Why I Stopped Breastfeeding


Breastfeeding was always something I had planned on doing, breast is best right?  I kept an open mind to the fact that a fed baby is better than a hungry baby as well.  Luckily breastfeeding came very easy to me and all my kids.  

With my oldest son I breastfeed exclusively while I was out on maternity leave.  It was easy enough being I didn’t have anybody else to chase around.  I quickly realize I wasn’t comfortable breastfeeding in public, 11 years ago it wasn’t quite as mainstream but was getting there, and I was a terrible pumper.  I wasn’t good about pumping when he was finished, and I definitely wasn’t good about pumping and feeding on a schedule.  If I needed to go somewhere I stressed out about it: how long was I going to be out, was I going to be able to have somewhere to feed him, was I going to have to feed my kid in the car?  I ditched lots of different outings simply because I couldn’t get over it.  I locked myself a way for a while basically.  For a lot of my maternity leave the only outings would be the grocery store because we were desperate and to Sonic for happy hour.  I didn’t think about how lonely it would be locked away feeding him ALL THE TIME.  I can remember BALLING one night with my husband because I felt so tied down, which sounds awful.  Then I started crying because I saw it then as my baby not needing me anymore.  See, I had turned into a crazy person, and looking back now I probably had some postpartum depression as well.  

You read all these things about how beautiful it is, and all this fluffy beautiful stuff, but I was this exhausted new mother caught between loving this little person with my whole heart and wanting him to just leave me alone long enough so I could shower.  My sweet husband did what he could to try to help, but I was stuck in my crazy hormone brain.  

When it came time for maternity leave to come to an end I made a point to pump more and get Reuben, my oldest, ready for the bottle.  He was totally cool with the bottle, so that was nice.  When I started back to work, as a school teacher, finding time to pump was difficult.  Basically I took my lunch to pump and that’s the only time slot I had.  My planning period was after lunch, so I didn’t have a second time slot to be able to pump.  I usually shot out of work when I could so I could go pump or feed my baby.  I.  WAS.  EXHAUSTED.  I couldn’t keep up with work, a baby and home.  My husband was traveling 40/50% of the time and I was just tired.  I decided to stop pumping during work at first and breastfeed at home at night, because it was easier.  I could use lunch and my planning period to do work and Reuben took formula fine during the day.  I was able to do this until he was about 3 months old.  He started to sleep through the night, I know he totally spoiled me, and I started to dry up.  I was good with it, and I’m pretty positive my husband was ready for me to stop obsessing over it so much.  

My next 3 kids went similarly, but I at least knew what to expect out of it.  I wasn’t as obsessively crazy about it, and I was able to feed a little more comfortably in public.  I’m glad I breastfeed my kids, and I’m glad we figured out a happy medium schedule before we went to straight formula.  

All breastfeeding stories are different and there is no shame in that, to each their own.