Monday, October 20, 2008

Letting go

I am going to admit -- I wasn't going to breastfeed. I was a little weirded out by the whole thing and no one in my family really had done it or talk about it. It seemed taboo to me. Then my friends started having kids and they breast fed their kids. I starting reading up on it and since it's the best thing for the baby, why the heck would I not breastfeed? So, I gave myself a time limit -- my goal was I'd breastfeed until I went back to work. I've surpassed that goal and my new goal is six months.

Somewhere around 4 months, your milk supply naturally dips. I can only pump 12 oz at work and our daycare provider figured out that Lil B really needs around 15 oz to get him through the day so she started supplementing with one 4 ounce bottle a day. I have meet this choice with criticism from some. I feel in my heart OK with this decision. I have about 8 cans of formula samples so I haven't had to buy anything yet. Ben's weight is on the small side and if he's hungry and really needs the extra 4 oz I'm not producing then so be it.

Ben has started eating 2 tablespoons of rice cereal a day. One feeding before we head to daycare and the other after he eats when he gets home from daycare. We have started to notice he sleeps longer at night with rice cereal in his tummy. Then last week I went out and Brian put Ben to bed. Brian quite enjoyed feeding him and putting him to bed so then we started a habit of Brian bottle feeding him.

I have started to feel sad about dropping this one feeding but on the flipside, Brian can't breastfeed and he really feels connected to Benjamin during the bedtime routine now. Our compromise, we're going to switch off feeding the baby each night. That way, I don't feel so sad and Brian gets to connect to him.

I can already tell letting go of breastfeeding is going to be hard for me. I never knew I'd enjoy it this much.


helenjane said...

This is helpful for me as I have a 3.75 month old little girl who's STILL waking up 3 times a night to breastfeed. As she screams bloody murder at the sight of a bottle, we'll just need to, sigh, do it. I was all for this "best for the baby" stuff, but after so many months of fractured sleep and insanity, bring on the rice cereal! Bring on the formula!

Jen F said...

Happy baby? Check!

That's really what it boils down to. If he's happy and healthy then you are doing great. A little extra relaxation for you is an added bonus.

Hang in there, and have Brian pat you on the back (or better yet give you a back rub) for being an excellent mom!

Jessie said...

Word of unsolicited advice: Try to stay away from the high flow nipples. Babies will actually refuse the breast and prefer the bottle, since it is so much easier and faster. This happened to me when my baby was 10 months old. I started supplementing because I was very sick and initially it went okay... until I switched to the high flow 3 and 4 nipples. By 12 months the baby wanted nothing to do with my breast. If I had to do it over again, I would not have supplemented at all, or at least stayed with the low flow 1 and 2 nipples. Good luck!

Bryan said...

From Raising Arizona..."Ma'am, you don't breast-feed him, he'll hate you for it later. That's why we wound up in prison."

Little Things said...

I loved the peace and quiet of breastfeeding - a break from everything else, where it's just you and baby.

If you want to up production, there are herbs like fenugreek and blessed thistle that can help up production. When I was pumping, I joined a (WONDERFUL) yahoogroup called "pumpmoms" and found the advice to be great and the women there to be amazing.

In the future, it's probably better to buy the powdered formula - I read the other day (on the internets, where everything must be true) that the cans are lined with something containing BPA. Better safe than sorry. That DOES NOT MEAN you need to toss the cans, just that you should be careful.


Brenda said...

I, too, found it incredibly hard to cut the ties to breastfeeding. And we kept going until she was almost 21 months old! It was our special bonding time and I wouldn't undo it for the world. I do get the daddy getting to feed the baby, too, and I second the suggestion to stay away from high flow nipples on bottles. Make 'im work for it like he would from the breast so he'll want to breastfeed as long as you're wanting to.