It occurred to me recently, while I was reveling in the thought that in 6 months I won’t have to pump breast milk while I work anymore (the bane of my existence some days), that that also means my exclusive breastfeeding journey will be over in 6 months. It doesn’t feel like I’ve been at this long enough for that to be true!
Before Fiona was born, I knew that I wanted to breastfeed, for all the reasons everyone wants to: healthy for baby, healthy for mama, inexpensive! I had read that it’s good to have a “goal” in mind. But when I thought about it, a year (so I wouldn’t have to purchase formula) seemed daunting but 12 weeks seemed so minuscule. So I went in with an overarching desire to exclusively breastfeed, which would mean doing this for a year, without any real date in mind.
Breastfeeding overall has gone very well for me. Fiona latched immediately after birth. I was sore for a bit, but that eventually eased. I started out with some oversupply issues (engorgement, “choking” baby, spraying/leaking, etc.), but that eventually settled down, starting around 6 weeks and finally evening off around 12.
I started pumping when I went back to work at 10 weeks. Props to those mamas that exclusively pump, it is a labor of love. I’m not sure I would have the fortitude to keep up with it if I didn’t have the reward of nursing mornings/evenings and weekends.
Six months in, I finally hit my first real roadblock. A plugged duct (teetering on mastitis) that led to a milk bleb that led to another plugged duct and finally when I thought I was free of the bleb, a third plugged duct — all in the span of two weeks. It was not fun. I now feel like a fully fledged member of the breastfeeding-moms-overcoming-obstacles club. But, I’m back on track and things are going great once more.
A long six more months of pumping are ahead of me. I cannot wait for the day I can put that pump away. But I don’t think I’ll be ready to give up nursing altogether. It’s clear to me when I rock Fiona in the glider as the sun sets that only six more months of nursing isn’t enough time! It’s amazing how contradictory that feels.
I hope to continue nursing mornings/evenings after I stop pumping. It’s a wonderful time I get to spend with my girl and I don’t think I’ll be ready to give it up at one year.
For those getting started on this journey, my favorite nursing products:
- Bamboobies (I wrote about these before!)
- Pure lanolin (I tried Lansinoh and others, I prefer the thick, sticky lanolin. It also helped with my milk bleb too!)
- Medela Pump-in-Style Advanced double pump (I received mine FREE through my insurance provider. Contact your insurer to see what you are eligible for!)
- Dr. Brown’s Option Bottles
- Boon GRASS and TWIG
- Munchkin Dishwasher Basket
- Nursing bras (I bought a few cheap at Burlington Coat Factory)
- Nursing tanks (I liked my Motherhood Maternity V-Neck Pull Down Tanks the best)
- Pump strap
This post contains some affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase using this link.