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Friday, June 5

Why I gave up on breastfeeding

Why I gave up on breastfeeding

I'm not going to lie I was not looking forward to breastfeeding when I was pregnant. I was bracing myself for pain and a lot of long nights since I would be the only one able to feed Benson. But I have a (not so) secret to share with you. I didn't breastfeed my son. *Gasp*

Breastfeeding was always difficult for me. Benson was in the NICU for the first couple of days and while I tried to pump I honestly had no idea what I was doing. I tried to breastfeed him but we were having some issues so we tried giving him a bottle and he sucked the whole thing down. The kid was hungry. Every time after that when we went into the NICU we gave him a bottle and he happily drank it.

On one of my last days in the hospital one of the nurses decided I needed to try breastfeeding again and, I have no idea why but, she grabbed my boob and completely squished in order to teach me what I needed to do. I completely lost it. She turned around for one second and I burst into tears. Now, I feel a little justified in this reaction because it was late at night, I was still recovering from a 29 hour labor and a c-section and I was just completely exhausted. I was in so much pain it was terrible. From that moment on I gave up on breastfeeding. I never looked back and I never felt guilty about not breastfeeding. We were just going to be a bottle family.

I got a pump so that I could still give Benson breastmilk. I knew the benefits of breastmilk and I wanted him to get breastmilk whenever it was possible. Even though I pumped regularly my milk production couldn't keep up with Benson's appetite, so we also supplemented the breastmilk with formula. I pumped everyday until Benson hit the five month mark.

Pumping was always a chore for me. I never got much from it no matter how many times a day I pumped or for how long. By the end, I would sit there hooked up to the pump for 15-30 minutes and get maybe half an ounce. Half of an ounce. It was miserable.

When I started considering giving it up Benson was only getting one bottle of breast milk a week and I was laboring over that one bottle. It was just ridiculous. As my milk started to deplete even more I started to worry that the milk was going bad before he could even have any. I was exhausted from pumping and I just didn't want to do it anymore.

I tormented over the decision to stop pumping. I felt guilty about not giving him breastmilk if I had any to give. I felt guilty about how much formula cost when I was supposed to be able to feed him without it. I felt guilty about how cranky and whiney I would get whenever it was time to pump.

Finally, I decided that it wasn't worth feeling guilty over. I decided that one bottle a week really wasn't saving us much money and that, that one bottle wasn't going to vastly affect Benson's health. So I stopped pumping. I gave up breastfeeding all together.

I never thought that it would have been such a difficult decision for me, since I was never a do-or-die breastfeeder. I'm glad that I pumped and I'm glad that Jason was able to help me out during those night feedings with the formula.

I don't feel like I missed out on bonding moments with my baby because I didn't exclusively breastfeed. I still held him and snuggled with him after he finished a bottle. I feel like I did what was best for me and my family and in the end that's what was important to me. 


curtiss.bekah said...

100% agree with you! I desperately wanted to breastfeed but my son wasn't latching and I was in so much pain. I resorted to pumping but just like you, I had very little coming out. Every time I gave my son formula he would drink it so fast! I was spending so much time trying to pump that it was taking away from time with my baby. At about 4 months I switched completely to formula and I feel my bond with my now 2 year old is so strong!


Rebekah Anne said...

In the end what does it really matter if our kids are happy and healthy! I'm so glad that you were able to do what worked for you and that you were able to bond with your baby!

Leah Mohr Grammer said...

I have 6 kids, and all of them were bottle fed. I did have mom guild over a few of the boys but in the end I was miserable trying to breast feed, thinking about breastfeeding, or pumping to get such a small amount. I wasn't happy and no one else was either. I very much support those that choose to breast feed, and am a huge fan of those that can, but for me and my babies the crying and pain wasnt' worth it. {and after 6 kids I only have one weird one so the odds are good ;) }

Trisha Lozano said...

I feel like we are too pressured to breast feed and aren't educated enough on it to be successful. No one in my family breast feed. After 3 months I gave up myself. I was selfish. I wanted a nap LOL

Trisha Lozano said...

This is so true. No one in my family, not a single person, has been BF successful. My three months was the longest anyone has ever gone. I think it's also in part that the science is always changing and no one knows what to believe or do anymore.

Rebekah Anne said...

Amen! I feel like when it comes down to it you just have to do what works for you and not judge others. What works perfectly for me may not work for you and that's just fine!