On the last day of World Breastfeeding Week 2013, four more Frugi mums share their personal experiences of breastfeeding. Don’t forget you have until midnight tonight ( 8th August 2013) to get 25% off on all styles in our Mother range!
If you had told me when I was pregnant with my first baby that I would still be breastfeeding her over 4 years later, as well as her younger brother, I wouldn’t have believed you for a second. I was going to breastfeed, there was no doubt about that but I assumed baby would wean itself around 6 months – my mum told me that’s what I did so I assumed that’s what happens. The first 8-12 weeks of feeding Bug was so much harder than I thought it would be but I stuck at it and with lots of support we got the hang of it. 13 months on she was still going strong and I became pregnant with her brother. Knowing a little more about breastfeeding by then, I assumed Bug would wean during the pregnancy as 60-80% of feeding toddlers do. Bug was determined not to let that happen though. She fed all the way through and didn’t appear to notice when my milk dried up. When Woody was born she thought all her birthdays and Christmases had come at once when my milk came in yelling “mummy – the boobs are working again! Milk is back!” I couldn’t wean her then – she was so happy and I didn’t want to cause her any upset as she was getting used to a brother. And so I was, quite unintentionally, tandem feeding a 2 year old and a new-born. Just over two years later, my wonderful breastfeeding journey with Bug ended. At 4 years and 3 months old she announced she was too old for mummy milk anymore. I knew it was coming, there had been signs, and I had expected to feel sad but I didn’t. It was wonderful to see my daughter taking this step towards independence at her own pace, without fuss or upset but simply an announcement and a cuddle. Bug is nearly 5 now. Sometimes she tells me she misses her mummy milk but usually she remembers it with such happiness. For me, something I never dreamed I would do has become one of my proudest achievements. The fact that my daughter can remember the closeness and the love we shared while she breastfed is something she will have forever. Woody is 3 in a couple of months and he is still very attached to his “milkies”. I love getting to spend that time snuggling a child who is otherwise never still and I very much hope we will continue until he decides he no longer needs his milk. For our family, breastfeeding has been everything. Food, medicine, comfort, love and sometimes even a silly game – I have to admit to a mild feeling of panic at the thought of not having it as a cure all when Woody decides he’s had enough!
I am a mum of three and I have recently qualified as a breastfeeding counsellor with the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers. I really enjoy my “work” as a breastfeeding counsellor (we are all volunteers). It can feel incredibly rewarding – sometimes it just takes a tiny tweak of a latch for a mum to be able to finally be pain free and enjoy feeding her baby. But the main thing I have learnt is that breastfeeding is rarely something a woman can do on her own. In our Western society we have lost the support that still exists in the rest of the world, where men and women grow up with breastfeeding being a normal part of life, where little girls unconsciously learn how to position a baby because they see it happening around them, and where grandmothers, aunts and sisters are at hand and have the knowledge to help with any problem that arise. Breastfeeding over here is seen (wrongly!) as a rather mysterious thing, which works for some but not others, which is often a painful and stressful experience, but this is because we have lost the knowledge and support that comes from a close knit community. Breastfeeding support groups are our way of reintroducing this support and I hope that our local group is successful in doing so. Certainly it is a place where women (though dads are welcome too) can laugh, cry, talk and be listened to, with cups of tea and cakes galore!
After my home-birth ended in an emergency caesarian, I am so grateful that I have had no problems at all breastfeeding my son. He didn’t even lose weight in his first week. Well, he did suck one nipple bloody one time the first week, but it was over the next day.
Breastfeeding him, is the most natural thing I’ve ever done, and I’ve found that it, as with all his other needs, is all about following and trusting my instincts and intuition. I feel like breastfeeding gives me just as much as it gives him.
I can often feel the oxytocin floating through my body when feeding him and it’s the most amazing feeling – pure love. I love breastfeeding my child.
Lorna; Mum to Becky and Robbie
When it came to feeding decisions it had never really occurred to me to do anything but breastfeed. However my feeding journey with my daughter came to an abrupt end almost before it began due to a combination of circumstance and lack of support. My experience made me all the more determined to make it work with any subsequent babies.
The birth of my baby boy in 2012 heralded the start of a much more straightforward experience of breastfeeding after the usual challenges of learning about positioning, attachment and normal breastfed newbie behaviour (it’s normal for them to wake 465 times a night, right?). It was a huge sense of achievement after the disappointment of not managing to breastfeed my daughter. Not to mention the fact I got to put the gorgeous Frugi breastfeeding wear to good use when out and about!
After a few weeks, I had an urge to find a way to “pay it forward” and so looked into donating to Scotland’s only donor milk bank at Southern General NICU. My friend’s baby had been born 11 weeks early so the importance of breastmilk to premature babies was something close to our hearts. We donated until I returned to work following maternity leave.
Here we are, 16 months down the line and no signs of stopping!