When my daughter gave up breastfeeding for the bottle, I was wracked with guilt. Guilt because I knew I could be doing more to make her breastfeed. And guilt because I was relieved that the months of bleeding nipples and searing pain was at an end. I ended up pumping for nine months. Each pumping session took 20-30 minutes. I pumped through conference calls and car rides. I felt like a cow, but it was for the best, I told myself. It was all for my baby.
When my second was born, the idea of pumping again made me sob. I told my husband through tears that I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t pump. Not again. One night, delirious with a fever from mastitis and in pain from the cuts on my nipples I asked my husband if he would hate me if we used formula. He hugged me. “Our kids will be fine. Do whatever you need to do.”
It’s easy to be the voice of reason when you don’t have a temperature of 108 and aren’t full of raging postpartum hormones. But my husband wasn’t wrong and now there is science to back it up.