The End of Our Nursing Journey | NESHEAHOLIC

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The End of Our Nursing Journey



My original breastfeeding goal was 6 months. 3 or 4 months in I loved breastfeeding and decided I would likely nurse at least a  year. As the months continued I intended to make it to at least 14 months, weaning before my 30th birthday in January. 

At around 8 months my pump output started to decline, so I had to increase my number of pumping sessions to keep up with what she needed during the day at daycare. Although my pump output went down, when she nursed directly from me she was satisfied. 

Around 9 months my pump output became so low that we had to begin supplementing with formula at daycare pretty regularly, usually one bottle a day.  At this point she was still satisfied nursing directly. 

By 10.5 months my pump output was so low that I no longer wanted to take the time to do it for just a few ounces. I was still nursing her mornings, nights, and weekends. Because breastfeeding is completely a game of supply and demand, I knew that no longer pumping would decrease demand, and therefore further decrease my supply. 

At about 11.5 months, one week ago, she was no longer satisfied from nursing sessions, and I knew our nursing journey was coming to an end. It was time to wean.

Weaning was extremely easy. She has been off bottles for months and already taking sippy cups. Because she's been having formula at daycare already she had no problem continuing. She's also begun transitioning to almond milk which will be our milk of choice once she's one. She eats table food regularly so her milk intake in general is decreasing in favor of more solids. On my end I didn't get engorged or have any pain, I didn't even leak! My supply waned very easily, thankfully. 

Emotionally I was sad for a few days. I really enjoyed breastfeeding, and I had hoped to make it a few more months. Initially I felt like a failure for not making it as long as I wanted to, but then I had to congratulate myself for making it as far as I did. The commitment to breastfeeding is not always easy, and I made it 11 months. I'm proud of me. 

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4 comments

  1. Way to go for going so long! I feel like we aren't encouraging to breastfeeding mamas in anyway so I'm always happy when people are able to feed for as long as they want to. So Yay!

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  2. I think our nursing journey is going to follow a similar pattern. My supply is so dang low, and like you, I just don't have the motivation to keep pumping to get very little in return. The only problem is...Charlie hasn't yet taken to formula :/ Any tips there? Also, when did you start giving her almond milk. I think that'll be my milk choice, as well. Personally, I drink soy milk, but I know that it's really not any better for baby than cow's milk so almond milk seems like the obvious choice. I'm so happy I have someone who's on such a similar nursing trajectory- you've been such a good encouragement to me these past few months :)

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    1. Definitely start with a mix of breastmilk and formula if you can. My daycare provider would do (for a 4 ounce bottle) 2 ounces of breastmilk, 2 ounces of water, and just one scoop of formula. We started almond milk when she turned 11 months. She likes both the unsweetened vanilla and the regular just fine.I'm so happy I could encourage you! :-D Working mom-hood is not for the faint of heart lol

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