I have been breastfeeding my son for almost 9 months. When he was two months old I had to return to work and pumped when I was able. I was a teacher - not exactly easy to take a 15 min break to pump! I was only able to pump during my off period and after school. Not the best arrangement, but I managed to keep up with most of his demand.
After a few months he needed to be supplemented with formula more and more. I now feed him as often as I can during the day, but I still have to supplement him with one or two 6 oz bottles of formula. To add insult to injury my body is not responding to the pump very well anymore. Sites like La Leche League or Kellymom suggest pumping in between feedings to increase supply and gradually reducing the supplement (by ~1 oz every few days). I tried this tactic for a few days but found it too difficult with the two boys getting into trouble while I was attached to the pump for 10-15 min.
I love breastfeeding but I wonder when its time to stop. It's hard for me emotionally when Logan pulls off the breast and cries because he's still hungry. I feel like I'm failing him - my body is failing him. When does the stress of trying to maintain my supply (or increase it) negate the benefits?
I know that some would say (including myself on "up" days) that every drop of breast milk helps and counts for something. I wonder if all of my stress and challenge of trying to increase it is actually working against me. I want to, in my heart, continue breastfeeding until he is 1 year old. If it was a perfect world, I would also have him off the formula for that time.
What's your take on the subject? Is it worth the challenge or should I just give up? Should I be happy where I am with giving him 2 bottles a day? When is the "right" time to stop breastfeeding? I'd love to hear what you have to say!