I myself was breastfed until I was two and a half and my mom still talks about what an amazing experience that was. My daughter was born and we figured out how to breastfeed quickly but pretty soon afterward I was traveling for work. I only took two weeks of maternity leave because I was running my own business, so I didn’t have the time I’d wanted to build up a frozen stash of extra milk.
At seven months, she suddenly had no interest in anymore. So I started pumping. It was exhausting. Then she dropped from the 35th to 5th weight percentile. She wasn’t really loving solids yet though. I remember our pediatrician telling me to put butter on everything. We had the realization that breast milk’s not cutting it.
We introduced formula at nine months; I used both formula and breast milk for the last three months of her first year. I was disappointed in myself and upset with the career position I’d put myself in that I couldn't take longer maternity leave, have that frozen stash and time to bond with my baby.
I felt a little bit like a failure. I had a C-section because my baby was breech and she didn’t get the immune benefits of going through the vaginal canal, so I already felt like I’d shorted her on that front.
Being in the Bay Area, people are more aware of food quality and where food comes from. I appreciate the emphasis on breastfeeding as long as possible.