After I talked a bit about Duncan’s recent introduction to solids (apples, pears, bananas, pork, rice, paper), the doctor asked if he was still getting primarily breast milk. When I replied the doctor was a little over the top at congratulating me on continuing to feed Duncan only breast milk even though I am working. I don’t object to him basically saying ‘Yay, go you,’ but I don’t feel like it’s been a particular burden. Indeed, it has been easier this time around as I am getting enough pumping during the day that I don’t have to get up in the middle of the night to pump the way I did with Margaret. I think my success in this regard has a non-zero luck component, and thus I feel a little superstitious about taking too much credit for it.
I’d also like to say that circumstances have conspired to make it easy for me to breastfeed. My mother breastfed, my friend have all breastfed excepting those on medications that preclude it, some of those friends have breastfed kids over three years old, in my neighborhood a formula bottle looks more out of place at the park than a mother discreetly nursing, and the health care professionals I have encountered all do a lot of little things that make a huge difference in breastfeeding. The hospital was good about getting us off to the right start, and that certainly helped. Our pediatrician himself also has to get some credit. He has always been very clear that real measure of success in breastfeeding is how well the baby is doing. As long as the baby is gaining weight appropriately he’s happy. I know a lot of women get very stressed out about whether or not their baby is getting enough. I myself worried a bit with Margaret. You can’t really measure how much comes out except when you pump, so it’s hard to tell. I think not being so worried about it with Duncan has actually helped my supply a bit. Stress is your enemy when you’re trying to produce milk.
I plan to continue nursing Duncan until he is a year old. In an ideal world where I didn’t have huge fertility issues I’d just nurse all my kids until they self-weaned, but my world isn’t quite so ideal. When we started trying for our first child way back when we both agreed that we wanted three kids total. I’d still like a third child if possible. When we get close to Duncan’s first birthday we’ll have to see where things stand on a number of fronts and formulate a more solid plan. For now it’s nice to just nurse my baby and not have to worry about an imminent need to start medication and cut off his supply.