9 weeks was such a difficult time for us. We were starting to get the hang of it but we weren't there yet. I was unsure if she was getting enough just nursing and was offering bottles of EBM at night especially. I was scared to death to return to work. My job is deadline-driven and can be demanding, and I work mostly with men, and I was just wondering if I could keep this up. It seemed really, really hard and I was having a hard time taking it day by day.
But for me and my baby, we really turned a corner around this time. Just a few weeks can make a huge difference. By 3 months, we were doing great. And I returned to work and was scared I couldn't pump enough or that my pump breaks would be a problem. But I just took the breaks, and everything worked out. I had to tweak my pumping schedule to make enough, and I took fenugreek and Motherlove for awhile. I never had a freezer stash. And I also knew I could use formula as a backup if we needed it, and I didn't feel guilty about that.
It has been so worth it! For me and my LO, breastfeeding has been such smooth sailing for the last 7 months. So much more convenient than bringing bottles and feeding bottles. And in the early days, she would want to nurse for forever at night. So I just sat in the glider with my feet up and we watched Seinfeld, DH made dinner, and I let her nurse while I relaxed. It was a great way to reconnect with her because I missed her so much while I was working FT. Now I even look forward to my pump breaks at work. I bring my Kindle and read a few pages of a book. I actually think the breaks are great for my productivity. I feel a lot more focused when I return to my desk.
Anyway, I just wanted to say, I have felt like breastfeeding was failing so many times. DH and I would have the conversation so many times about supplementing. But I just kept going and before I knew it, it was so much easier.
If you supplement at night, are you pumping during the times you're feeding formula? If you do feel like you need to supplement, have DH feed the bottle while you pump. Even if you don't get much, your body needs to get those signals to make milk. But I agree with PP to nurse as much as possible and avoid supplementing if you can. If that means LO is nursing all night, that's normal and will help boost your supply much faster.