Breastfeeding Guilt

Lynsey - posted on 09/14/2015 ( 1 mom has responded )

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I'm a new mom to a beautiful 4 month old daughter, and I just started working again. I am a pediatric resident and work really long hours. I have been able to breastfeed up until this point. I am thankful for this, because I do know many friends and patient's mothers' who struggle with this. I've been back to work for 2 months now, and the stress of constantly pumping is really starting to take its toll (especially since I have to pump in the middle of the night still). I work 12 and 24 hour shifts, and when I'm with a patient it is really hard to just stop and go pump. I work in a Children's Hospital, so they are very supportive, and provide me places to go, but it is still starting to get hard with all my extra work. I made a decision with my husband a week ago to start slowing extending time between pump sessions, and once I run out of my freezer store to start supplementing. Today was the first day I noticed lower milk supply, and now I'm feeling uber guilty. I know I shouldn't, and I know formula fed babies thrive just the same as breastfed, but I can't shake this feeling. I'm so torn, and I feel like I am doing it for selfish reasons, since I actually can produce enough. Any words of comfort or wisdom?

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Lois - posted on 09/15/2015

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What a wonderful mom you are. I and my family are in the medical field. I know that residents work very hard and very long hours which is exhausting without having a family. As you probably know, usually the more you work the less milk is produced. You already have given your baby a great start because the first days and months are the most crucial for immunity.
If I may suggest.....the guilt cycle can be dissolved when a person finds the shame that is fueling the guilt. The shame (we all have shame) may not be even related to motherhood. Shame potentates guilt and guilt potentates shame. Shame and Guilt are not ours to own.

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