Six Months Down — Now What?

Jennifer Johnson

Posted By: Jennifer Johnson

I didn't grow up around breastfeeding moms. In fact, I grew up making formula bottles for my little sisters.

I've made it! I flew past my goal to breastfeed for six months and I still haven't needed to supplement with formula. I'm actually beginning to think I won't have to. I've got the pumping rotation down pat, and with my daughter starting solids, it's given me a little wiggle room, so I'm never short milk, and actually am now freezing about three ounces more every week than I'm taking out in my rotation.

So now what? I've achieved my goal, so naturally I should set a new one right? I guess I'll go ahead and jump another six months. My new goal is to breastfeed a year.

As I set this goal I'm thinking "then what?" Breastfeeding is so natural and normal to me now, it's hard to imagine having my boobs back. Some days I think she'll never stop breastfeeding. Actually most days I wonder how we'll ever break the habit.

An online friend asked me about night weaning. I'm not even fully there yet. My daughter can sleep 6-10 hour stretches when she wants but a majority of the time she's still waking up to snack.

It does annoy me a little in the middle of the night and first thing in the morning when I realize I didn't get much sleep, but the word "weaning" gives me a strange feeling of sadness.

I never thought I'd be one of those people who breastfeeds past a year. Actually, I still don't think that'll be me, but what if it is? What if my daughter wants to breastfeed until she's four and I can't say no? I'd make up for the generations of kids in my family who weren't breastfed with my first baby. Now my imagination is running away with itself. I just think it's safe to say that I've grown to appreciate breastfeeding so much more than I thought I would, and I'm just going to have to make decisions as we go along.

But can I be honest and confess a few of my insecurities with breastfeeding now? The last couple of months have been a breeze, but it's been more difficult for me to nurse my daughter in public. In fact, I don't really like to anymore.

With her age she's gotten louder, so it's not as discreet when I'm about to start nursing her. She yells when she's hungry and sometimes will stick her face onto my chest so I, and everyone around me, know she wants to eat. It's a little awkward.

She also pops on and off when I'm feeding her, and she doesn't like being under a cover. I'd like to say I have yet to flash someone but I'm pretty sure that would be a lie. Granted, it's just a boob, whatever, my child needs to eat, but I'm just stating the facts.

Lastly, my daughter is bigger. Bigger than she already was, and in the 90th percentile, she's bigger than most eight month olds. The fact that she's large, and that it's all because of me, is a boost to my pride, but it does make me a little self-conscious when I'm nursing her in public. I feel like people are looking at me thinking "give that baby some FOOD" even though she's just six months and I know good and well my milk is the best food she's got. As she grows I'm a little worried I'll feel strange nursing a toddler-looking person around others, even though I know I shouldn't.

But I'm going to work on that!

Six months down, six months to go. If these next six months are anything like the last two have been I'd say it's going to be a breeze.

12:00pm on Tuesday February 22
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15 comments

Comments



1
3:38am on Friday February 3

1

ANGELITA KOSAKOWSKI
11:06pm on Sunday February 27

Congradulations,my 1st goal was 6 months it went by so fast.Now I've nursed 3 boys 2 1/2 years each.I'm nursing my baby girl 3 months and counting.I also donate my extra milk with all my kids.No way would I think I could do that when I set my 1st goal.Best of luck !You can do it!

angelita
12:42am on Sunday February 27

My 1st goal was 6 months.And it went by so fast!Now I have nursed 3 boys 2 1/2 years each!And 3 months a counting with my baby girl!I donate my extra milk with all my kids.I would never think I could do that when I set my 1st goal.Best of luck! You can do it!

Kristen
8:17pm on Saturday February 26

Congratulations on the 6-month mark! The first year of breastfeeding went by too quickly for me also. I am about to have a second and can't wait to have that bonding time with the next. Enjoy this time with your baby!

Theresa Korbar
3:56am on Friday February 25

Congratulations on making it to the 6-month-mark. The first year of breastfeeding went by way too quickly for me. One day you'll look back on the insecurities you're feeling and know without a doubt that you did the best thing for your daughter. Best of luck on the next 6 months (or more)!

Cameron Stromness
11:22pm on Thursday February 24

You're so lucky to have made it to 6 months! I struggled to breastfeed my son for 3 months and I decided it wasn't worth it, plus I went back to work and I guess I just got lazy and didn't want to deal with pumping. I'm so jealous my sister has been able to perfectly breastfeed her son from day 1. I will definitely try again with #2 (due in July) because I completely believe in breastfeeding and I will be able to work from home.

Kelly
7:41pm on Thursday February 24

Congrats Jenn!! I am at 4 months and counting with my son! :-)

Kim
3:36pm on Thursday February 24

Congrats on making it to 6 months! I, too, found that making small goals helped me tremendously. At first, it was just a month at a time and before I knew it, my son was 11 months and decided to quit on his own. Good luck on the next 6 months (or however long you choose)...you can do it!

Brittany Allred
1:54pm on Thursday February 24

Congratulations on making it 6 months! That is such an accomplishemt.

Hilary
1:47pm on Thursday February 24

Good for you! 6 mos while returning to work is a great goal!
I have just returned to work this week and am adjusting to the pumping/evening feedings with my little guy who is almost 1 yr.
I am finding many people ask me when I will wean, now that he is almost a year. My response is "when he's ready".
I say keep it up as long as it works for you and your baby!

Jessica Lackey
1:43pm on Thursday February 24

That's great to hear. I have made it to almost 8 months without any supplementing but my it seems to be interfering with work more but I am determined to stick to my goal of one year as well. I am hoping by pumping only twice a shift as opposed to 3 times will lessen the stress but not lessen the milk supply, any suggestions.

Claire Charlton
12:48pm on Thursday February 24

First of all, a huge congrats for breastfeeding even though your family didn't. Luckily there's so much support out there these days, but still it takes dedication! I know what you mean about when the baby gets bigger - they get so wiggly & easily distracted! It's a little aggravating in public when you're trying to be discreet and the little one's popping on & off to look around, etc. A note about your new goal: go for it, 12 months! Transitioning to more solid foods may pose challenges, it's like a balancing act sometimes. Also keep in mind, the BABY might just spontaneously decide she's done, & that's that!

Eleanor Todd
12:20pm on Thursday February 24

wow that is so awesome to hear! my daughter is almost 6 months and the past couple of days I've been thinking about what it is going to be like not to breastfeed when she reaches a year ( that's my goal too). It makes me so sad. She's starting to teeth so her eating schedule is so thrown off now and she's only snacking throughout the day (no straight meals). it's so strange to me and i'm so paranoid that she's getting tired of breastfeding!!
i'm so proud of you though for sticking to it!! i absolutely love your blog and look forward to all of your new entries!

Jennifer
10:30pm on Tuesday February 22

Great Job! I'm 9 months in 2nd time around and it does become such a routine. I didn't think I'd make it this far the 1st time around and now I know I can do it and go past a year. I don't think I could be a toddler nurser though. I do miss it after weaning, but I also enjoy having my body back (after at least 2 years -preg. and BFing).

Suzanne
1:03pm on Tuesday February 22

I also just completed six months with my boy (he's my second). He's also a very healthy boy, weighing in at just over 20 pounds at his well-baby checkup just this morning. With my first I pumped through 11 months, and had to supplement formula for his 12 month, but continued to breastfeed at morning and night 'til he was about 21/22 months. It was so wonderful. With my second, my supply appears to more bountiful, so I'm hoping to not need to supplement this time. Congratulations on making it 6 months and best wishes on another (or however long you make it).

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