Our Breastfeeding + Formula Journey Update Part 2
Hi friends! Last week I shared a post about my experience breastfeeding and formula feeding both my kids (so far) – that post is here – where I described what I did with my first child, Shepard, and how things have gone so far with Scottie (who is 5.5 months old). I am at an interesting crossroads, because I find myself wanting to stop but also feeling a lot of guilt and sadness about stopping at the same time.
Here’s the latest situation – I have both breastfed and supplemented with formula with Scottie since she was only a few weeks old. We started out “exclusively” breastfeeding, but then I wasn’t able to give her enough at night to where she was satisfied, so I brought in the formula, and have never regretted that decision even once. From there I was nursing her for every feeding except that night time feed and we were in a good rhythm. However – ever since I started back to work, my supply has dipped and it’s been semi-challenging to get her enough breastmilk. I’m not sure why it’s dipping…I’m working from home and she’s at home with a sitter every day – so it’s not like I’m having to pump instead of nurse for those feeds. I think it’s probably connected to having more stress in my day to day and being in a time crunch between meetings whenever it’s time to feed her. For the past few weeks, she’s been good breastfeeding for her morning session and late afternoon session – but her lunchtime I’m barely producing anything. We’re still trying every day, but every lunch hour I nurse her (and I think she probably only gets 2-3 oz) and then we give her a bottle of formula after that to supplement. She is also going to be starting daycare in a couple of weeks – so I’m anticipating that will hinder my supply even further.
My game plan as of today is to keep doing what we’re doing for now – and then once she starts daycare – we will *likely* drop all nursing sessions and move to formula (except possibly keep that first breastfeeding session in the morning.) This makes the most logistical sense, as she is perfectly happy and content with formula and she will be six months old – but I still have a little devil on my shoulder making me question it, because if I wanted to, I physically could keep doing it.
So why am I questioning this? My entire goal with Motherhood for Me is to let other moms know that it’s okay to do what you need to do for your life, your own situation, your own mental wellbeing. I would welcome the ability to have my body back to myself for the first time since becoming pregnant well over a year ago. Maybe I wouldn’t feel as tired all the time or straight up starving at all hours…maybe I’d finally be able to lose the 10-15 lbs that my body holds onto while I’m breastfeeding – wouldn’t that be nice?!
I tell all my friends in similar situations to do what feels right for them. So why is it so hard for me to take my own advice?
For starters, I think we’re probably done having kids (that’s the plan for now anyway). So in my mind, I’m thinking- this could be the last baby I breastfeed – why do I want to end that? Why am I rushing through this phase? I also am concerned with COVID and germs at daycare. I like the fact that I’m vaccinated and am giving her antibodies with my breastmilk. There are also all the regular germs she will come into contact with that she hasn’t yet been exposed to – and I want her to be as protected from those as possible. I am also grateful to my body that I’ve been able to breastfeed her – and since I’m physically able to – shouldn’t I keep going? Lastly….why is formula so expensive?!?!?
Guys it’s just a never ending loop over here. Tell me I’m not the only one?! I know once I make the decision that is right for our family – I’ll feel better and hopefully confident in that decision. It’s just having to walk the fence and not knowing which side I should jump over to.
I’m sharing the back and forth in my brain because after surveying the MFM community on Instagram, I received tons of messages stating that regardless of how we as mamas decide to feed our kiddos- we all go through the mental mind Fs of making those decisions – all the guilt, societal pressure, our own internal pressure – it’s never ending. So if you’re going through that too, you’re definitely not alone. Just remember – we’re all in this together, and ultimately we do know what is best for our own situation.
Motherhood for Me is here to create a better motherhood community. A place without judgement, mom-shaming, or condescending articles telling you what to do. We are a place for you to come as you are, read about what other mamas are going through, share your own stories (if you want,) and provide opportunities for you to find camaraderie with other mothers. Please check out our other mama submitted stories, sign up to receive email alerts when we publish a new one, and spread the word to all your mama friends. We truly appreciate your support and you being here. Thank you!