Breastfeeding Road Bumps
Posted By: Jennifer Johnson
I didn't grow up around breastfeeding moms. In fact, I grew up making formula bottles for my little sisters.
All of a sudden I've been overwhelmed with the feeling of not wanting to be touched.
Last weekend my husband went golfing all day with his dad, who was visiting from out of town. I was at home with our daughter on my days off, after working eleven days straight. Yes, eleven.
After day three I started getting a little behind on my pumping routine and was bringing home extra milk every day during my break, feeding her, then trying to pump again later.
After eleven days of that, and two days of make-up nursing, all day and night (I'm guessing because she missed me), I'd had it.
My nipples felt raw. Not sore exactly, raw. Overused, deflated, squished, dead, and I needed time to regroup.
After waking up to get my daughter a few times last night I gave up and brought her to bed with me. This is kind of a lose-lose situation for me because when she does sleep with me, her noises and constant re-latching keeps me awake anyway, so usually halfway through the night I end up putting her back to bed.
I was a zombie this morning and a wave of emotions crashed over me, reminding me of the way I felt when my daughter was just a few weeks old. I felt as though I was just walking boobs, nothing else. Same thing today.
Normally before I leave for work I'll nurse her one more time, but today I didn't stop my husband as he prepared her bottle. I didn't come home to feed her during lunch, and I pumped once while at work. By the time I got home and settled I felt a little rejuvenated, and ready to be latched onto again.
I think it can be a hard balance at times, as women and as mothers. We have our own personal need to be individuals, yet we have a whole additional person who depends on us for her livelihood. We sacrifice so much to do that and I think sometimes we're afraid to admit that. Afraid to admit that it's not always easy.
Today I needed a little break. It wasn't drastic and I don't think it will do much, if anything to my overall supply, but I needed that. I needed a moment, just a few hours to reconnect with myself before connecting (literally) with my daughter.
Breastfeeding has been more of an emotional roller coaster than I ever imagined. There have been far more ups than downs, however, the emotional connection I have in the breastfeeding process is so much deeper than I envisioned.
I feel am immense amount of pressure to keep going. It's not coming from family or friends but myself. But the best way to keep going, I'm finding, is to take it day by day. Yes, I have long-term goals but my goal right now is to continue to breastfeed today! Hopefully that goal will get me through these little road bumps I'm encountering from time to time.3:19pm on Tuesday December 21
I've found while nursing my two children (one to 18 months, the ohter to one year old and counting) that the feeling of not wanting to be touched came and went. Sometimes the feeling lasted longer (weeks), sometimes just a day or two. The best way to stop that feeling was for me to get a break - go take a long bath, work out, read, whatever.
Good luck, and congratulations for having continued to breastfeed! :)
I think that maybe you need to explore why you feel so pressured to keep breastfeeding. Honestly, when you feel pressured to do things you generally don't enjoy them and you don't want to turn your breastfeeding experience into something negative. I started a journal for Moo when I first started to feel overwhelmed. I found that writing to my baby and being honest about my feelings towards her and the new responsibilities I had took on helped to relax me and put things in perspective.
Don't think that if you wean her now that you're a bad mom because you're not. It just means that you've reached your limit emotionally and physically. And J will probably be happier because even as babies they sense a change in our feelings. And who knows maybe she will surprise you and start to wean herself once she starts eating solids more.
Ditto on day by day.