Kerry and Angus had a great breastfeeding experience from the start…
I guess you could say I was one of the lucky ones; the cherub attached easily after being born and fed like a little champ. In fact, he was back to his birth weight in only two days!
I was relieved and pretty excited. I had plenty of support in hubby and friends and online mummies groups. I felt like that if it did get difficult at any stage I had all the right support to try and power through any issues, but there weren’t any, woohoo!
What was difficult, was expressing to have stores for a night out or so hubby could feed him. God that was a chore! As much milk as I had in those boobs it just wanted to come out via natural suction I guess, expressing took me forever and I hated it. I persisted mostly just to give hubby that bonding time and me the occasional break, which is important, I think. Well, important for me.
Then the questions started….So how long will you breastfeed? From everyone. Hmmmm, I thought, I’m really just taking each day as it comes. I’d answer ‘I’m trying for at least until 1 year old, and then I’ll see how I feel about taking it to 2’. “2?!” They’d say. One or two of those “2?!” people were even very close friends. None of my friends have babies though, so I think that maybe it was just not something they’d thought about, or maybe weren’t comfortable with, because they hadn’t been around babies. “Yep, 2”, I’d say, “It’s world health organisation recommended!” Thought to myself- I’m going to see how I feel.
No mastitis, no biting, I had it easy. I did however start a formula top-up after his night feed at around 5 months I think, when he began fussing on the boob a lot and I was trying to get him to have a 7hr block of sleep. It worked for us, and I felt happy with my decision. Funnily enough it was my own husband who initially balked at the idea of offering the cherub formula. Once I explained why I wanted to try it and that we’d stop if it didn’t work, and that I planned to keep breastfeeding him at all other times, he was soon on board. I loved breastfeeding, it was so convenient! I of course loved the closeness it gave me with the cherub, when he fell asleep or would smile at me and a whole mouthful of milk would spill out because he’d be too busy smiling to remember to swallow first. I encouraged this, because it was super cute!
At about 12 months he was just restless constantly, he’d crawl to the cupboard and seek out his bottles. He loved the independence of holding them and feeding himself (Probably gets his independence from his mummy!). I kept breastfeeding until 13 months, but those formula top ups changed to cows milk, and then I just stopped. I was ready, Angus was ready. He’d never been the kind of baby to ask for boobs, I don’t think he even noticed. We didn’t wean, it was cold turkey. I was prepared for a long wean, but he was happy with cows milk, and deep down in the deepest corner of my sagging boobies, I was glad to have them back and wear a normal bra!
Occasionally I had doubts about whether I should have kept going as many in my online community still did and I didn’t want to not be providing the best for my cherub. Those feelings passed. Mostly though I feel it was all about the right support, people who know breast feeding is amazing but it’s ok to do whatever’s right for you and your bub, I had that, so I guess I continued to be ‘lucky’.
I’ve shared my positive experience in the hopes it will help someone else feel less daunted by breastfeeding.