Breastfeeding Guilt

by jessicaturner on December 19, 2008

I know I have posted a lot about scrapbooking for the past two weeks. Today I would like to see your wisdom. If you have read this blog since Elias was born, you know that I have chose to exclusively breastfeed. My goal was to breastfeed for six months. And honestly, during the first three months, I didn’t think I would make it. Elias was a big eater and I felt like my boob was out all the time. (I hope you aren’t offended by the word boob.) If I wasn’t nursing, I was pumping. It was just a lot, you know?

Well, Elias is a little more than five months now and it seems like we have found our rhythm. My frozen milk supply has dwindled down to a few bags of milk, and we have had to supplement with formula for one feeding a few days, but overall, my milk supply seems to be keeping up with my growing boy.
And my six month goal is just a few weeks away.
And I feel guilty.
Guilty for wanting to stop pumping four times a day.
Guilty for switching to formula when I know breastmilk is best.
Guilty for stopping when I still have so much milk.
Guilty for wanting to stop so I can diet ad detox and lose my last bit of baby weight.
Just plain guilty.
So maybe I shouldn’t stop.
Or maybe I should just try stopping during the day and seeing if I can nurse in the morning and at night.
But do I run the risk of my chest staying Dolly Parton-huge the longer I nurse? I don’t think I can carry these bad girls around for years. Someone told me binding your chest after you finish breastfeeding can really help.
So I seek your wisdom and experience, dear women. How long did you breastfeed? Why did you stop? When you stop, did your supply immediately dry up? Any tips?
I read every comment, so if you have something to share that you think will be helpful or encouraging, please leave a comment. Or, feel free to email me if you would feel more comfortable doing that.
Thank you so much.

{ 86 comments… read them below or add one }

Deanna December 19, 2008 at 12:38 pm

Hi! I’ve loved your blog…. I’m a scrapbooker, too (not nearly as advanced as you though!) and enjoy seeing your gorgeous pages.

Just a few thoughts….

My babies both weaned themselves (one at 6 months, one at 9 months). They did it pretty gradually until they were just “done” with the nursing thing and preferred solids and the bottle. Although I wasn’t really ready to be finished, it did work out well…. because it was SO, SO gradual, I can honestly say that I never had any pain. Really…. none. If you drop one feeding a week and start supplementing more and more gradually, you won’t struggle as much with all of the pain and engorgement. It sounds like you’re already cutting back gradually so you’re in great shape!!!

You’ve got to do what is best for you and babe…. if you’re ready to be done, it’s okay!!! One of the main reasons I wished that my kiddos nursed longer was because of the $$ of formula…. yikes, that stuff is expensive!!! Just something to always factor in! :)

Have a blessed day!


SandyL December 19, 2008 at 12:59 pm

My kids were bottle fed…but wanted to say Kudos for breastfeeding this long especially with being a working women.. Don’t ever feel bad if you feel you have breast fed enough.. Go with your gut feelings.. Elias will be fine on more formula too…


The Mommy December 19, 2008 at 1:10 pm

Congratulations on breastfeeding for this long! I had major hormonal issues when my daughter was born. She latched on fine until my milk came in and then she refused to suck on anything: breast, bottle, paci. My husband and I were at our wits end after several missed feedings and I started pumping. I had lots of issues revolving around the birth and only pumped for a few days. My pediatrician was very supportive of either feeding option. I wish I had stuck with nursing, but with a hormonal mom and a crying baby I feel like I did what was best. When I told my pediatrician, she reminded me that a happy mommy is very important for the health of the whole family. I did not feel guilty about formula feeding, but I do think breastfeeding is best.
You have given Elias a great start by breastfeeding this long. You have nothing to feel guilty about if you choose to supplement now.


Everyday Thoughts December 19, 2008 at 1:10 pm

First of all….DON”T FEEL GUILTY! You have to pray against that and know that ANY breastmilk is good for the baby. The fact that you did it this long even is great! Many moms can only do it for 3 months or less and their babies turn out just fine.

With my son, I had a goal of 6 months too. I was so determined that when that 6 month mark came…I WAS SO DONE WITH NURSING! Well, around 4 months it seemed to get much better. I felt I got my “rhythm” as you said and it was finally a peaceful time for me. Then around 5 1/2 months, he started getting distracted by EVERY noise when he nursed….SO ANNOYING! That is when I went back to my 6 month goal.

I actually didn’t completely take him off breastmilk until 7 months because I would wean him off by just dropping one feeding a week…I also did 1oz formula mixed with 5oz breastmilk at first then went 2oz form/4oz breast etc. So, in reality, they are actually done later than you think since you have to give time to wean (or else you will be in a lot of pain).

Anyway, all that to say, don’t ever feel guilty for giving your baby the gift of breastmilk….there are many babies that don’t get it and do just fine. Elias is a beautiful baby and it seems you are doing great with feeding and everything else! You are a great mom and don’t let breastfeeding make you think any different.

You are in my prayers! I know it can be a hard decision but know that YOU are Elias’ mom….you know whats best….not us! I had to learn the hard way NOT to compare my baby with others…..God gave you to Elias and Elias to you because you fit perfect! You are a beautiful and WONDERFUL mom!

God bless!



Mommy Managing December 19, 2008 at 1:14 pm

I have three children and I am in the process of weaning my daughter who is almost 8 months. I breastfed my middle child for 10 months. My oldest only got 5 months. Every child is different, and you have to read their cues and your body's reactions.

My oldest weaned VERY quickly, but had bowel troubles and constipation as a result.

I think my middle child would have gone longer–but, honestly, I just wanted my body back.

About a month ago, my daughter just didn't seem satisfied after feedings anymore. She always acted hungry. She won't eat baby food (I'm perplexed by this!) so I starting supplementing with formula to try to satisfy her. The result: she started sleeping all night without waking to feed and she was more content after a daytime bottle. So we're switching all the way.

I'm not going to tell you that you won't feel any guilt. I did. Just do what's best for you & Elias.


Jennifer December 19, 2008 at 1:16 pm

You need to do what feels right for you and for your son. I have 3 children, long past the breastfeeding age. I breastfed the first for 5 months, the 2nd for 13 months and the 3rd for 17 months. With the last 2, in the last 6 months they were only breastfeeding first thing in the morning and right before bed. Your body will tell you what works. Don’t feel guilty. There’s no magic number. Do what works best for you and your son. Best wishes whatever you decide to do.


The Thai Family December 19, 2008 at 1:26 pm

I tried to breastfeed both my babies and it just didn’t work out for us. But I can tell you that having been formula for almost their entire lives they turned out great. It’s really a personal choice for you to make and no one can judge you on that. Do what’s right for you and for Elias. It’s not a bad thing for you to want to wean him now. It’s also not a bad thing if you decide to keep going with it. Do what’s comfortable for you.


Jennifer December 19, 2008 at 1:27 pm

I have 4 children and felt this way all the time..the first child being the worse. I was going to breastfeed all of them for 1yr since I was a SAHM, but they are stopped on their own one 8 months, 6 months, and two at 7 months…the problem with that was I got pregnant right after stopping(wink*wink*)I have a 9,6,5,3 so needless to say I have a child on my boob all the time, at least I felt this way!! but Guilty? We all felt that way, and it will pass quickly too. your son will survive….not many sons are in therapy cause their moms quit breastfeeding to soon:)

Drying up? not all gone in a couple days, but use the old spinach method and they will dry up quick!!!(just make sure your done, done before doing this:) for more info go to

Hope this helps…..Wishing your family a Wonderful Christmas and a Blessed New Year!


Elizabeth December 19, 2008 at 1:31 pm

I nursed both my little ones for a year which is what my goal was. I never wanted my babies to have formula, although I am not one of those breastfeeding crazy women. Formula would have not been that bad or anything, just wanted to keep it natural. It was just my choice if it worked out and it did for me.

Every baby is individual and so is their mother. If you don’t feel that it is working or convenient for you, then you need to go with it.

I worked full time as a manager and had to use my double pump a few times a day at work. It definately is a commitment and not always convenient! As you probably long ago found out!!!! My favorite time of the day was coming home to “bond” and have that closeness with my little ones. I loved it!

I was a milk machine and didn’t have trouble with sagging…I think some of that is just to scare women! You can also lose weight while breastfeeding….check out Weight Watcher’s program for nursing moms.

Good luck with your decision. It is a hard one and you need to make the one that feels right for your situation.


ShellyJ December 19, 2008 at 1:33 pm

Well, I am new to your blog. But not so new to the breastfeeding thing! I fed my daughter for a year. At first, I told myself “lets just get to 6months and see from there.” I had a friend give me a ton of formula, so I figured I couldn’t complain about the cost by 6 months. Well, my lovely husband decided he was going to give it all away, “because we didn’t need it.” I was so mad at him. he did it without even talking to me. I was feeling very guilty also. Should I keep it up, or give up. But I didn’t want to “give up” and that made it worse. I spent top $$ for the best breast pump and I wanted to get the use out of it too.
After the fights, I settled down and said “take it one step at a time.” When I felt like it was time to stop, I would.

As a working mom, I made sure I froze as much as I could. I too felt like I never had enough, even though the freezer was spilling over. If I had to be somewhere for work where I couldn’t pump that day, I panicked that I had to go into the reserves. I did settle my mind down a little bit after some time, but that nagging feeling was always there.

The weaning happened pretty naturally. Once, I saw the one year old light in the distance, I would take a feeding away every few weeks. She still had mostly breast milk from all of the frozen stuff. We would only have to supplement a couple of ounces a day with formula. But as she started to eat more and more solids, she didn’t need as much to drink to fill her up. The last time I fed her, was a bit over the one year and a month mark. I was a bit sad, but it did feel good to have my boobs back to myself again… I am totally with you on the fact that I felt like I never had boobs left alone for long!

I will say that it will hurt. Even after doing it so slowly, there was a lot of pain. Not at first, it seemed like it took a few days before I was always in pain. But in the end, it still was worth getting myself back to normal. I was just so happy to have made it to one year. At that age, she could just have vitamin d milk in a sippy cup. She was a toddler now, not a baby. And that made me feel really proud of myself for fighting through the entire year!

I will say that my weight really feel off after the 6 month mark of feeding. That is when I noticed my pants were actually feeling larger than I remember. So if it is the weight you want to shed. don’t worry too much. There maybe some light in your near future! Because that is when I really felt good again and comfortable about my weight! That is when I finally put away my maternity clothes. Now that felt really good.

Fast forward to today, I am now in the same boat as you again. I have a little boy that is almost 4 months old and I have chosen to breastfeed again. But this time, I am a stay at home mom. So it is a little bit different. I don’t depend on my little black bag anymore. He only gets a bottle every once and awhile to keep him use to it. But boy, does it bring back the memories when I do have to pull that thing out! This time, I am a lot more relaxed with the situation. I realize that I will stop when the time is right and if that is in a month or 8 months, that is when it will be.

I say, relax. don’t worry about it too much. When you feel like you have had enough. Then, that is it. You should stop. No worries. You did it! You did the breastfeeding thing! There are a lot of mom’s that don’t even want to try it because they will be working. But you did it! Just smile and be happy. I know it is hard… I have been there and are now there again. I will say it is much easier the second time around though. And it did/does help that my sister was/is going through the same thing as I was/am. We some how got PG at the same time for two of them! Ha! She lasted about the same amount of time as me. With first two, they pretty much weaned themselves also after about a year.

WOW… I had and have a lot to say about this! If you have any more questions that you want to talk about, please email me. I would love to chat it up with you. It always helps to talk to someone who has gone through it. I had my sister and that was great!


The Kearns Family December 19, 2008 at 1:37 pm

Breastfeeding is such a personal thing, in that it is different for every mommy. Some see it as bonding time and some see it as an obligation for nutrition. I have had the opportunity to nurse both my kids…my first for 14 months and currently nursing my almost 9 month old. I had huge guilt around 7 months with my second because I felt I wasn’t making enough so supplemented with formula one bottle a day (it wasn’t even a full 4 ounces she would take) and then lo and behold my supply came back. So I fully intend to make it to 12 months unless my supply diminishes. That being said, I completely understand the wanting to stop to lose the baby weight and have my body back. After stopping with my first, I lost all my baby weight then some, and was in the best shape of my life…(I actually even entered a Mrs. Texas United States pageant, but that’s a whole other story). So now with the second, at 9 months I am still 20 pounds away from pre-baby weight and don’t see it coming off anytime soon. So I feel as though every few days I struggle with the idea of hanging onto baby weight. But for me, and like I said it is very personal and is different for every woman, I see it as a privilege to be able to nurse my baby for her first year and if I can, I will. Try adding the guilt of doing it for the first and now not wanting to jip the second. Anyway, my goal for the next 3 months is to not gain any weight, enjoy the boobs I have now because they will be GONE in 3 months, and enjoy as much food as I can now. Then I will take my body back and know that I did everything I could for my baby. Mind you, I only work part-time so am not pumping every day. I HATE pumping so I can definitely see your issue with that. Just take what everyone says (including me) with a grain of salt and make the decision that’s best for you, Elias, and your husband. By the way, totally love your scrapbooking posts, it has really lit a fire in my scrapbooking closet (that’s right, I said closet).


The Belton Family December 19, 2008 at 1:40 pm

My sweet little boy is 6 months old. Before he was born I was determined to breastfeed for a year. He latched on great and I thought it wasn’t as hard as people were telling me. Before he was a week old he was jaundiced and the doctor said we had to supplement with formula. I started trying to pump only to find out that I had no milk supply at all. (about 2 oz every 12 hours). I was so upset because I had been starving this little boy that I had tried 5 years to have.
I kept giving him the little that I could pump until it dried up a few days later. He has been a Similac baby ever since. He is in the 75% for weight and 90% for height. The doctor says that he is perfect and he has yet to be sick at all. I had a lot of trouble getting over the guilt but I did.
Don’t feel guilty. Sometimes the best thing for your child is a relaxed, happy, mother.


Erin December 19, 2008 at 1:43 pm

My daughter was born tongue tied, so nursing in the beginning was HORRIBLE-she wasnt latching right and I was in a LOT of pain. We got her tongue clipped at 2 weeks, but she was 6 weeks before we discovered a rhythm. She had to re-learn how to suck, and my girls needed some time to heal! SO…after that, my goal was 6 months.

I had a really great lactation consultant and my next door neighbor is my pediatrician (handy!!) and they both were really great about not giving me guilt. I think because I had so much trouble in the beginning, instead of guilt, I actually felt a great sense of accomplishment for nursing as long as I did!

I started weaning about a week before Abby turned 6 months and it was about a 3 week long process. The last week, we were down to just one feeding, first thing in the morning (my favorite one and hardest to let go of). I didnt have any pain or engorgement during weaning because it was so gradual.

Stragely though, about 2 weeks after she was completely weaned, I had a clogged duct. Very painful. I hadnt had any milk in 2 weeks, so I swore I had breast cancer. :) Pedi-neighbor told me it was a duct and it was normal. It did go away after a day or so.

Like everyone else is saying, do what is best for you. You dont want to start to secretly resent your child because you feel chained to your boobs and your pump.

Formula is so advanced these days that Elias will be fine (he wont grow a third eye or anything because you cut him off). :) Remember, if Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!


Julia December 19, 2008 at 1:48 pm

wow… thanks for sharing this. I nursed my daughter for 6 months as well. while i was initially hoping to make it a year, like you, the first few months were tough. then going back to work and pumping was even tougher. I hated pumping. it got to the point where we were supplementing with formula after she would nurse (that started around 4 months). i could tell my supply was gradually going down as my boobs were getting smaller and smaller. it was a very very gradual end to nursing. my in-laws were in town one weekend and I nursed a few times here and there and then one day, just stopped. i didn’t have any pain.

I would definitely make it gradual though. drop one feeding for a few days, then another, then another.

I also felt guilty since I knew that breastfeeding was best, but I just couldn’t keep up. My daughter never had any boob withdrawl or anything, so that was good. But don’t feel guilty. 6 months is a long time to breastfeed and you did it!! you gave it a chance, more than some women would. best of luck


2 Worlds December 19, 2008 at 1:50 pm

I have a question you said you freezed your breast milk, that means you gave breast and bottled breast milk?
Because I’m expecting and confused about if later I should give bottle or not even with breast milk


Jennifer December 19, 2008 at 1:55 pm

Oh my gosh! Nursing is the hardest thing – good for you for keeping it up. My son weaned himself around 9 months and I couldn’t have been happier (even though I knew the milk was best for him). Don’t feel guilty for those thoughts. First of all, nursing brings hormones and you don’t ever really feel yourself. But it was so worth it to look at my son and know I was the one directly responsible for his chubbiness and good health. I never thought I’d survive while I was nursing, but now I look back and realize it was such a short time…not such a big deal. After my daughter, I bound my chest and it seemed to help – and would have been better if I had exercised, too, so don’t worry about carrying those around, either. It all works out! And if you decide to quit already, your son will be fine. Most moms don’t even make it 6 months!


Jenny December 19, 2008 at 1:56 pm

I have an 8 month old and my goal was to breastfeed until he was at least 6 months as well. I too am a full time working mother and felt the same ways you are feeling. I got tired of having either a baby or the pump attached to me!! B eventually completely weined himself so I didn’t actually have to do it (I had a hard time doing it). I gradually cut my pumpings out and was only nursing in the am and right before bed time. It was sooooo much easier for me to just make bottles to take to daycare then having to stress about pumping at work and then not getting enough for the next day.

I know exactly the guilt you are talking about, but I can honestly say I did the 6 months like I originally planned and once he weaned himself it was such a relief to not have to lug my pump to work every single day!!! Good luck and keep us updated.


stephanie@{Olive Tree} December 19, 2008 at 1:57 pm

I nursed my first two until 6 mo and 7 months respectively. (I dried up with #1 and was pregnant while nursing #2 and had to stop.) My third girlie never was able to get the hang of nursing and was exclusively formula fed.

FOR ME, I missed the bond of nursing that I didn't get with my 3rd. Bottom line, a mama's job is to make sure her baby is fed and full, whether by formula or breastmilk. And it's probably a little different because you are doing so much pumping as opposed to being home. I rarely pumped with my munchkins so I didn't have all the gear to mess with … I think that also helped.

You make the decision that works for you. Again, as long as your baby is being well fed, then that's what matters. You are taking care of him and that's what you are supposed to do. :) Blessings & Merry Christmas!


Amber December 19, 2008 at 2:14 pm

I think the thing about it is balance. Will your life be more/less balanced with weaning/continuing. As my kids got older so did the feedings. Eventually it came down to morning and night feedings. All three of my kids weaned themselves before I was ready. The last guy even started biting me. I went to a lactation clinic to figure out why he had started biting me and the wonderful nurse just said, he is ready to stop, let him. So if you and/or your little one are ready then stop. If you aren’t ready, try to cut back to the most enjoyable times of the day. Normally your body and your baby will be in sync with that and your last few months will be full of sweet memories rather than duty. Most importantly never, never feel guilty. Be proud of your accomplishment!


-brittany- December 19, 2008 at 2:41 pm

Jessica don’t feel bad. You are a mother, but you also are a wife, a friend, a sister, a daughter and so much more. Supplementing or changing to formula completely does not wipe away any of the love you have for Elias. If you do continue and just supplement for a bit longer I would encourage you to do so through the winter to get through flu and cold season. That is my personal goal and after that I am done and not going to feel guilty at all. I thought I was going to be sad and this may sound horrible, but I am SOOO over it. I want my body back for a little bit until next go round that is :)

(we are down to two times a day. just morning and night)


The Kelly's December 19, 2008 at 2:41 pm

I’ve been giving my 5 month old formula every other feeding for a few weeks now. I started doing this because she wasn’t sleeping well at night. I also noticed when I pumped between each feeding I was only getting about 4oz. I was concerned that she wasn’t getting enough to eat, so I started supplementing. She hasn’t had any problems with it. She has also become a nosy little thing, so it takes forever to breastfeed her. She is constantly pulling off to look around the room. I would love to breastfeed for a few more months, because it’s better for Megan and cheaper! I’m just concerned that I’m not producing enough to fill her growing body. You have to do what feels right. Elias will let you know if he’s not happy. I’m using the Similac Advance formula that has the “early shield”. It’s supposed to be better for their immune system…”more like breast milk”…at least that’s what it says on the can. My sister-in-law only breastfed for 3 months and both of he boys are very healthy. Good luck with your decision and Merry Christmas!


Lyssa December 19, 2008 at 2:42 pm

First off, congrats on fulfilling your goal!
Here are my thought on breastfeeding. It’s completely up to each individual woman. Whatever you feel comfortable doing deep down. I have 2 girls, both of them breastfed till around 11 months. But I started weaning them around 9-10 months. I would cut out a feed per week. By 11 months rolled around, I was only feeding them morning and night but by then, my supply was so low that when I stopped, it didn’t kill me. I think that’s the best when you have a full supply on your hands!
And don’t feel guilty for wanting your life and body back! For some women, including myself with #2, I had a hard time seeing any weight-loss results when I was breastfeeding. It finally started to show once I stopped. You’ve donw a great job thus far and your little boy will do fine on formula! There really isn’t anything wrong with it!!
Him coming up to 6 months, his diet is going to change anyways with solid foods so he’ll receive lots of nutrients from fruits and veggies.
Don’t feel BAD!! When mommy feels good and happy about herself, then everyone is happy!!
Those are my thoughts. Personally, I experienced depression and overwhelming stress from motherhood and what helped me cope and feel better is exercising. It has helped me feel better about myself, thus being a better wife and mommy.
And I had the same problem as you with the huge boobs. That’s the worst of it all. I hate my huge boobs when I nurse!!!


The Houghs December 19, 2008 at 2:48 pm

First of all, good for you for being so committed and giving your baby the best for this long! I just want to encourage you to keep going at it. I work full time as well and only gave my son breastmilk for about 1 year. By then he was eating table food and the occasional whole milk. I only pumped twice a day at work. I stopped pumping at 15 months and weaned at 18 months (only because I am pregnant and my supply dwindled). My little guy, who mostly nursed at night at that point, probably would have just kept going and going! And while sometimes it felt like it would never end, now that it is over I feel like it went by so fast and I truly miss that relationship and being able to provide for him in that way. He was always a big eater, like Elias! Even up until I guit pumping he would, if he could, still nurse every couple hours! It is so worth every bit of struggle you are having! Trust me, you will look back on it and realize it goes by soooo quickly! On the other hand, you have to do what’s best for you and baby. If you are stressed and can’t do it any more, DON’T feel guilty! You have given Elias the BEST for all these months and you should feel proud about that! Blessings for peace in whatever you decide!


April Elizabeth December 19, 2008 at 2:52 pm

I would say that you are the mommy and you know what is best for you and Elias. I breast fed for 5 months with my little one and then I was ready to not be the milk machine anymore. Once I switched I wondered what had took me so long. It was nice to have my body back! My best friend is doing whatever it takes so that she can breast feed for the first two years! I think it’s whatever works for your family. I will say that my poor breasts were so engorged for the first three or four days after I stopped that I almost started again! Good luck with whatever you decide and know that it will be the right decision because you are making it from your mommy love! A happy, healthy mommy means a happy, healthy baby!


Jessica December 19, 2008 at 2:56 pm

I think it’s a mom thing – to worry and feel guilty that we’re not doing enough. We want what’s best for our children. It’s okay :) Relax.

I’m the mother of three children. I’m currently breastfeeding the third who is almost 8 months old. I breastfed the others for 12 and 13 months respectively.
First of all, I think you can continue to breastfeed with no problems. Babies naturally drink less as they get older. Granted, your little guy is younger than mine when I weaned, but toward the end (as they approached their first birthday), they were eating cereal, baby food and some solids so they only breastfed two or three times. It was usually once in the morning and right before bed. Even now as the third approaches 8 months, the amount of breastfeeding has decreased. I think that you can cut back your breastfeeding as your little guy starts eating other things. And if you’re worried about your supply, you could always have one or two feedings be formula. True, it’s nowhere near as good as breastmilk, but if it’s only a supplement, you don’t have to feel guilty about stopping all together.
Secondly, about the breast size … it definitely goes down. Believe me. However, they will never be the same as pre-baby. Some women actually have smaller breasts after children than before. Most have larger ones. However, after breastfeeding, your breasts will be different regardless of size. The milk will have stretched them out.
Now, maybe if I had tried some weird thing, I would have better breasts, but binding just doesn’t make sense to me. You’ve already stretched the skin out over months of breastfeeding. Why would binding them afterward help? If it’s to make them smaller, that doesn’t make much sense either. Breast tissue is mostly made up of fat as well as the milk ducts. Take away the milk and your left with mostly fat. That’s why a lot of women lose breast size when they lose weight. You might not realize it, but that extra plumpness to your breasts could be because you need to lose some weight … but I digress …
Also, the act of breastfeeding and your body making the milk burns at least 500 calories a day. So, breastfeeding actually helps you lose the baby weight. Your body holds onto a few pounds to provide the nutrition for the baby, but you should be instilling good eating habits now instead of waiting for a miracle when you’re done. You’ve got the help of that extra calorie burner – use it while you can. It’ll be harder to lose weight when you’re done even though you’ll naturally lose about 5-10 pounds. If you don’t have good habits, you’ll quickly gain it back because of bad habits and the lack of that 500 calorie a day boost … does that make sense? Believe me, I’m thinner now after the third than before the first.
The point is, I think you should take care of yourself and accept the fact that your post-baby body is worth it :)
i hope that makes sense and helps in some way.


Michelle December 19, 2008 at 2:58 pm

Good for you! I nursed my 2 kids for 11months each. It was work, and difficult at first, of course normal for most. It was something so important to me to give my children the very best esp the first one coming early. Formula kids are fine but I believe Elias will benefit in many ways from you making the sacrifice to breastfeed!

As for stopping… I was loosing weight and really drained and new it was taking a toll on my body so I started supplimenting one bottle a day and then increased the number every few days. My body slowed down producing the milk and over a matter of a week or two, they were on formula. The hardest time I had was my 2nd didn’t want a bottle and didn’t really want to wean but it was time! :) Good luck in whatever you do.
On a side note, I tried a natural herb that really did help my milk production when I my babies were outweighing me and I felt I was lacking… I did smell like maply syrup somedays tho HAHA.


Blogging Under the Influence December 19, 2008 at 2:59 pm

Hey, I’m stopping in from Mom Bloggers Club. I have three boys – I breast fed them all for a year or a little longer. My goal with my first was to stop when he got teeth. Well, he got them at four months and I didn’t want to stop and the teeth thing ended up not being an issue. I was also a working mom, so I know how tiresome the pumping can be! You could stop pumping and give him formula during the day and just breastfeed before and after work if that works for you.

As for the boobs, it doesn’t matter HOW LONG you breastfeed, they will never be the same. :0


Nancy December 19, 2008 at 3:04 pm

I breastfed my daughter til she was 3 months and my son 4 months. I felt guilty also but I would just think about all the months I did it for and would feel a lot better. Sometimes its just hard and you can’t do it any longer. 5 months is very good! Just think, some Moms can’t breastfeed! Be thankful that we could do it for as much time as we could!


Jen December 19, 2008 at 3:06 pm

Bravo for going so long with the breastfeeding.
I wanted to breastfeed so badly for my baby boy, but I couldn’t produce enough right from the start. We saw lactation nurses, went to doctors and they just kept telling me to keep working on it. Keep trying him because he had a good latch and pump, pump, pump. I did. I tried like a mad woman for 6 months. I never did produce enough to fully feed my boy on my own.
Finally my doctor told me my lack of milk might have been because of the health issues I at the end of my pregnancy through to about 5 months after I had my baby.
Even though I’m still disappointed almost a year after I stopped trying, I am glad I was able to give my son some breastmilk. And I vow to try again with the next baby.
Don’t feel guilty about wanting to stop…There’s nothing wrong with that. Lots of mothers stop around the six month mark. I did, and I would have even if I had been able to fully feed my son. Those tiny, sharp teeth were starting to pop up.
Be proud you nurtured your beautiful son for half a year! You did well…


cindyh December 19, 2008 at 3:13 pm

I have three kids and had a goal of breastfeeding them for a year. My first one weaned herself at about 11 months, and I was in pain for almost two weeks after than. My second one was 14 months, and I struggled to wean him (he would not drink milk from a cup), but I was pregnant and really wanted to stop. My third was about 13 months, and I also struggled with her, but at that point I really was done. It didn’t hurt as much with the last two, since it was more gradual. In my case, though, I was a SAHM so I didn’t have to pump. You have done a great job of keeping it up for these 5 months and shouldn’t feel guilty if you have to stop. You should also be able to do breastfeed and formula feed at the same time. I have a friend who worked and would nurse her baby first thing in the morning and again at bedtime, but would supplement with formula during the day. I think that’s kind of a good compromise. I agree with the other blogger who recommended nursing through the winter. Even if you only do it a couple of times a day you should still be able to give the baby enough antibodies to help with cold/flu season. But in the end the decision has to be entirely yours. Everyone is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. Good luck on your decision.


Jen K December 19, 2008 at 3:24 pm

Jessica, I felt the same guilt when I stopped breastfeeding my baby girl at 6 months (to the day). But I had begun to resent everytime that I had to go into the bathroom to pump at work. And that it was the first thing that I had to do when I got home from work. And that I had to stay up an extra two hours at night to have one more last pump before bed. I didnt want to live my live to feed my baby. I felt blessed that I could do it for the first six months…a great task for a working (out of the home) mom! To date my 18 month old is healthy, happy, and active. She got the best nutrients for the first six months and I wouldnt have had it any other way!!! Do what is best for the both of you! It will make your hours at home together more precious if you dont feel guilty or stressed about feedings! On my babies six month “birthday” we went cold turkey from breastfeeding and I didnt have a problem at all. My body adjusted within a week and I only had to pump a couple times when I felt sore. Good luck and let us know how things turn out!!!


Dayami December 19, 2008 at 3:34 pm

Congratulations on going this long.
Please do not feel guilty at all. 5-6 months is great!
I breastfed my son AND gave him formula in every feeding for about 4 months. Even though I had a lot of milk my little boy needed 4-5 & sometimes 6oz more and that is what I did. Yep, he is a big eater. At 1st I was scared to see a tiny baby eating so much but like my DR said to me, when he doesnt want anymore he will let you know. Thank God he is a super healthy 6 year old and never had any problems with colics, gas, nothing, even his weight was perfect.
So that goes to show you how all babies are completely different.

I lost all my weight while I was breastfeeding, it does help. I actually got skinnier.

Moms have 6 & 7 senses so just follow your heart and you'll do what is best for you and your baby.


Laura B December 19, 2008 at 3:36 pm

Right about 5 – 6 months, you do hit your rhythm. Then at about 7 months, they get more mobile and want to play, talk, sit up while you are trying to nurse so it does get more difficult again. I was able to nurse for 13 months. My main motivation was cost – I did not want to spend money on formula when I could provide it for free! I also really think it kept my daughter healthy. I do work from home though so I only had to pump twice a day and never in public. Pumping had to be my least favorite think to do. Everyone is different, I weaned gradually so never had any issues. I have a friend that nursed for 12 weeks still (baby is 9 months) has the let down feeling. The Dr. said that it can take up to a year for everything to dry up. A great book, it may be a little late for you since you already have the nursing thing down though, is “So That’s What Their For.” It goes into weaning, pumping, working, all that stuff. Good luck – do what’s best for your and your baby.


Carolyn Mcavoy December 19, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Jessica, I felt Guilty for not breast feeding my babies for a very long time. I have three children 21yr old son, 19yr old daughter and my 16yr old son…

I can share on my boobs dring up..I used a lg ice pack wraped very tight will a lg ace seemed like it was for about 3days-week..but It really works well..then i had to use breast pads for some time..

You will have to listen to your body and what it tells you.. You had a Goal and have met I say get your body back and be very very proud them you met you goal..

Praying about it works the BEST..


Anika B December 19, 2008 at 3:55 pm

I am still nursing my ds who is 10.5 mos exclusively breastfeeding he wont even take it out of the bottle. I had no choice but to breast feed him form birth.. long storey short he woulnt eat for 15 hours after birth and wouldnt wake up jsut slept all test were fine.. formula he would gag and spit up all formulas and wouldnt suck any bottle at all we tried diff kinds in hospital… diff formula no luck i tried to nurse him he latched rigth on no hlep he knew what he was doing from junp….No pian for me at all nothign a perfect situation.

Thats all he wanted… So I have been nursng ever since.. He was rejecting formula ever since, he had acid reflux so it was hard to find a fromula for him.. he meds for it and is all better but still no breastmilk out of a bottle for him no sir.. me or nothing… so I plan on weaning him when he turns 1 at the end of jan.. I am scared and nervous how he will take to this…. How will I? I had a goal of 6 mos as well.. and I am so glad i didnt stop. Do what is right for you and him. I heard it will be hard when ever u stop.. So good luck to both of us!! I was one of thoes moms said I would never breastfeed.. I didnt with my daughter and I wasnt going to with him.. he had other plans i SEE..

I dont knwo how I will wean my ds myself so My advice do what feels right …


mustangkayla December 19, 2008 at 3:55 pm

I don’t really have advise, but can tell you my own personal experience. I tried for about 2 month to breastfeed my son. I finally called it quits and things were so much better, I actually started to enjoy being a mommy. I had issues with engorgement, he was a slow eater, I produced to much, he was constantly attached which didn’t allow for cracked and bleeding nipples to heal, the list could go on. My supply did dry up and it wasn’t overly painful. Hot showers and cabbage wraps helped the pain and release the pressure. Do whats best for you and baby, with no guilt. If you are wanting to be done and he takes the bottle just fine, don’t worry about it! You’ll be much happier in the long run and enjoy being a mommy and your time together more if you do what you want. Hope that makes sense. I thought I wanted to breastfeed and was determined to do it. But night after day after night after day of lots of crying, pain, misery I decided it wasn’t worth it. I look back at those first two months and remember how horrible they were not how precious it was to have a newborn.


Jenny B in Indy December 19, 2008 at 3:58 pm

I didn’t ever get to breastfeed because my son was a Preemie and then in the NICU for 2 weeks and got used to the bottle and pacifier. He wouldn’t take the breast. So I pumped. Constantly.
But then at 8 weeks my OB put me on low dose birth control and I started only producing 2oz every 3 hours, not enough for my son. So I had to stop. And it was so hard. Emotionally and physically. I remember feeling so horrible about it but his Pediatrician told me it was okay and he would be fine. I gave him my milk as long as I could and that meant more than anything.
My OB told me to bind myself so I went to a speciality pharmacy and got what I needed and within a week, my milk was completely gone.
It was painful at first.. Especially in the shower, I would gush milk but then after a few days of binding, I finally had relief. Binding, for me, really worked.
I really wish I wouldn’t have went on the pill and kept pumping but at the time, we were so worried about me getting pregnant again (I am Fertile Myrtle), we felt it was best.
Good luck to you. Pray about it. I’m sure you will be fine. You’ve already breastfed longer than alot of women do.


Rebecca (Sam's wife) December 19, 2008 at 4:00 pm

you have to do what works for you. my daughter is almost 4 months and she only gets breastmilk. i work hard to get it too like you. i work ft too and it is hard work! i feel your pain. my goal was 6 months but now i want to do it for as long as i can.
i am going to talk about if i should supplement at her 4 month appt next week. my peditrician says that it doesn’t matter how hard they try there is no way companies can reproduce breastmilk. the formulas don’t have all the “things” that breastmilk does. don’t feel guilty i feel the same way and will have party when i can get my girls back and won’t mind sharing them with my husband again. i get tired of sharing them everyone. i am going to see when my daughter is ready to wean. i am not going to rush and keep pumping for as long as i can. i don’t want to spend any extra money on formula yet. this was a good post and one i will refer to when i get closer to the weaning stage. (sniff, sniff)


Bridget =) December 19, 2008 at 4:01 pm

Hi Jessica.

My goal for both my kids was one year. With my first child, a girl, i made it to 8 months bf-ing and with my frozen supply, 9 months. She self weaned.

With my son, I had to wean him at 13 months. he was just a different (better!) nurser.

I wish i could say I did it for my kids – i mean, i did for the bond and health and all that, but really… it was just so much more CONVIENENT. feed him easy, right temp, no mixing, no clean up as many bottles. and saved SO much $$$$! formula is SO darn expensive, and some babies are more sensitive to others… and i worked full time with both kids too, so there were SOME bottles, and there was pumping! 3-4 times a day… and then storing the milk…

i’ve always been in the go as long as you can camp because once you stop, you can’t really get back.

oh, and with my son! i lost 50+ lbs while nursing! i did weight watchers and you get 10 extra points a day! i was NEVER hungry and i swear that “bf makes you lose weight” is a MYTH!!!! but on WW, i lost an average of 3lbs a week!!!!

HTH! please feel free to email me. =)


Anika B December 19, 2008 at 4:11 pm

By the way my milk hasnt dried up or gone down so I figure there is a reason for that. Also I am stoping or trying to wean at 1 year because I think its good time to stop and he can have whole milk I will be putting him or weaning him to that… I have even taken pics of me nursing ( u cant see anything u can just tell im nursing or just finished) and plan on scrapping about it in his book, the amazing amazing bond, I feel with him… etc… I am glad I have nursed him this long.. no regrets….


Kelly December 19, 2008 at 4:33 pm

Hi Jessica!

I nursed both of my children as well. My first had a cleft lip and needed major surgery at 10 weeks. I nursed her exclusively for 6 weeks then transitioned her to a bottle of breastmilk so she would not miss the skin to skin contact after surgery. She had to be syringe fed for 2 weeks after surgery. My original goal was to nurse her as long as I could and once I returned to work to nurse her at night, formula in the day. We didn’t know about the cleft until she was born and that changed everything. I was grateful to be able to nurse her at all after reading a lot of cleft babies can’t latch on and have difficulty with bottles as well.

With my 2nd, he was a big eater like your Elias. I swear he thought I was a tap he could turn on and off. He wanted to nurse every 90 minutes or so. I felt like you, I was always nursing. It took almost 3 months to get him on a 3 hour schedule and it was a round the clock every 3 hours. I was exhausted but felt guilty I did not nurse our daughter longer. Anyway, when I returned to the office at 13 weeks, I pumped 3-4 times a day here and sent the bottles to daycare the next day. After 2 months of it, I started dropping one pump at a time until I was no longer pumping at the office. He was still nursing at night and in the mornings for quite a while. Eventually it was taking me nursing and a 4 oz formula bottle to satisfy him so I stopped around 6-7 months. I felt FREE at last! No guilt.

One of the other ladies mentioned the cost of formula. We paid $30/can at Costco every single week. Ouch! It was worth it for my peace of mind and my husband totally supported my decision to stop even it meant spending more moeny.


Kara Finley December 19, 2008 at 4:45 pm

With my first son, I wasn’t very educated with breastfeeding and didn’t have enough supply to feed him what he needed and I felt like that is all I did was nurse all day long. So we were completely done by 3 months. With my 2nd son, I am still nursing and he is over 10 months. I initially said I was going to try to go 6 months and then start to wean. (I am feeling guilty just thinking about it! Mom guilt never goes away!) My son, Micah loves to nurse and now we are in such a great schedule I don’t know when we’ll stop. At about 6 months is when he started eating more solids and we really started slowing down on the nursing. He now nurses 4 times in a 24 hour period with occasional extra nursing times if he is not feeling so well. I am a stay at home mom (work very part time and do in home care) so I don’t pump (I used to when he was younger when I needed to get out of the house or when I had to work) but now he takes formula if needed so I haven’t pumped in months. Pumping has got to be exhausting. In the next month when he starts eating more solids, he will most likely drop a feeding or two which should reduce your pumping. If you’re feeling guilty (which is normal) you might just not be ready to be done yet.
As for the breast issue, since Micah has decreased the amount of times he nurses, my boobs have really calmed down. I think they may actually be smaller than before I was preggo! I have heard that around the 6-7 month mark this tends to happen. Overall, you know what is best for your baby and you need to do what you feel is best. Like I said, I was planning on nursing only 6 months, but when Micah turned 6 months there was no way he was ready to be done. He would throw a fit if I tried to give him something else when it was nursing time! Every baby is different with different needs. Nursing for 6 months is so good and beneficial! The most crucial months of an infant’s life! You could also try to give him a formula bottle once or twice a day but still pump just to stock up. Well, that is my two cents! God bless you in your decision….it’ll be the right one because you’re the mommy, and mommies know best! :)


alisachilders December 19, 2008 at 4:46 pm

Guilt and breastfeeding should be interchangeable words! I have trouble making enough milk, so I also have to pump at least twice a day in order to make enough milk to satisfy my daughter’s insatiable appetite. The first seven weeks were excruciating, and we are now finding our rhythm at 10 weeks. At the end of week 7, I got a staph infection, and had to take medicine that I couldn’t take while breastfeeding, so I had to give her formula for two weeks. You want to know what I learned during those two weeks?….Formula is not the “F” word. You’ll be fine. Some breastmilk is better than none, so go for the nighttime feedings!


alisachilders December 19, 2008 at 4:50 pm

I think “breastfeeding” and “guilt” should be interchangeable words. Actually, throw “motherhood” in there too! I also had the goal of exclusively breast feeding, but I got a staph infection around week 7. I had to take medicine that I couldn’t take while nursing. I had to give her formula for two weeks, and you know what I learned? Formula is not the “F” word. She is back on the breast now, and we are finally finding our rhythm. I think every mother knows what’s best for her baby, so follow your instinct and don’t give in to the guilt monster!


Therese December 19, 2008 at 4:50 pm

Do what’s best for you. I am unable to brestfeed, so it’s not an option, and boyt, did I carry guilt about that!…He will be fine if you wean him…


Angela W December 19, 2008 at 4:55 pm

I know you want the best for your dear boy but don’t feel guilty. I know it is easier to say than do though. I nursed my boy who is almost 7 now for only 6 wks then went back to work. I really think the reason it was so easy for me to stop nursing is due to getting free formula, so I wasn’t worried about the cost. He is great and very healthy besides a few allergies and ear infections. I think he was cursed with that from us though since we have the same problems. LOL!
I nursed my now 22 mth old for almost 10 mths though. I was able to bring him to work, and I worked at pumping and storing milk. He did get formula supplements every so often though. I don’t know if it was the cost of formula that made me stick with nursing so much as it seemed easier at times to do. I loved the bonding time it gave us too. I also think some of it had to do with my being older.
It does help to start cutting back on the nursing gradually. Then before you know it you are done and dried up. There may be times that you feel sad that you quit, but you would have had to eventually any way. Plus, like some of the other women have said, you have done well to stick with it this long. Some are not able to nurse at all. Your son has gotten a great supply of your antibodies. I figure nursing at all if possible is better than not at all. I think it is easier on some women than others to stop nursing, whether it be financial, emotional, whatever. Good luck, and I hoped we have all eased your fears. We are here for you!


phdinparenting December 19, 2008 at 5:02 pm

Any amount of breastfeeding is beneficial. You should be proud of your accomplishment so far and what you have given to your child.

That said, the benefits don’t stop magically at a certain age. There are continued benefits to extended breastfeeding both for mom (weight loss, lower breast cancer risk, cost savings) and for baby (more immunities, less sickness, opportunity to connect with mom for comfort, etc.). The World Health Organization recommends at least 2 years of breastfeeding.

I do child-led weaning. I let my children decide when they are done.

My son nursed for 2.5 years. However, I stopped pumping at work when he was 12 months old because he took very well to cow’s milk and was eating well.

My daughter is 21 months and still nursing. I pumped for her at work until she was 18 months. Before that I wasn’t confident she was eating enough other things for me to stop pumping (that said, I decreased from 3 pumping sessions per day to 2 and then later to 1 over time).

The decision to wean is a very personal one and one that involves only you and your baby. Partial weaning is also possible.

Here are some links to things I have written that are related:

On calories and weight loss/gain:

On breast cancer:


kimberly December 19, 2008 at 5:02 pm

I nursed 4 out of my 5 kids(the one i didnt nurse catches every cold/bug/virus that comes around but is otherwise healthy). My three middle kids are 16, 17, 18 yrs old…yes, I had them in sequence. THe first two are 10 months apart then 14 mos. My “boob” was constantly out, I became a milk machine. Cried constantly, I wanted to do the “right” thing but gosh, I wanted my body back.
I lasted 4-6 mos with 4 kids, I gave all. I stopped without guilt, you can only do what you can do.
If you want to slow down and only do night feedings, then do it, your body will adjust. GOd made us to adjust to these things.
I would wrap my chest in ace bandage with a towel pinned on top when I dried myself up. Only took about a week.
I had “dolly parton-ique” attributes before, they got bigger after 5 kids. BInding them did not help me. SIgh…and women actually WANT enhancements??
Peace in HIm


Anonymous December 19, 2008 at 5:08 pm


My daughter introduced me to your blog – she was one of your residents when you lived in Slichter.

I’m really glad you posted this because I know a lot of women who have told me the same thing – I counseled women on breastfeeding for many years and am the Breastfeeding coordinator for the state of Wisconsin and personally breastfed my own three children.

First, you should be really proud of yourself. Congratulations for meeting your own goals and you did the best thing for you and the best thing for your baby. There is absolutely no reason to feel guilty.

If you want to make the analogy to a marathon (26.2 miles) – you are at mile 22. You’re baby is old enough at 5.5-6 months to start solids (ex: fruits, veggies, baby cereal). With each solid food meal your baby eats, you eliminate a breastfeeding (or a pumping) and your milk supply will automatically adjust (your breast size will adjust too!). Don’t wait until you stop breastfeeding to exercise and eat right – you can start that now.

You’re awesome, you’re working hard and you are doing the best possible thing for Elias! By sticking with breastfeeding for as long as you have you have decreased Baby Elias’s chances of developing heart disease, cancer and diabetes and you have decreased your chance of getting breast cancer! Good for you!

Just relax and enjoy the precious gift that is in front of you now.

Take care (and Merry Christmas!),

Kate Pederson


jayfersgirl December 19, 2008 at 5:15 pm

I plan to breastfeed my daughter (now 4 months) for at least a year, and exclusively (no solids) until she’s 6 months old.
But I’m a stay-at-home mom…I’ve pumped here and there to be able to have a bottle to leave with my husband when I go out for errands, and it’s a pain! I really respect those of you who pump every single day in order to ensure that your baby is getting the best possible thing.
You do actually lose weight from breastfeeding sometimes, but I understand wanting to lose more faster:)
I would encourage you to really think thru how expensive formula is and know that Elias will get sick more often being in childcare and not being breastfed.
But you also have to think thru how difficult it is for you to continue and whether you would be happier weaning him at this point.
It would be great for you to still nurse morning and night, so he still has the benefits of breastmilk, even if you do formula the rest of the time.
You will absolutely do what’s best for you and for him, and don’t ever let anyone (including yourself) say otherwise!


Sarah December 19, 2008 at 5:17 pm

Hi Jessica:

I’ve been reading/commenting since before you had Elias as I was pregnant with my second and so have walked a lot of the road at the same time.

I understand the Mummy Guilt thing.

My advice? Keep breastfeeding. It’s just for a few more months which really isn’t that long when it’s done. Trust me – you’ll miss it when it’s over. Small things like your breasts being too big (and they do go back to normal!) will seem like it’s not a big deal when suddenly you’re not nursing anymore. it’s such a short season and then its over.

I could be a lot more specific and write a book about the dangers of formula and hte importance of breastmilk particularly as it relates to extended breastfeeding. But it’s not always just about that. Plus you know a lot of it already. (If you don’t, check out 101 Reasons to Breastfeed at – it’s brilliant!)

For me, it was a gift I could give my kids. My daughter weaned herself eventually – no trauma, no guilt. If you can, keep it up.

The way I look at is I’ll never regret breastfeeding. I may regret quitting too early or giving forumula etc. But I won’t ever regret the time spent breastfeeding or the value of the breastmilk I gave them.

Praying for you as you make your decisions.

No guilt from me, either way. It’s a personal decision.



ryanandjessicaepp December 19, 2008 at 5:34 pm made it 6 months!!! THAT IS Awesome and you totally need to celebrate that! If you want to go longer..go for it but make sure you save that formala money for cute outfits or scrapbooking things!! Don’t feel guilty… I think it’s awesome you have breastfed so long having to mostly pump the entire time! way to go!


Ashlie December 19, 2008 at 5:47 pm

I have 4 kids and breastfed them all. I loved breastfeeding, but I was no leleche fanatic. I nursed on a routine, but my babies had formula if I was out and did just fine. It’s draining to do all that pumping. So, since you are working, I don’t think you need to feel guilty at all about weening him from breastmilk. All 4 of mine nursed about 6-7 months, but that was it. Mine last child nursed a little longer…a little over 7 months, but that last month, I only nursed her in the morning and evening. She was just too busy during the day, ate lots of food, and was just fine. Give it a try doing just those 2 feedings if you want…or wait a couple weeks. Boobs are crazy things and adjust….I had no pain and never had boob issues. God bless you and your family this Christmas. Thank the Lord for his redemption of us wretched people! Keep us posted as to what you decide and how it goes!
Ashlie (Athens, GA)


Jung A December 19, 2008 at 5:47 pm

hi…my support goes out to you. i breast fed my little girl a year…at about 11 months, I just breast fed before bedtime. She never really had to use a bottle…we went straight to sippy cups! I do understand how hard it must be to be as a working mom. I too will have to think about these issues, as I will be looking for a job, and we want more children soon… so good luck…what ever you decide, at least you breastfed for 5 MONTHS!


Anonymous December 19, 2008 at 6:12 pm

Hi! I am brand new to your blog and I am loving it. But please do NOT feel guilty, although I don’t plan on nursing in my future, I congratulate you on lasting 5 months and if it’s time to stop go ahead. Besides if you are a working Mom, it may be easier to start him on a different feeding schedule, one that anyone can hop in and help out with.
Good Luck-


Anonymous December 19, 2008 at 6:17 pm

What a decision! Unlike you I didn't have enough milk supply to satisfy my daughter so I was only able to breastfeed her during the night.
The way I decided to stop breastfeeding was when she got teeth & bit me. She did that once & that was it. She was already supplimenting with formula anyways & she's now 11 y/o & it didn't affect her a bit.
Hope your decision gets a little easier after you read all these comments. :)
Happy Holidays!


lifelaughsandlove December 19, 2008 at 6:20 pm

Motherhood is full of guilt. Not that I’m saying that it is a good thing, but in all honesty this guilt will just be replaced by new guilt. I breastfed my first for 21 months. After a while it just became second nature and it wasn’t a big deal. In the beginning it was difficult, though. I’m glad I did it that way. Weaning wasn’t a big deal since I had been doing it so long and she was nursing so infrequently so there wasn’t much to dry up. I was one of the unlucky few who didn’t lose weight when nursing, but once I stopped I dropped a good 10 pounds pretty quickly.

I now am nursing my second child who is 10 weeks old and it has been a challenge. I have had to cut dairy out of my diet and not a day goes by that I don’t consider switching to formula so I can get my body back, and so I can eat normal food again. My goal, though, is to make it to 1 year. I know it is best for him, and I figure that this is such a short time of my life in the grand scheme of things I should be able to endure the lack of dairy, the slightly heavier body, the extra work, etc. I think the most important thing for me has been to look at the big picture and to not get too caught up in the here and now. I just take it one day at a time, which has not been easy, but is working so far!

Good luck! It’s a very personal decision, and you need to decide what is best for you.


Anonymous December 19, 2008 at 6:28 pm

This seems like a huge decision right now, but 3 years from now it will be a mere blip on the radar screen…
Don’t feel guilty whatever your decision is. You have a lot on your plate; a young baby, a home to keep (I’m sure you’re darling husband helps), a full-time job, scrapbooking, Christmas etc. I don’t know how you pump 4 times a day as well. I had a daughter with a cleft soft palette so I pumped exclusively for almost 3 months. Then it was onto formula, and I don’t think she’s been negatively impacted by that decision. The only caution I have is to keep a close eye on constipation for the baby, because when you stop all breast milk that can become a problem.
I stopped pumping as a birthday gift to myself. You can give yourself a great Christmas present!

Nancy Peacock


Mary December 19, 2008 at 7:33 pm

Hi Jessica, I am a Mom of four girls. I bottle fed the first one and should have breastfed cuz she was so sickly. In ’72 not much info was out there. Then I tried brestfeeding with my second one cuz I had touble with formula with the first. Breastfeeding was not easy in ’75 either. I struggled getting enough milk to keep her full. I think I stopped about 6 months. We were both much happier. Then the third baby came in ’87 and nursed her for like 3 months and then the fourth girl was easier so I nursed her for a year. I sure had my problems but I was deteremined. Now she is 18 and overweight and the second girl is overweight. I don’t know if it is assosciated with nursing or not. So do what you want to for you. In the end it is different in each baby. I think you have done good for your baby and if it is time for you to stop then just do it and feel good that you have a baby and it’s healthy and live happy.


Mary December 19, 2008 at 7:39 pm

Oh also another thing I will add about breasts changing in size. Well I was always inbetween babies a 34-B. Then after having the fourth and last one in 1990 my breasts were large and stayed large so I think becuz I nursed for a year my breasts would not reduce back to what I was before. Now I have touble with shoulders from the weight of the them pulling down on my bra straps. I don’t know why some women want to get implants. I am in pain everyday now that I am older.


Julie December 19, 2008 at 8:05 pm

My goal was 6 months too…and well my son is 8 months and still nursing. I really wanted to quit at 6 months…but I too felt guilty! I knew that…A. it was cheaper, in fact its free=) if you nurse, B. its better for them, and C. it does provide a stong attachment. So, for now, I am just going day by day, trying to save money and enjoying those sweet little moments. If I were you, pumping every day is hard, so I would go to Nursing in the mornings and evenings and supplementing in the day. That would be so easy!


Anonymous December 19, 2008 at 8:18 pm

My little boy is almost 14 months old and just completely weaned from the breast last week. My goal was to breast feed for 1 year. I think breast is best but am not fanatical. We supplemented with formula in the beginning because he was small and his suck was not efficient enough to breast feed. It took months of practice, pumping, and patience to get it right. Luckily I am a sahm and he is my 1st baby so I was able to dedicate all the necessary time and effort.

You should never feel guilty about making what you feel is the best decision for you and your family. And it is also OK to change your mind about what you think is best, or try something for a few days just to see if it feels OK before committing.

Weaning for us was very slow. My baby eats all table food and is old enough for cow’s milk, so it was nice to be able to skip the formula/bottle issue and go right from breast to cup.

At 10 months, he was nursing 3x per day. At 1 yr, we dropped the mid day nursing and went to morning and bedtime only. At 13 months we dropped the bedtime and went to morning only (because my supply was greatest in the am and the bedtime was more comfortable for me to skip). 3 weeks later I tried to drop the morning nursing but could not skip more than 1 day without discomfort so we nursed every other day for about 6 days then stopped.

Dropping 1 feeding per week would have been too fast for me. If you can wean without putting a deadline on yourself, that would be great. It is possible to nurse only morning and bedtime for quite a while and maintain an appropriate supply as long as your baby is getting other nutrition all day long.


pattyb December 19, 2008 at 8:21 pm

All my advice is take it or leave it. I have never been a breastfeeding Nazi. I say that endearingly to those who are.

I have been a supporter in my personal life. I had four kids, each were breastfed for about 19 months, except the youngest. My darling daughter was breastfed until she was 16 months. I am getting old and the non-sleeping thing to feed at night was too much. 16 months is good though.

Here’s my thing. When they get sick, they can’t eat anything it seems except breastmilk. That doesn’t make them sick at all, keeps them hydrated and keeps me sane. I swear everytime I stop feeding than they get the runs or vomiting and I have a hard time. I know that breastfeeding is healthy but you just don’t realize how good it is for them. If you can I would say keep it up. It may seem like alot of trouble right now but in the grand scheme of things its such a short amount of time. Once they start solids you’ll see them reduce the amount they need and you don’t feel like a milk factory.

For me my milk supply dried up right away. About a week at most of discomfort and then back to normal, except a little deflated. Kinda sucks when you’re an b cup already. But that’s my personal battle with my idea of beauty and breasts. So if you decide to give it up it’s hard to change your mind. Your body goes back automatically.

Again do what you feel is best for you and your baby. Whatever you do you little baby will know you love them and that’s what important.


Anonymous December 19, 2008 at 8:24 pm

My OB says breastfeeding burns 500 calories per day so giving it up may not really help with losing weight, though there are usually an extra 5-10 pounds that hang on until you are done.

Here’s a weight loss formula someone told me once. I have no idea if it true. It takes 9 months to gain the weight. You should allow 9 months to lose it plus…the the time you breastfeed plus…the difference between how long you breastfeed and how long you are pregnant.

For example, if you breast feed until Elias in 7 months (to allow for weaning time), you can realistically expect to be at your pre-baby weight when he is 18 months old.

9 months (time of being preggo) + 7 months (time of nursing) + 2 months (the difference between the 1st two numbers)

It sounds like forever, but you have to be realistic and healthy about it.

Btw I would NEVER bind my breasts. Sounds barbaric.


Anonymous December 19, 2008 at 8:28 pm

I guess every body is different. My boobs are smaller now that I am done nursing than they were before I even got pregnant. And they are a full cup size different in size, which makes bra buying hell-ish and frustrating!

Good luck!


Teresa December 19, 2008 at 8:44 pm

I exclusively nursed my daughter until she was a year old and I loved every minute…. once I could introduce finger foods and some dairy (around 9 months) I think we were down to about 4 feedings a day. We kept that up until I could introduce cows milk (one year) and we weaned gradually. I would replace one breast feeding with a sippy cup of milk. I would wait until she was comfortably and eagerly drinking that down and then replace another. I think it took us 2 months to be completely weaned, but it was totally easy, without any fuss from her and my milk dried up gradually, so I didn’t have to do the uncomfortable binding thing. It was just “all gone” when we were done!! :) Good luck. Where I’d love to encourage you to “keep it up”, the most important thing to remember is doing what is right for you and your baby. Don’t feel guilty about a thing. If it is what is right, then that is the best thing!! :)


Debbie in STL December 19, 2008 at 8:47 pm

Both of my children were breastfed exclusively. My son weaned himself at 14 months, although at 12 months I started gradually adding whole milk, so by then he could drink whole milk. My daughter kind of lost interest around 10 months and my supply dwindled. Since she was so close to a year, my doctor said it was ok to start transitioning her to whole milk. By 12 months she was on whole milk and stopped nursing at all. It was sad for me, but also a relief. Being a working mom and breastfeeding is definitely hard work!


The Huntley's December 19, 2008 at 9:43 pm

Love your blog by the way! I would just keep breast feeding for the times you are able to and not worry about having to suplement with formula when needed. Soon you will be feeding solid food and the nursing sessions will become less and less. Breast feeding is a big but great commitment. I breastfed all 5 of mine. Two weaned themselves at 8-9 months and one was such a great eater (easy) that we nursed until she was 15 months (but only in the mornings). I never had any pain because I never stopped cold turkey. We just gradually began nursing less and less. Each baby is TOTALLY different. Breast feeding is a LOT of work and hard especially for some of my babies. So if you are feeling you want to quit or continue…I say just go with your gut feeling. It has always been right in my experience.


kirsten December 19, 2008 at 9:54 pm

ya know….i actually lied to a woman at the park when my daughter was an infant…this lady was wearing one of those nursing nazi sweatshirts and i thought i could tell the truth and get ‘that look/speech’ or just lie and realize that my kid is healthy, i’m healthy…life is good. still makes me laugh. she breast-fed all her kids for 2 years….then her 4 year old was over at the picnic table downing a Coke. whatever.


A Big Deal Girl December 19, 2008 at 10:11 pm

I did not read all the comments but maybe someone may have already said what I am going to say. It is more of a question to ask yourself. We all know there are no guarantees in life. Precious Elias may be the only baby you ever have. This maybe the only time in your life you get to experience this amazing miracle that God created, for a mother to be able to feed her child. Once you do stop you can never go back. When he is 3 or 4 or 5 you can’t say, “hey Elias you want to breastfeed again”. You can but child services might show up at your door:) The question is, are you really ready to give up this amazing experience (that you may never get again)?Only you know if you are ready and if you are then great. I agree with the lady who was praising you for what you have already done. Plus, I do not work and I think you mothers who work and pump at work so you babies can have breast milk are amazing and deserve extra presents for mothers day. I actually had always said I would never nurse and when I was pregnant with my first I decided I would try it. When people asked me if I was going to nurse I would say I was going to try and then one day I just decide I would stop saying I was going to try and I just started saying YES! I am so glad I did. It was amazing I nursed all three of my kids. My first stopped around 10 months and my second I stopped him on his 1st birthday and my third (an last) I decided I would nurse past a year but he stopped on his own at about 10 months. I really miss that special one on one time that you are forced to have with them. Life gets so busy but when you nurse your baby you have a great excuse to take a break. I am sorry this is so long. I wish you the best!



rebecca December 19, 2008 at 10:13 pm

Hi! I adore your blog and have gotten a lot of great scrapbooking ideas from you!

My husband and I are expecting our first baby the beginning of June, and I’m planning to breastfeed exclusively as well. I’ll eventually have to go back to work though, and I’m curious when most women introduce the bottle. Did you wait until shortly before you returned to work, or start soon after Elias was born so he was used to both breast and bottle? I’d hate to wait until the last minute and find the baby having a hard time adjusting to the bottle… Just curious what worked for you.



Anonymous December 20, 2008 at 12:03 am

I just found your blog, can’t wait to read the whole thing.
I have three kids..breast fed them all ( for 1 year )..but I was with them all day. I was not working. I have to say GOOD FOR YOU for breast feeding your baby for 6 months, when you were not physically with him all day. It took extra time, effort etc. You should feel great about that, not guilty. Someone else already said that being a just go from one guilt to another and this won’t matter 3 years from now. I always thought that the benefits an infant received from the breast milk ( after 6 months and on solid food ) they were getting even if it was just one feeding. So maybe you can feed him from the breast just one time a day…night or morning which ever works best with you…He looks happy, healthy..take it easy on looks like you are doing a great job..and the fact that you care enough about him to feel guilty puts you in the top 10% of parents in this country!!


Kara in CA


Anonymous December 20, 2008 at 1:58 am

Don’t fret! I tried to breastfeed but since I’d had a reduction a few years earlier, I only produced about 3 oz. for each meal! Plus, after a 23 hour labor then a c-section, I breastfed right after delivery, but was so conked out the rest of the night, my son required a bottle from daddy. I lasted about 3.5 month of giving him what I could produce and then following up with a bottle. Did I feel guilty? Of course…the worst guilt – for having had a reduction that made my life easier years earlier! BUT what I did realize after that point in my life was that I did the best I could do given where I was at that point in my life. So what I’m trying to say is nobody has the magic answer for you – except you -and your son has had a great benefit from what you have given him so far. Your love is more important than breast vs. formula.


Valerie, Luis and Marco December 20, 2008 at 2:57 am

Ok just my opinion but I think you should stick it out for a year. My son would not latch on so I just pumped for 1 YEAR! When I came home it was give him a bottle then pump, that is what I did every TWO hours at first then obviously it tapered to 3,4,5,&6 hours. I cried so many times that I did not want to pump anymore I was so sick of it! When he was about 11 months I did have to start supplementing with 1 formula bottle because he was eating way more than I could produce, but now my son just turned 1 on 11/12 and I stopped pumping on his birthday. I cannot tell you how satisfying of a feeling that is to have made it one year! Also I only had to spend $27.00 on formula and when he would not finish his bottle I felt like I was throwing money down the drain if it was a formula bottle! So I think you should just do it 6 more months. I think once you start paying for formula because he is exclusively on that it will really cut into any sort of budget you have. I still get giddy about the fact that I did it for a year, I am so proud of myself and it was so good for my son. I hope you will consider that.

Also about stopping, I stopped and you could seriously not even look at my chest because it hurt SO bad! I stuck it out for a week and I woke up on the 7th day determined to make the pain go away and suddenly it was gone! I am glad I did not take the advice of pumping a little to take some of the pressure off because we all know that if you pump you make more, so my theory is stick it out if you can.


Amy December 20, 2008 at 5:04 am

Okay, it’s been awhile since this topic applied to me, but I will give my two cents worth anyway:)

Go with what feels right for you and your baby.

I set a goal with my first to nurse for 12 months because we couldn’t afford the expense of formula, plus I wanted to give my baby the best possible advantages breastfeeding offers.

Around 11 months some well meaning friends (and relatives) advised me I needed to start the weaning process in order to be done by 12 months. I can remember rocking my baby girl at night, nursing her, looking into her eyes and just sobbing thinking this wonderful experience had to end. My husband caught me one night crying. He said, “Amy, if it makes you feel this sad, why are you doing it. I think it will all work out. It’s not like you’ll send her to school on the boob.”

I was so thankful he told me this. It was almost like I needed someone to give me permission to continue.

Well, at exactly 12 1/2 months she quit. It was like one evening I nursed her, put her to bed and the next morning she woke up and wanted nothing to do with it. It was the most peaceful experience, no guilt, no tears, just peace.

I echo what some others have said. The more they are eating, the less they nurse anyway. By the time she quit I was only nursing at bedtime (night, not naptime) and upon waking in the morning. No engorgement, no pain, no leaking!

I had much the same experience with the second baby.

Hope that helps! And as far as the weight goes, don’t worry too much about it. Ten pounds is not that much and there will be plenty of time to lose it later…like when you start chasing a toddler around!


Jennifer December 20, 2008 at 5:24 am

I have been following your blog for a while now…I know Angie and I went to Belmont with Matthew. Anyway, I felt very guilty about not breastfeeding my second child, but I knew that I just couldn’t. I didn’t produce enough milk with my first and I just didn’t want to go through the pain and agony all over again. Anyway, my doctor told me that the best way to alleviate the pain of stopping breastfeeding is to buy a head of cabbage, yes I said cabbage. Put a large piece of cold cabbage leaves inside your bra then wrap an ace bandage around your boobs as tight as you can stand it. Change out the cabbage as often as you can for 2-3 days and you will never become engorged. It really did work. Also, do not take hot baths or showers during this time, as it will just prolong the process. I was so thankful for this bit of advice. Hope it helps and I will br praying for you to make the right decision for you and for Elias.


Anonymous December 20, 2008 at 7:57 am

Jessica…………..STOP feeling guilty!!You have been a wonderful mommy….You made it to the 6 month goal!!! Elias will be fine for nursing as long as you did….Look how wonderful YOU turned out !!!Finally Jennifer talked about the wrapping process for ending breast feeding. I wish someone would have shared that with me…but there is always Dr. Bock :) mom


Stephanie December 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm

First of all…you shouldn’t feel guilty at all. You have given Elias a wonderful gift and have made it a lot further than some moms I know. Myself included. I breastfed my son for six weeks and then just gave up it was so difficult. He was premature and (I now know because I am a milk machine)my milk really never came. However, I did want to share this story with you because it may encourage to keep with it just a bit longer. My cousin’s son was diagnosed with leukemia right at his first birthday and literally within days of weaning him from the breast. It seems that the breastmilk suppressed the leukemia! To me that is just absolutely amazing. So I was so bound and determined to breastfeed my daughter when she was born in August (even though she was also premature and it didn’t go well at first, but at least I had milk to work with this time!). And like you, I feel like we are just now getting it down. Really, until last month I was ready to give up. But since you have made it this far and it is getting easier, I am wondering if you can just gradually cut out your pumping sessions, supplement with formula and just nurse Elias in the morning and evening. I think (and hopefully a lactation specialist will correct me if I am wrong)as long as you do it gradually, your body will adjust and you should just produce enough milk for those feedings. That way, Elias is still getting the benefits of your milk and you will get rid of that pump and hopefully get YOUR boobs back!!
But whatever you do…you are Elias’s mom and you know what is best for you and your little guy! With a mom like you, he is going to thrive no matter what!


Tirzah December 21, 2008 at 6:49 pm

Looks likes you’ve gotten every perspective there is, but I just wanted to add mine :)
My first son was premature and didn’t breastfeed; we tried everything, but he wouldn’t do it. I pumped for eight months, when my milk dried up. At six months we had to start supplementing because he’d drink all my milk and then cry for more. I’d never planned on giving my son formula, but I was so grateful that I had a way to feed him when my own body wasn’t enough. You’ve almost hit the big milestone, so congrats for sticking it out this long! One thing I really wanted to share was that, there is no ONE way to feed your baby; if you find that stopping the breastfeeding altogether is too sad for one or both of you, continue to nurse as much as you need. If you find that it’s too taxing to do all that pumping, cut back as much as you need. My sixteen month-old son still nurses, but not nearly as much as he did when he was an infant. I can go out for several hours without him and wear outfits that I can’t nurse in, and being able to do that just a little bit has made me feel much freer. And your boobs WILL get smaller; for me it was a gradual decrease until one morning I woke up and it was like someone had popped two balloons on my chest. Just remember that you don’t have to do things the way anybody else has done them, just what feels right for you and Elias. Maybe that means you nurse him once a day, maybe ten times, maybe not at all; whatever you choose, he will still grow up healthy and strong. I hope you find whatever arrangement brings you peace :)


Anonymous December 22, 2008 at 2:30 am

I am the mother of a one year old boy and breastfeeding was not easy for us at all. I was able to exclusively breastfeed for 3 weeks and then I pumped exclusively for another 6. I felt so guilty both when I started exclusively pumping and when I stopped the breast milk all together. My mom told me before our son was born that whenever we made the decision to stop breastfeeding/pumping that it would be a hard decision…no matter if that was 2 weeks or 12 months. It was very emotional to decide to switch to formula, but we were not a happy family when I was exclusively breastfeeding (and I couldn’t keep up the milk supply very long when I was pumping). In the long run I know that we did what was best for our family. I really do wish breastfeeding had of worked out, but it didn’t and we are a happy healthy family. Just remember to make sure to do what is best for you and your family in the long run…even if that isn’t an easy decision.


Sarah December 22, 2008 at 6:07 am

There is absolutely no reason to feel guilty about wanting/needing to give up breastfeeding! Every woman and family is different, so you need to do what works best for your family…Elias will grow and love you no matter what! :)
I highly recommend weaning Elias off the breast…if nothing else, for your sake. It is a painful process, especially if your body is still producing a lot of milk. My doctor recommended that I take Sudaffed (sp?) decongestant for a couple of days after I completed stopped breastfeeding, it helped dry up the milk a little bit faster. Also, wearing really tight sports bras (maybe the pre-pregnancy ones?) will help too.
Best of luck :)


Denise December 23, 2008 at 3:24 am

I don’t know what more I can add that hasn’t already been said, but I read your post and felt my own guilt all over again. I went through exactly what you are going through — made it to my 6 month milestone and then felt guilty as all heck for wanting to give it up. Especially because it FINALLY became easier for us! I have three children, and I breastfed them all for 7 months. 6 months pretty much exclusively, but supplementing with formula as needed. The final month was my weaning period. Each of them went down one feeding at a time, until the only two that remained were morning and bedtime. Whatever you decide, just be prepared for the emotion that will come when you do decide to wean, and you’re getting down to the final times of nursing your little man before bedtime. I can almost cry just thinking about it, and feeling like it was a lifetime ago already.
Peace and best wishes to you,
(I hopped over from Angie’s site when I noticed you’re also friends of Pete and Brandi…I so wish I lived in your corner of the world and could be at your dinner party : )


Anonymous December 24, 2008 at 7:10 pm

Hey, I’m sure you’ve heard it all by now, but whatever you do, don’t go cold turkey and have to worry about supply and aching/bursting breasts and binding (yuck)…
Go gradual and you’ll never notice a thing. I’ve done it twice, had no pain at all and my breast are not much different than before I had my children. I guess everyone is different in that category. I have a friend that is smaller, a friend that is bigger and me – still the same. So whatever happens to you, accept it as part of that “I’m proud my body had a baby and so what if it altered it a little”. Cheers!


Melissa December 25, 2008 at 12:20 am

I can’t make up your mind for you obviously, and I definitely agree with all of those who have cheered you on for making it to this point. I can only share my experience in a nutshell and maybe it will give you some motivation to keep it up past 6 months! Because believe me, I know EXACTLY what you are going through. Pretty much the memories I have of the first 6 months of my daughter’s life was breastfeeding! She ate allll the time. There was a time I thought she would never wean. When I introduced solids @ 6 months she was not interested at first, but at 8 or 9 months we did some finger foods (Cheerios, etc) and wow she took to that stuff great! That’s when the weaning really took place. She is 14 months now and is nursing twice a day, once at naptime and once at bedtime. And I am SO glad I stuck with it! It is a great connector for us. And my supply has dropped accordingly so I am not “Dolly Parton” anymore. Your body adjusts and makes enough milk for fewer and fewer feedings. BF’ing past 6 months has come in SO handy for teething, colds and just general comfort. It’s hard for you to imagine now but Elias will soon be eating so much “people” food it will blow your mind! My daughter was all boob for 8 months and now eats like a little piggy!!! I do relate to wanting your body back. That’s why the choice is all yours–and you should feel awesome for giving your son the best start to life. All I can say is, BFing gets less and less to where you are doing it once or twice a day, just as a way to bond. It’s less overwhelming, less like “work” and you feel less tied to baby. Believe me, it’s like everything else, it gets better!!! Plus, the immunity is great for flu and cold season! Good luck to you!


Stephanie December 31, 2008 at 10:28 pm

I breastfed my daughter for almost 2 years. It was a wonderful experience – exhausting at times, but beautiful nonetheless. I feel very happy that I was able to give her that “gift” – her immune system is top notch and I know that there are numerous other benefits that she will enjoy as she gets older because she nursed into toddlerhood.

That said, every mother and every child is different. You should be proud of what you have already given to your son, regardless of what you choose.


Laura January 22, 2009 at 10:46 pm

I breastfed my first son for 19 months and am currently breastfeeding #2 son – 7.5 months. I was blessed with a good supply, but I also pumped whilst at work, which I didn’t mind at all. I have even been able to donate my extra milk regularly to a mother with low supply. I would encourage you to continue breastfeeding and I can help with tips to increase your supply if that is what you choose.


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