8/1/17 - 9/1/17 | NESHEAHOLIC

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Our Breastfeeding Story

The end of our nursing journey


Our breastfeeding story

My original breastfeeding goal was six months. Three or four 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.

Three months to eight months breastfeeding


My daughter started daycare at three months old when my maternity leave was up. At that point I began pumping while at work to produce her daycare bottles. I envied all the breast milk stash shots I saw online. Moms who had freezers full of breast milk for a rainy day. I was not so lucky. My pump output was usually exactly what my daughter needed for the following day, with little to no surplus for a stash.  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.

Beginning to supplement


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 at work 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 she was no longer satisfied from nursing sessions, and I knew our nursing journey was coming to an end. It was time to wean.

The end of our breastfeeding journey


Weaning was extremely easy for us. She had been off bottles for months and was already drinking from sippy cups. Because she'd been having formula at daycare already she had no problem continuing. She also began transitioning to almond milk and cows milk shortly after weaning and began eating table food regularly so her milk intake in general decreased in favor of solids.

When I stopped nursing I was very fortunate to not 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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