Grieving for the loss of your breastmilk  |  Blog

It always seems to be the way that the things we long for the most seem to be the things we see most often. When your trying to have a baby if feels like all you ever see walking down the street is pregnant people. When your suffering with a loss it feel like all you can see is other people happiness all around. It’s like the universe is constantly reminding you of what you can’t have.
Ever since I stopped breastfeeding 3 months ago I feel like all I see is breastfeeding mothers everywhere. Don't get me wrong...I am so proud that so many women have the confidence to feed in pubic around others and I honestly want to go and give them a high five as I know how hard it can be but I swear I didn’t see that many breastfeeding mothers when I was feeding. Everywhere I go it seems like I am in the minority when I get out a bottle for Smidge. I know that statistically that’s not true and I am not a minority anymore but I can’t help but feel like I am. It sometimes feels like everyone was able to continue their breastfeeding journey until they chose...just not me.

Our breastfeeding journey came to, what felt like, a relatively abrupt end. We had been away on holiday when Smidge was almost 4 months old and on our last day I received an email threatening legal action against me because of something I’d said on social media. This event was the start of a downward spiral for me. I became anxious and panicked about everything I said. I didn’t write much on social media. I didn’t trust people and became sure that I was going to ruin my blog and my career by saying something wrong again. I became a mess. This had a huge effect on my mental health which in turn had a massive effect on my milk supply. My milk started to dry up and within 3 weeks of being back from holiday, I was barely getting 1oz off of both boobs. Smidge would scream with hunger when ever I tried to feed him which in turn lead to me giving him more formula which in turn lead to less breastmilk. It was a vicious circle but it was a circle I wasn’t mentally strong enough to break out of. I tried everything I could to up my milk and to make breastfeeding work just a little bit longer for us but nothing helped. I ended up in tears when ever I was trying to get him to latch on... I dreaded feeding him as I knew it was going to be a battle... I knew in my heart of hearts that the best thing for us both was to admit defeat and to stop breastfeeding.

That was 3 months ago so you might be wondering why on Earth I’m talking about it now. Well it’s because there are still moments where I feel like I’m mourning the fact that I won’t ever breastfeed again. Smidge was our last baby so that ship has well and truly sailed. Don’t get me wrong... I don’t sulk around the house feeling sad that I’m not breastfeeding but there are times where the sadness comes back. Tonight Smidge was really snuffly when we came up to bed. I tried to feed him some milk to get him through the night but he kept pulling off the bottle and nuzzling his head into me like he used to when he’d latch on. It took me straight back to those moment when I used to feed him. The strangest thing is though that I don’t really know why I miss it...why did I feel sad?

Breastfeeding is hard work! Sleepless nights, cracked nipples, latch issues. But on the flip side it’s also so simple. When I was feeding Smidge, I was all he needed. I was his comfort, his food source, his life line and I think that’s why I still feel sad. I long for him to need me. I want to be that instant comfort that I used to be. I want him to be that tiny baby for just a little bit longer.

But as we all know, things can’t last forever. So now I’ll support and comfort my ever growing, ever changing baby as much as I can and I’m sure one day I’ll stop morning. But for now I will tell myself that it’s okay to be sad and say goodbye to the breastfeeding journey that I know deep down finished too early.

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