One day while driving along with the kiddos, we passed two women running together on the sidewalk. Evelyn was all excited and yelled, "Look mommy, cool runner girls like you!!" :)



Wednesday, May 30, 2007

feeling like a cow & other aspects of breastfeeding...

I've been thinking a lot lately about how much longer I want to breastfeed... I am not sure what to do though. Here is my situation:

From the beginning, Evelyn has been a pretty easy baby to breastfeed -- no feeding issues, she knows how to latch on, I have a plentiful supply, etc... but it is a lot of work. Especially since I went back to work!

I find myself having to pump at least 2 times during my work day. Since I am a sales rep, I don't have an office (just my office at home) -- and I basically live in my vehicle from 9AM until at least 3-4PM (some days are longer than others). So that means being forced to pump in very strange places. Most days I end up pumping in the backseat of my Explorer. Not a huge problem -- the windows are tinted, and I also wear a fabric nursing cover so that even if someone could see in, they wouldn't see anything. Some days though I have other people riding along with me during the day. Take yesterday for example... I had my boss with me all day. Since he was in my vehicle all day, I was forced to pump in a supermarket restroom (where else was I going to stop and pump??) YUCK! Not exactly the cleanest place in the world. Not a real "feel-good" experience. I mean, not only do I feel like a cow being milked --- but I am a cow being milked while reading the graffiti on the stall walls, trying not to touch anything, etc..

And -- I am not the type of person who can nurse in public. A lot of people that breastfeed think it is convenient because they can nurse anywhere and don't have to worry about bottles, etc... Not me. I always carry a breastmilk bottle with me when we go out. Part of the problem is that I am self-conscious about doing it in public. Another reason is because Evelyn doesn't latch on and stay latched on. She is constantly moving around, looking around, etc. She doesn't like to be covered up by a nursing cover. She likes to be able to see me and look around. It would be almost impossible to do it privately. So, when we go out as a family -- we take a bottle with us and the breastpump.

So the inconvenience of pumping is one issue. Another issue I have is just the fact that my boobs are constantly changing sizes. At any point in the day they are completely blown up and porn-star-ish, completely empty and deflated, or somewhere in between. It doesn't make it easy to fit into clothing properly these days. Forget the cute tailored button down shirts that I used to wear to work... those are not even an option.

The other issue I am sick of is having to wear nursing bras. Especially since it is getting to be summer --- I don't want to be restricted to wearing these ugly bras and the nursing pads, too. Now that it is getting to be tank top season --- I want to be able to wear strapless bras and the other cute bras that have been tucked away for about the past year now.

But -- after saying all of this, I almost feel a bit selfish for wanting to quit breastfeeding. I know it is good for Evelyn, it is cheap (FREE) -- and it does allow for some extra bonding time. But that is really all the positive things that I can think of... Is that enough to keep doing it?

Any input is appreciated. I am really debating trying to wean her in the next month or so. I don't know...

5 comments:

Laura said...

Do what you want. You are the only person who can decide if it is the right time or not. And no matter what you do decide, no one can question your decision. Mother knows best. :)
I will admit that when I did switch to formula the whole being out in public thing was a lot easier.
You can train your body to breastfeed only at night. I did that for about a month. It took about a week to get my boobs to adjust, but they do, and I didn't even leak during the day. Maybe that would be an option....

AJ said...

I agree with Laura, every baby and every situation is different. Just feel good that you did it as long as you have/decide to do. No matter what you choose, it will be right for you and Evelyn.

I agree, it is very hard to find time to pump at work, and that is considering I am in my office every day and our building has a special room just for breastfeeding. I can't imagine what it would be like on the road. Just the getting the pump and everything ready every morning added like 20 minutes to my morning.

I had two totally different experiences with breastfeeding. With Ava I had a great supply and no problems. When she was 4 months, I went down to only at night for one month. With Noah, he was so big and so hungry all the time, that I started in with formula early because he'd nurse for 90 minutes and I couldn't take it. But my supply didn't come in as well, and then my doc let me go back on birth control and it totally dried me up by the time he was 3 months old. I was really sad about it, but I think I was sad becuase it wasn't my choice to stop it, it just stopped. It's a tricky subject I know!

So by all this rambling, I'm saying, do what feels right to you!

Brooks Family said...

I only did it for about 6 weeks. A lot of people may try to make you feel guilty, but it's your choice. I don't regret it one bit. My son is healthy, happy and we still have a bond. There are things that you can do to bond with them other than feeding I think! Just my 2 cents :)

Kara said...

I agree with everyone else, Michelle. Do not make yourself feel bad for anything you decide. Any breastmilk you give your child is great. You need to do what works for you. You know I only pumped for a couple months. Pumping was just too hard with twins, etc. I had no down time. I don't regret my decision to move to formula. This is what worked for me.

Love you!!

The Kirkwood Family said...

I love it! All the advice is great. I am shooting for 6 months... I am not even working yet and already find it inconvenient. I loved all your thoughts, because I seriously think about them too. I know it isn't tube top friendly - but one of the bras I have and really like if from motherhood maternity. It is nude colored with pink straps - and the straps are 2 spaghetti straps.

I honestly have searched the victoria's secret bra section hoping they will have something for nursing mom's. But no luck.

Oh - as for nursing pads. My girlfriend who is on her second kid was amazed at teh ones I am using cause they are so much thinner... the gerber ultra thin pads. After working in adult diapers (I make depends) these pads have super absorbent in them and absorb all day long. I have one leaky boob. Just one. Frustrating...

So that is my advice.