Just Say No…

…more breastfeeding!  I don’t breastfeed anymore.  I officially stopped about two weeks ago and it was one of the most liberating, exciting things I’ve done.  Let me give you a little back story.

When Jake was very young, I breastfed him pretty exclusively.  After a while, I was having a hard time functioning due to lack of sleep.  My mom was visiting and offered to take some of the nighttime feedings.  I would pump and she would feed Jake with my breast milk.

Often, I didn’t have enough milk to give him only breast milk.  This was most likely caused by my not feeding Jake using both breasts at each feeding, resulting in decreased supply.  I also had a hard time drinking enough water to produce the correct amount of milk.  For some reason, I have always had a hard time drinking my fluids!  Because of my decreased supply, we supplemented with formula.

Let me tell you, ladies, breastfeeding in the beginning (especially when you have no idea what you’re doing) is challenging, frustrating, and exhausting.  It’s also very rewarding, don’t get me wrong.

Anyhow, as the weeks went on, I continued to have to supplement with formula.  I would nurse Jake and then when I didn’t think he was getting any more, I would offer a bottle.

Then I went back to work and Jake went to day care.  I would pump about half the amount of breast milk he needed, so we continued to supplement.  He got so used to the bottle at daycare that when I tried to nurse him, he would get distracted, not latch properly, etc.

Finally, after about three months of trying to nurse, I gave up, choosing to feed him strictly from the bottle.  I continued to pump, but no longer offered the breast as it was too difficult and ended with both of us frustrated and dissatisfied.

Pumping at work can be challenging, especially when you stay as busy as I do throughout the day.  Being a manager at Walgreens, my assistance and knowledge are used throughout the day by all members of staff.  At the time (before we got the new registers), I was required to be present for all returns or exchanges, I had to get change for cashiers, assist in the pharmacy, address customer service issues, along with various other tasks.  This is not including the projects I was involved in (such as building displays or working in the stockroom).

Every 3-4 hours, I would have to excuse myself and go off to a little room for 20-30 minutes.  Sounds nice, right?  To have a break in the midst of the chaos to take a little time for myself.  Not really.  Often, I would get a page or a phone call while pumping.  Someone needed my assistance or help finding something or had a complaint I needed to address.  If there was another manager there, it wasn’t a big deal as they could handle the issue, but if I was alone it was frustrating.  I would have to stop pumping, get all unattached, redress myself, take care of the issue, and then undress and attach myself again. I am grateful to my manager, who covered my “alone time” more times than I can count.  Thanks, Kristy!

So, to sum up this long winded post, I chose to stop pumping at six months instead of the originally intended 12 months.  It was a personal decision and I wrestled with it for several days before I took the plunge, but I must say, it was one of the most freeing decisions I’ve made in quite a while.

No longer and I living in 3-4 hour increments.  If I want to go get my hair done, then go shopping, then go to a movie, I can!  If I want to get a big project done at work without constantly watching the clock, no problem!  I love that I was able to give my baby breast milk for the first six months of his life, but I also love that I’m done.  Now I can focus on solids.  We started vegetables yesterday!  Stay tuned for that post…

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One thought on “Just Say No…

  1. Bethany, besides “just six months” of breast milk, Jake has received so much more: love, cuddling, reading books, that many children miss out on. You and Jeff are terrific parents. Don’t look back on your decision; just look at the happy, well-loved, well-cared for baby that you have.
    Love you three,
    GPP

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