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  • Paige W.

The Breastfeeding Woes

Updated: May 1, 2020

This post is definitely going to be one of many when it comes to speaking about my learning experiences as a new mom. Not only am I a new mom, but I am also a wife, work full time as a pediatric nurse, and I am obtaining my masters to become a family nurse practitioner online. Needless to say, I have had my stressful moments, my moments of weakness, and several breakdowns. On top of all of this, I was a breastfeeding mom, and this is going to be the topic of discussion for this post. I am writing this in hopes of making a difference in the lives of other moms, who might have gone through the same emotions I faced while trying to breastfeed and be the supermom I always envisioned myself to be.

The funny part about this entire topic, is that when I first found out I was pregnant, I remember telling people that I was not sure if I wanted to breastfeed. I saw it consume the lives of so many of my mom friends and I did not want that same life for myself. When Payton was finally born, my husband asked me to at least try to breastfeed her because of all the benefits the milk had. Both my mom and my mother-in-law asked the same of me so I decided to try it out, but told myself I would not put any pressure on myself if it did not work out.

The day Payton was born, she latched to my boob right away, and in the weeks that followed, I was able to share a bond with my daughter that words cannot explain due to the fact that I was breastfeeding her. This feeling made me draw farther away from the desire to ever allow her to have formula.

Things were going great while I was on maternity leave until Payton’s pediatrician explained to me that I would have to start pumping on a schedule to prepare myself to go back to work. It sounded like it would not be too bad until I got home and tried to figure out how in the world I was going to breastfeed, eat, shower, do homework and study, and now find 30 minutes out of my day to be a milking cow! Needless to say, I was finally able to figure out how to pump and built up a little milk storage but shit hit the fan once I returned to work!

I am a nurse on an extremely busy pediatric med surge unit, so finding time to pee and eat is a luxury on some days. Once it was time to add pumping to the mix, I mentally started to lose my mind. Not only was I trying to find the time to pump and take care of my patients, but I also had to make sure I was eating and drinking throughout the day in order to make sure I didn’t fall out on the job. To top it off, there were many nights I would return home with breasts that felt like rocks and would spend my first 30 minutes at home pumping, instead of loving on my baby girl.

There were obviously countless times I would break down and want to stop breastfeeding, but I would talk to close family and friends who would always guilt me into continuing. They would remind me that I am lucky to be producing so much milk and have no real reason to stop but for my own benefit. It finally took me sitting down and making a deal with myself that I would breastfeed until Payton was 6 months and then wean her off. I decided that Payton was in need of a happy and healthy mom, who could not continue to carry the stress and physical demand that pumping was taking on my life. When I finally did stop this journey, Payton was exactly 6 months old and I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I cannot lie though, I TRULY miss breastfeeding and had my days where guilt would take over when giving Payton formula. But overall, I made a decision that worked for me. I already have new moms who ask me if they should breastfeed and for how long they should breastfeed, and I respond telling them that it is an individualized decision that must be made my the mother! Basically, I am not here to preach on the perfect breastfeeding timeline. I am here to remind you that your mental health as a mother is important no matter what. Your child needs a happy and healthy mom, so make sure your decisions create an environment that allows that.

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