Yesterday, I called my birthing center and asked them to switch me over to the birth control pills that contain estrogen because I was done breastfeeding. The nurse asked me if I was “done, done”, and I quietly replied “Yes.” That’s when it really sunk in that I was done breastfeeding Kayleigh, for good.
I snapped this pic during one of our final breastfeeding sessions, to remind myself that I did breastfeed Kayleigh for 3 months. I tried my best, and that’s all I can do!
Breastfeeding was never something that I enjoyed. In fact, I wrote a post titled “7 Things I Hate About Breastfeeding”. When Kayleigh started teething at only 2 months old, it really took a toll on my ability, and desire, to breastfeed her. Her gums were hurting her, so she kind of went on a breastfeeding strike. I tried to pump, but never really got much out, and it seemed to take forever for me to pump even 2 oz. from each breast. I just didn’t have the time or patience for it, and I didn’t want my little girl to go hungry.
I managed to breastfeed her until she hit the 3 month mark, supplementing with just one bottle of formula each day, but our breastfeeding journey eventually came to an end completely. Kayleigh didn’t really put up much fuss at all about it, and seems to enjoy the formula.
Even though I didn’t enjoy breastfeeding, at all, I have mixed emotions about the end of our breastfeeding journey. While I feel “free” again, and back to my old self, I also feel like I let myself, and my daughter down. I wanted to make it to 8-10 months, and I only made it 3. I keep asking myself over and over again what I could have done differently that would have helped me to go longer. Maybe if she hadn’t started teething so early? Maybe if I had try to pump more from the beginning to increase my milk supply?
I also feel like a failure, because there are all these other Moms out there that breastfeed their children for well over a year, seemingly without any problems at all. They often act as though breastfeeding is the only option for babies, and if you feed your kid formula, you are a terrible parent. I know not all breastfeeding Moms are this way, but when you start feeding your child formula only, you really feel looked down upon from a lot of breastfeeding Moms.
All I can do now, is look back on my breastfeeding experience with Kayleigh, and be proud that I did it for 3 months. I’ve heard that any amount of time you can breastfeed for, is beneficial to your baby. I’m really glad that I gave it my best shot, and I will definitely breastfeed baby #2 when that time comes. Maybe I’ll have learned from my mistakes this time, and have better success next time!
Did you breastfeed your children? How long did you make it?