The last few days (since last Wed), we’ve been lucky enough to have another visitor, my Mother-in-law (aka Cookie). Sadly she had to return home yesterday so we are once again a house of 3 (well 6 if you count the 4-legged sort).
Instead of a weekend recap, I’ve got a baby-related post for you….
When I became pregnant, I knew that I wanted to (try to) breastfeed. Not only did the doctors and class instructors highly recommend it – no, they pretty much said it was the only way to go – but it was also something I wanted to experience as a new mom. Regarding the doctor-comment above, Zach and I did feel like those who wanted to go the formula route could feel ‘less than’ or chastised, which we did not like. It’s a personal decision to breastfeed or not, and no new parent should feel pressured one way or the other.
Anyway, I intended to breastfeed for at least 3 months (until I went back to work) with 4 months being a nice goal and 6 months being a very lofty goal. I am at 3.5 months and still breastfeeding to some degree (anywhere from 3-4 times a day/night). As you may recall we began supplementing with formula in week 5, which was anywhere from 2-6 oz per day. When I returned to work that amount drastically increased since I never was able to pump enough for a large freezer reserve. On average, the bean gets about 12 oz of formula a day since my return to work – sometimes more, sometimes less. I breastfeed when I can, namely in the mornings, at night before he goes to sleep, and again if he wakes in the middle of the night.
But I’m ready to stop.
And there are three honest reasons behind that:
- Bean is A-OK on formula – he likes it, has no issues taking a bottle, and seems to be thriving
- Pumping at work is a huge pain. I have to account for the time I’m not working and that means more time away from bean. No thanks. Besides, I can only get about 3 oz a session which isn’t even enough for one of his feedings
- I want my body back. Yes this is selfish to some extent, but it’s also honest.
Now I’ll clarify: If for some reason Sawyer could not stomach formula or wasn’t taking bottles very well, I would be doing everything under the sun to keep my breast milk supply healthy and long-lasting. Since that is not the case, I feel that nearly 4 months of breast milk is a good decision for me and the bean.
I’ve gone to several websites seeking information how to best wean and many say the same thing: space out feedings/pumping more and more each day to week and feed less each time. So that’s what I’ve been doing. Now when I pump (1x/day), I only ‘let down’ – I don’t actually pump to emptiness. Same for feedings. I start Sawyer off and then finish with formula. It seems to be working quite well. And while some engorgement and knots have occurred, nothing has been overly painful. I can go about 8 hours in between at this point. My desire is to migrate to formula completely by May 1st.
And if it’s not evident that my baby is thriving, he is now 14 lbs 6 oz as of last Friday! His 4 month appointment is the first week of May and we’ll get the full report then.
If you’re a mom that breastfed, what drove your decision to stop? And when? Any tips?