Friday, August 10, 2007

Breast is best! Breast is best! right?

Despite last month's news that Kiernan was ready to give up the boob, I'm actually still nursing some. I gave it up completely during waking hours but was still nursing K down to sleep and if he woke up in the night. He has also started drinking the formula more and more readily, with a little sugar mixed in.

I've been struggling with what to do with the last bit of nursing. It's gotten to the point now that if he's in the least bit upset, he won't nurse. So some nights (especially lately because the ever-teething boy has struck again) he barely nurses at all. Do I push hard to maintain that small amount of nursing? Is it really a health benefit for him to get 1-3 partial feedings a day? Especially given all my food restrictions? Given the fact that he is taking formula now? And the fact that he will be 11 months on Monday?

I struggle because I really do believe breastfeeding is important. And I always thought I would nurse for a really long time. My mother nursed me until I was about 2 and my sister until she was about 15 months old - I think I just assumed I would do the same. It never occurred to me that Kiernan would take away the choice from me. And I was very lucky that I didn't have to deal with any more hardships with nursing other than a bit of engorgement and a few bouts with thrush.

A lot of the time I feel like I should just pull the plug - it's been a good ride, I've done what I can, and there's no point in continuing for what we've got left. But there's guilt there that I just can't shake. He had a mysterious fever recently and I immediately thought "oh no, he's nursing less, he's going to start getting sick all the time!"

So I turn to you few folks who read my blog and ask you to tell me what you think. Is it beneficial to nurse him even just a tiny bit for as long as I can, or is it not worth the struggle anymore?

And isn't this breastfeeding awareness week or month - what a lame time to quit ;)


JennyB said...

I think you've done an amazing job, especially with everything you've all been through. If part of you feels you're ready to give it up, you shouldn't feel the least bit guilty. Kiernan really seems to be the one calling the shots, though. IF you think you're ready, try and go a full day without it and see if he protests. You might find that he's not ready to give it up entirely...
I struggled with it too when Ryan refused it around 8 months. I sooo wasn't ready but he was done. I got over it pretty quickly and celebrated with red wine! ;0)

pinks & blues girls said...

I agree with jennyb - it seems like you've had a good ride, and Kiernan may just be letting you know he is ready.

It really is funny about the timing, what with the World Breastfeeding Awareness week and all!! :)

Good luck!

Jane, P&B Girls

mayberry said...

I'm going to agree too -- 11 months is awesome and if Kiernan is done, then follow his lead. Maybe he's doing a little strike and will come back to it soon. But if not -- be proud of your 11 months and move on!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Lindsay said...

Ok, you know I'm a total fanatic breastfeeding advocate, but I think that you've had a way longer run at it than most even attempt (particularly with the issues you've had) and that's good enough. I don't think the small amount of breastmilk he's getting now is making THAT MUCH of a difference, and it's certainly not causing him to get more sick :) Aside from the fact that you'll be able to eat whatever you want (and you'd better save me some of that DQ cake since I didn't get any for my b-day...), you'll be able to leave him with my parents or yours for a night or weekend without having to deal with pumping, etc. And, like with my experience, maybe if you stop nursing him in the middle of the night he'll start sleeping through because it's not worth it to get up :) And did I mention that you'll get to eat DQ cake? Oh, and cheese. Mmmmm.

Lara said...

11 months IS a long time.