Supplementing the guilt

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I am feeling the mother of all guilt, but I really need some sleep. After nearly six months of being treated like a cow, I could use a break. At least while I get my zees. That's not too much to ask, is it? So this past week, I started mixing some formula in with the bottle of expressed breastmilk that my husband gives my daughter before bedtime.

The thing is, it's working. She's finally sleeping eight-hour stretches. Meaning I'm finally sleeping too! So why do I feel so awful?

I come from a family of allergies. My mother has asthma, my father eczema and my sister arthritis. As a result, breastfeeding exclusively was something I was psychotic about with my first born. But my two kids are SO different. My son needed to fall asleep at the breast forever. My daughter wants to be completely on her own to sleep. My son is still a meager eater. My daughter is as hungry as an ox.

When she nurses my boobs deflate from overwhelming D cups to saggy A/B cups in 15 minutes. I used to scoff at mothers who claimed they couldn't make enough milk. Now I'm beginning to understand. It could be that she's ready to try solids, but with our family history of allergies, I'd like to wait a bit longer.

I keep reminding myself that my motherhood mantra is "You do what works for your family." This new technique is working. My husband is bonding with our daughter, while I have the ability to give my son some one-on-one time. Plus everyone is waking up rested and smiling. Surely I shouldn't be in knots over four ounces of formula? Still I can't help feeling deflated like my breasts. But the alternative is feeling tapped out -- in more ways than one.

What have your breastfeeding experiences been like? Were/are you able to follow the recommendations of the WHO and the pediatric associations and breastfeed exclusively for six-months?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.