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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Milk

"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.

6 comments:

  1. You are not a failure, you are a very good mother. Think of all the good things you gave Maeve with your milk.

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  2. Andrea (buttonsmcgee)September 22, 2010 at 8:34 AM

    I went through a similar thing and I still feel guilty, at least we gave them what we could. :)

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  3. You gave her your milk for 5mos. I do not think of that as a failure!! You DID give her your antibodies, etc. :) This is the reason there is formula- for babies and moms who need it. You are doing what's best for YOUR baby!

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  4. Thanks, girls. Mommy guilt is a powerful thing!

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  5. Honey, you are so not a failure! I remember feeling exactly the same way when I had difficulty nursing my kids - each of the four have had a different combo of nursing/bottle and they are all very healthy - not many ear infections, no allergies. Remember that this mommy thing is a marathon, not a sprint - there are many, many years to give your daughter all sorts of good things!

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  6. My own experience with breastfeeding was particularly abysmal, and I still feel guilt over whether or not I did all that I could, but in the end all that really matters is that our kids are happy and healthy. And it seems that Maeve most certainly is!

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