Breastfeeding for me in the beginning was a real joy! I know that must make a lot of people feel frustrated but I just found it so natural. This is back when sawyer was a baby. Then I had Vienna and totally expected it to be a breeze again but that time, due to a bad latch moments after she was born, the whole of my left nipple ended up peeling off! Totally horrendous. But even with all that happening I really didn't want to give up, the thought of using bottles actually seemed harder and like more work. I fed through gritted teeth and the nipple did recover but now it looks like it has a sad face!
(Editor's note: Vickie's baby Leila survived only 11 days, Indy is the baby she had after tragically losing Leila)
Breastfeeding Leia was honestly the most important thing in my life at that point. They didn't let me feed her for three days and it was a physical torture. Like it hurt me and I didn't handle it well. When they did let me, the moment she latched on all was ok (even though it wasn't), all worry dissipated while I was feeding her, it was amazing. They tried to discourage me from feeding at night, said I should travel back to brighton every evening but there was no way anyone could have stopped me. I was shocked that a NICU would discourage mothers feeding their newborn babies but they did. I was connected to her through breast feeding though both physically and emotionally. I would have camped out on the floor if I'd had to!<
As for Indy, in the beginning, middle and end it's been lovely. I feel like we've both now come to a natural stop, he's 17 months old so it suits me.
Feeding in public was something I was certainly less comfortable with at first but my confidence grew quickly and in the end I used to quite enjoy torturing people who were clearly uncomfortable seeing me do it!!!
Other breastfeeding mothers are incredibly important. I will always try and smile or make them feel accepted and at ease.
Breastfeeding has been an education for simon! He grew up with parents who were quite prudish and women were expected to keep such things private! He even once asked me if breastfeeding was a turn on! Something he now fiercely denies but he definitely said it! He's come a long way but still associates breast feeding with a wife who doesn't drink or want to go out. In reality I'm 40 and breastfeeding or not, I'm just not interested in getting drunk or going out much! He definitely likes to think it's because of the breastfeeding though!
I think breastfeeding is an amazing way to bond with your baby but I don't think my bond would be any less if I hadn't done it. It was really important to me and it made me very determined. I see how it's not for everyone.
Breastfeeding does certainly change how we parent at night! All the time I'm breastfeeding simon refuses to give me any help what so ever between the hours of 10pm and 7am! He says there's no point in him getting up and he does kinda have a point although it's still really annoying and so so hard.
The minute I stop (or say I've stopped), he gets up all through the night and will do for months as he understands that if I go in to the baby, they will just want boob again! So I usually say I've stopped at about 14 months as by then I can no longer function on 2 hours sleep and he takes over. Once he does, our babies usually start sleeping through within a week! I then carry on feeding behind his back, during the day for as long as I'm happy to do so!
We have always moved straight on to cows milk at that stage.
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