to go to help increase my milk supply. (These are the ones I used, and they did really work tremendously, but I just didn’t have enough supply to begin with.)

My days became a constant, tormenting cycle of feeding Blake, supplementing, pumping – then I would pretty much turn around and do everything all over again, chugging water and eating endless amounts of lactogenic meals whenever I had time in between. Instead of it being a moment that I looked forward to – a moment of connecting with Blake – it was exhausting and I was reaching a breaking point.

It all became too much for me. And it broke my heart.

I cried and cried. She was latching just fine, but I just wasn’t producing what I needed to feed her. A very silly me thought while still in the hospital that if I could push myself through a med-free childbirth that I would be able to do anything. Wrong. Breastfeeding just wasn’t in the cards for me and I needed to accept that.

Still, I pumped and hoped that something would change. But, when Blake turned just one month old, I dried up all on my own for the most part and I knew it was time to step away. So I packed my Medela breast pump from beside my bed, my absolute favorite bamboobies nursing pads and my boppy nursing shawl (this is fantastic because it actually has a sheer insert Рall you breasfeeding mamas need this!) and put them all in a bag in my closet. Just incase we ever have another little one and I want to try again.

But, by breaking up with breastfeeding, I was able to be my old mom self again. I was able to learn and adapt to being a mom of two, giving them both attention.¬†Attention they both needed from me. I was able to get back to my clients, who patiently dealt with me through this transitional period. And I was able to be a better wife to my amazing husband who I know with my whole heart was put on this planet to balance me out and bring me back to reality when I can’t do it myself.

So here we are, with a growing, chubby, five month old who is formula fed and happy as can be. And you know what? So is her mama.

Fashionably Yours,

Allison

Comments

  1. Wendy Browne says:

    I totally get it. I had my third baby last year at almost 45 years old and my breasts just weren’t making enough milk. The doctor almost didn’t release us from the hospital as Cedric had lost so much weight in less than 72 hours. I wish they had supplemented him in the hospital as we weren’t able to see the pediatrician for at least three more days and the doctor there had to ask another doctor whether he should be hospitalized or not. :C I supplemented him after that visit and his skin and eyes looked so much better, so much more hydrated. I wish I fed him more bottles as I don’t think he was getting enough in those first months as he cried so much. I’m still night nursing him at almost 13 months but honestly I’m ready to break up with breastfeeding too.

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