Family Magazine

Our Breastfeeding Journey

By Ourbabyblog @OurBabyBlogx
Before I start this post can I just say I am in no way against formula feeding! This post is purely about breastfeeding and I am not comparing either of them against eachother, I will not even be mentioning formula in the post! I am simply writing about my experience of newborn nursing through to "extended" breastfeeding, as well as any judgment I have come across too..
Our Breastfeeding Journey
When I became pregnant i was determined to breastfeed, the benefits, the convenience and because I wanted to. So as soon as Abbie was born she was placed on my chest and she latched straight on, a sudden bond was made and I knew I'd made the right decision! The first few days were amazing, she latched, fed and everything seemed to be going smoothly, I then had my milk come in and I suddenly had too much milk for her, she couldn't latch on properly and we were both getting frustrated, I started dreading the feeds as it was excruciating, i had cracked, bleeding nipples which then scabbed over, the only advice from the health visitors was to stop...stop? I remember bursting into tears, feeling like failure that I couldn't feed my child how I wanted, I can't stop, I'm not just going to give up, no matter how painful, so I asked for help from family and friends, I found out many different positions, I watched YouTube videos, I tried with a pillow, sat up, led down, I literally tried absolutely everything, I was determined to persevere and within about 3-4 weeks, everything was easy and pain free, I felt so proud of myself and of Abbie, we'd done it together!
Fast forward 16 months and here we are still going strong! It's cut down a lot, as a newborn she would feed up to 15 times a day, she now feeds before her nap and before bedtime, with the occasional extra feed if she's teething or ill! It's second nature now, it provides her with more than just nutrition now, it's much much more than that!

Now she's a toddler, it's rare that she will sit down for just 5 minutes and do nothing, so when she asks for milk it's so nice to just chill and relax with her, it's also a nice way for us to bond too, even if she does insist on kicking my neck/playing with my face/trying out gymnastics etc! The content look in her face and the little smiles and giggles is something I will one day miss, why would I want to stop that?

I'm asked many questions by others regarding why I'm still breastfeeding Abbie, such as when are you going to stop?

This question bothers me, firstly, why do I need to stop? And secondly it's not about when I'M going to stop, it's when Abbie decides to stop, so many mothers feel pressured by others and there is no reason for it! If I was to take Abbie away from breastfeeding, she would be distressed and unhappy, two things I will never allow happen to her!
There aren't any benefits anymore
There seems to be this idea that after 6 months there are no benefits to breastfeeding, but this is far from the truth! It shows how so many people are uneducated and go by what they think or are some benefits still..

  • Breast milk still provides calories, valuable immunities, vitamins, and enzymes. 
  • Studies have shown that breastfeeding toddlers get sick less often than their peers (Abbie has only has TWO colds in 16 months, the first lasted around 10 days when she was a few months old, the second when she was 15 months old and lasted 5 days!)
  • Breastfeeding is good for your health, too. Breastfeeding for longer periods is associated with a lower risk of breast and ovarian cancers in women.
  • As your child becomes more independent, breastfeeding can be an important source of reassurance and emotional support. The strong connection your child feels with you while nursing will foster independence, not make him overly dependent or clingy as some may have you believe.
  • Our culture tends to believe that pushing children away helps them develop a strong sense of self-worth and independence, when in fact, the opposite is true. Forcing a child to stop nursing before he's developmentally ready won't necessarily create a more confident child – rather, it could make him more clingy.
  • If your child is sick, breast milk may be the only thing he can keep down. You'll feel better too, knowing that you're helping him fight off the illness.
  • If you travel a lot, breastfeeding is a lot easier than carrying around formula or worrying about having to buy it at your destination. And when you stay overnight in a strange place, the comfort of your breast may be the best way to ease your child's fears and make him feel more secure.
  • You may be able to put off getting your period for a year or more, an advantage for anyone who dreads the thought of dealing with cramps and bloating again.
  • Continued breastfeeding may help to keep your weight in check. Breastfeeding combined with a healthy diet and exercise may keep you trimmer for years to come. 

It's more than just nutrition now, it's her comfort, her way of reconnecting with me and her soother
So I will breastfeed Abbie until she decides to stop, when SHE is ready and not a moment sooner! Yes I am a tired mommy when she's teething and wants to feed every hour in the night, yes it can be wearing, but it's not forever, I will not be selfish and take it away from her because of lack of sleep, as a parent you know that sleep goes out the window and although 2 years sounds like a long time of not having much, it's nothing compared to the 90+ years of her life i do get to sleep and spend with her knowing i met all her needs and gave her everything I could to ensure she is a happy and healthy baby without making her distressed or leaving her to cry! I will look back and be bloody proud of myself for holding on and never giving up! 
I ignore the judgment now, it doesn't bother me anymore, I know that a lot of women are pressured to breastfeed too which is completely wrong in my opinion, then those who do choose to breastfeed, are judged for breastfeeding for "too long" .....what is the right thing to do?? My answer...whatever the hell you want to do! Your body, your child, your choice! I think everyone should support eachother in our decisions, not judge and turn their noses up at eachother, life is far too short and precious, live it how you want & let those who judge and snigger do just that!Happy breastfeeding!x

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