I’m reading a book called “Defining your own success” about breastfeeding after breast reduction surgery. Though that’s not my situation, it has been recommended as it addresses ways to deal with reduced lactation. The book is mainly inspiring as the author firmly believes that any breastfeeding is better than none – the benefits of even a little breastmilk are great, and there are numerous other benefits to the physical process of nursing that make it worth undertaking even if the baby only gets a little bit of milk. So, in general, good!
I’m still struggling, though, with “what ifs” and “should haves”: what if I’d tried pumping milk from the very beginning; should have learned more about lactation before baby came; if I’d done everything right, what would my optimal milk supply have been?? Though these are questions I can never answer, they still pop up at times to drag me down. Like when I met someone yesterday who I know peripherally who asked if I was breastfeeding. Yes: none of her business. But still it made me wonder if I could potentially have been in a situation where I could have been fully, or at least more fully, feeding her.
And even supplementing with breast milk is scary at times. I know and trust the women we get milk from; they’ve been tested for all diseases that could be passed on through the milk; and milk is so much better for her than formula that I’m glad I have the option. But I can still worry about the what ifs with my milk sources, and fret over the lack of control I have over her food sources – both milk and formula – since my body can’t provide.
And once again I circle round to the bottom line: the milk is fine, my daughter eats well, she is healthy, happy and growing, and she continues to nurse well. Including another “through the night” breast-only session. And she’ll be eating food before we know it (she’s 13 weeks now – we can introduce from 17 weeks, though I’ll probably wait a bit longer).