Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Life After Breastfeeding?

Last week I realized that my milk supply had dramatically decreased and I now needed to supplement Morgan's diet with more formula.  Unfortunately, last week Morgan also decided to refuse the bottle so it has been a trying week.  I am attempting to pump more often so I can increase my milk supply and be able to breastfeed more,  but it's not the best situation. 

I had originally only planned to breastfeed for the first 3 months.  In the beginning, we had a lot of difficulty with latching and pumping, so I thought about giving up around 4-6 weeks.  I finally got the hang of breastfeeding and ended up really enjoying it.  Not only do I appreciate the benefits of the calories it burns (I use it as my excuse to not work out), but I also really like the bonding it has provided between Morgan and I.  Of course, I think that may have backfired a little as now there are times when no one but Mommy will do!

Now that I possibly face the end of breastfeeding, I find myself feeling a little depressed and sometimes I feel a little like a failure.  Logically, I know that isn't being fair to myself as providing Morgan with 5 months of breastfeeding is better than providing her with none!  I also know that what I have been able to do so far is an accomplishment and she really has gotten the best nutrients possible to this point, but I still feel guilty.  What if my job was less stressful?  What if I had pumped more often?  What if I had breastfed her more often?  What if we never introduced the formula bottle at night?  There are just a bunch of What Ifs? that go through my head every time I think of the end. 

I've been reading up on the end of breastfeeding and apparently it is completely normal to have these feelings.  I read that one mom never had post partum depression, but she definitely developed post breastfeeding depresssion.  I think this occurs a little more often when the breastfeeding stops on its own and not of the mother's volition.  I am comforted by the fact that I am not the only one out there who is experiencing these feelings. 

I also think it would make the adjustment a little easier if there wasn't such a HUGE focus on breastfeeding now adays.  We all know breastfeeding is the best thing for babies, but not everyone can do it.  Some women can't do it for health reasons, some women just have their milk dry up and some women just have difficulty getting started and there is enough to worry about those first few weeks to have to worry about breastfeeding as well!  Making women feel bad because they can't breastfeed is just mean!

Oh well, enough of my ranting and depressing thoughts.  I am getting over the change and my milk is still there, even if it is reduced, so I am going to move on.  I promise the next post will be much happier!  Actually, the next post will be about Matt's Match Day and will confirm where our little Siuta family is heading next!

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