To breastfeed or not to breastfeed…that is the question. Once you find out you are expecting, there are so many questions that loom. However, one of the more common debates parents face is whether to breastfeed their child or not.
For me, I was never an all or nothing girl. I had friends that were super pro nursing. Also, on the opposite of the spectrum, I had my mom friends that just decided to go in a different direction and use formula from the start. Either option works, and after taking in as much info as I could, I decided to land somewhere in-between.
As an “in-betweener,” I wasn’t forcing myself to breastfeed but I wanted to give it the old college try as well. And thus when my son was born, I did just that.
I was lucky. My breastfeeding journey was relatively easy. Andrew latched right away, and my supply was plentiful. I had more than enough milk to feed him and a small country. In fact, at one point I became so engorged that I had a golf ball size lump of milk in my armpit. No joke. (I won’t share the picture here, but it was quite impressive.)
And so I didn’t overthink it and continued to nurse my son. Month after month, it continued to work, and I continued to breastfeed. In fact, I became so accustomed to it that I actually started to enjoy nursing. I never thought I would get there, but that time with my little guy was precious. It was our time together and I cherished every moment.
The Finish Line
Unfortunately, life happened as it often does. Mastitis happened. And work happened. After my maternity leave, pumping sucked the life out of me. (It’s true. I have a whole new respect for exclusively pumping mommas!) But it was ok. I slowly started to trade feedings for formula and guess what, Andrew continued to thrive.
As I began my ninth month of nursing, I was done. Ka-put. My initial thought when I had Andrew was to try it out for six weeks. That became three months, then six and after my ninth, I knew it was time for me to pull the plug. I still had plenty of milk and Andrew was still great about nursing, but I was personally done.
I told my husband my feelings and rather than asking why, he congratulated me. My in-betweener strategy worked and it worked well. No pressure one way or another, I did what worked for us, made it ninth months and I am proud of it.
You will hear this echoed again and again I’m sure, but don’t overthink it, ladies. Whether it is to breastfeed or not, don’t be afraid to land somewhere in-between and do what works for you and your new little one. I did, and while I may be biased, I’d say the result is pretty darn great.