I know that there will probably be some people out there that think i should never tell another mother that its OK to stop breastfeeding. Too bad, ITS OK TO STOP BREASTFEEDING! Anyone who has ever experienced the breastfeeding journey knows what you have to put into it and it isn’t for every mother out there. It is hard work- like a LOT of hard work. Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves and other mamma’s about breastfeeding?? Yes, i understand that its the best for your baby but you know what…. so is your sanity. If at some point in this journey you feel as though your entire life revolves around breastfeeding, that you hate it, or it is not only physically but mentally exhausting? Please know that it is ok to stop.
We live in a world that it is not REQUIRED of us to produce. Yes, it is better for your baby and their immune system. Yes, you do bond with your baby more than you would without breastfeeding. But at what cost? If you are mentally drained, physically drained, and even worse start to dislike motherhood? It’s time to think about other options and way them out for your sake and your babies.
I couldn’t produce enough with my first born to breastfeed her but i tried like hell! I felt as though I failed as a mother. I tried to breast for for 4 months with no luck and finally gave it up. By the time I was at the 4 month mark- I was working full time and only pumping 1 full 8oz bottle of breast milk A DAY. That’s right, she was drinking 1 bottle breast milk and about 7 bottles formula. I had a talk with my husband and he made it all clear. He told me, “Why put so much pressure on yourself about this when she pretty much just drinks all formula anyway”. I was taking a back and thought oh my gosh, he is right! So i stopped. When i did, it was like the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders.
Now with my second born, I tried harder because I wanted it to work. I also had more time on maternity leave to make it work. Well…. it did! I was producing MORE than i needed to. I had breast milk stored up in the freezer to feed her for a solid week! A lot of mu success this go around was due to the pump i was using. It was one that fits in your bra and was cordless. (If interested in which one it is HERE IS A LINK FOR IT. (If you want a detailed description for how i breastfed for 7 months with a full time job, as well as the products i used- Click here to see other blog post).
I’m sure you all are also thinking, “If she had so much success with breastfeeding the second time around then why would you stop?” I will tell you why, I am one of those mom’s who love her kids dearly. I know that if you are reading this post you probably are too and you are searching for a reason for it to be ok to stop breastfeeding. Well here it is. If what you are doing for you and your baby is too hard and most days you feel as though all you are is a walking refrigerator… well that’s because you are!
Here are just a few of the reasons that choose to stop breastfeeding at 7 months:
- I HATED pumping. While i did have the latest and greatest pump around (the Elvie) i still hated it. I hated having to stop doing WHATEVER it was that i was doing to “empty”. Not only that i hated the way it felt. Like with a passion!
- I hated the fact that everywhere i went i always needed to make sure i had a cooler and my pump fully charged and clean with extra spare parts in case i needed to pump more than once to even just go to the store!
- I hated that i had to step away from functions or meetings to go put my pumps in my bra because if i didn’t…. i would start leaking.
- I hated the fact that my husband couldn’t help me feed our daughter at night because it would be pointless for him to wake up with her when i needed to pump anyways. So that forced me to do it ALL, every wake up because she ate every time.
- I hated the fact that i would be feeding my baby girl one side of my very engorged boob and the other would leak so bad before i even noticed it and i would have to end up changing my shirt and bra in the middle of the night. Oh the leaking…
- This is probably my biggest reason and for me one of the most important one. I finally had my body back. After being a vessel for 9 months to my baby girl, i was ready to be able to be myself. Never mind the fact that when i was breastfeeding my appetite was through the roof which caused me to eat everything in sight and therefore i didn’t lose the baby weight. For the longest i just wanted my old self back and while i had my tummy back to myself i was still being controlled by feedings not only for her but also for myself!
Look mamma’s i know that being able to provide something that NO ONE ELSE CAN is magical and amazing… because it is! I was blessed to have been able to do it for as long as i did but just because your best friends sister in law did it until the kid was 2 years old doesn’t mean you have to. Hell if you choose not to breastfeed AT ALL- that is YOUR CHOICE. Stop letting people influence a decision on you that is not already your own. This will just make you resent them and breastfeeding all together.
If you breastfeed your baby until their 2 years old- GOOD FOR YOU!!! That is truly amazing. But on the other hand if you feel like you are losing your mind with it…. why continue to put you and your baby through that. After all, they are only so little for so long. Then they grow up and all of this will be a distant memory anyway. Spend your memories enjoying your baby whether that is breastfeeding or not.