Breastfeeding is something very important to me. I want to give Carter the best start to life that I can. Breast milk is full of nutrients, vitamins, antibodies and everything else he needs. There's nothing processed in it, nothing that will hurt him (given I avoid gluten, if he does have Celiac) and it's free. It started out so easy for us, he was a great baby to nurse, albeit he wanted to nurse all.the.time! He gained weight at the proper rate, hit his milestones correctly, got rid of his jaundice and overall just thrived. Then we moved in with our friends, I stopped taking care of myself the way I needed to to take care of him properly. I didn't eat enough and my milk supply suffered. Who knows, it may just be how Carter is, but his weight gain plummeted. Then, I got a job. We moved into our own apartment and I started eating better. My milk supply started to increase, but not enough for a good pumping output. See, there's a difference between nursing a baby and pumping out milk to feed to your baby. The hormone reaction is different, the emotions are different, the mechanics are different. Sure, the end result is similar, baby is still getting Mommy's Milk, but it is so so different. Carter was eating more than I could pump at work and so we had to supplement his feedings when I was gone with formula. To be honest, it kinda killed me a little inside, and it still does. Carter is my son, my baby. I'm supposed to feed him, I have everything he needs. (Side point: I don't look down on those who choose, for whatever the reason may be, to formula feed their baby.) That being said, I just didn't have the milk to give him. Our nursing relationship when I was home continued to improve and be amazing! He still nursed often and for longer periods of time. He helped get my milk supply back. In one month, he gained over a pound. Formula packs pounds on babies, who knows if the weight gain was from that or from my milk or both. It sure did make me feel guilty though for that month where I wasn't giving him what he needed.
That's the past. 5 days out of the week, Carter has been getting formula after he drinks all the pumped milk I left for him. BUT! That's about to change. I have a goal and I'm going to reach that goal. I have two more weeks to reach it, it started this week. My goal is that when Carter turns 6 months old he will be back to getting exclusively breastmilk! Of course, that's the same time he's going to be starting solids but no more formula. My milk supply is much better, back where it should be. My goal this week was to get it down to 4 days that he would get formula, I DID IT! He didn't get a drop of formula on Monday! My goal for next week is 3 days of him getting formula. I plan on talking to work and taking two breaks, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, to pump. Not only will it help get Carter off formula but it will help up my supply even more. I have been getting up in the middle of the night to pump, I pump on my lunch break, I pump when I get home and I pump in the morning before work. No matter how much I pump, there's still enough for Carter to eat since the pump can't empty the breast like a baby can.
I'm hoping by adding in the pumping sessions that I'll be able to pump enough to have a stash of expressed milk in the freezer again, especially since I'm going to have to have surgery at some point.
For now though, I'm just going to work my hardest to give my adorable baby boy the best possible start to life I can, and that's by giving him the food God designed just for him!