To the Mom Who Stopped Breastfeeding too Soon
So you’ve been pumping for half an hour now, your breasts are sore from being pulled, and you’ve barely got an ounce to show for it…
Or your nipples had cracked again and your body jerks in pain as your baby sucks eagerly…
Or your other toddler cries for attention as you breastfeed and you think about the sink that’s full, the hamperful of dirty clothes waiting to be washed and hanged and folded…
…and you decided to stop.
I know it hurts momma, I know it does. I know how much it will hurt when you give your baby her first formula-filled bottle and she refuses to take it. I know how much it will hurt when you pull your baby close and her first instinct is to put her mouth in your breasts and you fight all the urge to pull up your shirt. I know how much it will hurt when she finally takes that formula milk in hunger only to get collicky after.
There will be times when you question your decision… when she gets sick the first time after you stopped breastfeeding, when you see other moms breastfeeding children older than your own, when you take those hours back from all the latching and pumping and can finally comb your hair in guilt.
It’s okay to feel all of those and more.
But I hope you know too that breastfeeding is just the start of a lifetime of nurturing, and it doesn’t stop there. I want you to know that you will feed your child’s heart everyday as you love her in every way possible throughout your lifetime. I want you to know that you will feed your child’s mind from the time that you teach ABC’s until you teach her the hardest life lessons. I want you to know that you will feed her soul as you validate her efforts and help her reach her dreams.
So lift your head up high momma! You did the best that you could and you are not a failure. Put your whole self out there and be ready for all the other roles you will take on as a mother. 🙂
[NOTE: This post does not encourage mothers to stop breastfeeding, and applies to mothers who quit breastfeeding after going on for as long as they could.]