Breastfeeding Blues

I am counting down the days of pleasure and intimacy I’ve enjoyed and shared with my baby while breastfeeding him. My baby is two months shy of turning two. I am not really sure how well he is going to take it, but some days I can’t wait for
him to grow tired of clinging to me and treating me like a pull toy. When I was younger, I never realized how valuable ALL of my body parts would be, but as I have gotten older, I’m thankful for the way I was made and that all of me has been able to nurture the health and development of my children. Women are wonderfully and uniquely made.

Breast milk has many benefits for baby such as possibly preventing allergies, boosting intelligence, and its immune system. Moms are not to be forgotten with possible benefits from breastfeeding like lowering the risk of certain cancers (which runs in my family), reducing stress levels as well as weight, and “also helps the uterus to get back to its original size and lessens any bleeding a woman may have after giving birth.”

There are also environmental and economic benefits from breastfeeding, which include waste-free breakfast, lunch, and dinner (and snack too) for your baby. I was amazed at the cost of baby formula. Regular, dairy-based formulas are slightly reasonable, but when I used formula for my oldest, I had to purchase a soy-based or “allergy-free” formula, which often was more than $20 a can. I looked forward to his doctor visits when I would receive free samples. Our monthly budget improved once he moved from formula to table food.

I have breastfed all three of my children and as it looks (no pregnancy in sight), those days will never come again. I am getting more comfortable with accepting that fact, but it doesn’t mean I don’t long for another child and not just to breastfeed. This last experience with my youngest has been a little more special. Despite the fact I have three children, I’ve been able to spend more time with him, my confidence level is higher, and I’m more comfortable with breastfeeding.

A little over six years ago, I was in a different place. I was a new mother and unsure about how to do this breastfeeding thing. All of my nurses were extremely helpful with showing me how to position my son so both of us would enjoy the experience. Surprisingly, there wasn’t much coaching needed because naturally he knew where to go when he was hungry. Over the next few months I didn’t think twice about it. It was just something we did together.

Many doctor appointments revealed another story. He wasn’t getting enough to eat. Unfortunately, I grew frustrated and didn’t want to harm my baby, so I gave up on breastfeeding before he turned eight months. It was disappointing to me because everything about it felt natural and right. I often wonder if my switch to formula for him has anything to do with the allergic reactions he experiences today.

The La Leche League (la leche means the milk in Spanish) has been promoting breastfeeding for more than 40 years. I never joined an organization or support group, but maybe if I had, then my first attempts at breastfeeding would have been more successful. I encourage any mother who has a desire to breastfeed to be determined and seek assistance if needed. Formula has not always been available, so do what feels natural and right for you and your baby.

As I mentioned, I am now more comfortable with breastfeeding. I do it whenever and wherever I need to. At first, I was extremely modest, but when my children were younger and if it was a choice between hearing piercing screams of hunger or just feeding them, I chose the latter. I’ve raised my shirt in grocery store aisles, stood behind the toiletries section in Target, and other times have plopped right on the floor. I covered up the best I could and then moved on when they were finished.

My experiences with my daughter and youngest son have been quite different. I fed her until she was a little over two and weaned her as she moved from the breast to table food. She even ranked in the high growth percentiles, which pleased her doctor, but I was more impressed with the fact that I continued producing milk. My son was a big fat baby and I didn’t mind anyone saying so because all of that was due to the milk his mommy made for him.

While breastfeeding is not for every mother, it has been the right decision for me. If you decide to go the formula route, then you can still be green and feed your baby healthy. Baby Organic carries some brands of organic baby formula. The products adhere to strict standards that are required by companies producing and manufacturing organic products. There is nothing genetically modified, synthetic, or chemical about these formulas, which is often common in conventional baby formulas. I wish I had known about these products when I was serving my older son because they also have soy-based formulas for infants as well as toddlers. The prices are also a little more affordable than what I used to pay.

I know our days of this special intimacy will soon be over. It has been wonderful. Call me selfish, but I’m not going to initiate his weaning, but instead allow him to wean himself.

Additional Resources:
How to Breastfeed
Milk Share
Mom’s Breastaurant (Nonie even travels out of state to events.)

Remember CUW, September 19-21, 2008 and Pick that up!

Laugh, learn, and live more green and natural with Jennifer at Little Green Secrets where country living is a little easier. Subscribe to her blog here and enjoy great recipes for delicious vegetarian food that will make your mouth water, her experiences in homeschooling, and a few (ssh!) little green secret challenges she faces everyday.

An original post written for 5 Minutes for Going Green.

13 Responses to Breastfeeding Blues
  1. Renee
    September 12, 2008 | 5:00 pm

    I’m a huge fan of breastfeeding myself! my daughter wean herself at 15 months and I’m currently 6 month preggo (who says that you have to wean during pregnancy!)

    We had our up and and down (sleep depravity is not always fun!) but I know in a few little month I’ll be nursing again no sleep sore breast tired underfeed (babies seams to need to nurse just by the time your meal is ready lol) But I can’t wait to enjoy the closeness nursing bring!!!

  2. Beth (Coming Up for Air)
    September 12, 2008 | 8:13 pm

    Horray for breastfeeding! I breast fed and try to encourage new moms to breastfeed! YAY!! Great article!

  3. Kiera Pedley
    September 12, 2008 | 9:08 pm

    I will applaude any mum who takes the time and effort to nurse their babies. However, I’m always disenheartened at the lack of support that breastfeeding recieves from Doctors, and the community in general!
    No mom can “fail” at breastfeeding, it is a choice, and formula will grow your children. But it’s a far cry from the benefits that breastfeeding offers.

    Breastfeeding mothers need support, encouragement and accurate advice to keep up the amazing job they’re doing though.

  4. Jennifer (Little Green Secrets)
    September 13, 2008 | 1:24 am


    It’s amazing what we go through for our children, but I love every (almost – lol) minute of it.


    I hear you. I hope more moms will be encouraged to at least try if they have a desire. I’m glad that my first experience didn’t ruin my future efforts with my other two children.


    You are so right. Rather than offering support with my breastfeeding struggles, formula was always pushed on me. Hmm…just like medication.

  5. midlife mommy
    September 13, 2008 | 8:56 am

    I think it’s wonderful that you were able to breastfeed and that you are letting your child take the lead in weaning. But be warned (smile). I decided that child-led weaning is what we would do, and my daughter still nurses (briefly) twice a day — she just turned four. I don’t mind, and neither does my husband. One of the husbands at work, whose wife is an LLL leader, said that usually around four, they just decide to stop. I will be sad, but I can honestly say that I won’t regret a moment.

  6. tata
    September 13, 2008 | 9:52 am

    Excellent article. Human milk for human babies!

    This morning I read that over 430 Chinese babies are suffering from kidney stones due to contaminated artificial milk. Another great reason to breastfeed – chances are extremely slim that baby cannot thrive from his or her mama’s milk.

    -Nursing mama of 18 month old boy

  7. Hussey
    September 13, 2008 | 1:35 pm

    At first, I was extremely modest, but when my children were younger and if it was a choice between hearing piercing screams of hunger or just feeding them, I chose the latter. I’ve raised my shirt in grocery store aisles, stood behind the toiletries section in Target, and other times have plopped right on the floor.

  8. Anita
    September 13, 2008 | 7:27 pm

    funny, I just wrote a post about my girl and our bf experience! She’s a bit older than your girl and I will admit that I’m a bit afraid of what midlife mommy wrote above…………I don’t think I coudl go another year! I think the desire to reclaim my body is slowly growing!

  9. Susan (5 Minutes for Mom)
    September 14, 2008 | 2:20 am

    Yay for breastfeeding!

    I nursed Julia until 25 months and I’m at month 11 right now with Sophia.

  10. Jennifer (Little Green Secrets)
    September 15, 2008 | 3:19 pm


    I saw the stories. That is so scary.

    midlife mommy,

    I think you may have both Anita and me a little concerned (smile). Every time I look down at my son, he looks more comfortable than he did the previous “feeding.” I’m thinking he is truly enjoying that position. I do wonder how long he intends to continue. Four years old? He may get weaned.


    Congratulations! Enjoy, enjoy.

  11. Robbie (Going Green Mama)
    September 16, 2008 | 9:42 pm

    Kiera, I hear you. I had problems nursing both my kids (eventually transitioned to full time pumping for a year, crazy, I know.) With both I was given grief by healthcare providers. With the first, I was accused by the nurses of not feeding the baby enough because her blood sugar was dropping (duh, diabetic mom, it happens). with the second, I was told by the pediatrician – a mom – that just do the best you can, and if you can’t, that’s ok, but we need to get his weight up. Aggravating.
    Needless to say both are doing quite well on the height and weight charts! : )

  12. Kiera Pedley
    September 17, 2008 | 7:28 am

    I find it increasingly frustrating the amount of misinformation that is bantered around. I’d love to see a pregnant mother handed accurate breastfeeding information – with numbers, and face to face support people available around the clock.

    Why doctors are so obsessed with weight intrigues me – here in australia, the charts are based of Formula fed babies, so totally irrelevant to breastfed bubs. The WHO has some great resources, if you wanted to compare growth to exclusively breastfed babies.

  13. Breastfeeding mom
    November 17, 2008 | 3:43 pm

    Dear Jennifer! Breastfeeding is a real happiness for you and your boy. My som is 1 year and 2 months old and I’m still feed him.