My Breastfeeding Journey, Part 2

During World Breastfeeding Week, I'm honoring that my second breastfeeding journey has come to an end. 
I went into this newborn/infant phase reminding myself to be graceful toward the breastfeeding journey. I wrote this blog post near the end of that phase with Ariana, when she was around 9 months old. I was looking forward to putting less pressure on myself, and I told myself I didn't have to feel guilty if we supplemented with formula.


Even with those reminders, I still held out hope that my supply would be better this time around.
It wasn't. 
Sophia is just over 5 months old, and my supply is done. 
I remember pumping after going back to work the first time around. I remember trying furiously to pump (and wash pump parts) three times a day. I remember bringing my pump when we had to travel for the day. I remember stressing about making arrangements to pump during a class I took and having to take extra break time for it. 
I told myself this time, I wasn't going to stress as much about pumping. It's not like it's pleasant anyway. And I didn't want to spend hundreds of extra dollars on lactation supplements that really never helped. 



I also gave myself a threshold for pump production, and when I hit it, I would call it off. I hit that threshold last week, when I barely pumped an ounce in a session. Even knowing that it was going to happen soon, I cried a little while putting the milk away, knowing that it was time to call it. 


I looked at my stats the other day comparing my pump sessions for Ariana vs. Sophia. I had way fewer pumping sessions and WAY fewer ounces overall.
It's okay to both mourn the end of this phase and feel okay choosing the alternative. But I don't want to feel discouraged - it's not a failure.
We've supplemented Sophia's feedings with formula since she was a newborn, and she is growing, strong, happy and healthy. I've got a small supply of frozen pumped milk, but for the most part, Sophia will be formula fed until she turns one. 




While grateful for the ability to use formula, I am also forever annoyed at how much formula costs and how much waste it creates. (So much plastic and so many little scoopers!)
If you are struggling to breastfeed for any reason, first of all, know that you are not alone. And second of all, you don't have to feel guilty using formula. You are not "less than." As long as your baby is fed, your baby is doing great. 


If you are able to breastfeed for over a year, I am in awe of your dedication (and your supply). 
And it's so true what they say - no matter if your baby is breast or bottle fed, they will grow up to be a toddler who just wants to eat junk food and dirt.
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