Breastfeeding… it’s over

Breastfeeding – the pumping, the stressing and the stuff many moms don’t publicly talk about

FullSizeRender

I’m here… I thought I would be more excited. I haven’t pumped in over a month and I haven’t nursed in exactly one week.  I thought the weaning process would be more difficult.  Austin actually weaned himself…lol  He stopped being interested at about 10 months.  I pressed him to night nurse for about another 3 weeks and after that, he was really over it.  He just stopped… all by himself *insert dramatic cry face here* My baby has grown up waaaay too fast on me.  I’m happy to have my boobs back, but a little sad at the same time.

I absolutely MUST salute ALL breastfeeding moms, whether you exclusively pump, exclusively nurse, or a combination of both; whether you breastfeed for a week, a month, a year or longer – this breastfeeding life is no joke! It’s amazing what our bodies are able to do to grow and nourish our little people.  We are awesome!  I will share my story in hopes that it will encourage and inspire someone.  Please share your story in the comments so we can all encourage one another and keep each other going.

FullSizeRender (1)

Initially…

First of all, I have to give a shout out to my good friend, Shatia. She was with me from the beginning – from washing pump parts & showing me how to operate that thing – to showing me how to properly hold the baby while he’s nursing.  She still answers any of my questions to this day!

I was one of the fortunate mothers whose baby latched perfectly from birth. My milk came in within 3 days of delivery and we were good to go.  BUT… my nipples, oh my sore, sore nipples *insert cry face here* They say the first 2 weeks of breastfeeding are the toughest and whoever “they” are was NOT lying.  Every.Single.Time the baby latched in the beginning was painful.  This is the process of your nipples adjusting to the nursing life and its no walk in the park.  The Lasinoh lanolin ointment was definitely my friend in those weeks.

I was told not to pump within the first 2 months because my milk supply was regulating itself according the baby’s needs. I did, however, pump here and there so daddy could feed baby.  I pumped enough for a bottle and that was good enough for me.

Returning to work…

When I returned to work, Austin was 3 months old. My milk supply was wonderful.  I was pumping enough for him to take 16 ounces to daycare and I still had another 4 ounces left from my pumping session most days.  I was pumping 3 times a day (9am, 12pm and 3pm).  This enabled me to build the coveted “freezer stash”.  I built my stash without thinking about it, but I know most moms do stress over producing more than enough milk.

Producing milk and having a stash can become quite the obsession if you’re not careful. You will find yourself creating unnecessary stress and stress will affect your apply.  If you are producing enough to send with your baby while they’re away from you, YOU’RE FINE!

I was fortunate enough to return to work and have a really good lactation room set up. My pumping schedule wasn’t impacted in any way (initially).  However, when Austin was 6 months, I got a new assignment, which meant a different working environment and a new team.  At this point, my schedule got busy, I got stressed at work, Austin was on solids and my milk supply tanked.

Nobody tells you about the dusty lactation conditions in some work locations. Or the funny looks you get when it’s time for you to go and pump. Or the stress you create when you feel like you’re taking too long in the lactation room.  Or the stress you feel when you can’t produce enough milk for your baby like you once did.  It got rough for me.  But I set a goal to give my baby mommy’s milk for at LEAST 12 months and I almost made it (until he weaned himself…lol).

The Supplements…

Oh the milk boosters – lactation cookies, smoothies, and teas – were my friend! Most moms don’t mention the struggle to get out enough milk to send to daycare with their child, but I’m here to tell you… I did a LOT!  I was:

  • Stuffing my mouth with lactation muffins, cookies, teas and anything else that helped me produce enough (I did everything but pills… I’m not a big pill fan)
  • Putting brewer’s yeast, flax seed meal and oatmeal in EVERYTHING…lol
  • Pumping in the car to stay on schedule
  • Avoiding clothes that prevented me from easily accessing my boobs

I made it…

I almost reached my goal of 12 months. My cycle returned awhile Austin was 10 months and I believe that played a major part in my decreased supply and Austin’s disinterest.  But I went 11 whole months and I am proud of me. Breastfeeding isn’t hard, but the pumping IS!  The hardest part was the sacrifice – stopping for 30 minutes at least 3 times a day and physically hooking yourself up to a machine to pump milk for your growing baby.

My Advice…

Its tough… but its worth it! I don’t need to go into all the benefits of breastfeeding here, but there are PLENTY!  If your body is able to produce milk and your baby can latch or if you can pump, please do your baby a favor and make the sacrifice.  Find yourself some people who will support you in your journey.  I would not have been able to go this long if I didn’t have the support of my breastfriends.  If you have no support and you’re reading this, reach out to me and I will make myself available for tips and advice; I will also point you in the direction of a great support group on Facebook.  If you’re pregnant, PLEASE try breastfeeding FIRST!  Your baby will thank you and you wont regret it!

As always, thanks for reading and leave comments below

13 thoughts on “Breastfeeding… it’s over

  1. Rosslyn says:

    Thank you Katrice I was just telling my mom who takes care of the baby at her daycare that I might have to introduce my baby girl to formula because my milk supply is decreasing. I take fenugreek pills, drink mommies milk, eat oatmeal and drink alot of water and pump 3 times a day and I feel that its not enough. My freezer milk stash is getting low. Any advice for me?

    Like

    • beyondavg1 says:

      I never took fenugreek. It has different affects on different women, but for some, it could decrease your supply. Nurse baby as much as possible on weekends and whenever you’re with her. She can pull more and demand more milk than a pump. Search “lactation smoothies” on pintrest. The milk boosting ingredient is brewer’s yeast and flaxseed meal. I had some chai tea from Mrs Patels that worked great for me. http://www.mrsmilk.com

      Like

  2. LIFE says:

    I am living this right now. My baby is just over 9 months and I returned to work 3 months ago. In the past week or so my supply has tanked. I’m going to do these smoothies you mentioned and hope that I get back on track. Great post!

    Like

      • LIFE says:

        I placed my order a couple days ago and now I’m buzzing around dying for it to get here 😅. It’s like waiting for Christmas!

        Like

      • beyondavg1 says:

        I gave him almond milk. He was already eating table food, so the majority of his nutrition was coming from his food at this point. I never wanted to do cows milk. Almond, Rice or coconut milk were the options I was going with. He preferred the almond, so that’s what we stuck with.

        Like

      • LIFE says:

        Great! Thanks. I will try these options because I feel somehow nervous about cow’s milk but was unsure what else was nutritious enough. I tried all of your recommendations and my supply is pretty good. But I need to wean her for my medical needs. Thanks again!

        Like

      • beyondavg1 says:

        No problem! When I noticed my supply was going down, I started giving him a little almond milk in his breast milk bottles. So when it was time for him to start getting straight almond milk, he was already used to the taste. Everything will work out just fine mama. You can email me or find me on IG if you have more questions later. Beyondavg on IG and Beyondavg@gmail

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s