No. Not me. I don’t want to quit breastfeeding but I know many moms out there who want to. Let’s face it…it’s hard work and it’s easier to give up anyway.
Even moms who have planned to breastfeed for at least 6 months sometimes get the feeling of quitting long before that. I know I felt that way at times within the first 2 to 3 months of my journey but I’m glad I powered through.
Each person has a different reason for why they may feel like quitting. Unfortunately, some may not get the support they want or need, so they don’t have anyone to encourage them to reach their goal.
I was (and still am) mainly self-motivated but that didn’t mean I didn’t want outside support as well. I’m going to share some of my thoughts when I was tempted to quit and how I got through those tough moments.
I Don’t Have Enough Milk
If you’ve been following my journey, you’ll know by now that this was a legit, super fear of mine. Honestly, even after being
diagnosed with an oversupply, there were times when I still wondered if I was making sufficient milk ESPECIALLY when my daughter was cluster-feeding.
Because feedings were happening in such a short space of time, I naturally wondered if my body was indeed keeping up with my baby and making enough milk. I also thought that maybe I should just give up.
Thankfully, I didn’t. My mommy and me group was just the support I needed. I was not alone and cluster feeding was completely normal. Most importantly, because breastmilk is produced on a supply and demand basis, my body was definitely working to readjust to my baby’s demands.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have this thought at times and I have to work on reminding myself that I’m producing what is needed. This is especially necessary when pumping.
There are times I would express about 4oz in less than 10 minutes and other times I’d get less than an ounce after 30 minutes of pumping. At those moments I go into a slight panic mode and wonder what’s wrong. But truthfully, nothing is wrong. The amount of milk expressed by pumping is not an indicator of how much milk is there.
This Baby Isn’t Latching On!
This was my frustration during the earlier weeks and probably up to about 2 or so months. My daughter would turn her head so far away and I’d be struggling to put her correctly but she would always resist.
I remember one particular night, I was so fed up. I was trying so hard to get her to latch well and that wasn’t working out. I tried different positions until I had absolutely had enough of trying. I was so mad at myself that I walked away (it was more like a storming out of the room in anger) and cried my eyes out. I wondered why it was so difficult. Maybe she didn’t like me.
It definitely wasn’t helping that I knew she was hungry and she was bawling at this point. I felt like a complete failure and questioned if I was willing to keep on trying. I mean, it would’ve been easier to make a bottle and feed her right? But I had a goal.
After crying for about 10 minutes, I washed my face, took some deep breaths and tried again. I wish I could say that I got it instantly but I didn’t. It took a whole lot of deep breaths and trying to relax and calm myself down before she latched on. When she latched on I felt like I won the lotto.
Just that little achievement was enough to push me not to give up. I just needed a little patience.
Ugh! I’m So Tired
I’ve been tired before but breastfeeding seems to take that to a whole other level especially when it seems like your days consist only of feeding.
There are nights I longed for at least 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep. It was like as soon as I finally got to sleep, I was back up again.
Some slight relief came when she was about 3 months old. She started sleeping for 4 hour stretches at night. But then at 4 months there was a sleep regression and I never got such a long stretch of sleep again. Lol. I don’t mind anymore though.
The good news is, it won’t last forever and these are moments I will not get again with her so why not just ride the wave as it comes? 🙂
I Feel Uncomfortable Feeding In Public
Staying indoors all the time wasn’t realistic as much as I wanted to. I had to leave home at some point whether it was to go to an appointment, support group, church or to the supermarket. I had major anxiety the first time I left home and realised that I would have to feed my baby in public.
Well…it wasn’t that I didn’t know. I think it’s mainly that I wasn’t prepared. Yes, I had nursing bras and some tops but I’m not one for all eyes on me and I felt as if that would happen when I was feeding my baby. It actually did. And some people just didn’t respect my space and wouldn’t excuse themselves which was a point of major anxiety. It actually affected my letdown because I was too tense.
I didn’t want to come off as “inappropriate” (how stupid of me now I think back) so I thought maybe I should just give her a bottle so I don’t “expose” myself. Not to mention, I didn’t want all the extra nosey questions about me breastfeeding and the unsolicited “advice” which always follows.
At the mommy and me group, I didn’t mind. I wasn’t the only one feeding. No one was looking at anyone anyway. We were focused on our babies. Apart from that, it was so weird to me.
I carried that “weird” feeling around for a while until I decided to change my perspective. When I’m hungry, I eat. When my child is hungry, why shouldn’t I feed her? Her food comes from my breasts. Is that a bad thing? Absolutely not! So whoever has a problem with it, they can suck it (not me lol) and move along!
Breastfeeding is a whole job (it seems so to me). It takes a lot of getting used to. There will be good days and not so good days. When you’re tempted to give up, the most important thing you can do is to remind yourself why you made the choice you did.
Time is going to fly by. Before you know it, you’re gonna reach your goal and look back with pride at your accomplishment.
Don’t give up! You’re doing a great job, mama and your baby absolutely loves you!