I have another post planned for the end of this week, but I was too excited not to share some good news.
I’ve been pumping for about four months now, and for the first two months I always made just enough to keep up with Peyton – a “goldilocks”. Then in December, my supply dipped. I think it was a combination of getting sick, the stress of going back to work in January, and Peyton going through a growth spurt. In January I ate lactation cookies almost everyday and power-pumped as much as I could, but I wasn’t seeing an increase. It was hard enough leaving Peyton everyday to go to work, and the added stress of not producing enough milk was overwhelming. She was quickly going through my entire frozen stash, which wasn’t much to begin with.
Reluctantly, at the end of January I decided I had to supplement with formula. In the breastfeeding community, formula often gets a bad rap. But babies have been fed formula for years, and when they grow, it’s impossible to tell the difference between a breast fed baby and a formula fed baby. It’s unfortunate that those of us who have to use it have to tell ourselves over and over again “It’s ok. There’s nothing wrong with giving her formula. Fed is best.”
At the same time, I realized I needed to reach out for more help if I was going to meet my pumping goals. I found a Facebook group for exclusive pumping moms, and it was the biggest relief in the world. It’s hard not to get emotional as I write this. (That’s being modest – I’m totally crying right now) Most breastfeeding groups don’t offer much support for long-term pumping moms. Most moms that directly nurse just don’t have enough pumping knowledge. In the EP group, I found moms who offered real solutions. They taught me that pumping doesn’t have to hurt or be uncomfortable, and it doesn’t have to consume your life.
Today, one month later, I have enough milk in the fridge to last Peyton all day, and it’s not even 10am. I have more milk in the freezer than I had before my supply dipped. Today, I don’t have to make a bottle of formula.
I’ve got a long road ahead if I want to keep pumping for Peyton’s entire first year. I know there will be times that my supply will dip again, and I know I might not be able to get it back next time. But today, we are celebrating. Today is a good day 💗
P.S. I’m writing this from home on a weekday because I am so sleep-deprived that I had to take a day off from work. Ah, the never-ending ups and downs of life with a baby!