On Thursday night Isaac decided he no longer wanted to breastfeed. Since birth Isaac has been having both breast milk and formula due to an inadequate milk supply. Things have been going well with that–not perfect and problem-free—but well. Then Thursday night he decided that he no longer wanted to breastfeed, he just wanted the bottle. At the time I thought it was a fluke thing. Then the same thing happened on Friday and on Saturday. Sunday we were a little successful, but then by that night he was back to flat out refusing to breastfeed. He clamped that mouth shut and arched that back and simply refused. Once given a bottle he ate like there wasn’t a care in the world.
Today I called the pediatrician’s office and talked to the nurse. She confirmed what I had thought was going on: my 12 week old had weaned himself. He had figured out that the bottle was easier and gave him food a lot faster. This shouldn’t surprise me, as his father demanded food at a fast pace as well. His mother also ate quickly and then wanted down to play as soon as she was done. Impatience with eating is apparently in Isaac’s genes.
The nurse said I could either stop breastfeeding or consult the lactation consultant. I called the L.C. to see what her take on the situation was. She said that Isaac has likely weaned himself, but there was still hope for breastfeeding. That hope was based on coming to see her for a few sessions (at quite a high price, I must say), taking herbs and prescription medication, pumping excessively throughout the day, putting back on some of my pregnancy weight with protein shakes (hate to tell her I haven’t lost it all), making Isaac get so hungry that he will take the breast and offer no formula, etc…. This left me in a dilemma–do I stop or do I endure what seems to be a very unfun process? Being a new mother brings a lot of questions from friends and strangers, but the most common one is “Are you nursing?” I have been asked this in Target, in the library, and at the mall. Why are people so obsessed over knowing such details? I know that breastfeeding is important, but is it everyone’s business? Since I have been able to answer “yes” to this question, the person alas smiles and says something encouraging. I always wonder what their response would be if I said “No, however I am feeding my child McDonalds pureed in a blender.”
All of this to say, I have decided to quit breastfeeding. I made a list of pros and cons this afternoon and decided that the benefits of quitting outweigh the benefits of keeping it up. I know that the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends breastfeeding until the age of two, but I seriously doubt we would have done it that long anyway. Two year olds are heavy, plus I am not sure if I am personally comfortable with someone who can access such food by themselves, regardless of where you might be at the time. They also recommend nursing mothers and babies sleep in the same room (not the same bed). We moved Isaac from the co-sleeper to his crib shortly after he was born when we realized what a loud sleeper he is. They also recommend demand feeding and not putting a child on a schedule–I never demand fed him after those initial days and he is on a quite lovely schedule that provides structure and routine to his day (which any child with mine and Tobe’s genes wants and needs).
So according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, Isaac should be listless and have failure to thrive. As you look at these pictures, you can see how sad and upset he is. Who knows, perhaps next week he will decide he no longer wants to lay around and will get up and start crawling….
(Please note, that such opinions expressed are based on what I think is best for us. I support breastfeeding and those that partake in such activities 🙂