Before I begin writing today, I would like you to know how personal this post is for me. I am a reserved girl and I keep a lot of personal information to myself and my family. Through my blog I have opened up on my life and I’m hoping that my honesty can help others through my experiences with healthy living, keeping fitness part of every day life and my number one goal of raising a healthy, happy family.
Prior to Bradley’s arrival on July 8th I promised myself and my family that I was going to try to keep him as healthy as possible. Keeping him healthy to me meant that I was going to love him as much as possible and nurse him as long as I could. My secret goal was 3 1/2 months. That is how long I nursed Ava and I knew I could at least make it that far.
I never had issues nursing Ava. It was easy, she was quick, there was less interruptions at night from making bottles, she was healthy and we saved some money. I also developed a special bond with Ava and I learned a lot about myself from those late night feedings and long nights.
What I also learned was that nursing wasn’t always a positive experience. There are so many issues you can face such as getting the baby to latch, engorgement, nursing pain, long feedings etc. While I didn’t have major issues, I did find it challenging to leave the house to nurse. I wasn’t able to do it in public. Some women have no issue with this, but to me I dreaded being out and nursing. I would do it at someone’s house, but only if I was in a room by myself. After a few months I felt trapped and it was starting to take an emotional toll on me. While I wanted a healthy baby, I also wanted to live a “normal” life. For me that meant getting out of the house and feeding my baby from a bottle whenever I could.
Similar to Ava, I had no real issues nursing the second time around with Bradley. He was a little harder to feed, and a lot bigger and heavier to hold, but both minor problems I easily learned to work around. So after about 3 1/2 months with Bradley my supply started slowing. Part of it was probably from a big hungry boy and part of it was me secretly starting to wean off and add in more formula so I could go out more. When I went to Bradley’s 4 month check up he was over 95th percentile for height and weight and I told his doctor I was probably going to slowly stop nursing.
She gave me words of encouragement and told me I had done a wonderful job. She ensured me that he was not only healthy, but also an extremely happy little boy. That was really all I needed to hear to give myself the okay to stop my journey… and the best part is HE’S STILL HAPPY drinking formula. The hardest part of the transition was me letting go of my guilt.
For me, nursing was a positive experience and even though I probably could have kept going, it was the best choice to end my nursing journey when I did. I no longer had to plan my day around Bradley’s feeding schedule and we were all much happier.
For all you new moms out there my advice to you is not to put any pressure on your feeding choice for your baby. You need to do what’s best for you and your family and I encourage you to take it one day at a time. In the end, we all want our babies to be healthy & happy and your feeding choice will always be the best one.
Learn more about feeding options from The Honest Company.
January 6, 2017 at 4:41 pm
My first two were formula fed from the start, my third was nursed until he was 14 months and I had plans to do the same with #4, but it was not as easy and after 8 weeks, I called it quits. At first I had mad mom guilt, but when I saw how much happier and easy going it made her, the guilt vanished and I never looked back.
January 10, 2017 at 10:42 am
Thanks for sharing Jen. We should never have any guilt about any of our parenting decisions. Easier said then done because I felt guilty too but once I made the decision we were all so much happier and Bradley was still his sweet happy self. Maybe even a little happier