"For a healthier baby and a healthier mother, this simple guideline of exclusive breastfeeding is one most mothers can follow." - La Leche League
I have broken up with my breast pump as of this morning. Part of me is happy not to have to endure the soreness, inconvenience, and good ol' fashioned nipple-stretching the wretch has caused me, but I will always wish I could have given my daughter more.
If you've read my first post, Smiles, you know Maeve has a sensitivity to cow's milk protein. That's a large part of why she's on formula. But the other part is my milk. I dropped dairy entirely from my diet (no simple feat) so that I could continue to supplement her diet with my milk, but my milk alone just didn't seem to be that good for her. Even before she tried formula, she was perpetually hungry. I nursed her 45 minutes out of every hour for weeks on end. And after I introduced formula, I always gave her the breastmilk bottle first. After that first bottle, she always immediately cried out for more food.
I know it's normal for new moms to think there's something wrong with their milk, but I just can't shake it, myself. I wish, I wish so much I could have exclusively breast fed her, and given her all my antibodies, probiotics, and what have you. I loved the time I spent nursing her, although I could do precious little else in a day.
I would call it my biggest failure as a mom so far, even though part of me knows it isn't my fault. I just feel like she and I missed out on something special, and now my milk has run dry. So today I'm a little sad.
However, this weekend I shall welcome dairy products back into my life with gusto! Oh butter, cheese, milk, and yogurt, I have missed you terribly.