One Year of Breastfeeding: The Math
As my third baby just turned one I've been reflecting on all the sacrifices that we make as breastfeeding parents.
2022 was an especially stressful and panicked year as a parent of an infant, and two other children 4 and under.
The formula shortage hit in the summer, right when my supply happened to drop. I was able to get it back up after a few weeks of hard work, adding pumping sessions and taking in extra calories to support milk production. I gained weight, back to my where I was right after having Lilah.
There was an incredible shaming against mothers who "chose" to formula feed, as if breastfeeding is an easy road. It's not. There are a host of reasons behind parents' feeding choices. I chose to breastfeed, and while there are countless reasons I chose, and continue to choose to extend our journey, there are also several reasons I'd like to wean.
I celebrate this milestone, because it comes from a place of great love, but also sacrifice. Society guilts us into thinking it should be "easy" and come "naturally" because it is natural. Breastfeeding is a learned skill by both parent and baby. Even IF it comes "easily" it can still be lonely and challenging at times.
Here are some rough stats behind my breastfeeding journey. I spent 456 hours breastfeeding or pumping for a year, that's over 70 gallons of milk produced. Take a look at the infographic for a breakdown of milk-making metrics.
Whatever your feeding journey has looked like, you are making the best choices for you and your baby. You will always have the support you deserve from the OAO community.
Mama to Addie, Ellery, and Lilah
Co-founder & CEO, Of an Origin