Menu

Why I Stopped Breastfeeding

This mom tells how doctor's orders derailed her nursing plans.

Why I Stopped Breastfeeding

Being pregnant brought on a gamut of emotions that came with a time limit to sort out. Among the many parenting considerations was whether or not to breastfeed.

Initially, I had decided to go the bottle route. Knowing that millions of babies grow up healthy on formula, it just seemed like the easier choice. Around the sixth month, education and encouragement from others changed my decision and I decided that I would be a breastfeeding mom.

Then finally, after a difficult induction that took place over two days, Skyler William was born. Luckily, neither one of us had any issues with breastfeeding, and it quickly became our private time together.

FEATURED VIDEO

I felt like I was doing so much more with Skyler than just providing sustenance-- I felt connected. He would hold my pinky finger while I studied his face and rubbed his toes. Every once in awhile, he would stop suckling and look into my eyes.

At three and a half weeks postpartum, though, while nursing Skyler, I felt little pings in my lower abdomen and the sudden urge to pee. When I went to the bathroom, I was shocked to see blood pouring into the toilet. Terrified, I immediately called my doctor. He told me to call an ambulance.

At the hospital, the OB/GYN determined that the lining of my uterus had not stopped shedding and I would have to take copious amounts of the birth control pill. I was also given a blood transfusion and an injection of Ergometrine to make my uterus contract. I was told how lucky I was. If the hemorrhaging had happened while I was sleeping, I could have easily bled to death.

Almost as an aside, the doctor told me I would have to cease breastfeeding, both because it makes the uterus contract and the medication I was taking would quickly dry up my milk.

Initially I was okay with switching to a bottle, but, within a few days, I found myself resenting the loss of that exclusive time with Skyler. I felt cheated that anyone could now feed him and even unnecessary, like I was really not needed at all. I silently started to feel resentful of the people I treasured most in my life.

While I was nursing, I hadn’t felt the loss of that little human growing inside of me because we were still linked, quite literally, every couple of hours. Instead of an umbilical cord, my breast had been Skyler's nutritional lifeline. Now, I felt disconnected from my own baby.

I was finally able to bring myself to talk about my resentment to one of my closest friends, and she helped me figure out the root of my issues.

First, I had to realize that the decision to stop breastfeeding was not mine. It was not my fault that I had hemorrhaging and there was nothing I could have done to prevent it.

Second, when I was breastfeeding Skyler, I was able to avoid the separation anxiety that can come when that little person growing inside you is suddenly a separate entity. Those feelings were simply delayed because Skyler was not completely apart from me until I could no longer breastfeed him.

By turning to someone I trusted, I was able to work through my feelings of hurt and animosity, and I found that there were resources available with mothers who had surely gone through exactly what I experienced. I realized that my son and I were connected in so many ways and that he still needed me. Dealing with the shock of not being able to nurse anymore taught me to reach out to others for support and find new ways to get the closeness I craved.

Once I was able to forgive myself, the anger and resentment I had felt toward others faded away and I was okay with taking this new journey as a bottle feeding mom.

*Pauline Milner has been a freelance writer, editor, and copywriter for over 12 years. Her articles cover a broad spectrum of topics. She is currently working to complete 2 screenplays and a series of children's books while living a quiet life in rural New Brunswick, Canada with my husband and our very spoiled rescue dog, Casey. Her daughter is married with 2 children. She and her husband are both teachers. Her son is travelling the world as a fine dining chef and is currently in Australia. You can find her on Twitter at @PaulineRMilner.

These are the best bath time products you can get for under $20

These budget-friendly products really make a splash.

With babies and toddlers, bath time is about so much more than washing off: It's an opportunity for fun, sensory play and sweet bonding moments—with the added benefit of a cuddly, clean baby afterward.

Because bathing your baby is part business, part playtime, you're going to want products that can help with both of those activities. After countless bath times, here are the products that our editors think really make a splash. (Better yet, each item is less than $20!)

Comforts Bath Wash & Shampoo

Comforts Baby Wash & Shampoo

Made with oat extract, this bath wash and shampoo combo is designed to leave delicate skin cleansed and nourished. You and your baby will both appreciate the tear-free formula—so you can really focus on the bath time fun.

Munckin Soft Spot Bath Mat

Munchkin slip mat

When your little one is splish-splashing in the bath, help keep them from also sliding around with a soft, anti-slip bath mat. With strong suction cups to keep it in place and extra cushion to make bath time even more comfortable for your little one, this is an essential in our books.

Comforts Baby Lotion

Comforts baby lotion

For most of us, the bath time ritual continues when your baby is out of the tub when you want to moisturize their freshly cleaned skin. We look for lotions that are hypoallergenic, nourishing and designed to protect their skin.

The First Years Stack Up Cups

First year stack cups

When it comes to bath toys, nothing beats the classic set of stackable cups: Sort them by size, practice pouring water, pile them high—your little one will have fun with these every single bath time.

Comforts Baby Oil

Comforts baby oil

For dry skin that needs a little extra TLC, our team loves Comforts' fast-absorbing baby oil aloe vera and vitamin E. Pro tip: When applied right after drying off your baby, the absorption is even more effective.

KidCo Bath Toy Organizer

KidCo Bath Organizer

Between bathing supplies, wash rags, toys and more, the tub sure can get crowded in a hurry. We like that this organizer gives your little one space to play and bathe while still keeping everything you need within reach.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

Motherly editors’ 7 favorite hacks for organizing their diaper bags

Make frantically fishing around for a diaper a thing of the past!

As any parent knows, the term "diaper bag" only scratches the surface. In reality, this catchall holds so much more: a change of clothes, bottles, snacks, wipes and probably about a dozen more essential items.

Which makes finding the exact item you need, when you need it (read: A diaper when you're in public with a blowout on your hands) kind of tricky.

That's why organization is the name of the game when it comes to outings with your littles. We pooled the Motherly team of editors to learn some favorite hacks for organizing diaper bags. Here are our top tips.

1. Divide and conquer with small bags

Here's a tip we heard more than a few times: Use smaller storage bags to organize your stuff. Not only is this helpful for keeping related items together, but it can also help keep things from floating around in the expanse of the larger diaper bag. These bags don't have to be anything particularly fancy: an unused toiletry bag, pencil case or even plastic baggies will work.

2. Have an emergency changing kit

When you're dealing with a diaper blowout situation, it's not the time to go searching for a pack of wipes. Instead, assemble an emergency changing kit ahead of time by bundling a change of baby clothes, a fresh diaper, plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer in a bag you can quickly grab. We're partial to pop-top wipes that don't dry out or get dirty inside the diaper bag.

3. Simplify bottle prep

Organization isn't just being able to find what you need, but also having what you need. For formula-feeding on the go, keep an extra bottle with the formula you need measured out along with water to mix it up. You never know when your outing will take longer than expected—especially with a baby in the mix!

4. Get resealable snacks

When getting out with toddlers and older kids, snacks are the key to success. Still, it isn't fun to constantly dig crumbs out of the bottom of your diaper bag. Our editors love pouches with resealable caps and snacks that come in their own sealable containers. Travel-sized snacks like freeze-dried fruit crisps or meal-ready pouches can get an unfair reputation for being more expensive, but that isn't the case with the budget-friendly Comforts line.

5. Keep a carabiner on your keychain

You'll think a lot about what your child needs for an outing, but you can't forget this must-have: your keys. Add a carabiner to your keychain so you can hook them onto a loop inside your diaper bag. Trust us when we say it's a much better option than dumping out the bag's contents on your front step to find your house key!

6. Bundle your essentials

If your diaper bag doubles as your purse (and we bet it does) you're going to want easy access to your essentials, too. Dedicate a smaller storage bag of your diaper bag to items like your phone, wallet and lip balm. Then, when you're ready to transfer your items to a real purse, you don't have to look for them individually.

7. Keep wipes in an outer compartment

Baby wipes aren't just for diaper changes: They're also great for cleaning up messy faces, wiping off smudges, touching up your makeup and more. Since you'll be reaching for them time and time again, keep a container of sensitive baby wipes in an easily accessible outer compartment of your bag.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on www.comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

Becoming a mother has been life-changing. It's been hard, tiring, gratifying, beautiful, challenging, scary and a thousand other things that only a parent would ever understand.

It is these life-changing experiences that have inspired me to draw my everyday life as a stay at home mom. Whether it's the mundane tasks like doing laundry or the exciting moments of James', my baby boy's, first steps, I want to put it down on paper so that I can better cherish these fleeting moments that are often overlooked.

Being a stay-at-home-mom can be incredibly lonely. I like to think that by drawing life's simple moments, I can connect with other mothers and help them feel less alone. By doing this, I feel less alone, too. It's a win-win situation and I have been able to connect with many lovely parents and fellow parent-illustrators through my Instagram account.

Keep reading Show less
Work + Money