I never knew how much it would hurt at first... and not just for 6 weeks like everyone says. After 3 visits to the LC, 3 visit to the chiropractor, and one frenulectomy later, I though things were going well and the pain was subsiding (around 3 months). But then came the double whamy - the little one wanted to start nursing less and less and use the bottles more and more (exclusive nursing was not an option because of work). I was left with the agonizing realization that I would have to stop breastfeeding directly and start exclusively pumping, based on my LO's desires, simply because he needed to take bottles at day care. He wouldn't do it both ways, so I was left with the choice to either stop working (not an option), or loose the physical act of breastfeeding.
Thankfully EPing has worked out until now (11.5 months), and I was finally able to go down to a 4-5 a day pumping schedule. We are just starting to supplement with formula this week and perhaps in a few weeks we'll move to a toddler formula, mixed with whatever breastmilk I'm still producing. Perhaps someday soon he'll start accepting solids and drink less milk, and then I can feel a little better about doing my due diligence as a mother. :-)
When you consider that one drop of breastmilk has one million white blood cells, every time you pump, even a small amount, you are doing something life changing for your son.
Be kind to yourself. You are a wonderful mama.
Former EP'er here, giving you a virtual high-five! I remember those feelings well. I can tell you now, four years and change later, I can say that I did everything I could and I gave him my best. I hope you can feel that way too. :)
WOHM to Leo (4/08) and enjoying the journey with DH
Announcing the arrival of Clara in August 2013!