Tuesday, 19 October 2010

my milk

I am very lucky. I know that some women find breastfeeding incredibly difficult to establish and for some, they are never able to get it right. For some women this inability to feed their babies must be devastating. I know that I am lucky.

But it wasn't easy for me with Minnie or Louis. I had attachment problems, cracked nipples, thrush, mastitis, pain and discomfort. But I am pig headed. I kept on going until it was right. I got help and kept on trying. Yes, there were nights that I cried throughout entire feeds but I kept on going. For about 6 weeks I was in terrible pain every time I fed Louis. But I just kept going. I am not after any accolades - it's just something that I really needed to get right.

I fed Minnie until she was 2 1/2 and I am so pleased I did. I know that some people think it's odd to feed a walking, talking, all-singing and all-dancing child. I guess before I had Minnie I thought it was perhaps 'unnecessary.' But of course once I had her that all changed. It didn't seem odd or strange at all. On one occasion I had to argue the benefits of extended breastfeeding to a (female) doctor. I don't think she got it.

Insurmountable feeding problems aside, I find it sad when I hear of women that go straight to formula, that don't try or don't ask for help. I am most definitely not having a go at women that are unable to breastfeed - I just wish the women that were able to feed would give it a go. And I won't get started on what I think about the clever brainwashing tactics of large companies that make artificial milk...

So I am lucky and pleased. So pleased that I can do this for my babies. So pleased that I get to share that special time, watching them fall asleep, little chubby fingers resting on my breast.

13 comments:

Kate said...

I love the way you write Rach. Its very inclusive and non judgemental and non confrontational. This is a touchy subject for some and I think you handled it beautifully.
Also, I wanted to thank you. Today I had a coffee with a friend who lost one of her twins in utero a year ago. Because of you I asked her how she was feeling about her daughter and we chatted about it for ages. She was so grateful and said she doesn't really get a chance to talk about it much.
Thanks so much for letting me know that this was the right thing to do for her. X

Hope's Mama said...

Yes, yes, yes and more yes.

This paragraph is me all over, names changed to suit my situation of course:

"But it wasn't easy for me with Minnie or Louis. I had attachment problems, cracked nipples, thrush, mastitis, pain and discomfort. But I am pig headed. I kept on going until it was right. I got help and kept on trying. Yes, there were nights that I cried throughout entire feeds but I kept on going. For about 6 weeks I was in terrible pain every time I fed Louis. But I just kept going. I am not after any accolades - it's just something that I really needed to get right."

I don't want a medal either. And I'm not suggesting others didn't try as hard as me. But I wanted to breastfeed so I really stuck at it. It was harder than I thought and harder for longer, but we got there in the end. Everyone said it would get easier and they were right.

Angus has just gone 11 months and he doesn't look to be slowing down yet. I had thought one would be my limit, but now that he is almost one, I don't think I'm done anyway. I love it as much as he does!
I'll be guided by him as to when we stop and will be grateful if I can go as long as you did with Minnie.

I count my blessings every day for Angus, and also my ability to be able to breastfeed him. He's never had a drop of formula in his life and I don't say that to brag, I just say it because that's how it is and it has been hard, but damn I am proud of myself.

Great post and like the commenter above said, well handled. I don't ever really talk or blog about this, as I also don't want to sound like I am having a go at formula feeders because it just isn't like that. My sister has a six month old and she's just gone on to formula and I'm just glad my niece is happy and healthy - that's the main thing. Doesn't matter to me how she's fed, but it matters to me how I feed Angus.

Sorry for hijacking the comments section!
xo

la franglaise said...

Such a lovely photo, and post. Makes me nostalgic of my breastfeeding days. I struggled a lot to breastfeed my little boy at the beginning but I persevered every single day until it finally became to easy and so natural. Breastfeeding my son was the best feeling in the world. I regret to have given up when we was just 6 months old but sadly, it became too complicated with my long hours at work. I think I was also influenced by people thinking it wasn't right to of "still" be breastfeeding my child if I was back at work. If I'm lucky to have a second baby one day, I'll definitely breastfeed for longer, regardless of what anyone thinks. It is such a magical bonding moment between a mother and her child. I feel fortunate to have been able to breastfeed, even if it wasn't for long.

Kate said...

I'll never forget the pain when feeding Evie for the first month, I can't believe I perservered. I just really wanted to feed her after having no milk at all to feed the twins. It paid off and I fed her for 20 months. So I perfectly understand everything you have written.
That is such a lovely photo.

Ya Chun said...

I think BFing is really hard at the beginning, but it has proven to be worth it! Bea and I ove it, and I hope to feed her for a good long while.

Isn't it so sweet when they rest their hands on you??

Nikki Elisabeth said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous photo.

And lovely post. Pleased to hear I'm not to only one whose stubbornness got them through! ;)

xo

Jeanette said...

Beautiful photo,I loved loved loved breastfeeding my older four children, and really really hope my determination to get it right with Ernest pays off. x

Sarah said...

a very sweet and content picture...a beautiful post.

Poppy and Mei said...

I miss it so much...XXxx.

Jo said...

What a beautiful picture Rach. I feel blessed to have been able to easily BF my 4.

clare said...

Great post! I too am stubborn. She is now one, I've had all those things you describe, including mastitis 6 times, and we're still going. Can I ask, when you did wean her at 2 1/2 was it her choice or yours and how did it go?

Catherine said...

I totally agree with you on the breastfeeding front (excuse the pun). My youngest was two a couple of weeks ago and still nurses at night. I think the sight of a mother nursing her baby is beautiful.

I suffered all the things you did too, and I was also pigheaded. I remember gripping the chair throughout feeds, wincing and flinching as she fed. Nothing wrong with being stubborn, right?

ashley said...

i struggled with breastfeeding, i mean the pain, the exhaustion, low supply. and now at 13 months we are still going strong. a blessing to have those little chubby fingers resting on me still. there is a lot of help out there and when we ask we receive!
♡ ashley