Breastfeeding is a hot topic among mommy bloggers, especially natural birth/attachment parenting advocates, who are the majority of the mommy bloggers that I follow. I completely agree with the whole “breast is best” philosophy, and had originally planned on breastfeeding for at least a year.
Since Little Sir did experience a natural birth, he was able to breastfeed immediately and really didn’t have any issues with latch or gaining weight or anything – we were very blessed in that way. However, as I have gone back to work and had to pump for the majority of his day, he became less and less interested in breastfeeding. It’s not that he prefers the bottle per se, but just that he is a very active baby and isn’t able to pay attention to the boob for more than 5 minutes unless he is feeding in his sleep.
In addition, we had to add formula at about 4 months of age because my production just cannot keep up with his hunger. He never seems to distinguish between formula and breastmilk, so that was easy to do.
As of right now, I am still pumping, but we have to add 2 oz of formula to every bottle in order to get the 5-6 oz he needs at each feeding. Before bed he needs at least 8 oz in order to sleep through the night. We have to do straight formula for that one – there’s no way I’ve ever produced that much.
Why am I telling you this? You might say: this is a “green blog”, what do we care about your breastfeeding?”.
Well, this is where the “confusion” part of being conscientious comes in.
Conscientious: I know on paper that breastfeeding is best. I realize that the API and natural parenting community wants me to breastfeed until Little Sir is at least a year old. Honestly, they’d prefer he be walking up to me at 2 years old and pulling up my shirt. (This idea creeps me out personally, but I understand the heart behind it and I respect that some people do this.)
Confusion: Here is the thing: I have to hook this machine up to my boobs and let it mangle me for a minimum of 3 or 4 times a day. And for what? So I can get a very minimal amount of milk, sometimes only 3 oz total. (and yes, I know about massage to increase production when pumping. I do that. That is what I get even after massage) When I try to get the little guy to breastfeed on weekends and on my days off, its like wrestling a cat. He pops on and off for a minimum of 25 minutes each time, and doesn’t get much, so we’re back doing it again in 2 hours. Every 2 hours, 25 minutes of wrestling and hair pulling and squirming. Aaaggh.
There have got to be better ways to spend my days and his.
I know the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastmilk to the age of 6 months and that is only 2 weeks away. I think we can make it that far.
Then I am seriously considering ending this effort. Going almost exclusively to formula and breastfeeding only in the early morning when he gets up and comes into our bed with us (co-sleeping! see! see! I can be AP!!). For as long as my supply lasts at that rate.
Go ahead, yell at me and tell me that he’s going to grow up some kind of serial killer or goth teenager because I didn’t breastfeed long enough. I really would not mind someone else’s perspective on this. I’m not going to lie and tell you it will change my mind, though. I’m pretty much done with it, to tell you the truth.
Because at this point, just looking at that breast pump is making me nauseated.