How Much is Too Much?

How Much is Too Much?

A few minutes ago I put together all the herbs and pills that I take each day to try to increase my milk supply. It took until tonight for this to look totally crazy to even me. There are some pills that can’t be taken with liquids, others that need to be taken with foods, and still others that need to be taken at 4 different times throughout the day. My days have literally morphed into taking pills, pumping, and trying to breastfeed the baby. And I have to get up through the night, when the baby is sleeping, to try to get a jump on producing the milk she’s going to need for the day, which I’m not keeping up with anyway.
At this point we’ve more than spent what the nicest formula would cost for the year and I’m pretty sure that the monthly bill for these pills (some of which I have to order from outside the country) is equal to or more than the cost of formula. There are some who would argue the immunological benefits of breast milk (and I count myself part of that group) are worth the effort and as long as I’m able to produce some milk for my baby, then I should be giving it my all. It seems like taking the easy road out to just start supplementing what I’m producing/what my donor friend is giving me with formula.
But where does the quality of life argument come in? At what point do you say it’s no longer ok to sacrifice a good night’s sleep to get up and pump, or worry about a date night and how you’re going to pump while out, or try to figure out how to entertain your crying baby because you’re getting close to the 4 hour mark, and you really musn’t go over that?
I guess my current struggle is to find the balance. And at the end of the day, it has to be my decision as to what I will and won’t do to give my child the best I think she deserves. Is it better to have a well rested mother with time for her, or to have all the benefits that human milk provides? Is there an ethical dilemma in stopping my own production while still asking for donor milk? What will be the decision that will best help me to look back at this time with no regrets? Tough call.

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2 thoughts on “How Much is Too Much?

  1. I’m so sorry. If it makes you feel any better, breast milk is fantastic but formula won’t do your little sugar plum any harm. Your quality of life is extremely important and you deserve better sleep and less stressful date nights and play time with Anna. I hope you’re able to find a solution that gives you happiness and peace of mind. XOXO

  2. You are the only one who can make that decision. And trust me; choosing to formula feed isn’t the easy way out. You might struggle with feelings of being “less than” for the rest of your life (in my experience) because now you have this baby that you have to make all of these decisions for and those decisions will never perfectly align with anyone else’s. Whatever you are able to do, feel confident in your decision and that you are doing the best for her. And as for the donors, those willing mamas give their extra milk to feed another being; I’m sure they wouldn’t care if you had to stop breastfeeding. You are doing a wonderful job; there is no right answer. For me, with all four mind you, I knew that when I started feeling resentful toward the baby because I was hurting and they were starving, then it was time to go full force with the bottle. And if you happen to be around people who are not supportive, find others to be with. The world of motherhood can be very judgmental even from those with the best intentions. Love you girl; you rock!!

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