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Got Milk? I Could Use More.

Here’s a giant preface to what I’m about to write: I know that *nothing* I’m going to say is based in logic. Nothing. You are entering a logic-free zone. Enter at your own risk.

It was traumatic. For me. Tobin couldn’t have cared less, but when William told me that Tobin had his first formula today, it was traumatic. I can’t help it that giving the baby formula made me want to cry. It’s stupid, but there it is.  And William has been nothing but encouraging and helpful, but that doesn’t make milk either

Tobin is 5 months old, we nurse in the mornings, when I get home from work, before bed, and sometimes in the middle of the night. He’s not hurting for breast milk. I’m pumping during the day, but it’s just not enough for him to have breast milk only and it’s making me sad. He’s also already eating solids, so he doesn’t need as much milk during the day, but even that I can’t keep up with.

I’m working to build up my supply, drinking more water, eating better, trying to get more rest. I haven’t started taking supplements yet, but that’s coming. I’ve talked with healthcare professionals about it, and there is a game plan, but it still makes me sad.

My friend, Jenna, and I have talked about how breastfeeding is almost a “macho” thing for us. A look-what-my-body-can-do-for-my-baby thing. I don’t blink at parents who formula feed, but I start losing my milk? That’s a whole different story (did I mention there was no logic going on right now?)

Part of the problem is that I’m comparing my two boys. With Nicholas, I nursed for 23 months, pumping for his first year with not a drop of formula necessary. Now, 5 years later, I’m having to give Tobin formula? It sucks. And I’m not thrilled that it makes me so sad…and we’re back to the no logic thing. Someone asked the other day if I was under a lot of stress. Well, I guess. I mean, the normal stress of a mom with a job and a family and a home. I can’t use the stress card when, during Nicholas’ first year I was spending so much time in the hospital with Mark that everyone knew Nicholas and me on sight. Talk about stress.

Were you a nursing mom who had to go to formula? Did you choose to formula feed? I’d love to hear your stories…maybe you can bring some logic to my swirling thoughts.

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  1. My milk NEVER came in for Bacon. I still have guilt over the fact that we had no choice but to give him formula. He's six. Mom guilt is ridiculous. Let him have both, and don't worry. He'll be fine. This will let you relax too, no more worrying about hooking yourself up to the double pumper to make enough. This relief of stress alone wil get your milk flowing like crazy!

    1. I think you were right, as soon as I gave myself some breathing room (about the pumping) I started getting some more milk. Amazing what the mind can do to the body!

  2. I doubt I will add any logic. I nursed AND formula fed both babies right from the start. Mostly nursing in the beginning but my second baby we purposely gave one bottle of formula a day to keep him used to the taste and bottle so that I could leave him with someone even if I didn't have pumped breast milk. I liked nursing ok, but I was happy to give it up after a year.

  3. I had to supplement with formula for my daughter two months in. I can still remember having the conversation with my husband to “use the breast milk in the freezer,” having him open the freezer door and reply, “What breast milk?”

    I pumped plenty of milk for my son and had lots in the freezer, but he only wanted it in the “original containers.” Your child is an individual and he will be satisfied with what he wants. You can’t force anything (or truly take anything) away from him.

    My advice is to worry about the things you CAN control and to enjoy the times you do get to spend nursing with him. They go by so quickly.

    1. And how hard did you swat your husband? 🙂 Thanks for your thoughts. I’ve always loved nursing just for the reason you say, it’s always been one of the things I enjoy most about nursing. It’s a quiet time with just me and my baby, and it is such a short amount of time!

  4. I’m so sorry things are different this time around! I’ve always had to supplement and I’ve been blogging about it. Still sad… I can relate with the macho thing 🙂

    1. It’s funny, isn’t it, how something so basic can feel like such a challenge? Whoever said breastfeeding is “easy” was doing a dis-service to women everywhere!

  5. I have totally been there. But you do what you can. I agree with Mrs. Tantrum. Mom guilt is ridiculous. If someone told you that they were feeling guilty in the same situation, you would tell them “don’t be crazy, you are an awesome mom!” But somehow, we can’t do that for ourselves.

    1. That’s one of the things that drives me crazy…about me. I’m able to support my friends and acquaintances, but heaven forbid I give myself a break! Thanks for your thoughts.

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