Carmen - posted on 02/17/2009 ( 5 moms have responded )
I am currently breastfeeding my 8 month old son. He nurses a few times during the day, and once or twice at night/early morning. I usually offer the same breast during the overnight hours and pump the other when I get up in the morning, as it is usually full enough to pump and store 4 to 6oz. Throughout the early months of breastfeeding, I had a more-than-abundant supply, so I was able to freeze a lot of milk for bottle feeding. At one point, I had at least a one-month supply built up in case I got sick or otherwise was not able to feed my son. This made breastfeeding a breeze...I was able to leave my son with my husband or my mother-in-law whenever I wanted, and not have to supplement with formula.
Since my son started on solids at 6 months, my milk supply has naturally diminished along with the demand for it. By evening, I don't have enough milk in my breasts to keep my son full! I started using the expressed milk to feed my son before bed, just so I knew he was getting enough to sleep through the night. Along with the milk being used when I'm out and not able to nurse him, my "back-up" supply is almost gone. I am afraid that when my frozen milk supply is gone, I will start having to give my son formula. I have tried pumping more often to build my production back up, but am having no luck. I am just "empty" that much earlier at night. I fear the near end to breastfeeding!
When I got pregnant, I really thought that I would not like breastfeeding. But, knowing the benefits, I tried it anyway, with great success! I then set my goal at breastfeeding for 3 months. Here I am at 8 months, and loving it. My goal now is to nurse my son until he is 1 year old, but I am afraid that I am "drying up." I feel extremely guilty for it, as if I have done something wrong. I know that there is nothing wrong with formula-feeding, but my son has never needed a drop of formula and I know how lucky I am to have been so successful at breastfeeding. My son remains perfectly happy nursing and shows no interest in weaning. Is it normal to feel so guilty for fearing the end or am I being selfish for not wanting to lose this amazing bond with my son?